Minimalist Joys- What I’m Enjoying

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If you listen to a podcast from The Minimalists, they always have a part called Added Value, where they each share something (a book, product, music, service, etc.) that really added value to their lives and it’s one of my favorite parts of their podcast.  I truly think at the heart of minimalism is just being grateful, even for the littlest of things that bring us joy, and so with this in mind, I thought I would try something similar here to share with you what I am currently enjoying.  Here’s the first post about Minimalist Joys.


Even though I am a librarian by profession, actually reading a book for pleasure is something I rarely indulge in because I was always too busy online on Facebook seeing what everyone else was doing.  Since I have drastically cut down my Facebook time, I find myself with quite a bit of extra time, so I have been reading like crazy! Here’s what I’ve read this week:

I’ll Drink to That:  A Life in Style, with a Twist by Betty Halbreich-

i'll drink to that

Betty Halbreich has fascinated me ever since I saw her in a documentary about the luxurious store Bergdorf Goodman in New York, where Betty has been a personal shopper to the stars and socialites for nearly 40 years.  This amazing book gives the reader the background on her personal life, the hardships she has endured along the way, and her own memories of fashion throughout her life and how that compares and contrasts to today.  I loved every single bit of this book and if you love fashion and how it has evolved through the years, this is a must read!  Also, go look up Betty Halbreich on YouTube to see her in action!

Primates of Park Avenue:  A Memoir by Wednesday Martin-

primates of park avenue
Are we noticing a theme that I like to read about socialites and fashion, etc., even though my own personal life is so far from ever being that?  Ha!  So this particular book was a real eye opener, in terms of how the rich and powerful really live in Upper East Side New York.  Let’s just say that everything is pretty serious when it comes to getting your children into the right school, dressing the right way, and living in the right building.  I was simply left in awe of how much these people spend on clothing and everyday living expenses.  Since I am trying to live minimally now, this sort of lifestyle seems pretty shocking, to say the least.  However, this book is about how Martin, an anthropologist, navigated her way into and through this world of high society.  I will not give away how this book ends, but it serves to remind us, especially as parents, that when it comes down to it, we are ALL just trying to do what is best for our children and survive motherhood, even if we do it in very different worlds.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo-

konmari method
From everything I have read, this is probably THE book to read when trying to get your house in order while adopting a minimalist lifestyle.  It was worth the read to me just to learn how to purge my closet correctly, how to fold my clothes in her special way, and the HUGE eye-opener was how to get rid of paperwork, owner manuals, and everything else you think is “important”, but can really be tossed.  I hesitated to read this, because everyone mentions this book and I’m sort of stubborn when it comes to reading books that everyone recommends, and for weird reasons, but mainly because often times I end up disappointed.  Anywaaaaayyyy…..I do recommend this book very highly!

Outliers:  The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell-

Along with being fascinated with how other people live, I was also intrigued by this book that delves into what makes extremely successful people so…successful.    This book looks into the lives of great scientists, athletes, tech geniuses, and others to find out what common thread they share that makes them surpass everyone else in terms of skill and intelligence.  It was quite interesting and some of the reasons were things I never would have thought of at all.  This book really strayed from topics I normally read about and it was just “ok” for me.


While at the library checking out the books above, I wandered into another room where they sell discarded or donated books and magazines to benefit library programs.  I am a sucker for magazines and I have WAY too many at the moment, but I couldn’t resist and discovered The Saturday Evening Post and fell in love!

the saturday evening post

Of course, I had always heard of this magazine, but I just assumed it was geared toward old people.  I managed to make it home with two issues and paid 10 WHOLE CENTS for each one!  One had a huge feature on the homes of Frank Lloyd Wright, something I definitely dig!  I have read both issues from cover to cover and highly recommend this magazine for some great light reading that’s interesting and entertaining.


I’m always last to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to music and won’t normally purchase any music at all unless it’s something I know I would listen to over and over.  My musical taste is ALL over the place, but a majority of it is 80’s music because that’s the music of my childhood.  In any case, I discovered two new songs this week that, surprise, aren’t new at all!  One is actually 15 years old and the other is at least two years old!  Ha!

Hear Me Out– Frou Frou

frou frou
U- Turn– Tegan and Sara

Both have an upbeat sound, even though one is about not being over an old love.


Music aside, I enjoyed all of these things this week compliments of my local library.  The books didn’t cost a thing and the magazines were a dime a piece!  You just can’t beat that for free entertainment.  Your local library has so much to offer and I encourage you to use it and support it.  It’s a great way to bring less things into your home and still be able to read/watch movies/listen to music for pleasure and for free!


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