I was delighted to win a copy of Chris Guillebeau's book The Art of Non-conformity in a competition over on The Clear Minded Creative.
The subtitle of the book is: "Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life you Want and Change the World" and in a brief 200 or so pages that's what Guillebeau aims to empower the reader to do.
The book is written in a chatty, accessible, no-nonsense style, which makes it very readable. It also feels quite practical and many readers will think 'I could do that!".
I am already, I think, quite a non-conformist, so a lot of what Guillebeau says didn't come as a great surprise to me. However, he offers excellent advice, for example, to help free up your time to become more non-conformist by eliminating the unneccesary (I particularly like the idea of a 'stop doing list' as an alternative to the 'To Do List') and for finding alternative routes to education. There's a lot of focus on personal finances, deciding how much you really need and finding alternative sources of income. He also is clear that doing the things you really want to do needs to go alongside making a clear commitment to giving back to society.
Guillebeau's personal thing he really wants to do is to visit every country in the world. He admits that not everyone might want to travel that much (though he seems a bit patronising about why people might not want to do so). This sort of annoyed me and I'll be writing a blog post in the near future about why extensive travel may not be a good idea from an environmental point of view - thinking about carbon footprint but also ideas around localism.
The book also includes several case studies, to show the reader a variety of ways that individuals have opted to live a less conformist lifestyle.
So this is an inspiring and readable book for anyone who wants to live a more interesting life, just be clear that not all the ideas may suit you!
In the same competition, I also won a copy of Chris Guillebeau's other book The $100 Start Up, which I will review in due course over on my website.