Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting Epub º

Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting Beneath the flannel surface of this deer hunting, truck loving Badger is the soul of a poet Chicago TribuneYou ll find in this book a slender silver cord of smart contemplation about meaning and purpose Minneapolis Star Tribune He s the real thing USA Today I was disappointed that I didn t enjoy this bookthan I did but in all fairness I believe my expecatations were quite high Parenting, poultry, pigsthat is right up my alley Humour, even better I was excited to delve into this novel and was disappointed when it didn t deliver While Perry has a whimsical way of describing his day to day life as father, husband, writer and fledgling farmer, I found his experience unremarkable and his writing style not enough to overcome that Two pigs I was disappointed that I didn t enjoy this bookthan I did but in all fairness I believe my expecatations were quite high Parenting, poultry, pigsthat is right up my alley Humour, even better I was excited to delve into this novel and was disappointed when it didn t deliver While Perry has a whimsical way of describing his day to day life as father, husband, writer and fledgling farmer, I found his experience unremarkable and his writing style not enough to overcome that Two pigs, a handful of chickens and a guinea pig do not necessarily bestow a person the experience and expertise to spout philosophically about farming Perhaps I am just jaded because he openly admits that he uses his farming chores 2 pigs come on to escape his duties in the household and with his newborn daughter Jane When his father needs helps with haying he sends his wife, 6 year old Amy and newborn Jane to help while he stays home to write This kind of responsibility shirkage does nothing but piss off a hard working farm woman like myself to the tune of summoning up all the junk kicking vibes I can muster and sending them lazer beam style in Perry s general direction Sometimes I wonder what I m doing reading this author when I deplore hunting and the slaughter of animals but it s pretty easy why I keep buying and reading Perry s books They re fabulous He s an astoundingly good writer, and has heartwarming interesting stories He isn t pretentious He s an authentic country boy but owns up when he falls short He s funny And honestly if people have to kill animals to eat then Perry shows the best way to do it humanely, at home, eyes wide open. This is the third of Michael Perry s memoirs that I ve read In this volume he relates the early years of his marriage and efforts to establish his small family on a farmstead in Northern Wisconsin growing much of their own food by raising chickens and pigs, and planting a good size vegetable garden Perry is a humorist and a philosopher His memoirs aren t particularly linear, though they are revealed in a fair approximation of chronological order He goes off on tangents, ruminating about th This is the third of Michael Perry s memoirs that I ve read In this volume he relates the early years of his marriage and efforts to establish his small family on a farmstead in Northern Wisconsin growing much of their own food by raising chickens and pigs, and planting a good size vegetable garden Perry is a humorist and a philosopher His memoirs aren t particularly linear, though they are revealed in a fair approximation of chronological order He goes off on tangents, ruminating about the joys and difficulties of the rural life he s chosen He can be hilariously funny, especially when poking fun at himself and his efforts to provide for his family as a farmer He doesn t sugarcoat the life of a farmer, but he elevates it, as when he relates his daughter s sheer joy at holding that first, still warm, brown egg from their own chickens, or recalling a father and son stopping to enjoy the stars on their way back to the house from the barn His descriptions on the growth and development of his children are priceless Who can possibly out think a six year old determined to get a horse Or reason with a teething infant Or answer those BIG questions that would stump any genius Just as with his other works, I find myself laughing out loud, and also crying in empathy I hope he keeps writing for a long time His daughters may think otherwise, but I am really looking forward to hearing about his years as the father of teenage girls I never keep track of where my recommendations come from and my to read list is, well, I won t finish it in this lifetime So I have no idea why I picked this book up It s reasonable to guess, however, that it s because it is a sort of modern back to the land fumbling memoir of the author, his wife, their young daughter and the baby on the way moving out of the city to an old family farm It s not a how to book It s a memoir, and his farming experiences are mostly just context for Perry s mean I never keep track of where my recommendations come from and my to read list is, well, I won t finish it in this lifetime So I have no idea why I picked this book up It s reasonable to guess, however, that