Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book Review - Simple Living Stories

I'm not a big reader of novels however I do every now and then love reading books about people who like to live simply.  One of the books that I had wanted to read for a while was "The Dirty Life" by Kisten Kimball.  You may recognize the book from a different cover, with a rustic red shed with Kristin holding a chicken in front of it.  I find that cover more inviting than the one below however I still wanted to read it.  It's about Kristin Kimball a then Manhattan writer arrives at an organic farm to interview Mark and finds herself falling for him and his ideas.  It is not always rosy and as you know farm work is hard work, not the "simple life" but a good life.  They had a lot to contend with on the land and I was exhausting just reading it sometimes from all the hard work however I loved reading this which I borrowed from our local library.


The next book which I have read is a very quick read as each chapter has a few pages of recipes so the reading doesn't take quite that long.  Called "The Feast Nearby" about Robin Mather who wrote a story about "How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering and eating locally (all on forty dollars a week).

Joel Salatin founder of Polyface Farm, author of "You Can Farm" writes about this book:-

"Can local food work?  How does it work?  Can my kitchen really be economically viable?  The Feast Nearby lovingly and practically illustrates how localization works.  Robin Mather opens her heart - indeed, bares her soul - in this captivating journey that affirms everything doable and beautiful about living and eating locally.  Everyone should read this book.


I loved the cover of this book as it's so appealing with the gumboots, the carrotts, the apron and the rustic wood.  I did think there would be a little more about the "story" and I thought she would have a big veggie garden.  As her place was in the shade she only grew herbs and had chickens and sourced other ingredients locally and met people and spoke about that.  It documents a year of her new life after the marriage and job loss.  I really did love how she went back to basics and was happier than she had been before connecting with local people their stories, food and preserving and canning for winter.  I really enjoyed this book and I read it in a day.  Our library didn't have it and when I enquired if they could order it in, it wasn't at their particular suppliers so I had to buy this one myself.  You may have more luck with your library but get this one as it's lovely.  Coming from Brisbane, Queensland I can't relate to being snowed in for days and our local shops are less than 5 mins away but forward planning in places were it snows definitely pays off.

If you remember I wrote ages ago about one of my other favourite simple living books about an Australian journalist living the high life comes back to Tasmania and settles in an old "Nun's house" and grows veggies...this one the library did have and suggest if you haven't read it get it out.  I loved loved this story.  It's called "The Story of Seven Summers".

I have just ordered "The Simple Home" which is Rhonda Hetzel's from Down to Earth Blog's latest and last book which looks great.  It has step by step instructions in this book on break making and other recipes.  I loved her other two books as well the first being "Down to Earth" and the 2nd one which was a tiny book called "The Simple Life" both very good reads.  She's in the middle of her book tour at the moment with her husband Hanno.  I'm hoping my book arrives before Easter so I can stay in bed with a cuppa and read it from cover to cover in the mornings.

9 comments:

  1. Reading a good book in bed with a cup of tea sounds blissful! Some of these are new to me, so I am off to follow your links. Thank-you for the pointers!

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    1. If you can only get one.....get The Story of Seven Summers...but read them all. Regards Kathy

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  2. All of those books look right up my alley! I will make a note of them, and see if our local library has them! BTW thanks for the link to your finance posts, they are all read and absorbed, and I've taken small step actions to claw us out of our predicament, I probably should post about it too!

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    1. So glad you got to read the finance posts...when you know how things are and exactly what you have you feel more in control, more at ease. Thanks for stopping and leaving a comment.

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  3. Holiday reading coming up! Thanks for great suggestions. I too am waiting for Rhonda's latest book to arrive here. I can't wait to read it.

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    1. me too...I'm excited about Rhonda's book and I'm sure mine will be here before Easter (fingers crossed).

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  4. It seems we have similar tastes in reading, I have Rhonda's new book on reserve at the library and I read The Story of Seven Summers a few years ago.

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  5. It seems we have similar tastes in reading, I have Rhonda's new book on reserve at the library and I read The Story of Seven Summers a few years ago.

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  6. I have not read any of these. Maybe when I find some time I will ask at the library for these.

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