Woodswoman: Living Alone in the Adirondack Wilderness - Anne LaBastille
Woodswoman will not be categorized in "best" or most insightful books I've ever read. The prose isn't unique, outstanding, or particularly articulate. I actually found Miss LaBastille very early on ran out of adjectives and everything was over-simplified, boiled down to "rustic." This is not to say that rustic is inaccurate, in fact, it's probably the most exacting descriptor for a life lived in a hand-built cabin in the middle of the Adirondacks, but with continuous repetition it is certain to get old. What makes Anne's writing compelling is the meat of the stories themselves. After her divorce, Anne purchased 22 acres in the Adirondack Wilderness of New York State, hired a pair of brothers to assist her in building a log cabin home and learned to live on her own, in the wild, writing for income, with a sweet German Shepherd for company. Originally published in 1976, the wildlife ecologist's stories and insight into a more sustainable lifestyle is both progressive and empowering. It's a quick read, the writing is conversational and the unpretentious tone makes it very accessible. I imagine her voice as she narrates, the mixing and embellishing of details that bring the book to life as being told over coffee in the cabin itself--real person, real stories. If anything the book serves as an inspiration to choose, with intention, how and why and where you live your life. To create with your own hands the life you find most fulfilling. Great for summer + adventuring minds + wanderlust + girl power.