[BOOK REVIEW] The Humor of Herding Kids (of the Four-Legged Variety)

After reading only the title of Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s new book, The Bucolic Plague: From Drag Queen to Goat Farmer, I knew I had to read it. While the only thing I know about goat farming I learned on a tour of the Surfing Goat Dairy (www.surfinggoatdairy.com) on Maui, I was intrigued. How does one go from drag queen to goat farmer? It sounded like an interesting adventure and definitely one worth reading. What I didn’t know was how much I would truly enjoy this book.

The Bucolic Plague is filled with a witty and heart-warming humor, with a touch of sass thrown in for good measure. Kilmer-Purcell has such a warm, welcoming style of writing that it embraces the reader and keeps the pages turning.

In this unconventional memoir, Kilmer-Purcell and his partner are transformed into “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” (their new Planet Green docu-series on Discovery Network). After stumbling upon and falling in love with the 200-year-old Beekman mansion, these work-aholic New Yorkers bought the farm… along with a rooster that crows a very convincing rendition of “Here Comes the Bride” and an endless supply of zombie flies. They discover living “the simple life” isn’t so simple, or perfect, after all.

Several humorous mishaps turn into important learning experiences for the author including: why you never over-feed baby goats, always wash your hands after chopping hot peppers, and why you may want to reconsider hosting a marimba/vibraphone concert in your home.

The Bucolic Plague is well written and inspirational, with humorous antidotes and heart-warming misadventures. While on the surface I may have little in common with the ex-drag queen, I found it surprisingly easy to relate to him and his quest to live his Best Life. Whether you secretly dream of living a simpler life or not, I would highly recommend this book.

In addition to being a gentleman farmer, Josh Kilmer-Purcell is also a bestselling author, columnist for Out magazine, contributor to NPR, and advertising executive. For more information visit joshkilmer-purcell.com or Beekman1802.com.

The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author, who received no compensation from Harper Collins other than the review copy of the book.

Cate Burke

Cate Burke is the very busy (but very lucky) mother of 2-year-old boy/girl twins. Happily married for 10 years, this California girl now lives in Iowa, where she freelances as an independent marketing consultant. She is an avid reader (when time permits) and has a professional background in marketing and public relations for non-profit organizations.

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