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Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World Hardcover – February 11, 2014
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About the Author
Tsh Oxenreider is the author of Notes from a Blue Bike and Organized Simplicity, and is the founder of the community blog The Art of Simple. She’s the top-ranked podcaster of The Simple Show, and her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, CNN, Real Simple magazine, and more. A graduate of the University of Texas, where she studied English and anthropology, Tsh currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her family and eats tacos several times a week.
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On a positive note, I love Tsh's writing style. This book is written in an auto-biographical style, and it tells of her family's experiences through the last few years. I was fascinated by her travel experiences, and I enjoyed the stories about her children.
However, I am conflicted, because supposedly this book is about focusing on living simply with intention. However, Tsh seems to lead the most unsimple/chaotic life of anyone I have ever personally known. First, they live in the United States, and then they take jobs in Turkey, and then they move to Texas, and lastly, they live in Oregon. They decide to put their children in private school, and then they decide to homeschool them, and the following year they go to public school. At the end of the book, she says they decide to take the kids out of school and spend an entire year traveling the world. In addition, she mentions several times that she finds herself working from morning until night on her blog, trying to find balance, and even getting up at 4:30 a.m. to write. At the end of the book (page 218), Tsh openly admits that she was not able to live a simple life while writing her book, therefore not practicing what she is preaching. She states, "A book doesn't write itself, and so most of my time exploring the notion of slowing down went to crafting the sentences to describe it, leaving me no time to actually slow down. I breathed a hefty sigh of relief when I clicked, 'send' to my editor, and promptly went to bed."
The how-to section of this book could have been summed up in one sentence: Decide how you want to live your life and then just do it.
So it's with reservation that I recommend this book. I would recommend it to someone who is interested in reading about the lives of other families. I would not recommend it for someone that is seeking a way to simplify life.