it s because it is a sort of modern back to the land fumbling memoir of the author, his wife, their young daughter and the baby on the way moving out of the city to an old family farm It s not a how to book It s a memoir, and his farming experiences are mostly just context for Perry s meander down memory lane This book is really about family and rural America It s about the author s experiences in a small town, growing up on a farm himself, being part of a large family, his parents taking on a lengthy parade of special needs foster kids, being raised in a secretive fundamentalist Christian sect which is weird, but not evil like it sounds , the community that surrounds all those going on s of life, and balancing work, family, and farm This book took me way too long to get through My initial goal was to finish it in a week, but it dragged into two and then two and now it s taken me a full week to write the review.The slaughter of the pigs and meat birds is less graphic andpoetic than that in Farm City, but the sentiments are the same pigs are smart, challenging, and funny, but a lotwork than expected and the fresh bacon is unbelievable I will not raise pigs in my backyard, though Perry has a lot of guilt about the balance of his career and his farm s workload, and he really struggles with going on the road for a book tour and leaving his wife alone with two kids to care for, homeschooling, and a farm that needs tending His wife is very capable, a farm girl herself, and manages just fine without him thank you very much The idea to go back to the farm was a shared dream, the animals were his project, and the crops were almost entirely hers This was a little disappointing to me, since the end result is that the book has not much about the plants, and plants are the most interesting things to me The chicken stories, however, are lovely Raising the chicks into ugly pullets into handsome hens, and his daughter s love for the most special chicken, the heartbreak when a laying hen passes away, and all of the love and loss and laughter of having laying hens and their strong personalities around these are eggs actly why I read these kinds of books, man.When I settled down with this book, it was easy to read 100 pages quickly, but I had a hard time getting excited about setting aside the time, and that is the crux of this book for me It was really good to read, but hard to get fired up about meandering Small Town Rural Life prose Perry s writing style is charming and earnest His anecdotes and meditations are sincere and thoughtful His love for his daughters touches my secret parenthood nerve When he talks about his father in those dry, secret ways that only the best kind of man can talk about loving his daddy, my heart clenches up in my throat There is something about the quiet sentimental emotional life of rural masculinity that I find so charming, and in Coop, it s paired with a modern man s sense of intellectualism and responsibility This review is going to beabout my failure as a reader than it is about Perry s success as a writer He s warm and honest and loving and straight laced and, well, annoying in his rectitude He comes from a family that took in numberless foster children, many of whom died agonizing deaths He hearkens back to his childhood with love and reverence, and he strives to raise his own children properly He apologizes in advance for profanity which at its worst, comprises ass for buttocks He This review is going to beabout my failure as a reader than it is about Perry s success as a writer He s warm and honest and loving and straight laced and, well, annoying in his rectitude He comes from a family that took in numberless foster children, many of whom died agonizing deaths He hearkens back to his childhood with love and reverence, and he strives to raise his own children properly He apologizes in advance for profanity which at its worst, comprises ass for buttocks He loves his wife with a tenderness not often found in modern literature And still, he gives me a pain.That being said, this is a rare and beautiful memoir both honest and rigorous and frequently hilarious I don t know why I m all knee jerky about his pious tone, but I am Still, I have got to recommend this book, and recommend it wholeheartedly I couldn t decide between four and five stars, so I flipped a coin, which landed on its edge This is at least a 4.5 star read Coop was one of those books which unfolds itself quietly but solidly Though it was not a compelling page turner, it held me kinda how thoughtful reflecting on my own life holds me Note you do not need to have embarked upon a chicken raising journey to appreciate this, though it certainly does not hurt The world in which this author lives as it is a memoir, not fi I couldn t decide between four and five stars, so I flipped a coin, which landed on its edge This is at least a 4.5 star read Coop was one of those books which unfolds itself quietly but solidly Though it was not a compelling page turner, it held me kinda how thoughtful reflecting on my own life holds me Note you do not need to have embarked upon a