Sunday, January 2, 2011

what are you reading?

I'm reading The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball. It was a recommendation from a reader here, and very appreciated. So far it's been funny, bright, and warm. It's about two people living a life that I'm fairly certain is my exact definition of heaven: love on a draft-horse powered northern farm. Their impressive full-service, all-year, CSA ($2,900 a share!) feeds a hundred people everything from apples to bacon. Together this is their whole life, and while I am just a few chapters in I find myself relating so much to Kristin. She starts out the book in New York City but she gives in to her barnheart hard. She meets this knight in hay-strewn armor and so begins what I think is a true fairy tale. This is the story of the writer-turned-farmer, her man, and their land. Can't wait to get back to it...

In the comments section I'll add some other reading picks for winter, but I am more interested in what you guys have on your night stands and what books (farming related or not) are inspiring, warm, entertaining, and think others here would enjoy? Murder mysteries to how-to pamphlets know welcome here.


Blogger Sense of Home Kitchen said...

I am reading "The Children's Blizzard" by David Laskin. Appropriate since we just had a three day blizzard. I love reading about the history of homesteaders.


January 2, 2011 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Andi and Kurt said...

Iindulged this holiday season and read the whole book in just under 2 days (amid all the chores, etc that needed to be done). It's a great read! I also have a couple Wendell Berry books going, The Family Cow and 4 season gardening (or harvest) - I can't remember for sure.

January 2, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I love anything by Sarah Vowell, who's books on pop culture and history are as interesting as they are entertaining. I learned more about the Puritans in her "Wordy Shipmates" in a few hundred pages than I did in an entire college class on them. Not to mention her audiobooks are fantastic, with great guests readers. If you like history and sass: start with Assasination Vacation.

I'm a big fan of books about voluntary simplicity. Eric BRende's Better Off (lives with an Amish community for a year with his new wife) and See You in a Hundred Years (another couple reverts to 1900's America in Swoope Virginia) are both fluid, educational, and inspirational. Also, funny.

The World Made By Hand series by James Howard Kunstler was stimulating stuff. I read both in the series, and found the premise so interesting and their world so intriguing I would have to suggest them as well. I know he's a controversial figure, but so is Jon Katz (for very different reasons) and I still enjoy their books. The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, about Jon's first year with his new working dog Rose and his new sheep just twenty miles up the road was first read when I lived in Idaho. I had no idea, at all, I'd end up running into him at the farmer's market or Gardenworks on a regular basis.

This ones from left field, but the novel Fire Bringer by David Clement Davies was fantastic. It's a mix of Braveheart and the life of Jesus Christ...but with talking deer in ancient Scotland. I am not crazy. This would be the greatest CGI movie ever made if Cameron got his hands on it before Dances in Wolves in Space (AKA Avatar). If you loved Watership Down as a child, I just suggested your new favorite book.

And my favorite Novel ever written is Jack Keroaucs The Dharma Bums, which I probably read once a year and fall in love with Japhy Ryder every. single. time.

January 2, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished this book, Jenna. I was impressed by their passion into action, hard-work and determination. I don't think I could have undergone the lifestyle change she did with quite her immersion.

Right now I'm readying "Second Nature: A Gardener's Education" by Michael Pollan. So far kind of a Thoreau-meets-gardener read. He's a good writer, a crafter of words, so the reading is a pleasure.

I woke up to -28 today-- pipes frozen, but the mountains bathed in the glow of the rising sun. The price we pay for mountain life!

Have a great Sunday.

January 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I'm an avid reader so right now I'm reading Greg Key's Thorn and Bone series, Storey's Guide to Dairy Goats, an issue of Countryside and Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.

January 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Danette said...

After reading your book that my husband got me for Christmas (I couldn't put it down), I started in on "Prairie Feast, a writer's journey home for dinner" by Amy Jo Ehman. The writer and I are both from Saskatoon, SK (Canada) and she is giving away a lot of local info that I didn't even know existed! Wild Blueberry Fairs, locally grown lentils and split peas in Medstead, SK... It is an entertaining and lovely read!!!

January 2, 2011 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...

Easier than listing it all. Will add yours to the online TBR pile.

