Friday, November 18, 2016

A New Guide To... Gardening in the Green Mountain State.

The Vermont Gardener's Companion tells how to get the most out of Vermont's short gardening season and details how readers can use organic methods to improve soil, deal with diseases and pests, and get better results with their plants in a state where “winter temperatures plunge far below zero and rocks left by the glaciers pop out of the ground each spring like bread from hyperactive toasters.”

With good humor and a natural teacher's gift for explanations, Henry Homeyer makes gardening fun and readily accessible to all.

The Vermont Gardener’s Companion is the only guide focused on the challenges of cultivating a successful garden in the Green Mountain State. Whether you are an experienced green thumb or a curious novice, whether you live in the Green Mountains or along Lake Champlain, this easy-to-understand guide will help you grow bountiful vegetables, abundant flowers, and lush lawns.

An Insider's Guide to Gardening in the Green Mountain State
by Henry Homeyer
Globe Pequot Press, 2016

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Reading the History: Wild Spaces, Open Seasons.

This book traces the theme of hunting and fishing in American art from the early nineteenth century through World War II. Describing a remarkable group of American paintings and sculpture, the contributors reveal the pervasiveness of the subjects and the fascinating contexts from which they emerged. In one important example after another, the authors demonstrate that representations of hunting and fishing did more than illustrate subsistence activities or diverting pastimes. The portrayal of American hunters and fishers also spoke to American ambitions and priorities.

In their depictions of the hunt or the catch, American artists connected a dynamic and developing nation to its past and its future. Through the examination of major works of art, this book brings to light an often-overlooked theme in American painting and sculpture.

Hunting and Fishing in American Art
edited by Kevin Sharp
University of Oklahoma Press, 2016
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A New Guide To... Virus.

This book provides a rare window into the amazing, varied, and often beautiful world of viruses. Contrary to popular belief, not all viruses are bad for you. In fact, several are beneficial to their hosts, and many are crucial to the health of our planet. Virus offers an unprecedented look at 101 microbes that infect all branches of life on Earth -- from humans and other animals to insects, plants, fungi, and bacteria.

Featuring hundreds of color images throughout, this guide begins with a lively and informative introduction to virology. Here readers can learn about the history of this unique science, how viruses are named, how their genes work, how they copy and package themselves, how they interact with their hosts, how immune systems counteract viruses, and how viruses travel from host to host. The concise entries that follow highlight important or interesting facts about each virus.

An Illustrated Guide to 101 Incredible Microbes
by  Marilyn J. Roossinck
Princeton University Press, 2016

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Reading the History: Drawn to Yellowstone

Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and dozens of other artists braved difficult conditions to capture the splendors of Yellowstone in many media, from delicate watercolors and pen-and-ink sketches to powerful oils and popular lithographs.

Peter H. Hassrick traces the artistic history of the park from its earliest explorers to the present day in this new edition of Drawn to Yellowstone, a richly illustrated account of the artists who traveled to and were inspired by Yellowstone.

Artists in America's First National Park
by  Peter H. Hassrick
Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 2016

Artwork: Grand Canyon of Yellowstone by Thomas Moran
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Monday, October 17, 2016

A New Guide To... Amphibians and Reptiles.

Known for its natural beauty, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is the largest inland peninsula in the United States. Consisting of 170,000 acres of forested and protected public land between Kentucky Lake (Tennessee River) and Lake Barkley (Cumberland River), this scenic sanctuary is visited by more than 1.4 million nature lovers annually and encompasses many diverse habitats, each supporting a particular community of plants and animals.

This is your guide to some of the often-overlooked residents of this unique ecosystem. The authors offer detailed descriptions and stunning color photographs of the salamanders, frogs, toads, turtles, lizards, and snakes found in the region. Each entry includes the species' scientific and common names as well as information on its distribution, habitat, and natural history. An extensive glossary assists readers in identifying the animals.

by  David H. Snyder, A. Floyd Scott, Edmund J. Zimmerer and David Frymire
University Press of Kentucky, 2016

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

A New Guide To... Frugality.