chicken raising journey to appreciate this, though it certainly does not hurt The world in which this author lives as it is a memoir, not fiction is the antithesis of faaaaaabulousness, which I thoroughly appreciate It often felt like I was sneaking peeks into his beautifully written personal journal That his children will have such a full account of this slice of their lives is a treat that the rest of us get to share it is icing on the cake I started out with a three small Post it notes marking pages which held passages that particularly sang I m getting tired of forgetting where those tasty nuggets are when I read As I progressed to the end, I found myself tearing them into smaller and smaller strips of Post it to mark my favorite snippets Here are a few One might be somewhat of a spoiler, but not squarely so But what really keeps circling my head was the phrase Leah used to describe the landmarks of our child the constellation of baby What a gorgeous image the unborn infant afloat in the universe of mother, identifiable but unknowable p 39 I got religion in the third grade, and jeepers, did I need it The devil was in me, and Hardy Biesterveld wasn t helping p 51 The pheasant who frequents the yard sports a glorious set of head feathers blood splash eye patch, bottle green Batman cowl, a pristine white collar The colors startle the eye, bright in the brown weeds like scraps of birthday balloon p 113 Today a dog bit me grievously upon the ass I apologize for the salty talk, but it was a galvanic moment I was wrestling a pig at the time So two firsts in one day p 183 Remember that electric fence I hooked up for the pigpen I did the whole thing exactly right spaced and sank three grounding rods instead of settling for just one, linked them together, and clamped rather than just wrapping the wire as indicateda month passed before I went to open the shed door and discovered that I had run the ground wire in such a way that the door couldn t slide on its rails without cutting the wire in two If life was a state fair, I d have a giant shoe box full of green ribbons embossed with the word PARTICIPANT p 203 At a funeral there are a lot of old farmers who can t bear to look in the casket, and you see these sunburned old dogs approach my brother and break down weeping as they take his hand or wrap him in their bearish arms, and maybe they are wearing big belt buckles or unmodish jeans or have their sparse hair Brylcreemed in the style of a 60s trucker, but it strikes me again how much we miss if we rely wholly on poets to parse the tender center of the human heart p 273 That last one, and the image of the birthday balloon in the weeds, are my favorite even shamefully, I will admit that often the book felt tiresome Perry s old self deprecating humor however was skillfully interlaced between fits and starts of the author creating a working farm in midst of his learning to become a husband, father, and respected writer of the first rank But you won t find Perry bragging about any of his accomplishments, only the sometimes hilarious reporting of his daily grind at being the best he can muster even shamefully, I will admit that often the book felt tiresome Perry s old self deprecating humor however was skillfully interlaced between fits and starts of the author creating a working farm in midst of his learning to become a husband, father, and respected writer of the first rank But you won t find Perry bragging about any of his accomplishments, only the sometimes hilarious reporting of his daily grind at being the best he can muster on every front Given that his previous memoir titled Truck A Love Story continued his elaboration on a life Michael Perry has been documenting now for several years, the complete rebuilding of his favored International in that previous book interested me little as things mechanical are not my cup of tea But his progressive story throughout that book remained for me quite interesting And in Coop A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting he manages again to record a life that novels are made of He could not have made this story up The tragedies that occur are monumental in his retelling of them The gratitude he expresses for what he has is relentless And that is what also feels a bit tiresome at times How can a person be this good But when Perry writes for example of the surprise death of his brother Jed s young son it all comes crashing in on me The wrongfulness of my criticism becomes ridiculous There has never been a novel or memoir that affected me as the specific Chapter Eight did Immediately I was made an emotional wreck, even in the realization that my heart was still in good hands with Michael Perry guiding me My attempts to convey to my wife just what I had read brought me almost to my knees with grief as I babbled on as a broken invalid in my caving in and near destruction And as much as I actually cried over his wonderful poetic prose the words were never sentimental in the disgusting degree we as readers are generally subjected to in regards to pain and loss The words resound in their beauty and grace I