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Starting Over: A Country Year and A Book of Bees

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A pair of memoirs about a woman starting her life over as a beekeeper in the Ozarks, from “a latter-day Henry Thoreau with a sense of the absurd” (Chicago Tribune).   Taken together, the “steadily eloquent” national bestseller, A Country Year, and its follow-up, A Book of Bees, a New York Times Notable Book, offer a moving and fascinating chronicle of Sue Hubbell’s seasona A pair of memoirs about a woman starting her life over as a beekeeper in the Ozarks, from “a latter-day Henry Thoreau with a sense of the absurd” (Chicago Tribune).   Taken together, the “steadily eloquent” national bestseller, A Country Year, and its follow-up, A Book of Bees, a New York Times Notable Book, offer a moving and fascinating chronicle of Sue Hubbell’s seasonal second life as a commercial beekeeper (The Washington Post).   Alone on a small Missouri farm after the end of a thirty-year marriage, Hubbell found a new love—of the winged, buzzing variety. Left with little but the commercial beekeeping and honey-producing business she started with her husband, Hubbell found solace in the natural world, as well as in writing about her experience. In evocative vignettes, she takes readers through the seasonal cycle of her life as a beekeeper, offering exquisitely rendered details of hives, harvests, and honey, while also reflecting on deeper questions. As the New York Times wrote: “The real masterwork that Sue Hubbell has created is her life.”


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A pair of memoirs about a woman starting her life over as a beekeeper in the Ozarks, from “a latter-day Henry Thoreau with a sense of the absurd” (Chicago Tribune).   Taken together, the “steadily eloquent” national bestseller, A Country Year, and its follow-up, A Book of Bees, a New York Times Notable Book, offer a moving and fascinating chronicle of Sue Hubbell’s seasona A pair of memoirs about a woman starting her life over as a beekeeper in the Ozarks, from “a latter-day Henry Thoreau with a sense of the absurd” (Chicago Tribune).   Taken together, the “steadily eloquent” national bestseller, A Country Year, and its follow-up, A Book of Bees, a New York Times Notable Book, offer a moving and fascinating chronicle of Sue Hubbell’s seasonal second life as a commercial beekeeper (The Washington Post).   Alone on a small Missouri farm after the end of a thirty-year marriage, Hubbell found a new love—of the winged, buzzing variety. Left with little but the commercial beekeeping and honey-producing business she started with her husband, Hubbell found solace in the natural world, as well as in writing about her experience. In evocative vignettes, she takes readers through the seasonal cycle of her life as a beekeeper, offering exquisitely rendered details of hives, harvests, and honey, while also reflecting on deeper questions. As the New York Times wrote: “The real masterwork that Sue Hubbell has created is her life.”

57 review for Starting Over: A Country Year and A Book of Bees

  1. 4 out of 5

    Missy 🇨🇱

    I enjoyed "A Country Year" more than "A Book of Bees", but that is probably because I don't know a thing about raising honeybees or taking care of their hives, which seems to entail a lot work with energy I don't have. All the detailed explanations and descriptions of the ins-and-outs of hive management was very difficult to follow along. I'm one who would need to watch a video before diving into a hobby like this, but she does tell you just about everything you need to know to understand the in I enjoyed "A Country Year" more than "A Book of Bees", but that is probably because I don't know a thing about raising honeybees or taking care of their hives, which seems to entail a lot work with energy I don't have. All the detailed explanations and descriptions of the ins-and-outs of hive management was very difficult to follow along. I'm one who would need to watch a video before diving into a hobby like this, but she does tell you just about everything you need to know to understand the interesting nature of bees as well. After watching a video for better understanding of hive management, I would definitely come back to this book for another read, which should be on every beekeepers bookshelf. In "A Country Year", the author tells little short stories of her experiences and lessons learned from nature while harvesting honey from her honeybees on her, roughly, 100 acre farm in the Ozarks in Missouri. Although 50 years old and just divorced, she hardly lets you in on the details of her starting over on her own, or even the hardships. She's a very fluid writer. Her father, a botanist, taught her to love, care, appreciate, and have great respect for all things in nature. This book is more about that appreciation and love for nature, which is why I really enjoyed it. A part of her personality is just like mine. She loves weeds, and so do I. When we come across an unfamiliar weed or insect, we both go to extremes to find out what it's all about. Is it native? Is it beneficial? For whom or what? What is its purpose? We want to know everything about it, and then...let it be. One of her long time friends was a botanist and an artist who liked to draw the wildflowers or weeds that she came across to help her remember the details about them. A great idea, and something I would love to start doing. It's about slowing down.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda Blackburn

    Very educational This book taught me a lot about beekeeping. Mostly I loved her description of nature taking over and the way it all works when we leave it alone.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alan Baker

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pamk

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debra Klintworth

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sharon P

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leisa

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cary W McMillan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Longo

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wendy LeBlanc

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hester Lipscomb

  15. 4 out of 5

    Terri Athey

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas William Dick

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jean

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fredi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris Parkinson

  20. 4 out of 5

    cathy henderson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lina

  23. 5 out of 5

    teresakeeneicloud.com

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather Dice

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Marie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danyel

  28. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eric Campbell

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carlene

  31. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

  32. 4 out of 5

    Elva McBride

  33. 4 out of 5

    Joleen Noble

  34. 5 out of 5

    Macee

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  36. 4 out of 5

    Suey Linzmeier

  37. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  38. 5 out of 5

    Kim Golden

  39. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Campbell

  40. 4 out of 5

    Pamala A.

  41. 4 out of 5

    Margie

  42. 4 out of 5

    Michele Buonodono

  43. 5 out of 5

    Constance Porter

  44. 5 out of 5

    BjBriMom

  45. 5 out of 5

    Theodora C. Wohler

  46. 5 out of 5

    Debra Reynolds

  47. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Hopkins

  48. 5 out of 5

    Nckoski

  49. 4 out of 5

    Alexa Saunders

  50. 4 out of 5

    Deena Champine

  51. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Winning

  52. 5 out of 5

    Doris

  53. 5 out of 5

    Jan

  54. 4 out of 5

    Marna

  55. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Jones

  56. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  57. 5 out of 5

    L.

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