Books for a Simple Way of Living

As I move into the hot and steamy days of deep summer I am tempted to destress, declutter,

decompress, and live a blissful life where “less is more.” In keeping with this summer mood to

simplify I found five books that I now consider my secret solutions to a simpler life. Some are

new discoveries. Some are old friends.


The Power of Less by Leo Babauta who writes from his idyllic location of Guam about all things

Zen. I totally agree with the jacket copy that describes this small but powerful book as one of

life’s great discoveries – learning how to make the most of resources you already have and

marshaling the power of self-imposed limits to “finally work less, work smarter, and focus on

living the life that you deserve.”


Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo is a treasure. It focuses on how to create the most compelling

and memorable presentations. How? By setting limits. Just 18 minutes. Just a half dozen slides

in your powerpoint. Just a few simple, but personal anecdotes and you too can shine at your

next presentation like the TED speakers who so generously shared their secrets. Love this book!

I was happy to reread this old friend – The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and

Spencer Johnson. It’s just as good, if not better than it was when it first came out. I felt very

warm and fuzzy reading about simple ways to praise, motivate, and thank people. Sounds like I

will be using this in my daily life, not just at work.


And this classic is definitely worth an afternoon – The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving

More with Less by Richard Koch. Love the idea of shortcuts, especially in this busy world which

seems to just get busier every day. Love the idea about calming down and just focusing on the

things I love. Great advice!


This little gem is a true revelation. It turned my hot, steamy summer afternoons into cool,

refreshing interludes AND believe it or not, helped me declutter in a way that was totally fun.

It’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by

Marie Kondo. And believe me, Marie waved her magic wand and my clutter just disappeared as

if by magic!

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