Tag Archives: Shay Salomon

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 balesCordwood masonryComposting 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…

What’s your guilty pleasure reading pick?