Self Sufficiency Books and Catalogs

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Five self-sufficiency books to inform and entertain self-reliant readers.

Even if you don’t live on or own a homestead, we feel safe in saying you like the idea of taking charge of as much of your life as you can. This list of self-sufficiency books we’ve compiled cover a diverse range of topics but are all devoted to serving that objective.

The 30-page booklet Safe Natural Remedies for Discomforts of Pregnancy is so inexpensive, easy to use, and helpful (sections cover nausea, fatigue, headache, stuffy nose, allergies, heartburn, leg cramps, constipation, hemorrhoids, backache, sleeping difficulties, and edema) that every pregnant woman who cares about her health and that of her unborn baby should have it. (My wife sure uses her copy.) It’s just $2.50 postpaid from Coalition for the Medical Rights of Women.

Ernest Morgan’s tenth edition of A Manual of Death Education and Simple Burial remains the most helpful and concise guide to the inevitable. Including information on do-it-yourself funerals, inexpensive burial boxes, hospice and home care, and memorial societies, along with sample death ceremonies, poetry, and more, the 156-page Manual of Death can be ordered for $6.50 postpaid from Celo Press.

If you’ve been following our series of articles on intentional communities, you’ll be glad to know the new 289-page book Seeds of Tomorrow provides thorough coverage — including strengths and weaknesses — of 21 New Age communities in eight different nations. Stelle, Findhorn, The Farm, Hohenort Hotel (South Africa), Yodfat (Israel), and more are visited and discussed in this surprisingly objective text ($12.05 postpaid from Harper & Row).

The Weather Wizard’s Cloud Book tells you (and, in full color, shows you) everything you need to know to accurately predict the weather by “reading” the clouds. The late Louis Rubin’s method for forecasting is simple to understand (although not easy to master) and so precise that the author’s forecasts of unusual weather, called Rubin days, were 90% correct. The flexible- bound book costs $13.95 postpaid from Algonquin Books. (A 35-photo, 17 1/2″ X 22 112″ full-color Cloud Chart based on the book can be ordered for $3.00 postpaid from Cloud Chart, Inc.)

Three fascinating catalogs have landed on MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ desk. The 40-page Pioneer Catalog (free from The Pioneer Place) is a solid offering of country tools and appliances from a group of Amish families shining the means for the simple life. The Co-Op America 48-page collection ($1.00 from Co-op America) shares an array of quality products from groups concerned with environmental survival, peace, social justice, and cooperation. And The American Historical Supply Catalogue ($16.95 plus $1.50 shipping and handling from Schocken Books) is an amazing 240-page compendium of nineteenth-century items that are being manufactured today, including stereoscopes, powder flasks, peace pipes, Shaker clothing, surreys, crosscut saws, pocket watches, No. 76 kerosene lanterns, hand-tied brooms, brass beds, hand-hewn beams, and even an exact replica of Thoreau’s Walden Pond cabin!

The Complete Guide to Lower Phone Costs, from Consumers’ Checkbook ($6.95 postpaid from Lower Phone Costs), is the best we’ve seen for money-saving information on buying/renting phones, installing your own equipment, and choosing a long-distance service. It could easily save you its cover cost.

Working Free ($3. 95 postpaid from Random House) is a 210-page tract advocating “practical alternatives to the 9 to 5 job.” A bit lean on helpful how-to-do-it information, filled with useful resources, and definitely packed with examples and encouragement, John Applegarb’s guide can help creative people who want to develop a more open, self-employed lifestyle.

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