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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Books for a Certain Lifestyle

Alternate titles--

Books for a Parsimonious Lifestyle
Books for Creative Living
Books to Feed the Soul

I love learning new skills. Learning new skills has little to do with parsimony sometimes. Saving money cannot be the focus of a life. It can sure help to keep hands and minds busy. The end results from using creativity can be bliss. I think, "I made that myself." Some skills I will never actually perform hands-on, but I will make a good "helper" or "supervisor."
Just Junk~~just my style!
Since I am very parsimonious, this book about making over old things is not a new concept to me. It is a great inspiration. It is a yard sale book. I know it cost no more than $1,  most likely, less.


Reading The Christmas Kitchen will make you salivate!  I had been to a Christmas Village Craft Show and had tasted lemon curd. I really wanted a recipe to make it. But no one knew my desires. My friend, Gwyn, owned an antique shop. She gave me this for Christmas that year, AND the recipe for lemon curd was right there! She had found this in an estate sale or at auction in a box or at a yard sale. It cost her practically nothing to delight me! This is one of the best gifts I have ever received, and I don't collect recipe books. Besides this one, I only own two others recipe books. 

I don't know where I acquired Victoria at Table. Yard sale?

Yes, I read the whole book! No, I will not take up this trade!

Rodale's Illustrated Encylopedia of Herbs
has beautiful pictures with which to identify herbs

My favorite herb book, the most trustworthy. Dr. Tyler's information is all the result of research or folklore. References for all information is with each herb discussed. He is selling nothing and does not put himself to the forefront with his superior knowledge, claiming to know what is best for a single individual or groups. If an herb is dangerous, he says so. If the claims from others are or are not substantiated, he notes that also.
When I was in grad school, I used this as a reference book when we studied The Country of the Pointed Firs. The main character grew herbs and women came for this one herb in particular. I looked in The Honest Herbal and discovered she was tending and distributing abortifacients. Even the doctor sent women to her. The professor was stunned because he had been teaching the book for years and had never seen what I saw.

When I hear talk of an herb, I check to see if Dr. Tyler recommends not using the herb. There is a list of references at the end of each herb description that he gives.

I can do needlepoint already, but this must have been a dime or it was free.

I won this one: Housewife Superstar: The Very Best of Marjorie Bligh

Published in 1971

You just know this has some goodies! I have had this book for several years and have not read all of it. It came from a yard sale that the Catholic Church has in conjunction with Oktoberfest.

99 Ways to a Simple Lifestyle has ideas that here, forty-years later, seem revolutionary to some. It has the name or the owner, a nun, and her order.

Revolutionary example: there are ways to substitute electrical devices for non-electrical options. Most of the answers to an electrical device like a electric mixer or electric can opener is just "use a good strong arm."  The solution to not using a vibrator is lots of exercise. 

These are only a few of the books  I own that are instructions on do-it-yourself or simplicity.

Your turn
Do you use any of these books? Do any of these especially intrigue you?


  1. GREAT post Linda! I love these books. I have The Thigtwad Gazzett plus quit a few others of a similar nature. I mostly find them in Thrift Stores.

  2. Patty,
    Thanks. I have The Tightwad Gazette, also. Garage sales are the best! I think someone may have given me that book, not sure.

  3. All of them are intriguing. It's funny but my most post, the one blogger ate was about skills and me urging others to read!

  4. LindaM,
    We were thinking the same thing! Sorry about the blog post.

  5. I find a mixed bag with some older books. Like some recipe books written in the 70's make eggs out to be bad for your health. Some older books about chicken husbandry, recommend dousing your chickens and the hen-house with metholated spirits, like a cure all.

    I guess if they were told to treat chickens like that, then YES, those eggs would be bad for your health, LOL.

    But I do have quite a few favourite books to do with simple living. I think one was complied by Reader's Digest, called, Beyond the Basics. Some lovely old recipes for preserving, and for old crafts. :)

  6. Chris,
    Yes, the older books have advice best left alone. The gems are to be mined from those. I never heard that about dousing chickens with metholated spirits. Poor hens! Those are the books that intrigue! I have only three recipe books. One is from the 1940s, I think. I devour that book. Even if some information is not useful, it is interesting to see what people thought in times past.

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