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Living on the Earth

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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
Paperback, 214 pages
Published March 1st 1971 by Random House Inc (P)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  194 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
From back in my hippy days - has everything you need to know to "depend less on industrially produced consumer goods". All handwritten and hand illustrated.
Ian Sims
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a strange and beautiful book.
Nov 19, 2011 rated it liked it
The part of me that missed the 1960's counter cultural back-to-nature self-sufficiency movement loves this book. What's not to like about a hand-written book filled with line drawings and advice on everything from giving birth at home to building your own kiln? Recipes, first-aid tips, build-your-own DIY advice - this book has it all. In a way it's not really about doing it all yourself. Life wouldn't be as enjoyable if you had to work so hard just to survive. But what this book celebrates is th ...more
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: old hippies, young hippies, people wanting to live naturally
Recommended to Astraea by: no one, i found it at a used bookstore
Shelves: jason, jade
My sister and I prefer the older edition. Whether one has plans to grow marijuana or not, the inclusion of this material is key to understanding the ambience of the period. Marijuana was taken for granted. A bit of grass in the bubbly pipe, baked in cookies, or rolled in natural paper was our generation's version of cocktails to relax. It was a given anytime people got together for any reason. The scent wafted through certain streets of my old town at the time I bought this book; even the cops s ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, fantasy
The ultimate how-to guide to hippiedom. Want to start a commune? Read this. Make a beaded curtain (with handmade beads, no less)? Instructions here. How to hike up a mountain and meditate on the mountain-ness of it? Yes, that's here too. I have put this on both the non-fiction and fantasy shelves, because technically this is non-fiction, but a lot of it is fantasy in that many of these things don't actually work out all that well in the real world. However, for those days when you feel like walk ...more
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: enterprising back-to-the-landers, craftspeople, treehuggers, and (post-Apocalypse) everyone else.
Shelves: non-fiction
A practical instructional book for how to live, simply, on Earth. Straightforward with helpful illustrations. Everything from hammocks to refrigeration, saunas to clothing, community building to ceramics and soap.

There are a few drawbacks... in some cases the instructions can be a little ambiguous. The organization of the book is a little tough to wade through too. But it is, I think, an essential guide for comfortable living apart from modernity. (Also the information on backpacking is dated...
Jun 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who is considering going back to the land or who has already done so
Shelves: gardening, how-to
There are so many different topics in the book, it's quite difficult to decide what shelf to put it on.

It's a how-to book, full of instructions for doing so many DIY projects. It's a classic from the 70s counterculture, reissued in the early 2000s. It has cool line drawings by the author, and all the text is handwritten rather than typeset.

It's an all around super cool book that I definitely recommend, espeically for people living in the country and/or doing it (whatever it may be) for themselve
this is my favorite genre of book, oversized handwritten hippie how-to books. most of them i like, this one i love. nearly every page has a drawing of a naked flautist or a winking cat, drawn in a vibey way. and it's useful! and heart warming. "bay laurel is not my family name but it is my favorite tree." "if you are visited by animals, hang your refrigerator from a tree."
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you need to build a yurt or sew yourself a backpack or cure bad breath or pick roommates for your commune, this is the book for you. I've been living in a deluge of hippie dreams and aspirations ever since. Spent the fall listening to the grateful dead in my car as I barreled around central texas. And I'm not even like that.
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is esstial to life. Make something from nothing. It does not matter if you do it. What matters is that you know it can be done. I read it in paperback and carried it with me until I gave it to a younger person who needed it...
Woody Debris
Dec 08, 2008 is currently reading it
I just found this magic book today at a used book store in Seattle- Magus Books- the proprietor handed it over to me with reverence and a twinkle. It might be the only book I'll ever need to read when I leave the City and get back to the Earth.
Aug 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: nostalgic earth mothers
This is a delightful book with drawings by the author about living a simple life, building your own shelter, doing crafts, clothing yourself, first aid. It has an innocent and sweet quality about it.
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful hippy way of living
Oct 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most useful book ever written
Buffy Sunnydale
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is soooo cool! I'm not sure it's even in print anymore, but my aunt gave me her old coffee-stained, dog-eared copy. I find the whole thing fascinating.
Sep 05, 2010 is currently reading it
think i'm gonna kick this book around a bit: thanks sasha! storm warnings! i'll keep y'all alerted.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The Bible
Hayley  Brentmar
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Presented in a fun had written format, this book is essentially a guide about how to be a hippy. A fun classic book that I've enjoyed having over the years.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love this book was lucky to get ahold of a copy
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
A book I'd definitely like to own. Gave it a quick read-through while staying at an eco-farm in Nicaragua. Full of amazingly simple advice and ideas about living a natural life.
Anandaache Kim Jones
Nov 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was on a neighbors book shelf when i was a kid and i "borrowed" it and tried to copy it word for word. Kinda of a bible for me back in the day. Without all the guilt and b.s.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Angela by: found when cleaning the storage room
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a fun read.
love love love
Jaye Elizabeth Johnson
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet and thoughtful guide to living on the earth! My favorite parts are its naked-in-the-forest illustrations and important questions to ask when starting a commune/cooperative living. Very dreamy and not-so-focused on comprehensive safety or the identity politic of leaving (parts of society), but overall, this book works better in shifting our relationship to the earth in order to live more intentionally and responsibly. You can get the other stuff elsewhere. A lovely how-to that aged pretty ...more
Melissa Zamudio
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
¡Totalmente hermoso!
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stacy Campbell
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This is a true hippy book. Love the illustrations and it contains loads of useful (though somewhat dated) information.
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Gah, the illustrations are so freaking cute (I don't mean to sound demeaning). I love everything about it, and it is full of great information! Sure, some of it is a little dated, but I did not mind. A fun book!
Amy L Cordero
rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2009
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