Book review: 'More Forgotten Skills' provides more timely, timeless tips on becoming self-reliant

By Scott Livingston

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, June 14 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

MORE FORGOTTEN SKILLS OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY," by Caleb Warnock, Cedar Fort, $18.99, 184 pages (nf)

The premise of Utah author Caleb Warnock’s “More Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency,” a follow-up to his 2011 book “The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency used by the Mormon Pioneers,” is that there is a distinct difference between being prepared for an emergency and ongoing self-sufficiency.

In keeping with the theme of his first book, Warnock hits early and often on the idea that rather than “preparedness” (Chapter 1 is titled “Stop Being Prepared”), readers should instead be focused on becoming self-reliant. As the author puts it, “ ... the desire to be prepared for emergencies is good — but not if it becomes a stumbling block toward our self-sufficiency.”

“More Forgotten Skills of Self-Suffiency” has an engaging and straight-to-the-point tone that's appealing. Rather than attempting to either sneak up on the reader or to pile on the guilt, Warnock instead strives for empowerment.

Writing from a perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Warnock uses his own extensive experience living year-round from his garden to show readers how they can also develop more self-reliance while savoring the fruits — and vegetables — of their efforts. Each chapter in “More Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency” builds on the previous chapter, as Warnock coaxes and, when necessary, cajoles into reconsidering how to think about food and where that food comes from.

As Warnock states the case, “Will your kids and grandkids see unbridled prosperity or hard times? Will they be prepared? Will they have learned self-reliance from you?”

It’s clear “More Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency” is a deeply personal book for Warnock. One of the photographs he includes in the book is of himself on the day he graduated from BYU almost 50 pounds heavier than he is now. He isn’t afraid to speak from the heart, nor from the gut.

There is timely, perhaps even “forgotten” wisdom in the pages of this delightful and informative book.

Scott Livingston blogs about the uphill climb of becoming a writer at sleye1stories.com. He blogs otherwise at sleye1.blogspot.com.

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