What I’m Reading: Farm City


I just finished up listening to the audio book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.

I had seen this book several different times via my on line library-I almost checked it out and then didn’t.  I find with non-fiction authors, I either love them or hate them.  I was a little leery about this book.  Then one day my MP3 player ran out of battery when I was sewing.  There I was…no book to listen to.  I grabbed my smart phone and decided that I’d go on the on line library and grab the first book that looked remotely interesting.  Well the first book that came up was Farm City…so Farm City it was.  I clicked download and was listening in just a few minutes.

I was pleasantly surprised…I really liked it.  Being it’s a memoir, it’s written in first person-a plus for me.  Novella is such a treat to listen too…I love that she knows she a little eccentric and just goes with it.

Here’s what Amazon had to say about it, “When Novella Carpenter–captivated by the idea of backyard self-sufficiency as the daughter of two back-to-the-earth hippies–moves to a ramshackle house in inner-city Oakland and discovers a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door, she closes her eyes and pictures heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop.

What starts out as a few egg-laying chickens leads to turkeys, geese, and ducks. And not long after, along came two 300-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals aren’t pets. Novella is raising these animals for dinner.

An unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmer’s tips, and a great deal of heart, Farm City offers a beautiful mediation on what we give up to live the way we do today..”

The book honestly was fun to read but I have to say a few things…if you don’t feel comfortable with someone explaining their feelings about raising their own meat, and reading the description of the killing process, you’ll hate this book.  She does it in a heartfelt way but still, it’s there.

I found myself laughing, smirking, and say “WOW” more than once.  The style of her writing it just fun.

When I was writing this blog post I learned that Novella has a blog.  You can see more about that here.

Amazon readers give the book 4.4 stars…I agree.  I’m off to see if my online library has any other books by her.

I am thankful for technology and my on-line library.  Books are such a huge part of my life.  They always have been.  I was so sad when life got busy and don’t always have time to read more than a chapter a night.  In the old days I was know to read until 2 am.  Not anymore….  Technology and my on-line library has allowed me to stay in touch with my love of books.  As much as I love my audio books and my Kindle, I still prefer reading a regular good old book in paper form…but I can’t always have that so I am thankful for anything that allows me stay close to books.  I have to say if I could only have one hobby, I think I just might pick books over quilting….I love books that much!!  Today I am thankful for the technology that lets me stay close to books.

What I’m Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird


I headed back to the classics for this book.  I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee as a teen.  When I saw it on the list on my on line library, I snapped it up.  It was time to revisit an old friend.  I really feel that way when I read a book that I read as teen.  This one did not disappoint.

If you haven’t read the book…it’s a must read.  This is everything I love in a book…first person, coming of age, under-spoken heros….Ah.  If only more books were written like this!?  If you’ve read “The Help”, this book has the same feel to it.  I think that’s why I loved that book..because I first loved this book.

Here’s what Amazon had to say about it, “The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.”

That really didn’t tell you much about the plot thought did it??  The story takes place during the depression in the south.  Scout(a girl) and her brother Jem are being raised by their father (a lawyer)Atticus and their black housekeeper Calpurnia.  Their mother did when the two were small.  A rape case comes on to trial between a black man and a white lady.  Atticus is the court appointed attorney for the black man…and there the story goes with lots of unrest between the race and social class.

Years later a movie was made.  As soon as I’m done writing this post I’ll be off to see if I can find it somewhere.  I’d love to watch it!

Amazon readers say 4.6 stars.  I was actually shocked then went back and read a few of the reviews by people who gave the book 1 star.  They didn’t hate the book.  They were upset about about the shipping.  AH..that was good to know because for me, this book is a 5.  I don’t give them often so you have to know it’s good.

Today I am thankful for my parents and the way I was raised.  I wasn’t raised in a home that harbored prejudices.   My husband’s growing up was different.  I loved my mother-in-law dearly and the only complaint in my entire time of knowing her is that she said the “N” word.  It bothered me…it bothered me bad.  At my home growing up I would have been corrected about that.  Hearing it from a 90 year old woman was really hard for me.

At one point I asked my father if something had happened that he was respectful to all-and not like my mother in law.  He said a few things…  He said growing up they had a migrant family that came for summer and helped my Dad’s family.  They were black.  They had a boy my Dad’s age and the played together.  Dad said he quickly learned that there were little differences.  Dad also served in WWII.  There he had black friends there as well.  He said when someone is covering your back, you really don’t care about the color of their skin.

My mom grew up poor -very poor.  From her I learned that good people can come from bad situations.

My parents were much like Atticus….on the side of right and quietly made a good impression.  I so appreciate that.  So today I am thankful for my parents and the way I was raised.

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