Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Books I Read in March

Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living by Doug Fine
An eco-memoir--I've read several of these now. I like reading these for the personal inspiration to continue edging myself towards a greener life, but this one wasn't really a favorite. For one, the author moves to Arizona to start his green lifestyle in earnest, and so a lot of the things aren't really transferable to my life in Indiana. Also, the writer makes a number of jokes about the political right and despite often finding them amusing, I felt like the book could be alienating to some readers, which I found frustrating.

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers translated by Benedicta Ward
We read this for our adult study at church this Lent. It is excellent for Lenten reading--very humbling and thought provoking. It's arranged with with sections of sayings from various desert Fathers and some desert Mothers grouped (Greek) alphabetically by the saint's name. So good. So perfect for Lent.

Homegrown Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs: a Bountiful, Healthful Garden for Lean Times by Jim Wilson
Lots of pictures, user-friendly, devotes a full or half page to info and tips on growing many kinds of fruits and vegetables.  I especially liked the sidebar with tips from the author's personal experience, like how to retain aroma and flavor when you dry basil. This book doesn't advocate completely organic methods, seems like an integrated pest management approach.

The New American Backyard: Easy, Organic Techniques and Solutions for a Landscape You'll Love by Kris Medic
Tons of advice on choosing plants, managing a lawn, landscaping to work with what your soil and yard, arranging plantings to reduce energy costs in your home, and dealing with weeds and pests.
The Landscape Makeover Book: How to Bring New Life to an Old Yard by Sara Jane von Trapp
Tips on how to update the look of your yard, how to decide what to keep and what to get remove. Also pruning, thinning and transplanting things that are overgrown, and generally planning and prioritizing. Doesn't have an organic focus.

James keeps teasing me that I like reading about gardening more than actually gardening. I've got a few more gardening books that I've been reading in April. We are planning to put in our very first vegetable garden this weekend, though. April should be a pretty long book post, actually. I'm slowing myself down by juggling a lot of books at once, but I'm hoping to edge Middlemarch out of the currently reading sidebar.  Winter's Heart is my lunch book at work, though. I take half hour lunches, and it's a long book..hopefully it will show up in the May edition of Books I Read.


  1. lovely list! I am not a gardener myself (apartment living and my cat eats plants) but those in my family who are also love reading about it! :)

    I am slowly reading through the book by B. Ward - read a suggestion to read this sort of book (sayings of the desert fathers) before prayer as a way to prepare / focus... I forget which elder in the book _precious vessels of the Holy Spirit_ suggested this, but this is where I read it...

    I look forward to hearing more!

  2. I'm the same way about gardening books. I have a black thumb and a shady backyard, and yet...

    Great list!


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