The 2010 Simple Living Book Club

In late 2008, when we created the book club, I had no idea that I would sign a book writing contract with a publisher in early 2009, and in that contract would be a tight writing deadline with my manuscript due at the year’s end.

This is why the club stopped for the remainder of the year after August.  But we still read some wonderful books — Your Money or Your Life; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Last Child in the Woods; and For Women Only all spurred some great discussion and personally gave me fresh insight into my home life.

So — I think several of you would like to start it up again, and I know I would.  So for 2010, here are the plans for the book club.

• We will tentatively plan on four books for the year; one per season. I don’t have the reading dates finalized, but we can set those when it’s closer to time for each season.

• All the chosen books will still have the general theme of simplifying your life, encouraging excellence, and improving your relationships.  Specific topics are wide open.

• In light of a rather exciting network launch that will happen in February 2010, I’d like the book’s themes to incorporate some of the topics we’ll tackle as a family of blogs — life at home, money management, green living, cooking and eating, homeschooling or education, parenting, or any other topic related to family life.

• This year’s club will simply be called the Simple Living Book Club.

The First Book

7 Habits of Highly Effective FamiliesWe’ll start the year with the book we didn’t get to read in 2009 — The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, by Steven Covey.  It’s 390 pages, and we can fairly easily cover this book in nine to ten weeks.

We’ll start the club the week of January 25, about a month from now.
There’s no “official” way to join — just get the book!  Order it now, pick it up at your local bookstore, or reserve it at your library (by ordering it on Amazon through these links, you’re helping run this blog and book club).  Then start reading.

Here’s a snippet from the book’s description on Amazon:

From the author of the #1 bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey’s new bestseller offers precious lessons in creating and sustaining a strong family culture in a turbulent world. No family is free from challenges. But a strong family embodies a problem-solving culture in which parents and children act interdependently, appropriately, and positively. It is a culture that enables all family members to experience the joy, satisfaction, and integrity of living their principles day by day.

In his first major work since The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey presents a practical and philosophical guide to solving the problems, large and small, mundane and extraordinary – that confront all families at one time or another.

With clarity and common sense, Covey demonstrates how the basic principles of the original book are the key to building strong families and strong communities. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families is an invaluable guidebook to the welfare of families everywhere.

Stephen R. Covey is recognized by Time magazine as one of North America’s twenty-five most influential people. He is chairman of the Franklin Covey Company.

Book Club Guidelines

• Anyone and everyone is welcome to join in the reading and discussion!  There’s no registration, application, or sign up.  All you have to is get the book and start reading, then join our discussion on the assigned day.

• Come to the discussion having already read the assigned reading portions for that week.  But that said, even if you haven’t finished, you can still join and contribute to the discussion all week long.

• Specific day of the week and platform of the club (forum, blog post, Twitter) is still to be determined.

bookclubbadge2010• If you’d like to post this badge on your blog to let your readers know about the club, here’s the code to copy and paste:

<a href="" target="blank"><img title="simple living book club" src="" /></a>

What I’d Like From You

If you think you’d like to participate at some point this year, here’s what I’d like to hear from you in the comments section:

1.  What day of the week is best for you?
In 2009, we started the new discussions on Thursdays, but they continued all throughout the week.

2.  What format would you prefer? Did you like the forums, if you participated last year?  Or do you think another medium might be more conducive to our time together?

3.  Do you have any suggestions for other books in 2010?
I have ideas, but I definitely want to hear yours as well.

Thanks, everyone!  I had a great time in our club last year reading some fabulous books, so I hope you all want to start it again this year.

top photo source
Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I’ll be in it for sure! Already excited about the first selection. Really don’t mind about what day the discussions start, and I enjoyed the forums. I know of some other groups that use Twitter for similar discussions, using hashtags, but I’m not really sure how it all works 🙂

  2. What a great book club idea, I am excited to join! A book suggestion for the winter that was one of my favorite this year-

    Thanks for hosting.
    .-= Vicky´s last blog ..This weekend. =-.

