Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother (MennoMedia, March 2016)

Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family’s life on the snowy plains of Ontario.

The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.

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  • Simple Pleasures is a breath of fresh air! It’s simplicity is equally beautiful as it is normal. I enjoyed this read, tremendously!

  • Marianne Jantzi shares stories of her personal life as an Amish mother in an Amish community. Each detail of her book gives a vividly painted mental picture of simple pleasures found among the plain world. I loved it. The book reminded me of stories my grandmother would tell about her childhood. A true joy to read!

  • Marianne Jantzi’s Simple Pleasures provides readers the opportunity for a glimpse into the life of an Amish mother and wife.

    Although the author provides some organization of the writings into various aspects of her life, the book is not presented in flowing narrative. Instead, she writes in snippets of information and thoughts, much like she might share in a journal or in conversations with a friend sitting at the table in her kitchen. Joys and challenges of motherhood, details of daily routine, and unexpected events are all mixed in with insights and inspirational thoughts about her Plain life and the God she serves.

  • Simple Pleasures by Marianne Jantzi was a good book to read. I enjoyed this book, but it was slower for me, and it isn’t one that I would want to read again.

  • I am intrigued by the Amish community. I read a lot of Amish fiction novels and I know a lot of them are not completely based in reality so it is nice to be able to have books like Simple Pleasures to really get a good look into the lives of these fascinating people. What I learned from Simple Pleasures is that the Amish are not all that different from us. Sure they don’t use electronics or cars or other modern day conveniences, but they do have many of the same challenges as your average parent.

  • SIMPLE PLEASURES is a memoir written by an Amish mom about motherhood and Amish life. It has a lot of fun stuff in it, such as having the kids try to help her clean the house and making more of a mess, and dealing with grumpy kids.

    I have enjoyed SIMPLE PLEASURES and I recommend it to those interested in Amish life, mothers (and the similarities and/or differences between Englisch moms and Amish moms, and those who love memoirs.

  • What a fun glimpse into the life of a young Amish family! Marianna Jantzi does a fun job of writing about the every day goings on with her young family and helping to run a shoe store.

  • This book exceeded my expectations. . . I loved how Jantzi took the time to write down instances that we so often overlook, such as her young son pointing out a “praying” squirrel who was really just holding a nut to his mouth with his two paws. That is something that in our society we may laugh at, but then pass over.

  • This book is a endearing and heartfelt book. Readers will enjoy going through the day with Marianne Jantzi and hearing the stories from her life. This is non-fiction but really allows readers to see what the Amish culture is like without all the “fiction” getting in the way.

  • I’ve always been fascinated by the Amish way of life, so it was delightful to read about the daily life of a young Amish mother from her own perspective. Surprisingly, it sounds much like the life of any mother: raising children who are both adorable and exasperating, preparing meals, cleaning and housework, and making a living with her husband. Of course, Jantzi has to make it all work without electricity, computers, television or phones, which raises my admiration for her! But she also seems to have the ability to look on the bright side. Several times, she admits that she’s having a tough time, but then she realizes how blessed she is and focuses on gratitude rather than complaining. This book would make a perfect gift for a young mother.

  • I absolutely loved the simplicity of what you’ll find inside. Just like opening an Amish journal and who would have ever guessed that there are Amish in Canada? I love getting an honest look at how wonderful these communities are and how they aren’t as put together as some fiction books might have you believe. They are just as real as you and I without all the modern conveniences.

  • This book is full of brief snippets and stories of the life of one Amish family. When I was reading it, it felt very similar to reading a blog of a good friend, if that makes sense. The stories are easily read and short. I was really surprised by how much I connected with Marianne.

  • Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother is a wonderful addition to this series. It is simply the everyday life of an Amish wife and mother-nothing spectacular. But to those of us who are fascinated with the Amish lifestyle, it is a rare look into their lives.

  • This book, Simple Pleasures, by Marianne Jantzi, is a wonderful reminder to to savor the every day moments that make up a life filled with love. Her stories are short and sweet and filled with a tangled web of memories that we all so often feel and experience.

  • Moments says:

    This book is a cross between a diary, a journal and a collection of short stories all collected together. I loved reading this book as it offered an honest perspective, but also “normalized” the Amish lifestyle, meaning that Amish mothers are facing many of the same struggles that “English” mothers face.