I read EVERYTHING - erotica to paranormal to fantasy to romance to romantic suspense, to mysteries (especially those written by non-north american authors), to non-fiction on a number of topics to - as long as the story is good and in the case of non-fiction relevant to me and what I am interested in .

January 2, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

At the moment I'm reading Permaculture, by David Holmgren. It's challenging, dense reading; definitely not escapist, and will probably require another reading in a year or so. That said, it's good. I'm trying to read through a bunch of the the chewier titles this winter, and save the light stuff for summer.

January 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Jason...etc said...

I finished Michael Perry's Coop while traveling home to Missouri for the holidays. Perry has a really familiar writing style and wonderful stories of farm life in Wisconsin. Now I'm working through Hal Borland's Hill Country Harvest; which is one of those books you can pick up and read a small section at a time, almost like a magazine or journal.

January 2, 2011 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Carissa said...

My fiance and I like to read books aloud to each other... We just finished World Made By Hand, which I read because of your recommendation and really enjoyed. Now we are reading Farmer Boy (I like to fill in the gaps in his classic children's literature!). It is very interesting to read two accounts of life in upstate New York several hundred years apart, but with similar access to technology.... And how much better people fared in Almanzo's time when they actually knew how to live in that world!

For myself, I just finished Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, which was an easy read and very inspiring. I love her list-making resolution keeping format.

Just started Joanna Macy's ecological/spiritual memoir Widening Circles.

And I'm about to start Joel Salatin's You Can Farm. I'm excited for that one!

The rest of my huge stack of library books is craft books: Crochet Adorned, Lotta Prints, Eco Books, Easy One Day Doilies, etc.

I will definitely have to check out The Dirty Life - sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the suggestions!

January 2, 2011 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

"Animal Vegetable Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver is a constant stand-by on my house. That, and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon!

January 2, 2011 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I'm currently reading an Amish series by Shelley Shepard Gray (Seasons of Sugarcreek) because it's based right near me!

January 2, 2011 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

I am alternating between Scent of the Missing,my search and rescue side, and Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal, my farmette side. I also have The Town That Food Saved and The Dirty Life, and The Seasons of Henry's Farm to get into next. Oh bring on another blizzard to read through.

January 2, 2011 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

I forgot, I'm halfway through In The City They Would Hear Me Scream.

January 2, 2011 at 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now, I'm working my way through my semi-annual rereading of "Living More with Less". It's good inspiration as I plan out my year and try to further simplify my life.

I'm also reading through "The River Cottage Cookbook" which is really so much more than just a cookbook, and gets at the heart of good, sustainable food production.

I haven't been reading a whole lot of fiction recently, but I'm slowly reading through Charles Frazier's "Thirteen Moons" - I'm not very far yet, but the writing is absolutely lovely.

Up next on the pile: The One Straw Revolution, The Not So Big Life, and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

January 2, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Velma Bolyard said...

leslie marmon silko's the turquoise ledge, and india flint's ecocolour

January 2, 2011 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Finished 'One Second After' last week and am in the middle of 'The End of Food' right now. (Scary stuff) I have 'A World Made By Hand' and 'Diary of A Wimpy Kid' on order. The second one's not for me, though. Honestly.

January 2, 2011 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Salad Bar Beef - Joel Salatin
True Horsemanship Through Feel - Bill Dorrance
Your Best Life Now - Joel Osteen

Just started Ranch Wife by Jo Jeffers - out of print book (1964) about a Stanford grad marries Arizona cattle rancher.

January 2, 2011 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Yart said...

Right now I'm into two books by Erin Bried. How to sew a button and other nifty things your grandmother knew & How to build a fire and other handy things your grandfather knew. They are both filled with practical information that has been lost on the last generation.

January 2, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have several books going right now. I am reading Food, Inc., a companion to the movie and Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind.

I like to have something educational and something fun going at the same time.

These are only a couple I have going. I usually have 2 or more going at once, not to mention the magazines I have.


January 2, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Green Homesteader said...

"A Fatal Grace" by Louise Penny and "A Small Death in the Great Glen" by A. D. Scott.

January 2, 2011 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Miss Music said...

I enjoy biographies, because truth is often stranger and more interesting than fiction.

I just finished reading "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?--The Carter Family & Their Legacy in American Music" by Mark Zwonitzer. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the origins of American music.

