Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What I'm Reading ~ June 12th

When summer arrives, the less structured days free up time for more reading.  Whether in the garden or on the beach, or in a favorite sitting spot, you will often find me with my nose in a book.  In order to be more frugal, as well as not overfill my bookcases, I have been using a great tool at our library.

Our county's library system has a wonderful online site that I can access from my home computer, with my library card handy, I can search any book on my "to read" list, and have it sent to my local library branch.  When the books arrive I get an e-mail letting me know my books are ready to pick up.  This way I can read through a lot more books, and the ones I really love I can eventually buy for my home library, and the books that were not quite what I thought can be returned.  It is also nice that I can borrow books from the larger libraries without having to drive into town, our small town library is a nice cozy place to visit, but has a fairly limited selection of books.

Here's what I am reading this week.

This first book has been on my to read list for quite some time, I have hesitated buying it because I had read mixed reviews.  So I was excited to read Possum Living - How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money by Dolly Freed when it arrived.

Possum Living was written in 1978 by an eighteen year old girl, she shares information about the five years that she and her father lived off the land on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia.  Her writing style is wonderful, and easy to read, she writes in a very down to earth fashion that really speaks to me.  In this book the writer talks about some of the philosophy behind quitting the "rat race", and being frugal, and it is very thought provoking.  Unlike many other books on the subject she is not pretentious, but has a live and let live attitude.  Quotes like - "Now that you know what a lazy, rotten, sinful thing I am, I'd like to pass on to you some of the ideas we've picked up to help you become just the same." and "If your not an idiot you know to get a variety of foods, and avoid over-processed "junk foods", and not rely on stimulants to keep you going." are examples of the fun to read style she writes in, and many parts of this book gave me a chuckle.

I love to get new ideas for frugal living, and was looking forward to getting some new inspirations from this book.  Some tips are great, such as gardening and buying in bulk, and eating simply.  Others are fun to read, but not practical to me, they were willing to hunt and eat things that sounded a little gross to me.  Their main meat source was rabbit that they grew in their basement, which would only work if you had the space to do that.  Also, their house was paid in full, and as a result they only had to pay the yearly taxes, it was also purchased at a price that just doesn't happen these days.

Overall this book was fun to read, and although the how-to bits weren't always applicable to my situation, they were certainly thought provoking and inspiring on the subject of frugal living, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.  I am encouraging hubby to give it a quick read as I think he will get a kick out of it, and this book will remain on my "to purchase" book list, as I can see myself wanting to read it more than once.

You can find out more about this book through my Amazon link, or maybe you library has a copy.

The next book I checked out was Making It -Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen the authors were interviewed in an article in a recent Mother Earth News Magazine so I thought I would check it out.  They are also the authors of The Urban Homestead which has some useful tips on homesteading in small spaces.

This book has quite a few how-to's and recipes and is pretty interesting, most of the info would be good for beginner fugal homemakers/gardeners/homesteaders, and there are some useful recipes.  Most of the information, for me, I can already find in my other Homesteading and gardening books, and there wasn't a lot of new information- the section on Sauerkraut was interesting though, as well as the section on a Roman style bath involving the use of Olive oil which I had never heard of, and I loved the idea of using leftover scraps of meats and veggies to make your dogs a soup to supplement their kibble, I plan on trying this for my two big dogs, I'm sure they will love it.

The last book I am reading this week is a fun one.  Weird Oregon -Your Travel Guide to Oregon's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Al Eufrasio and Jeff Davis.

I am really enjoying this book, and am having fun learning about the various strange history around Oregon.  I am hoping to add locations from this book to our list of places to visit this summer.  We love day outings on the weekends, and I am looking forward to exploring some of the interesting places around us, as well as interesting places along the Oregon Coast.  You can find this series of books for quite a few of the States, I imagine they would all be pretty interesting, and great for planning fun family outings.

Do you use your local library?  What books are you hoping to read this summer?  Have you read any of these books?  I would love to hear your thoughts. :)


  1. Hello!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog and I couldn't live without the internet library hold system! ;o) We have at least 12 branches all over town so I find it so convenient! And we can also request "inter library loans" for materials anywhere in the province. I prefer to research late at night for materials for our "themes" when the libraries are all closed. Often by the next day my books are on the way to our local branch for pick up.
    And thanks for your book reviews too, I'll put them on hold tonight! ;o)
    ~ joey ~

  2. The books sound interesting, April, especially the first one. In September we will be putting ourselves into self-imposed poverty when my husband retires, so I might need that book! Hope you find lots of fun weird places to explore and I'll enjoy them vicariously through your blog!

  3. I bought and read possum living earlier this year, it was great! Sure gave me lots of ideas too.

  4. Thanks for all of the wonderful comments!

    Joey~ I too am a night owl, and love to do my book hunting at night, such a great tool. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

    Jane~ Retirement will be fun, Possum Living would be a fun read as you head into your "self-imposed Poverty", and prepare for your husbands retirement. I am inspired to cut back and save to prepare for my kids college years. :) I also am looking forward to exploring many of Oregon interesting places this summer, it will be fun to blog about as well. :)

    ladyhawthorne~ Possum Living gave me many great ideas as well, very inspiring book, I am encouraging my family to read it as well. :)

    Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!


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