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Living a Life of Less | Great Reads

In the last few months I’ve been taking out quite a few books on the topic of living with less and I thought I would share some of my favorites today.

Also, just a side note: With all this talk of living with less and all the purging of possessions I’ve done in the last eight months I thought I had been doing so well. Until, that is, we actually started to pack up our belongings to move. Where is all this stuff coming from?! I thought I had been doing so good! I guess LWL really is a journey that we will forever be on.

Okay, now on to the books . . .

Seven by Jen Hatmaker
This is the book that really started the whole thing so of course it is going to be on the top of the list. You can read a little more about what I thought about the book here.

Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
I am so glad to have had this book recommended to me, I loved it. It is a must read. There are definitely similarities between this one and Seven. Tsh focused on five areas instead of seven: food, work, education, travel and entertainment. Her book is more of a memoir than a call to action but I couldn’t help but feel more motivated after reading it. My only complaint is that the cover photo is a stock photo and not one of her actual blue bike, it seems wrong to me (yes, I’m aware you now know how crazy I am), once I was able to get that out of my head I was totally into the book.

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
After reading Notes from a Blue Bike I had to check out this book by Tsh. I haven’t completed it yet but it’s been good so far. This is really a how-to book. It helps you create your family’s purpose statement and takes you through each room in the house to declutter and organize.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
This book primarily focuses on making a point of understanding where your food comes from. I personally love the idea of eating food that has been grown locally but that means saying goodbye to bananas and grapes (and a lot of other things) forever. Oh, and do you know what we grow aplenty in Saskatchewan? Wheat. The one thing 2/3 of our family can’t eat. So the book seems a little far fetched for the regular Joe to actually be able to do but I like the idea of it. I’ve definitely been looking at labels a lot more as I’ve been buying groceries (the other day I picked grapes from the USA over ones from Mexico, so that’s something, right?!).

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson 
This is really an extremist take on reducing, reusing and recycling. I’m not ready to forgo the garbage can just yet but there are some very practical tips throughout the book that I was able to use in my own life (like reusable produce bags).

Living More with Less by Doris Janzen Longacre
I haven’t had a chance to crack this one open yet but I’ve heard some good reviews on it so after I finish Organized Simplicity this is next up on my list.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them?
Do you have any other books on this subject that you would recommend?


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  1. Seven has been on my must-read list (you know that running Amazon “wishlist” I use as a tab of what to keep eye out for on our next library trip) ever since @momma_tiff4 shared a few excerpts from it on her IG!! 🙂

  2. I have all except one of these on my to-read list! Thanks for sharing…I’m excited to dive into Organized Simplicity soon 🙂

  3. This is great! I’ve been inspired by your living with less series and now I know where to seek out some books. I like the idea of the second book that reads as a memoir. I always find those more interesting than a how to.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these!! A couple of them sound extremely helpful as I start getting rid of all the stuff we own as we begin our journey toward building our tiny house!!

  5. I haven’t read any of these books. I do enjoy reading Barbara Kingsolver. Funny thing though…as I was driving into work this morning I was just contemplating the idea of living on less. I think we all long for simplicity.

    1. I think you are right Danette. Some how we’ve all believed the lie that we need MORE but deep down I think we all know that’s not really how it’s supposed to be. I’ve actually never read any other books by Barbara Kingsolver, do you have one or two you would recommend?

  6. I find with each year, I purge more and more of my things. It’s such a freeing feeling and even therapeutic. I probably “spring clean” just about every season. 🙂 I love it!

  7. I haven’t read any of these, but I can definitely speak to the “I thought we were doing well until it came time to pack” factor. Once everything comes out of the cupboards at the same time, it shows how much stuff you really have. We didn’t completely empty out our house when we moved, we still had a lot of stock of useful stuff like food and shampoo and cleaners and towels, kitchen utensils, etc, so we just left it all there for our relatives to take whatever they wanted and could use in their own homes…but yeah, it was kind of a lot of stuff. Now we for real don’t have much, though. Just what’s in our suitcases–we really haven’t bought anything since arrival besides toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner!

      1. It was really more time-consuming than difficult, per say, but I did have one or two breakdowns when I was on the verge of tears because I just WANTED to keep a few more pieces of my wardrobe, or something silly like that, but I couldn’t. That was a little challenge for me.

  8. I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and really enjoyed it, in spite of the fact that I’m vegan and can’t get behind this idea that people “need” to have meat. What I took away from the book and tried to implement in my own life was this idea of seasonal eating… that having something out of season to eat usually involves a lot of miles and a high cost. So now I like to stock up when things are fresh and freeze them if I have to, so that the blueberries I’m enjoying in December were really grown in the summer somewhere nearby.

  9. I love your posts about living on less and I think these books will really inspire me too! I haven’t read any of them yet, but Seven and Notes from a Blue Bike has been on my list for a while. I think I will have to read one of them next! And I’m so glad to have found out about the other ones too! 🙂

  10. I love AVM and More with Less. Can’t wait to read Seven, sounds like an amazing rec! Love your blog!

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