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

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,058 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
Have you ever stopped to think, Maybe the Amish are on to something? Look around. We tweet while we drive, we talk while we text, and we surf the Internet until we fall asleep. We are essentially plugged in and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rather than mastering technology, we have allowed technology to master us. We are an exhausted nation. No one has enoug
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published March 1st 2012)
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Jun 27, 2012 Kristen added it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This book caught my eye at my local library and since I am certainly interested in living more sustainably I checked it out. It turns out that this is written from a pretty Christian perspective; idealizing a sustainable life FOR GOD. But I decided to keep an open mind as long as it remained a positive, inclusive message.

Fifty pages in it got really hard to take this woman seriously. She tells a story about her husband having her old bicycle fixed up for their 30th wedding anniversary gift. She
May 08, 2012 Bob rated it liked it
This author knows everything, has perfect children, never has problems or does anything wrong, is a perfect follower of Jesus, and is as green as the day is long. Oh. And she'll remind you of all of this over and over throughout the book.

If you can't tell, I find her annoying and self-righteous. Does that mean the book isn't chocked full of truth and good stuff? No, because it is. It was really difficult to hear past the author so you could soak in the truth, but that's how it felt. She also doe
Jun 29, 2012 Lisa rated it did not like it
Ah, the lure of the Amish. For whatever reason, the Amish way of life evokes feelings of simplicity, peace and perfection. When we moved to this area of Pennsylvania four years ago, I was intrigued by the Amish. I read lots of Amish fiction and rushed to the window every time I heard the sounds of a horse and buggy.

Nancy Sleeth draws on this fascination with the Amish for her book Almost Amish: One woman's quest for a slower, simpler, more sustainable life. I, too, long for simplicity and greate
Sep 14, 2012 Liesl rated it did not like it
To sum the book up in one word: Preachy.

I only got about forty pages into the book before I gave up. I flipped through to different sections to see if maybe it was late-bloomer. Unfortunately it isn’t. The author had a great opportunity to inspire folks (even non-Christian ones) but instead just ended up coming across holier-than-thou. There isn't as much mention of the Amish as I thought, apart from shallow facts. Instead there is a lot of touting her own family's achievements. (Glad she was in
Oct 12, 2012 Emily rated it did not like it
I could not finish this book. The tone is so condesending and smug. And preachy.
{ I received this as an ebook from NetGalley. Full review originally posted on my blog, PidginPea's Book Nook. }

I wanted to read this book because I've been fascinated with the Amish way of life for as long as I can remember. The idea of making my own life slower, simpler, and more sustainable really appealed to me, so I was interested to read what Sleeth had to say in Almost Amish. Unfortunately, what she said and the way she said it completely turned me off.

Simply put, there is not enough abou
Jun 04, 2012 Brigid rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Every single page has religious references and quotes. Didn't even get past skimming the first chapter. I have very little respect for a woman who says in referencing cleaning out her medicine cabinet, 'Get rid of all your anti-aging creams, (well almost all of them)."

Not enough 'Amish' in this book, too much 'Almost'.
Jul 11, 2012 HippieMommy rated it liked it
I participate in a program that distributes books for blog reviews, and I was instantly intrigued when this book came up on the list. I’ve written about several similar books in the past, including Better Off and Living More with Less. I enjoyed both of those books, and knowing that Nancy Sleeth (author of Almost Amish) wrote the forward for Living More with Less made this book more intriguing.

