Sunday, August 12, 2012

Book Review: "Twelve by Twelve" by William Powers

Definite Must Read!

Permaculture, homesteading, tiny living spaces, wrestling with the feeling of being out-of-place in our Capitalist society. This book has it all! While it is definitely NOT a how-to, and it is devoid of specific instructions, it chronicles the author's stay in a friend's 12'x12' (yup, it may be the ultimate tiny abode!). It is a wonderful read for anyone who is on the journey to "what's next" as we all begin to realize that the current way of living that we're accustomed to in Western culture is not sustainable.

Powers discusses his thoughts as he lives off grid in a friend's 12'x12' cabin, and I really got into this book. It gave me ideas, and pointed me in directions I would've never thought to research, but this book itself is purely just a good read. While I will make sure to include reviews on other books that I am currently reading in order to obtain more information on the various plans I am hatching, I felt this was a great book to start with. This book doesn't give you tutorials, it gives you ideas and inspiration. Sometimes I feel like it's best to start with a piece of literature you can relate to, so you can enable yourself to envision starting upon the path yourself. It's heartfelt, funny, and just overall human. He talks about his experiences working abroad and he has such a breadth of experiences to share that this book is never dull.

I won't talk too much in detail about the story of the book, since I am posting a review not a summary. I will however say, that at one point in the book he touches upon the idea that a local economy is what we need to develop in order to ensure the success of our nation. I couldn't agree more, and I think that this is something all local businesses should be looking into working toward. If we all looked to buy local more, and limited our visits to the big box stores, we would start to see more changes in the areas in which we live. While, I would like to point out that buying local produce and food can be more pricey (yes, you can cheap coffee at a drive-thru but isn't it more rewarding supporting the locally owned coffee shops?) but this is the real cost of food. So visit those road side stands, and Farmer's markets! You're supporting local people, and you're getting fresher products. I will get off my soapbox now, and end this review on this note: If you're even remotely interested in tiny living, permaculture, living off grid, or just feel a general disillusionment over our throw away culture, this is a great entertaining read, that will be not only enjoyable to read, but also give you plenty of food for thought.

This is just the first of many suggested reads that I will share!

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