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On the Nightstand

February 10, 2015

I have a regular habit of going to the library, especially during winter.  A little more time inside and shorter days gives me some time to enjoy a book all the way to the end instead of getting halfway through and having to return the book.

I received Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book for Christmas and I’ve been enjoying reading through that.  Why a meat cookbook for a seasoned cook and carnivore?  Since we stick to what we raise, I only get one hanger steak per year, or one brisket etc., it never hurts to have more than one way to prepare a cut of meat.  It’s a nice book.

From the library, I’m finding myself hooked on Novella Carpenter’s story about reuniting with her dad, “Gone Feral:  Tracking My Dad through the Wild.”  Easy to read, and I’m finding I don’t want it to end.  It’s a small book.

Others on the list from the library:

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Preservation Kitchen, by Paul Virant
The Carnivore’s Manifesto, by Patrick Martins
California, by Edan Lepucki
San Domingo, The Medicine Hat Stallion, by Marguerite Henry

What can I say? I like to eat so I cook, I’m interested in plants of all kinds, I’m still horse crazy and I am mildly amused by apocalyptic novels.

You reading any good books right now?

37 Comments leave one →
  1. thecrazysheeplady permalink
    February 10, 2015 6:36 am

    I’d LOVE to re-read all the Marguerite Henry books. What a great idea and I’d have never thought about going back to those old classics and favorites like the Black Stallion… Not sure why, as they were wonderful fun to read. Thank you!

    • February 10, 2015 6:40 am

      Oh my gosh, I LOVE Marguerite Henry! We have King of the Wind on tape…it’s as well worn as the book. Black Stallion too, I never read the Little House books until I was a teenager, I had read Farmer Boy (my favorite) as a kid but not any stories about Laura. I like reading children’s books for a break.

  2. February 10, 2015 6:59 am

    I’m reading The Paleo Approach, by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD because of a minor autoimmune issue and let me tell you, everybody should be reading this thing. She explains how human digestion works and hunger and satiety hormones work, and what the various things in the USDA’s food pyramid does to our bodies. (There is a book out there by Denise Minger actually called “Death By Food Pyramid”) How what we eat turns on and off genetic markers for a LOT of different diseases, and how what we eat either contributes to chronic inflammation (which we now know is the precursor to cancers and other life-changing diseases) or clears up that inflammation. It’s kind of taken over my life right now.

    But other than that, my husband and I just finish Fairest, book four of The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer. I think they are actually teen fiction, but they are whacking great stories. Set in the fictional future, they are all loosely (very loosely) based on different fairy tales: the first, Cinder, is based on Cinderella, only instead of a glass slipper, she’s a cyborg with an artificial foot; the next is Scarlet, based on Little Red Riding Hood, Cress is based on Rapunzel; Fairest is based on the evil queen in Snow White, and the last which will be out this fall, Winter, is based on Snow White. Really good stories.

    • February 10, 2015 7:30 am

      I just took Paleo by Season back to the library, it was good. I’ll look into The Paleo Approach, thanks!

    • February 10, 2015 3:47 pm

      Paula, I’m reading ‘It Starts With Food’, which sounds very similar to your book. I’ve just completed a Whole 30, and am now on day 41. Life changer, for sure. More info here at I want to get that book finished before I start on something ‘lighter’.

  3. February 10, 2015 7:09 am

    Lovely post! What could be better than a good book, a cup of tea and a little solitude in the Wintertime? I’m currently re-reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver…always inspiring! Cheers, Ben

  4. February 10, 2015 7:22 am

    Have you read The Third Plate by Dan Barber. Bet you would love it.

  5. Susan Smith permalink
    February 10, 2015 7:24 am

    I loved Novella Carpenter’s Farm City and will look for her tracking her dad book. Also really enjoyed One Second After, which is an apocalypse book, but very thought provoking and well written. Best, Sue Smith

    CallSend SMSAdd to SkypeYou’ll need Skype CreditFree via Skype To: Subject: [New post] On the Nightstand

  6. Risa Stephanie Bear permalink
    February 10, 2015 8:01 am

    Well, I _wrote_ an apocalypse you could try, Starvation Ridge. It’s not in a lot of libraries, but you could get it via interlibrary loan. It’s also free in blog form.

    At the moment I am reading Carol Deppe’s book. We have some of her ducks.

    • February 10, 2015 8:47 am

      I will look for that Risa, usually they are a little off I think yours might be the ticket! Carol’s new book is on my BD list, so it can join it’s predecessors on my bookshelf.

  7. February 10, 2015 8:03 am

    Loved the Marguerite Henry books, many of which are now sadly out of print. King of the Wind – yes, definitely, but I really loved the Misty books growing up. There was a cheesy movie based on them back in the 60’s too.I love that cookbooks have such fabulous photos nowadays, and sometimes borrow them just on that. I just discovered the “Home made” series of cookbooks by Yvette Van Boven, and have really enjoyed browsing through them.

    • February 10, 2015 9:12 am

      I second the Homemade series (Homemade, Homemade Winter, Homemade Summer) by Van Boven, but I can’t eat that stuff anymore. But great books!

    • February 11, 2015 7:50 am

      I have that cheesy movie, love the 60’s colors of the film. Loved Misty. We’ve got some Breyer figures from the Henry books. Love them.

  8. Allisa permalink
    February 10, 2015 8:42 am

    I’m re-reading the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, while waiting for part 2 of the first season to resume on Starz…also while waiting for Book 9 (yet untitled). Diana’s books are intelligently written historical epics with time-travel, war, romance, drama, medical lore; all rolled into one.

