Farewell My Subaru, and Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man by Doug Fine, are the first two readings of the Emerging Energy learning community.
Both books focus on the idea of living in a more eco friendly way, but with two different methods.
In “Farewell….” Fine attempts a self sustained life style that still has majority of the creature comforts of regular life. He abandons his trusty car for a huge ROAT, or Ridiculously Oversized American Truck, so that he can drive with used cooking oil. He makes every attempt to stop shopping at the great Wally World. He even attempts the long process of raising goats. In his quest for independent living, his main enemy is purple primer, a toxic looking yet seemingly all purpose chemical that the people of New Mexico use frequently.
In “Not Really…” Fine attempts to semi-abandon society by leaving the large cities of his past for a small town in Alaska. The temperature of Alaska is the main problem, since it can cause your toilet to explode, but you also have to attempt to shrug off the immediately given stereotype of being a Cheechako, or person with no experience in Alaska. FIne attempts to shrug this preconception by putting himself into situations that just ultimately make it blatantly obvious that he has no knowledge of what he is doing. He almost kills himself with hypothermia, decapitation by chainsaw, and almost mistakenly firing a loaded gun.