Reading about farming has its own vicarious pleasures too, even for someone who actually lives in the country. The more practical the book the better I like it, especially if it gives me a glimpse of how rural life used to look--or how it ought to look. So here are two places to start. The first is Gene Logsdon's The Contrary Farmer (Chelsea Green). Logsdon is full of good, practical sense and he is the best--and most plain-spoken--philosopher of rural living I know. The other book is harder to find--or will be until April, when it is reissued by Chelsea Green. It is William Cobbett's Cottage Economy, which was published in 1822 and was meant to teach its readers what had been forgotten about rural living in a single generation.
—Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times