There’s not a lot of time to kick back with a good book this time of year…but these are the ones I’m eye-ing for those 10 minutes between when the sun goes down and I collapse into bed:

Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry
We were recently gifted this book, and we can’t wait to dig into the recipes. The photography is mouthwatering enough, but the fun, contemporary recipes will entice even the most reluctant jar-ophobe to give it a go.




Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?
Now don’t go getting any ideas…we’ve got enough to take care of already on the farm. But this new book by our friend, comedy writer/producer Dan Bucatinsky, is simply hilarious. It’s “Modern Family” in book form. Only even funnier. The endorsements alone should convince you. – Rosie O’Donnell, Lisa Kudrow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dan Savage, Neil Patrick Harris…

All Creatures Great and Small
Have we already put this on classic on our reading list? We forget. But it’s a book we keep in our bedroom to pick up and read a chapter or two when the mood hits. Sometimes it makes us feel better about our Beekman projects. Sometimes it makes us feel worse. But it always makes us feel warm and tingly all over.



Tell me, what are you reading?


by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Reader Comments

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Delia D.

Would love to see a new reading list. The Color of Rain was a very good book, thank you for suggesting it a while back. Maybe you have time to read, occasionally, while you are in the Mercantile? Or maybe you’re too busy. I bet your chore list is very long! The photo’s of the baby goats are heavenly. Thanks! xxooooo


I really miss you guys. I’m almost done with a quilt I’ve been working on now for almost 2 years (with your DVD playing…watching the same shows over and over)…YOU NEED TO BE ON THE BRAVO CHANNEL…I will write them next. The cooking channel is not the right channel. Bravo is where you need to be. I had no idea you had even moved to the Cooking Channel until just recently…then suddenly you were off the air altogether.

BRENT, you have taught me to care more about what I eat. Because of your comment and the pain you guys felt when you had to put Porgy & Bess down…”that .99 cent burger is worth more than just .99 cents” and that we should basically take more care in what we choose to eat, we now have vegetarian night in this house, we eat out LESS often, and try to choose chicken from farms that are organic, or hopefully, at least more humane to the animals. ( I have chickens but I can’t kill them…we just eat the eggs), but, sometimes there is just no way of knowing. Here in Southeast Texas, nothing is organic.

JOSH, because of you, this year I purchased heirloom garden seeds through the mail and will TRY to start plants from seeds. We really need you on air to walk us through. I would love to see you in the garden and would love to see your ideas that you might be trying to work out….and what works and doesn’t work out. We need to see it all. I’m dying to purchase your cookbook and try out some of your recipes.

FARMER JOHN, God bless your heart! The way you love your animals so much is exactly how our new heaven and earth will be one day. You are a shining example. I have a few chickens and have cried over one I had to carry with a shovel to the woods because of a loose dog in the neighborhood. We love our chickens and we love our dogs, but sometimes we get tired of the constant care for them. You encourage us to go the extra mile, take care of them, making sure they have a good, clean place to live and roam, and show them love.


Thanks for the recommendations! The Goodreads list grows… I just finished "Population: 485" by Mike Perry. It's about returning to small-town Wisconsin to settle in, all woven through his experiences as a volunteer firefighter. He's terrific – sarcastic and sobering at just the right times. I read "Truck, a Love Story" a few years ago and it took me all too long to find my way back to this one. Happy Summer Reading!


Josh, my favorite read for early summer…"The Bucolic Plague". Your program and the book have given me hope that we did not make a disasterous decision to purchase a 112 year old Victorian in a small farming community in DeKalb County, Illinois. To take a line from one of your recent Beekman posts…Even though we think we know what we're looking for, something even better occasionally sneaks up behind us. Thank you.


I'm more on novels right now, though I don't have much time to read, so exhausted with my children and artworks.

Still I've just finished a Portuguese novel which was quite average and began yesterday evening a graphic novel called "Poulet aux prunes" (meaning "Plum chicken") which is a sensitive story about a man and his love link to his music instrument.


