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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Fresh Made Simple: A Naturally Delicious Way to Eat: Look, Cook, and Savor Cover Image
By Lauren K. Stein, Katie Eberts (Illustrator)
$20.88
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.


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Kristen
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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
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Hild Cover Image
$20.00
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.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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The Tea Party in the Woods Cover Image
By Akiko Miyakoshi, Akiko Miyakoshi (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771381079
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kids Can Press - August 1st, 2015

This beautifully illustrated story of Kikko's adventures in the woods is genuinely heartwarming.  A great pick for those who love fairy tales and celebrations.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781591847922
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Current - August 4th, 2015

"In this eloquent and thought-provoking book, Harris argues that our greatest loss has been that of absence itself—of silence, wonder, and solitude."

Are you concerned about striking a balance between technology and a meaningful life? Do you have the niggling feeling that being connected 24/7 isn't all it's cracked up to be?  Do you miss daydreaming, and even solitude?  Insightful and funny, The End of Absence is essential reading for all of us who want to use technology as a tool, but find ourselves becoming disturbingly addicted to the gratification of "likes" and "followers".  I've read some great books about social media lately (Writing on the Wall, Rewire, etc), but this is really the one I've been looking for.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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A Curious Tale of the In-Between Cover Image
$19.71
ISBN: 9781619636002
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - September 1st, 2015

I just loved this book.  Like Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, the setting is contemporary and realistic aside from the fact that many of the characters are ghosts.  The fantastic elements are put to good use, and DeStefano creates a wonderful sense of place.  A Curious Tale of the In-Between is, in the end, about the relationships between the characters, and about Pram's own growth as a character.  This makes it a satisfying story both for readers who prefer realistic fiction and for those who are already fantasy fans.


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Kristen
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Station Eleven Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780804172448
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2015

A literary post-apocalyptic page-turner that makes the mundane feel unlikely and magical, Station Eleven is a story that leaks out into your daily life, coloring the way you see airplanes, smartphones, light switches.  Without glorifying modern civilization, it left me, as Jessie Burton (author of The Miniaturist) put it, "wistful for a world where I still live."

Read this book if you've enjoyed The Hunger Games or The Road;  if you love Shakespeare or The Night Circus; if you've ever daydreamed about a world without technology or if you can't imagine not being able to log on.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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The Apple Cookbook, 3rd Edition: 125 Freshly Picked Recipes Cover Image
$17.34
ISBN: 9781612125183
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - May 19th, 2015

Featuring recipes like "Beef & Apple Deep-Dish Pie," "Curried Ham & Apples," "Grated-Apple Fritters," and "New York Apple-Bourbon Cake," this book demonstrates what a delicious complement apples can be to pretty much any dish, from sweet to savory.  The photographs are scrumptious, and the format easy to follow.  THE APPLE COOKBOOK is a keeper for any apple lover, and just might convert those not yet charmed by this fall fruit.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781612123493
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - June 30th, 2015

Yes!  Finally, a homesteading book for those of us who live in the midst of Vermont's woodlands.  Whether your property is only partially wooded or you find yourself among an abundance of trees, this book will show you that you don't have to clear your land to live more productively and self-sufficiently.


Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Cabin Lessons: A Nail-By-Nail Tale: Building Our Dream Cottage from 2x4s, Blisters, and Love Cover Image
$17.34
ISBN: 9781612125671
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - April 21st, 2015

Cabin Lessons - the story of the author's adventures and misadventures in building a cabin on the north shore of Lake Superior - is a great choice for cabin owners, carpenters and carpentry enthusiasts, and anyone who would love to build their own tiny home.  Carlsen's voice is engaging, and this book is a really fun read that also offers practical knowledge.


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