GeRue’s Reviews

When I was very young my mother would holler up the stairs, “Gene, turn out that light and get to sleep!” I responded by reading under the covers with a flashlight. Yes, I love books. All of the books reviewed and offered here are in my personal library. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.

Getting There

These books are for those who want to move to the country but only want to make that one move. I was inspired to write mine after meeting too many people who had moved to the wrong place and had to uproot their families and do it all over again. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.


Gardening books are like cookbooks: you really only need a few good ones but it is easy to collect a bookcase full. Even after gardening for most of my seventy-plus years I refer often to several of the hundred or so that I own. But gardening is about growing stuff. So, read books, but then get out and get your hands into the dirt. There is no one correct way to garden; each garden has unique conditions and each gardener has unique physical and mental tendencies. Each will develop their own techniques that suit them best. Gardening can be fun and frustrating, all in the same day, but few activities are more satisfying than producing your own food starting with naught but seeds and dirt. The following books will point the way and reduce the mistakes. Happy harvesting! And don’t forget the flowers, both edible and just plain pretty. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.

Food & More

These books include good information on feeding ourselves but they also include lots more useful ideas and instruction on how to live successfully the rural way. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.


Just in case you run out of energy, relax with one of these and you will become reenergized. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.

Gene’s Favorites

These are just a few of my favorite authors. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.


These good building books will save you time and money. They show time- tested techniques that work for houses, barns, sheds, carriage barns, chicken coops and treehouses. Beyond the basics are methods used by indigenous people worldwide for centuries. Find the systems that you like, learn how to handle the tools, and then build for continued utility and delight. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.


Good design rewards forever, or at least for a lifetime. Bad design is more costly in dollars and work and is sure to cause some form of depression. These authors know much more about superlative design than most of us. Thank goodness they shared by writing books. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.


We all profit from more skills. Whether living on rural property or scheming for an escape from the city, it is never too early or too late to learn how to handle tools and make things both useful and beautiful. If you have a nomination, please e-mail us.

Tools & Equip’t

Almost every endeavor we undertake requires tools. Gardening will require tools to work the soil and tools to trim the plants. Cutting firewood or building a lapstrale canoe will require different tools. Here we review the tools we have found most useful. We try not to go too far in the argument of power vs. hand tools, both have merits.