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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Self-Sufficient Living (Idiot's Guides) Paperback – December 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
In all fairness he does give some ideas on things to implement but not enough in my opinion.
I've been a Countryside subscriber for years and just had to get this book. I've read it, my wife is reading it, and throughout the book we realized that we already were 50% of the way to being self-sufficient. This book inspired us to make the final push and move out to our cabin on 20 acres near Prentice, WI (ironically, a stones throw from Countryside's HQ)
Lots of good, practical advice. Mr. Belanger doesn't pretend to take the stance that this book will answer all of your questions or encompass all that there is to know...simply because that is impossible. What he does do is give you all the tools you need and references, links, addresses and ideas to get you going in the direction of your choice. His recommendations on books to read are dead-on. On his recommendation, I picked up "Craft of the Country Cook" by Pat Katz and it is an amazing volume of information and absolutely all that Mr. Belanger says it is, plus more.
Tonight I stuffed sausages, making bratwurst from scratch for the very first time. Yesterday, our bees arrived for our new hives, and we got free grapevine cuttings for various wine varieties from the University of Wisconsin research station at Hancock. Over the weekend we picked up a propane chest freezer (free) and a wringer washer (also free, will convert to gasoline power).
Although I've read Countryside for years, it was this book that gave us the inspiration to make that final push. Thank you, Mr. Belanger.
I do have two complaints, and one is the title. This issue alone is almost enough to cost a star in my rating. How am I supposed to give someone a copy of this book without implying that he is a complete idiot? Furthermore, perhaps the strongest aspect of this book is that Jerome puts sustainable living in the context of right now. I've read it in the spring of 2010 and it is very truly up to date. Perhaps a more accurate title would be "Sustainable living for the 21st Century," "Things your great-grandparents forgot to tell you," or "the modern homesteader." Perhaps those titles were already taken.Read more ›
I do understand a lack of ability on the writer's part to include everything about everything but fewer subjects with enough focus that they gave information enough to actually instruct you would have been a possibility. Instead we are treated to the writer spending more than half the time either telling you where else to go for the information you really want or waxing philosophical on the subject of "green living". I understand that these are parts of what I get when a writer uses a more personal narrative but I found it to be a distraction, frankly I am tempted to say he used it as filler material so that he could meet minimum page requirements.
If nothing else I have learned somethings from this book: never buy a complete guide to a broad subject they are most likely exaggerating their expertise, never buy a complete idiot's guide book, buy a physical copy so that you can at least have the satisfaction of throwing it away.
On the flip side, if you are interested in such self sufficiency guides I can offer up the Chickens for Dummies book which has excellent and detailed information and many of the books that the author suggests are very good sources of information as well. Just don't pay $13 for a suggested reading list.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book extremely useful, and I've been working on self sufficiency for many years now.
I can understand some of the negative reviews - the first part of this... Read more
Excellent down to earth reading from someone who has been there!Published 13 months ago by David L. Reed
This book should be named "How you are killing the planet." The entire book tries to sway you to take care of the planet better. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Steve
This is a great book for anyone looking to get away from their dependence on the "rat race". Practical and easy to read from someone who has done it.Published 21 months ago by Bill W.