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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.

Heartless, by Marissa Meyer

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Heartless Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250044655
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - November 8th, 2016

Heartless - the origin story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - is a brilliant adventure.  Despite the fact that we know the unhappy fate of the Queen of Hearts, readers will be swept away by the vibrancy of the world and its populace, the protagonist's sheer joy in her calling as a baker, the plentiful wordplay, and the mischievous and mysterious court joker, Jest.  While remaining true to her source material, Meyer has created a more cohesive world than Carroll's own, and it's one this reader didn't want to leave:  I tore through this book in less than two days, and then, that same night, started over again, this time only allowing myself the ration of one chapter a night.  It was still over too soon, and this book has left me hungry for tarts and mad tea parties.  I highly recommend it to devotees of wit and whimsy, and of course to those who have enjoyed previous incarnations of Wonderland stories, as well as readers of the author's Lunar Chronicles series.


LaRose, by Louise Erdrich

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Kristen
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LaRose: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062277039
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - April 11th, 2017

A powerful, beautifully crafted book about characters who possess such will and vibrancy that they wrestle this novel - which could have been purely a tragedy - into a story of resilience, determination, connection, and even generosity in the face of loss.


The Aromatherapy Garden, by Kathy Keville

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Kristen
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The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781604695496
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press - April 27th, 2016

This fascinating book is a celebration of fragrant plants.  Essential oils are a hot topic these days, but why not go back to the source and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy thanks to gardening with beautifully scented plants?  While the focus of the book is gardening - and once you start this book, you'll find yourself planning your own aromatherapy garden - I also recommend this title for herbalists, nature lovers, and anyone fascinated by the science and history of fragrance and perfume.  Filled with gorgeous photographs - many of which were taken in the author's garden - this book really is a delight.


The Food Activist Handbook, by Ali Berlow

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Kristen
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The Food Activist Handbook: Big & Small Things You Can Do to Help Provide Fresh, Healthy Food for Your Community Cover Image
By Ali Berlow, Alice Randall (Foreword by)
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781612121802
Availability: Special Order
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - May 5th, 2015

This book is packed full of practical ways you can make a difference in your community. Approachable and inspiring, I highly recommend this title.


Darjeeling, by Jeff Koehler

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Kristen
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Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World's Greatest Tea Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781620405130
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Bloomsbury USA - July 12th, 2016

A fascinating exploration of the "Champagne of teas," Darjeeling.  Tea lovers, armchair travelers, and foodies will drink up this lush look into Darjeeling's history, its current challenges, and the beautiful tea produced there.


Natural Hair Coloring, by Christine Shahin

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Kristen
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Natural Hair Coloring: How to Use Henna and Other Pure Herbal Pigments for Chemical-Free Beauty Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781612125985
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - May 17th, 2016

I'm head over heels in love with this book. If you color your hair with conventional dyes but would welcome a healthy alternative, you must read this - but also read this book if you already henna your hair but would enjoy creative ways to play with herbal pigments, if you've never colored your hair but think it might be a lot of fun, or even if you just love plants and the nifty things they can do.  The author's warmth and enthusiasm make this book a pleasure to read, and it's absolutely wonderful the things that Christine Shahin can do with the natural plant dyes henna, indigo, amla, and cassia.  The whole book is gorgeously photographed and the models are real, vibrant, beautiful, "normal" women and men (not supermodels). Natural Hair Coloring is a down-to-earth, practical guide that will make coloring your hair with natural pigments fun and accessible even if you're a beginner.  It's also a generous and joyous celebration of beauty.


The Complete Herbs Sourcebook, by David Hoffmann

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Kristen
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The Complete Herbs Sourcebook: An A-to-Z Guide of Herbs to Cure Your Everyday Ailments Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781510709164
Availability: Backordered
Published: Skyhorse - June 14th, 2016

This wonderful book is packed full of insight on how to work with plant medicines to cure everyday ailments.  Highly recommended for anyone who studies or practices herbalism, as well as those who are more generally interested in greater health with fewer pharmaceuticals.  The book is also beautiful (making it a great gift) and well-organized - first by the systems of the body and relevant ailments, and then by plant, so this is a wonderful reference whether you're seeking advice on dealing with a physical challenge or to get to know a specific plant better.


The Good Living Guide to Beekeeping, by Dede Cummings

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Kristen
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The Good Living Guide to Beekeeping: Secrets of the Hive, Stories from the Field, and a Practical Guide That Explains It All Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781680990591
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Good Books - February 16th, 2016

This beautiful and inviting book is packed full of good advice and gorgeous photography!  I'd certainly recommend it for anyone interested in getting into beekeeping, but also for seasoned beekeepers (who will enjoy the interviews with fellow beekeepers) and those who are simply curious about how beekeeping works.  This book is an absolute pleasure to read, and the chapter of recipes include creative, mouthwatering dishes like "Honey Quinoa Breakfast Bake" and "Honey Cucumber Salad."  Vermonters may be interested to know that - in addition to boasting a local author - this book features interviews with Vermont beekeepers like Jennings Berger, Scott and Valarie Wilson of Heavenly Honey Apiary, Robbie Miner, Gordon Fisher, and Bill Mares.


Body into Balance, by Maria Noel Groves

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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, LLC - 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.


Naturally Bug-Free, by Stephanie L. Tourles

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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, LLC - 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!


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