In Almost Amish, Mrs. Sleeth covers many aspects of Amish life and then tries to show ways that we can
Aug 25, 2012 Khrista rated it liked it
Shelves: home-library
What I liked:
The first few chapters were immensely convicting in the matters of 'Technology' and 'Finances'. I took quite a few notes in these chapters. The chapter on 'Service' was good as well. I highlighted this quote: "Service to others reduces loneliness and isolation. The very act of getting outside of our selfish, small concerns enriches us."
It may be that I put this book down for a couple months before finally finishing it, but the end of the book seemed rather repetitive and I grew ra
Jenny Demonic
Nov 20, 2012 Jenny Demonic rated it did not like it
I came across this book searching my local e-library. There was a waiting list, and I threw it in my queue to see what it was about.
I agree with many other people who have reviewed this book. I WANTED to like it, I WANTED to give it a chance. I was not expecting such a preachy work from someone who claims they want to live an "Almost Amish" life. I do not feel that an Amish person would really think more of this book than I (an atheist) do. People should lead good lives by example because it mak
Oct 05, 2013 Melanie rated it did not like it
Way too religious for me. I was looking for more on uncluttering my home, living on less etc. I got tired of hearing how perfect her kids and husband are....
May 12, 2012 Marianna rated it it was ok
Preachy. In my opinion panders to our cultures interest in the Amish and reduces their culture to a caricature.
Jul 17, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
So over the weekend in an effort to beat the heat I went to the library and picked up the book ALMOST AMISH One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler , More Sustainable Life and 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 ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Gloria rated it really liked it
While somewhat predictable in that you do indeed read here what you might expect to find, Nancy Sleeth is a thoughtful and enjoyable author who speaks from her beliefs. She presents a call for simplicity in the form of less technology, more family dinners and projects, less distraction and more contribution. Her audience is the mainstream person who wants more meaning in one's own life while also caring for the earth and supporting other Christian/Green efforts. Suggestions are simple such as in ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Jess rated it did not like it
Blerg. This book was both cheese-balls and super preachy. I didn't even make it half-way through. Also, it was more about this woman and her family and how awesome they are and how much they gave up (her husband was a doctor! they had a super nice house with a fancy fireplace! etc, etc) to live a simpler life because they are the best Christians around (apparently) instead of how the Amish live (run-on sentence for the win). Or maybe I was just grumpy when I picked this up and wasn't expecting a ...more
May 05, 2012 W rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned, 2012
This was one of the rare books that I gave up on when I was well over halfway through. It definitely wasn't what I expected - waaaaay too much Scripture in it for me. Like other reviewers said, she spent way too much time talking about how awesome the Amish were (not saying they're not) and very little talking about what I thought the book was about - making changes to live a slower and simpler life. Wouldn't recommend.
Sep 11, 2012 Amber rated it did not like it
I saw this book while cruising overdrive and had high hopes for it. The concept is good and I get the fact that she is highly educated and they gave up a rather affluent lifestyle to 'live their dream of preaching living on nothing'. But her writing style came off as really pretentious and I quit after the 2nd chapter.
Jun 14, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
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.
Jennifer Honeycutt
Feb 21, 2013 Jennifer Honeycutt rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I only read the first 2 chapters, but I felt like this woman was tooting her own horn a bit too much. Maybe I should have given her more of a chance, but I just couldn't get into this book and didn't like that she was making me feel guilty.
Heather Kennedy
May 15, 2013 Heather Kennedy rated it did not like it
The first couple of chapters were interesting but after that it went down hill.
Becky Cook
Jan 30, 2013 Becky Cook rated it did not like it
Very pretentious and just too out there for me! I am a Christian and after reading it I felt like I was the worst Christian woman ever. I could never live up to this woman's expectations.
Deanna Norris
Jul 28, 2013 Deanna Norris rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I did not finish this book. I just really disliked the author's tone.
Nov 12, 2012 Felicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2012
I loved this book, I found it helpful and interesting and thought provoking. I didn't agree with every single word in this book but I think anyone would be hard pressed to find someone that they agreed with %100 of the time. A lot of the things in this book won't work for everybody but I think there is something for everybody in this book.

