Bucket List.coverI received a free review copy of More Than a Bucket List (in e-book format) from the publisher through BookSneeze, in return for an honest review.

I’ve always liked the idea of bucket lists, since before the term “bucket list” existed.  A bucket list is a list of things you want to get done before you kick the bucket.  I remember writing in one of my diaries long ago a list of things I wanted to do before I was 30.  Because of course when you’re a teenager, 30 is practically dead.

The book consists of short chapters.  Some are in devotional format, while others consist of lists of (sometimes silly) activities and adventures, or descriptions of cool places to visit.  The devotionals are all aimed at helping you get more out of life, whether that means forgiving someone, spending more time in prayer, or being grateful for what you already have. Some of the chapters are more about how to take the first steps in achieving some of your goals (for example: Watch Less T.V., Find Your Passion, etc.)

One of my favorite quotes from the book occurs near the end, and neatly sums up what the author wants you to get out of it: “You don’t have to risk your life to have adventures; you simply have to be intentional about living fully each and every day.”

I like her emphasis not only on big travel adventure things (camel trek in Egypt, swim with manta rays) , but also on the things you can do every day – improve your marriage, volunteer locally, teach someone to read, bake your own bread.  I didn’t make that last one up.  It’s on one of the lists.

There was a chapter on living debt free, which I am all for, but I found her treatment of it annoying – it’s a subject that takes a bit more than two pages to cover.  It would be very difficult to adequately explain the envelope system in one sentence, much less one that doesn’t mention why it is called the envelope system (I’d guess she’s a Dave Ramsey fan).  I think she could have done a couple of short chapters on the components of living debt free, and then directed the reader to more comprehensive resources.

I liked how reading this book made me remember some of the cool things I have done: joining the Peace Corps, hiking Machu Pichu, visiting the Galapagos Islands, white water rafting.  But it also helped me remember that the things I’m doing now are meaningful: adopting/raising children,learning to bake bread, writing, being committed to my marriage.

There were a couple of typographical errors that I think someone should have caught before the book made it to press.  I also feel like e-book is not the best format for this book.  I would have liked the hard copy to put on my nightstand, to read a bit here and there from time to time, underlining and dog-earing the pages as desired.

And now, the best line in the book (from the chapter “Be okay with a nothing day.”): “Leave the dishes in the sink.  Ignore their screams.”

And all this time I thought that high-pitched noise was the water heater.