We love a good book, and we also love how these days at home have given us a little more time to read. Hopefully it’s been the same for you, or maybe you’re setting it as more of an intention for the new normal. That’s why we came up with the idea for the Slow Living Book Club, a monthly “get together” to discuss books that relate (however loosely) to our favorite topic, and one that’s gaining more relevance every day. And what’s better than discussing a great read with awesome people!
We haven’t read every title in this post yet, but they’re on our list for this year. They range from classics to biography, memoir and philosophy, each one reflecting some aspect of the intentional or slow living lifestyle. If you have a book title to recommend, please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org! We want to keep expanding this list and have it available as a reference. We’re always looking for inspiring reads and will keep this list updated — during quarantine and beyond!
A beginning list…
by Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau was an early observer of the intentional lifestyle. His essays and books advocate for abandoning waste and societal illusion in order to discover our true essential needs. If, like many of us, you’d relegated this work to some distant memory of a college English class, you’re in for a wonderful surprise. Picking up this book early in the quarantine was like finding a buried treasure!
Thoreau journals his thoughts on the puzzle of human existence, our relationship with nature, and how we endeavor to provide for our daily needs. In the truest expression of slow living, he takes long walks, patches his own clothes, minimizes his consumer lifestyle, and finds spirituality.
Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own
by Jenna Woginrich
In this book, the author tells the story of her adventurous self-education in homesteading. Learning to farm by trial is no easy task, and Woginrich openly shares her path to finding a permanent home for herself and her livestock on a shoestring budget. We love reading books from fellow Lady Farmers, and her self introduction says it all about her stamina and passion for farming: “The farm runs entirely on animal power, and usually I am the animal powering it. This is what takes up my daylight, and keeps me up in the darkness.”
The Surprising Life of Constance Spry
by Sue Shephard
This book reveals another side of Constance Spry, the revolutionary florist and accomplished cook who dazzled British society in the 1920’s and 30’s. Constance shifted the typical flower market designs to introduce less conventional flora like fall leaves, dried hops, and items discarded in the street. We can learn a lot from her method today as we move away from imported processed floral arrangements that are harmful to our environment, and begin supporting our local flower farms for beautiful designs.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
by Barbara Kingsolver
This fun and highly readable memoir narrates a year during which the author and her family committed to eating only food that was grown close to their home, either by themselves or by neighboring farmers. Published in 2008, it has become a classic for proponents of the growing local food movement.
The Great Work
by Thomas Berry
In this work, the eminent cultural historian and 20th century visionary outlines the path we need to take as humans in order to save ourselves and the planet. “The great work now,” says Berry, “… as we move into a new millennium, is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner.” Published in 1999, his message is profoundly relevant to our current situation.
Join our monthly Virtual Book Club!
Our next meeting is on May 28th at 7:30pm where we will be discussing (and joined by the author!) Dawn Again by Doniga Markegard – (you don’t even have to have read it yet!). We will also announce the book pick for June. Register via this link, submit comments and questions for discussion here, and we look forwarding to seeing you there!