Serious Fun: Read Reviews

Living Green & Loving It

When we hear the term "green" or "environmentally conscious", chances are we don't hear words like "fun" or "exciting," yet these are exactly the words that come to mind when reading environmental innovator Carolyn North's new book, Serious Fun. Serious Fun is a glorious invitation to each of us to feel more deeply satisfied and fulfilled as we make small, yet profoundly meaningful changes in our daily lives. Highly recommended! 

This book is perfect for anyone seriously interested in finding creative ways to live more lightly on the Earth, or making steps toward getting "off the grid." With chapters devoted to essential daily needs to dispose of waste and collect water, Serious Fun provides practical ideas for getting serious about healing our relationship with the Earth.

I particularly love sections on creative ideas for artistic and practical reuse, with ideas for turning junk into art... and as always, my very favorite thing about a book written by Carolyn North is the way she shares down-to-earth personal stories of great spiritual depth and soulful insight. I love her description of waking one morning to find backyard fences collapsed, and coming to a joint deciison with neighbors to create an open and much more enjoyable shared garden space, rather than replacing the barriers.

Serious Fun is a glorious invitation to each of us to feel more deeply satisfied and fulfilled as we make small, yet profoundly meaningful changes in our daily lives. Highly recommended! — Cynthia Sue Larson, New Consciousness Review 

Creative and innovative solutions to difficult issues are presented in this practical guidebook for environmentally friendly living. Low-tech exercises for saving water, reducing waste, and preparing food help readers take communal actions to benefit their own neighborhoods, and the world at large, while having fun. By stressing that what is most essential is for human beings to relax, work, and play together, this humorous yet important resource shows that an attitude of creativity and abundance will transform environmental challenges into opportunities for personal and collective growth. — New Consciousness Review

Planet Earth is a community, and we can care for it and each other, joyfully, in the spirit of innovation, finding ways forward that nourish us all. Serious Fun shows ways of doing just that.
— Natasha Hoffman, author of Let The Standing Stones Speak 

"This book offers a refreshing reminder of all those simple and entirely doable things that we can so easily forget about in our busy, busy lives."
— Alison Freer, Sue Blake On-line Book Club 

The book is filled with information, insight, and philosophy, all of it to make the point that we don’t have to fight against the turmoil of today’s world. We can find creative ways to get through it.
— Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer 

Serious Fun looks frequently at the subject of community and its strengths, and while a true community joining together only takes place following a crisis, there are examples given of how this spirit has lasted well beyond what prompted it originally. Caroline North's Serious Fun doesn't only deal with community however and other chapters discuss the essentials of life such as water, food, waste management and money. In these seriously straitened times, such issues are at the forefront of many minds and the author shows, anecdotally, how she and others have contributed towards resolutions in small but necessary ways. The ideas for recycling water may inspire some and the current movement in the UK to grow your own food can only be heartened by the experiences detailed in the book. The issue of waste management is a thorny one at best and I felt Serious Fun looked rather too often at examples of artists who used rubbish creatively, rather than ideas to help solve the whole issue. However, bearing in mind that the individuals reading and getting inspiration from this book cannot alone resolve the world's waste problem, maybe these ideas are better than nothing at all. At least the artists' work is unlikely to be thrown away! Serious Fun is rather too spiritual for my liking but that, naturally, can be taken as a failing of my own, rather than of the book itself. There are also views that many, myself included, may feel are rather too American in their angle, but there is nothing to say that we cannot learn from those living across the Pond. Over all, Caroline North comes across as well-read and well-connected, open to ideas and, above all, open to life itself. In many ways, this can be the best example to set to others.
— Debbi Scholes, Parenting Without Tears, UK magazine

Sustainability may be serious business, but woohoo, can we have fun doing it! Author Carolyn North clearly takes great pleasure in saving the planet, and her choice offerings are a great way to reignite your own sense of pleasure in the task. For example, where else can you read about the joys of a doorless outhouse? Or directions for building a scavenged “sound sculpture”? Or even inspiration to tear up your paved driveway? There’s a lot of emphasis on poop—“Except for breathing, defecating is probably the most intimate exchange we have with the natural world,” writes North; and food (can’t wait to try her leftover Thanksgiving turkey fritters). She provides plenty of sobering facts, but her packaging is pure delight.
— Whole Life Magazine