Today’s written post is taken on different spin today.  A great blog called Green Bean Dreams started a challenge for us booknerds everywhere to celebrate.  My pick of June’s bookworm challenge is “On a Swedish Island” by Julie Catterson Lindahl. The book review is posted below.   I’m researching different tasks to achieve a sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle. My husband and I cured our curiousity two years ago and never looked back.  The best start on learning about this by yourself is read the books.

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On my Swedish Island by Julie Catterson Lindahl

Scandinavia is a big chunk of my family’s heritage.  My husband and I thought Aabout moving to a different country sometime in our busy lives.  I’ve been researching on culture and living environment of Sweden (and other countries belong with  Scandinavia) for years, until I saw this book on sale.  A rare book about scandinavian living without it being a tour guide and sale price is $6.00!  I’m sold!
The author and her family decides to reside in her husband’s family’s home on a small Swedish island for a year.  The moving idea is similar to Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable and Miracle”, except the information was comparing to American and relaxing, Scandinavian lifestyle of saunas and nature.  There are side notes about resources and companies that could help American readers to achieve this lifestyle in their own expensive, American home.  The highlights of Scandinavian life was saunas, nature, natural medicine with herbs, and outdoor recreation.  I agree all of these are important and pristine, but this European group of countries aren’t the only places that follow old beliefs of mother nature and outdoors.  There are some parts of this book describing outdoor perfection in Sweden had me visualize the author’s nose stuck too high above the trees, and the leaves are covering her wide vision.
Reading outside the headstrong parts, I will start to follow philosophy from this book to make my life more relaxing and peaceful by nature and observing the environment around me.  Natural medicine from herbs and other plants are interesting to read and further explore in a historical and living standpoint.  Her resources are backed up by history and little side notes of different Swedish, Danes, Finnish, or Norweigans’ life stories.  Each chapter is a different aspect of the author’s experience as a permanent Sweden citizen.  Eventually, her husband, children and herself decided to permanently move into the family’s island home from Stockholm because she liked the difference of nature outside her front porch.  All their meals are freshly picked from her garden or forests around the island.  Being married to a Swedish resident proved to be insightful for her since her move out of the big homeland of America.  If her family moves to America, I believe they would be outcasts. 

In the past to present, there is a different lifestyle in the Scandinavian countries over America.  Americans live in daily consumption of unreliable resources (advertising, media, corporations, technology) that a big percentage of them have more problems of feeling rushed and stressed.  There are thousands of countries have own methods in their culture how those citizens achieve maximum relaxation or perfect chi.   The main thing that many countries have in common is exposing themselves to nature.   Environment is the cheapest and beautiful place to go for any reason.  Referring back to the book of “On my Swedish Island”, I believe everyday life should embrace the environment around us.  Best quote from the book: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.”

Whether you take a look at this book or not, check what you’re wearing.  Rain or shine, go outside!

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