January 2, 2011 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

I am listening to an audiobook of 'The Element - How Finding your Passion Changes Everything" by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica. It's amazing and should be required reading for every student that has been 'labelled' by the educational system in terms of their IQ and their parents. If you choose the audio version, Ken Robinson is enjoyable to listen to. I am partway through 'Kabul Beauty School' by Deborah Rodriguez.
Interesting seeing what other people are reading.

January 2, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Turtle said...

i just finished Still Life with Chickens and enjoyed it. Before was Hit by a Farm. Thanks for the recommendations!

January 2, 2011 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Just finished "Choosing Simplicity" by Linda Breen Pierce. Working on "Practice Random Acts of Kindness" by the editors of "Random Acts of Kindness" and "A Woman's Guide to a Simpler Life" by Andrea Van Steenhouse. Next on my list are Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa At Home". It's all about nesting!

January 2, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Colleen Vanderlinden said...

I'm just about finished with "The Town that Food Saved" -- which I'm pretty sure I remember you mentioning here. It's a good read. I have a few gardening books I have to review, so I have got to get going on reading those. I will check out Sarah Vowell -- she sounds interesting.

I read "See You in a Hundred Years" a few weeks ago and liked it a lot.

January 2, 2011 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Anke said...

Currently I'm reading "Drums Of Autumn", the fourth book in the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon. I can highly recommend this series. Next up is "Sizzling Sixteen" by Janet Evanovitch. If you're in the mood for a light and fun read (and don't mind a few curse words) these 16 books are great.

January 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Aisha @The Bewitching Bibliophile said...

funny you should ask I'm actually reading your book!! Loving it too, i have so many ideas and have found myself laughing(chicken running away) and tearing up (huskies eating the birdies). Love it so far, thanks !! Happy new Year and Blessed Be

January 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger sash said...

I just started "Mary Ann in Autumn" by Armistead Maupin. It's a "Tales in the City" novel. Just a few pages in, and I'm reliving not only my own San Francisco days and dreams, but those of the beloved characters of these "tales." So fun!

January 2, 2011 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger ddu said...

Just finished Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" for about the third or fourth time. Love it!

January 2, 2011 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Rosa said...

I'm reading 'Making your small farm profitable' by Ron Macher.
I also wanted to apologize for not letting you know I did get your package a while back. (I did blog about it though. . .) I was so excited! And I REALLY appreciated the book you added (and signed!!)
Thank you so much!

January 2, 2011 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Amigo van Helical said...

I'm reading "Who's Your Place?" by Richard Florida. It's an interesting (well, to me, anyway) exploration of the importance of "place" in our lives. He claims that the places we choose to live -- urban or rural, high-tech or no tech -- are at least as important as who we live with and what we do for a living.

January 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was looking for somthing to start my year off and saw one listed "Living More with Less" that I will surely check out.

January 2, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Lynnanne said...

"Radical Homemakers - Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture" by Shannon Hayes.

Radical is a pretty interesting read, and loved "See You in a Hundred Years. "

January 2, 2011 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

That sounds like a great book! I'm putting it on my to-read list. Right now I'm reading "The World According to Bertie" from the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith. Very entertaining stuff!

I recently read "Creating a New Old House" which talks about building a new home to look old through specific foundational ideas. It's really fascinating stuff, especially if you don't want to live with the ancient plumbing and electricity but still want to live in a house with old bones.

I also love any of Rhys Bowen's books for good historical mysteries.

January 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I'm about 70 pages from finishing Michael Pollan's "A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams," a Christmas gift from my husband. It's really good! I think it's right up your alley, too. :) It's pretty cheap on Alibris:

January 2, 2011 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Sassidy Sparks said...

"Fire Bringer" is awesome. Very good book.Along those same lines is "Solo's Jouney" about a band of feral cats. Right now I am reading "A Householders Guide to the Universe" by Harriet Fasenfest with stuff to do at different times of the year mixed with insightful essays and stories. I am also working through "Stitch'n *itch the knitters handbook" by Debbie Stoller

January 2, 2011 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger dianer said...

