Urban Homesteading Heirloom Skills For Sustainable Living Book Review
I haven’t gotten around to doing a book review in quite a while, but I’ve just finished reading Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living by Rachel Kaplan with Ruby Blume. I’ve got mixed feelings about this book.
What I Liked
This is a great idea book. It covers a myriad of topics and I was inspired to try a little harder with my gardening/homesteading efforts after reading it. The book is visually stunning, the pictures are abundant and beautiful. The authors really do seem to care about their chosen subject.
What I Didn’t Like
Right off the bat the Table of Contents is a little vague and there is no index. How can a book that is meant as a reference have, no index? The projects are a bit vague and could use more fleshing out. My biggest problem with the book is the tone. The authors are clearly NorCal left over hippies, which doesn’t usually bother me as I figure good content overcomes politics, but not this time. Early on (p. 16) the reader is subjected to “Acknowledging the history of oppression and genocide that has distorted all the systems of our culture, fair share seeks a just outcome.” And it only gets worse from there, at various points the reader is told to build altars of natural objects and conduct homegrown rituals: “Go to the beach or a river or a pond, a place with living water. Declare what you need to shed. Write it down. Burn the paper. Taste the ashes. Scatter the ashes…Take off your clothes. Walk into the water. Submerge yourself over your head. Float. Emerge” (p. 255).
Can I Recommend It?
So all in all, not a bad book just not a book for me, so I really can’t recommend it whole heartedly. A much better book for all aspects of Homesteading is Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition.
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