Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, September 26, 2011

On the bookshelf this week

I'm making my way through a bunch of books and thought I'd share with you what I'm currently reading.

1. The Wisdom of the Radish: and other lessons learned on a small farm, by Lynda Hopkins. Two ex-suburbanites move to the country to grow crops, raise chickens and sell the fruits of their labor at the local farmer's market. It first starts out sounding all pastoral and idyllic but ends in disaster with crop failures, worm infestations and a flood. I'm about midway through this one and, for some reason, I'm finding the writing kind of annoying. Hopefully that will change.

2. The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure. This one is kind of self-explanatory but suffice it to say, it describes the author's childhood obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I got this book last week and finished it over the weekend. A few parts drag a little bit, but for the most part, I'm loving this book. The writing is crisp and humorous and the content is highly enjoyable. I learned a ton about the seedier side of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life.

3. Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, by Eric Brende. Just re-reading through this one again for the book club, which starts this Wednesday.

4. See You in a Hundred Years: Discover One Young Family's Search for a Simpler Life... Four Seasons of Living in the Year 1900 by Logan Ward. I just got this one from the library, but it's got some great reviews. It sounds like Better Off, minus the Amish.

From Publisher's Weekly: Manhattan freelance writer Ward and his wife, Heather, faced a steep learning curve when they abandoned harried, technology-driven lives for a year not just in the country but in the country as it was a century ago.

Their mantra was, If it didn't exist in 1900, we will do without, and they did—no electricity, no telephone, no computer. This breezy account of their stubbornly quixotic odyssey begins in June 2000, with Logan exhausted pumping water from a well, ineptly milking cantankerous goats and confronting his fear of a 2,000-pound Percheron, while Heather coped with the cooking stove's suffocating heat, her fear of snakes and hand-scrubbing two-year-old Luther's cloth diapers. Their garden, planted late, was soon parched by drought and plagued by pests, the most severe of several crises, since it was their winter food.

5. The Backyard Goat: An Introductory Guide to Keeping and Enjoying Pet Goats, from Feeding and Housing to Making Your Own Cheese by Sue Weaver. Okay, it's highly unlikely I'll be getting a backyard goat anytime soon, but I love reading about this stuff and hey, it was from the library. You just can't go wrong!

6. Best Slow and Easy Recipes: More than 250 Foolproof, Flavor-Packed Roasts, Stews, and Braises that let the Oven Do the Work from Cook's Illustrated. I'm still on the quest for easy weekday recipes using my slow cooker and this one has quite a few that I'll be trying out over the next few weeks so stay tuned for recipes and reports back.

As you can see, I'm mostly working through non-fiction these days. What are you currently reading?


CitricSugar said...

See You in a Hundred Years sounds like a show they did for the History Channel in 2000, Pioneer Quest: a Year in the Real West. Two couples went out for a year and had to built their own houses and live off the land, homestead-style. They were not allowed any technology from later than 1900 (save the videocameras). It was definitely interesting...

Michelle said...

Thanks for those titles, Crunchy! I've been working my way through Kathy Harrison's Just in Case, Carol Deppe's The Resilient Gardener, a couple of homesteading titles, a cookbook from Old Sturbridge Village, and two titles from Peggy Brill (regarding exercises to mitigate pain, back pain in my case). I was supposed to go to Sharon's yesterday to pick up some goats, my first (!), but one of her boys was sick, so we didn't go. This gives me time to request that Weaver book on goats :)

Crunchy Chicken said...

CitricSugar - I'll have to check that out, I couldn't find it on Netflix.

Michelle - Ah, baby goats! Too bad you couldn't pick them up yet.

CitricSugar said...

You might be able to find eps online (for free). It was a Canadian-produced show shot in Manitoba... If that helps.

Brandie said...

I'm reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I love it so far.

Anonymous said...

See, my problem is that I would read a book about goats and then go get one, even though I don't have the space or spousal cooperation...

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

I'm reading Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of a Nation, while I'm waiting for Salatin's new book, Folks, This Ain't Normal.