Friday, June 1, 2012

"Almost Amish" (Nonfiction) Review

About the Book: Have you ever stopped to think, Maybe the Amish are on to something? Look around. We tweet while we drive, we talk while we text, and we surf the Internet until we fall asleep. We are essentially plugged in and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rather than mastering technology, we have allowed technology to master us. We are an exhausted nation. No one has enough time, everyone feels stressed out, and our kids spend more hours staring at a screen each week than they do playing outside.

It’s time to simplify our lives, make faith and family the focal point, and recapture the lost art of simple living. Building on the basic principles of Amish life, Nancy Sleeth shows readers how making conscious choices to limit (and in some cases eliminate) technology’s hold on our lives and getting back to basics can help us lead calmer, more focused, less harried lives that result in stronger, deeper relationships with our families, friends, and God.

Read the first chapter here:

About the Author: Nancy Sleeth is the codirector of Blessed Earth, a faith-based environmental nonprofit that focuses on creation care. Following a spiritual conversion and an environmental awakening, Nancy and her family reduced their electricity use to one-tenth and their fossil fuel use to one-third the national averages. Prior to heeding this calling, Nancy served as communications director for a Fortune 500 company and served as an educator and administrator at Asbury College. Nancy and her husband, Matthew, live in Wilmore, Kentucky. They have two children, Clark and Emma.

My Take:

The Amish way of life – living the way our ancestors did – is fascinating to those of us in the modern world. In Almost Amish, the author gives tips to ways that we can duplicate this way of life without actually becoming Amish.

My husband and I read this together, and while we did have some takeaways from the book, it was not quite as helpful as we thought it would be. The author tends to focus on being ‘green’ more than being Amish. I realize that the Amish inherently have a ‘green’ lifestyle as well as a simple one. It just felt as if some of the things that are suggested in this book would take a much larger income than what we currently have.
The author has good intentions, but this book sometimes came off as a ‘look at what we did’ biography rather than a book of practical applications. There are some tips here and there that could definitely be put into practice in our family. However, most of these things are things I’ve heard before. I think I was expecting this book to be more about living a simpler life, and it was actually about creating a ‘green’ lifestyle. ‘Simple’ does not always equal ‘green,’ and ‘green’ does not always equal ‘simple.’

Even though I didn’t get as much out of this book as I had hoped, the message of simplicity is one that is very appropriate for our too-busy, modern society. Others might be able to glean more from this book than I did.

I will give Almost Amish … 2 BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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