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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Deliberate Life - The Ultimate Homesteading Guide

One of my goals for this year is to reduce active spending, so I've taken to checking with my library system first if I run across a recommendation on Amazon that I want to read. I'll borrow it first, and then if I like it, I'll buy it.  I was very glad to take Self-Sufficiency back to the library  and leave it there, for instance.

I've just finished Deliberate Life - The Ultimate Homesteading Guide, by Nicole Faires, and have to say that the title pretty much hits the mark.  It was published in 2006, so it's not terribly old, and in view of the extensive bibliography, I can say that it was well researched. Well-researched and timely.

If you plan to really chuck it all and head out to the country, this would be a good book to take with you because it gives instructions for choosing and buying land.  And if you were to load up a conestoga wagon, you'd want to consult this book because it lists everything you're going to need.  It covers the usual homesteading subjects, like gardening and animal rearing, but it also covers things that most homesteading books don't: getting water in the wilderness or at home, disposing of your waste, making tools and farm equipment, how to prepare and spin flax for making into linen, etc.  I can't give enough examples to give you an idea of what this book covers because it's pretty exhaustive.  If I had one criticism of the book, it would be that the subjects of a lot of the articles are posed as questions, which I find annoying, but that may actually be useful for some readers.  Okay- two criticisms: I wish there had been more pictures, especially for dicey subjects like butchering animals where it really helps to know what you're doing.  Pictures would have gone a long way there.  But as far as useful, usable information goes, this book is hard to beat.

I think in times of hardship (which I, for one, firmly believe are coming), this book would be useful for everyone, country or city dweller alike in one degree or another, and would be a great reference to have in your homesteading library.

I'm going to add it to mine.

* per the comments, this book isn't available unless you want to donate a kidney for it or something.  The author has a new book coming out in March, which looks like it's going to be much of the same thing, except it will have more pictures.  I can't recommend the new one, not having read it; I just wanted to make you aware of the situation....

11 comments:

Rae said...

Sounds like it has a lot of good info. I've got a friend that would probably love it. The same friend that wanted to name our new place "Red Dawn Ranch", and to hole up with us when the economy collapses. Lol. I'll have to check this book out. If you ever do find a book with good homestead butchering tips, let me know.

phishlady said...

Wow, according to Amazon the only copies available are used and start at $172?? Glad your local library had it!

morgaineotm said...

Best price I could find for this book was $131!! Amazon has it starting at $172. Of course the list price for the book is only $29.95!! It had better be real good!!

morgaineotm said...

PS to earlier comment. After doing some searching, this is about to be re-released by skyhorse publishing and if you link into amazon thru the author's webpage (www.deliberatelife.com) instead of doing a search for the book title, you will find it being offered at a pre-publish price of under $10!!

Paula said...

Interesting! She mentions in her book her website deliberatelife.com, which she's just changed to nicolefaires.com, which I tried to check out. Earlier this afternoon my system couldn't find the server. Your comments made me look at the book again, wondering if it might have been self-published, which it looks like it was because there is no reference whatsoever to a publishing house.

So then I tried nicolefaires.com again, and I get through to her site this time. It appears she has a new book out called The Ultimate Guide To Homesteading - An Encyclopedia of Independent Living. This time the publisher is Skyhorse Publishing, who also published Back to Basics, a decent book, and Self-Sufficiency, a dud. Amazon has the new one for $8.83. According to Amazon, the new one has 'hundreds of full color illustrations'.

Whether or not the new book is an improvement, I couldn't say; it largely depends on what the editors at Skyhorse have done with it. It's probably a cheap crapshoot at $8.83 plus shipping; if I find it at the library, I'll let you know how it is.

John said...

Thanks for the tip! Christy's parents bought us Country Wisdom and Know-How from Storey Books recently. It's chock full of encyclopedic information on tons of useful DIY and homesteady stuff. It's like having a great-great-grandfather in your bookshelf! Any other good reads?

Paula said...

Sorry- it's not available until March 10....

Paula said...

Yeah John- check out The Resilient Gardener, by Carol Deppe, and Homegrown Harvest, from the American Horticultural Society. I've reviewed both and they're tagged under Review and Recommendations.

Jennifer Montero said...

Paula - I am LOVING this book review section that you're doing. The Deliberate Life has been on my amazon wish list, and I'm glad to hear it's worth a read. I'll give the new version a go and we can compare notes.

Re. butchery techniques, I was just given A Hunter's Cookbook by Robert Cuthbert & Jake Eastham. There are step-by-step butchery guides in picture form, starting from the carcase lying in the field right to the table, for each individual animal. And the recipes are good too.

Our local libraries are earmarked for closing due to swinging government budget cuts. Soon it's going to cost me more in gas to get to a city library than to order direct from amazon.

Paula said...

I'm glad you like it Jen! Thanks for the heads up on A Hunter's Cookbook; the library doesn't have it, and what appears to be anew version is coming out in March, so I've added it to my wish list.

I am heartily sorry to hear about your local libraries!! We use our library a lot, and I would feel like I lost a member of the family if that happened here. Which I doubt. We seem to pay a lot in property taxes, so I guess you pay for it one way or the other. I do hope your library's closing is only temporary!

John Faires said...

Hey, my name is John, I'm Nicole's husband. Her first book was self published but the new one done by Skyhorse is the same book but with many more photos and a full colour layout. I have seen it and the book is truly beautiful. Thanks for the awesome review, I am excited to show Nicole.

Check out Nicole's site if you have any questions. She loves to hear from readers.