Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World is the newest offering of Tsh Oxenreider, the founder of TheArtofSimple.net. Since I had read One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler a couple of years ago, and had even tried to implement some of the 52 suggestions that she has for making your life better and easier, I was excited to read more from her on the simpler life.
Oxenreider’s book is divided into seven sections. These are: Awakening, Food, Work, Education, Travel, Entertainment and Revival. In the first part, Awakening, Oxenreider is looking at her life in America and remembering the simpler and more intentional life that her family had in Turkey. She begins looking at ways that she can make her life simpler and more like the life she had in Turkey. She ultimately comes up with a list that she spends the rest of the book exploring.
This book is written in flashbacks and veers back-and-forth between their lives overseas and their lives in the United States. The vignettes are beautifully drawn and the writing of the book really draws the reader in. You can picture what type of life Oxenreider has had and how that affects how their family lives day-to-day. It’s truly a beautiful book and a pleasurable read.
If you’ve come to this book looking for practical advice, however, you’re coming to the wrong place. Oxenreider shows you through her stories some of the changes that her family has made in regards to their own lives, and even though she attempts to extrapolate those into broad principles, her advice is not always practical for her readers.
I think this is a great book if you’re reading it as a travelogue and an account of how life is different overseas than in the United States. I think there are a lot of great stories and great points that Oxenreider makes about being more intentional in the book. I think that if you’re looking to use her book as advice, however, the main advice you can receive is to go back to the first section and make up your own list of what your family feels is an intentional life and what changes do you want to make.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”