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Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    "Jesus mostly taught on field trips!" that's a quote f

    "Jesus mostly taught on field trips!" that's a quote from Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth. Since this is the season for outdoors living (damply here in Washington state) it's a great time to put the ideas in this book to work. Doctrinally, I could never be Amish , but in the area of studied simplicity, I have a lot to learn from them. Highly recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Uhmmmm, Ok!

    Nothing new here. Author states that among things they do to lessen their footprint is to "Stop mowing the backyard." How about getting rid of the grass/weeds and putting down environmentally recycled mulch?

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth was not really what I was expecting

    Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth was not really what I was expecting. I was
    really hoping to hear about how a family applied these concepts to their
    daily life and what resulted from it. Nancy instead more presents
    concepts and ways to make your life simpler. I do not think they are
    really necessary Amish principles but things we have heard over and over
    again in church and from other books. Some of the topics discussed
    include: serve others, use technology as a resource but don't let it
    rule you, get outside, save more money and so on. All great principles
    to think about and consider doing but nothing so new in concept either.
    Many of them seem to be more like what life use to be before all this
    technology and busy life we have created. This book could probably be
    better for someone who has not really seen any examples of a simpler
    life or who needs reminded of it. *I received this book through
    Netgalley for the purpose of this review.

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  • Posted July 22, 2012

    a very easy read. None of the c oncepts were truly new to me, b

    a very easy read. None of the c oncepts were truly new to me, but they were all things that I believe are truly important in life....and always worth a reminder!

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    A good Read

    So over the weekend in an effort to beat the heat I went to the library and picked up the book ALMOST AMISH. I thought oh I am going to love this as I picked it up opened the book to a recipe. The book is written by Nancy Sleeth. In the book she gives you her thoughts on sort of living off the grid living, or extremely green living depending on how you view it .She was worried about the carbon foot she was leaving so she took on the Amish ways of life for her own .She also wanted to live the more of the way of the Bible way. I found myself torn while reading this book; her life change was just too extreme for me. An example is her husband Matthew was a doctor and he just quit his job (my thought was what if God gifted him with being a doctor?). What I loved about the book was the Amish History as I am fascinated by their life style. I love the recipes of course and some money saving ideas in the book as well. I have to say like Mrs. Sleeth I do agree with a simpler life. I love the some of the principals of the Amish that are mentioned in the book. Here are a few that I agree with
    Technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master.
    Service to others reduces loneliness and isolation.
    Time spent in God's creation reveals the face of God.
    Saving more and spending less bring financial peace.
    The chapters address the Top 10 Principals of the Amish and the author tells you the stories of her family in reference to the principals. I enjoyed her stories and even marveled at them. They seemed so perfect as family sort of like the Donna Reed show in this day in age. She talks of buying locally from family owned business owners and not from big box stores that are cheaper on the same things that the local business has. I totally agree with her in theory and if I won a million dollars I would have no problem with that however I am just one of a lot of people when it comes to the pocket book I must be frugal . It goes to that principal of the Amish for me that saving more and spending less brings financial peace. I found this family to be one of goodness and I admire their journey but I am reminded that as we read our Bibles we can interpret things individually. We may read the same verse or chapter and get different lessons or as I like to think of it is God speaking to our own heart. This family is full of goodness. Their life style change is one that I admire but not for me. I can still put these principals into my life. The author’s writing was good and I did enjoy this book .My star rating for this is three and half. It is a good book and really makes you think.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Almost Amish is Almost There

    It is easy to agree that many modern devices (smartphones, tablets, email, texting, etc.) have actually succeeded in making life more complicated rather than the reverse. The ability to 'unplug' and 'live off the grid' continues to decrease as jobs and relationships become more and more dependent on electronic connections. This idea is at the heart of Sleeth's book.

    But then the author takes it one step further: What do you fill your time with when you are no longer on Facebook for three hours a day and television is no longer a choice for the evenings? If everyone knows that shopping large box retailers isn't really the healthiest option for our diet or our economy, where do we buy our groceries? When families and friends are separated by hundreds of mile, how do you stay in contact without internet and phones? How can Christians live responsibly with a smaller carbon footprint and use world resources more effectively?

