If you have been on Instagram much in the past year, it’s likely that you’ve already seen something called ‘Cottagecore.’ Pleasant scenes of dried floral arrangements, homemade meals, antique fabrics, and handmade crafts characterize the aesthetic. It was popularized online during the 2020 shutdown when people suddenly were at home more and had the time to learn new crafts and hobbies.
It can be about more than arts and crafts, however. Many have evolved it into a lifestyle where they live more sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint. You may have already heard of a similar term: ‘homesteading.’ This is the same idea; one lives simply and crafts as much as possible themselves, rather than purchasing things at the store or online.
Whether you live in the country or in town, you can still bring Cottagecore into your home by checking out these great novels and how-to guides. Even better, when you check books out at the library rather than purchasing them, you’re already reducing your personal carbon footprint!
The Little Book of Cottagecore: Traditional Skills for a Simpler Life by Emily Kent
Full of step-by-step instructions and homegrown inspiration, you’ll find fun, practical ways to enjoy rustic and relaxing cottagecore activities in your everyday life.
The Homestead Canning Cookbook: Practical Help to Create a Sustainable Lifestyle by Georgia Varozza
Certified master food preserver and cooking enthusiast Georgia Varozza wants to show you how safe and easy canning your favorite foods can be.
New World Sourdough: Artisan Techniques for Creative Homemade Fermented Breads by Bryan Ford
New World Sourdough teaches handmade artisan bread baking for beginner to intermediate home bakers who want to learn how to bake fermented breads at home with New World twists.
Garden Alchemy: 80 Recipes and Concoctions for Organic Fertilizers, Plant Elixirs, Potting Mixes, Pest Deterrents, and More by Rose, Stephanie
Garden Alchemy is a hands-on guide for do-it-yourself gardeners who love to make things (and save money doing it!).
Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living by Rachel Kaplan
Full of practical information, as well as inspiring stories from people already living the urban homesteading life, this colorful guide is an approachable guide to learning to live more ecologically in the city.
The Bee-Friendly Garden: Design an Abundant, Flower-Filled Yard that Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity by Kate Frey
There are numerous benefits to having a bee garden, both personal and global.
The River Cottage Curing & Smoking Handbook by Stephen Lamb
River Cottage, a long-standing pioneer for high-quality sustainable food, is all about knowing the whole story behind what’s put on the table.
Sew Step by Step: How to Use your Sewing Machine to Make, Mend, and Customize by Alison Smith
If you’ve never used a sewing machine before, or if you want to refresh your skills, Sew Step by Step will give you the essentials.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.
Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods.
The Wind in the Willows by Grahame, Kenneth
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is an English classic loved by adults and children alike, sharing the tales of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad.
The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Isabel is fond of problems, and sometimes she becomes interested in problems that are, quite frankly, none of her business. This may be the case when Isabel sees a young man plunge to his death from the upper circle of a concert hall in Edinburgh.
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.
Emma by Jane Austen
Emma is young, rich and independent. She has decided not to get married and instead spends her time organizing her acquaintances’ love affairs.
(Book descriptions from publisher.)