I just finished your Made from Scratch book....great reading with helpful insight. I live in Hawaii and my land is 99.9% lava rock which makes it difficult to plant a garen or two. Yes this is paradise yet it has pitfalls . Dirt is hard to get and costly here on the island . We want to do a raised bed and are saving up for gthe inevitable large bill that will be attached to our dream. Does anyone have some insight to keep things real? Maholo. Diane

January 2, 2011 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

I am currently reading Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. The book is basically about the science of the soil and the the soil food web. Very easy reading and understanding.

January 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger alewyfe said...

On my nightstand right now: "Goat Song"- Brad Kessler; "Little House on a Small Planet:
Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy Efficient Possibilities"- Shay Salomon & Nigel Valdez; "The Solar Greenhouse Book"- James McCullagh; "Wicked Plants"- Stewart, "Principles of Brewing Science"- Fix & Fix; and of course a blank notebook for sketches, lists, and dreams. :-)

January 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

This book was actually recommended in Marie Claire magazine. My sister ripped the article out and gave it to me. I couldn't have been more surprised to see The Dirty Life written up about in Marie Claire. Currently I am reading Chick Days ;) and I have Hit by a Farm, and The Backyard Homestead(as previously suggested by Jenna) sitting waiting to be read. And, now I'm going to have to order The Dirty Life as well.

January 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Speaktrue said...

"The Town That Food Saved" and about to embark on "Book Thief"

January 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Growing a Farmer: How I Learned To Live Off the Land, by Kurt Timmermeister. Kurt ran his own Seattle-based cafes before starting a dairy farm on 13 acres that specializes in cheese and hosts dinners of farm-raised foods. I'm just into the third chapter, but so far so good.

January 2, 2011 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger paulapooh said...

I am rereading your book Made from Scratch. I love the bread receipe. I wish I was 20 years younger I would love to do what you are doing. Your blog is such a boost to my day.

January 2, 2011 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I got a big pile of books for Christmas (yay!) so right now I'm reading Salatin's latest (Lunatic Farmer) and Gene Logsdon's "Holy Shit - Managing Manure to Save Mankind". After that I'll read David McCullough's "John Adams" and a book called "Enslaved by Ducks". Should be fun!

January 2, 2011 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

I just finished pride and prejudice I read it every christmas. I plan on starting your book made from scratch I just ordered it and hope to find it in my mailbox on the tenth! Till then I will thumb through my seed catalogues!

January 2, 2011 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

"The New Work of Dogs", Jon Katz. Fascinating and a little bit unsettling, especially when you share your life with working dogs (which I do).

"Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards", Sarah Stein. Great food for thought.... I may be biased because I'm a landscape architect, but even if you're casually interested in the ecological side of gardening, it's interesting.

"The Tao of Pooh", "The Te of Piglet" (Hoff). I read them once a year. Can't recommend strongly enough.

Great comments, I'm getting lots of ideas for more winter reading!

January 2, 2011 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

Just finished "Just Kids" by Patti Smith. She's an amazing writer - I was so compelled by her writing that I was torn between finishing it in one go and reading it slowly so I could savor it.

Now I'm on to "electric Eden - Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music" by Rob Young. It's a large tome about the 1960's British folk revival.

January 2, 2011 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger stace said...

I am reading it,too!Some one gave me their Oprah mags and there was a write up on it. Good read. (so was your book, thanks)

January 2, 2011 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Rogue Wild said...

I'm in the first chapter of Natural Living by Liz Wright.

Also reading the joy of keeping farm animals by Laura Childs

Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg & Beatrice Vaughan

The Complete Guide to Beekeeping For Fun & Profit with Cindy Belknap

its been cold and wet these last couple of weeks, so I made a trip to the library to stock up =o)

I've also been reading the Sookie Stackhouse books, I love True Blood!

January 2, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Axeboy said...

In no particular order…
The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration & Renewal in a Throwaway Age- By Howard Mansfield… for all of you who prefer barn sale hand-tools over power-tools.

It’s Hard to Look Cool when your Car’s Full of Sheep- By Roger Pond… I don’t exactly agree with the title but it’s a fun and easy read.

Deep Economy- By Bill McKibben… because more and better don’t roost in the same tree.

Everything I Know About Women I learn from my Tractor- By Roger Welsch… likely the reason I’m still an Adirondack bachelor farmer… nonetheless, still a humorous read for either sex.

Bringing the Biosphere Home- By Mitch Thomashow… this book makes global environmental problems tangible.