    The solutions offered in this book will not be for everyone. Many of them would just not be practical without living the author's life in the author's town. In today's world economy, I doubt very many of us have the financial resources or flexibility to sell our homes and buy a town home in a small college town where everything is in walking distance or a ten minute bike ride away. Where large families are involved, selling the old large, electricity eating refrigerator and replacing it with one (or more) which is smaller and more energy efficient is just not a practical option - due to storage space alone.

    However, the principles behind the suggestions given in this book are absolutely valid. Sleeth illuminates them with Bible verses, the amish applications, and how they have worked out in her life.

    This book, then, should not be read as a "how to" book, but rather as a manifesto encouraging the Christian community to be just that - A Christian Community; one where all aspects of living - grocery shopping, power usage, entertainment, hospitality, education, and lifestyle in general - should be not subject only to Christ, but exist as part of a network of relationships where love and caring is freely shared between neighbors.

    Idealistic, yes. Impractical, yes. Impossible, no. And perhaps a change desperately needed to reestablish Christ centered-Biblical living in the modern world.

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    Almost Amish

    The quest for the simpler life. This book sticks with the reader long after the testimony ends. An easy one sitting read. Thank you, Ms. Sleeth for reminding readers to focus on what is important and translating sane cultural lessons into an insane culture. Take more time to focus on relationships and amble in nature with friends. Focus on our children as a gift from God and not let them become and object of worship in our lives. Teach them to be citizens for the good of community. Invest in marriage, not in a wedding. Sounds simple enough.

    Experiencing burn-out from our high-paced culture, read this book. The author does idealize the life of the Amish, but keep in mind some practice within the culture can provide the balance of nourishment: mental, physical, and spiritual we (the outsiders) need. Ms. Sleeth implores readers to shop local, invest in communities, and know their neighbors.

    Need to bring to mind God's Ways, the solution: family devotion and study/ enjoy His creation. Watch the flowers, the birds...watch the rebirth of spring, observe resurrection and redemptive work within God's creation. Ms. Sleeth brings to mind Jesus taught on field trips observing His Father's creation, investing in people, making time for relationship, and speaking to the heart through stories. The author references Romans 1 and Psalms 24. To tend and to protect (the calling of man from God for his creation), abad and shamar from the Hebrew.

    This book will transform how the reader thinks about lifestyle. Counter to culture, we do not have to run from pillar to post eating fast food. This does not help our children become smarter, stronger, or more prepared for adulthood. The results of a over hurried life style are staring at us. The mother sets the tone for the family. The kitchen is the heart of the home.

    When confronted with the challenge of living the more sustainable life, let us rise to the challenge.

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    Almost Amish

    I picked this book up at the library, thinking that it sounded interesting. The author makes some good points about saving electricity, having a garden, etc. She also discourages the overuse of TV, video games and the computer. What I didn't like is that the author seemed to idolize the Amish, as if they are almost perfect. She would explain the Amish way of doing something and then tell how her family used this idea. It almost seemed like bragging about how they've simplified their life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    This book was interesting to read. It allowed a new perspective

    This book was interesting to read. It allowed a new perspective at looking at this new tech. stressed world. We look for the newest gadgets, easiest and fastest ways to getting what we want. While we forget what really matters. This book can open your eyes.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    They say "Don't just a book by its cover," but that's

    They say "Don't just a book by its cover," but that's exactly why I picked up this book at my library to read: something about the cover, title and subtitle, "One woman's quest for a slower, simpler, most sustainable life" really intrigued me. So kudos to whoever designed the very attractive cover and binding. :)

    Now, as for the book itself, I'll tell you why I loved it after I give you a bit of background. I grew up in a very conservative home (both morally and politically) in the fairly liberal, tree-hugging city of Anchorage, Alaska. So although we eschewed the earth worship and extremism of many of our fellow citizens, we always recycled, composted, grew our own vegetables and fruit (at least what we could get to grow here :)), etc. However, I've always been rather discouraged and frustrated that looking for ways to sustain, replenish and preserve the environment are such a low priority for many on my "side of the aisle." I guess there's something to that old saying of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater."

