Review | New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living

New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living
New Minimalism by Cary Telander Fortin, Kyle Louise Quilici

I picked up New Minimalism by Cary Telander Fortin, Kyle Louise Quilici from my local library. The book describes a middle ground between “I live with only 4 things” and hoarders.

As you can tell from all the links and extra books listed I really enjoyed this book. I’m recommending it to my wife next. I think she will find some real nuggets that will help her.

I enjoyed the practicality. The tagline for the books is:

Your external space reflects your internal state. What does your home say about you?

Cary Telander Fortin and Kyle Louise Quilici

Some notes from the book that I want to remember are:

Philosophy books:


Simple Wardrobes:


Design Books:

Design Websites:

Mammoth Lakes Library

Mammoth Lakes Library (outside)
Mammoth Lakes Library (outside)

I recently read The Public Library, an amazing book written by Robert Dawson. Dawson, traveled and took pictures of libraries around the world. He made an effort to photography libraries that were in affluent and struggling communities. I love books about books, but this one was such a fantastic idea and so easy to execute myself.

Mammoth Lakes Library (stacks)
Mammoth Lakes Library (stacks)

While on a recent vacation to Mammoth in the mountains of California. I convinced my wife to stop by the local library to take some pictures and explore. It didn’t take long and it was a beautiful library. The library was opened in 2007. I also felt much more a part of the community sharing in their local library.

Mammoth Lakes Library (the view)
Mammoth Lakes Library (the view)

The two-story library looked new and was beautiful inside, with lots of movies and audiobooks on the first floor as well as a young readers section. On the second floor, we found the children’s area a MakerSpace and the rest of the collection. A very good size for a small town.

Mammoth Lakes Library
Mammoth Lakes Library

Next time you are on vacation make a quick stop at the local library. You might just learn something. I’ll make an effort to do more spotlights on libraries as I am able to. This was fun for me and I hope it gave you all something fun to read and maybe encourages you to visit a library soon!

Seed Libraries

San José Public Library - Seed Library
San José Public Library – Seed Library

Read a great article today on seed libraries and why they are so popular at libraries today.  The article is from the great folks at Atlas Obscura.  They also have a book!  The article points out the fact that all our vegetables are coming from factory farms now.  Because of this, there are no local varieties available anymore.  They want to do what they can to help make these rarer varieties more available.

As plant species reproduce, new generations develop unique adaptations to different environmental conditions, resulting in diverse heirloom varieties. But when large companies control most food production and seed distribution, and work to hybridize and streamline agriculture, those regional differences can disappear.

“I don’t see us as competing against large industrial seed producers, we just want to make sure that biodiversity is still available to people,” Hought says. She also notes that, as climate change alters the environment, she hopes access to more varieties of seeds will prepare food growers to cope with extreme conditions.

I’m sharing this for a couple of reasons.  I think it is very sad and in the long term detrimental the human race that we are depending on so few varieties of vegetables.  Those that are chosen by the factory farms because they are the most resistant to disease and easiest to grow on a huge scale.  Also, I share this because there are very few people out there that really understand that libraries are not just about books.  Libraries are changing.  Much more is available there than you think.  ebooks, emagazines, audiobooks (even available on your smartphone), educational resources like Lynda for free.  There is so much more about your local library than books.  Not that books are not amazing after all that is the purpose of this blog!

“[Seeds are] cultural documents of what we have saved and found valuable in terms of taste and community,” Newburn says. “When we take the seeds home and plant them and return them we’re actually adding another chapter.”