Title: Living on the earth
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Book Condition: New
0870447351 New Unread Book, (-) Fast shipping, Excellent customer service, Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # A-1-252
Synopsis: Celebrations, storm warnings, formulas, recipes, and country dances-renowned author Alicia Bay Laurel harvests them all in this unforgettable book first published more than thirty years ago. Living on the Earth is for people who would rather chop wood for fire than work behind a desk to pay the electric company. It's for people who want the best recipe for lavender soap or huckleberry jam. It's for people who want to make their own clothing, play guitar, learn woodcarving, gardening, canning and drying food, and natural first aid methods. The book has no chapters; no rigid structures or rules. It grew naturally out of the lessons the author has learned, and which she shares now with yet another enthusiastic generation. Living on the Earth is a beautiful book to see and read, as well as a spiritually uplifting work whose simplicity radiates warmth and promotes serenity and goodwill to all those who encounter it. The large format paperback is entirely written in Alicia's cursive script and illustrated on every page with her line drawings. Alicia's innovative illustration and book design styles have been enthusiastically emulated in dozens of books and greeting cards. Alicia Bay Laurel has passionately followed her muse since early childhood. She was just twenty years old when Living on the Earth was originally published; the book would go on to become a best-selling, trend-setting manual for natural, conscious living. The book celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2000. Alicia still sings, plays guitar, writes, and enjoys life in Hawaii.
When we depend less on industrially produced consumer goods, we can live in quiet places. Our bodies become vigorous; we discover the serenity of living with the rhythms of the earth. We cease oppressing one another.
Oppression hasn't quite disappeared in the 30 years since Alicia Bay Laurel wrote these words, but, thanks to the enduring legacy of the back-to-the-land movement and the possibilities of telecommuting alike, more and more people are living in the "quiet places" Laurel celebrates. Living on the Earth was a well-worn (and bestselling) bible for the urban hipsters who fled the city and took up such pursuits as organic farming and leather tanning in the early 1970s; its author, a musician and artist who now makes her home in Hawaii, made their acclimation to country life just a little bit easier with her user-friendly instructions on such matters as how to keep gophers from invading the veggie patch and how to get rid of those nasty lice that once served as the mascots of bohemian existence.
Lice or no, the countryside still has its undeniable charms. The reissue of Laurel's handwritten, simply illustrated manual will appeal to anyone contemplating a new life beyond the city--or merely seeking pointers on how to simplify daily life. Things have changed, of course, since Laurel first self-published her zeitgeist-drenched book in 1970. Where the original edition had seed-to-bud instructions for growing marijuana, the reissue now comes with a modest disclaimer in which Laurel admits to having lost her taste for the stuff decades ago--but it also comes with a ringing endorsement for the use of hemp fiber and paper as a planet-friendly measure of economy. Laurel also juxtaposes her folk remedies for common ailments with a friendly reminder to head to the doctor if the pain is really bad, the kind of advice once shunned by the proudly self-sufficient barefoot medics, manuals in hand. Still, though updated here and there, Living on the Earth retains its recipes for everything from making Moroccan djellabas to molding scented candles to delivering a baby in the privacy of one's tipi, all good things to know.
More than a blast from the past--although it certainly is that--Laurel's book is still highly useful. And it's just plain fun. --Gregory McNamee
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