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Farewell, My Subaru - An Epic Adventure in Local Living by Doug Fine Books in Review
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Farewell, My Subaru - An Epic Adventure in Local Living
by Doug Fine
ISBN 978-1-4000-6644-5
Published March 2008 - Hardcover - 210 pages - $24.00

Author Doug Fine did what many of us wish we could do, or are planning to do.  But, giving up our modern lifestyles really isn't all that easy.  A boy from New York up and left for the desert in New Mexico where he was going to go green and live off the land.  With his laptop and Netflix of course.  Sounds easier said than done.  He was going to go solar and become a farmer to reduce his carbon footprint on this planet.  Not the life for everyone, as Fine found out, but very do-able.  His account of this change in lifestyles is hilarious.  He says, "In short, I wanted to prove that green Digital Age Living was possible, and I was psyched to get cracking".  His observations of his surroundings are very funny, and the way he describes his experiences on the ranch, from an ex-New Yorker's point of view, is wonderful.  Fine encounters creatures he'd only heard about, weather he'd never endured (but he'd had extreme living in outback Alaska), and all the while he was trying to become self-sufficient.  After being in his new home just three weeks, he was nearly flooded out because of days of rain, plus he had a sick goat to contend with.  I loved Fine's analogies and vivid descriptions that I could "see" exactly what he was describing, more especially as I've cleaned out both goat and horse pens, fed them too, as well as had chickens, have a veggie garden, etc.  I appreciated his sense of humor, and this sentence about the economy and country in a crisis says it eloquently: "It's better than lying to start a war so you can enrich the vice president's company".  Never truer words were spoken.  We've got to sort ourselves out before we collapse totally.  We're even given some down home recipes from Fine, like Thai Peanut Chard Stir-fry.
So for me, I'm doing things right where I am in an attempt to recycle and reduce my waste production and oil consumption.  I've ridden my bike for years and years.
Visit Fine's website.
Conclusion - Great fun and very enlightening.  Fine encourages us to reduce our own carbon mark and live carefully and thoughtfully.  Also, it's hilarious.

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Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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