I had been thinking of getting rid of my facebook account for a long time prior to reading this book but I just couldn't talk myself into doing it. I really l
Aug 29, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
Although I had high hopes for this book, I felt a little disappointed. I thought it would be more of a memoir of one family's victories and foibles as they pursued a simpler life. Instead, it came across as more of an impersonal instruction manual. Yes, it includes some anecdotal stories of how this family has put these steps into action. But, in these stories, the family always comes across as perfect and whatever change they attempted to make simple fell into place. I think the occasional stor ...more
Jan 14, 2013 Jerricanary rated it really liked it
Shelves: slowdownandlive
I appreciated the message of the first two-thirds of the book, wherein it addressed the Amish lifestyle as a successful model of simple living. The accounts of Amish ways are eye opening, especially for me in regard to technology and all matters household: decor, delegation of chores, clothing, and general needs vs wants. I feel I have gained a priceless new mindset in how I view needs vs wants, not in a Puritan way, but rather in a realistic non- consumeristic way (is that even a word?). My nat ...more
Sep 06, 2012 Julia rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful memoir of a woman and her husband that decided to create a more simplistic, wholesome, de-cluttered life for themselves. It wasn't about how they dropped everything and became Amish, but it discusses what makes the Amish a great people and why they are so happy and successful in their lives. It is because they lead a God and Jesus-centered life. The author originally grew up Jewish so this is a unique take coming from a "born-again" Christian's perspective (boy I hate that ...more
Jul 14, 2012 Jodi rated it liked it
I heard the author speak about this book a bit on a radio program, and the subject piqued my interest. I borrowed the book from the library and found a lot of its contents to be helpful and interesting. There are parts I didn't agree with totally (don't ever move away from family, stay in one house forever, don't shop at chain stores, etc.) although I could see her point. Also, the way she portrayed her life and children seemed unrealistically perfect. The parts about hospitality and entertainin ...more
Aug 16, 2012 Ashley rated it it was amazing
i love love love this. i have been having the more sustainable mindset this past year or so and to add faith to it was just like POW plus all the comparison to Amish life style was so eye opening. it really helped me to understand their "culture" or faith or ways so much more. why do we need all this technology when its just ruining us into the ground and taking the earth with us? theres so much life beyond "modern convenience". now she is in NO WAY saying "get rid of your computers, dishwashers ...more
Florence Millo
Jun 02, 2012 Florence Millo rated it it was amazing
Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth

While many of us admire many aspects of Amish life, few of us would be willing to give up our central heat and air and start driving a horse and buggy.  Nancy Sleeth solves this dilemma by encouraging an "almost Amish" life.  

Amish homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean. By having only what is needed,  homes remain uncluttered and easily kept clean and orderly.  The Amish don't believe the material world is bad but neither do they call attention to themselves with f
Aug 13, 2012 Sanz rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this quick read. The author and her husband made drastic changes. Changes that most people are not interested or even capable of making, but it made me want to do more. I want to live a simpler more sustainable life and I liked many of her suggestions. There are so many wonderful thoughts in this book about family, faith, service, community, technology and more.

I am inspired to shop locally more. To invite neighbors to eat with us more. To expand my garden. To buy reusable shop
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Non-Religious Perspective? 1 4 May 08, 2016 12:40PM  
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Nancy Sleeth and her husband, Matthew, are cofounders of Blessed Earth, a faith-based environmental nonprofit. After an environmental and spiritual conversion experience, Nancy and her family radically altered their footprint, giving away half their possessions and reducing their energy use by more than two-thirds. Prior to heeding this environmental calling, Nancy served as communications directo ...more
More about Nancy Sleeth...

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“The Amish are islands of sanity in a whirlpool of change.” 8 likes
“To air dry clothes by choice is countercultural. And who, more than any other group in twenty-first-century America, is both countercultural and committed to air drying clothes? Has intact families? Healthy communities? Gardens, home-cooked meals, and uncluttered homes? Restrained use of technology, strong local economies, and almost nonexistent debt? Most of all, what group has kept simplicity, service, and faith at the center of all they say and do? The Amish! All of which led to my epiphany: few of us can become Amish, but all of us can become almost Amish.” 2 likes
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