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DIY Reading

August 02, 2014 at 8:18 AM

"I had developed a new habit of diminishing everything in an attempt to soothe. Losing touch with reality seemed like a valid coping mechanism."
-David Giffels in All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House

I enjoy reading books written by people who make me feel a little lazy. Even when I'm reading about someone doing something I'd never do, I admadefrom-scratch-over.jpgmire pluck and willfulness, and other people pursuing their crazy ideas inspires me to keep pursuing my own. Take All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House by David Giffels. Faced with a toddler and a baby on the way, Giffels and his wife decided to purchase and renovate a decrepit mansion, a place that had been previously inhabited by a hoarder and had holes in the roof one could see through. This is way more ambitious than anything I've ever attempted, and Griffel's accounting of his family's journey is a funny and moving exploration of the insane optimism that drives us to do so many worthwhile things, be it having a baby or fixing a light fixture.

Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich chronicles Woginrich's path to homesteading while also offering advice on topics like raising angora rabbits. My own homesteading efforts don't extend beyond canning jam and attempting to play the piano, but I love the spirit of approaching life with thought and care.

In Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, Novella Carpenter writes about buildling a farm from her apartment in Oakland. Like Woginrich's book, this is story and how-to combined. Part of Carpenter's charm as a writer is that she doesn't minimize the work involved and moments when she faltered, but she still makes raising turkeys sound like something I might like to try someday.

If you want more of a straight-up how-to book, we have plenty of those. You could get a start here. Or you could just come in and find a nice beach read on the new fiction shelf instead. We have a little bit of everything here.

Best wishes,
Adrienne Furness

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