Haven't had much time to read lately, but my favorite year round reads are the Stillmeadow books by Gladys Tabor. She like you guys bought an old farm and fixed it up. I love her descriptions of the farm, the people and everything Stillmeadow.

Beverly Hine

Just finished reading The Bucolic Plague and I Am Not Myself These Days…and watching the first season of the Fabulous Beekman Boys. I don't much like the term 'bucket list' since I dislike planning and much prefer spontaneous eruptions of impulsivity, but visiting Sharon Springs and possibly the Beekman farm would be on my bucket list if I had one. Josh and Brent and Co. are wonderfully fun and diverting, while being real and regular guys at the same time. Much enjoyment for me.


I just finished reading Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee. I’m totally obsessed with the psychology of hoarding – so much that I have two other books on the topic waiting to be read.


Food of a Younger Land compiled by Mark Kurlansky. Based on the WPA's Federal Writer's Project, it provides some fascinating insights.


I just finished "Tolstoy and The Purple Chair". it's a memoir written by a woman in NY/CT who lost her sister to cancer and read a book a day for a year to recover if you will. It's a great read but best of all she published her reading list – yes 365 books. so along with seasons 1 and 2 of the Beekman boys my amazon one click button is tuckered out….I'm new to the series but my parents live in Howes Cave, (and my husand, dogs and I live in Chapel Hill NC) and sent me your book and I loved it. Is it series 1 and 2 only for now? best, lucia

Dr. Brent

Hi, Lucia

We are hoping that work on Season 3 will begin later this year. Stay tuned. Come visit your parents for Harvest Festival!


I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Alf Wight, aka James Herriot, many years ago. He was very kind and sweet to an awestruck fan. If you ever get a chance, pay a visit to the village of Thirsk in the Yorkshire Dales, and you'll see his office (just as it was in the TV series).


I really enjoyed Patti Smith's "Just Kids" this Spring. She takes you along as she recalls those early years with Robert Mapplethorpe. A fascinating peek into a very exciting time in NYC.


"Women, Animals, and Vegetables. Essays and Stories" by the poet Maxine Kumin. First published in 1994, this is a wonderful collection of essays written about life on her 200 acre farm in New Hampshire.


I've been feeling a little down so I think I will pull out my Mary Lasswell books to read. She began the series in the 1940's and I just love the antics of the "old ladies" and they always lighten my heart. When I have perked up a bit I believe I'll try your suggestion Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?, it sounds good.


"An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace" by Tamar Adler. Well written essays on instinctive cooking, cooking with what you have in the pantry, fixing food errors. It is beautifully written.

Also reading the first volume of "Edible Forest Gardens" by Dave Jacke. Very interesting read about creating a sustainable/permaculture garden that mimics nature. Now just trying to figure out how I can apply it to the Southwest.

laura bandy

Your show is so delightful. The natural landscapes & mansion interiors are warm & inviting, and watching the shared journey of your life on the farm is moving *and* very funny. Huzzah! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

If you've not yet read Wendell Berry, he might be a good fit for the reading list — "The Art of the Commonplace" — beautiful. For poetry evenings, Nick Flynn's "Blind Huber" is marvelous — all about beekeeping & farm life & love. His memoirs are wonderful too — harrowing but gorgeous. Finally, anything by Marilynne Robinson — "Housekeeping" and "Gilead" and "Home" — maybe the best living American writer. Happy summer.

centralia heart

I just finished reading two wonderful books! (I read three books at a time). The first wonderful book is Keeping Time by Stacey McGlynn, the second book is The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. Both books are wonderful. I hope someone else will read and enjoy them as much as I did.


Oh, I love the whole "All Creatures" series. They're the first grown up chapter books I read growing up. Warm and tingly, indeed!


"The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. It's a memoir (with some fictional aspects) of life in a US infantry platoon in Vietnam, 1968. Spellbinding. Horrifying. Touching. Poignant and sometimes funny.