Have you ever done something just to see what could happen if you did it? Set out on a journey just to see the world wherever the road might lead you to? Or started making up a recipe just to see how it would turn out? Or started pounding out words on the laptop or writing on paper without thinking too much about it (aka free writing)?
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A Wondrous Bookish Journey Just to See
Journey to the Last River
Journey to the Last River by Unknown Adventurer and Teddy Keen (Children’s Adventure Fiction | 7 – 12 years, and up | Frances Lincoln Children’s Books | November 9, 2021)
Description: Are you ready to take part in an adventure? To face danger at every turn? To venture into unknown lands? If you are, then Journey to the Last River may be the perfect adventure book for you.
My Quick Thoughts
Oh my! I am not sure what I should gush over more here – the simply stunning artwork or the amazing adventure story. The book’s art transports readers into the jungle instantly, and the details make the story exciting and educational. The first-hand account narrative that reads like a travel journal reminds me of all those classic adventures I read as a young girl (Swiss Family Robinson, Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, and many others).
Just like one would in a real journal, you will find asides, notes, doodles, and such across the pages which add to the appeal of this must-have and must-read book. A great gift that will hopefully have young and old readers step away from gadgets and into exciting adventures of their own, maybe more of their own after reading this one!
Just To See
Just To See by Morgane de Cadier and art by Florian Pigé (Children’s Fiction | 3 – 7 years and up | Blue Dot Kids Press | May 3, 2022)
Description: Whimsical illustrations bring humor to an inspirational story about staying curious, finding wonder in nature, and seeing the familiar in new and unexpected ways.
My Quick Thoughts
This book is a delight, from the start to the very end; or rather from cover to cover. With playful and super-sweet illustrations full of joyous and surprising details and a fun, tender narrative told almost entirely in dialog, this is a book I am sure to read and see over and over again. The joy of discovery
I read a digital review copy of the book but now I am tempted to get a physical copy for myself. This is despite the fact that there is no one in the target audience of this book in my home:-)
You see, I want this book just to see!!
Just to See A Simple World
July 12th is National Simplicity Day in honor of Henry David Thoreau (his birthday). As a transcendentalist, he advocated for living a simpler life and his book Walden is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. Simplicity has so many advantages. While I know I cannot forego some of the things I have come to rely on, I also know there are many things I own that I should and can let go off without missing them after.
We can work to simplify our lives in so many ways. There is of course, no need to wander off into the forest, try to live off the grid, and stuff like that. Maybe someday, I might do that, but that day is not to-day! Until then, there are many ways I know I make my life simpler each day (already a work in progress).
A Bit About Thoreau,
gleaned from what I have read of him online and from reading a little of Walden. He believed in living a simple and deliberate life, in every way – in his possessions, his work, his diet, his living. Thoreau often spent time alone in (with?) nature. This helped him contemplate and reflect on himself, and find inspiration too. He valued self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and believed in finding work that aligned with values and passions. At the same time, Thoreau questioned societal conventions and norms, and made his own choices based on his own values.
Tips to Simplify: Thoreau Inspired
- Embrace simplicity: Assess belongings, focus on what you really need, and then eliminate the unnecessary. This is sure to help clear your mind and make it easier to focus.
- Disconnect from distractions: Reduce the influence of technology and social media by setting aside dedicated periods of solitude for reflection, creativity, and self-discovery.
- Spend time in nature: Make an effort to spend time outdoors, whether it’s taking walks, camping, or gardening. Nature truly has a way of grounding us and reminding us of what truly matters.
- Cultivate self-reliance: Look for ways to become more self-reliant by learning new skills, growing your own food, or finding sustainable alternatives to what we use often.
- Simplify your work: You can do this by ensuring a good work-life balance, by finding work that aligns with your passions, and by making your everyday tasks simpler. Break down tasks, find efficient ways of doing those daily jobs…
- Prioritize experiences over possessions: Shift your focus from accumulating things to accumulating meaningful experiences, relationships, and personal development. Experiences make for better memories anytime, in my experience!
- Practice mindfulness and awareness: Cultivate mindfulness by paying attention to your surroundings, observing the details, and finding beauty in the simple things around you.
- Challenge societal norms: FOMO, peer pressure, and societal expectations infringe upon lives way too much. You need to be willing to challenge the status quo. See if the norm is really what works for you, and be ready to forge your own path.
- Simplify your diet: Eating local, organic, wholesome, minimally processed food is the way to go. A simpler diet ensures you are nourishing and helping your body everyday in every way.
- Practice gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude by acknowledging and appreciating the simple pleasures and blessings in your life.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, I hope you pick up these ‘J’ books to read! They are so worth having and reading many times over and delighting in! If you have read them already, I would love to hear your thoughts on them. And of course, any similar recommendations as well. Plus, what are your thoughts and tips for simple living?