on 8 June 2011
This was the second book I read by John Robbins. The first being Healthy at 100. I've just finished reading Diet for a New America and have The Food Revolution waiting on my bookshelf. I know I'm reading them in a mixed up published order but I am absolutely in love with John's writings. He is never preachy but states the facts in an easy style anyone can understand. He also gives the sources to back up his statements. The New Good Life makes me feel that there is another way besides that which I see around me. There are alternatives to those marketed by big businesses. He also gives practical advice on all aspects of lifestyle from what you eat, what you clean your home with to how you travel. I was already with John on the eating and have been eliminating nasty cleaning chemicals from my home. I have also been lucky enough to purchase an electric car which is mentioned in the book. There is still more to do. Altogether this is a book that I will keep going back to to keep me sane in a materialistic world that started in the 1980s and despite a recession still seems to prevail. Highly recommended.
on 25 February 2012
It would be easy to dismiss this book as another "how to save money ..yada, yada, yada" tome, but to do so would miss out on a book with heart and soul. John Robbins is famous for walking out on the Baskin-Robbins ice cream fortune for an alternative lifestyle in keeping with his core values. This book explains some of his philosophy but also packs an unexpected punch - Robbins (having carefully saved his money and marshalled his resources for old age and care of his special needs grandchildren) is an unwitting victim of Bernie Madoff's greed and is literally left destitute. This adds a special ironic poignancy to the title - Living better in an age of less.
The book covers a lot of ground from how we deal with money as individuals (your money style,to how a world economy based on endless growth cannot be sustained) and how we need to think more carefully and do things differently to have a satisfying and fulfilling life. The book "Your money or your life" - Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robbin: also an excellent and highly recommended read)is the basis of the part of the book that looks at how you spend your money at present and how this can be turned around to eliminate debt and give eventual financial freedom.
There are practical chapters on transpoprt, food options and reducing exposure to toxic chemicals in the home. Also an excellent chapter on bringing up children.
The message is clear - you don't need tons of money to be happy; you don't need to use huge amounts of resources to be happy. But it takes thought,effort and restraint - if you're willing to do this the rewards are endless.