Send In Your Book Club Suggestions

by Katy on December 30, 2008 · 18 comments


Book Club

My name is Katy Wolk-Stanley and I am a big reader.

I always have a book or two going at a time, and have become addicted to reading audio-books while doing dishes. (The addiction is so bad that I’ve been known to not do the dishes because I need to make a library trip.)

I’m going to do a book club on The Non-Consumer Advocate for 2009, and need book suggestions.

So what books would you like to see discussed here? 

Books on frugality, sustainable living, healthy eating, waste issues? Maybe just a work of fiction that was life changing for you?

Please leave your specific suggestions in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen Rosentreter December 30, 2008 at 11:56 pm

I just got “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. I’m really interested in the subject, but am finding the book difficult to get into, so I’d love some company with whom to discuss it.


Kim Perry December 31, 2008 at 1:35 am

The Book of Rubbish Ideas by Tracey Smith. It’s packed full of ideas of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle your rubbish. It is because of this book, I have stopped buying chewing gum. I didn’t realised until I read it here that it NEVER degrades. Ever.


Heidi December 31, 2008 at 5:31 am

I just started Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and really am enjoying it. It is not a religious book at all.
P.S. Gum never breaks down???


Jessica December 31, 2008 at 6:56 am

I second Eat, Pray, Love. My book club read that last year and we had wonderful discussions.

Another great book we read was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I LOVED this book about the WWII occupation of the English Channel Islands (of which I knew almost nothing before reading this book). Despite it’s post-war setting, I found it an uplifting book.

Another interesting book is People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. This follows the ‘life’ of a religious text through hundreds of years and the people who protected it.

I could go on and on (and perhaps I will later).

Happy reading!


Marianne December 31, 2008 at 8:32 am

I haven’t stopped talking about The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan.

This books follows a few families that struggled through the depression in the plains, but what I think is so poignant is the description of what policies were in place that led to this — overfarming, farming areas that should have been used for other resources such as raising cattle, and populating this desolate area with no thoughts to the future.

Reading Egan’s description of the dust and mud storms is like nothing I can imagine. It reminds us that we must always be careful stewards of the land, but the resolve and courage of the people that survived is inspiring.


Jeri December 31, 2008 at 10:39 am

Eat Pray Love is FABULOUS – I would love to discuss that. Also – anything about simplifying — the Nearings’ book, Walden Pond, etc.


Pat December 31, 2008 at 10:46 am

I listened to both of AJ Jacobs’ books this past year while I did my dishes! I enjoyed “A Year of Living Biblically” so much I listened to it twice and my older daughter listened to “The Know-It-All” with me and we had great discussions about some of the words he talked about.


Karen December 31, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a fabulous book, I second the recommend on it. Also Voluntary Simplicity by Elgin. I just finished it and enjoyed it. We had many thought provoking discussions around our dinner table.


Jodi January 1, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I just started it last night, but I can’t seem to put down Fred Pearce’s _Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff_ (Beacon Press, 2008). The author is British but his quest rings universal.
I also second (or third!) Kingsolver and Eat Pray Love.


thenonconsumeradvocate January 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Lots of good books to choose from.

I see many of you are suggesting, “Eat, Pray, Love.” I saw a tiny bit of the author on Oprah, and she just rubbed me the wrong way. The whole “I’m so fascinating, I could do nothing but think about myself” thing got under my skin.

So perhaps I am not the right person to lead a book club on this book.

I LOVED “The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl” by Timothy Egan. And would happy to read it properly. (I “read” it before as an audio book.)

I’ve been meaning to read “The Book of Rubbish Ideas.” by Tracey Smith. The author has actually commented on this blog, so I could probably get her to be part of the discussion.

I’m currently listening to “The Grapes of Wrath,” which I haven’t read since high school. I also loved a recent re-read of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

Keep the ideas coming!

-Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Viki S January 2, 2009 at 11:45 am

We could read anything about voluntary simplicity. There are ton of books like that. There’s the “Green Living Book”. The book by Kingsolver was hard for me to get into, so I didn’t finish it, but suppose I could. I’ve heard “Eat, Pray, Love” was good, but haven’t read it. If we want to study how to handle money, we could always do a Mary Hunt book. She has a ton of them.

The way I see it, if someone doesn’t like the first book, they can’t wait, come up with more ideas, and offer them the next time around. How long will we have to read the books?


Wendy January 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Fictional classics have had the greatest impact on me. The works of Upton Sinclair, Arthur Miller, and John Steinbeck have changed my worldview more so than non-fiction works. The story within a work of fiction seems to provide a “hook” for remembrance that stays with me long past the last page. For the coming year, I already have some books and audio books lined up that I can not wait to start. When I finish, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” in my car, I will begin Egan’s “Worst Hard Time” (Thanks Katy for mentioning it in an earlier post, and thanks to Marianne for the reminder). As for books, Dunmore’s “The Siege”(thanks again, Katy), Kafta’s “The Trail” (LOVED Metamorphosis), and “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez are just the begining until I think or hear of others

I am looking forward to reading everyone’s recommendations.



Wendy January 2, 2009 at 6:46 pm

I also wanted to ask if anyone saw the Oprah show with Peter Walsh several months ago? He wrote “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?: An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More”

I included information about the book from Barnes and Noble’s site. This book might be interesting and tie into de-junking & weight loss?

Diets don’t work. Why not? Because they focus on what foods we should and shouldn’t eat but completely ignore everything else that makes us fat. Look at your own situation: You say you want to lose weight, but you just can’t stop indulging. You say you’d exercise more if only you had the time, yet you spend precious hours every night in front of the TV doing what? Munching nutrition-free snacks and drinking supersized beverages.
Peter Walsh, the bestselling author of It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff, believes that the secret to successfully losing weight is to forget about calorie counting and weekly weigh-ins. Instead you need to focus on how, why, and where you eat. When it comes to clearing clutter (the fat in our homes) it isn’t about the stuff itself, it’s about the life you want to live. The same is true for losing weight: It’s not about the pounds, it’s about living the life you deserve in the body you want.
Using his expert techniques honed from years as a clutter expert and organizational consultant on TLC’s Clean Sweep, Peter helps you address how the clutter in your kitchen, your pantry, and your home is directly related to the clutter on your body and negatively affects your ability to lead a full and healthy life. This book shows you how to clean up not just the spaces where you eat, but the routines around them: from planning meals and shopping to dinnertime rituals.
This is not a diet book. This is a book about your life — about creating the healthy life and body you have always imagined for yourself. Peter helps you kick the food-clutter habit forever. You have only one life. Start living it today


Amy January 6, 2009 at 10:52 am

I’m reading (for the second time) this clever little book. He promotes a sort of Lifestyle Anarchism (vs. societal) with lots of odd literary references to back his points.

The Freedom Manifesto: How to Free Yourself from Anxiety, Fear, Mortgages, Money, Guilt, Debt, Government, Boredom, Supermarkets, Bills, Melancholy, Pain, Depression, and Waste. by Tom Hodgkinson

(Amazon has 20 used copies starting at $4). Also, if you haven’t already discovered it, is a great place to keep up on what your friends are reading.

And wow!
it sounds like I need to read Eat, Love, Pray next!



Lucia J January 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I love The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It made me really think and like you, i didn’t know anything about this area of the world. I was glad they had a map in the front! I would love to read the Peter Walsh book, that sounds like it is right up my alley. I find that almost any work of fiction Oprah recommends I love. My favorite author to read and just not think at all is Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum is awesome, I wish I was like her.


Mariah January 13, 2009 at 11:06 am

I’m a low-consumer in Montana, enjoying your blog. I recently read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” which I thought was wonderful. It fits pretty well with non-consuming – the people on Guernsey Island during the German occupation in World War II didn’t have a choice. There wasn’t anything much TO consume, but they still seemed to do pretty well. A good read and more!


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