From Socrates to Thoreau, most philosophers, moralists, and religious leaders have seen frugality as a virtue and have associated simple living with wisdom, integrity, and happiness. But why? And are they right?

The Wisdom of Frugality explores what simplicity means, why it's supposed to make us better and happier, and why, despite its benefits, it has always been such a hard sell. The book looks not only at the arguments in favor of living frugally and simply, but also at the case that can be made for luxury and extravagance, including the idea that modern economies require lots of getting and spending.

Why Less Is More - More or Less
by  Emrys Westacott
Princeton University Press, 2016

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Reading the History: The Baker Massacre

On the morning of January 23, 1870, troops of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry attacked a Piegan Indian village on the Marias River in Montana Territory, killing many more than the army’s count of 173, most of them women, children, and old men. The village was afflicted with smallpox. Worse, it was the wrong encampment. Intended as a retaliation against Mountain Chief’s renegade band, the massacre sparked public outrage when news sources revealed that the battalion had attacked Heavy Runner’s innocent village—and that guides had told its inebriated commander, Major Eugene Baker, he was on the wrong trail, but he struck anyway. Remembered as one of the most heinous incidents of the Indian Wars, the Baker Massacre has often been overshadowed by the better-known Battle of the Little Bighorn and has never received full treatment until now.

Author Paul R. Wylie plumbs the history of Euro-American involvement with the Piegans, who were members of the Blackfeet Confederacy. His research shows the tribe was trading furs for whiskey with the Hudson’s Bay Company before Meriwether Lewis encountered them in 1806. As American fur traders and trappers moved into the region, the U.S. government soon followed, making treaties it did not honor.

The Baker Massacre
by Paul R. Wylie
University of Oklahoma Press, 2016

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A New Guide To... Fermentation & Home Brewing.

People everywhere are rejecting industrial food to produce their own—and fermentation is at the zenith of this movement. It is slow food at its slowest; optimizes nutritional health; and confers unique flavors and textures.

This mouthwatering survey presents a world of recipes for fermented foods and beverages to make at home, from bread and beer to ketchup, kombucha, and kimchi. Featuring tantalizing photography and tips from the pros, this book is the ultimate resource for everyone from the newbie to the seasoned fermentation enthusiast.

Fermentation & Home Brewing
by Jessica Childs and Eric Childs
Sterling Epicure, 2016

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Now Serving... More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails

Ninety-five percent of the world's bourbon whiskey is produced in Kentucky, and the drink is as distinctive to the state as Thoroughbred horses and Bluegrass music. As America's native spirit enjoys booming popularity worldwide, award-winning bartender Joy Perrine and celebrated restaurant critic and drinks writer Susan Reigler return to offer new recipes that will delight both the cocktail novice and the seasoned connoisseur.

Following up on their best-selling The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, the duo returns with more reasons to appreciate bourbon whiskey. This mouthwatering volume features more than fifty delicious new concoctions―including variations on classics such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan―and even adds a splash of Kentucky flavor to mojitos, sangria, lemonade, and coffee. It also serves up recipes from leading bartenders, prizewinning drinks from cocktail competitions, and a bourbon-inspired buffet featuring edibles that will be a feast for aficionados.

by Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler
University Press of Kentucky, 2016
Good Spirits Online
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Now Cooking with Bourbon Desserts

The flavor of bourbon adds flair and sophistication to every occasion. Celebrations in the Bluegrass State―or any state, for that matter―are never complete without the unique richness of this signature drink. Every holiday party is made warmer with bourbon balls and velvety bourbon eggnog, and no respectable Kentucky Derby party is complete without ice-cold mint juleps. 

