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.

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781612125350
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - March 22nd, 2016

This absolutely beautiful, inviting yet in-depth herbal is a recommended addition to your collection whether you're just starting to explore herbalism or you're an experienced student of the subject.  Maria Noel Groves describes each system of the body - and how herbs can help nourish it and bring it back into balance - in articulate, vivid and often delightful language.  While she does address what can be done for specific imbalances and symptoms, this book isn't about what's "wrong" with you and how to treat it, but about how herbs can help us to be resilient, healthy, and strong.


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Kristen
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Naturally Bug-Free: 75 Nontoxic Recipes for Repelling Mosquitoes, Ticks, Fleas, Ants, Moths & Other Pesky Insects Cover Image
$10.95
ISBN: 9781612125961
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - March 8th, 2016

Naturally Bug-Free will empower you to keep bugs away from yourself, your children, your pets, and your home using natural ingredients.  Mainstream insecticides and bug repellants can be harmful in themselves, but the recipes Stephanie Tourles recommends are pleasant and healthful to use.  Don't let pesky mosquitoes, or ticks, drive you inside:  This book is packed with recipes and recommendations that will help you enjoy the great outdoors in peace!


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Wildflowers of New England Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781604694642
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press (OR) - February 24th, 2016

This gorgeous new field guide is a pleasure to use.  It's packed with photos, beautifully organized, and - since it focuses on New England flora - is perfect for here in Vermont.  I love the durable cover, too!


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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
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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
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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
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The Culinary Herbal: Growing and Preserving 97 Flavorful Herbs Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781604695199
Availability: Backordered
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
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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
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Plants with Style: A Plantsman's Choices for a Vibrant, 21st-Century Garden Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781604694017
Availability: Backordered
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
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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.”


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