Friday, March 9, 2012
Book Report: What I've Been Reading
I read a saying once that describes me perfectly: I buy books like other women buy shoes. Seriously. You can usually find me in the middle of two or three books at a time. I was looking through this blog's archives not too long ago (I can't believe this blog is 2 1/2 years old already!) and I came across this book report post. I thought I'd do another post like it and share what I've been reading lately (at least the books that have something to do with this blog. Incidentally, the novel I'm reading right now is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton). It's a pretty good snapshot of where I am with my frugal and homemaking goals.
The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule
I just love SouleMama's blog. It's one of my favorites. She inspires me to live more slowly, to pay attention to the goings-on around me, and to live closer to the earth. She has also inspired me to learn to sew and knit, among other things. Anyway, I got her book a few months ago and I just had to mention it again (I say again since I mentioned it before here, here, and here). There are a lot of great projects, ideas, and recipes. It is broken up into months -- each month features an essay from her, an essay from her husband, and some projects/crafts/recipes to go along with that particular month. It's just lovely. You should check it out.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
I'm not really reading this book straight through since it's more of a reference guide, but what I have read is really interesting. I've been intrigued for some time about essential oils. I use them here and there for a few things (mostly in cleaning solutions or a few drops of lavender oil in the bathtub), but I definitely don't know much about them. This book was recommended by a friend whose hippie/naturopathic guru aunt (I think it was her aunt...) said it was the best guide out there. Right now, I'm reading the introductory chapters and slowly accumulating the oils she recommends having on hand. (Question for essential oil users: What brand is your favorite?)
The Homemade Living Series by Ashley English :: Keeping Bees; Keeping Chickens; and Home Dairy
I took a beekeeping class about a month ago (we're keeping the hives at my parents' house. Our hives arrive at the end of this month and six pounds of bees in April!). My husband has agreed (admittedly, somewhat reluctantly) to getting two or three chickens either this spring or next year. I even made butter last night (yum.). I've been having a lot of fun with Ashley English's Homemade Living books. These books are awesome. They are comprehensive without being overwhelming. The layout is fantastic and the photography is beautiful. The beekeeping book coincides so well with what I learned from the class. I feel well-prepared for raising chickens in my backyard. Even making my own butter, sour cream, cheese, and yogurt seems doable. Her guides are empowering and fun. I can't recommend these books enough.
Mini-Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham
Can you tell that I'm on this homesteading kick? I just think the whole movement (seriously, it seems like one) toward self-sufficiency and keeping food as close to home as possible is so cool. I love how so many people are wanting to take a more active role in the food they and their families eat. Anyway, I picked up this book a month or so ago. I finally got to it about a week ago so I'm only a few chapters into this book, but it's completely fascinating. The authors shows, step-by-step, how you can actually provide up to 80% of a family's food needs on only a 1/4 acre lot. I'll write more about it once I've finished it and have started implementing some of his techniques in my own yard. We'll see how it works. Heaven knows, my last couple gardening seasons have been pretty disappointing -- hopefully, this book will help.
What are you reading right now?