Caveat, I am not the intended audience for this book. I really was just looking for gardening tips and maybe some canning how-to. I found that and more. Some useful, selecting fruits to grow or making preserves and cheeses. Some way beyond my ken, constructing a house out of straw bales or creating a waste water system out of sand and reeds. Some horrifying, composting toilets and castrating livestock. While I would like to be less wasteful and become more self-reliant, I enjoy be connected to the grid and love, love, love clean and safe water. And toilets that do not require me to carry them out to the garden. Definitely no toting my own waste.
Quick and Easy Curb Appeal was a passable book. Full of glossy pictures and breezy text but easy of course is a relative term. Some project were quick and easy, making flower beds or painting the front door, but some like paving a patio or putting up a pergola were not in my skill set. I took something of the buffet approach;” I could do that”, “no way”, “maybe steps 1 and 2″,” who are they kidding?”.
I had a good feeling about this one. You see, I loved Lynda Barry’s earlier work, “What It Is”, the ground-breaking, mold-shattering, genre-defying and above all, inspiring, book about creative writing. I had a sneaking suspicion that she might have adapted the same format with visual art in mind. And I was right. “Picture This” does for art what “What It Is” did for creative writing. They encourage letting go of preconceived notions of “good” and “bad” and promote experimentation. The format is highly unusual, combining full page works of art, comics and activities to get the mind operating in new and different ways. Barry never makes the reader feel as though they can’t do something; in fact, that is one of the best elements of her work. Her exercises do not intimidate. They are not pretentious. They make you realize you had the artistic streak in you all along; you just thought you were somehow doing it wrong and therefore had no talent. Barry wants you to know that you’ve had it in you all along. If readers of this book don’t feel like grabbing a paintbrush (or their art-related weapon of choice)upon finishing this book, said readers may not be human.
I can think of a lot worse things to be obsessed with than baking the perfect loaf of bread. William Alexander spent a year baking, growing wheat, touring yeast factories and flour mills and finally training a monk to bake peasant bread. I can relate to some of his frustration having baked a few duds myself. An enjoyable read for anyone who loves bread, baking and eating. He tries to answer the question “What is it about bread?”
I had high hopes for this book and unfortunately it didn’t pan out. I thought it was too broken up; I really didn’t like how separated everything was in the book. I was also hoping for more information on what to plant and when and this one doesn’t really give you information on plants like I wanted it to. It also doesn’t have illustrations or photos to show you the different plants. Definitely could have been better.
This is a really good guide on how to plant your kitchen garden. I liked the month-by-month steps on what you should do and the illustrations/photos were excellent. I liked the information on different crops and when you should plant what. I thought that was really helpful. I do wish there was more information on actually setting up a garden, but the book assumes you have a working garden space already. Overall, a very good reference book for gardeners.