Kristen's Picks

Phoenix Books’ events and publicity 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). She has completed an apprenticeship with herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and has a particular interest in books on herbalism.

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Kristen
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Healing Herbal Teas: Learn to Blend 101 Specially Formulated Teas for Stress Management, Common Ailments, Seasonal Health, and Immune Suppo Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781612125749
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - December 27th, 2016

This gorgeously photographed book is packed full of delicious medicinal herbal tea recipes for everything from allergies to winter wellness.  As psyched as I am about these recipes, though, my favorite thing about the book might be the author's voice:  Just reading Sarah Farr's descriptions of her teas is a breath of fresh air.  Herbal teas are, when tasty, such a pleasure to drink, and this book is full of inspiration for anyone interested in blending their own - whether you prefer to follow the recipes exactly or just use them as jumping off points for your own concoctions.


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Kristen
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The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781623170790
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: North Atlantic Books - November 29th, 2016

If you want to branch out in or gain more understanding of your herbal medicine making methods, this book is definitely for you.  It includes what must be the most comprehensive instructions on the greatest variety of herbal preparations - from body butters to soxhlet extractions to tincture powder concentrates - that I've ever seen.  There are also lots of extremely useful tables (in case you're looking for, say, the right solvent to use to extract aromatics).  The authors also cover about 250 medicinal herbs (from acai to yucca) in an impressive materia medica.


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Kristen
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The Earthwise Herbal Repertory: The Definitive Practitioner's Guide Cover Image
By Matthew Wood, David Ryan (Contribution by)
$21.95
ISBN: 9781623170776
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: North Atlantic Books - November 1st, 2016

In The Earthwise Herbal Repertory, renowned herbalist Matthew Wood has created a powerful tool for herbalists and students of herbalism.  This 'database' of medicinal herbs allows the reader to find appropriate herbs by looking up the organ, system, or function where the problem resides - and then includes specific indications for many of the herbs listed.

The introductory material will especially appeal to those with an interest in homeopathy and how herbalism and homeopathy might complement each other.


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Kristen
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Cleanse, Nurture, Restore with Herbal Tea Cover Image
$34.79
ISBN: 9780711238299
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Frances Lincoln - January 17th, 2017

A gorgeously photographed recipe book of herbal teas (both beverage and medicinal blends).  This is a great choice for herbalists and the herbally curious who appreciate clear directions, but will also provide plenty of inspiration to those who like to formulate on the fly.  Sebastian Pole, the cofounder of Pukka, includes everything from one-ingredient classics to more unusual recipes like "Rose essence lassi."  The focus, as the title suggests, is on gentle, safe - and tasty - cleansing and nourishing teas.


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Kristen
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Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781612195636
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House Publishing - September 20th, 2016

Fiercely intelligent and scathingly funny, this book explores the media's treatment of famous women and our treatment of women on social media.  As deeply disturbing as this book is, it is ultimately empowering, and even as Doyle forces you to confront our culture's monsters, she always has your back.


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Kristen
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Mr. Splitfoot Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544811812
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - January 24th, 2017

This is one of those novels that makes me want to say, "Just read it," and then not tell you anything about it, and let you discover the whole thing for yourself.  If you love a good roadtrip, if you love a good ghost story, if you love a book that stays with you for a long time after, this one is for you.  It's received so much praise, but the quote that comes the closest to my feelings about the book is this one:

“I'm speechless. Mr. Splitfoot is so inventive, so new; I haven’t read anything like it in years. On the surface it's about false spirituality and the most demented road trip across New York State ever attempted, but it's also about the horrible ties that bind us and the small acts of redemption that make life almost okay. On top of that, it’s a thrilling page-turner. I couldn’t stop reading it.”
– Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure, Super Sad True Love Story, and many others


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Kristen
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The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250060266
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Published: Flatiron Books - September 27th, 2016

The Shepherd's Life is the beautifully written yet unsentimental memoir of a man who raises sheep in England's Lake District, as his family has for generations.  With a vivid sense of place and a compelling narrative, this book is a deeply enjoyable read, but it's much more than that:  The Shepherd's Life bears witness to the importance and relevance of small-scale farming not just as a means of production but as a way of life, as a source of community and cultural identity, as a way of raising a family and of living on the land.


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Kristen
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Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143109792
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Published: Penguin Books - October 4th, 2016

An intriguing, inspiring book about the importance of face-to-face, human-to-human conversation in a world full of interruptions.  Well-researched and more optimistic than you might think, this book offers pragmatic recommendations for prioritizing real-life connections over digital ones.  Recommended reading for anyone with a smartphone, especially (but not limited to) parents and teachers.


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Kristen
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Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-And How We Can, Too Cover Image
$31.31
ISBN: 9781612195360
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Published: Melville House Publishing - July 12th, 2016

It's been a brutal year so far as national news, and it can be hard to feel hopeful, but this book provides a hearty dose of hope, along with a lot of supporting evidence and good sense.  Lakey is a smart, amiable and accessible author, and Viking Economics was a pleasure to read (not something you can claim about every economics book!)  His account of how the Scandinavian countries have achieved such an enviable quality of life through practical, effective policies is inspiring.  While I was researching this book, I came across the talking point "The Nordics offer free university education and health care, along with affordable day care for young children.  Full employment is normal, and poverty was virtually abolished, even though poverty was once rampant."  Can you imagine being able to say "poverty has been virtually abolished" about the U.S., or even about Vermont?  It's a worthy goal, and, as Bill McKibben said, this book "shows us there’s no reason we couldn’t be making far more progress across a wide range of problems."  Viking Economics is a great pick for those who #feelthebern and for those who just think that we could be doing a better job of things in this country.


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Kristen
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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780670785971
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - June 21st, 2016

There are a lot of important conversations we need to have in the U.S., and the conversation about class is one of them.  The sheer weight of Isenberg's well-researched argument makes it impossible to maintain that the US has achieved, or ever had, a classless society.  As has been said, if you're afraid to have the discussion, you'll never solve the problem, and this book provides a vital piece of context to the discussion of why our country is so deeply divided.

I happened to read this book alongside Carol Anderson's White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide, and found the two books, which follow the same range of history and inform each other, to be a great pairing.


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