Notes from a Blue Bike

The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World

Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider was a book that caught my eye. When I saw the title of this book, I was under the impression that the book involved traveling on a blue bike. Well, I got the “traveling” part right. The blue bike in question acts as a catharsis for the author who is finding life in Oregon less-than-satisfactory after a blissful life in Turkey, her native country. The author has also lived in Texas then, eventually, ended up in Oregon. There’s not so much traveling on a blue bike for this author in this book – in fact, the blue bike doesn’t make another appearance until the end of the book – but when the author got the bike for her birthday, she used this instead of her lists to take stock of her life and what she could do to make it one she was happy with as she settled into the unknown.

There were a few of things I could relate to in the essays included in this book, such as living in a nomadic family, adjusting to the crazy weather of Oregon (snow in the spring??) and being a homeschooling mom. Been there and done that on all counts. But the things I could not relate to, such as living as an expat and having a home-based business, are the things that kept me reading this book. I wanted to know this person’s life and get into these topics that she was writing about. As someone from another country, she also brought a fresh perspective on life and culture in the U.S., and it was interesting to read about her travels. The author brought an intelligent and thoroughly researched discussion on what it is like to live intentionally to this book, and her thoughts on readjusting her expectations about food, work, money, education, travel and entertainment really made me think about how we also view these things in our own lives. Of course, reading this book did not mean I gave my family an overhaul on all those things – because, after all, we do what works best for us – but it was interesting to read another person’s thoughts on these subjects. As the author writes, “Living intentionally ultimately means staying true to yourself and how your family is made.” That’s what she does in this book and that’s what we do, in our own lives. It should be the same for everybody else.

Notes from a Blue Bike is a fresh, intelligent take on how to live life intentionally and doing what works best for a family. It’s a book on how one family finds its way among the techno-driven and commercialized culture of life in the U.S. Read this book if you feel it’s time for a change for you and your family, or for a thoughtful and interesting discussion on how we eat, live and work nowadays. This is the kind of book that makes you step back and look again at life and society, and take stock of just where you stand in all of it.

Book Blurb for Notes from a Blue Bike

Life is chaotic. But we can choose to live it differently. 

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

The popular blogger and founder of the internationally recognized Simple Mom online community tells the story of her family’s ongoing quest to live more simply, fully, and intentionally.

Part memoir, part travelogue, part practical guide, Notes from a Blue Bike takes you from a hillside in Kosovo to a Turkish high-rise to the congested city of Austin to a small town in Oregon. It chronicles schooling quandaries and dinnertime dilemmas, as well as entrepreneurial adventures and family excursions via plane, train, automobile, and blue cruiser bike.

Entertaining and compelling—but never shrill or dogmatic—Notes from a Blue Bike invites you to climb on your own bike, pay attention to who you are and what your family needs, and make some important choices. It’s a risky ride, but it’s worth it—living your life according to who you really are simply takes a little intention. It’s never too late.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2014 4.50