Practical Self Sufficiency By Strawbridge Book Review

General Information

Practical Self Sufficiency by Dick & James Strawbridge

I own this book (I actually got it from my local post office) but since my "impulse buy" I see it sells
cheaper on eBay and other online shops.

The book is written by father and son James and Dick Strawbridge (Australians) and I believe James is an ex soldier (so he gets bonus points from me) :D. It's claimed to be an "Australian guide" to self-sufficient living but really the contents of this book can be applied anywhere around the world.

Physically, the hard cover book is a large 23.5 x 28 cm and is very robust/well made. I like the size and way the pages stay open for easy reference on a bench when reading or following instructions (like making something). The large pages makes for easy reading and gives plenty of space for large images, infographics, and drawings.

As the title states the book is about self-sufficiency and it covers a huge spectrum of disciplines, which is not surprising because self sufficiency is such a broad and subjective subject. Main chapters are about "the home" conserving energy and setting up a workshop; food gardening; food making and preserving; energy/waste management; and keeping animals.

The detail on the "how-to's" in this book is amazing and step-by-step guides give you the feeling most projects are achievable. That's an important feature for a self-sufficiency book because there's nothing worse than a DIY book so complicated and out of touch only few are in a position to use it.

Having said that, my only tiny criticism of the book is I felt it could have shown a few more examples of urban/suburban self-sufficient property examples - but, I am being a little harsh. In all honesty, much of the large scale farm examples and DIY's can be scaled down to an urban setting.

Personally, as I read this book I found myself wishing I had more land to try some of the bigger projects but I might just have to dream in all reality :)

See the Pros and Cons tab (at the top)...

Specifications (if any)

  • Lots of information
  • Excellent layout
  • Detailed images
  • Good sturdy book
  • Fair price
  • Well written and easy to understand.


None worth mentioning, besides my general "nit-pic" comment on the front tab about wishing the book had a few more pages or examples specifically on the urban/suburban self-sufficient property.
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Pros: As detailed in my own review
Certainly a book I keep close by my arm chair :)


Thanks for the recommendation I just ordered the latest on from Angus and Robertson. Because I searched through, they offer free postage. :)

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