Many of us strive to slow down and lead simpler, slower lives but just don’t know where to start. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by things-to-do, work, family and all the other things that can trap us into what feels like an endlessly revolving door? Do you browse social media or magazines and end up feeling envy at other people’s seemingly perfect homes or holidays or relationships? Sometimes we need a bit of help to bring ourselves back to what really matters. These 6 books will do just that. From ways to radically change your life to simple steps towards feeling freer and happier, these books have something for everyone seeking to live better, with less.
1.For a major life-overhaul
Erin Loechner is a well known blogger and lifestyle writer, yet her journey to relative fame and modest fortune has not been easy. We first came across her work in this interview in our A Simple Path series. In her book ‘Chasing Slow’ she recounts how she shifted from a life of chaos and frenzy and financial hardship to one of authenticity, shifted perspectives and a focus on what truly makes us happy. This is a book that will help you transform your life through shared reflections (with a Christian outlook), rather than a practical ‘how-to’ guide. Erin writes with honesty and a grasp of what is really attainable, and there is much in here that will help you slow down and surrender to your life.
2.For de-cluttering and a sustainable lifestyle
Erin Boyle Simple Matters: Living with less & ending up with more
We have raved about Erin before, as fans of her blog readingmytealeaves, and her beautiful book is just as good. Based on the same principles as her blog, Simple Matters looks at ways to live a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly life through making small changes at home. Erin lives and raises her children in a small apartment, so you will find plenty of practical hints about how to use space effectively as well as creating an appealing interior. Her philosophy is simple and infectious, and this book is perfect if you are looking for advice and wisdom about making your home, and your life, less cluttered and more free.
3.Slow down – for happier children
Our children live in a fast-paced, information-overloaded world, and it is having an impact on their health and well-being. With mental health issues and anxiety on the rise, as well as increasingly obesity amongst children, parents are seeking ways to reduce these pressures and symptoms. This book is full of ideas on how to alleviate young people’s stress, ease family tensions and reconnect with our children.
4.For simple cooking ideas
Much loved for his cooking and lauded for his sustainable eating campaign, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall takes a refreshingly simple approach to food in this cookbook. Based on the premiss that with just three elements or ingredients you can create delicious meals, Three Good Things is the ultimate cookbook for those who feel daunted by lengthy ingredients lists and complicated recipes. Perfect for simplifying mealtimes, without compromising on freshness, nutrition or taste.
5.For the business person or entrepreneur
Chouinard is a world-renowned business person and founder of clothing company Patagonia, Inc., considered to be one of the world’s most environmentally responsible companies. In this book Chouinard offers us a business-eye perspective on sustainability and conscious conservation. For those of us who prefer a more outward-looking approach to living a better life, Chouinard tells us his story whilst revealing the crisis of over-consumption in which we now find ourselves. He is a huge fan of the outdoors – a climber, fisherman and once a blacksmith – and believes that large corporations create a ‘worker ant’ mentality that denies people the freedom they need. If you are looking for ideas on how to slow down and create the right work-life balance, and to run a sustainable business, this is the book for you.
6.For more rituals and happiness
An advocate of living a more meaningful life with intention and minimal stuff, through her blog posts and podcasts Brooke has helped millions of people slow down their lives and take stock of what they really want to achieve. This book encapsulates this wisdom, with ideas for bringing rituals and rhythms into our lives that will increase our whole family’s well-being and happiness. More than just a guide to decluttering, Brooke will help you minimise everyday stress and enjoy your life, from the inside out.
Do you have any recommendations for books on slow, sustainable, simple living? We’d love to hear them.