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.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"I see hundreds of books every day...Luxury is the best book I've read all year."

A review that really catches the spirit of A Different Kind of Luxury.  By a librarian...

I work in a library and see hundreds of books every day.  I read more books than anyone else I know.  So when I say that A Different Kind of Luxury:  Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance by Andy Couturier is the best book I’ve read all year, you should know that this recommendation does not come lightly.
Couturier introduces us to 11 Japanese artists and farmers who have consciously chosen a rural life of little money.  They’ve resisted the cultural pressures to conform to lives with salaried jobs (and this pressure is intense in Japan), and have fashioned instead lives grounded in nature, with space for their imaginations and philosophic thoughts, incredibly rich in time and inner satisfactions.

Read the whole post here.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, am a librarian, and I agree that "A Different Kind of Luxury" is one of my very favorite books. I will keep this book the rest of my life, and will enjoy it again and again.

    For me, "A Different Kind of Luxury" has a life-changing influence. I decided to underline quotes in the book so I can refer to them later. One quote that I am taking to heart is "what I need, I have." I think about that every day. I take "need" to mean not only material things (although definitely that) but also spiritually, mentally and physically. That is my favorite quote in the book, expressed by Kogan Murata.

    My favorite chapter in the book has to be the interview with Osamu Nakamura. I adored the photos of his simple but beautifully elegant home! I also underlined many, many paragraphs in that chapter. Andy, your description about building a fire and making tea (and others) are simply poetic. I read them aloud to my husband in the car while driving (he was trapped) :) I enjoyed hearing them again, only this time aloud.

    Nakamura's craftsmanship is admirable, but so is the art and crafts of many of the other personalities in the book. Because of their influence, I have started to buy a few pieces of pottery and I have signed up for a pottery class!

    The book itself is beautiful. I enjoyed the color photographs in the front and even the size and shape of the book is lovely. I like how it opens so you can appreciate the beautiful black and white photos and art.

    I talk about your book, the ideas (simplicity, slowing down, making do, etc.) to others, and so far my sister and my sister in law each bought a book!

    Thank you, Andy, for the hard work you put into this and for your exquisite writing.

    Bonnie Young