Recommended Reading

I was so blessed on my birthday to receive a few good books (along with a bunch of other cool stuff!), I thought I’d share my two favorites with you in case you might want to check them out for yourself.

Our Homestead Story: The First Years

Though a tad too goofy at times for my taste, this was overall a really good read. The stories the Castleberry’s tell remind me all too much of my own learning experiences during our first two years of homesteading. I love how they share their many mistakes, and lessons they learned from more experienced neighbors and friends who were eager to lend a hand. It’s a fun read, packed full of useful information as well. I’d highly recommend it!

Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression

I have to say, this was the first cookbook that I’ve ever sat down and read front to back. I LOVE Clara! Actually, I fell in love with her when her YouTube videos first became a web sensation. I would sit and watch each video with a pen and paper, and try to write down her recipes as she cooked. What intrigued me the most about her was that what she shared was not only stories of survival of the Great Depression, but the frugal recipes that her mother cooked for their family which got them through the hardest of times. When I found out that she had published a cookbook, I knew I had to have it.

Before each recipe Clara shares a story about her childhood. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every one of her accounts. She shares how she had to quit school so that she could get a job to help the family make ends meet, how when they would have no money for food they would eat dandelion salads, and how she learned to eat whatever she was offered, whether she liked it or not, because the only alternative was hunger. I plan on putting these cherished, money saving recipes to good use in our home!

I’ve actually been reading a lot of books lately. Some have been good, some have been complete wastes of time (I hate it when that happens!). What about you? Read any good books lately? If you’ve read these books as well I’d love to know what you thought too!

13 thoughts on “Recommended Reading”

  1. I also wanted recommend One Second After by William Forschten.
    Really got me thinking about disaster preparedness. Thanks to those who suggested it.
    Easy read. You won’t be able to sleep after reading it. Your mind will be busy working on your own preparation. Spent Black Friday building an enviable first aid kit.
    The subject matter of EMPs was in the news lately. Scary. made this book more relevant. As we christians read in His word particularly Matthew. Our job is to be a shelter. “how difficult it will be in those days for pregnant and nursing mothers”
    The threat of an EMP is real and very serious. Find out and collaborate with neighbors.

    P.S. Also read Devil in pew number seven. Very Good. I didn’t exactly agree with the danger the kids were put through though.
    New Life on a Homestead is a beautiful thing. Inspiring!

  2. I also followed Clara on You Tube for a long time. Her cookbook has been on my wish list since it came out. She is such a precious lady!

  3. I just read “The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo. I was an easy read, but it was so, so good. I read the whole book in one day, I just couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend it.

  4. Anything by Liz Curtis Higgs and Jane Kirkpatrick is good for christian fiction and inspiring for homesteading ways as well. Both write historical novels, among other things.

  5. I, too, read “One Second After” by William Forstchen (a history professor from North Carolina I believe). Lets get real…how many people are going to read a congressional report on EMP? Probably not many. But people WILL read a novel about what life would be like after an EMP blast over Kansas/Nebraska.

    I bought my own personal copy of this book and marked out the strong language as I read, instead scrawling in ink pen, “Bless the Lord.”
    Everyone who has borrowed my copy of the book, has laughed about my cleaning up the language. However, I’m afraid that is the only laughter one will get out of this book as it is serious subject matter.

    Perhaps you can read yourself into the story and ask yourself how YOU would respond in each situation of hardship. You’ll quickly discover just how prepared/or un-prepared you are.
    Let us not grow weary in well doing (in this case…stocking).

  6. I love reading. I’ll have to check these two out. Thanks for the recommendation Kendra.

    I’m currently reading Hard Times in Paradise by David and Micki Colfax. They are a family who homesteaded and homeschooled their four boys, some of whom went on to Ivy-League schools. It is amazing to think how hard they worked to carve out a piece of heaven on earth for their family. Very inspiring! daisy

    • I am almost finished reading George Orwell’s “1984”. I thought I should read it since I hear it referenced a lot. It’s an… interesting… book. Not fun to read, nor educational. But it has been enlightening to see the unfortunate comparison with his grim view of the future and where we are now. Sadly, many of the concepts of “Big Brother” in his book are all too true, or certainly heading that way.

  7. I have to second the recommendation for One Second After. It usually takes me a year or more to get through a book. I’m just not a big reader but One Second After…3 days.

  8. since you posted about the foxfire books, Ive been reading through some of them. I got some from the library first to see if I would want to buy them, and I really love those books! its like talking to your grandparents and listening to them talk about how things used to be. thanks for that heads up!

  9. I confess: I am a junkie for reading cookbooks.

    But if you are interested in the frugal life, may I recommend M. F. K. Fisher? She wrote about her adventures with being a foodie during the Depression, largely as an ex-pat in France, and she is delightful — part recipe book, part essay, part memoir. When I was a very broke college student I read her works sometimes to inspire my cooking and more often to dream about food when I couldn’t afford more than rice. 😉

  10. I bought Clara’s book as well. I saw her on YouTube and fell in love with her. What is so amazing is her age and how WELL she gets around, remembers things, heck, even lifts those heavy pots!! She is so lovely and I think her grandson and other family members were so wise to share all of her stories with us all. As for books I’m reading now, I’ve been into the self-sufficient/survival books. The last one I read was ‘One Second After’. I couldn’t put it down. It brought up quite a few things I never would have thought of if the world really had a disaster of some sort and we were left to take care of ourselves without electricy, outside help, and so on.


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