04 March 2013

Books I Read: The Bucolic Plague

Truth: I have been so behind on reading (and *ahem* finishing) books in the last few months, that it's been a futile cause to try and keep up with blogging about the experience upon completion. But to keep myself as on-task as possible, I decided it would be a fun and worthwhile experience to join a book club this year. Upon moving to Lincoln Square, I've done a fair amount of exploring and fawning over the neighborhood. I discovered the most charming little book store, the Book Cellar which combines two of my loves: books and wine. Each month they offer a book club to the public, posting the books online well in advance to give us ample time to read through the book of choice.

The March book was The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers, a memoir written by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. This book was exactly what I needed. If that makes any sense? What I mean by that is that I've been slowly reading (two years and counting) An Alphabet for Gourmets by MFK Fisher, which is a pleasure and a challenge all neatly wrapped into one, and I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've invested two years into this book, made it to the letter "W" but still I needed a break for something lighter and well, a bit more contemporary... so I signed up for book club, purchased my copy, and dove into The Bucolic Plague with an appetite for something fun and light.

This book's main message to me is pretty much "BE YOUR BEST SELF" and "RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD". Shout out to Emma Marie, because she knows exactly what I'm talking about. The two protagonists, Josh and Brent, a wonderful healthy vivacious couple living their lives out in Manhattan, buy up a farm and 60 acres of land in Upstate New York because YOLO, and basically this memoir follows them around the farm as they try to figure out just what it is they are doing and why they are doing it with little to no experience. I found myself LOLing over and over as I read this on the train, because it combines a whole bunch of things I love: 1) honesty, 2) farm animals, 3) beautiful descriptions of food, and 4) poop humor. This book definitely had its moments that I glazed over, but the overall spin that Kilmer-Purcell puts on his experience as a "gentleman farmer" is truly that you only live once, do whatever the eff you want, if you want to buy a farm and learn how to grow your own food, then just do it. If you love someone, don't forget to tell them that you love them. If you don't can your tomatoes, you won't have tomatoes for winter. And if you truly hate your job, figure out what it is you love, quit your job, and spend your time surrounding yourself with worthy projects and experiences that play to your skills and assets.

In light of the economic recession (yeah you're still here, I feel you), there's so much all of us can be doing to live out our lives in the best possible way. I might not be making a ton of money or living the 100% glamorous life I had envisioned for myself, but hot damn am I having fun. And what I'm taking away from this book is that my journey is only just beginning. I'm still figuring out what it is I want out of my life, and what strange projects I'm going to take on. I have to find my farm and 60 acres, buy it, and immerse myself in it, so to speak.

And on that note, I ask you dear reader, what is your farm? When will you quit your day job to pursue your strange dream on a whim?

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