Simple Living: One Couple's Search for a Better Life

Overview

Originally published in 1992, long before "simple living" became a hot marketing trend, this groundbreaking work eloquently makes the case for a simpler, less stressful life. Told by Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska, a literary couple who met as students at Harvard and moved from the fast lane in Los Angeles to take over a family orchard in southwestern Virginia, Simple Living is the story of their decision to put more meaning into their lives while eliminating unnecessary debt and superfluous consumption, as ...
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Overview

Originally published in 1992, long before "simple living" became a hot marketing trend, this groundbreaking work eloquently makes the case for a simpler, less stressful life. Told by Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska, a literary couple who met as students at Harvard and moved from the fast lane in Los Angeles to take over a family orchard in southwestern Virginia, Simple Living is the story of their decision to put more meaning into their lives while eliminating unnecessary debt and superfluous consumption, as well as lessening their environmental footprint.

Levering and Urbanska have written what many have hailed as a classic in the field: a personal yet grittily realistic memoir about their quest for more meaningful values in a consumer-driven society. Theirs is an honest account of what it means to live not outside the system but within it while at the same time claiming one's own values. While simple living has many definitions, Levering and Urbanska identify its focus as environmental stewardship, thoughtful consumption, community activism, and financial responsibility. Drawing on case studies of others throughout the country who are choosing to simplify, Simple Living suggests ways that you can simplify your life, not by any 10-step plan but by taking measures that make sense for you.

As relevant today as when it was first published, Simple Living is reprinted here with a new preface by the authors and a foreword by Millard and Linda Fuller, founders of Habitat for Humanity International.

Author Bio: National lecturers, workshop leaders, and authors or co-authors of seven books, Levering and Urbanska have appeared on Oprah, CBS This Morning, the Today show, and NPR's All Things Considered. They've been featured in USA Today, Redbook, Family Circle, and Glamour. They now own and operate Levering Orchard, the largest cherry orchard in the South, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In L.A., Frank was a hot young screenwriter and Wanda was a rising young journalist. They had yearned for life in the fast lane--yet the psychic cost of it was killing them. Finally they decided to give it all up to run a family orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Now comes their memoir and guide for finding a better life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
They were DINKs (double income, no kids) living in Los Angeles. Levering scripted B-movies; his wife Urbanska was a journalist and author. In 1986, in their early 30s and weary of their treadmill existence, they made an abrupt change by moving to rural southwestern Virginia to run the Levering family orchard. They hoped to combine that work with freelance writing careers. How they made the adjustment is an interesting and inspiring story. Levering's parents were active Quakers whose commitment to service outweighed practical matters, and the orchard was in debt. Urbanska had to overcome doubts about being surrounded by her husband's relatives and maintaining her independence. In the end, things worked out. If the authors sound smug at times, they probably deserve to be--they had the courage and determination to turn their lives around. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Many people in the United States and throughout the world practice ``simple living'' because of monetary restraints, but they would quickly complicate their living styles if they could afford to. Levering and Urbanska (husband and wife) willingly chose to simplify their lifestyle when they returned to Virginia to help manage an orchard, leaving behind successful writing careers in Hollywood. Seeking to reinforce their decision, they interviewed people throughout the United States who have made similar choices. They discuss the problems faced when making a major change in lifestyle and share insights into their philosophy of conscientiously working for a better world. Libraries will find an audience for this title in the small but growing minority of people advocating a simpler way of living.-- Marguerite Mroz, Baltimore Cty. P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670828937
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1992
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.99 (d)

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