Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

First Person Rural: Essays of a Sometime Farmer by Noel Perrin (818 Per)

Looking for books to display, I frequently find books I keep to read. It is like my going to the garden and eating raspberries before I fill a basket for the neighbors – I have to like what I pass on. This is how I happened to bring home First Person Rural: Essays of a Sometime Farmer by Noel Perrin. Forgotten by most, a few people remember it along with other back-to-the farm books popular in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Living the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing and The Firefox Book and its sequels. These books explained how to build houses and barns, sow crops, harvest, raise livestock, and lead sane earth-friendly lives. By republishing articles that Perrin wrote for Vermont Life, Country Journal, and The New Yorker, First Person Rural added to this literature. Perrin told from experience how to build fences, buy a pickup truck, and make sugar from lower grades of maple syrup. In a lightly self-effacing manner, he usually started by revealing all his mistakes and what he had to do to correct them. Then he told how to do it right.  It is over thirty or forty years since Perrin wrote these essays and some things have obviously changed about pickup trucks, taking firewood across state lines, the market prices for maple syrup, and the tenor of life in Vermont. I found some of these obvious changes added to my interest in his experiences. The book is old enough to now be history but still relevant as a handbook for simple living. – Review by Rick


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This entry was posted on September 13, 2011 by in Book Review, How To, Non-Fiction.
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