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What Are You Reading? LASL Asks Other Bloggers

By: Everett S

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. Their responses are below, and we’re welcoming book recommendations in the comments section too.


Lisa Steel of Fresh Eggs DailyLisa Steele: Fresh Eggs Daily

Lisa is a blogger and author of Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising happy, healthy chickens… naturally.

What was the last book you finished reading?
Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor by Suzanne McMinn

What are you currently reading?
Put an Egg on It: 70 Delicious Dishes that Deserve a Sunny Topping by Lara Ferroni

What’s next up on your reading list?
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What you Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch by Jennifer Reese

What is your favorite homesteading, voluntary simplicity, or gardening book of all time?
Homegrown and Homemade: A Practical Guide to more Self-Reliant Living by Deborah Niemann


Mike and ErinErin Kelly: Blue Yurt Farms

Erin and her partner Mike blog about their adventures moving from the the Big Apple to the Blue Ridge. Erin is author of So, You Want to Live in a Yurt?

What was the last book you finished reading?
One-Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats, and a Fine Fiddle by Jenna Woginrich

What are you currently reading?
The American Frugal Housewife (free ebook) by Lydia Maria Francis Child

What’s next up on your reading list?
We’re considering getting a llama to guard sheep in the spring. Perhaps Storey’s Guide to Raising Llamas by Gale Birutta

What is your favorite homesteading, voluntary simplicity, or gardening book of all time?
I’ve probably gotten the MOST out of Natural Homestead: 40+ Recipes for Natural Critters & Crops by Jill Winger. I also recommend The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency by Anna Hess.


Sam BurnsSam Burns: Runamuk Acres

Sam(antha) is a freelance writer and professional beekeeper from Anson, Maine. She sells raw honey, and various beeswax products from Runamuk Acres.

What was the last book you finished reading?
Attracting Native Pollinators by the Xerces Society

What are you currently reading?
The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

What’s next up on your reading list?
The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer by Joel Salatin

What is your favorite homesteading, voluntary simplicity, or gardening book of all time?
I’d have to say my all-time favorite, and most-used homesteading-related book is Sally Jean Cunningham’s Great Garden Companions, though Elliot Coleman’s Four-Season Harvest was an eye-opener for me.


Anna Picking StrawberriesAnna Hess: Walden Effect

Anna and her partner Mark blog about trailorsteading on their 8-year-old homestead in rural Virginia. Anna is author of The Weekend Homesteader, Trailorsteading, and several other great books, including her recent memoirs from the beginning of her homesteading journey, Growing Into a Farm.

What was the last book you finished reading?
I read a lot of fluff to go along with my homesteading fare, and my most recent guilty pleasure was The Shadow Society, by Marie Rutkoski.  Not long ago I finished Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E. F. Schumacher.

What are you currently reading?
The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk.  I highly recommend this book, which is tied with Paradise Lot as my favorite homesteading-related read of 2013.

What’s next up on your reading list?
Probably Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard, but other books sitting in the to-read stack include RFD (a gift from my father); Sissinghurst (a gift from my mother); It’s a Long Road to a Tomato; Gaia’s Garden (which I’m in the middle of); Meanwhile, Next Door to the Good Life; Hidden Nature (a gift from my sister); The Resilient Gardener; and Unlearn, Rewild (which I’m in the middle of). I’m clearly not reading fast enough!

What is your favorite homesteading, voluntary simplicity, or gardening book of all time?
That’s a tough one… Some that have stood the test of time include Mycelium Running, Edible Forest Gardens, Teaming with Microbes, Goat Song (just for fun), Introduction to Permaculture, Gardening When it Counts, The Winter Harvest Handbook, Perennial Vegetables, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock, and The Holistic Orchard.


Heather OCainHeather O’Cain: The Hippy Gardener

Heather is author of The Hippy Gardener blog, where she writes about organic gardening, traditional cooking and natural living.

What was the last book you finished reading?
The Gardening Notebook by Angi Schneider

What are you currently reading?
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) by Angela England

What’s next up on your reading list?
Natural Birth Stories eBook by Shannon Brown (reviewing for fellow blogger)

What is your favorite homesteading, voluntary simplicity, or gardening book of all time?
Hrmm… That’s a tough question. But honestly I would have to say that even though I’m not yet finished reading it, Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is becoming my favorite.  It’s really the first one I’ve read that is written from the perspective of living in a neighborhood with small lots and farming on it.  The Backyard Homestead would be a close 2nd.

We’d like to offer a big thanks to everyone who participated! This has been a fun and informative post to put together, and I’ve definitely added a few new ones to my own reading list.