    All of this to say, I LOVED the balance Nancy Sleeth wrote about in her book! As Christians, we should be the most concerned about taking care of this earth we live on, as God entrusted us with it and commanded us to be good stewards of it. However, I think the radical extremism of putting the earth first, above all else and to the detriment of humans, who are MUCH more important, has turned off so many people that they just take the complete opposite view. So I think "Almost Amish" has some really helpful and important reminders, often from Scripture, that we should choose a healthy view somewhere in the middle.

    In addition to her chapters on sustainability, Ms. Sleeth does a wonderful job of showing some of the most admirable aspects of the Amish, again showing the foundation of their beliefs and rituals in Scripture. And again, while I think perhaps the Amish are extreme in their simplicity and beliefs (and I say this with respect, I am not belittling their lifestyle), we average Americans have become just as extreme in the other direction! We have become far too much like the world in the areas of our homes, finances, families and community and we would do well to take a page or two from the "Ordung." :) Yet, we do have to take it all with a grain of salt, and not become so legalistic, but rather just try to pay more attention to the spirit of God's Law.

    I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family, and in fact have already done so. I really do think that it would be valuable reading for every person, as a lot the struggles and complications we face in this world are really new problems that didn't exist a generation or two ago, and we would really benefit from looking at our past to help us in the future. One of my favorite lines in the book is actually a quote from C.S. Lewis, "Going back can sometimes be the quickest way forward." I think that pretty much sums up the book and why YOU should read it! :)

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    I Wish I could do what this author did,but even through I cannot

    I Wish I could do what this author did,but even through I cannot do all she did I am going to try some of her suggestions.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    I liked this book. I am going to follow some of her ideals and m

    I liked this book. I am going to follow some of her ideals and maybe try some of the receipts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Absolutely loved this book! This goes along with everything tha

    Absolutely loved this book! This goes along with everything that I've been thinking lately. We focus so much on social media and the internet and all this stuff that takes our minds from focusing on Christ. My family is already taking steps to simplify and I can't wait to do more.

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    Beginner Material

    "Almost Amish" by Nancy Sleeth is a book about simplifying your life. Using principles that she learned from the Amish, the author shares ways that the reader can break free from traditional "American" culture and embrace the Amish culture instead.

    I enjoyed the book but I must say that it is all beginner material. If you are already familiar with the Amish and the practice of simplifying in general, then this book will not offer much new information. If you are looking for simple ways to embrace a culture that has drawn much interest in recent years, then this book will quench that thirst for more information.

    I recieved this book free from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review

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  • Posted May 15, 2012

    I am a student at Asbury University, which Nancy mentions multip

    I am a student at Asbury University, which Nancy mentions multiple times in Almost Amish. I have heard her speak on several occasions and always enjoy hearing her great insights. She gave me a copy of the book after a workshop of hers that I attended. She continues to preach what she practices by illustrating Biblical purposes for living an “almost Amish” lifestyle. I liked how each chapter emphasized a particular aspect of life and how the Amish go about simply living it out. They apply many of the same principles in each aspect of life, which makes the end of the book sound redundant; nonetheless, they are important principles that as a Christian, of any denomination, are great ones to live by.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    Pretty Good

    I whole-heartedly agree with Nancy's idea that we need to make conscious decisions to live simpler lives and focus more on building stronger relationships. While we may not be able to live as the Amish do in our own circumstances, there is definitely something we can learn from their simplicity and devotion to community. I enjoyed reading her take on Amish principles and traditions, but at times I thought the tone was a bit preach-y rather than encouraging. There were also times the book felt like it barely scratched the surface on some topics and I was wishing it had gone deeper into how to apply certain things in our own lives. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and gained some new insight as well as a few ideas about how to make a concerted effort to connect and build strong relationships with those around me.

    Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    We live in an Amish area and these quite gentle people and their

    We live in an Amish area and these quite gentle people and their way of life have always fascinated me. I admire their simple living and have often wondered what it might be like to make that commitment. So when I saw the title of this book I was immediately drawn to it. While I respect their no frills way of living, I know without a doubt I would not be able to live that way completely.
    I was hoping that the book would share ways for me to make choices to incorporate their basic lifestyle into mine. The author did an excellent job of addressing the very core of their values and priorities. I was not disappointed.
    It was interesting to learn about their daily routines and family life in greater detail than I had known before. The chapters are divided into fundamental areas of life we share just as people and families (with the exception of the chapter on technology). She shares the Amish beliefs and practices in each one then compares it to how the majority of non-Amish folks live. She offers her personal experiences, ways we can simplify and integrate their practices into our lives, and she also shares many scriptures to illustrate the biblical truth of their culture.
    The book was a real eye-opener and made me examine how I was living more closely. She wasn’t preachy nor did she make me feel inferior for not making the same choices she did. I felt like she was merely sharing information for me to make a decision.
    At the end of each chapter I really liked the “Let’s Sum It Up”. It allowed me to review all the material in a nut shell. At the end of the book are some wonderful recipes to try.
    While I admire the author for the drastic changes her family made in their day to day living, I know I would not be able to go to that extreme. Her husband and children were all on board and that isn’t going to happen with me. Nevertheless she gave me all I need to incorporate these ideas into my life personally.

    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255




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  • Posted March 16, 2012

    I always enjoy reading about Amish and their lifestyle. In this

    I always enjoy reading about Amish and their lifestyle. In this book she talks about how in some ways the Amish have a much more free lifestyle. From no computers,phones,texting,email. She showed a lot of good points as in how they have much less cluttered lives and more of a close contact with neighbors and family. The lady talks about how she quit her job and her husband quit his job as a Doctor to downsize their lives. She had some very good points in the book and some made me really think. I think the whole concept of the book was good. To cut back on all these things that are cluttering our life today and coming between families. I read til the end and it was a good read,not great but good. I felt like it kinda dragged on in places and got boring in some parts. Other then that though I think it was a good read and gave you some good points to think about how you can unclutter your life and be almost Amish!

    I received this book free from Tyndale for honest review

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    I admire people who are able to do what this author did in makin

    I admire people who are able to do what this author did in making the choice to limit or even eliminate technology that wastes time and resources, and choosing instead a simpler lifestyle patterned after that of the Amish. I live in an area that has large Amish and conservative Mennonite communities so I'm aware of the kinds of things the author is writing about and while I'm careful to not put the Amish up on a pedestal as being more holy or better than everyone else, I do admire their thriftiness, respect for natural resources, and the focus on relationships and community instead of Facebook status updates or following friends on Twitter.




    What I liked about this book is that, while based on Biblical principles, it isn't preachy about "save the earth" but instead offers tangible ways we can live a more sustainable lifestyle that benefits not only the environment but our overall health as well. By incorporating conscious choices about how we will eat, what kinds of homes we will live in, methods of transportation, how we will dispose of trash, and how we will spend our waking hours can all add up to a life that is less stressful and often more economical.




    The chapters include the topics of home, technology, finances, nature, simplicity, service, security, community, families, and faith. In each, Sleeth compares the standard American way of living in each of these areas to that of the Amish. She isn't suggesting that anyone live without electricity, meet in homes for Sunday services, resort to horse and buggies for transportation, but she does offer tips on how to transition from a wasteful, technology based lifestyle to one that is more simple.




    The chapters I appreciated the most were the ones on home (Amish homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean) and technology (technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master). The chapter on security was also good as it points to the truth that the only true security, despite technology and everything else, is found in God.




    This is a great book for anyone who desires to live a simpler life. For me, it serves as a motivational resource without guilt or feeling I have to "go Amish" in order to achieve that kind of life.
    .

    I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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