This month was all about packing light and letting go of all the right things, with two very different memoirs.
15. No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love & Wandering by Clara Bensen
I demanded rainbows like Noah and manna like Moses. I wanted to feel eternity shooting up my spine.
This travel memoir was less about minimalism and more about a love story in a way that I didn’t expect — I originally picked it up because I thought it was going to help me clean out my closet. Instead, Bensen shares about her story through a big chunk of Europe and parts of Asia in three weeks with her “boyfriend” (although they at the time they didn’t even know if they were going to become exclusive), never changing from the same dress. She grew up in a conservative Christian home, and was homeschooled, and has now rejected the faith. For this reason, it was sad to see the blinders in her eyes to the gospel – but if you want a lighthearted memoir, it was a fun summer read overall – with accurate looks into modern romance.
Recommendation status: It’s not the best book to find wisdom and guidance, but she is a beautiful writer and I’m glad I read it.
16. Packing Light: Living Life with Less Baggage by Allison Vesterfelt
Maybe it’s what makes a chance worth taking, even when it’s dangerous — the opportunity to live a life that extends beyond us, that saves the lives of others.
This book was about her 50-state road trip and all the lessons that she learning about holding on and letting go along the way. It’s a sweet, honest depiction of love, heartbreak, and friendship. I appreciated her fresh perspective on the gospel. She covers a myriad of topics, but made everything fit sweetly into the purpose of the book. Once again, it was less about minimalism in itself — but it expressed the reasons behind living with less, both emotionally and materialistically. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of Allison Vesterfelt before — some of her reviewers were Gary Thomas, Shauna Niequist, and John Mark Comer.
Recommendation status: If you are looking for a pep talk to embrace the life you’ve always dreamed of, this is a good place to start.
Up Next On The Reading List…
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
Scary Close by Donald Miller
For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life — Hannah Whitall Smith