Adventures in Contentment by David Grayson

This book was written in 1907 and it was then briefly summed up as “The cheerful philosophizings of a young man who turns to nature and farm life to regain his health.” It is a story of a man who turns away from the busyness of life in the city and goes in search of contentment and finds it on a farm.

It is a perfectly charming book. Grayson writes eloquently about farm life and its charms. The people he meets, the friends he makes and the things he learns. Many, many people have written on this theme, particularly in recent years, but what made this book so interesting to me is that it was written more than a hundred years ago and yet it sounds so contemporary. It is easy to relate to the things he talks about because those are the very things that concern us today. Hundred years on, our problems are still the same…

What drew me to the book apart from the quality of writing which is excellent is the fact that Grayson is a man with a lot of interesting opinions. For example:

“Have you ever had anyone give you up as hopeless? And is it not a pleasure? It is only after people resign you to your fate that you really make friends of them. For how can you win the friendship of one who is trying to convert you to his superior beliefs?”


“It sometimes seems to me that the more worshipful I feel, the less I want to go to church…”


“A great book either makes us want to do things, to go fishing, or fight harder or endure more patiently…or it takes us out of ourselves and beguiles us for a time with the friendship of completer lives than our own.”

and finally,

“The great point of advantage in the life of the country is that if a man is in reality simple, if he love true contentment, it is the place of all places where he can live his life most freely and fully…”


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