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Simple Living Books – January

Welcome back to Simple Living Books! I am excited about this series coming the 4th sunday of every month. I love reading, it is my ‘mind food’ for energy.  Huge part of my minimalist and intentional living is reading non-fiction books that make me think.

This month I read 2 books:

First I read Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller. The title got me ‘Hand Wash Cold, care instructions for an ordinary life.” Then I got it (thanks to Jessy giving it away on her blog to a friend, who was nice enough to pass it on to me when she was done. I will pass it on next Sunday to the first person who wants it) and realized it was by a Zen Buddhist priest. I am Christian and I didn’t quite know what to think of reading a book by a Buddhist priest.

However, I loved the book.  I wanted to share with you these quotes:

Having the good life can be so simple when you savor the one you have. P99

No one has to master living in the now.  It’s impossible to live anywhere else.  Just as you can never leave now, no one will ever take away your past or withhold your future.  Effortlessly, your past accumulates.  Instantly, your future arrives.  What matters is that you notice your life while you can still call it ‘alive’.  That’s now. P106

What I loved about the book was its focus on living the life I have and accepting it in the present and not for what I wish it would be.  It also talked about doing what was in front of me (laundry, dishes, etc) without worry or question.  Is this all there is to life?  Yes, right now, this is my life.

I saw a lot of these concepts in the life of Christ that I hadn’t seen before.  He did what was before Him and given to Him to do, one sermon, healing, touch, at a time without all the mess, planning, baggage, that I sometimes try to put with it.  If I can live my life with Christ, following Him, one step at a time without always worrying about 5 steps ahead or if I took ‘5 steps behind’ right, life really looks much simpler.

The second is Ken Robinson’s The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
I have to confess that I am not through this book yet.  So far I really like it.  Just like his speeches he is both funny and brilliant at the same time.  There aren’t that many people who are so smart both with knowing the facts and applying them and funny.  I hope to get to his book more this week. (I have been working really hard on some other exciting projects that I hope to be able to tell you more about later this week, so make sure to come back in a few days 🙂)

For February, this is the plan:

and if I have time – these books are free till Monday (I believe, get them today to be sure)

Shorter books this month but all three of these authors have great blogs and I have been wanting to read more of their work.  Want to join me?  I would love to hear what you think of them as well in 4 weeks.

What did you read this month?  What did you think of it?

Wanted to at a note to welcome all my new Google Currents subscribers.  I just got an ‘edition’ on currents on Friday and already have 200 subscribers.  Thanks! and Welcome!  If you are looking for a good way to view Loving Simple Living on a mobile device the free currents app is really good.   I am in the library under lifestyle.



  1. “Hand Wash Cold” is now on my To Read List — sounds like just what I need to get through the rest of the winter! I’ve been bogged down in not-fun reading and ruminating on future plans, so a return to the “present” is in the cards!

    • yes, great book for that. I wrote a post on Goals at the beginning of the year while I was digesting a bunch of her stuff. Really changed my perspective, but it takes a bit to settle in and really understand.

  2. Debra Debra

    Hand Wash Cold is a resource that is always at hand. I have a hard copy and electronic copy only iPad. Like you, I’m a Christian woman, yet I have never felt Maezen’s message(s) in any way conflict with my core beliefs. If anything, it’s strengthened them. By learning to be present as I worship or spend time with God in prayer, sermons, scriptures, and devotionals all take on more significance. If you’ve not attended a retreat, you should. What you take away will stay with you forever.

    • wow, that does sound awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Well, based upon your quotes, I definitely have to check out “Hand Wash Cold” – looks like a great read! Thanks for reviewing.

    • aren’t those quotes great! The book is full of them. Do read, and I would love to know what you think when your done 🙂

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