Humanure Handbook 4th Ed.

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The Humanure Handbook  (4th edition)  Shit in a Nutshell 

By Joseph Jenkins, 2019. 300 pages, 91 illustrations, indexed. ISBN-13: 978-0964425880. 6”X9” paperback.


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The Humanure Handbook 4th Edition won a gold medal in the 2019 Readers' Favorite Awards. Readers' favorite reviewer stated, "This book is a must-have for any library. Trust me." It was also a finalist in the Foreword Magazine Indies Book of the Year Awards in the Nature Category, as well as a Gold Winner in the Science Category.

The original Humanure Handbook was published in 1995 as a grad school thesis turned into an underground best-seller. The 4th edition is half new edition and half sequel. The book has sold 80,000 print copies in the US alone (4 editions), been translated in whole or in part into 21 languages and has been published in foreign editions on four continents.

The previous editions won numerous awards, including the Independent Publisher Outstanding Book of the Year Award, deemed the book "Most Likely to Save the Planet.” The book has been mentioned on such diverse media outlets as: NPR, BBC, CBC, Howard Stern, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy Magazine, the History Channel, Tree House Masters, and many other national and international venues.

Not only does the book address what to do with human turds, but it is also a priceless manual for anyone involved in composting, gardening, or even basic survival skills. There is no other book like this in print! 

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Score: 5.00 (votes: 6)
Reviews: 6

"I just thought I should thank you for your inspirational book. I think it’s pure genius and I will try as best as I can to spread the word."

"This is one of those books that you feel would change the world if only everyone would read it. I wish I could afford to buy the book for everyone on the planet. I for one am grateful to the author, Joseph Jenkins for writing this updated version. I take my hat off to you Joseph. A job well done. What a lot of work you put into this book!"

"Absolutely phenomenal work! You have done such a superb job, I am continually amazed by your impeccable research and wisdom gained from your long and critical user experience. Reclaiming the use of the word compost, which is so widely misused in sanitation circles, seems so key." 

"When I first picked up a copy of the Humanure Handbook, it was out of a sense of obligation—I thought it was going to be a really technical manual about how to deal with our shit. But I was surprised to find it incredibly entertaining -- I actually read it cover to cover and found the entire book completely delightful and totally fascinating. For those that haven’t read this book yet, it is full of great stories and science and history." 

"Joseph writes from practical, hands on knowledge. Experience is they key. Many other authors have tried, but no one can top what Joseph shares. I recommend the book highly to anyone. It’s the future folks, it’s something many people do not like to think about but start thinking soon, if you do not, you will not be prepared."

"I am about to add the 4th edition of The Humanure Handbook into our public catalog here at the Cleveland Public Library. While flipping through the book, I was sad to see a depiction of a not-so-pleasant interaction with a librarian in Arizona, and wanted you to know that not all public libraries are so closed to giving their patrons access to a large variety of viewpoints and resources. Please know that Cleveland Public has not only the newest edition of your work (2019), but also the 2005 and 1994 editions. Also, you may be interested to know that the Library of Congress also has some of the editions from the 1990s."

"I read the 4th edition, cover to cover, highlighting main ideas, and thoroughly enjoyed learning the topic. I save all my “deposits“ for my compost, and it feels great to be a dynamic part of the cycle of life, rather than contributing to water waste and water pollution. Thank you, thank you for your invention of this primitive technology toilet.  I love my Lovable Loo, and my Airbnb guests love it too." 

"I started [the Humanure Handbook] with trepidation, but it was one of the most amazing journeys I've ever experienced. Just incredible. I was amazed by the book."

"I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the humanure handbook (4th edition)! Thanks a lot for all your efforts in spreading this very important message! You made me laugh out loud several times and you wiped out all my doubts about humanure composting. I’ve spent so much time reading about it before, and I was confused by the many opposing opinions, but I can now just start doing it the right way - and I can’t wait! I’m a Dutch woman on the french countryside, and with my family we've been using a dry toilet for 3 years now. I tell everyone who wants to hear it about your book and about composting because I think the whole world should know about it!"

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Customer reviews
Average rating:
5.00 (Votes: 6)
Rating of votes (6)
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  • Jul 24, 2022, 06:59 PM
    Jim Phillips recommended it. He teaches people how to prepare for a time when our grid goes down and the city sanitation system is gone.
  • Jul 1, 2022, 11:29 AM
    I found this book in the library but the info is so valuable I bought the digital copy, and may get the hardcopy when funds allow. GREAT book!
  • Jun 26, 2022, 12:41 PM
    This book shares solid information: although does not include any "how-to" steps to take and actually create Humanure. Great telling of history. I am looking forward to the publishing of "How to Convert Human Waste..."
    Jun 29, 2022, 04:10 PM
    We are confused at this review because we feel there is a lot of "how-to" in this book. It is a book solely about how to convert humanure.
  • Jun 22, 2022, 09:54 AM
    Thanks for writing such a great book! I’m a family doctor up in northern Wisconsin, and have started humanure composting. It is really amazing, and I would not have felt confident in doing it without your really comprehensive and informative book. It really is a transformational book, I tell everyone I know that they should read it!
  • Jun 8, 2021, 08:12 PM
    When our septic system became flooded more than 10 years ago, our family of 8 went 48 hours without being able to flush. It was an experience that inspired me to find other alternatives to that little lever. I found Joseph Jenkins and The Humanure Handbook online. The next rainy season when the septic went out, I was almost ready. By the following year, what was potentially an emotionally scarring experience, was an absolute breeze. I believe that composting our humanure, could reverse so many problems and help Mother Nature start to heal the significant damage we've done and are still doing to this earth. As I'm currently preparing a university essay on humanure composting, I've noticed and realized that most of the scientific papers out there reference Joseph Jenkins' work. I'm super grateful for the depth, courage, and authenticity of his publications and his efforts to help humanity change. It has forever changed me.

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