I am glad I opted for the physical book for this review. If I had went for the kindle version, I would have felt like this book was never going to end. It is very thick and heavy at 379 pages, kinda like a small encyclopedia only you want to read this book. Had I opted for the kindle version, I would not have been able to skip around to find the stories that I needed to reread to refresh my memory of what he had talked about when you are reading the next part of the story. This book is written like a journal, originally letters for his newsletter, so you may read about his dogs for example but then later in the book you will hear more about them.
There are 4 sections full of chapters that are listed as topics.
- Leaving Memphis Five Miles At A Time
- Living In The Country Changes You
- Learning Curve
- A Real Farm
I did learn a lot about history, laws about gold and silver, farming trial and errors, and more. There are lots of quotes from famous people and scriptures. You will also learn a lot about Tennessee. One of my favorite chapters is about Old Cars. Some of you may remember the old Ford LTD and some may not. I tell my girls that is the car I am getting them for their first car because its big and safe like a tank, and I get dirty looks.
There are lots of stories about animals, those things that his wife Susan said “nothing that eats”. You will hear stories about raising pigs, chickens, cows, horses, and lots of dog stories. You will be amazed at how Franklin keeps going through the tough times, how he leans on God, and how his family fits in to it all. You will get to hear stories of his Grandchildren and all the fun they get in to. I really enjoyed the story of Tucker in church at 2 years old. It seems to me that Tucker might be a running a church one day.
There are some photos scattered through out the book and I really like that touch. It helps for you to picture the people as your reading about them. There is also a map, sketched by Franklin himself, to Dogwood Mudhole in Grand Ole Tennessee, if you ever need to find it.
When I started reading this book I had hopes that it would encourage me to “live in the country” and become self sufficient. I am not sure if I am encouraged or not because one day I may want to write a book just like this one. I laughed a lot and I learned a lot of what not to do. The author, Franklin Sanders, is leaving a legacy that will soon not be forgotten. You will feel the pain of his failures, and then you may want to cry for him, but mostly you will laugh your tush off. He really knows how to make you laugh at his expense. There is so much in this book that is just hard to remember it all. I will enjoy picking it back up to thumb through it when I need a laugh or just want to reread a story.
I do recommend to get this book in paperback form instead of the kindle version if you like to flip through a book to find something you may want to read again. It would be very time consuming to do that on a kindle, even if you bookmarked pages because you may end up bookmarking a lot of stories.
I recommend this book to everyone, but especially to people like me who hope to have a small farm one day, preppers, those who are nosy about others lives, those that just want to be entertained, and those who think they already know everything there is to know about starting a farm from scratch or have already started doing it. You may learn something new, what not to do, or it may change your mind about doing it. But just think of all the stories you could tell and pass on to your family for generations.
I can’t wait for Volume 2!