The leaves are drying out and fall is nearly over around here. I’m looking forward to lots of winter evenings in my favorite chair by the fire reading a good book. Last week I reached out to some of our favorite bloggers and some folks who follow this blog to get some new book ideas. […]
Category: Book Reviews
Homesteading and voluntary simplicity book reviews from readers and authors of Living A Simple Life.
The full title of this hardcover coffee-table style book is Hometown Memories… Outhouse Spiders and Tin Tub Baths: Tales From the Good Old Days in the Blue Ridge Mountains . My, what a mouthful! But this book lives up to every letter of that title. I can’t recommend it enough.
Those first old-timers – like the wise, hardened and completely lovable Aunt Arie and the cantankerous, ornery moonshiner Simmie Free – were already on the verge of extinction back then and can only be listened to and learned from in the pages of those first Foxfire books.
The geography and Blue Ridge Mountain culture had a visceral effect on me that I can’t quite explain, except to say that it just felt like… home.
A+ for The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City. I really do like the book that much. If you want to live a simpler life but happen to live in the city/suburbs, you will too.
I made my first successful batch of hard cheese over the weekend to use up some surplus milk. The recipe I used came from Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses.
There is something very alluring about building your own home out of stone. Perhaps it has to do with the longevity of a stone house, or the sense of security provided by thick stone walls, or maybe it’s just the rugged, natural look of well-done stone masonry. Whatever the reason, this ancient art-form and skill has been largely lost over a few generations of “fake” stone builders who use veneers glued onto wood and metal mesh instead of full-sized stone. But I found two do-it-yourselfers named Tom who are keeping the craft alive in their own modern way using slipforms.
On a scale of 1-5 we’d give this book a 4.5. Some of the information is a bit too technical for some people, while other parts of the book are a bit too entry-level for others. The Solar Living Sourcebook seeks to strike a balance and provide a general overview of sustainable living concepts while not glossing over every topic. We think they have managed to do this quite well.
All-in-all, I set out to get one book and ended up spending about $180 USD on a miniature library for a city-slicker who wants to give up the rat race and head out to the country. I spent hours pouring over user ratings and reviews, and here are the books I ended up buying.