Gene’s Favorites

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

Another Turn of the Crank, by Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry patiently keeps showing us how to regain the sanity and goodness that life once held. Here are six essays: Farming and the Global Economy; Conserving Community; Conserving Forest Communities; Private Property and the Common Wealth; The Conservation of Nature and the Preservation of Humanity; Health is Membership. In Conserving Community Berry lists 17 specific guidelines for regaining our lives by rebuilding our communities. They alone are worth far more than the price of the book–if we use them. Berry turns the crank; we need to start the engine. Go here for ANOTHER TURN OF THE CRANK.

The Contrary Farmer, by Gene Logsdon

Logsdon is a small Ohio farmer who writes about what he knows, and he knows a lot. His early books were written for Rodale, how-to titles that are all out-of-print. His present publisher is Chelsea Green, which will be bringing out a new edition of the book on getting food from water. I have most of Logsdon’s books and like them all. Of his recent work, my favorite is THE CONTRARY FARMER.

The Good Life, by Helen & Scott Nearing

Loving and Leaving the Good Life, by Helen Nearing

I discovered Helen and Scott’s books in the early 1970s and they inspired and sustained me as I planned my escape from urban California. Not long before she died, Helen reviewed my book and gave it a wonderful testimonial which I will always cherish. No other two people have had a greater influence on the back-to-the-land movement. Helen and Scott were born to privilege and rejected it to live lives that showed by example their commitment to right living. They were vegetarians, they raised most of their food, and they were remarkable in their physical and intellectual capacities. Their physical bodies are dead but their spirits live on in the lives of those now living the good life because of their example. Schocken Books has compiled the two Nearing classics, Living The Good Life, and Continuing The Good Life, into one volume: THE GOOD LIFE: HELEN AND SCOTT NEARING’S SIXTY YEARS OF SELF-SUFFICIENT LIVING. After Scott died at the age of 100 by purposefully not eating, Helen wrote a candid book that gives insight into their private lives and reveals their deep convictions:LOVING AND LEAVING THE GOOD LIFE.