I just finished reading John Robbins’ The New Good Life: Living better than ever in an age of less. Robbins was the 21 year-old heir to his family’s Baskin-Robbins ice cream fortune when he walked away from his inheritance to put himself through college by washing dishes. After college, he and his wife built a one-room cabin on an island off the coast of Washington, and spent 10 years living off the land on an income of less than $1000 a year. Eventually, Robbins’ expertise in living simply led to a lucrative career as a lecturer and author on sustainability and conscious consumption. Unfortunately, he invested with Bernie Madoff….
His life story is fascinating in itself, but his philosophical ideas about what constitutes a “successful” life are even more thought-provoking.
From the jacket blurb:
The New Good Life provides a philosophical and prescriptive path from conspicuous consumption to conscious consumption. Where the old view of success was measured by cash, stocks, and various luxuries, the new view will be guided by financial restraint and a new awareness of what truly matters. A passionate manifesto on finding meaning beyond money and status, this book delivers a sound blueprint for living well on less. Discover how to
• create your own definition of success based on your deepest beliefs and life experience
• alleviate depression, lower blood pressure, and stay fit with inexpensive alternatives for high-cost medications
• develop a diet that promotes better health—and saves you money
• plan for—and protect yourself from—future economic catastrophes
• cut down on your housing and transportation costs
• live frugally without deprivation
• follow in the footsteps of real people who have effectively forged new financial identities
The New Good Life provides much-needed hope and comfort in a time of fear and uncertainty. Here is everything you need to develop high-joy, low-cost solutions to life’s challenges. Practical and timely, this book equips you with the skills needed not only to survive but to thrive in these challenging times.
Given the Tamworth community’s enduring interest in sustainability, I wanted to make sure that people were aware that this title was available at the library, as well as several others on related subjects: Inquiries into the nature of slow money : investing as if food, farms, and fertility mattered by Woody Tasch , Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth by Jim Merkel, Bright-sided : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and Deep economy: the wealth of communities and the durable future and Eaarth : making a life on a tough new planet, both by Bill McKibben