Several people have asked why we haven’t put out a reading list since winter. We’ll be honest…we don’t get much reading done during planting season. But now that summer’s arrived, we’ve been spending a little time with books down by the pond in our favorite chairs. So rather than a Summer Beach Read List, we’re giving you our Summer Pond Read List. Hope you like some of them as much as we do. Maybe you’ll spot a theme…

Finn: A Novel – This dark, but beautiful debut by John Clinch tells the story not of Huck Finn, but of his troubled father. Wonderfully historical.

For Cod and Country: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking – A book after our own hearts. Barton Seavor arranges this informative book by fishing seasons, featuring recipes using known and lessor-known fish, and vegetables straight from the farm.

The Garden Wall at Beekman Farm – The stone artist who built the legendary garden wall at our farm, Michael Whaling, has written a poetic book about stones, walls, and their greater meaning in our lives. Beautiful photos by Leila Durkin document the wall’s progress. (Autographed copies at

A River Runs Through It and Other Stories: 25th Anniversary Edition
– This book was getting hard to find. We’re glad they reprinted this fantastic edition.

Moby Dick – Do we really need to say more?

Summer Rental
– Everyone’s gotta read one good beach book every summer. We love Mary Kay Andrews. (In fact, she was a recent Guest Blogger for us.) And her books are always summer fun.

Seeds: One Man’s Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers from Faulkner to Kerouac, Welty to Wharton – The title pretty much sums it up. And why we’re besotted with it.

What books are you reading this summer?

by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Reader Comments

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Roy Hardison

Our Tri-State Primetimers Gay Lit group in Cincinnati will be discussing "I am not myself these days" at our monthly meeting on April 23rd.

Every gay man has a story to tell. Thanks for sharing yours. Now that I have retired, I have started doing some writing and sharing with my family . It has been very rewarding.


Roy & Don

Sharon tree

I have seen the series(what we got of it) read the bucolic plague and am still trying to learn how to eat an animal that I talk to almost everyday. Selling some is painful enough. How did you bring yourself to eat the piggies.. I raise sheep and cannot do it. It would've like farmer John eating his goats. It would make all the sense in the world since I am picky about how my food is raised. Any advice is welcome.

Sincerely Sharon tree

Gigi Davidson

"In the Garden with Billy: Lessons about Life, Love & Tomatoes" by Renea Winchester is one of the sweetest books I have read in a long time. Renea meets 77-year old Billy Albertson when she sees a primitive sign on the side of the road in urban Atlanta: Baby Goats 4 Sale. The rest of their story as they maintain the "old ways" in the middle of urban sprawl is…. well, it just makes you full of gladness that you read it.

Kevin Graves

Thanks for the book recommendations. It reminds me I had downloaded a sample of Mary Kay Andrews book and had not purchased it! Thanks!

Juli Bee

I recommended The Bucolic Plague to my book club, The Hungry Scholars. We focus our study on our local food system and sustainable farming practices. Sometimes we review movies or attend fundraisers or sometimes just drink wine and chat. But! Josh's book is our book for September. I plowed through the pages laughing out loud and reading excerpts to my husband. Three-quarters of the way through I frowned knowing it was almost over. At this month's meeting, two other members were already finished and loved it! I hope you write more soon about your lives as gentlemen farmers…maybe collaborate? You are so honest and funny, I see myself in you both. Love from Little Rock, Juli

Ashley Johnson

I just pre-ordered your Heirloom Cookbook. I can't wait to receive it in October! I had to support you guys after reading all you went through in the Bucolic Plague. Now, sent me my cheese. I am still waiting :).


I am reading a beautiful book: TENDER A Cook and his Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater. An English gardener and cook, he speaks so beautifully about his garden and love for good food. The hardcover is beautiful but $40. I got in on my Kindle for a lot less. Well worth the money.

Charles Bjørn

Oh I'll add this on my reading list. Right now I'm reading the Wardstone Chronicles.

I just recently discovered you guys while watching on the TLC channel here in Norway and I'm instantly hooked! I think you guys are such a sweet couple 🙂

Linda Lan

PS- Are you any relation to Joyce Kilmer the poet? I went to the Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, so of course I'm familiar with him and his poem, "Trees."