We start our day the same way every day – with a cup of dark roast coffee and a book. Angie and Caesar curl up on the loveseat (sometimes with James Patterson; though of that fact, I am never jealous!) and I take the couch for a wake-up routine that has been our thing for nearly 8 years now. We find that reading is a great way to open our eyes and our minds first thing in the morning and to set the stage for a positive day to come. Especially when the book is interesting!
Between the two of us, we read 63 books in 2019. We read travelogues, biographies, mysteries, crime novels, memoirs, and more. Some were good, some were not, and a few were simply outstanding. These are the ones that we still refer to, talk about, and steal ideas from most often and these are the ones we want to share with you today.
The links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Please read our disclosure for more info. Thank you for your support!
Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living
I’ve been a follower/fan of the Frugalwoods for years now and really enjoyed the story of their simplicity journey. For three years, Elizabeth and Nate lived like no one else and today (yep, you guessed it), they live like no one else. I was most inspired by the fact that they lived on just 30% of their income and never lost focus of their dream of exiting the rat race to live a quiet life in Vermont.
Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer
Heather Lende is one of my favorite authors. She lives in the small town of Haines, AK, where she is an unconventional obituary writer. Instead of giving the details of a neighbor’s death, she tells the story of their life in each column. Through short anecdotes about real people, Heather shows readers how to find the good in the world again by seeing the positive in every situation.
The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
I love a good 365-project so this book about not shopping for a year was right up my alley. As with any book about minimalism, I always find myself decluttering as I read, and this was no exception. I think I got rid of 50 items that week! What I liked most about the book was Cate’s honesty. She talked openly about her addictions (to alcohol, shopping, and food), framing their role in her life in a way that I could identify with.
It’s Not About Money…except when it is
This was probably the best book about money that I read last year. Except…it’s not really about money. Amy Dingmann is a Minnesota farm girl who speaks my language when it comes to spending, saving, and just living every day in a monetary system that doesn’t always fit a minimalist’s mindset. This book won’t teach you anything about money but it will make you think about how you think about money.
A Thrifty Good Life: Reflections on My Unexpected Journey Toward Homegrown Simplicity and Healing
This book made me want to buy a house just so we could dig up the front yard! Sarah Sailer and her family live on 1/5 of an acre just blocks from downtown. They grow all of their own food, plus enough to supply a neighborhood CSA. As folks who aspire to grow our own food too, Angie and I were inspired beyond measure by this book. If Sarah can farm 1/5 of an acre, we can surely make better use of the space we have.
The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick
I picked this book up mostly to prove a point – that getting sick is not “just a part of life”. I believe most illnesses can be avoided. This book tells the story of 25 people who each take a different approach to better health. Some believe the secret is a cold shower, others (like us) think it’s what you eat. Regardless of what you think already, you’ll likely find some things you’ve never even heard of in this book…and a few you’ll probably never want to try!
Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating
Did you know that Parmesan cheese (the kind in the shaker) can contain cardboard? Or that nearly 70% of all sushi sold in restaurants is made with a cheaper fish than what’s listed on the menu? Or how about the fact that a cow might just have nibbled a blade of grass once in it’s life to be considered grass fed? I did not know these things. (Okay, I knew about the cardboard, but not the rest.) This book really opened my eyes to the fakery in our food system.
Do you have a morning routine? Does it include reading? What was your favorite book of 2019?