I recently read about John Seymour's The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-to-Basics Guide over at Chile's Blog. I've just been searching and can't find the post where she mentions it, but it inspired me to get it out of the library. It's one of those huge DK books that makes you just want to sit down and flip through it. The book is divided into sections, such as food from the garden, food from animals, in the dairy, brewing and wine making, energy and waste, and crafts and skills.
This book makes you want to plan a garden, not just something small out back, but a proper garden with sheds and hoop houses and all sorts of stuff! Seymour lives in Ireland, so some of the information on which plants are good are not always appropriate to every area, but it's a great read.
If you read the whole book carefully and really tried to follow it, you'd go a long way towards being totally self-sufficient (assuming you had enough land to do it all on). As I live in the suburbs and can't do most of what he talks about (nor do I really want to), I treated the book mostly as a great read. There are parts I marked to show my gardening husband, and parts I read thinking how great they'd be if I could do them (spinning wool, dyeing and weaving) and parts that I read just marveling that people really did do all these things on their homesteads not all that long ago.
This book is interesting to read, and I'm sure would be a great resource for those who want to do more by themselves on their own land. I suspect if you really want to homestead you'd want to own it, otherwise get it out of the library like I did. 4 out of 5 stars