Two-book review: A couple of farming memoirs to skip


I started reading Acres and Pains by S. J. Perelman this morning after breakfast.

Yay! I thought, another funny city-person-buys-a-farm-and-hilarity-ensues memoir! And so short, too. I can finish before dinner!

Fifty-some pages later though I had given up on it. The writing style (non-stop high-octane early 20th-century hyperbole) is grating after the first few chapters. The joke about giving his wife a shiner was hard to get past. But when he put the same battered spouse in blackface? I was done.

I was reminded of another poor excuse for a funny farm memoir that disappointed me: The Egg and I.


This one was fatally riddled with unchecked hatred for Native peoples.

Skip these both. There are dozens of actually funny, inoffensive books out there in this particular line of memoir. A tiny selection that I have read and enjoyed:

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball

Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land by Kurt Timmermeister

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn by Catherine Friend

Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich

— Amanda



One thought on “Two-book review: A couple of farming memoirs to skip

  1. Pingback: 2015 reading roundup | SterlingFink

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