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This title in other editions

Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish (Ohio)


Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish (Ohio) Cover

ISBN13: 9780062501868
ISBN10: 0062501860
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I had an obsession with the Amish. Plan and simple. Objectively it made no sense. I, who worked hard at being special, fell in love with a people who valued being ordinary."

So begins Sue Bender's story, the captivating and inspiring true story of a harried urban Californian moved by the beauty of a display of quilts to seek out and live with the Amish. Discovering lives shaped by unfamiliar yet comforting ideas about time, work, and community, Bender is gently coaxed to consider, "Is there another way to lead a good life?"

Her journey begins in a New York men's clothing store. There she is spellbound by the vibrant colors and stunning geometric simplicity of the Amish quilts "spoke directly to me," writes Bender. Somehow, "they went straight to my heart."

Heeding a persistent inner voice, Bender searches for Amish families willing to allow her to visit and share in there daily lives. Plain and Simple vividly recounts sojourns with two Amish families, visits during which Bender enters a world without television, telephone, electric light, or refrigerators; a world where clutter and hurry are replaced with inner quiet and calm ritual; a world where a sunny kitchen "glows" and "no distinction was made between the sacred and the everyday."

In nine interrelated chapters--as simple and elegant as a classic nine-patch Amish quilt--Bender shares the quiet power she found reflected in lives of joyful simplicity, humanity, and clarity. The fast-paced, opinionated, often frazzled Bender returns home and reworks her "crazy-quilt" life, integrating the soul-soothing qualities she has observed in the Amish, and celebrating the patterns in the Amish, and celebrating the patterns formed by the distinctive "patches" of her own life.

Charmingly illustrated and refreshingly spare, Plain and Simple speaks to the seeker in each of us.


The story of a harried Californian who was moved to go and live with the Amish and learn to appreciate their quiet and simple ways has charmed thousands of readers and, two years after its publication, continues to be dicovered, shared, and celebrated. Illustrations.

About the Author

Sue Bender is the author of Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish (HarperSanFrancisco). The book was a New York Times bestseller. A fascination with Amish quilts led Sue to live with the Amish in their seemingly timeless world, a landscape of immense inner quiet.This privilege, rarely bestowed upon outsiders, taught her about simplicity and commitment and the contentment that comes from accepting who you are.In this inspiring book, Bender shares the lessons she learned while in the presence of the Amish people.

In Everyday Sacred: A Woman's Journey Home (HarperSanFrancisco: now in its sixth printing), Bender speaks to our longing to make each day truly count.She chronicles her struggle to bring the joyful wisdom and simplicity she experienced in her sojourn with the Amish back to her hectic, too-much-to-do days at home. Bender discovers for herself, and in the process shows us, that small miracles can be found everywhere'in our homes, in our daily activities and, hardest to see, in ourselves.

Profiles and interviews with Ms. Bender, as well as book excerpts have been published in countless national publications including Reader's Digest, The Washington Post, Ladies' Home Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Utne Reader, and W Magazine. She has also appeared as a guest on dozens of radio and television shows.

Born in New York City, Sue Bender received her BA from Simmons College and her MA from the Harvard University School of Education. She taught high school in New York and English at the Berlitz School in Switzerland. She later earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley. During her active years as a family therapist, Bender was founder and Director of CHOICE: The Institute of the Middle Years. In addition to being an author and former therapist, Sue Bender is a ceramic artist and much sought after lecturer nationwide.She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband Richard, and is the mother of two grown sons.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

tmpting, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by tmpting)
I love quilts. What's not to love about something so warm & cozy, and beautiful, too? Just looking at the cover & reading the title told me that here was a book by a kindred spirit. Sue Bender succeeds in writing simply about her longing for, and her journey toward community; that sense of belonging we all crave. What better metaphor for community than the quilt; an assembly of small individual pieces of fabric into one, large, utilitarian whole?
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cpnmom66, July 31, 2008 (view all comments by cpnmom66)
I loved this book. I was at a point in my life where this book really spoke to me. It was about how we can look at others and yet understand ourselves better. I highly recommend it is a quick read. I was able to read in just a couple of days.
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Product Details

A Journey to the Amish
Bender, Sue
by Sue Bender
San Francisco :
Spirituality - General
Christianity - Amish
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
no. 90-119
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.50x6.00x.38 in. .58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Religious
History and Social Science » Americana » Amish and Shaker Communities
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
Humanities » Mythology » Womens
Religion » Christianity » Amish, Mennonite, and Hutterite
Religion » Christianity » Miscellaneous Denominations
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Denominations

Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish (Ohio) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 176 pages HarperSanFrancisco - English 9780062501868 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The story of a harried Californian who was moved to go and live with the Amish and learn to appreciate their quiet and simple ways has charmed thousands of readers and, two years after its publication, continues to be dicovered, shared, and celebrated. Illustrations.

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