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Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World
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Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,917 ratings  ·  450 reviews
Life is chaotic. Butwe can choose to live it differently. 

It doesn’t alwaysfeel like it, but we do have thefreedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so thatour path better aligns with our values and passions.

The popular blogger and founder of the internationallyrecognized Simple Mom onlinecommunity tells the story of her family’s ongoing quest t
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Thomas Nelson (first published February 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  3,917 ratings  ·  450 reviews

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Angelyn Vaughan
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished-2014
Two stars is generous.
First, the good:
I enjoyed Tsh's style of writing. It's warm and personal without being dumbed down. The chapters felt like blog posts, but I kind of liked that.
I liked the way she enumerated and categorized the things that were really important to her and her family. I think most of us have a person or culture that we'd like to emulate at least a little, but few of us actually evaluate what we would need to change to accomplish that and whether it's worth the cost.
While I w
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
I was really excited to get an advance copy of Notes From A Blue Bike to review. I care deeply about these topics on organization and intentional living and from the start I was excited to hear what this writer had to say. Unfortunately, while it’s a nice read, I didn't feel like there was a lot of information shared that I didn't already know, apart from the author’s personal life experiences. But if I ever had something published I wouldn't want someone to chuck a flame-thrower at my work and ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, kindle
I would have given this book 2.5 stars if Goodreads allowed halfsies, but I couldn't quite bring myself to give it 3, even though I like Tsh Oxenreider and I have liked other things that she has written (including her two previous books). I have been a fan of her blog for a long time, and definitely appreciated that this was NOT a rehashing of her blog (I hate that about bloggers-turned-authors). Rather it was a memoir and commentary of sorts.

What was unfortunate about this book was the subtitle
Apr 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
I listened to the audio book and I could not wait for it to be over. It really does sound quite pretentious, and is coming from the perspective of someone who is trying really hard but still doesn't seem to quite "get it"... living simply isn't something you can make as a conscious choice or it will always be a struggle to maintain it. Living simply is a result of certain convictions that are independent. For example, if one becomes convicted of fighting for environment or for animal rights, one ...more
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: amy-s-books
Meh. It was ok. I like the author's writing style, albeit condescending at times. It was an easy read while watching the Olympics. I enjoyed her personal stories, but they are just that - personal stories. The quick sum of goal for "living intentionally in a chaotic world" is to move away from what she deems the "chaotic world" of the USA. She speaks glowingly of living overseas - as if the main difficulties are language and making new friends. I know people who live overseas, and it is most def ...more
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gina-read
Each of the forty eight chapters in this book read a bit like a mini version of itself, if that's even possible. It's almost as though each chapter was a summary of the book's intention, albeit from a slightly different angle each time. There is a lot of repetition, and it's hard to find the thread that ties each chapter together. It seems more like the book is intended as a collection of similar essays, and less like each chapter is meant to be a sequential part of a chronological whole.

Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I just finished this book and I feel motivated to think through my life and discover where and how my family can live more intentionally. This is why I read the book, after all, and that goal was accomplished. Well done, Tsh.

I think it is important to note that the title of the book is the "art" of living simply, not the science. Just as Picasso is not better or worse than Monet or Michaelangelo, only different; there are also many ways a family can live intentionally and each one will look very
Aug 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this as a 99 cent Kindle daily deal because some of my favorite bloggers recommended it and I enjoy The Art of Simple well enough. I like the idea of living with intention. My crunchy predilections aspire to slow food cooking and homeschooling and debt-free living. But I only wish I could be this earnest. I say this as a deracinated millenial, but It was the intentional deracination that rubbed me the wrong way and struck me as actually increasing chaos. I know Tsh's family discovered inte ...more
Margaret Mechinus
May 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
I have not read her blog, The Art of Simple- but from her book I learned to simply embrace the last minute flight cancellation that has you taking a redeye flight across the country with your children so that you won't be too late to catch your cruise out of Manhattan. She also offers suggestions to simplify your family's week vacation in Paris- find an apartment on Craig's list, much "simpler" than staying in a hotel. Also save visiting the romantic sites for your next trip there alone with you ...more
Beautiful, real, and inspiring

I loved that Tsh was humble and real, while still inspiring to live their best life. She used her own life experiences, but didn't make me feel like I needed to have the same life experiences to have an intentional and simpler, slower, more meaningful life.
Michelle Bourie
I did ask the seller at the farmer's market where the eggs came from. That's a start.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Sharing her personal experiences from living in Turkey to moving back to the states, "Notes from a Blue Bike" is a personal journey of Tsh Oxenreider, in living an intentional life while living on a minimalist lifestyle that the author attempts to create in a way that does not interfere with the actual experience of life itself.i

While filled with insightful look at her own personal journeys, "Notes fro a Blue Bike" and comparing the cultural differences she experienced with life in Turkey where
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Like so many others have said, I wanted to love this book. After reading a quote from it, I ordered it and could barely wait for it to get here. By the time I was 1/4 of the way through I was annoyed. I kept plugging on. Half way, I was super annoyed. I should have stopped there, but made a decision to finish hoping for something redeeming. I finished the book disappointed.

There is an underlying elitist tone here, and I felt if I heard the word expat again, I may scream. She truly seems unhappy
Another part-memoir, part-X type book. While I enjoy this genre, I'm often left feeling like the book was not enough of either. This book was no different; not enough how-to or depth, but also not enough details on the memoir side.

