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Paul Wheaton is “a giant doofus” (his words) in Missoula who was a brainy software engineer until he discovered permaculture, which for some years now has been the focus of his energy, to sometimes outrageous effect.

I heartily recommend his hot-off-the-press book, “Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys” (with Shawn Klassen-Koop, Oct. 2019), to everyone of all perspectives, because he and Shawn are incredibly into it and knowledgeable, and Paul, at least, never shies away from a good argument.

The book is only 165 pages, so not daunting, companionably written, and full of helpful links to take the interested reader further. Here are a few chapter titles that have caught my eye: “Free Light Bulbs! Love and Kisses from China!,” “Attack of the Pizza Box,” “Early Retirement Extreme,” “The BEER Plan,” “Boom Squish,” “Bug Killer You Can Eat!,” “Myth: Native Plants Will Perform Better in Your Area,” “Prevent Wildfires by Building a Home,” “If It Smells Bad, You’re Doing It Wrong,” and so on. I thought I saw something comparing the virtues of shopping organic and shopping local, but I’ll have to keep reading to find it again.

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Available through your local bookstores and libraries — or you can ask that they get them for you.

— Mary Fahnestock-Thomas, Hamilton

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