If how many dog-eared pages a book has after you have finished it is any indication of how good it is, Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream is amazing. I have never (and I do mean never) folded down that many corners of pages I wanted to revisit later in a single book. And in all honesty, I don’t even want to really say too much about the book because I believe you have to experience it for yourself – I don’t want to inject my interpretation of it too much and possibly spoil it for you. When I started the book, I expected nothing more than a story about a guy who lives in a 12×12 off grid cabin, which is a story I have read 100 times. But this book is not that, not at all – it is so much more and so very different than what I was expecting. It’s about growth, indecision, struggle, and joy while being full of honesty and authenticity. It is, hands down, the best non-fiction book I have read this year, without a doubt. Basically, the book is about the author going to stay in an off grid cabin on 30 acres in NC which is owned by a physician who willingly lowered her salary to $11,000 – so she wouldn’t have to pay income tax and thus not fund any wars. The author, who has been a busy international activist for many years, is struggling with being a “man without a country” (I feel like this quite often) and finds the time in this cabin to evaluate his life, his lifestyle, his needs and his wants – oftentimes without expected results.
Solitude’s richest gift is allowing one’s own thoughts to flow, and not through mental aqueducts built by others.
Today it’s not the British Empire colonizing us, but a pervasive corporate globalism.
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