The Simplicity Reader by Elaine St. James – This is actually three books in one volume: Simplify Your Life, Inner Simplicity, and Living the Simple Life. The first book, Simplify Your Life, has 100 very short “chapters” that are tips or things you can try to do to simplify your life, grouped by topic. The other books use a similar format with very short, readable chapters (1-2 pages each). Reading all three books in one volume did result in some duplication of content, but for the most part I found this a very enjoyable and practical read. Elaine’s suggestions range from the “extremely easy to try” to “major lifestyle change;” some of the more extreme suggestions include changing jobs, moving into a smaller place, moving to a completely different location, and getting rid of your car. Inner Simplicity has just a few ideas that I’m not comfortable with (“reading runes,” for example) but on the whole had some great suggestions for finding simplicity in your internal (emotional, spiritual, etc.) life as well, such as taking the time to watch a sunset (slowing down), saying no, forgiving, and more. Finally, Living the Simple Life has some overlap with the other two books, but offers more personal examples from both the author’s life as well as from letters that she’s received from others.
It was interesting to have read this after reading The 4 Hour Workweek, as some of her suggestions overlap or are in the same spirit — don’t answer your phone, fight interruptions, don’t read the news.
Pigs Don’t Fly by Mary Brown – Random fantasy paperback I pulled out from the shelf because the title looked interesting. Summer’s mother, the town prostitute, dies, and Summer sets off to find her fortune and perhaps, true love. During her journey, she ends up collecting an odd procession with a weird dog that can talk to her, a horse princess trying to get back home, a blinded but gorgeous knight, a pig with wings, and a crippled pigeon. A light read; okay but not great.
A Wild Ride Through the Night by Walter Moers – Gustave Dore was one of the most popular and prolific engravers of his day. Walter Moers has taken twenty-one of his illustrations and tied them together into a crazy story.
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder – It’s been really cold in our house lately, so I pulled this one off the bookshelf to read when I eat lunch. Laura’s family experiences an extremely long and hard winter. The crisis point comes when there isn’t enough food in the town for some of the families. How will they survive?
Who Lies Here? by Ellis Peters – Published in 1965, this mystery was engaging and interesting. Two dead bodies are uncovered in a coffin, neither of whom are the man who is supposed to have been buried there!
With a bookmark:
(Books I just started reading, or books I’ve been “reading” for ages. Most recent first.)
- Sacred Attitudes by Erica Ross-Krieger
- Body, Soul, and Baby by Tracy Gaudet
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway
- The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
- A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
In the library book box:
- Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull
- The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.
- So That’s What They’re For! by Janet Tamero