Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the 11 men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly designed volume has a wealth of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with the natural world, and contributing to their communities. In their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters. Read an excerpt of the book here or here. Read a review of the book here, here, or here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review: "I Don't Want to Live A Drab, Routine Life"

I just got a great review from Anjor Bhaksar on the Amazon.com website (I really appreciate reviews, and it helps people find out whether they are interested in the book.)

Anjor is an Indian man I met who was doing ecological work with children in the high desert of Himachal Pradesh.  His father is an academic, working on studying the informal economy, and Anjor really has a brilliant mind.  I think he really expressed well one of the underlying, but perhaps unstated, messages of A Different Kind of Luxury.  Here's his review:

 A Journey into some beautiful minds

A Different Kind of Luxury is about exploring a feeling that is there in everyone - "A desire to be free." It's there in nearly everyone - very strong in some, to a lesser extent in others. But surely most people, at some point of time in their lives, have said to themselves "I don't want to be part of this system. I don't want to live a drab routine life. I don't want to follow the usual pattern, go to school, go to university, get a high paying job and struggle all through life to make it big in our profession, retire and then die. There is something wrong with this system which intrinsically thrives on exploitation -- of nature and of the poor. I want to break away from this system and live an independant life." Most of us, however, dismiss this feeling as blasphemous. Some believe it may be possible but are weighed down by too many constraints in our lives.

This book is about those who not only dreamed but also fulfilled their dreams. About people who wanted to do a lot of things, and did all of them. About those who are governed only by their heart and not by the economic system. About those who, in their own little ways, make a big difference to the world by showing that there is tremendous beauty and excitement in simplicity. About people who have their own measures of success in their lives rather than measures imposed on them from society.

Anjor Bhaksar
It's beautifully written. Especially for someone like me who is constantly toying with the idea of breaking free, living a life of self sustainance and yet of adventure, excitement, love and "inner abundance." While reading the book I felt that I was going through minds, very much like my own, only much more advanced than mine. Minds of people who had not only toyed with these ideas, but also experimented with them, had some failures as well, but in the end emerged successfully. Andy has a tasteful style of writing whereby the reader can sense everything that he senses when he meets these people. The reader actually travels through the mind of both, Andy and the person at the same time. In the end, you would feel like you have 12 amazing new friends who will always be there to guide and inspire you in your journey through life.

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