I know a lot of people are always looking for a good back to help them when they are trying to make a change. Wanting to “read more” is also a pretty common New Year’s resolution. So I thought I’d write about the three books that have helped me the most in embracing simple living; mind, body, and soul.
If you decide to buy any of these books, please consider buying them from your local bookstore instead of Amazon. Your local bookstore can order any book you want that they do not have in stock and even have it shipped straight to your house, just like Amazon! Many small bookstores even have their own websites that you can do this from, so you don’t have to even leave your house. Okay, that being said, let’s get to the books!
The first book on the list is “The Art of Frugal Hedonism” by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland. First let me just say, I LOVED this book. I would even go so far as to say that reading this book was lifechanging for me. I’m someone who loves to shop. I’m someone who loves to eat well, dress nice, and have little luxuries as much as I can. HOWEVER I also knew that that lifestyle was not great for the environment and also not conducive for saving money. The idea of being able to balance these contradicting desires seemed impossible, then I read this book.
What I liked about this book is that it makes the most convincing case for frugalism I’ve ever read without even bringing up the topic of saving money. Can you be frugal and a hedonist at the same time? Absolutely! The problem is just that no one’s ever taught you how to do it before. After reading this book, frugalism became something that I actually wanted to do because it now seemed like the better, more hedonistic option.
So that covers the mind portion, let’s move on to body: “Simply Sustainable” by Lily Cameron. I did a blog post recently where I listed all of the zerowaste swaps I made in 2021. I made a lot of progress, but the problem was that I am still producing two full trash bags of trash each month. I wasn’t sure what more I could, but luckily my husband got me this book as a Christmas present.
If you’re struggling with embracing zerowaste, this is another book that makes it look like something you’d actually want to do. The book is full of inspiring photos of Lily’s home. Nothing looks “gross” or “weird” in her home. In fact, it looks much more high-end without all of the disposable plastics. Seeing the photo of the inside of her bedroom closet gave me the boost I needed to declutter my own closet a little more.
This book gave me a lot of ideas that I hadn’t heard before. No you do NOT need to live like a pioneer woman in a hovel in order to achieve a zero waste lifestyle. She walks you through all of the easy swaps you can make step-by-step without any judgment if there’s something you just don’t want to swap out. I really appreciated her down-to-Earth and sane approach to zerowaste. Just in the two weeks since reading the book I have been able to implement a bunch of new swaps I wouldn’t have been able to think of otherwise.
And now onto soul. “The Way of Integrity” by Martha Beck is a simply brilliant book. The book is both what you would think it would be and not what you would think it would be. She does such a good job blending research with spirituality with her own incredible life story. It makes sense considering that she herself is a Harvard-educated professor whose been on her own spiritual journey complete with a NDE and encounter with her guardian angel.
It is difficult to succinctly sum up this complex book, but I will say that you will walk away from it with the courage to live your life in a way that is true to yourself. I’ve included an interview with Michael Sandler she did where she talks about the book. If you don’t plan to read the book, at least watch the interview, although I would encourage you to try to do both.