As it’s gardening season, I’m not going to post tomorrow; however, I want to get through reviewing the books I read in 2022 before the end of 2023!
Keeping Bees with a Smile by Fedor Lazutin and Leo Sharashkin
I greatly enjoyed this book. It is beautiful, yet melancholy. Dr. Leo Sharashkin translated this book and adapted it to the US, based on the word of Russian beekeeper Fedor Lazutin, who died tragically young, leaving his wife and children behind.
I met Leo in person at the 2022 Homesteading Life Conference in Missouri. In fact, I bought a second copy of this book from him just so I could have him sign it. Of course, I can’t find it now because I lost it somewhere in our move, but I do own it.
Keeping Bees with a Smile explains the value of bee genetics and raising the proper races for your climate, as well as how to keep bees in hives that fit the way they live and overwinter. It’s fascinating, and an excellent read for any prospective or expert beekeeper.
Balanced Beekeeping I & II by Philip Chandler
I bought three of Philip Chandler’s books before discovering I didn’t particularly like Philip Chandler. He has an anti-Christian bent that is off-putting, and there is an edge to his writing that goes along with that rejection of truth.
That said, he is quite knowledgeable about bees and has forged his own path focused on top bar beekeeping. The information is good, but I couldn’t connect with Chandler as a presenter.
Handling Sin by Michael Malone
This is a truly bizarre novel focused on a middle-aged man from a crazy Southern family who is reconnecting with his history and his estranged father while taking a wild goose chase in search of Confederate gold.
It’s an interesting read with a very true-to-life caricature of Southern family life, from obesity to diabetes to secret affairs, plus exuberant love for family even when it’s a wreck. The author is irreverent and somewhat irreligious, with a bent towards social justice while managing to write highly entertaining characters and scenarios.
The Rooted Life by Justin Rhodes
If you are a fan of Justin Rhode’s YouTube channel, you will enjoy this book. It has his folksy, jokey style with some useful information on homesteading as a family, plus absolutely lovely photos. It’s rather more personality driven than I prefer, but he’s all about personality.
The tips and ideas inside for raising chickens and growing food should prove useful to newer gardeners and for those who wish to take control of their entire food supply, from meat to vegetables.