Monday, February 3

Book Reports

Even though my days are full (mostly of children's activities and cleaning crayon off of the television) I still love to make time to read. I have quite a backlog of a reading list but when the kids go to bed and I have some time I tackle an issue of Backwoods Home magazine or read a few chapters in my current nightstand book. (or should I say 'books')

First, I have finally put a very well worn copy of The Greenhorns on my homesteading reference bookshelf. I finished this book a while ago but I just have not had time to make a post. What an awesome collection of wonderful stories, instructional essays and just plain great reading. And, given that it is a collection of essays, it scores high marks in the 'busy Mom' review. I took this book everywhere - the gym, restaurants, the library, play groups, etc. because I could spend 15 minutes or less reading a wonderful farming narrative which gave me inspiration and none of the frustration from having to stop reading in the middle and having to pick up where I left off later in the day or sometimes not for a few days.

Of course, one of my favorite authors, Jenna Woginrich, is featured on page 106.

I enjoyed reading each and every story, but one really touched a sore spot with me. Maud Powell (p40) wrote  "I imagined working in the field with our baby strapped to my back, taking short breaks to breastfeed in the field. ....I completely underestimated the amount of energy and time breastfeeding and child rearing would take." Even though I did not breastfeed my children, I can absolutely relate to her when she talks about underestimating the amount of time your children demand. I spend many days struggling with all that I want to do and with all that I am responsible for. I imagined my children helping in the garden, the little man pulling weeds and the little girl poking seeds into the dirt. But mostly it is me stuck in the house with a crabby 2 year old and a boundary-testing 5 year old, staring out the window at my neglected garden.

Secondly, while on the topic of Jenna Woginrich, she came out with a beautiful book entitled One Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats, and a Fine Fiddle.

I was almost afraid to read this book. Being a big fan of Jenna and given that the book is a hardcover canvas to word and watercolor beauty, I wanted to savor it. Quite possibly my favorite book from Jenna, I loved the artwork that accompanied her writing. Destined to become a coffee table book here at my house, as soon as I can reclaim my coffee table from Care Bears coloring books and half empty juice boxes.

Lastly, switching gears a little, I have finished reading the 299 Days series from Glen Tate. Part true story, part prepper manual, part plan for the future, I loved this series. Books 1 through 7 are out now with three more books to come in the 10 part series. So different from other books I've read about partial to full economic, political and social breakdowns in the US, this is an eye-opener.

Book 1 sets up the characters and the situation with a lot of insightful observations about the American public and local government that are hard to refute. Governments "chasing out businesses, falling tax revenue and massively increasing spending" are just some of the factors that contribute to the coming situation. But it is not all the governments fault - people are also to blame.

"How could people be so complacent and stupid? They had developed habits over years and years. As long as they had their comfortable routines everything was fine."

I highly recommend this series. It is so easy to relate to and it is very, very informative.

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