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Good Life Lab, The Paperback – 26 Jun 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Storey (26 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612121012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612121017
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 742,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This rollicking, inspiring tale of Tremayne s journey from being the creative director of N.Y.C. marketing firm Green Galactic to being a Burning Man volunteer, yoga teacher, Sufi seeker, and hardscrabble DIY urban homesteader in a former trailer park in the eccentric community of Truth or Consequences, N. Mex., is alternately funny, tender, philosophical, and practical. Illustrated with whimsically florid drawings by a variety of artists and interspersed with essential how-tos for living life in the waste stream from fermenting tempeh and brewing mead, to building a papercrete dome and removing rust from wrenches with electrolysis the memoir riffs off Scott and Helen Nearing s 1954 "Living the Good Life" with much more style and humor than the original, bringing the back-to-the-land genre up to date with impressive sophistication and appeal. "

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bit too self absorbed story of two city dwellers who leave the urban life style behind them.
I thought it would offer some more generic, practical advice on how to improve life quality.
Struck me as more of a short biography rather than specific examples of how to lead a less dependent life.
There are many gardening, DIY, and maker-books, that are more useful.
This book might be inspirational for someone, unfortunately not for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 42 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Model for Living 10 Jun 2013
By Jennifer Alia - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wendy, Mikey and their Good Life Lab are timely reminders that life is much more than the bill of goods we have been sold, literally!

While we may be convinced that the modern, material world, with its focus on money, stuff and entertainment, has the most value, it is really when we step out of this framework that a truly fulfilling life makes itself known.

The Good Life Lab guides us on the necessary steps to a better life, providing both loads of inspiration and useful information. Personally I am in the process of realigning my life accordingly and have never felt so free. Scared, too...yet gratefully unbound by convention.

This is an excellent manual for those of us called to simplify, become increasingly self-sufficient, learn how to make things, grow food, and live with abundance while spending less. Also a fabulous, engaging read. Highly recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Warning: You Might Quit Your Day Job 11 Jun 2013
By luke iseman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Seriously: this book may push you past the tipping point to dive in and start experimenting with a fulfilling, DIY, cubicle-free lifestyle.

Unlike most gardening books and permaculture tomes, this is not an academic text written by self-righteous 'experts:' it's an honest, hands-on account of the triumphs and setbacks encountered by real people who decided to make a tangible difference in the world by changing and sharing their lifestyles on a daily basis.

Memoir, political statement, DIY projects: this book is a lot of things. It succeeds at all of them. It's also the most beautifully-bound book I've ever purchased.

Read it, try some of their experiments for yourself, and share your own trials. A coupla million iterations on this and we'll have the bright green world we all hope for:)

Wendy and Mikey are great role models for anybody ready to stop making excuses and start changing the world. Read this, then get to work!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Really a memoir, and a lovely one 15 Oct 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is presented like a homesteader's guidebook ("First they modified a cooler by poking a hole in it for a lightbulb's cord to fit."), or even a self-help tome ("I hereby give myself permission to be illogical, contradictory, crazy, and strange -- whatever it takes to find a meaningful way to be in the world.").

However, don't be fooled. This book is really a memoir, and it's a powerful one, like a contemporary version of what it was like to read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie". I plan to buy it for several friends and family members this Christmas. It's the kind of thing that should be read aloud to children (Ages 7-11) or given to teens who don't have a view into this kind of life.

If you liked or hated "Eat Pray Love", this book is a bit like that one, but done right. You get a very real sense of Wendy and her partner Mikey are doing with their lives - reading more about them on their websites makes it even more interesting. Who gives up the go-go world of advertising and marketing and corporate everything and drivenness and salaries to forage in dumpsters for junk and make their own fermented food? Well, normal people do, that's who. And they have found happiness doing it.

While you read it, you'll realize, even if you have zero intention of ever doing anything remotely like this with your life, that you are relaxing physically. You'll take some of Wendy's perspectives to heart, and you'll think of them as you live and work.

Some of the lovely takeaways from this book, that go way beyond homesteading, include:

- "View your life from the perspective of abundance, not lack"
- "With time, you can listen instead of hear and see instead of look"
- "Just get started - even if you don't know how"
- "Buy goods from people rather than from corporations"
- "Real quality of life is freedom from worry"

It is simply full of gems like this. So if you don't already live this kind of life - welcome to an enjoyable reading experience, that can fill a cold rainy day with bright warm sunshine.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Inventive, iconoclastic, thoughtful, heartfelt, and practical. 5 Jun 2013
By alinea - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wendy's writing just pulls you in.

This book is a unique blend of memoir, DIY/instructive practicality, spiritual philosophy, and creative illustrations. Good Life Lab is at once philosophical and funny and wise. It was great fun to read. I couldn't put it down.

As it happens, I used to live nearby Wendy and Mikey in New Mexico. I only met them briefly but I was always struck by the inventive and iconoclastic lives they lead. It never left me.

The project they run is a true lab, workshop, and experimental space.

Wendy has written authentic account of their lives spent waking up everyday and doing what they love: building and lacto-fermenting and welding and taking ownership of our abilities to use our minds and our hands with purpose.

Wendy said it best: "When the whole world is for sale, the maker of things is the revolutionary of the age."
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Maureen 5 Jun 2013
By MEP - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wendy has written a beautiful account of the life that she and Mikey created in Truth or Consequences, NM. They have blended living WITH the land along with a high-tech life. The freedom they have created for themselves is enviable.

The book is fun, informative and a true piece of art in itself. These two lovely people are the real deal.
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