  3. This sounds awesome! I’m excited about trying it. I like that it’s one book per season, too – it feels less intimidating that way.

  4. I love book clubs!

    How Children Learn by John Holt would be an awesome read to get folks chatting about education….

    .-= steadymom´s last blog ..O Christmas Tree =-.

  5. I totally want to do book club again. Don’t really mind which day, liked the forums – I’ve never been to twitter and not keen to start. No book suggestions yet, love the topics.

    .-= Maggie´s last blog jumpers =-.

  6. One book per season sounds great — that’s about as much as many busy working moms can handle. Looking forward to the first one! -H
    .-= Hollee Temple´s last blog ..A Season of Questions, and Questioning =-.

  7. Rachel Addison says:

    All that sounds great. Tuesdays or Thursdays are the best days for me. I love the idea of reading about simplifying. It works out great with my new goal of simplifying my life. I can’t wait to start.

    I’d like a forum discussion.

  8. I think any of Michael Pollen’s books are important to read.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Tamale Traditions =-.

  9. Cool! I’m in for sure. Forums – yes. Day of the week that discussion starts – doesn’t really matter to me.
    .-= Desiree´s last blog ..Remembering =-.

  10. Thursdays are great and I participated on for women only and loved the forum.

    Some books I am currently wanting to read are:

    Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp; Parenting by the book by John Rosemond; and Debt-Proof Your Marriage by Mary Hunt

    oh and most people may have already read it but i really want to read “The Shack”

  11. Sounds great! Forums and Thursdays are good for me, and I would also suggest Michael Pollen–Omnivore’s Dilemma is a great, eye-opening book. Also read Sheperding a Child’s Heart, another good one.
    .-= Cara Kempf´s last blog .. =-.

  12. I can’t wait to read the first one. I’m a Covey fan. I’m new here so I didn’t participate last year but other online book clubs I have participated in used forums and they seem to work well.

    I had started to read The Simple Living Guide: A Sourcebook for Less Stressful, More Joyous Living by Janet Luhrs. Never finished. What I got to was pretty good.
    .-= erinn´s last blog new favorite bag =-.

  13. I would like to participate this year! Sounds fun! I like the idea of reading one book per season. That seems to be all I can handle these days.
    Mondays work best for me and I like the forums.

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to 2010 book club. I am going to go ahead and start reading the first book. It’s been on my bookshelves for a while but I haven’t started it yet.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family : )

  14. I would love to participate! I can’t wait!

    However, I don’t do Twitter. I decided to put my foot down on that one because I didn’t need one more thing to suck me into the computer. 🙂
    .-= Chrissy´s last blog ..6 Days Until Christmas =-.

  15. I have never participated in a book club, love the idea of a book per season.
    Going to ask Santa for the book and start reading this week! Will defer to the majority regarding format 🙂
    .-= Lee´s last blog ..My Best Shot Monday: Nutcrackers =-.

  16. I enjoyed the 2009 book club and am excited about starting back up in January. Thursdays worked well, but any day is fine. And the forum seemed easy and to work well before. I’m not sure how the other choices work, but I’m willing to learn if the format changes. The Blessing of a Skinned Knee is a good book. Can’t wait to get started! Merry Christmas!

  17. My only input would be Please not Twitter. My days are easy. No new book suggestions I can think of off the top of my head.
    .-= autumnesf´s last blog ..Day 21: Presents! =-.

  18. Sounds great!! I am in, I have been meaning to read this book! Now this gives me the kick in the rear I needed!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Busy Moms – Get Fit in 25 minutes a Day …..REALLY! =-.

  19. I am super excited for the book club to start up again… I have the first book, and everything was just fine for me the way you set it up — the forums and the day… I would really love to read about how children learn as well…. also about homeschooling, which we are considering 🙂

  20. I would love to join. I’ve had this book sitting next to my treadmill for 2 years – wanting to read it and continuing to put it off. What a great way to finally get to it!
    .-= Missy´s last blog ..The Real Christmas Spirit =-.

