Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: Coop by Michael Perry

Book: Coop: A Family, A Farm and the Pursuit of One Good Egg by Michael Perry
Genre: Memoir
Rating: A
For: TLC Blog Tour
From: the publisher

I'm so glad I choose this one to review from the line-up Trish from TLC gave me! It was just what I needed in the midst of all the vampires and horror and supernatural I've been reading lately. Something so real, so grounding, and so wonderful.

This book is the story of the author and his family's first year of farming. He was actually raised on a farm, but then went out in the world to seek his fortune. Later, after settling down with his wife, they decided to have a go at it themselves. And what an adventure it is!

But the main thing to know about this book is that it is not just about the crazy farming experiences, but that it is also about a family and their many bonding moments, their life lessons and their connections. Here's some of the things we go through with them during the coarse of this book:
  • the birth a new baby, at home, in a hot tub!
  • the death of nephew, which is sad beyond words.
  • learning about pigs and what they eat! (And yes, it's not lost on me that my nickname refers to this whole pig eating thing... but it's spelled different right? )
  • becoming attached to chickens.
  • building a coop
  • planting a garden only to have the dog dig it up
  • popcorn night!
  • teaching a 5 year old to work, including harvesting her own hay for her guinea pig
Another thing I loved about this book is that we not only learn about the year Michael Perry started his own farm, but there is lots of flashing back to his growing up years on his parent's farm. In fact, the book ends up being a sort of tribute to his parents and how they raised him and what strong, amazing people they are. 

Even though I myself was raised in a city, I have some farm girl in me, so I especially enjoyed the stories in this book. Every summer, for at least two weeks, I would get to go spend time with my grandparents who lived in a farm. These are some of the best memories I have of growing up. I loved to put my hat on, and go out with Grandpa to bale the hay, plow the field, pick the beans, feed the cows, turn the water, change the pipe and fix the fence.... and with Grandma to shuck the corn, wash the dishes, weed the garden, tend the kittens, visit the neighbors, and dust the house. Then there were the playing times.... jumping on the old hay wagon, climbing around in the barn, playing "runaways" in the grove of trees and wading in the creek, all wonderful memories on the farm! 

This book will make you laugh and cry both. It will make you appreciate your own upbringing and family traditions. It will help you to remember the small and simple, yet important things in life. Basically, it will leave you feeling positively good!

Bottom line: I loved it!

And to get a wonderful feel of the book and author, here's a video to watch:

P.S. Don't get too confused over the title. The subtitle I list above is for this latest paperback release. It was released in hardback as Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting. At least, that's what I'm understanding!

Oh, and be sure to come back tomorrow where Michael Perry will be featured in an Authors Pick Five post and lets us know what five books influenced him most. You won't want to miss it. 


  1. This is a book that I probably would have passed over on first glance, but so glad that I read your review. It sounds like a great one!

  2. I absolutely love Perry's work. With each book that comes out and we learn more about his life I feel like I actually know him....I can't wait for Perry's next book!

  3. I'm glad you loved this one, too. Perry's writing is so funny and warm, I think it would be hard NOT to enjoy it!

  4. Ooh, I think I'd really like this book!

  5. This one is very VERY high atop my wishlist. It takes all I have not to order it on Nook and wait for the copy Heather (Capricious Reader) offered to send.

  6. Nice review. This book sounds great! I've added it to my wishlist.

  7. Wait, a memoir that leaves me feeling good about myself?! What a refreshing change of pace … ;)

  8. I enjoyed this book as well. Michael Perry's style makes you feel like you're standing nearby looking in at the people and the events he describes.


  9. I just requested this from my library, so glad to see you liked it!



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