Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review - Barnyard Confidential

Barnyard Confidential: An A to Z Reader of Life Lessons, Tall Tales, and Country Wisdom

Editor: Melinda Keefe
Publisher: Voyageur Press
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0760342459
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: October 11, 2012

If you live out in the country, you know just how wonderful things can be “out in the middle of nowhere.” While city folks might scratch their heads in disbelief or confusion, we country folks take the lingo of rural life for granted. Now a new book, Barnyard Confidential, takes a close look at the unique language used in and around the farm in a lighthearted and often very funny way.

As the title suggest, this book is arranged as an A to Z primer on terms used in a rural setting. From “Acre” to “Zinnias,” you’ll find just about every word imaginable, and usable, in a farm setting within the pages of Barnyard Confidential. Do you know what a “Texas gate” is? How about “zero till” or “hopper bottom”? These and plenty more terms are defined in this book. There are also many familiar things such as “procrastination,” which is described as only a farmer might use the word.

Most of the words/terms are defined in a brief paragraph or two, with little dabs of humor thrown in to keep you reading. Think “egg” only needs a one line definition? Think again and check this out: “You will find these in the dairy section…which is strange because cows do not lay eggs. Hens do. In fact, an egg would have become a baby chicken, would have grown up to be a fine hen or rooster if you hadn’t eaten it for breakfast this morning. But now it never will. I hope you’re proud of yourself.” (pg. 48).
Instead of a brief explanation, many of the words are accompanied by a short story (or tall tale!). These are truly delightful and make this the perfect book for flipping through from day to day when you only have a few minutes to read at a time. There are plenty of pictures to accompany the text, all in black and white, and all with a distinct old-time look.

Quill says: Whether you live in the country or are planning a visit (or move!) to a more rural landscape, this book will give you a good, and humorous, look at what life is really like far from skyscrapers and city noise.

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