Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes
I’ll be honest, I picked up this book thinking it was something else entirely. It is actually a book about homesteading, not homemaking. There is a difference between those two in my head. I am a homemaker, not a homesteader. I do not grow my own food. Yes, I make quite a bit from scratch, but the ingredients are purchased, not grown or raised by me. However, I did really enjoy this book. The first half was an eye opener into our consumer culture. The second half are the how-to’s of making a go of homesteading and the values common among homesteaders. The information is presented thoroughly without talking in circles. It is well written.
I found this book to be worth my time reading it. While I do not plan to become a homesteader, I did take many things to heart. It was a great reminder to be happy with what we have and not continually strive to have more. (The happiness isn’t in the more, it is in having what you need and enjoying what you do.) My needs are met. I’ve got time to spend with my family. I’m a very blessed and fortunate woman. I am also trying to buy more locally. It also (along with this blog post by Mavis) made me rethink my decision to insist on traditional health insurance.
If you’re extremely mainstream, you may want to skip this book for now. But if you’re already thinking about quality of life over making money and helping your neighbors, this book will be a good read for you, even if you can’t or won’t make the leap into full homesteading.