CRRL Picks: Let's Chuck it All and Move to the Country

Bird Cloud
Bird Cloud A Memoir By Proulx, Annie Book - 2011 921 Proul Available in some locations

Annotation:On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope.

The Caliph's House
The Caliph's House [a Year in Casablanca] By Shah, Tahir Book - 2006 964.38 Sh Available in some locations

Annotation:The story of (Shah's) family’s move from the gray skies of London to the sun-drenched city of Casablanca, where Islamic tradition and African folklore converge–and nothing is as easy as it seems….

Coop A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting By Perry, Michael Book - 2009 921 Perry Available in some locations

Annotation:Living in a ramshackle Wisconsin farmhouse — faced with thirty-seven acres of fallen fences and overgrown fields, and informed by his pregnant wife that she intends to deliver their baby at home — Michael Perry plumbs his unorthodox childhood for clues to how to proceed as a farmer, a husband, and a father.

The Dirty Life
The Dirty Life On Farming, Food, and Love By Kimball, Kristin Book - 2010 921 Kimba Available in some locations

Annotation:Single, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed.

The Egg and I
The Egg and I By MacDonald, Betty Bard Book - 1987 921 MacDo Available in some locations

Annotation:Betty MacDonald...was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. And then came the children.

Fifty Acres and A Poodle
Fifty Acres and A Poodle A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on A Farm By Laskas, Jeanne Marie Book - 2000

Annotation:Jeanne Marie Laskas had a dream of fleeing her otherwise happy urban life for fresh air and open space — a dream she would discover was about something more than that. But she never expected her fantasy to come true — until a summer afternoon’s drive in the country.

Life Among the Savages
Life Among the Savages By Jackson, Shirley Book - 1997 921 Jacks Available in some locations

Annotation:"Our house," writes Jackson, "is old, noisy, and full. When we moved into it we had two children and about five thousand books; I expect that when we finally overflow and move out again we will have perhaps twenty children and easily half a million books."

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of A Good Book By Welch, Wendy Book - 2012 381.45 We Available in some locations

Annotation:An inspiring true story about losing your place, finding your purpose, and building a community one book at a time.

Made From Scratch
Made From Scratch Discovering the Pleasures of A Handmade Life By Woginrich, Jenna Book - 2009 640.973 Wo Available in some locations

Annotation:Starting off...with a desk job and a city apartment, Woginrich set out to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle by learning homesteading skills. She didn't own land or have much practical experience beyond a few forays into knitting and soap making, but she did have a strong desire to opt out of what she saw as a consumer-driven culture.

My Empire of Dirt
My Empire of Dirt How One Man Turned His Big City Backyard Into A Farm : A Cautionary Tale By Howard, Manny Book - 2010 630.97471 Ho Available in some locations

Annotation:For seven months, Manny Howard—a lifelong urbanite—woke up every morning and ventured into his eight-hundred-square-foot backyard to maintain the first farm in Flatbush, Brooklyn, in generations. His goal was simple: to subsist on what he could produce on this farm, and only this farm, for at least a month.

Quarter-acre Farm
Quarter-acre Farm How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family for A Year By Warren, Spring Book - 2011 635 Wa Available in some locations

Annotation:When Spring Warren told her husband and two teenage boys that she wanted to grow 75 percent of all the food they consumed for one year—and that she wanted to do it in their yard—they told her she was crazy. She did it anyway.

Running to the Mountain
Running to the Mountain A Journey of Faith and Change By Katz, Jon Book - 1999 921 Katz Available in some locations

Annotation:Armed with the writings of Thomas Merton and his two faithful Labradors, Katz trades in his suburban carpool-driving and escapes to the mountains of upstate New York. There...he restores a dilapidated cabin, learns self-reliance in a lightning storm, shares a bottle of Glenlivet with unexpected ghosts, and helps a friend prepare for fatherhood.

Rurally Screwed
Rurally Screwed My Life Off the Grid With A Cowboy I Love By Knadler, Jessie Book - 2012 921 Knadl Available in some locations

Annotation:Jessie Knadler was a New York City girl, through and through. Circling the drain both personally and professionally, Jessie definitely wouldn't have described herself as "happy"; more like caustically content. Then one day, she was assigned a story about an annual rodeo in the badlands of Eastern Montana.

Simple Living
Simple Living One Couple's Search for A Better Life By Levering, Frank Book - 2003 630.975 Le Available in some locations

Annotation:A literary couple who met as students at Harvard and moved from the fast lane in Los Angeles to take over a family orchard in southwestern Virginia, Simple Living is the story of their decision to put more meaning into their lives while eliminating unnecessary debt and superfluous consumption, as well as lessening their environmental footprint.

This Organic Life
This Organic Life Confessions of A Suburban Homesteader By Gussow, Joan Dye Book - 2001 635.0484 Gu Available in some locations

Annotation:Gussow lives in a home not unlike the average home in a neighborhood that is, more or less, typically suburban. She is a suburbanite with a green thumb, with a feisty, defiant spirit and a relentlessly positive outlook.

Twelve by Twelve
Twelve by Twelve A One-room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream By Powers, William Book - 2010 333.72 Po Available in some locations

Annotation:Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot cabin without running water or electricity?

A Shared List by CRRL_MegRaymond

Member of Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Send CRRL_MegRaymond a Message FollowFollow IgnoreIgnore Report This List


If you've ever thought about living a simpler life, getting back to nature, maybe raising something living (heirloom tomatoes? chickens? children?), then check out the titles on this list. Whether they are inspiration or cautionary tale is up to you.