cannot get his prose from off my plate And to swallow it whole would be courageous, but for me at least, that will have to wait I am a chicken at best, running out of time, and still not the man I want to be Michael Perry s personal story continues to unfold as the sometimes haphazard events occur among his friends and family All the while, in the midst of it all, Perry writes and works toward a literary mastery rarely observed in what generally gets published today Cheers again for Michael Perry I ve loved everything else that this author has written This memoir autobiography is one of the few I ve not read until now because I ve been saving it for a treat.Michael Perry is a tiny bit like a Wisconsin Garrison Keillor, with less of an ego In fact, by the time he wrote his most recent book, Montaigne in Barn Boots An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy, he realized he needed to address his addiction to self deprecation But that s only one bit of that work, his most mature and thoughtful I ve loved everything else that this author has written This memoir autobiography is one of the few I ve not read until now because I ve been saving it for a treat.Michael Perry is a tiny bit like a Wisconsin Garrison Keillor, with less of an ego In fact, by the time he wrote his most recent book, Montaigne in Barn Boots An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy, he realized he needed to address his addiction to self deprecation But that s only one bit of that work, his most mature and thoughtful to date In this book, I expect to see plenty of warmth, anxiety, love, slapstick, philosophy, and maybe a tiny bit of righteousness as he navigates a new adventure in his life, with his new wife and her daughter, his given daughter Well, I finished, and enjoyed it just about as much as I thought I would I won t diss ppl who consider it unfocused or too poetical, but I love Mike s rambles and his variety of ideas, and his language.Some things I love are direct from his family For example, his given daughter, Amy, has been moved around several times On a visit to one of her previous houses, she looks up cheerily and says, This is one of my hometowns Spinning a living from typing and talking and traveling is all well and good, but I can tell you the project does not bear up under scrutiny at 2 00 a.m and ten below Especially if you ve just burned six hours and two pots of coffee tweaking a sentence fragment that holds together like cheese crumbles Calvin Coolidge notwithstanding, sometimes persistence is just a batty cat slapping at a mirror New picturebook to check out Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs Michael Perry has written a trio of memoirs but this is the first one that I ve read I m glad I did even though his meandering style sometimes annoyed me Yet, he was able to set a pastoral Wisconsin scene that drew me into his world I saw Shake n Bake, his special needs chicken and actually cared about her well being I knewabout his attempts to construct a chicken coop than I ever wanted to know I shared well, not really his pride when his wife learned to blow her nose without a ha Michael Perry has written a trio of memoirs but this is the first one that I ve read I m glad I did even though his meandering style sometimes annoyed me Yet, he was able to set a pastoral Wisconsin scene that drew me into his world I saw Shake n Bake, his special needs chicken and actually cared about her well being I knewabout his attempts to construct a chicken coop than I ever wanted to know I shared well, not really his pride when his wife learned to blow her nose without a hanky I was amused by the male perspective of his daughter s home birth baby Jane a colicky one for sure His relationship with his home schooled 6 year old stepdaughter Amy, was crafted using just the right details and anecdotes I appreciated Michael and Anneliese s efforts to live off the land and bring new life into her grandmother s farm Yeah, there wereslaughtering scenes than I needed but how can I criticize that when the title of the book told me exactly what was in store Anneliese shouldered much of the day to day farming responsibility as Michael is away from home 100 days a year with his author gigs There s no wonder she doesn t have that light in her eyes that her husband yearns for This mother wife farmer home schooler is in dire need of an assistant who can help her can that sauerkraut to eat with the pig Poor Wilbur she helped butcher BTW, don t name an animal you re going to slaughter, guys I don t like it.I got tired of the childhood present day transitions I see how he wanted to integrate his fundamentalist Christian, huge family values into his memoir I realize that his upbringing influenced who he became but I wish he had told the stories separately I WAS glad to read a memoir that did not rely on traumatic family events to drive the story His self deprecating humor kept me from deciding that he was pompous I loved his invented word slumpage You do what s asked but the body slumpage kind of ruins it

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