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Barbara Ann Kipfer

Author of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About

62+ Works 3,276 Members 62 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Barbara Ann Kipfer is an archaeologist, lexicographer, hiker, former sportswriter, and author of more than 65 books and calendars.

Works by Barbara Ann Kipfer

14,000 Things to Be Happy About (1990) 677 copies, 10 reviews
Flip Dictionary (2000) 236 copies, 4 reviews
8,789 Words of Wisdom (2001) 167 copies, 1 review
The Wish List (1997) 151 copies, 2 reviews
Instant Karma (2003) 100 copies, 2 reviews
Word Nerd (2007) 100 copies, 3 reviews
The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference (2011) 32 copies, 1 review
Dictionary of Artifacts (2007) 17 copies
5001 Things for Kids to Do (2000) 13 copies
Kipfer's Lists (2010) 1 copy

Associated Works

Roget's International Thesaurus (1852) — Editor, some editions — 3,885 copies, 30 reviews
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus (1992) — some editions — 1,159 copies, 2 reviews
The Concise Roget's International Thesaurus (5th Edition) (1986) — some editions — 242 copies, 2 reviews
Roget's thesaurus of phrases (2000) — some editions — 91 copies, 1 review
Roget's descriptive word finder (2003) — some editions — 81 copies


Common Knowledge



Being in nature and observing the natural world can help you ground your thoughts and get a sense of your place in the world.

I don't know why I keep trying meditation books because I can never still my mind enough to meditate. Nevertheless, sometimes I do think it wouldn't hurt to try and slow down a little, and some guided meditations can at least help.

This book, however, was not that. It jumped from topic to topic to topic, ending up being far more stream of conscious than I myself usually am when listening to an audiobook. Some topics would be revisited at other points, so I'm not sure why the various threads weren't tied together in one place. Other topics felt like sidebars (and perhaps they were in the print version) and therefore were just random thoughts there and then gone again. Literally, there's a minute about Zen gardens followed by 30 seconds about how neat it is that bananas come in their own handy package. Huh? What does that have to do with anything?

Also, when I do seek out meditation books, I usually go for those that are generally secular. This one made no mention of being anything but secular (in fact, the "through nature" part made me think it would be more secular than most), but it is very clearly rooted in Buddhism. That's not a bad thing per se for some readers, but it wasn't what I was seeking. There's also mentions of other religious traditions including Hinduism and Jainism at various points.

In general, it was just a little too "woo-woo" for my tastes. For instance, at one point the author mentions sitting down to your meal and asking the food to nourish you. Sorry, but no amount of pleading will make McDonald's nourish you; meanwhile, healthy meals will be beneficial whether you talk to the food or not. Earlier the author mentioned being mindful before eating a meal and thinking about all the steps that went into getting the food before you. This seems more reasonable to me, but as mentioned above, these two thoughts are nowhere near each other but thrown out hours apart from one another seemingly as asides. It's like there's no time to actually slow down and focus with this book, which is very much the opposite of meditation.

Some of the advice the author gives seems useful but also kind of obvious. For instance, she says that even when you are busy and stuck indoors, take a few minutes to yourself to look outside and observe nature. And at another time, she advises parking further away from your destination when shopping or doing other errands so you can walk across the parking lot and use that for a few meditative moments. These are helpful hints, but not exactly groundbreaking.

Other times, her advice was so bizarre that I found myself literally talking aloud to the book due to its absurdity. For example, at one point she says to let go of the idea of your car being clean because it rains every time you go to the car wash anyway so you might as well not have that stress on you. What? I've had my car for 16 years and never brought it to a car wash ever, but when I think about the things that cause me stress, that isn't even on the list at all. It was such a strange thing to say.

Also, as you may have noticed from some of these examples, very little of this book has much to do about nature anyway. All in all, it was a weird experience to listen to a book supposedly about natural meditation that was instead just jumping around in this author's random thoughts about literally everything she could think of from laundry detergent to candles and more. I don't even necessarily disagree with many of her beliefs, but she spent more time talking about being environmentally conscious, eating less meat and processed food, and so on than talking about how to meditate and/or providing meditative guidance.

On the plus side, the audiobook narrator did have the perfect soothing voice to put the reader at ease without lulling them into sleep. Too bad she didn't have a better book to read that might have actually been beneficial.
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sweetiegherkin | Nov 12, 2023 |
This book was both too specific and too general at the same time. The chapters were incredibly short and breezed through concepts and examples. Which might be fine for someone with linguistic knowledge but I needed more to sink my teeth into.

Read 56 pages (per Nancy Pearl's rule).
Bodagirl | 1 other review | Nov 9, 2022 |
This is a fun guide book. During the current state of events in present day, this book helps to provide entertainment. It is a book that the whole family can have fun with. Who knew there were so many things to do. A lot of them get you outside.

This book is a good bonding one. There are so many ideas like teach someone to cook your favorite dish, or there is write backwards. How about go on a secret mission. Some of the ideas were really silly but funny. Like I did not know there is thirteen ways to fold a napkin. Cat lovers. Why not rig a cat feeding device. There are tons more things to be found in this book. So, pick up a copy today and start having fun without electronic devices.… (more)
Cherylk | Nov 24, 2020 |


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