International Harvester Shop Manual- By Godknowswho… a fun read? No. A necessary read? Yes, particularly when your tractor is broken down in back woodlot.

January 2, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I always have at least three books, a couple of audio-books and some podcasts going (I have a long commute by car). Just finished reading "Rose in a Storm" by Jon Katz, "The Town that Food Saved", "The Happiness Project" and "Natural Sheep Care" by Pat Coleby (she's Australian, and a lot of the info about mineral supplements for sheep are the opposite of what we do in the US). I'm reading Michael Perry's collection of short essays, and on audio-book, I have "Travels in Siberia," which makes upstate New York seem like Miami. Almost done with "The Long Emergency" by Jim Kunstler.

January 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I inhale books and I am SO tagging this post- the ladies at the library are just going to love me for requesting all of these (inter-library loan is so awesome!). Thanks so much for all the amazing ideas!

Right now I am reading "The 4-hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferris (it was on Leo Babauta's ~ the author of the zen habits blog~ recommended list) and "Peace is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn (I re-read one of his books every year).

I have 4 books on order, so there will be MUCH more to come~ Jenna's new Chick Days book, "My So-Called Freelance Life" and a couple on organic gardening to give me a break from the seed catalogs.

I hardly ever read fiction, but the last fiction book I read was "The Monkey Wrench Gang" by Edward Abbey, which is a very cool read about some extreme environmentalists.

January 2, 2011 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

In the past month or two I have read:

All Flesh is Grass

A composting book that I forgot the name of already.

The Town That Food Saved

Deeply Rooted

Small is Possible

Possum Living

Just started Sustainable Capitalism

January 2, 2011 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger miss lady*cakes said...

i'm such a newbie to homesteading (think fetus), that i'm gearing up with Walden.

and i appreciate your recommendations!

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2011 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

No farming books here (though I'm planning on re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's books this winter!). Bruce Chatwin's beautiful Anatomy of Restlessness. Michael Chabon's A Model Life short stories. The 2010 PEN/O. Henry selections, and I'm looking forward to devouring My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, a collection of new fairy tales. Always recommend Rolf Potts' Vagabonding. Even if travel isn't your thing, it offers great thoughts about how we spend our time and, therefore, our lives.

January 2, 2011 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger The Handmade Life said...

I'll definitely be adding Kristin Kimball's book to my reading list! It looks like a great read.

I recently read The Bucolic Plague, by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, which was Fabulous!

I just finished reading My Empire of Dirt, by Manny Howard. Do yourself a serious favor and skip this book. This man's intentional (and unintentional) cruelty to animals is sickening.

I have Hit by a Farm waiting for me at the library, and can't wait to dive in to it! I've been looking forward to reading it for such a long time.

January 3, 2011 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger The Handmade Life said...

I'll definitely be adding Kristin Kimball's book to my reading list! It looks like a great read.

I recently read The Bucolic Plague, by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, which was Fabulous!

I just finished reading My Empire of Dirt, by Manny Howard. Do yourself a serious favor and skip this book. This man's intentional (and unintentional) cruelty to animals is sickening.

I have Hit by a Farm waiting for me at the library, and can't wait to dive in to it! I've been looking forward to reading it for such a long time.

January 3, 2011 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger Firefly Mom said...

So glad you posted this, as I've gleaned 7-8 new books to add to my to-be-read list. (Like it really needs any more added to it!)

I just finished reading your book, again. I also just finished Self-Sufficiency for the 21st Century and My Cool Caravan.

Next up are Eat Your Yard! and Natural Living.

@dianer, regarding keeping soil costs down: I highly recommend composting as a way to offset the cost of purchasing all of the soil for your raised beds. We've found that the quickest way to make it is to put it in a pile and put black plastic over it (we used leftover pond liner, as that's what we had. It was heavy enough to keep out raccoons and such.) I'm betting that with all of the sunshine you get, it would breakdown in 6 - 7 weeks, depending on what you had in the pile. Ours broke down in about 2 1/2 months, and we live in the rainy PacNW. If you don't generate enough materials to go into the pile, trust me when I say that people are more than willing to give you stuff to put into it! HTH

January 3, 2011 at 3:15 AM  
Blogger Aranea said...

