The Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history – Elizabeth Kolbert

KolbertI was in the USA when I first heard about this book and I admit, the title was a real turn off – “oh no, not another worst case scenario climate change book”. In the USA the winners of the Pulitzer were just being announced. Kolbert’s book was winner of General Non-fiction. I entered it into my list of “to-reads” on Goodreads and forgot about it until I returned home. This month I thought I would at least give the Pulitzer judging panel the benefit of my doubt and give it a go.

As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. Kolbert is obviously a talented, experienced science journalist, that I have (to my shame) never read. Yes, this book describes the harsh reality of extinction throughout the history of our planet. However manages to do so in a fascinating way; deftly mixing story telling with science fact. This is the first piece of science journalism I would classify as a page turner. Move over Jared Diamond. Hello Elizabeth Kolbert.

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Why I am obsessed with the Tiny House movement

Over a weekend I read the book by Tammy Strobel which describes her story of…well, check out the title because that about covers it – You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too.

I found Tammy’s story of transformation from average American in debt to tiny home advocate really interesting. I become fascinated by stories of people down-sizing their homes and reporting vastly enriched lives from improved relationships and less debt.

Tammy’s book inspired me to immediately de-clutter my wardrobe. Slowly I am moving to the gadgets and gear that I haven’t used for years. I am on the tiny house continuum – my heart is dreaming I am far right, living in my hand built, tiny home. My head is far left – let’s perhaps start things off with less stuff before you move into a space that is smaller than your current lounge area!

The Tiny House Movement really took hold in the USA following the global financial crisis. When people lost their homes and realised their lives were financially unsustainable – tiny houses were a solution.

There are some amazing stories and beautiful homes to be found after a quick browse of the internet. But if you find yourself needing more – check out this recent book by Ryan Mitchell. It’s a brilliant summary of the movement and has some great examples – should you find yourself needing inspiration.