Sheepish? Don’t be! It’s good for you – and the planet, too.

Each day leading up to the April 14 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2012 Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Finalist:

Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet
Catherine Friend

Da Capo Press/Perseus Books Group
Category Sponsor: Leonard, Street and Deinard


After fifteen years as a sheep farmer in rural Minnesota, Catherine Friend thought it may be time for a major lifestyle change. This funny, thoughtful memoir details the history of our woolly friends, why small farms are important, and why, in the end, the author decided not to hang up her shepherd’s crook after all.

An excerpt from Sheepish:

There are now a flock of “farm” memoirs about being enslaved by ducks or singing the praises of goats or loving llamas, about moving to the country and giving agriculture a try. Most of these farm memoirs deal with the farm’s beginning because that’s the most fun — things go wrong, the “farmers” make fools of themselves, people plant grapevines upside down. (Well, okay, that was just me.)


Catherine Friend is a prolific author whose work includes fiction, nonfiction and children’s books. She is a previous Minnesota Book Award winner for The Compassionate Carnivore.


“The perfect farm book for the metro resident. I’ve never learned so much from a genuine page-turner.”
– Minnesota Book Awards judge

“Friend’s light tone does not prevent her from addressing weightier issues such as mid-life angst and heart-breaking aspects of life and death on an animal farm.”
– Library Journal

“In this follow-up to her first memoir, Hit by a Farm, Friend details the challenges of balancing a writing career with sheep farming in southeastern Minnesota… Her voice is wry and funny; she’s self-deprecating and thoughtful, and strikes a balance between teasing and kindness, whether her subject is pregnant sheep, yarn-loving ‘fiber freaks,’ or spirituality and nature.”
– Publishers Weekly

“As provocative as her reflections are, it is Friend’s acerbic wit that keeps the reader turning pages. A perfect choice for book groups, this is a look at the road not taken with a guide who pokes as much fun at herself as she does at the world around her.”
– Booklist


In this candid but humorous interview with AARP, Catherine Friend talks about the midlife crisis that underpins her two acclaimed farm memoirs, Hit by a Farm and Sheepish.


In this short promo video, Catherine Friend explains her personal definition of the word “sheepish” and gives you a peek at life on her Minnesota farm.


Award winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. New this year: a post-awards “Epilogue Celebration.” Tickets are available online or by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information.

Have you read Sheepish? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!



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