Someone asked me the other day if I had read any good books lately. I think they meant a thought-provoking novel, but I couldn’t honestly say that I’d finished an entire book in months. A magazine or two, yes. But an entire book? Cover to cover? Whew. But I do have a stack of books that I dive into almost every day. A snippet here, a chapter there. Some I just thumb through for inspiration or a mini-vacation. So I thought I’d share these with you to let you know what’s been filling my brain lately. I admit it. This Mamma does require some cerebral activity; blocks, puppets and cuddles are not quite enough.
A Field Guide to Wildflowers : Northeastern and North-Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
My Kindergarten teacher (still a good friend, how cool is that?!) gave me this book when I graduated from high school. It’s one of my favorites for thumbing through.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: 365 Simple Ways to Save Energy, Resources, and Money
I like how this book is presented. Maybe it’s because it’s a British perspective? Great graphics, ideas I can grasp and easily act on with enough science to make it more than fluff.
Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank
It’s a lot of science for me at 10 o’clock at night so it’s taken me a while to get through it. I do love the mix of science and social history though so I keep going back to it.
Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer
Because of my new tomato experiment (err, obsession), I am loving this book.
The Garden Primer: Second Edition
I was given the first edition several years ago and refer to this often. Great, basic advice. No color pictures, no fluff.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Need I say more? A friend gave me her copy and I recommend this one to any new Mom who is breastfeeding. Great advice and encouraging words.
Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business
There are some inspiring profiles in here of crafters who are making a living doing what they love.
My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire
I refer to this a lot when I’m struggling with the business side of my *work* that helps to pay my bills so I can have my time at home with Wren. It especially spoke to me when the author realized she had to get serious about her freelance business and couldn’t rely on selling stuff on eBay to make ends meet. Been there. Oof.
The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections
Great ideas, especially for a family with toddlers and older. I love the focus on family and imagination. Waldorfian (is that a word?).
Lotta Prints: How to Print with Anything, from Potatoes to Linoleum
Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby: 24 Easy Projects for Newborns to Toddlers
Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects
What can I say? I am a bit obsessed with Lotta. I love her sense of design that’s inspired by the land. I even love her hair. Did I mention that I’m a bit obsessed with her?
Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures
By the same author as The Creative Family. Although I haven’t completed any of the projects in here yet, I have been stashing bits of material away for future projects. Funky but modern rag rug, anyone?
You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening
This is a fun perspective on digging in the dirt, especially for the urban gardener. Great ideas for container gardening and using whatchya got lyin’ around to make it work.
The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography
Last, but not least. This book is absolutely lovely. My friend, Bethany (she grows hops in her yard and works for the Walker. She is very cool!), gave it to me for my birthday. We share a love of maps. I think it was written for us!
Dear readers, what books have been inspiring you lately? Have you had time to dig deep into a good novel lately? Got any suggestions for some fun, easy, beachy summer reads that wouldn’t mind a few grains of sand and some smears of SPF 30? I’m on the hunt. If I’m lucky, I’ll finish ONE this summer so it better be a good one…