Monday, November 5, 2012


I recently asked for some recommendations of farm/survival/self sufficiency books.  We have a ton of just regular gardening books and of course cookbooks and all sorts of 'how to' books, but I thought it would be fun to have some fiction, or maybe first person account non fiction or historical type books about farming, or homesteading or even survival.  I got a lot!  THANK YOU!  In some of the comments,  several of you asked if I'd create a list.  Here it is, compiled from your suggestions:

Growing a Farmer - Kirk Timmermeister
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral - Barbara Kingsolver
Tender at the Bone - Ruth Reichl
Plenty: One Man, One Woman, & a Raucous Year of Eating Locally - Alisa Smith
This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader - Joan Gussow
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer - Novella Carpenter
 The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan
The Dirty Life - Kritsen Kimball
Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Legacies from the Land - David Mas Masumoto
Little House on the Prairie (series) - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
Mill Farm - Elizabeth Castonier
Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven
Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
The Chronicles of Prydain - Lloyd Alexander
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
*most any book by Gene Logsdon
The Wild Life - John Lewis-Stempel
Dune (series) - Frank Herbert
Adventures in Contentment - David Grayson
First Person Rural - Noel Perrin
Planting Dreams (series) - Linda Hubalek
Bad Land: An American Romance - Jonathan Raban
Aquarius Rising - Fred Zengel
Daemon Trilogy (series) - Daniel Suarez
The Hunger Games (series) - Suzanne Collins
Last Night / Night Light / True Light / Dawn's Light (series) - Terri Blackstock

PHEW!!!  What a list!!  Thank you all for leaving suggestions.  It looks like I have lots of decisions and lots of reading material to last for a long time.  If anyone wants to add even more to the list, feel free to do so in the comments and I'll edit the above post to add them.


  1. here's a few to recommend:

    Nourishing Traditions - Sally Fallon
    Wild Fermentation - Sandor Katz
    Medicinal Seasonings - Keith Scott
    The New Organic Grower - Eliot Coleman

    there are a bazillion gardening books out there all of which are pretty good so i will only recommend the Coleman one.

    last but not least, if you are interested in bread making, i would recommend The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking by Brother Rick Curry, S.J.

    it is a delightful book and the recipes are amazing.

    your friend,

  2. I cannot beleive that no one has mentioned two of the best and most classic guide books.
    From the 70"s The Manual of Practical Homesteading by John Vivian. This guy and his wife REALLY lived on a sustainable farm and made it work. Next, from the 40's "The Good Life" by Helen and Scott Nearing. They built their own home from stone!

  3. I see a few books on the list we have, and the one in the comment above about the Nearings is my favorite for sure,

  4. Oh, here is a great series for you. I have read the first two. They are by Susan Beth Pfeffer and the first one was called "Life As We Knew It". It's about an asteroid hitting the moon and pushing it closer to the Earth and it causes all sorts of catastrophes, including altering the climate. Now please note that these are considered 'teen novels' because the protagonists are young people but just like The Hunger Games, they are really enjoyable. The first book was so popular, the author wrote a second and I believe a third one now too. The second focuses on a boy in NYC and he struggles to keep his family alive after his parents disappear in the tidal waves that decimate the city. Ha, they sound depressing and they can be but they are hopeful at the same time. The first one had some great survival info about how to react if it all ever hits the fan, ha.

  5. THank you for taking the time to post this. I'll check these out myself. :-)

  6. Thanks for sharing the list! I just finished the book Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader by Philip Ackerman-Leist and feel it would also fit in with this list.


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