“The average American household contains more than 300,000 possessions.”
Read that sentence. Now read it again and really consider it. Astounding, isn’t it?
It’s just one of the tidbits I learned in “Essential,” a book of essays written by The Minimalists. I known I’ve written about these guys before, but wanted to touch base on their book of essays, published in 2015. I requested my library purchase a copy and finally got my hands on it!
At its core, minimalism is about making you think. Rather than mindlessly buying more “stuff,” think about WHY you’re doing it. Rather than stashing things in your closet to collect dust for months, think about WHY you’re doing it. In a world of often-mindless consumption and consumerism, it’s nice to take a step back and think about WHY we own the things we own, WHY we do the things we do, etc.
What value is this [object/person/job/relationship/experience/etc.] bringing to your life?
That’s the question we should all be asking ourselves, and it’s definitely one I need to ask more often. The Minimalists look at that question from a number of perspectives, and in respect to various subjects, in the course of their essays in this book.
Having followed the hockey career of Edmonton Oilers prodigy Connor McDavid since his entrance into the Ontario Hockey League several years ago, I was certainly interested in picking up the book “The McDavid Effect: Connor McDavid and the New Hope for Hockey.”
Since my library didn’t own a copy, I put in an interlibrary loan request, and the book arrived shortly after from the library at St. Lawrence University. The really interesting thing about this book is how new it is; it was released in October 2016, making it less than a year old. It speaks on a lot of history, but also includes a lot of relevant, very recent information. I don’t know that I’ve ever read such an up-to-date book.
Although the title of this book starts with “The McDavid Effect,” it is not just about Connor McDavid. Instead, it is about McDavid and his path through junior hockey and into the NHL, even through his rookie season, yes; but it is also about the Edmonton Oilers franchise, then and now. It is a captivating story that discusses the history of the Oilers franchise, their glory years, their downfall, and now, the arrival of McDavid and the new hope that it has brought to the city & franchise.
Deepa Kumar’s book “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire” might just be the most important book I’ll read all year – and I strongly suggest that others pick it up and give it a read as well. The book is a few years dated, but it is so important, even moreso in today’s political climate in the United States under Trump. (Honestly, I can only hope Kumar will re-release it in a few years with chapters about what’s going on in the country today, and I can only hope that in a few years, we’ll be better off.)
It took me about two weeks to read this book, if only because I wanted to take my time and really digest it. There’s a lot of information here, starting with the historical context of Islamophobia – not just in the United States – and leading up to the times that casual Islamophobia ran free under President Obama.
Have you ever heard of hygge? (That’s hoo-ga.)
For a long time, I hadn’t. I saw this book on an Instagram account I follow a few months ago, and I was intrigued. Danish people are said to be some of the happiest in the world, and I’d love to know why. So I requested this book through my library – I was 36th on the list, with it being a recent release and all. Months later, I finally got my hands on it!
So what is hygge? It doesn’t have an exact English translation, but we all know hygge when we feel it. It’s that feeling you get when you’re surrounded by loved ones, able to enjoy each other’s company. When you’re snuggled in a blanket with your dog, reading a book when there’s rain outside. It’s that feeling of warm, hominess, comfort. We all know it, even if we don’t have a word for it.
My newest read is “Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life,” a short book written by two gentlemen who called themselves The Minimalists. Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus have a lot of great advice to offer in their book, and they literally encourage people to share portions of it, so… that’s exactly what I’m going to do.