I'm reading Lost Crafts by Una Mcgovern and Classic Crafts edited by Martina Margetts. And as soon as my friend is finished with it i'll be starting in on Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong.

January 3, 2011 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

So many good books have already been listed. I just finished a library book this morning, The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent. It's the prequel to Heretic's Daughter. Both are very good. Just started Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen on my Kindle.

January 3, 2011 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

To add to what Firefly wrote (which was going to be my suggestion), just be mindful of what you put in or accept for your compost pile. Filling it with lawn clippings or other material that has chemicals will be disastrous. It takes several years to get the chemicals out of your dirt. For awhile you could get mulch from Louisiana for really cheap (Hurricane Katrina clean up) until everything started dying that was mulched with the stuff.

January 3, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

January 3, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger gooddogboy said...

I also just finished wordy Shipmates, Better Off, and See you ion a Hundred Years. I liked them. I enjoyed both of Kunstler's Books, but did not like the incorporation of supernatural stuff. there is enough drama in peak Oil without adding sixth sense stuff.

i read a lot at ione time. I am reading 1. Off the Grid, by Nick Rosen; 2. Whoever Fights Monsters by Ressler, which is about serial killers (job related, and one of the subjects of the book went to school with me); One Straw Revolution by Fukuoka, and Am rereading Robertson davies trilogy The Rebel Angels, What's Bred in the Bone, and The lyre of Orpheus. Highly recommended. Thanks for sharing what you are reading.

January 3, 2011 at 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love all Sarah Vowell. I'd love to write history like she does. If you like her, you should read The Whites of their Eyes, by Jill LePore. Similar style, history that's actually conversational...


January 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

I am (im)patiently waiting for the "Claiming Ground" book that I ordered by Laura Bell to arrive. KY girl in the 1970's who wants something to do in life with her dogs and horses and ends up working in the hills of Wyoming, sleeping in a sheep wagon tending sheep. I heard it was great. Now if it would only get here!

January 3, 2011 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Gelfling said...

Anything and everything by Neil Gaiman. I think I've read all of his novels and printed short stories, next on the list is his graphic novels. He is an incredibly writer, dark, witty and funny... full of twisted mythology in unlikely places.
I just finished "The Witch of Hebron"... in one single day. Next up is Rose in a Storm, then "Rural Renaissance". It feels so good to be reading and not canning, I've been looking forward to this since April!

January 4, 2011 at 4:58 AM  
Blogger mySavioReigns said...

I just started "The Great Frontier," by Walter Prescott Webb, as recommended to me by Herrick Kimball (The Deliberate Agrarian). It's deep! lol

January 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked _Never Kiss a Goat on the Lips_. Found it at the library. It's old, but highly entertaining, about keeping small livestock in a suburban backyard.

January 7, 2011 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Manzanita Farms said...

Based on some of the readers suggestions here I just finished "Your money or your life". It has totally changed my thoughts about money and the plague of consumerism. I'm glad I read at the beginning of a new year because it will change how I handle many things in the coming year.

January 8, 2011 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Rosanne said...

Jenna, I am a full time high school art teacher, wife, and mother of four (three still at home), and so I don't have a lot of time for reading outside of what I read for lesson prep and stuff for school. But my husband read an excerpt from The Dirty Life when he was flying home from a business trip a few weeks before Christmas, and brought the magazine home for me to read since he knew I'd find it interesting. Well, I ordered the book as soon as I read the excerpt, and read it cover to cover in 5 days (that's really fast for me!), and loved every page of it -- she's an excellent writer and draws you right in to their story -- whether you aspire to being a farmer or not.
Got several books for Christmas, of which some are currently being read, and others on my bookshelf waiting their turn:
two Wendell Berry books - Bringing it to the Table and The Unsettling of America;
Crafting a Business and The Handmade Marketplace;
Farm Together Now and The Profitable Hobby Farm;
and to top it off, the latest from Jan Karon, In the Company of Others.
So many books, so little time....

January 9, 2011 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Long since read and re-read but a must anyway, The Farming Ladder by George Henderson, and read a year or two ago, then lent to a fellow farmer, and only just returned, so being re read The Secret Life of Cows, which I love.
I'm also reading a bee keeping book but I'm too lazy to go and copy the title and author!

January 16, 2011 at 5:22 AM  

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