Bourbon Desserts features more than seventy-five decadent desserts using America's native spirit. Celebrated food writer and home chef Lynn Marie Hulsman brings together a collection of confections highlighting the complex flavor notes of Kentucky bourbon, which are sure to delight the senses. Organized by category and beautifully presented, the delectable recipes include Bourbon Crème Brulee, Watermelon Julep Pops, Drunken Hot-Fudge Pudding Cake, Derby Morning Maple-Bourbon Hotcake Syrup, and Grandma Rose's Big Race Pie. Giving readers the confidence to prepare these easy-to-execute desserts, this cookbook also features fun facts about bourbon and its origins as well as tips and tricks for working in the kitchen. 

by Lynn Marie Hulsman
University Press of Kentucky, 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016

One-Year Dynasty

Relive the games, moves, and players of the hard-hitting team that won the 1986 World Series.

Vin Scully called the tenth-inning groundball in Game Six of the 1986 World Series—Mets versus Red Sox—that sealed a comeback, fueled a curse, and turned a batting champion into a scapegoat. But getting there was a long, hard slog with plenty of heartache. After being knocked out of contention the previous two seasons, the Mets blasted through the National League that year. They won blowouts, nailbiters, fights, and a 14-inning game that ended with one pitcher on the mound, another in right field, and an All-Star catcher playing third base.

Inside the Rise and Fall of the 1986 Mets, Baseball's Impossible One-and-Done Champions
by Matthew Silverman
Lyons Press, 2016

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

A New Guide To... Connecticut Made.

A unique guidebook and local resource full of hundreds of things to find and buy, crafts to discover, factories to explore, and history to uncover – all made in Connecticut.

Hundreds of the state’s top cottage industries––all places that you can shop and/or tour––are showcased. Organized by product type, categories include ceramics/pottery, clothing/accessories, furnishings/furniture, glassware, home décor, jewelry, specialty foods, toys/games, and so much more. Together, these homegrown establishments help make up the identity of the Nutmeg State and are part of the larger fabric of what is distinctively New England.

Homegrown Products by Local Craftsmen, Artisans, and Purveyors
by Cynthia Parzych
Globe Pequot Press, 2016

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Nature Pages: Dirt

The three dozen essays in this anthology explore and explain and celebrate the virtues of Earth's outer surface or, to put it simply, dirt. Edited by novelist Barbara Richardson, the collection includes a wide range of writings by artists, scientists, poets and farmers reflecting on diverse topics emerging from a common soil.

Contributors who could be labeled as "nature writers" include Julene Bair, Wes Jackson, Edward Kanze, Lisa Knopp, John T. Price, Janisse Ray, Jeanne Rogers, Donald G. Schueler, and Liz Stephens.

In her preface, Richardson refers to Walt Whitman's directive "Look for me under your boot-soles" and extols the divinity of dirt. "Grab a shovel. Hike a ravine. Breathe a dust storm. Reek like old goat and sleep like Venus after a dirty long day. Relish dirt's unbiased receptivity. Worship, if you will, the endless fecundity of soil. Or better yet, fall in love. Dirt makes a resilient, astounding lover."

A Love Story
by Barbara Richardson
ForeEdge, 2015

continued in The Nature Pages

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reading the History: Burley

Once iconic American symbols, tobacco farms are gradually disappearing. It is difficult for many people to lament the loss of a crop that has come to symbolize addiction, disease, and corporate deception; yet, in Kentucky, the plant has played an important role in economic development and prosperity. Burley tobacco (a light, air-cured variety used in cigarette production) has long been the Commonwealth's largest cash crop and an important aspect of regional identity, along with bourbon, bluegrass music, and Thoroughbred horses.

In Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century, Ann K. Ferrell investigates the rapidly transforming process of raising and selling tobacco by chronicling her conversations with the farmers who know the crop best. She demonstrates that although the 2004 "buyout" ending the federal tobacco program is commonly perceived to be the most significant change that growers have had to negotiate, it is, in reality, only one new factor among many.

Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century
by Ann Ferrell 
University Press of Kentucky, 2016

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