I enjoyed this book overall, but it didn't amount to enough. The chapters were so short that it seemed she hadn't quite gotten to the revelation or the depth before another chapter began. While I liked the glimpse of her life and how her family operates, most of these
Rachel A.  Dawson
This book was on my Amazon wish list for well over a year, and I would move it in and out of my cart, always interested in reading it but never feeling quite motivated enough to pull the trigger. The new year was the push I needed to go ahead and buy it, and from the first few pages, I knew why. I needed to read this book in this season of my life, when my plate is full and my heart feels pulled in a million different directions and everything within me is craving stillness and silence and selah ...more
I wish I could give half-stars- I would give this a three and a half. And how do you REALLY quantify stars anyhow?!

I'm in a travel memoir phase and especially liked her chapters on life in Turkey. The overall ideas of the book, however, were encouraging and gave me lots of food for thought. I'm just coming off a busy season and it was nice to think about slowing life. I screen-captured lots of quotes in this book and appreciate how well-read Tsh comes across. She is cultured, by golly! Also, be
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a book comes along and it just feels good to read starting on the first page. Tsh Oxenreider writes as though she is talking to you over tea or coffee. She explains the hows and whys she and her husband are living their life intentionally. I loved it when I thought "we do that too!". Oh, how I would have loved Tsh and other authors like her when I was a young mother. I am looking forward to her newest bookAt Home in the World. ...more
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As someone who lived overseas and moved back to Oregon, this book really connected with me. I could identify with something from every chapter, sometimes very deeply. I also found myself on the same page with many of Tsh's own values and things her family strives for in how they live their lives. This book moved me and helped me find some healing in my own emotions, with our move back home.
Jul 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book really had nothing to do with living intentionally in a chaotic world. It was rambling, unfocused and described in great detail how the author was unable to live intentionally in each place she lived. I do not recommend this book.
Troye Stadler
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If I were in the position to write a book right now, it would be a combination of this one and Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. I feel so burdened by the glorification of busy that I see going on around me- especially in suburbia- and these two books speak to those issues.
Sharon Larson
Feb 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Author sounded a bit too young to have enough credibility.
Leah Mortenson
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Got a little less than halfway through this book and had to abandon it. A little too "holier than thou" for me!
May 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
I kept thinking of the band girl in American Pie, only this author seemed to keep saying "This one time when I lived in Turkey..."

Elizabeth Moore
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVED it. And I wasn't expecting to. Normally I read slowly through creative essays but I couldn't put this book down. The short chapters and beautiful writing made it an easy & delightful read! ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Living simply sounds wonderful. Living with intention sounds even better. Tsh compiles a lot of her great thoughts and ideas into an accessible book about living with intention and making decisions that are best for one’s family, even if they aren’t the culturally easy ones. Organizing around the topics of food, work, travel, education, and entertainment made her various ideas on the subject seem really cohesive and I found myself wanting to know more about those subjects. Overall, I liked this ...more
Callie Glorioso-Mays
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tsh Oxenreider is the founder of, a website inspiring people to live simply. Her latest book is Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World. In this book, Tsh shares about the journey her family has taken to duplicate the slower lifestyle they enjoyed overseas as they have transitioned back to the States.

The book is divided into seven sections. With an introduction and a conclusion as bookends, Tsh writes about the five areas in which they have c
Angela Holland
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I kept seeing this book on the internet but never really looked to see what it was about, in fact I kind of kept ignoring everywhere I saw it. Well one day it caught my attention again and without knowing what it was about I decided to check it out and read it. When I got it I thought oh this sounds interesting. I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting on my husband and dove right in, it grabbed me from page one and I did not want to put it down. Now I started looking more at the cover and t ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars: Gave me a lot to think about.

Having lived overseas and travelled extensively, Tsh offers insight into how an American family can slow down and live more simply.

She makes the point that our society here in America is productivity based, rather than relationship based. So we tend to place much higher value on "getting things done" than on getting to know people or caring for them. We go at race pace until we're exhausted, without stepping back to figure out what is really most important
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I love days off of life so I can read! My wonderful friends and mentors Steve and Darlene offered their house to me and my kids for a few days (we swapped states this weekend) and Darlene left me a little pile of books that she thought I would like. Selected from her vast collection (which I love to peruse) just for me! I love her.

This is one she chose and it sucked me in immediately. I am on the bandwagon! I want a simpler life. I want to feed my family whole food, have a farm, spend more time
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I'm a casual, occasional reader of Oxenreider's blog, and the subtitle of this book was what really drew me, since I'm trying to live more "intentionally" this year, whatever that means. And there's the rub -- it may mean a million different things to a million different people, and I found it very hard to relate to Oxenreider's lifestyle, with all of her international travel with children and online ordering from farmers' markets. I appreciated what she was trying to do in encouraging and inspi ...more
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Tsh Oxenreider is the author of three popular books, most notably At Home in the World , her travel memoir about her family’s year traveling around the world out of backpacks. She currently hosts The Good List podcast, a show that explores the art, habits, things, and ideas that make life better, and writes a popular weekly newsletter called Books & Crannies, where she writes about the intersec ...more

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