Thoreau went to the woods to suck the marrow out of life; here, I hope to drain every drop from the books I read, rather than tossing them aside and saying vaguely, “Oh yes, I read that once,” when they come up in conversation.
I’m a Christ-follower, a wife, a mother, a wannabe novelist (with a complete manuscript, no less!), and—of course—a reader. Stick around, poke around, speak up, and enjoy…and definitely recommend your favorites, because my mile-long to-be-read list could always be longer!
100 Thing Challenge + Little House on a Small Planet
I’m a big fan of simple living blogs, books, magazines, you name it. When I picked up The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno from the library and saw how thin it was, I expected to devour it in a day or two.
But for some reason, that just didn’t happen.
I struggled with Bruno’s book in part because of its repetitive or circular nature: imagine reading a book that reads like a neverending blog post, referencing itself repeatedly but without the nifty hyperlinks to take you back to the source. The same intense language that gets smashed into a blog post so the author doesn’t lose your attention is mingled with more blase fare…not the most engaging book I’ve ever picked up.
Still, I took away some good points, like not keeping clutter pertaining to hobbies you wish you liked…makes me feel better about those empty scrapbooks I dropped off at Goodwill! I also enjoyed that Bruno was entirely open and honest about his struggles throughout the year of the challenge. But I have the feeling I would have gotten just as much out of reading his blog rather than slogging through the book.
I won’t be embarking on a 100 thing challenge of my own, but I am whittling down my possessions slowly and am more determined to tame my closet: Bruno had about 50 clothing items and never left his house naked or too underdressed…do I really need a stuffed-to-the-gills wardrobe?
This book, Little House on a Small Planet was something of a guilty pleasure read for me. Jay Shafer, owner of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, says in his interview for the book that he had something of a “perverse” obsession with tiny houses, with the idea of subtracting just a little bit more to create the smallest livable floor plan he could.
I love tiny houses. And I love reading about alternative building materials and construction methods. Build your house on a trailer? Use straw bales? Cordwood masonry? Composting toilets? I didn’t necessarily fall in love with every idea in this book, but I definitely spent a lot of time doodling my own floor plan and dreaming and thinking about how the Professor and I could reach our goal of building our own farm in a sustainable way.
I guess that’s not such a “guilty” pleasure then, but since I can’t do anything about it in the here and now, it would probably be prudent to focus on other things. But that doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally dabble in a little amateur architecturing…