I made the decision recently that I wasn’t going to do any more book reviews unless I was confident I would pay full price for the book when it came out. I’ve realized I don’t like feeling obligated to finish books. If I’m going to agree to review a book, I have to be fairly certain it would end up on my bookshelf even if I had to buy it at full price.
So when Patrice Lewis emailed me and asked if I would consider reviewing her book about simplicity I knew this would be a yes. I was familiar with Patrice’s writing from WorldNetDaily.com and other places. I’m also acquainted with her own site, Rural Revolution. I was looking forward to getting her book since it is a topic near and dear to my heart.
Can I just say that my first thought when I got The Simplicity Primer was that I was so irritated? Yes, irritated. Irritated that I hadn’t thought of this.
The book is just brilliant.
I love the design. I love the cover. I love the premise. I love the way the book is organized. I love the content. I really just love it.
I had to force myself to stop reading it when it came because I had so much to do with unpacking after the move, catching up on work from the move, etc. But I found myself picking it up time and time again because it was a simple, encouraging read. Patrice expressed so many of the same things that I’ve said over the years and I love to read someone else who has come to the same conclusions. I kept nodding my head and saying “Yes!” and “Amen!”
I also enjoyed the book because she isn’t afraid to say what she thinks such as in entry #72. (Sorry, you’ll have to get the book to see what is in italics on that page. But I said a loud “Amen” out loud when I read it.)
So what is the premise of The Simplicity Primer? Simplicity, according to Patrice, is making good choices. Sounds simple? It is. She writes:
This book is not about our journey, though I use examples from our lives. Rather, it is about some of the practical and simplifying things we’ve learned on the trip. It is written with families in mind, and geared toward women (though men will certainly benefit from the advice).
If you hope that the contents of this book will give you fast and easy answers to your complex life, you’ll be mistaken. Scaling down and making your life simple is not easy. It is, however, worth it.
If there’s one thing with which I have no patience, it’s “simplicity” advice that borders on new-age psychobabble and impractical nonsense. Juice fasts and tree hugging will not appreciably simplify your life. Getting out of debt and strengthening your marriage will.
One of the other things I appreciate about the book is that Patrice is gracious and understanding that there are many obstacles to simplifying, many of which she has not experienced. She recognizes that she has benefited from not having to deal with some of the complications others have. I’ve read a number of books and articles that seem to imply that simplicity is easy if you really want to achieve it. But for anyone who is seeking simplicity amongst health issues, financial loss or strain, job loss, etc. it is not that simple.
I felt Patrice had a good balance of telling people to grow up and take responsibility for their lives and acknowledging that sometimes the search for making good choices can be very difficult when you are faced with life issues that are anything but simple. We’ve gone through such a period in our lives and what she wrote in her book never left me feeling discouraged about where we are now. This has not always been the case with other things I’ve read on this topic.
As you can tell, I really liked the book. Tomorrow is the official release and “book bomb” day to draw attention to it on Amazon. I hope many people buy the book. If you are an old hand at striving for simplicity, much of it will be familiar to you but in a good, encouraging way. If you are just starting to think about simplicity and how to change your life, this book will be a great first read as it is straightforward and will give you much food for thought.