Book Review | The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff
The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and our Health—and a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard
3525 / 5Non-fiction, environment

Wow! I wish I would have read this years ago! I learned so much about all our crap! I’m already on the road to simplify and minimize, but this really got me thinking about what more I can do.

Similar books that I’m interested in:

The video that started the conversation…

Other book recommendations from the book:

Other Notes:

  • – Climate change non-profit fighting the use of fossil fuels.
  • – The Water Footprint Network is a platform for collaboration between companies, organizations and individuals to solve the world’s water crises by advancing fair and smart water use.
  • – Center for Sustainable Economy.
  • – We all rely on services provided by nature, often without realizing it or in ways we don’t fully recognize. Earth Economics identifies and quantifies those benefits to ensure they are included in the decision-making process at all levels, so communities can mitigate risk, increase resilience, and protect their natural capital wealth.

Paradigms are so pervasive and invisible that they can be easily mistaken for truth. When this happens, we limit our creativity in finding solutions to the problems we face, since our thinking is cramped and predefined by society’s dominant framework.

There are the downshifters, those who voluntarily live simply, unplugging from commercial culture, working, and buying less.

…downshifting, enough-ism, or voluntary simplicity–involves embracing a shift towards working and spending less.

Annie Leonard

Book Review | How to Be an Antiracist

How to Be an Antiracist
by Ibram X. Kendi
3054 / 5Non-fiction, Race

This year changed a lot of things. A major one of those things was the Black Lives Matter movement. It brought to the forefront hundreds of years of oppression. I’m no expert on this movement and as a privileged, white, heterosexual, male, I can’t begin to understand the struggle of African-Americans in this country. Having said that, not trying is failing. Reading a book doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make a huge difference. I’m trying to learn and see things from another person’s eyes.

Ibram’s book does that. I encourage you to listen to this 6 minute NPR story about this book:

Book Review | Ninety Percent of Everything

Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate by Rose George
3043 / 5Non-fiction, Economics, Travel

Rose George writes a very extensive (verbose) description of the shipping industry as it is today. In order to accomplish this she actually gets on a ship and sails with the crew of a cargo ship through their normal route, including pirate infested waters. I read the book more for the economics of shipping. I wanted to understand how we got to this place where it is insanely cheap to ship via cargo ships and cargo containers. She covers this and so much more.

The extra is where she loses me. At times she dives into the history of shipping, then she passes to the legality of it, then the a short biography of the current captain of the ship she is on, then the shipping company Maersk, then it reads as a travel book, then she covers a short history of harbor towns. You can see what I am getting at here. It’s just too much. She managed to pack in 3 or 4 book subjects into one book. While the title speaks to me, the economy of shipping, there is so much more in this book. For this reason, it gets only 3 stars.

Book Review | The Truths We Hold

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris
3364 / 5Non-fiction, autobiography, politics

Good biography from Harris. Obviously focusing on her professional career the most. People who want to know her stance on things may benefit from reading this. Boiled down to fairness for all and climate change is important. Not bad, but you have to wonder how much of this was her telling us exactly what we want to hear.

I’m really glad that I read this before she became America’s first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president-elect. That’s a lot of first and she has a lot to be proud of already. I’m looking forward to seeing what she and Biden can do.

Book Review | Clutterfree with Kids

Clutterfree with Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home. by Joshua Becker
1994 / 5Non-fiction, minimalism

Clear and concise advice from Joshua as usual. Joshua is an easy to follow resource for those interested in decluttering or the lighter side of minimalism. A great resource.

I’ve posted about Joshua here before. This is the second book of his that I read in 2020. I love his stuff, it makes so much sense to me. Implementing is always the hardest part especially with kids. I recommend this book to those with kids that want to pull this off.

There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in organizing more.

Joshua Becker

Clutter is a) too much stuff in too small a place; b) anything you no longer use or love; or c) anything that leads to a feeling of disorganization.

Joshua Becker

Book Review | Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier
1462 / 5Non-Fiction, Digital Minimalism

I listened to this, but didn’t get much from it. I preferred Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. It was much more detailed less cursing too 🙂

Pretty disappointed in this work. Just read Cal’s it’s much better!

Book Review | How Not to Die

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger
5765 / 5Non-fiction, health

Absolutely excellent. I read this on Kindle and highlighted it everywhere. I don’t like to buy books because they take up a lot of room. My preference is to own a few physical books. This one is worth buying in hardback and keeping. Very clear easy to follow advice on what to eat and how much of it. Also, like how Dr. Greger included information on exercise and how much. Everything is backed up with studies and not those paid my big dairy, or others with agendas. Great to keep for reference and re-read often to remind me about what I should be incorporating into my diet more.

People who once ate vegetarian diets but then started to eat meat at least once a week experienced a 146 percent increase in odds of heart disease, 152 percent increase in stroke a 166 percent increase in diabetes, and a 231 percent increase in odds for weight gain.

Dr. Michael Greger

Dr. Greger speaks on the lack of nutrition found in many of the items that we have been taught are good for us. Lean meat, eggs, dairy, etc.

I think everyone should read this book! It may just be my favorite book of 2020.

Book Review | The Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
3174 / 5Non-fiction, books about books, history

An interesting and entertaining history of the Los Angeles library and its various characters. Recommend for library lovers.

I’m a book lover, duh, right? So, I love meta books, books about books. I thought this might be fiction when I first saw it. I didn’t know it was going to be a historical or that it would be so focused on one suspect. If you are into books about books and also like history you will will love this book.

Book Review | So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
5 / 5248Non-Fiction, Race

I learned that I have a lot left to learn. That is the best I can do to try to describe what I got out of this book. It is well-written and to the point. What I wanted to do with this is learn a little bit from a side of the discussion that I don’t often hear from. I don’t know a lot of people of color. I’m not sure exactly why this is, but I’m learning more with books like this.

Our country has improved, but in no way is it near where we can be, where we should be. For me, getting there starts by learning more about why we are here and what that is like for those I don’t discuss these issues with. I hope to learn more about race in 2021 and I plan to continue reading books that challenge me like this.

Book Review | The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

A very detailed and thoughtful look at our current situation. Greatly disturbing and I wish there had been more about what we can do, however, the author does state that the most powerful thing we can do is vote. I agree, but I also think that there are other things we can do in addition and would like more discussion around that.

This was an audiobook listen for me. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars, as I wanted to hear more about how we can all impact climate change. This was discussed on a recent podcast I listened to that Bill Gates does with Rashida Jones. If you are interested in this topic this podcast is worth listening to. Also, Gates has a new book out called How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need that I plan on reading soon.

Much more about this book, The Uninhabitable Earth on this Talks at Google. Embedded below.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming | David Wallace | Talks at Google