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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.

Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399588174
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - November 15th, 2016

This is the perfect book for our times:  We all need a good laugh, some no-nonsense inspiration, and to (as Booklist put it in their review) "deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class."  Trevor Noah - best known as the host of The Daily Show - gives us all three, packaged in brilliant storytelling.  If you enjoy The Daily Show, you'll love this book.  If you don't watch The Daily Show, you should still read this book (and it will likely convince you to become a devoted viewer).

Born a Crime would also make a great Mother's Day gift, as much of the story centers around Noah's courageous and determined mother.


Making Love Potions, by Stephanie Tourles

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Kristen
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Making Love Potions: 64 All-Natural Recipes for Irresistible Herbal Aphrodisiacs Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781612125725
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - November 29th, 2016

Filled with indulgent recipes and bright, beautiful, inclusive illustrations, Making Love Potions is perfect for anyone interested in natural, healthy, but decadent ways bring more sensuality to their life.  Stephanie's recipes are easy and fun to make, effective, and a pleasure to eat/drink/use.  I absolutely recommend this delightful book.


White Rage, by Carol Anderson

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Kristen
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White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781632864130
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - September 5th, 2017

Clear, concise, and powerful, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide is, as the New York Times Book Review put it, "an extraordinarily timely and urgent call to confront the legacy of structural racism bequeathed by white anger and resentment, and to show its continuing threat to the promise of American democracy."  A slender but important book that I recommend for anyone interested in gaining a full understanding of our country's complex and troubled history, something we need to do in order to achieve a more promising future.

If you've already read Nancy Isenberg's White Trash, read this next; if not, consider reading the two books alongside each other.


Solitude, by Michael Harris

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Kristen
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Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250088604
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - April 4th, 2017

It seems like since the debut of smartphones, many of us have lost the habits of being really alone and of being genuinely present with others.  This book is an exploration of solitude and of what we lose when we give it up.  I recommend it to anyone who feels tethered to their phone, to anyone who loves to daydream, and to anyone who finds themselves leading a life of "strangely crowded loneliness."


The Permaculture Promise, by Jono Neiger

Reviewed by: 
Kristen

An inspiring introduction to the practice and philosophy of permaculture, The Permaculture Promise is realistic but positive.  As the author says, "While it's become clear just how much damage humans are capable of doing, unfortunately, we've come to see ourselves as only the source of environmental problems, not as the source of healing."  This book argues that humans can indeed be a source of healing - and that's something we all need to hear and strive for.


Healing Herbal Teas, by Sarah Farr

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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 Support Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781612125749
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - 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.


The Modern Herbal Dispensatory, by Thomas Easley & Steven Horne

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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.


The Earthwise Herbal Repertory, by Matthew Wood

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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 (Contributions by)
$21.95
ISBN: 9781623170776
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: North Atlantic Books - November 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.


Cleanse, Nourish, Restore with Herbal Tea, by Sebastian Pole

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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.


Trainwreck, by Sady Doyle

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Kristen
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Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781612195636
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Melville House - 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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