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June 12, 2010

Book review: Twelve By Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream (William Powers)

This is one of my favorite books for 2010.

Author William Powers writes in a style that is as calming and reflective as the life he details while staying in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot cabin in North Carolina. Powers, a development aid and conservation worker for over ten years, accepts the invitation of the owner to stay in her cabin for a season while she travels.

At first inured in modern American life in spite of his international experiences and the resultant restlessness and culture shock, Powers comes to soften to life in the cabin, and to accept the lessons being offered to him by its surroundings and his neighbors. The lessons he learns from his home and neighbors provides powerful points of thought for all of us.

If I have any quibbles with the book, it’s that on the back of the book, it states that the book is “a memoir of what can be gained by going without.” While it is true that Powers goes without running water, electricity, and so forth, what he gains far outweighs the losses.

From New World Library (a member of the Green Press Initiative and who printed this book in Canada on 100% post-consumer-waste recycled paper) and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Tell you read about it on Elephant Journal!)

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