I was just thinking of books I have read this year and the ones that were most helpful and inspiring to me in the realm of Simple Living. Here are the top 5 books I read this year on Simplicity:
1) Coming Up for Air: Simple Acts to Redefine Your Life by Margaret Becker
On the road too long as a Dove award winning singer, Margaret steps back and takes a month long retreat. Every time I sat down to read this book it was like taking a mini-vacation. I felt Margaret’s attempts at "being" rather than doing in her journaling. I longed to go to a beach house on the Gulf in December. And picked up ideas I can use in my home here in Michigan. This isn’t a how to book – it’s an honest reflection of thinking about what is important in life. It’s also humorous and helps you appreciate moments. If you feel you just have to get away, this book will take you there.
2) 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life from Joyce Meyer
Short specific chapters give you ways to uncomplicate your life. Joyce lets you know that you will be going against the flow of how most people live their lives, but warns us that our schedules won’t change unless we change them. She goes into underlying reasons like insecurity and wanting to impress everyone for why we overcomplicate our lives. Much of the book resonated with me.
3) It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh
Simply the best book on decluttering I have ever read – and I’ve read a lot. Peter from TV’s Clean Sweep, helps deal with psychological issues of keeping things, has a step by step plan for each room in the house and has a terrific maintenance plan. He is blunt, but funny and understanding.
4) Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly
While not necessarily a book on simplicity, this book turned my schedule upside down. Matthew writes that, "Life is not about doing and having, it’s about becoming." He creates new questions for how we make decisions. He brings thoughts to the present moment and reminded me that how I live each moment determines my future. His book The Rhythm of Life is an excellent companion to this book. The only reason it didn’t make the list is because I read it last year.
5) The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
This year was a journey for me into more local and organic food. I spent many weekends at the Farmer’s Markets. And more and more food in our house is organic. Alice Waters is the founder of Chez Panisse a local, sustainable food restaurant. Her recipes are simple yet inventive. In her book, she goes into detail on technique for the more novice cooks like me. And it’s not just a cookbook. She writes on how to find the freshest ingredients, what’s in season, and what makes high quality food. She also shows variations of the recipes so you can be sure to find recipes that your family will like. I only wish I had gotten this book sooner in the year.
What books have made an impact on your life this year?