For good measure I’m throwing in our own reads, though they might change after checking out some of the books above…

Everett SizemoreEverett Sizemore: Living A Simple Life

Just a guy trying to live out his version of the American Dream.

What was the last book you finished reading?
The last book I finished was Integral Life Practice, but I thought it was terrible. I have this problem where I tend to push through books I don’t like (e.g. Moby Dick). The previous book, which I enjoyed, was Eli the Good by Silas House. The last homesteading-type book was probably The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips.

What are you currently reading?
Diary of Darkness and Light by Carrie Klees; Growing Into a Farm by Anna Hess; The Book of Secrets by Osho, and Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C.G. Jung.

What’s next up on your reading list?
I have an entire shelf in the bedroom waiting to be read, but I’d like to share the ones I’ve found from reading this post. I’m going to be ordering these, thanks to the contributors above: Unlearn, Rewild; Restoration Agriculture; Paradise Lot; and The Resilient Farm.

What is your favorite homesteading, voluntary simplicity, or gardening book of all time?
Homesteading: The Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing
Voluntary Simplicity: Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau
Gardening: Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening

Runners-Up since I had such a tough time choosing (sorry other contributors!) are:
Stalking the Wild Asparagus (Euell Gibbons); Animal Vegetable Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver); Everything I Want to Do is Illegal (Joel Salatin); Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan); We Took to the Woods (Louise Rich Dickinson); Putting Food By (Greene, Hertzberg, Vaughan); Homeowner’s Complete Guide to the Chainsaw (Brian and Jen Ruth); Story’s Basic Country Skills (John and Martha Storey); Garden Insects of North America (Whitney Cranshaw); Four Season Harvest (Eliot Coleman); The One-Straw Revolution (Masanobu Fukuoka)…


Audrey Lynne BrookeAudrey Brooke: Living A Simple Life

A freelance writer and photographer who blogs about voluntary simplicity and delicious recipes on LASL.

What was the last book you finished reading?
An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

What are you currently reading?
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (2nd time) and C.G. Jung’s The Earth Has A Soul

What’s next up on your reading list?
The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is your favorite homesteading, voluntary simplicity, or gardening book of all time?
Storey’s Country Wisdom and Know-How; Coop by Michael Perry; Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim At Tinker Creek; Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn; The Cook’s Herb Garden by Jeff Cox & Marie-Pierre Moine

Also check out our list of homesteading, back-to-the-land, rural skills, foodie, self-sufficiency books (which I need to update), and this post about building book shelves with apple crates if you need a place to store all of these great books! Please share your own favorite reads in the comments below if you have more to add.

Everett buried in books.

Category: Book Reviews, Reviews, Roundups, The Transplants

Comments (4)

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  1. Kat says:

    As someone who doesn’t have a homstead of their own (I live in a MIL unit on my parents 1/5 acre property in Orange Co CA, but they let me do a lot with the yard)

    Most recently I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover. It was a wonderful book and it reminded me of just how much one can do to get involved in their food cycle. It was a lovely book and it reminded me of the importance of eating seasonally regardless of if you’re harvesting your own or purchasing from the market.

    Next up for me are Mini Farming: Self Sufficency on 1/4 an acre by Brett Markham and Gias Garden by Toby Hemingway.

    The books that I am always referring back to are Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening and the Encyclopedia of Country living. These are must have reference books for me. I especially love Welsh’s book as it is a month by month guide of what should be done in the garden specifically for Southern California. A lot of other general gardening books offer me very little help because our climate is so different. (I live in a place with no frost date!)

    Everyone has got a lot of great suggestions so I have a big ole list to take to the library next time. :)

  2. mike vallano says:

    Wow, quite the list. As a newbie on the genre, I recently read two books based on similar books I saw on your previous list:

    Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land by Kurt Timmermeister.

    This book was sometimes maddening but always entertaining, and really painted a picture of what running a farm is like. I coincidentally was reading about pig butchering while I was in Nicaragua as I watched a pig being butchered in the front yard across the street from me. It was crazy timing, but really brought the story to life. As a vegetarian, I had mixed emotions, but emotions nonetheless.

    Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own by Jenna Woginrich.

    I really liked this book–I read it in 3 days. The author writes about her struggles and successes trying to get her own farm going. This woman *really* likes farming.

    I’m looking forward to checking out some on this list!

  3. I read “You Can Farm” by Joel Salatin… good but a bit preachy.
    My favorite and winter fireside staple for the past 7 years is John Seymour’s “The Complete Guide To Self Sufficiency.”

  4. Everett says:

    Nice blog you got there Eric!

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