November Book Club: Bootstrapped - Get Grit & Gumption in this Badass Farm Memoir

Our Book Club members all agreed that we want more memoirs, especially during the holiday season. November’s book has something for everyone, and looks to be a one of those “arm chair farming memoirs” that will either make you cringe or grab a hoe.

Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm by Mardi Jo Link makes no apologies. Our intrepid author has just gone through a divorce, and has decided—come hell or high water—that she’s keeping the family farm where she’ll raise her three boys.

She writes: "I'm claiming my sons, the farm, the debt, the other debt, the horses, the dogs, and the land. I'm claiming our century-old farmhouse, the garden, the woods, the pasture, the barn, and the Quonset-hut garage. They're all mine now, and this is how I will raise my boys: on cheerful summer days and well water and BB guns and horseback riding and dirt. Because I'm claiming our whole country life, the one I've been dreaming of and planning out and working for since I was a little girl."

Trouble is, with the divorce she’s left with next to nothing except debt. But she’s a feisty one, and adds, "I made this bed and I'll either lie in it or die in it, but I won't ask anyone for help."

If good food comes from good farms, and good farms are nurtured by the kind of love that Mardi Jo Link reveals in this no-holds-barred family farm journey, then this memoir will be a great read for the Thanksgiving season. This spunky gal is soul-deep thankful for what she’s got, that’s for sure.

Kirkus Reviews says, “Link’s style of writing is like her style of living—direct, funny, void of self-pity and exceedingly humane. . . . This is a book about a mother’s fierce love and the sustaining fabric of family; yet, just beneath is a powerful subtext about the value of work.” And the New York Times Review of Books adds, “Glints with Link's raw, willful energy. . . . Possesses that rare, elusive, but much sought-after feeling of authenticity.”

Please join us to discuss Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm (First Vintage Books Edition, 2014) on Sunday, November 29 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at a members private residence. Remember to email for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. You can find Bootstrapper through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at