Serious Fun by Carolyn North
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.
PWT rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Serious Fun: Ingenious Improvisations on Money, Food, Waste, Water and Home is available from Amazon.