Storey, John and Martha. Storey’s Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self Reliance. Edited by Deborah Burns. Storey Publishing, 1999. (ISBN 13:978-1-58017-202-8; ISBN 10: 1-58017-202-4) — This book covers everything from advice on selecting a rural site or a home and how to maintain it to wisdom regarding animals and gardening and the construction of related “out buildings” and landscaping. In addition to the wisdom contained in this book, it is (rather than contains) a great bibliography in itself. Diagrams and step-by-step instructions are included. Pages: Approximately 500; Cost: Approximately $25.
Robinson, Ed & Carolyn. The “Have-More” Plan: “A little land–A lot of living”. Storey Publishing, 1973. (ISBN 13: 978-0-88266-024-0; ISBN 10: 0-88266-024-1). Originally published in the 1940’s (I think), this is one of the original “back-to-the-farm” books of which I am aware. With a goal of moving toward self-sufficient living, the Robinsons describe, in detail, how one can purchase and live on as little as 2 acres. This illustrated, 70-page booklet is quoted in many other resources, including the one above. It is well worth the $10 to read the original authors.
Bolles, Richard Nelson. What Color is Your Parachute? Ten-Speed Press, Berkley, 2010. (ISBN 13: 978-1-58008-987-6; ISBN 10: 1-58008-987-9. While this is not, specifically, an book on country living, or living in the rural areas, including the small towns that are intertwined with us acreage- and farm-dwellers, I highly recommend it for a couple of reasons. First, I often hear about people who would move to rural America, whether in a small town, or to an acreage, but are afraid that employment with a livable wage is simply not part of the rural fabric. This book helps in the job-search process, immensely, by helping one focus (or find) the skills already possessed, and provides ideas for locating, and marketing oneself, to potential employers. Secondly, I also hear about people who, already having moved to the country, and are working a regular job, would like to live solely on the income and resources provided by said home in the country or rural areas. This book has a section on networking, and ideas for creating self-employment opportunities. Check the link for the author’s website (and this book is an annual addition, having been updated yearly since it was first published in 1970) as well as the publisher’s preview.