I have been doing a lot of reading lately. My genre of choice is non-fiction (it’s been a while since I read any fiction I truly enjoyed). In this post, I will share a few of the books I think are excellent additions to the homesteading/simple living bookshelf:
You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too by Tammy Stroebel ~ Written by the author of the Rowdy Kittens, blog his book is a great read if you are into the tiny house movement (and if you’re not) or just looking to simplify your life. The topics range from paring down your wardrobe to reducing/eliminating debt to cultivating happiness through relationships. The back pages contain a recommended reading list of books and blogs.
Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher ~ I cannot say enough about this book. It was absolutely captivating to learn the ways of the Amish and how we can incorporate them into our “English” (anyone not Amish) lives. If you are even the slightest bit curious about the Amish, you need to read this book. I learned that so much of what I thought I knew was wrong. I truly believe the Amish are onto something and we could all benefit from their wisdom.
Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes ~ I purchased this book three years ago and it is one I still hang on to. While she does have more privileges than most of us (living on land her family owns), Shannon interviews many people who have made the trip back to the land. There are many interesting facts, especially in the first half of the book.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery ~ I am still going through this book despite having it on my shelf for five years. It is not a sit-down-and-read-cover-to-cover kind of book. This is one I go to with a specific topic in mind and thumb the index. Definitely a good one to have on hand.
The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon ~ Gene is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He discusses the rise of cottage-farming amidst the decline of family farms. A great read.
Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich ~ I saw this book and had to have it. Jenna is a young homesteader who has left the rat-race to pursue her dream. This, her first book, reveals the beginning of her journey, bumps and all. She glosses over nothing, which is essential for those looking to live this life. We have to be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Jenna includes recipes and how-tos for anything from bread to spinning yarn from Angora rabbits. I must confess, this book is one of the most well-worn on my shelf.
The Wild & Weedy Apothecary: An A to Z Book of Herbal Concoctions, Recipes & Remedies, Practical Know-How & Food for the Soul by Doreen Shababy ~ I purchased this book with very little knowledge of herbalism and came away more than satisfied. Not only that, but I gained a very dear friend in Doreen. She is an incredible woman who walks the walk in every sense of the phrase. If you are at all interested in herbal medicine, this is a must-have for your shelf!
*Note: I’m sure there are some necessities I have forgotten, but I will continue to update as I remember or read new books I think would be helpful. I would love to hear what is on your homesteading/self-sufficiency/simple living bookshelf!