Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Books read in May

Much like April, May did not give a lot of time for reading.  When I did come back in the house from lawn and garden work, I usually just plopped on the sofa and watched favorite TV shows.  I know, my mother would be telling me how unlady like that sounds.  :)

Thank you again for those of you who shop Amazon by going through my widget.  Someone had asked me about it (I lost the e-mail!) so I will answer here.  When you just enter the Amazon website through the widget (by clicking on any book or other item recommended in an Amazon widget) on a blog, the blogger receives Amazon credit for whatever you purchase.

Sometimes it may be pennies (for instance, third party inexpensive books) and it can be quite significant... anyone plan on buying a Kindle, or a sewing machine, or an expensive set of cookware?  Come on, don't you want one?  Just go on over to the widget and click...  ;)

You do not need to return to the blog as long as your order all goes into one Shopping Cart and shipment.  If you do return to place another order in the Shopping Cart for a different shipment, you have to click in again through any item in the widget.  But it takes seconds and it doesn't add any more to your order.

The credit has been such a blessing, allowing me to extend my homemaking library some months and others went to grandchildren birthday gifts. One of the things I love to purchase through Amazon is cookbooks because you save so much money.  For instance, this month I bought the The River Cottage Family Cookbook for only $13.00!  It is one of my all time favorite cookbooks and I'm thrilled to have it (it is being perused even now). 

I figure even if I find only one or two exceptional recipes that I will use over and over in a book or magazine... not to mention knowledge gained to make me a better cook... then the prices at Amazon are very reasonable.

Now... to books read in May.  I did get most of two novels read, finishing the sequel during a power outage by reading with a flashlight on my shoulder until 1:30 in the morning.  A reader of this blog, Carolee Snyder, e-mailed me awhile ago asking if I would be interested in reading a book she had written since I'm getting interested in herbs.  Carolee has an herb farm in Indiana and she had written her first novel to leave some of her wisdom and experiences behind for her family.

Well, I must say that for a first novel, Herbal Beginnings is wonderful.  It is a little choppy at first (but so are most first time novels) but as you read, you know Carolee is getting better and better and by the middle of the book, you would never know it is a first time novel.  These are definitely novels to be passed down proudly to her children.

Herbal Beginnings is about Callie, whose wedding has been cancelled at the last moment and she moves to a new town to begin life anew as an herb farmer.  We follow Callie as she deals with starting an herb farm from scratch, dealing with locals who do not trust newcomers (but she makes lots of friends), and how she deals with a few different men who are interested in the newly available lady.

When I finished this book, I immediately wrote Carolee and asked, "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!".  (Aren't you glad you haven't sent me any of your books?)  In less than a week, I found a manila envelope on my porch with Herbal Choices contained within.  As much as I wanted to, I couldn't begin it immediately... there was too much work to do in my own garden.  But once I started it...

The sequel follows Callie into the second year of her herb farm and with questions regarding the men in her life.  This book is less a romance than the last one (which laid the foundation of the story) and shares even more knowledge about herbs and herb recipes in the midst of the story.  I liked the first book but I LOVED this one.

I enjoy the relationship Callie has with her mother who reminds myself of, well... myself... praying for my children and trying to let them make all their own decisions but stepping in with some advice once in awhile... just tiny little bits here and there.  If you enjoy herbs and herb gardening or just a wonderful story (by an herb farmer who knows her stuff)... you would love these books.

Although the titles have the Amazon links embedded, you can purchase the books directly from Callie... I mean Carolee... here.

It probably isn't surprising that my other three books are about gardening, too.

I've been rereading Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens and Grow Great Grub, both of which are favorites that I've written about here before.  The Betty Crocker book has illustrations by Tasha Tudor and lots of excellent information about kitchen gardens and Grow Great Grub is full of inspiration, ideas, information... and most important to me... colorful pictures about growing organic veggies, herbs, and flowers in small places... there is a reason it has been on my coffee table since I bought it with Amazon credit a few months ago.

Two books which really belong in June reading (but I'm giving now since they are about gardens) are Sunflower Houses; by my favorite garden blogger, Sharon Lovejoy and a book Sharon recommended recently on her blog called The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook by Jennifer R. Bartley.

Sunflower Houses was written in the early 1990s and is the book in which I first heard of Sharon Lovejoy.  It's a delightful book of both prose (about gardening) and information regarding gardening with and for children.  Even a person with little gardening experience or much room will find something they can do with their kids in this book.  One of the Amazon reviewers said she re-reads this book in midwinter to think of the garden which is to come.  :)

I purposely bought a "well loved" copy as it is going to Miss Faith eventually... who loves flowers and gardens!  If you have never gone to Sharon's blog, it is located... here.

The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook is really just what the title says... it gives a lot of general information as well as colorful pictures for growing herbs and veggies by the season.  There are numerous recipes for using what you have grown and a number of garden design ideas.

This will make an excellent gardening book for your resource library.


Terra said...

Your book choices and taste sound similar to mine; I love gardening and bought 2 Sharon Lovejoy books. How neat that your blog friend wrote 2 novels featuring herbal wisdom.

Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life said...

What a great month of reading and discovering new treasures!

I just love books and it's a delight to find out what other bloggers are reading these days too!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Those books about Callie sounds wonderful!

I have read Sharon Lovejoy's book about Sunflower Houses. I almost checked it out again this evening at the library.

I did check out "Herbs: Gardens, Decorations, and Recipes" by Emilie Tolley and Chris Mead. I am laying in bed this evening and looking through it. Have you ever read it?


Nanna said...

the book on herbs sound wonderful, I just got inot growing herbs last year, not knowing much what to do with them I just told people it was my Southern duty to grow herbs ~LOL~

Vee said...

I just enjoy reading about reading. :D

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I have the River Cottage Cookbook too. I just love it. Actually, I have the teensiest crush on Hugh! Have you seen the River Cottage episodes on Amazon? Love those too!


Mama C said...

I think your posts on the books you have read are some of my favorites. Wonderful suggestions this month!

Now I need to motivate myself to get outside and do the gardening instead of just reading about it! :)

Have a wonderful day!