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Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet Paperback – April 26, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
In this follow-up to her first memoir, Hit by a Farm, Friend details the challenges of balancing a writing career with sheep farming in southeastern Minnesota, where she lives with her partner, Melissa. As she ponders the content and meaning of her life, Friend regales readers with funny and fascinating tales of daily life on a farm, from the humor and peril unique to sheep shearing to viewing death as "part of the job." Tidbits on sheep in history and literature add color; for example, the author argues that sheepherding is actually the oldest profession and points out the animals' presence in our language, via expressions like "fleeced" and "dyed in the wool." Her voice is wry and funny; she's self-deprecating and thoughtful, and strikes a balance between teasing and kindness, whether her subject is pregnant sheep, yarn-loving "fiber freaks," or spirituality and nature. (May)
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City
“Fans of Hit by a Farm will get another dose of Catherine Friend’s signature wit and moxie with Sheepish, as she faces a rough patch on the farm, but still manages to be hilarious. In the end, Friend’s enthusiasm will make you want to raise sheep, or at least wear wool undies.”
“A graceful collection of farm-life vignettes becomes a whole even greater than the sum of its lovely parts as Catherine Friend . . . builds the story of a partnership rich in love, humor, and perhaps most importantly, sheep.”
“Sheepish is as smart and funny as its title. Catherine Friend takes us along on her quest to master the other ‘oldest profession.’ Warning: It may make you want to drop everything and go tend a flock.”
“Catherine Friend brings another wonderful tale of life on her Minnesota farm. With laughter and a few tears, Friend weaves together her stories like the threads on a loom, and as any fiber freak can tell you, this is a yarn we like to spin!”
“Whether you already know Catherine Friend from her exploits in fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature, or if you’re just discovering her, this latest laugh out loud memoir on farming is a can’t miss read.”
“Fans of Friend’s previous books about her farm adventures and what she’s learned on that farm north of Zumbrota will like Sheepish.”
“Wry, witty, and honest, Sheepish describes a magical personal transformation—from urban to rural. Catherine Friend finds meaning in the middle of life, love and even knitting projects. Friend brings out the urge to farm in knitters, spinners, and ‘fiber freaks’ everywhere, teaching us to find joy and contentment in the small, sheepy parts of our world.
“A charming memoir . . . [with] magical moments.”
Garrison Keillor on Hit by a Farm
“A sweet and funny book in the classic Hardy Girls Go Farming genre, elegantly told. . . . It has dogs, sheep, a pickup truck, women’s underwear, electric fences, the works.”
“Chock-full of wild and wooly stories about the vagaries of sheep, this series of ruminations on life at Friend's farm also offers a glimpse into the world of fiber freaks. Friend's light tone does not prevent her from addressing weightier issues such as mid-life angst and heart-breaking aspects of life and death on an animal farm.”
E: The Environmental Magazine, April 2011
“A meaningful and informative narrative on the forgotten art of shepherding.”
“As provocative as her reflections are, it is Friend’s acerbic wit that keeps the reader turning the pages. A perfect choice for book groups, this is a look at the road not taken with a guide that pokes as much fun at herself as she does at the world around her.”
“Friend regales readers with funny and fascinating tales of daily life on a farm…Tidbits on sheep in history and literature add color…Her voice is wry and funny; she's self-deprecating and thoughtful, and strikes a balance between teasing and kindness, whether her subject is pregnant sheep, yarn-loving ‘fiber freaks,’ or spirituality and nature.”
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Top customer reviews
Friend writes a lot about wool in her book, its myriad uses and its qualities as a fabric: it's a natural insulator, it repels odors, it's durable, and so on. The main thing I'll take away from this book is the strong feeling that it would be a good idea to own some wool tee shirts.
-- Debra Hamel
But the most enjoyable part of the book are the sheep! Funny beyond words, deep belly laughs! Love the sheep, and I didn't before this book. Also I have new words - sproing and worfl and oxytocin.
I could not put this book down. Catherine on her blog is worried about "paid reviewers" for books. I am not paid, I am a real person living in Dunsmuir, California. And I loved this book!