self-sufficiency

This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone

By Melissa Coleman

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"With urban farming and backyard chicken flocks becoming increasingly popular, Coleman has written this timely and honest portrait of her own childhood experience in Maine with her two homesteading parents during the turbulent 1970s. A luminous, evocative memoir that explores the hope and struggle behind one family's search for a self-sufficient life."

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On Whale Island: Notes from a Place I Never Meant to Leave

By Daniel Hays

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To escape civilization Daniel Hays he "bought an island, built a house, packed up his wife and stepson and two dogs and three boatloads of supplies, and moved there for a year." He harnesses electricity from solar power and an unpredictable windmill, funnels rainwater for their showers, creates a toilet seat out of a whale vertebra and a kitchen sink out of a jawbone, and strings the bed up on pulleys so that it lifts to the ceiling."

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

William Kamkwamba first encountered the magic that ruled Malawi when he was six. Herd boys found a  sack in the road; it was filled with bubblegum!  What a treasure! "Should we give any to this little boy with leaves in his hair?", they asked. Of course they did, a double handful of gumballs: so many colors.  William ate them all.