  21. In Defense of Food is a good one. I’m excited for the bookclub to start again too.

  22. I would like to join in this year. Forums sound fine to me and as for the day, that doesn’t much matter to me. I would love to read any of Amanda Blake Soule books such as;

    Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures (2009)
    The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections (2008)

  23. I read most of the book club selections this year (Last Child and Animal, Vegetable were 2 of my highlights of 2009) but rarely (if ever?) participated in the forums. That would an issue on my end, not an issue with the format. I would be less likely to participate in other modes, as I refuse to succumb to Twitter, for example!

    As for suggestions, I’d like to second the Michael Pollen and Ted Tripp suggestions as they’re on my to-read list. As for another suggestion, I’d highly recommend NurtureShock– it challenges quite a few modern assumptions about raising kids!
    .-= Diana (Ladybug Limited)´s last blog ..Review: Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas — A Story of Joyful Giving =-.

  24. Looks like a great book! I need to some motivation to read non-fiction!

  25. My husband and I did this class when we first got married. The class went over the book in detail and workbook as well. It has some great information.
    .-= Rebekah´s last blog ..Christmas Song =-.

  26. I’m in! I’m excited about reading the first book. Mondays or Thursdays work the best for me but I’m fairly flexible as well. I didn’t do it last year so, I don’t have any other input but, I’m looking forward to it!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..A New Development… =-.

  27. Don’t know what happened to Attempt #1…

    Anyways, I second the votes for Ted Tripp’s book and anything by Michael Pollan– both are on my to-read list. As for my own suggestion, I’d have to offer up NurtureShock, one of the most impactful reads of late for me…

    As for format, while I didn’t post in the forums much (if ever?) I did appreciate the opportunity– Last Child and Animal, Veg were 2 of my favorite reads of 2009. Just don’t move to Twitter because that’s the one thing I won’t join! I’d comment on blog posts way before that…
    .-= Diana (Ladybug Limited)´s last blog ..Review: Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas — A Story of Joyful Giving =-.

  28. I love the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Families. I have read it before, but I would love to discuss it with other people, so I will definitely be participating in the book club this year. Thanks for organizing it Tsh!
    .-= Taylor at´s last blog ..Remove Alcohol Stains – Step By Step Instructions =-.

  29. I’m definatly in! I just ordered the book. Funny that I was thinking of joining a book club and then got this post on my feeds! Perfect timing. I havent done a book club before, but I like the idea of a forum. I belong to several forums and think it would be better than a twitter type discussion…Thanks for starting this club!

  30. I would love to take part in the book club this year. I’m open to any format, any day. I’m excited about the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective Families!’

    “The Love Dare” could be an interesting book to discuss over 40 days time.

  31. Can’t wait to participate. I’ve reserved the book at my local library. The forum format sounds fine to me.

  32. KIN (Kathy) says:

    I would love to participate in this! I would like a forum, as someone else mentioned, I have decided not to Twitter. 🙂

  33. KIN (Kathy) says:

    A book suggestion would be Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families by Ann Kroeker. I’ve started it and it has wonderful ideas and things to discuss.

  34. excited to join the book club too, can’t wait to start reading the first book! I’d like a forum setting too, I never got into Twitter, and don’t think I ever will! 🙂

  35. KIN (Kathy) says:

    I forgot to mention that I think the book Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families by Ann Kroeker would be a great one to discuss. I’ve started to read it and it is wonderful!

  36. I’ve never been in a book club before, so this seems like a good year to start! I like forums (not much of a Twitterer) and Thursdays are good with me. Mondays would not work at all– here’s hoping you don’t go on those days. I’m super excited! I’m a big non-fiction reader and this is right up my alley.

  37. Sounds exciting! I love the first book.
    .-= Meeks´s last blog ..Inspirational Poem: The Night Before Christmas =-.

  38. Sounds exciting! I love the first book

  39. Thinking of joining! Sounds like fun!
    .-= Shana´s last blog ..Pee Wee Soccer! =-.

  40. I’m happy to hear the book club will be starting back up!
    I’m thinking about a suggestion for the food/cooking book…

    I enjoyed the forums, although I didn’t get over there as much as I would have liked.
    .-= Aimee´s last blog ..Merry Christmas from all of us at UtHC =-.

