Mennonite Church Canada logo
Location:
News » Releases » 30th Anniversary Edition of Living More with Less
 

30th Anniversary Edition of Living More with Less

   
 
   

Mennonite Church Canada/Mennonite Publishing Network joint release
October 1, 2010
-John Longhurst

WATERLOO, Ont. and SCOTTDALE, Pa.— In 1980, before living simply and green became trendy and popular, Doris Janzen Longacre, author of the enormously popular More-with-Less Cookbook, wrote Living More with Less, a practical guide for living in simple, sustainable and healthy ways.

Thirty years later, Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition is being released as a way to celebrate and honour Longacre’s foresight and vision, and to pass on her vision for simple and sustainable living to a new generation.

“This book was decades ahead of its time, and is just as relevant today as it was 30 years ago,” says Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, of the 30th anniversary edition. He adds that it is “all about preserving artful living, celebrating the age-old wisdom of simplicity, and protecting skills that are in danger of extinction. It is like a cookbook for life.”

For Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, the anniversary edition of Living More with Less has a message that is “even more important than it was 30 years ago, because we’re closer to the abyss we’ve dug with our rampaging economies.”

It provides “sound advice for living sensibly—and for freeing up the energy you need to join with your neighbours in the drive for a fair and durable earth,” he adds.

Reflecting on her experience of working with the book, editor Valerie Weaver-Zercher says that Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition “collects the wisdom and experience of those who live with less than a consumer culture says we need. It’s a vibrant collection of testimonies, old and new, of those who are discovering the joy of living with enough.”

Longacre died of cancer in 1979, before Living More with Less was published. Before she died, she wrote that the book is “for people who know something is wrong with the way Canadian and U.S. citizens live and are ready to talk about change. This is a book about rediscovering what is good and true. This is a book about beauty, healing, and hope, a book about getting more, not less.”

Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition is available November 1 from Herald Press for $17.25 CAD/$14.99 USD. To pre-order, go to www.mpn.net/livingmorewithless or call 1-800-631-6535 (Canada), or 1-800-245-7892 (U.S.).

Herald Press is the book imprint of Mennonite Publishing Network, the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.


Sidebar: Would Doris use Facebook?

If she were alive today, would Doris Janzen Longacre, author of the More-with-Less Cookbook and Living More with Less, have a Facebook account?

That’s the question being asked on a new Facebook group created in advance of the November 1 release of Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition.

“As I’ve been putting together this page for the new edition of Living More with Less, I can’t help but wonder what Doris would think of Facebook,” writes the group’s creator, Paul Boers, of Janzen Longacre, who died in 1979.

“Access to Facebook is a privilege of the developed world,” Boers says. “It’s no coincidence that over 60 percent of Facebook users live in North America and Europe.”

On the other hand, he notes, “Facebook is one way that people can keep in touch with faraway friends and relatives without traveling or racking up phone bills.”

It also “gives users a platform to band together to work for social causes,” he adds.

“What do you think?” asks Boers, one of six young adults who helped editor Valerie Weaver-Zercher create the 30th anniversary edition of the book. “Does anyone have More-with-Less ways of being on the site? If she were alive today, would Doris have an account?”

In addition to seeking answers to those questions, Boers hopes the group will encourage discussion about “what it means to live more with less today.”

“At a time when ‘green’ is trendy, how do we keep it tethered to an authentic concern for the poor and for the planet?” he asks. “Has Doris’ vision been realized, or co-opted? How do we avoid oversimplifying the complicated economic and ecological realities facing all of us? And how can we pursue more-with-less ideals without settling into self-castigation, smugness, or doomsday sermonizing?”

People who want to discuss those questions can go to the Living More with Less Facebook group [facebook.com/group.php?gid=149842681716539]

The Living More with Less Facebook page was created with support from Mennonite Publishing Network, the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Herald Press is the book imprint of Mennonite Publishing Network.