Friday, December 21, 2012
A real page turner
Reverb'12 Question 9: What was the best book you read in 2012, and why? (And by "Why?" I mean: Why did you read it? And why was it your favourite? Although these answers could be one and the same...!)
My best read this year was "Radical Homemakers", with "Depletion and Abundance" being a very close second. I read "Depletion and Abundance" immediately after reading Radical Homemakers and probably wouldn't have sought it out, if I hadn't read Radical Homemakers first. I can recommend them both.
Why did I read it?
I had seen it on other people's blogs and was intrigued by the name. What was a radical homemaker exactly?
Why was it a favourite?
It was like this book was written for me. For as long as I could remember I have wanted to live on a small acreage, completely self sufficient with my own water and power supply, growing my own food and living a simpler life.
This kind of life is different to the way I grew up. I come from a small country town. Both of my parents worked. I guess our family was middle class and mainstream. I went to the state high school down the road and left home to get a job at 17. People who lived the kind of life I wanted, were known as 'hippies'. It wasn't something that you aspired too. So, off into the world I went. I gave only fleeting thought to the 'simple life' during my early twenties. I got caught up with shopping and doing and acquiring. I travelled. I worked multiple jobs. I bought and sold properties and cars. I got married and had children. When I look back, it seems like I was just riding the wave. My early vision for my life had been pushed very far to the side, but it was still there. On the day my son turned six, it hit me like a jolt of lightening. I wanted to live a more authentic life, for me and for my family.
I hadn't known it before, but finally I had a name for it.
When I grow up, I want to be a Radical Homemaker.
While the entire book was filled with 'aha' moments, it got me thinking, it got me excited. I photocopied one page and it has been stuck on my fridge for the last 5 months. Here is an excerpt from that page:
To accomplish this, the homemakers had to become autodidactic, that is self-learners. The tips for becoming a self learner, as they reported them, were to think independently, embrace general knowledge, work with what they had, make mistakes, find there own teachers, and muster the courage to start from wherever they were.
I love the diversity of the people interviewed for the book. People were using their 'radical homemaker' skills in tiny flats and urban environments. I know I can expand my skills and knowledge from right where I am.
Yesterday was the first day I have been home all day in a while. I made bechamal sauce from milk that was at it's 'end of use' date (for the freezer). I roasted the last of the tomatoes and capsicums from our garden to be pureed (for the freezer) I made my own yoghurt for the first time in ages. I tried Rhonda's five minute bread recipe. My son juiced a bag of oranges and I dusted off our juicer and juiced a pineapple, we mixed the two together and have made 'frosty fruit' ice-blocks. I stewed plums and peaches with raspberries and honey to make a fruit sauce (for the freezer) I stewed apples. And out of the kitchen, I made a start on some Christmas aprons for the kids.
It seems, I am on my way.
What books have you been reading in 2012? I'd love to hear from you, reading has been put high on my priority list for 2013.