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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book club selection for February 2011

For the month of February the Stone Country Book Club has selected "World Made By Hand" by James Howard Kunstler for our next book.  We will be reading this book throughout the month of February and will be meeting to discuss it on March 5th.  Please contribute any comments or discussion topics as the month progresses!

World Made By Hand-James Howard Kunstler

World made by hand is a post industrial age novel written by James Howard Kunstler(The Long Emergency, The Geography of Nowhere, etc).  The book takes place in a fictional town in upstate NY called Union Grove.  I am very excited to begin reading this book.  I grew up in upstate NY and have always loved the area very deeply.  I have been very interested in James Howard Kunstler ever since I stumbled upon his weekly podcast called, The Kunster Cast. (  I love listening to this podcast, especially while cooking (not sure why that is) check it out.  It's funny, informative and often frightening.  I have high expectations for World made by hand and I hope you will join us in reading it this month!


  1. The first reviews are in! Here's a great one from Rich:

    It aint (sic) fine literature, its a page-turner. Small chapters and an easy story make this book fly by. What makes it interesting to read, however, is the idea of having to start all over again... but this time with the comparison of what things used to be like. Everything is a bit anachronistic, post-pre-modern I guess you could call it. You can see the roots of our modern conveniences, how the layers built up over years, improvements taking us one step further away from the basic knowledge of how to survive off the land where we live. It is energy that is the catalyst for the modern world, and in this story, the lack of energy that is our conveyance into a second Dark Age. The redistribution of labor, the lack of law and order, the weedy roots of religion sprouting up everywhere that fear lives or aught to, and the lack or scarcity of essential goods and foods all make this book a foreboding prophecy we should take to heart. Wake up people! We can do this the easy way, or the hard way: it's entirely up to us.

  2. Post discussion of the book:

    This book seemed to be the most rabble-rousing of all the books read up to this point. It seemed that Kuntsler's intentions for writing the book were interpreted in various ways. The question, "What was his agenda?" came up several times, each time with either a new agenda being considered or another layer being added to one of the presumed agendas previously stated. There was also a concurrence about elements of the story, toward the end, seeming a bit far-out, unrealistic, or even super-natural in character and description. Over all, I would say this book has been the most controversially discussed and least liked book, thus far.