The Hedonism Handbook
Michael Flocker
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Buy *The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure and Pleasure* online

The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure and Pleasure
Michael Flocker
Da Capo Press
208 pages
November 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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This second book from the author of the bestselling The Metrosexual Guide to Style is a quick, fundamentally fun read. Be prepared for lists and lists of interesting factoids about hedonism through the ages. Redefining hedonism and pointing out how Americans both define and decline it is one of the great aspects of this slimmer volume. With chapters entitled “Follow Your Bliss” and “Indulge Thyself,” it’s easy to see in which direction this author leans – towards the full realization of hedonism in our lives.

The handbook’s tone is light and you’ll find yourself laughing aloud at some of the historical examples of hedonists, margin quotes, and even displayed graphics. A favorite section of mine features the “joy of getting lost,” of which it espouses this wisdom:

To the rigidly organized mind, the idea of getting lost is a distinctly unpleasant one and may be fraught with stress. To the happy hedonist, getting lost is an opportunity for adventure and discovery. This is particularly true when shopping, searching for love or when on vacation. To wander freely is to live in a natural state …
Flocker succeeds in allowing a reader to immerse herself in the difficulties our culture imposes on a hedonistic lifestyle. For example, a hedonist is not stick-thin. A hedonist enjoys feminine curves and softness. Did you know that most countries have paid vacation days required by law? The United States doesn’t, hence the reason for all of the stressed out non-hedonists around all of us. Let’s lighten up, already!

I’m going to adopt the Sensible Weekly Time Allocation for myself. Let me share the handbook’s wisdom once again:

40 hours (It’s the law!)
56 hours (Eight hours per night.)
6 hours (Necessary evil, delegate when possible.)
66 hours (Use them well.)
I’d recommend going out and buying this volume immediately. I’m sure I’ll refer to it often, particularly when stressed out, overtired, or just plain in need of some reassurance that my breakneck lifestyle isn’t absolutely mandatory.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Anne Pepper, 2005

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