  • Marianne Jantzi’s book answered many questions I had about Amish life, and it’s an important work to be added to Amish book collections. Young children can be both exhausting and endearing, and I love how she takes the time to listen and record their conversations. I especially enjoyed reading about her gardening experiences and how she provides healthy meals for her family from her own backyard. Her book would make a wonderful gift for new mothers and for anyone interested in Amish living.

  • This was an interesting book of Amish life. The benefit is that it is a book that you can pick up for a short amount of time because you can read a passage of two quickly and then move on to other tasks you need to do. Although this book illustrates the reasons that all of us are going through the same struggles of messy closets, crazy child antics and never having enough hours!

  • Simple Pleasures is a joy to read. Marianne Jantzi speaks of real life – real day-to-day events, not fiction, not storytelling, but real, honest-to-goodness happenings. I could tell . . . most of the stories are too funny, too sad, or too deep – to be made up.

  • 1 Six 1 Five says:

    Simple Pleasures was a very interesting look into the world and life of young Amish mother, Marianne Jantzi. This would be a great book for those like myself who are tired of Amish fiction and want something from the perspective of a woman who actually lives the lifestyle.

  • While reading Simple Pleasures I couldn’t help but notice how similar the author’s challenges and parenting struggles were with mine. She struck a chord with me. I had been fed, for the most part, only half truths about the Amish. In the media their lives were portrayed as somewhat idealistic. Marianne Jantzi opened my eyes to a more revealing and honest account of how the life of an Amish mother really is. Her book is an authentic and true-life tale from slices of her life. She is very open on what she feels and she tells her story how it actually is.

  • Join Marianne Jantzi on her stores of Simple Pleasures as an Amish mother and wife. Let it remind you of the many simple treasures in your life. You’ll read this like Marianne’s an old friend. Her stories are letters to you and I, a way for friends to communicate. Full of laughter and life.

  • Marianne writes in an easy conversational style detailing her days as an Amish housewife. She talks of daily chores, mishaps with the children, baking, and general family life. It’s written in a conversational style almost as if she were sending a newsy letter to a family member or friend.

  • “Simple Pleasures” was like sitting down having coffee with Marianne. I love this book and found it completely refreshing to know that we are not alone in our struggles. Great book that I would recommend to anyone.

  • A Rup Life says:

    Written in more of a diary form it is an interesting look in to this woman’s life. I wish she had gone a bit deeper with back story because occasionally I got lost to where we were. Mind you this reads like a mother’s personal thoughts about her family that she pens for her own enjoyment.I enjoyed the moments when Jantzi reflected on her role as a Mom and reminded herself how God gave her that gift to care for her family. I often need that reminder when in the thick of tough mommy days.

  • This book was a little hard for me to get into for some reason. Its a series of short very short stories about friends coming to visit, the authors kids and husband. Its allover the place. The stories were a great way to get to know this Amish lady and her family. She was for the most part an open book with her stories. I loved her kids from the start.

  • Simple Pleasures by Marianne Jantzi feels like sitting down and reading a letter from a cherished friend. Anecdotal glimpses into her life as a mom, a wife, a sister, and an Amish woman provide a delightful way to spend a few hours curled up in your favorite reading spot. Though I am neither Amish nor a mom, I was easily able to relate to Marianne’s life because we do share two important things – womanhood and faith in Jesus.

  • The writing is done in a very simple style. These days, the wordy, poetical style of writing is becoming more and more popular, and one has to wade through hundreds of words that circle around a topic. I’m left wondering, more often than not, what the author is actually trying to say. At least with this book, I knew exactly what was being said, and it was refreshing. That said, the writing style does take a little time to get used to.

  • For those who love to read Amish fiction, you will enjoy reading about the everyday life of a real Amish family. The Author shares how her family manages home and work. She shares how her community handle caring for their own, weddings and holding church services. This is an enjoyable read. Also enjoy the family recipes the author graciously shares with the readers.
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

  • I was so impressed with this book and it was so wonderful to see how much her faith played a part in her life and got her through the hard times. She enjoys the every day things like the bird singing and the sunshine – just like I do. I’m not sure why I didn’t realize that she would live very similar to me or feel the same way about things. It was really a great book and a wonderful look into the life of a real Amish woman and her family.

  • Joyce Maree says:

    As a stay at home mom myself I could relate how Marianne would try to make even mundane every day things seem entertaining. I felt like a little mouse in the corner of her house, I enjoyed crawling into her world and learning of their customs and traditions. I always say simple is best…but simple isn’t necessarily easy is it? She views the world a lot like I do. I think perhaps we could be friends if we were to meet. Her moral compass keeps her in check by consistently focusing on her blessings. I enjoyed spending time reading her book.

