Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, wrote American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America. This colorful book discusses the successes and failures of starting a garden. Community gardens are praised for bringing neighborhoods together and nutrition and exercise are touched on.
Check It Out
Gillian Welch is a singer-songwriter with bluegrass and Appalachian influences. Her albums The Harrow and the Harvest, Time (The Revelator), and Hell Among the Yearlings contain dark ballads, deep love, and feel both innovative and old time. If you like the Civil Wars, give Gillian Welch a listen!
Colleen of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends Divergent by Veronica Roth:
Divergent takes place in a future dystopian Chicago. In this society, there are five factions that a person must belong to. We meet Tris on her sixteenth birthday when she has chosen to leave her home faction to become one of the Dauntless. With her induction to this new faction comes a series of tests to determine if she is truly worthy to become one of the Dauntless faction. What no one knows, however, is that Tris is actually a divergent – a person who can exist successfully in any of the factions. This trait is a dangerous one, since it threatens those in power, and Tris must keep it hidden or it could cost her life.
Director Ann Hui’s exquisitely realistic A Simple Life, starring Andy Lau and Deanie Yip, won the awards for Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress at the 2012 Hong Kong Film Awards. Roger Ebert wrote, “It expresses hope in human nature. It is one of the year’s best films.”
You must check out the Danish costume drama A Royal Affair. It is based on the true story of a fiery and forbidden romance between an insane Danish king, his royal physician, and the independent-minded Queen. This affair leads to a revolt that changes a nation.
If you enjoy a fast-paced, witty romance with tons of attitude, then you will love Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ It Had to Be You! A socialite’s father dies, leaving her a Chicago football team. Sadly, she hates football! Enter the gorgeous head coach and sparks fly!
Librarian Josh Hanagarne can bend horse-shoes. He’s also a bright, witty, semi-believing Mormon living with a severe form of Tourette Syndrome. The World’s Strongest Librarian is a memoir of love, books, and family, spiced with tales of eccentric library patrons and Josh’s wry account of his journey with Tourette’s.
Julie of Research Service recommends Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison:
Part cookbook, part gardening guide, part botany lesson, Vegetable Literacy packs a wealth of information for the curious kitchen gardener. Deborah Madison is a veteran writer of at least a dozen vegetarian cookbooks and this latest brings all her knowledge and expertise into one beautifully-illustrated volume. Organized into 12 chapters, Madison groups vegetables according to botanical family and explains the relationships between the plants in each grouping. Each vegetable has its own section with recipes, growing tips, and recommended varieties. Madison provides a foundation for improvisation in the kitchen by sharing her botanic and culinary knowledge of vegetables so that readers will have the tools to successfully create their own unique flavor combinations.
It’s New York City in 1938. Katy Kontent moves from the secretarial pool at a law firm to the upper echelon of society. In Rules of Civility, Amor Towles creates a wonderful depiction of life in New York City filled with witty dialogue, intense friendships, and a fabulous heroine.
The Girl who Played Go is a touching, intimate novel set in the 1930s. A Japanese soldier and a teenage girl both struggle with their roles in Manchurian-Chinese society. The Chinese strategy game of Go, which draws the characters together, is a metaphor for their lives in search of self.