Kristen's Picks

Phoenix Books’ events and marketing manager, Kristen has worked and traveled in Ireland, Italy, Maine, and Philadelphia, and has since returned home to Vermont. Kristen is a fan of nonfiction with an anthropological bent and of fiction authors who walk the line between fantasy and reality (e.g. Alice Hoffman and Neil Gaiman). She will forever be devoted to Terry Pratchett (and Granny Weatherwax). Since she completed an apprenticeship with herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, Kristen has informally adopted Phoenix's selection of books on herbalism.

Uprooted Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780804179058
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - March 1st, 2016

Come for the witches and wizards, stay for the killer trees. --Beth


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781620555576
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Healing Arts Press - February 12th, 2016

In Secret Medicines from Your Garden, Ellen Evert Hopman takes the reader on a fascinating tour of various facets of herbalism:  In part one, "A Wildcrafting Primer," we learn about medicinal and delicious plants to harvest in each season, as well as cold and flu care and plants to repel insects.  In part two we meet animal spirit medicines, herbal astrology, plant spirits, and more.  Part three encourages us to enjoy nature's bounty from honey to hedgerows, and includes two full chapters on tree medicine.  Part four brings the reader into some finer points of formulation and developing protocols, including the details of William LeSassier's method of formulation.  Drawing on many traditions, this book is likely to have something for everyone!


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
What's Wrong with My Houseplant?: Save Your Indoor Plants with 100% Organic Solutions Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781604695908
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press (OR) - January 27th, 2016

This book is so helpful and a pleasure to use.  Within minutes, a fellow bookseller and I had sussed out the until then mysterious ailments afflicting our houseplants, and also found helpful recommendations to solve these problems.  A brilliant book for anyone who aspires to a green thumb and thriving, vibrant houseplants.
—Kristen


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
The Culinary Herbal: Growing and Preserving 97 Flavorful Herbs Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9781604695199
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press (OR) - January 27th, 2016

The Culinary Herbal is just wonderful.  It contains all the classic culinary herbs, but then goes a step further to include many plants that are less commonly featured, from papaloquelite (a marigoldlike plant that has been used in Mexico as the equivalent of cilantro) to plantain (a common "weed" that is both edible and a favorite of herbalists).  Each herb is pictured in a gorgeous color photograph, and then profiled with tips on cultivation and propagation as well as harvesting and preserving.  Appealing and easy to use, this book is sure to be a favorite of anyone who enjoys growing edible herbs, and is also a wonderful resource for gardeners looking to grow medicinal plants.
—Kristen


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393351897
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 19th, 2015

I wouldn't have thought a book on pharmaceutical history would be a pageturner, but this one proved me wrong!  Jonathan Eig has written a compelling account of the development of the birth control pill.  This often surprising narrative is rich in its depiction of cultural attitudes, scientific discoveries, eccentric characters, and establishment opposition.  Definitely recommended reading, this book provides valuable context to a technology that is now often taken for granted.
—Kristen


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
Plants with Style: A Plantsman's Choices for a Vibrant, 21st-Century Garden Cover Image
$28.94
ISBN: 9781604694017
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press (OR) - December 30th, 2015

This gorgeous, exuberant book is an ode to gardening and plants.  I admit that - although I grow herbs and other edibles - I'm an armchair gardener when it comes to ornamentals, so when I first picked this book up, I wasn't sure if it would earn a permanent place on my shelf.  It absolutely has!  The author's language is so vivid and evocative that I keep stopping to read passages aloud to whomever else is in the room, and it's obvious that Norris is passionate about and has a deep respect for plants.  I recommend this to gardeners of all stripes, and in fact to anyone who loves plants.  I'm writing this review in January in Vermont, and this is an ideal book to read on a snowy winter day when you're dreaming of spring and gardening.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781604695670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press (OR) - December 30th, 2015

A gorgeous new herbal that covers a wide range of plants, including some you won't find in most other books on herbalism.  As Vermont's own Rosemary Gladstar says, “Well researched and exceptionally well written, The Herbal Apothecary is a brilliant addition to any herbal library.”


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
Fresh Made Simple: A Naturally Delicious Way to Eat: Look, Cook, and Savor Cover Image
By Lauren K. Stein, Katie Eberts (Illustrator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781612126081
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - October 20th, 2015

This book's beautiful illustrations evoke the tastes and textures of fresh, nourishing foods while the playful instructions inspire the reader to be creative with simple, accessible ingredients.  A wonderful gift for anyone who loves cooking but just doesn't have the time or energy to get fancy, this book is lush and lighthearted.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How: Field-To-Table Cooking Skills Cover Image
$23.14
ISBN: 9781612122045
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - August 25th, 2015

This fascinating book is packed with kitchen survival skills that you'll find indispensible as soon as you know how to do them.  Andrea Chesman (a Vermont author!) has a wonderful way of making once-intimidating tasks approachable.  I'll bet anyone could find some useful information in this book, but it's an especially good pick for aspiring homesteaders and others that would like to be more self-sufficient but haven't known where to start.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
Hild Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250056092
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - October 28th, 2014

The story of one of the most powerful women in the middle ages, Hild has a gritty, almost tactile sense of place, deft use of language, and nuanced, complex, and fascinating characters.  A great choice for fans of Tolkein and Arthurian legends, but be warned:  This isn't T. H. White's Middle Ages.  Game of Thrones fans will want to read this as well.


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