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It Started with Thoreau: Living "Away" and with Nature

Corinne H. Smith
The list author says: "Henry David Thoreau spent two years, two months and two days living in a house he built himself, near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. He did not gain fame in his lifetime, and he never expected to set an example to Americans and to the world. But ever since the publication of WALDEN, people have been inspired to go off and live deliberately in the woods. And some of them have written about their experiences."
My Side of the Mountain
My Side of the Mountain
"I first read it when I was in fourth grade.  Sam runs away from NYC and lives in a hollow tree in the Catskills.  What kid wouldn't like the premise?"
Appalachian Spring
Appalachian Spring
"All of Bonta's books are great nature writing, as she and her family live on an isolated property in the Appalachians of central Pennsylvania. "Escape to the Mountain" started it all."
A Separate Place: A Family, a Cabin in the Woods, and a Journey of Love and Spirit
A Separate Place: A Family, a Cabin in the Woods, and a Journey of Love and Spirit
"The author deals with personal struggles by leaving his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, and moving to a cabin in the nearby Appalachians.  More person-oriented, but still good."
The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod
The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod
"Beston lived a more solitary life than even Thoreau did, out on a beach on the Cape Cod peninsula.  His nature observations are among our classics."
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
"The author explores the life around her in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  Lots of interesting observations about animals."
Place In The Woods (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage)
Place In The Woods (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage)
"The author and her husband escape Chicago life and find a more interesting time in a cabin in rural Minnesota.  Even time seems to stop there."
Woodswoman: Living  Alone in the  Adirondack Wilderness
Woodswoman: Living Alone in the Adirondack Wilderness
"The author retreats to her own log cabin in the Adirondacks.  Followed by two sequels."
We Took to the Woods
We Took to the Woods
"Louise Dickinson was on a canoe trip in western Maine in the 1930s when she stopped to talk to a man splitting wood.  She eventually married him and moved into his cabin in the woods."
Living at the End of Time
Living at the End of Time
"Mitchell builds a small cottage at the edge of his Littleton, Mass., property.  Continues where _Ceremonial Time_ leaves off."
Cabin Fever: Dialogues with Nature
Cabin Fever: Dialogues with Nature
"Chicagoans Carter and his wife retreat to a summer cabin in Door County, Wisconsin.  Wildlife encounters are depicted with Kenney's exquisite illustrations."
Going to Ground: Simple Life on a Georgia Pond
Going to Ground: Simple Life on a Georgia Pond
"Blackmarr goes back to Georgia to live in a pond-side cabin on her family's property."
Wilderness Wife
Wilderness Wife
"The Angiers and their Irish wolfhound Bushman leave the quiet desperation of Boston and settle in a log cabin in the wilds of Hudson Hope, British Columbia.  Lots of "living off the land" advice."
There's a Porcupine in My Outhouse: Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe (Capital Discovery)
There's a Porcupine in My Outhouse: Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe (Capital Discovery)
"A Massachusetts journalist reminisces about spending weekend and vacation retreats at a secluded pondside cabin in Vermont."
In the strong woods: A season alone in the north country
In the strong woods: A season alone in the north country
"A graduate student from Salt Lake City takes the summer off to spend time at a lakeside cabin in western Ontario."
The Salt House: A Summer on the Dunes of Cape Cod
The Salt House: A Summer on the Dunes of Cape Cod
"A young married couple spends a summer in an isolated shack several miles east of Provincetown.  Almost a contemporary version of "Outermost House.""
A Year In The Maine Woods
A Year In The Maine Woods
"A zoology professor spends a year living in a mountain cabin in central Maine."
On the Wild Edge: In Search of a Natural Life
On the Wild Edge: In Search of a Natural Life
"Dave Petersen and his wife have chosen a simple lifestyle in the mountains near Durango, Colorado."
Fifty Days of Solitude
Fifty Days of Solitude
"The author is left alone during a Maine winter in order to get some writing done."
Rogue River Journal: A Winter Alone
Rogue River Journal: A Winter Alone
"John Daniel spent a winter in a remote portion of Oregon's Rogue River valley, deliberately shutting himself off from civilization's temptations, even radios and telephones."
Zoro's Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods
Zoro's Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods
"Thomas Crowe spent four years -- twice Thoreau's time at Walden -- living in a cabin in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains."
Me, All Alone, at the End of the World
Me, All Alone, at the End of the World
"A young boy has a paradise all to himself until a developer comes by and decides to make it a tourist attraction.  A children's picture book that speaks volumes in our urban sprawl society."
The Woods: One Man's Escape to Nature
The Woods: One Man's Escape to Nature
"While Charles Seib wrote for a newspaper in Washington, D.C., he made weekend escapes to a property he bought in the hills of Virginia, where he built his own private retreat."
A Country Year: Living the Questions
A Country Year: Living the Questions
"Sue Hubbell lives on her own and is a beekeeper in rural Missouri, in the Ozarks.  She uses a seasonal approach to retell life on her farm."
Payne Hollow: Life on the Fringe of Society
Payne Hollow: Life on the Fringe of Society
"Harlan and Anna Hubbard spent years riding up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  When it came time to put down roots on land, they chose Payne Hollow in Kentucky, overlooking their companion, the Ohio River."
Radical Simplicity
Radical Simplicity
"A combination of WALDEN and the FOXFIRE books, written by a man who lives in a hobbit hole in Joseph, Oregon.  Inspirational!"
Amateur Sugar Maker
Amateur Sugar Maker
"Dartmouth prof Noel Perrin built a Walden-sized cabin on his Vermont property so that he could process maple sugar in it.  He describes the building of it, comparing his expenses to Thoreau's, and then sets about outfitting his small sugaring operation."
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life
"A gay couple leaves the city and strikes out for the wilderness of southwestern Michigan.  All too funny and true."
Cabinology: A Handbook to Your Private Hideaway
Cabinology: A Handbook to Your Private Hideaway
"By now you've been inspired to find or create your own cabin, away from the city.  Here's a colorful and instructive book that will explain how to build it."
A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder
A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder
"It took Michael Pollan "two and a half years of Sundays" to create his own writing cabin on his property."
The Bullhead Queen: A Year on Pioneer Lake
The Bullhead Queen: A Year on Pioneer Lake
"Casually known as "the Minnesota Walden."  Sue Leaf and her family live beside Pioneer Lake, northeast of the Twin Cities.  Her seasonal essays aim for a balance between love of Nature, concern about the environment, and commitment to the Lutheran Church.  It's an interesting approach."
Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream
Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream
"Bill Powers lives for a time in a friend's 12-foot-by-12-foot house in North Carolina.  Probably the perfect book to read immediately after finishing WALDEN."
The cabin
The cabin
"O'Kane was an entomology prof at the Univ. of N.H.  Though he doesn't say where this woodland cabin was, I can tell you through my research that it was in Wonalancet, N.H.  By using a non-specific approach, O'Kane makes his writing all the more compelling to nature-lover readers.  It's a joy to return to that (in some ways) simpler time and way of looking at Nature."
Fawn Island (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)
Fawn Island (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)
"Douglas Wood has a island cabin on the Minnesota-Ontario border.  His insights cover the landscape as well as living Life in general."
Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine
Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine
"Lou outlines how he and his brother Paul built a cabin in a remote part of Maine.  Here's hoping that the act itself, as well as its result, do the trick in healing their personal problems.  On the printed page, they seem to."
The Clam Lake papers: A winter in the North Woods
The Clam Lake papers: A winter in the North Woods
""Someone" spent the winter in Edward Lueders' cabin in northern Wisconsin, and he left behind some notes and letters.  A unique approach, even though we all know who the real author is ..."