One of my recent reads that changed my attitude about daily life, Chop Wood Carry Water is an exceptional book that teaches us to appreciate the processes of life. The book starts by following a man training to become a Samurai archer, which surprisingly had lessons that seamlessly transferred to my suburban life raising 3 children while working online.

Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf is a quick read and will motivate you to have the perseverance and attitude needed to do what you need to do to make a change in the world- whether it’s raising children, running a business, or contributing to a project.  It also will help you appreciate the processes of life, and relax into daily tasks.

My takeaways

  • Making my bed, doing the dishes, weeding the garden, sweeping the floor, and putting away the groceries are all just as important as writing a blog post, climbing a mountain, or hosting a party.  Doing the mundane, and appreciating doing the mundane, gets us in the habit of doing and appreciating the great things as well.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy.  I knew that, but it’s a helpful reminder.
  • It’s okay to follow your passion.  The author spent years becoming a Samurai Archer, something that I found myself judging at first.  Why spend effort there when there are so many things that need to be *done* in the world? Well, because life is a balance.
  • I’ve been out of balance lately (and by lately, I mean for the last decade), not knowing how to relax, not feeling okay unless I was doing something productive, teaching my children something, or contributing something.  I need reminders that I can just be, or learn something that isn’t *needed* and that is not wrong.  In fact, it’s needed to be complete.

You will like this book if you:

  • Are frustrated often in the day-to-day processes of life.
  • Want to enjoy the years when your children are little more.
  • Find that you have a hard time sticking with a task until it’s complete.
  • Feel inadequate in any part of your life.
  • Have trouble slowing down.

Want it?

You can click here to buy Chop Wood Carry Water. 

I read

I read a ton.  At any given time I have a paperback book, kindle book, and audio book going.  After shunning fiction in favor of productivity for a decade, I’m back to enjoying the escape that fiction gives me, especially when sitting near a lake or stream as my children play.  It turns out that we all need down time, and I’m throughly enjoying ‘allowing’ myself to escape in a story again.

Listening to audiobooks helps exercise time go by, gets the laundry folded, and are fantastic for long drives. I also use the sleep timer on the Audible App and will listen to 20 minutes of an audio book before going to sleep at night.

When choosing audio books, print books, or kindle books I usually prioritize like this:


Any book I want to reference again and again, or that I will take during media-free time where I want to be without a kindle.

Some recent print-book purchases of mine: The Fiction Class, The Nest, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, Whole30 Cookbook, Audubon Field Guide to the Rocky States.

Audio Books

Books that I think I should read, but I don’t have the motivation to sit down and read start to finish on the Kindle, or good fiction that I’ll listen to pass the time with while completing a house project like painting or driving a long distance.

Recent audio books I purchased: The Complete Guide to Fasting, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** (language warning), Waking the Tiger, Ego is the Enemy, When Breath Becomes Air, Headspace.

Kindle books

“Fluff” fiction that I want to get inexpensively, health or marketing books  that I’ll probably read once and don’t need to store on my bookshelf, books that I’ve been wanting to read but don’t want to spend $10+ on I’ll buy if they go super cheap on Kindle.

I use the phone ap for Kindle to always have reading material with me (it works as long as the book is downloaded even if you’re out of cell range).  I buy mostly Kindle books since then I don’t have to store them.

Recent Kindle books that I purchased:  Chop Wood Carry WaterFood Freedom Forever, The Law of Attraction, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, After You.

Looking for more health books?

Which Healing Diet is Right For You? has a bunch of healthy book recommendations.  I’ve read them in the past and can happily recommend them all.


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60-page ebook of all my best GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) articles all in one place.

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