So I set a goal to read 144 books this year.  At first this seemed reasonable.  I mean, I’ve got all this time at the Harn on my own.  That’s only 12 books a month and I can include some kids books to pump up my numbers, right?  Well, I’m also reading some pretty hefty tomes – think textbook level reading – on Permaculture, Forest Gardening, and the like.  Those kid books are REALLY gonna come in handy!

I started thinking that, in the summer there’s more work to be done outside… so I need to focus on getting ahead of the goal in winter, right?  I figured I needed a few extras in January & February.  So how am I doing?

Books read in January:

  1. The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood  – Good but a bit predictable
  2. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly – Fun Juvie read.  Looking forward to reading the second book now.
  3. The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka – Excellent.  A Master of Growing.
  4. Re-Creative: 50 Projects for Turning Found Items into Contemporary Design by Steve Dodds – Lots of cute ideas for when I get a break from reading.
  5. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton – Sweet and timely.
  6. Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber – Good encouragement for kids to have confidence and see that we’re all a little vulnerable.
  7. I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas – Well done.
  8. Rising Strong by Brene Brown – Must read.  Again, I’m a huge Brene Brown fan.
  9. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley – Lots of science here and it was a good story – though I felt a bit overwhelmed at times with the details.  Glad to check one off the Authors to Read list.  Still need to get to Still Life…
  10. Zero-Waste Home by Bea Johnson – Wonderful, challenging book.  Everyone should read this as we all generate too much waste and can do with some culling back on our consumerism.
  11. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – Again, love this author.  Terrific story though a tough subject.
  12. Two if By Sea by Jaqueline Mitchard – Good story – sucks you in.  Goes in a lot of directions and enjoyable but don’t know if I’ll read another by her.
  13. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson – SUPER FUNNY about Hard Stories.  She is really vulnerable in here and I am sure this book will make you feel a little happier and less crazy, no matter how crazy and sad some of us sometimes feel.  Bought it for a friend – it’s in paperback!
  14. Time, Love, and Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior by Jonathan Weiner (Heavy Science)  – NFBC Read – Good look at genetics and really shows how geeky scientists are human too.
  15. Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root – Lovely folk tale type read.

Good – 3 ahead! Those 4 kid books really helped!

Books read in February:

  1. Edible Forest Gardens Volume 1 by Dave Jacke (Textbook!) – Excellent read with loads of details and technical stuff but also some really good case studies.  This is the theory volume.
  2. Sacred Balance by David Suzuki (Heavy Science) – Great overview of lots of science and how us humans are intimately connected to the earth, our planet, our home.  Wonderful closing stories of people making real differences.
  3. Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Great look at slavery and some of the BS that was involved.  But there are beautiful heroes too.
  4. Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts – Inspiring book about how each of us can bring the artist inside to life.  Really terrific demos on How-To make art like hers. You can read the first chapter on her website – it might suck you in like it did me… http://www.kellyraeroberts.com/
  5. Locally Laid: We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm – From Scratch by Lucie B. Amundsen  – Excellent book on the trials of taking on a huge challenge and winning.  Tons of funny stories about her and her husband.  You gotta check this one out – plus it’s by a Minnesota Author!  https://www.facebook.com/locallylaid/
  6. Animal Farm by George Orwell – Classic.  This was a timely read.
  7. The Iron Heel by Jack London – You may remember this from last week’s blog.
  8. Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane – Beautfully illustrated and a fun Halloween tale.
  9. Gracie and Grandma and the Itsy, Bitsy Seed by Iben Sandemose – Cute.
  10. Farming the Woods: An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel (Textbook!) – Way more data-oriented and mushroom-focused than I’d like.  But it did have good photos of a guy I LOVE on YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/user/EdibleAcres
  11. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking – A fun look at Danish Happiness with complete details on how you can join in the fun.

Man, one short!  Even with 2 kid books.

I am currently reading:

  1. Early Retirement Extreme: A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence by Jacob Lund Fisker (done!) – Loved this book (Oh, you can also read his first chapter for free at his site too!) and am now enjoying the forums at his blog… http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/index.php?sid=27dc4fee105c5df4d0c2aa72882f1d4b  You should check out his page if you want to quite being a wage slave. http://earlyretirementextreme.com/ Which will lead you to this –  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development – very interesting to consider as we look at the 45 Administration.
  2. The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno – Again, this guy is very vulnerable but also confident about justifying the criticism he gets. I like the concept,  lessons learned, and it’s just short of preachy.
  3. Living with Less so your family has more by Jill Savage – just couldn’t so this – way too churchy for me. A little obvious with many of the lessons.  I skimmed through the whole thing but couldn’t read it word for word – just to much scripture.
  4. Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale Farming and Gardening* – LOVE Sepp Holzer.  He is a genius and I’m about halfway through this one.  Lots of great info, though some re-reading is required, possibly due to translation.
  5. Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway*
  6. Edible Forest Gardens: Volume 2 by Dave Jacke (Textbook – even thicker than Volume 1!)
  7. Calm Surrender by Kent Nerburn*
  8. Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood*
  9. All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister – for NFBC
  • Some of these have been in the works for a while…  I’ll eventually finish them!

So, only being a couple days into the month, I’m doing OK for March.  But I’m gonna have to step up my game or start reading lots of Pre-K books to make the goal!!