Books are one of my guilty pleasures. Particularly books about women (or men, but mostly women) that rough it in the wilds or on farms. It’s probably my ultimate dream “to take to the woods.” I’m not a fan of city living. I don’t really even like city-visiting. Despite living an hour and a half’s drive from NYC, I’ve only been about three or four times. And despite living so close, we are surprisingly rural here. Anyway, picking up and moving to the woods is a far off dream (and no doubt hugely different from what I imagine), so I live vicariously through books.
I think the one that started it all was We Took To The Woods and is, perhaps, my favorite. The author is very engaging with her words and observations. It’s hard not to feel like you too are roughin’ it in Maine.
There are few scattered in there that focus more on solitude. That’s something else I dream of doing, staying in a little cabin and avoiding human connection for a whole month. I’m sure you’d learn a lot about yourself, your limits and capabilities as an individual.
So far, I’ve enjoyed all of these books, except one—which didn’t even warrant being photographed. Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl seemed like it was right up my alley but within the first chapter I was simply annoyed. It’s really just a whiney book. It’s intended be funny but the humor lacks grace and feels forced. The author does not seem open to learning or growing from her experience. Though, as I said, I didn’t get far into it. Maybe her outlook changes by the end of the book, but I have no desire to trudge through it and find out.
Made From Scratch manages to be witty with grace. It’s a cute, simple read, perfect for someone like me, who daydreams of the homesteading life. It’s also laced with helpful resources and advice for someone who wants to go beyond daydreaming.
Another favorite has been Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I just passed it on to my father and it’s inspiring him to eat more locally/seasonally as well.
I’m doing this post because living a simpler life has been on my mind a lot lately. I do consider myself to lead a pretty simple life already, but I guess, just like with the yearlong challenge to buy only secondhand/handmade, I want to up the ante—take simple more seriously. I want to cut back on screen time and see more green (as in nature not money—though more of the latter would be helpful!) I want to get my hands dirty more often. I want to learn more about the natural world around me. I want to be more self-sufficient.
(Do you have any suggestions on books in this vein?)