The last two books I've read were both written by Seattle authors. Since they were both quite enjoyable and are related to the idea of homesteading and urban living, I'm going to review them both!
by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Some of you are aware of my fascination with crows. They are
totally wicked cool. They're super intelligent, they have really
complex relationships with their fellow corvid mates, and they can be
really fun to watch. I've loved them for a while now despite a lot of
anti-crow remarks that you hear all the time. (Rats with wings, they're
really mean, etc.) This book is about naturalizing. Naturalizing is
beasically what it sounds like; studying nature in depth. Naturalizing
generally happens in really "natural" surroundings, forests, meadows,
beaches, etc. But this book talks about naturalizing in urban spaces...
Seattle to be exact.
Haupt mentions that not a day goes by without at least one
encounter with a crow. Whether there's actually interaction or not,
crows are there to be seen every day. They are a constant reminder of
the natural world, though we have begun to count them apart from nature
due to their constant presence. She talks about how the population
growth of crows has mirrored the population growth of humans over the
centuries and that we are the reason there are so many. They can adapt
to our habitats, whereas many other creatures cannot, ergo, more crows.
The book is a good reminder of our relationship with nature and how
responsible we are of the changes we see to our surroundings. Three out of four eggs for this one.
by Novella Carpenter
Oh boy did I love this book. Shawn couldn't even put it down and
that's saying a lot because he is a serial book non-finisher. This is a
book about a lady with some serious balls who moved from Seattle to
Oakland (the armpit of the west coast) and created an urban farm in an
abandoned lot next to her apartment. The characters in this book are
hilarious, from Bobby, the homeless man that lives in cars on their
street, to Lana, her art-loving neighbor, to Cornrows
Boy who comes by to adopt a rabbit, and Chris, the fancy chef who she meets while dumpster diving in his restaurant, who teaches her how to make salami with her pigs.
She started with a garden and box of bees, moved on to chickens,
ducks, turkeys, rabbits, then eventually, pigs. She's a serious
homesteader and serious DIY'er. She is just like me, except times ten.
I think I enjoyed the book so much because everything she did, I would
totally do... if I had the guts. She likes to make stuff out of junk
and dumpster-dived regularly for food for her livestock. She went
through the terrors and eventual pride of butchering her own food (all
except the pigs) and the stress of living in Oakland, surrounded by
prostitutes, gangs, bums, and several instances of dogs coming in to
kill her livestock. I wish I could be just like her. I probably won't, but this book inspires me to do more and not be afraid of things. She is why I want to write a book myself. Four out of four eggs... it's that good.