350.org – Climate change non-profit fighting the use of fossil fuels.
waterfootprint.org – The Water Footprint Network is a platform for collaboration between companies, organizations and individuals to solve the world’s water crises by advancing fair and smart water use.
eartheconomics.org – We all rely on services provided by nature, often without realizing it or in ways we don’t fully recognize. Earth Economics identifies and quantifies those benefits to ensure they are included in the decision-making process at all levels, so communities can mitigate risk, increase resilience, and protect their natural capital wealth.
Paradigms are so pervasive and invisible that they can be easily mistaken for truth. When this happens, we limit our creativity in finding solutions to the problems we face, since our thinking is cramped and predefined by society’s dominant framework.
There are the downshifters, those who voluntarily live simply, unplugging from commercial culture, working, and buying less.
…downshifting, enough-ism, or voluntary simplicity–involves embracing a shift towards working and spending less.
I had high hopes for 2020 as far as reading went. But 2020 had other plans for all of us. My wife and I welcomed a new baby girl into our lives and the world gave us a global pandemic. You would think I would have more time on my hands with a global pandemic, but preparing and having a third little girl did divert my time slightly. While I planned to read many more books in 2020 I only made it through 36 books this year. Less than the 55 I was able to read in 2019.
Although I read less I think I did better with reading diversity. In 2019 I read only 23% female authors’ books, while in 2020 I managed 40%, still less than half, and something I can still improve upon, but better. 89% of the books I read were non-fiction. I believe fiction is important to read, but my favorite genre is definitely non-fiction, I really feel like reading those books is time well spent. Back to diversity; I also look at the nationality of the writers I read. In 2020, I read 77% from United States writers. I did manage to read 3 Canadians, but that’s still the North American continent.
As far as how I liked the books, my average score was 4, the lowest was 2, and the highest was 5. I’ll make sure to link to all the 5-star books below. My favorite binding or way of reading was Kindle (48.6%). This makes sense when you see how many books I read about minimalism this year and last. Next was audiobooks, 31.4%. I’m sure I would have read even more audiobooks in 2020 if my commute would have lasted past March.
I read 6,524 pages digital and real this year. I listened to 6,170 minutes (102.8 hours, 4.3 days) of audiobooks. I enjoyed listening to books on walks while riding an indoor bike and sometimes laying on the ground waiting for a child of mine to fall asleep.
Topics or why I read the books I did this year. 9 books were related to minimalism, 5 were general education, 4 on the environment and cycling (4 each). This is a big one. I saved $310.09 by using the library in 2020.
One thing that was different this year is that each book got a blog post, something I have not been very good at doing in the past. I hope to get better at this.
This year changed a lot of things. A major one of those things was the Black Lives Matter movement. It brought to the forefront hundreds of years of oppression. I’m no expert on this movement and as a privileged, white, heterosexual, male, I can’t begin to understand the struggle of African-Americans in this country. Having said that, not trying is failing. Reading a book doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make a huge difference. I’m trying to learn and see things from another person’s eyes.
Ibram’s book does that. I encourage you to listen to this 6 minute NPR story about this book:
Emily is a member of a family in the antebellum Southern aristocracy; after the Civil War, the family has fallen on hard times.
A very short story that you can read online here. A bit of history and a somewhat sad story. Very well-written and an enjoyable read. Only 4 stars as I wish it was longer. Looks like the whole movie is available on youtube:
Rose George writes a very extensive (verbose) description of the shipping industry as it is today. In order to accomplish this she actually gets on a ship and sails with the crew of a cargo ship through their normal route, including pirate infested waters. I read the book more for the economics of shipping. I wanted to understand how we got to this place where it is insanely cheap to ship via cargo ships and cargo containers. She covers this and so much more.
The extra is where she loses me. At times she dives into the history of shipping, then she passes to the legality of it, then the a short biography of the current captain of the ship she is on, then the shipping company Maersk, then it reads as a travel book, then she covers a short history of harbor towns. You can see what I am getting at here. It’s just too much. She managed to pack in 3 or 4 book subjects into one book. While the title speaks to me, the economy of shipping, there is so much more in this book. For this reason, it gets only 3 stars.
Good biography from Harris. Obviously focusing on her professional career the most. People who want to know her stance on things may benefit from reading this. Boiled down to fairness for all and climate change is important. Not bad, but you have to wonder how much of this was her telling us exactly what we want to hear.
I’m really glad that I read this before she became America’s first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president-elect. That’s a lot of first and she has a lot to be proud of already. I’m looking forward to seeing what she and Biden can do.
Excellent Robert Langdon story again. Maybe not as strong as the first 4 books, but totally worth reading if you haven’t yet. If you have read or seen any of the books, such as the Da Vinci Code, you already know what to expect from this book. This is a great book and lots of fun to read.
It was nice to take a break from all the non-fiction I read. This is one of only 4 fiction books I read the entire year. So, that right there should tell you something. “I don’t read fiction much, but when I do they are good picks.” LOL.
Clear and concise advice from Joshua as usual. Joshua is an easy to follow resource for those interested in decluttering or the lighter side of minimalism. A great resource.
I’ve posted about Joshua here before. This is the second book of his that I read in 2020. I love his stuff, it makes so much sense to me. Implementing is always the hardest part especially with kids. I recommend this book to those with kids that want to pull this off.
There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in organizing more.
Clutter is a) too much stuff in too small a place; b) anything you no longer use or love; or c) anything that leads to a feeling of disorganization.