  41. I too am new to a book club. But what a way to start. Re reading the 7 Habits, such a wonderful book with loads of practical advice! I look forward to this opportunity. Thank you!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Busy Mom Quick Gifts =-.

  42. Sara Downes says:

    Would love to join and have been looking for a book club this being online might just be easier for me.
    Any day would work,is it at a specific time I am assuming not since its online but just curious!

  43. Oh, I’m so glad you’ll be doing this again! I really enjoyed last year’s book club, though I wasn’t able to post as much as I would have liked. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle permanently changed my mindset on food and I loved reading others’ thoughts on the subject. Any day of the week works for me. I think the forum format worked really well. I would be interested in homeschooling, money management and parenting books. Thanks for this great opportunity!

  44. I’ve been dying for an online book club…thanks so much for organizing it! Anyone who puts Kingsolver on the list is right up my alley, too:)
    .-= Pot Luck Mama´s last blog ..Furlough =-.

  45. I know this post took much planning on your part, but it reads so “simply”. I love the four selections. good job… p.s.

  46. I’m all excited that you are doing another book club and I’m all set with the first book. I think it’s a great idea to do 4 books and I like the forum. Congrats to you and all the fun happenings at Simple Mom!
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Fall Into Reading – The Finish Line! =-.

  47. Forums work best for me 🙂 then I can pop in if I have the time, and can catch up on discussions later if I’m busy. No particular day of the week is best- 3 kids in sports so I’m busy a lot. Hence the need for simplification in my life!

    Books I’d like to read:
    ” Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend
    Saw Amanda Blake Soule’s books suggested, and I like those a lot- they both fit in well with the theme of simplifying life.

  48. I’m also not a Twitterer and have no intention of being one. I participated in the forums last year and they were simple – which is what your blog is all about!

  49. I think this sounds fun. I’d love to read more on education, I’ve been meaning to read The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them by Hirsch. Though, I am excited to start with Covey, I’d started that one and not finished, here’s my opportunity.
    Oh, any day of the week is fine for me. And I prefer a forum or a blog as I do not use Twitter( or any other social network). Thanks
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Happy Holidays =-.

  50. Deanna Martin says:

    I’d love to try this. I’ve never done an online book club before and I like the one per season idea. I’ve never heard of this book but it sounds good. I prefer a forum or a blog.

    Some book ideas:
    Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg
    The Friends We Keep by Sarah Zacharias
    Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles

  51. can’t wait to participate this year. LOVE the idea of one per season, not intimidating at all. any weekday works for me, i’ll figure it out. “how children learn” is on my list too. would love to have some good education discussions.

  52. Love the bookclub, and participated in “For Women Only.” But as a few others mentioned above, I am not using Twitter, so please use a different format. The forums worked well for me, or a blog post could work as well.


  53. I thought I had left my comments earlier… Anyway, I would go for Thursdays too, and I look forward to titles on green living. A forum is preferred as it may offer more interaction among participants, than a blog post. And no Twitter for me (yet ;)) Lastly, I hope ‘Power of Less’ will be considered. I just discovered his blogs… and I am wowed! ;D

  54. I would love to participate, I’ve always wanted to be part of a bookclub! I have no constraints as far as day, but I am not a twitterer. Blogging keeps me plenty busy!
    .-= Vivianne’s Vista´s last blog ..The Power of the Apron =-.

  55. I am so excited about the upcoming book club. I’ve never participated although I’ve read some of the books that were listed as part of last year’s reading.
    Downloading Covey’s book to my kindle right away.
    I’m not as computer savy as most, so the forum works great for me & any day of the week is fine!

  56. Avigayil Simpson says:


    One book I would like to highly recommend is called In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore.


