I recommend having this book with you if you're shopping to buy a house. It has the clearest information on the external environment. There's an especially good section on how the element of your house (or lot) interacts with the larger landscape of your area. Many books have tried to present this very complicated information in an understandable way. But trying and succeeding are very different things. Sharp has succeeded with a rare lucidity, so much so that what seemed complicated before will seem simple now. When he explains the Taoist teaching of the five elements, he doesn't belabor trying to teach you Taoism. He just gets right to how it affects your environment. Here's his explanation for why a Water-type house in a larger Metal environment is one of the best that you could hope for: "As metal generates water, this means the accumulation of wealth and continued prosperity." He also explains Water-type buildings as "distinguished by their asymmetry and irregularity, a fluid shape, and the use of Water-type materials, such as glass." The basic chi that ever first comes into our lives, does so under the influence of the larger environment. Do not underestimate its importance!
Conari Press is renown for their "gift-type" books and Simple Feng Shui certainly has a strikingly pleasant design and feel. I would have expected them to have caught the glaring typo in the very first line of the book. The material presented is absolutely top-notch, and deserves better than a publisher's mistake on the very first line.
One other small complaint is that the chart on page 22 of the interior and exterior wall represented by animals from Chinese astrology has sections labeled C, D, E, and F with no explanation. There really should be some explaining text somewhere concerning these letters. This oversight should have been caught by an editor.
Conari Press, Berkeley CA, (800) 685-9595, www.conari.com, 1999, 1-57324-157-1, 112 pages, drawings, hardback, $13.95.