Right before I left to spend spring break in Savannah, I had gotten this book in the mail. I was sent a review copy of "Take Off Your Shoes" by Ben Feder, and it immediately caught my attention after reading what it was about. I read it over my vacation, taking in chapters between checking out the city, bonfires, and hiking.
"Take Off Your Shoes" is a non-fiction account of Ben Feder's sabbatical. Finding himself caught up in the high-stakes corporate rat race that millions of people can relate to, he saw how it was having a negative impact on his family life and on himself. He and his wife decided to take a lengthy sabbatical in Bali, and he shares in this book how that time was spent.
I remained interested in Ben's story throughout. I loved reading about what his family was doing during the sabbatical, how it was changing who they were, and how it was bringing their family closer together. I loved reading about the Green School that the kids were attending and how refreshing of a place it sounded to be. I even went online to look it up and see pictures of it, because in his writing it just seemed so neat (and the pictures confirmed that indeed it is really neat).
Reading this book, I almost feel like I took a short sabbatical with the Feder family and lived vicariously through them and their experiences. Taking a sabbatical is something most of us would love, but never make a reality. To read the account of a family who did just that was fascinating to me. Stepping away from a successful corporate position to make family and personal growth a higher priority is amazing and inspiring. I loved how Ben sought not only to take time off, but to strive for change, self improvement, and growth. He undertook learning yoga, meditation, and drawing in a dedicated way, which was something I found admirable. Not only did he share his experiences in learning these skills, but he brought the reader along with him, so that learned of their benefits and nuances as well.
From the moment they made the decision to take a sabbatical, all through it, and once it was over, I was hooked. I loved this book. It's well written, interesting, insightful, and inspiring. Two thumbs way up for "Take Off Your Shoes" by Ben Feder. I highly recommend reading this book. You won't be disappointed.
- Jacqueline Bodnar