Another video about books, huzzah! This week I’m talking about the books that have inspired me to think more about contentment, simplicity, and had a positive effect on my outlook!
Click the video above to watch (and get a look at my adorable cat, Catherine), and read further to check out the books I’ve recommended.
1) The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics) by Alexander Dumas
Okay, hear me out on this one. Yes, The Count of Monte Cristo is a crazy swashbuckling novel about revenge and righting wrongs. But besides being a super fun read (and as always, way better than the movie), the message “The best revenge is a life well lived,” is one that’s stuck with me since childhood. It’s a book that illustrates why, when it comes to living your life, staying in your lane is the best way to go about it. Even when crap happens, the best way to respond is to forgive and move on.
2) This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are by Melody Warnick
As someone who’s moved around often, the art of becoming rooted is not something I’m good at. There was a point in my life when I thought I wouldn’t keep friends for more than three years because we moved every three years. What was the point? Luckily that wasn’t the case, but transience was still my go-to way of living.
When I decided to marry a man who’s lived in the same small town his entire life, I knew that was going to have to change. I was already craving stability, and here was my chance to go for it. In my research, I found this wonderful book by Melody Warnick. She’d also moved around often, but was frustrated with the dream of the “perfect place to live.” So, using science, research, and general know-how, she researched how to root herself in her new home.
This book was not only filled with checklists and tips, it gave me hope. If other people could learn to root themselves in their home, so could I.
3) At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
This book is actually more about traveling the world as a family, but that’s also the reason that it’s very near and dear to my heart. I have many friends who are choosing to give up “the American Dream,” so that they can pursue a different calling. They’ve simplified their lives by making meaningful choices, like the family in this book.
Tsh is also the head author of the website The Art of Simple, which is one of my favorite blogs to read when I’m feeling a little lost in life.
I’ve actually already written about the lessons I learned from this book in the post “Why Contentment is Better than Being Happy.” While it’s not a book that I found particularly inspiring (I’m not moving to Denmark anytime soon), it did give me some key insights into contentment. Because of that, the relatable narrator, and the story about the adult swimming session, I would heartily recommend this book!
I couldn’t talk about minimalism and simplicity without talking about the movement that got me started in the first place! I’ve done a lot of reading about minimalism and capsule wardrobes over the years, but if you want a great starting resource, this is it! I bought this for my mom’s birthday last year (she’s also working the minimalist wardrobe), and she loved it. Check it out, and see what you think!
If I could hug this movie, I would. This is a documentary about the creative process of Hayao Miyazaki. He’s the mastermind behind Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro. His movies are soothing and pastoral, giving you space to breathe. This documentary is the same. When I finished it, I turned off all music and tv, just so I could listen to something that wasn’t controlled by me and my brain.
Those are my recommendations for books and movies about taking things slowly. What are yours? Read anything lately that made you feel at peace with the world? Let me know in the comments below!