  • I’ve always been fascinated by Amish life-even put them on pedestal because of all they can do while I’m trying to survive motherhood on caffeine and Cheerios. “Simple Pleasures” made me realize-it doesn’t matter what kind of life you come from the struggles will always be there. What matter is how you choose to chase after the joy. Love love loved this. Simple and beautiful-it was like being a fly on the wall. Highly recommend.

  • Loved this book of snippets of life as an Amish mother. I’ve always been curious about what life was like for the Amish, but the theme in this book is strongly “family” and the bond of family love that runs through the good the bad and the every day. A lovely and engaging read!

  • Loved her thoughts when she admitted as a school girl she loved going back to school, and leaving the endless work behind, but in the end as an adult she enjoyed doing all the cooking, cleaning, gardening, canning, etc. If you have an interest in Amish family life, don’t miss this chance to really be absorbed into their home.

  • Marianne Jantzi shares stories of her personal life as an Amish mother in an Amish community. Each detail of her book gives a vividly painted mental picture of simple pleasures found among the plain world. I loved it. The book reminded me of stories my grandmother would tell about her childhood. A true joy to read!

  • Marianne shows her love of Jesus, family, and life in her words. She takes time to be thankful and reflect on her blessings, which is what I think we should all do.

  • I enjoyed this book. It has mostly one paragraph snippets that are about her life, her family, and her community. I really got a feel for the person she is by the words she used. What I enjoyed is seeing that the those who are plain are really no different than Englishers in most ways…

  • WV Stitcher says:

    The author shares the ups and downs, while also allowing me to sense her strong sense of faith and family. I think anyone who wants a true look at how an Amish family lives will certainly enjoy reading this story. It’s the magic of the ordinary days of her life that she shares with us that makes this book so special.

  • First, I felt like the flow of the book was a bit rough. I know that the book is Jantzi’s journal moved into book format. However, I felt like it was hard for me to follow for that reason. The stories and tidbits shared were at times jumbled and didn’t flow well. What I loved about this book is that Jantzi was honest. She talked about their life in the Amish culture and she didn’t sugar coat it. She shared about highs and lows in their lives. She shared about day to day movements of her family of 6 and I truly enjoyed that.

  • Marianne Jantzi is an Amish homemaker with children about the same ages as mine. I enjoyed her stories that were parts of her journal entries. It flows differently than most books because it is grouped together based on themes, not necessarily in order of events.

  • I am finding this book to be a delightful read. Since it is compiled mostly from Marianne’s journals, it is a bit like reading excerpts from her diaries. This gives you snippets of her life as a young Amish mother, to which any young mother can relate. Reading this book has somewhat inspired me to get back in to writing in my own journal/diary.

  • I enjoy reading Amish fiction, but this is real life! And that, simply cannot be put into the same category. Somehow these stories of a real life among the plain folk goes so far above and beyond what we see in Amish fiction.

  • I enjoyed this book very much and happily recommend it. Marianne Jantzi is a good writer and I very much enjoyed learning about her community and getting to know her family. This would make a great Mother’s Day gift.

  • This book is a delightful little peek into the life of a young Amish Mother who makes it abundantly clear that life for Mother’s no matter where you are, Amish or not can be challenging and is a full time job. It is also a great reminder to find the simple pleasures in life so as not to miss out. Written in a straightforward manner, at times a bit choppy, this book is none the less a good read. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • Simple Pleasures: Stories from My Life as an Amish Mother was written and shared to display authentic view and insight from an Amish person living in an Amish community. But I’ll be honest–I simply related to Marianne as a mom! Here is a woman juggling a business, running a household, raising four children, doing life with her husband, and carving out time to write. I love (LOVE!) how universal those roles are for moms. Yes, we may have different lifestyles and ways of doing things, but at the core we are far more similar than I had ever had thought about prior to reading this book.

  • Marianne has a lovely writing style, very enjoyable to read, and very easy to get lost in their world. And the best part is that this is not fiction, this is their real life!

  • Mom’s all over the world will enjoy this book. The author shows just what everyday life is like in an Amish family. But the strange thing is that their lives aren’t as different from the lives we all lead as we think. She points out humorous moments. And there moments that cause great reflections.

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