September 30, 2015
Your Next Read: TEDxIND Keep It Simple Bookshelf

Check out an eclectic mix of titles suggested by the TEDxIND speakers and planning team to help you reflect on what we gain when we "keep it simple."

Didn’t snag tickets TEDxIndianapolis in time? No worries! We’ve got a very humanities solution to help you explore this year’s powerful theme, Keep It Simple.

We’re introducing the Keep It Simple Bookshelf, an eclectic mix of titles suggested by the TEDxIND speakers and planning team to help you reflect on what we gain when we step back and pare down to life’s essential elements. Below you will find our top selections to help you further your TEDxIND connections.

Suggested by Our Speakers

  • Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change by Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia
    • Short-term, community-based projects are a powerful and adaptable new tool of urban activists, planners and policy-makers seeking to drive lasting improvements in their cities and beyond. TEDxIND speaker Tony Garcia’s book shares how and why.
  • Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
    • This provocative book proposes a new way of designing products—everything from carpeting to corporate campuses—so that after their useful life, they provide the seeds for something new. TEDxIND speaker Bridgett Luther is president of Cradle to Cradle Productions Innovation Institute.
  • Gary Is a Fish by Nancy Bush and Ty Bush
    • This delightful children’s book by TEDxIND speaker Tyler Lennox Bush follows the adventures of Gary as he sets out for his new home at Harmony Pond.

Simplicity in Design

  • The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) by John Maeda
    • An MIT professor and graphic designer explores the question of how we can redefine the notion of “improved” so that it doesn’t always mean something more, something added on.

Simplicity in Food

  • Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
    • Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food.
  • 2016 Recipes for Healthy & Whole Living Desktop Calendar 
    • Local food bloggers Alex and Sonja Overhiser collaborated with Indy’s own TF Publishing to share simple, nutritious recipes (and gorgeous photography) all year long.

Simplicity as Lifestyle

  • Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
    • A philosopher/mechanic makes an irresistible case for working with one’s hands and restores honor to the manual trades as a life worth choosing.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
    • All the cool kids can’t resist this guide that promises a tidy home leads to a calm, motivated mindset.
  • The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams
    • Curious about the growing phenomenon of tiny houses? Part how-to, part personal memoir, this book offers a seductive meditation on the benefits of slowing down, scaling back and appreciating the truly important things in life.

Simplicity as a Spiritual Calling

  • The Story of Monasticism: Retrieving an Ancient Tradition for Contemporary Spirituality by Greg Peters
    • This new book offers a historical survey of monasticism in Christian tradition from its beginnings to modern manifestations.

Simplicity from Literary Voices

  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
    • This 19th century classic, part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire and manual for self-reliance, is a meditation on living simply.
  • Less Is More: An Anthology of Ancient & Modern Voices Raised in Praise of Simplicity edited by Goldian VandenBroeck
    • Pore over this compendium on the art of conscious living to find inspiration.

What about you? Have you encountered a time when the simplicity principle was successfully applied to one of our world’s big challenges? Whose words have inspired you to Keep It Simple?

Indiana Humanities is a proud presenting sponsor of TEDxIndianapolis, along with Big Car, The Heritage Group, Pivot Marketing and the University of Indianapolis. We’re also grateful to this year’s title sponsor, the United Way of Central Indiana. While tickets sold out fast, we hope you’ll get a chance to soak in the excitement, insight and inspiration of the Big Ideas by watching the free live-stream and finding and sharing talks on YouTube later. 

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