Summer book reviews

The Beekman Boys and their Bucolic Plague

First let me say I had never heard of the Beekman Boys when I got their book from the library. Their unconventional memoir was a recommendation from another blog, thanks Farmgirl.  I was unaware that they had recently been on the Amazing Race or had their own television series.  Regardless…this was a great read.

As I started following Josh and Brent’s journey up the to the Mohawk Valley to Sharon Springs, I could not put the book down. Maybe it was their proximity to me or that I could relate to falling in love with the idea of being a gentleman farmer, whatever the reason, I found myself rooting for their success and empathizing with their failures.

Between the goats, canning, and every challenge in between, I related to the stress of working full time,  being in a relationship and most of all – wanting to dig my fingers into the dirt and be in the garden.

This was a fun book and would be great to add to any summertime reading list.  Best of all, you can check out their website, Beekman1802,  to follow their latest antics.

Made From Scratch, Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life

When reading a self-help or DIY type book, a key factor in the readers ability to believe they can accomplish the same feat as the author is the confidence that s/he instills. That usually comes from impressing your reader with the expertise and knowledge you have accumulated on the given subject area.  If Bob Villa’s houses kept falling down, I probably would not feel confident that I could restore my dog house.  However as I read Jenna Woginrich’s tales of failure; her dogs ate her chicks and the next batch of poultry managed to escape, how she killed the queen bee and then a bear ate her new hive, then something went wrong with the rabbits…you see the pattern.

If this crazy lady figured it  out and managed to write a book about it…then I certainly should be able to pull some of it off.  This was not your typical inspirational live off the land and prance along happily ever after story…but it was an easy to read and interesting book.  It was well written and filled with honest mistakes made by someone that I could relate to.   Jenna does not talk down to you as if she knows it all… because she clearly had to learn several hard lessons along the way.  She simply shares her journey of trying to live a better life and hopes that something she has already experienced might benefit you.  After reading Made From Scratch, you might not walk away be fully self-sufficient, but Jenna surely makes you realize that you will experience some bumps along the way and that failure is just one step in the journey…its not the end point.


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