  57. 1. What day of the week is best for you? End of the week, Thursdays or Fridays

    2. What format would you prefer? Did you like the forums, if you participated last year? Or do you think another medium might be more conducive to our time together? first time participating. I’m not certain, something where it is easy 🙂

    3. Do you have any suggestions for other books in 2010? I have ideas, but I definitely want to hear yours as well. I would highly recommend the feeding books by Ellyn Satter. She is a social worker and Registered Dietitian. She has special focus on feeding children. Her philosophy is really great. Three good books; 1)Child of Mine 2) How to Get Your Kid to Eat and 3) Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Merry Christmas and Happy New Year =-.

  58. I just started Not So Fast by Ann Kroeker and am loving it. Also have recently purchased The Man Whisperer by Rick Johnson, Stone Crossings by L.L. Barkat, The Mom I Want To Be by T. Suzanne Eller, and Pray Big for Your Child by Will Davis, Jr. Love Dare & Crazy Love are around too, but have not been read yet.
    A forum works best for me-I’m not Twittering 🙂 Love the book selection too.
    .-= Kim @ whatsupbird´s last blog ..Happy Birthday to Me! =-.

  59. Hi there, first time commenter (I think), long time reader (I know).

    I don’t have a preference for day of the week – it’s more the timing that would matter most to me, since I’m in PST and find most online meetings take place during my family’s dinner time. As for medium, I’ve found that meetings on Twitter with a pre-determined hashtag have a HUGE success rate, and tend to draw in larger audiences as well. And right now? I have no other book suggestions, though I have already read (and gave away) the first book – I’ll have to get my hands on a second copy, now!
    .-= Zoeyjane´s last blog ..On the lessons Christmas bestowed upon me =-.

  60. Any day of the week will work for me as my schedule changes every week. Love the first choice of books! I think the seasonal idea is a great one! I thought 6 was good last year but didn’t get through them all. I like the forums. Thanks for hosting and organizing!
    .-= Stacie@HobbitDoor´s last blog ..Precious =-.

  61. I have been searching for a book club. I have never thought about an online book club but this is even better for me. I really look foward to it.

  62. I would love to participate in the boo club this year. The day of the week doesn’t really matter to me. I didn’t participate last year, but I think that the forums make the most sense for the discussions. Sorry I don’t really have any book suggestions.
    .-= Buffie´s last blog ..To Do Tuesday =-.

  63. I second Noel Piper’s book as well as Not So Fast by Ann Kroeker. The first is an old favorite I’d love to revisit. I just got through reading the second book and posted a review on my blog.
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Book Review: Not So Fast =-.

  64. 1- I can usually find a bit of time anyday.
    2- Didn’t participate last year, but really want to get more reading done this year, and this would be a great way to do it!
    3- A Mother’s Heart by Jean Fleming. A great book about how to thoughtfully engage with your children. Have done an initial read, but would like to go deeper.

  65. I loved the book club and am thrilled it is coming back. Any day is okay, but I think the forums are best. I don’t twitter and honestly don’t want to either! I don’t have a book suggestion off the top of my head. All of the ones suggested sound great!

  66. I bought “It’s all too much” so I’d love to read it here this next year. As a Christian mom I’ve really enjoyed “Grace Based Parenting” by Tim Kimmel. It has been a great scripture based look at how we should be raising our kids.
    .-= Bridgette´s last blog ..The Cast Iron Skillet: Why it should be in your kitchen! =-.

  67. I am so excited about this, I just ordered the book w/ my Christmas gift card 🙂 Tuesdays or Thursdays are best for me.

  68. I don’t use twitter so that wouldn’t work for me. Any day works for me. I just ordered my book and can’t wait to get started…and actually finish a book! Thanks for doing this!!

  69. I plan to join, for the first time! And any day of the week is good for me. I don’t use Twitter; all other online groups are fine. I’m have amazing luck with using Google’s Group services for another online book club. I’d highly recommend that, if you haven’t already checked it out!

  70. I’m also an American living overseas, by the way – I just saw this in your profile after submitting my comment above – and this book club is a HUGE deal to me as I’m planning to read this book in Turkish, rather than English, for the first time! My first Turkish-language book! Am I allowed to ask where you are living overseas, or is that a secret? 🙂

  71. I would love to join in when this picks up. I couldn’t find where there is a book currently being read. Looking forward to reading together!

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