  9. Bee permalink
    February 10, 2015 8:52 am

    I just finished “Knowledge,” by Lewis Darnell. Darnell lives in the UK, and the point of his book was to describe in (very) encapsulated form, the basics people would need to eventually “reboot” society after an Armageddon-type calamity. In some ways it’s an interesting read, but I don’t think he really understands that unless a LOT more people know how to feed themselves, the knowledge he describes isn’t going to be much help. It’s worth reading, if for no other reason than to critique his theories, because it helps you think about what REALLY is likely to happen. I’m also rereading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, something I do about once a year.

  10. Bee permalink
    February 10, 2015 1:21 pm

    Forgot to add, if you can find them, that the books in the Mrs. Appleyard series are also great reads. She wrote them from the 1940s to 1970s, so in addition to great recipes, they’re period pieces.

  11. Karen permalink
    February 10, 2015 3:15 pm

    I once told someone that if I was independently wealthy, I would read and quilt. Currently reading “Wildly Affordable Organic” by Linda Watson, “Gene Everlasting” by Gene Logsdon and a childhood favorite, “Queenie Peavy” by Robert Burch. Queenie is a rebel. 🙂 Thank you to all who have added their comments. I’ve made a list for my next library search.

    • February 10, 2015 3:23 pm

      Karen, I so long to get back to my quilting, my real quilting, not just patchwork and tying a quickie.

      • Karen permalink
        February 10, 2015 4:39 pm

        Yeah, but you have time to make apple cake. No fair posting the picture twice! 🙂 Looks divine.

  12. February 10, 2015 3:24 pm

    Thank you all – my reading list has just expanded quite a bit!

  13. February 10, 2015 4:56 pm

    Just read ‘The hearts of horses’ by Molly Gloss. It’s about a ‘bronco buster’ girl during World War 1 in eastern Oregon. It’s actually not that much about horses, but about the community and time. Interesting read, a little slow.

    • February 11, 2015 2:08 am

      I just finished her “Falling Off Horses”. About a stunt man in the 30’s, doing Westerns.

  14. sophie permalink
    February 10, 2015 7:48 pm

    I´m reading Braiding Sweetgrass! It is truly an amazing book! I recommend it to all plant lovers, and anyone interested in native culture. One of the most beautifully written books i’ve read.

  15. February 11, 2015 2:15 am

    I was gifted a Marguerite Henry book each Christmas as a child. So I have a large collection of them. I also got most of the Black Stallion ones, too. Another author I liked, because he was the illustrator too, was C. W. Anderson.

    But my all time favorite author/illustrator was Kate Seredy and her The Chestry Oak is my all time favorite. I managed to get a hardcover copy in excellent shape when our regional library moved.

    Currently reading Sarah Addison Allen’s books. On The Peach Keeper now, but started with First Frost.

    Got Cooked by Michael Pollan and Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes for Christmas.

  16. Bev permalink
    February 11, 2015 6:10 am

    My favorite go to books to re-read are by Gladys Taber. All about her 1600 year old home Stillmeadow. A gardener, dog lover, cook and a writer of the seasons. Right now I am reading UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand. I have been horse crazy all my life and have collected many favorites.
    Thanks so much everyone. I have a list!. Matron, hope you do this again. A great idea. Especially at this time of year. Sigh, thinking of spring!

    • February 11, 2015 6:25 am

      Oh my have you seen the movie? Soooo good. We also just watched Fury. Speculating about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie talking over breakfast. “Gee Honey, should we do WWII movies this year?” Joking aside, my husband read Unbroken and loved it, and the movie is good as well.

  17. M in NC permalink
    February 11, 2015 6:27 am

    If you are into who-dunits …. The Alan Bradley series with the youthful detective Flavia de Luce.

    Author Lauren Willig has a historical spy series (the pink carnation …. think the scarlet pimpernel with a twist).

    Have you ever written the apple-sauce cake recipe out?

    M in NC

  18. Younker Homestead permalink
    February 11, 2015 3:03 pm

    I am reading The Dirty Life by Kristin kimball for the 3rd time:). It’s about a New York City girl who falls in love with an organic farmer and the life that goes along with it. True story about their farm, Essex Farm. A great read!

  19. February 12, 2015 3:26 am

    Love Kristin Kimball’s writing also, and Young Adult in general. For a farming break, I love Julia Alvarez. In the Time of the Butterflies was a gripping read for me. I didn’t know much about the Trujillio regime in the Dominican Republic and the bravery and normalcy of the “Butterflies” as the four heroic rebel sisters are known was inspiring. Thanks for giving me a few new titles to ponder – Braiding Sweetgrass is definitely happening soon.

    Also, if you haven’t read the Seasons on Henry’s Farm, check it out. It’s a yearly inspiration for me 🙂 And of course, Living at Nature’s Pace by Gene Logsdon.

  20. February 12, 2015 6:11 am

    This winter I’m still plowing through Horseman’s Veterinary Encyclopedia, and
    The Principles of Horseshoeing. For a lighter read – The Great Book of Celtic Designs – thinking
    of making some saddlebags when I have spare time (haha – spare time 😊)

  21. Jennifer permalink
    February 15, 2015 12:21 pm

    Just finished Ken Follett’s “Winter of the World” in the Century Trilogy. Love his stuff– historical fiction. Waiting for my mother to finish the third in the series so I can have it. About to start, S. W. Gwynne’s, “Empire of the Summer Moon” about Quanah Parker and the Comanche tribe. Also have Dan Brown’s, “Inferno” on the nightstand but I don’t like to read two at a time because I usually get so engrossed in one I can’t fully appreciate the other. I’ll have to pick up The Paleo Approach, sounds interesting.

  22. February 19, 2015 9:10 pm

    the best out of nowhere one I picked up at the library was The Orchardist. I did NOT want it to end, such incredible landscapes and the story was so unusual, haunting really.

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