Spring has Sprung!

In Spring, a young – and young at heart – gardener’s fancy turns to thoughts of bumper crops and colorful blooms. To get your garden off to a good start, here’s a few recent books to check out:

speedyvegetable The Speedy Vegetable Garden by Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz (Timber Press, 2013)will help you make up for lost time this season. The authors focus on the quickest varieties of each crop, such as cherry tomatoes and other best-when- eaten-young veggies like sprouted clover and other seeds, and baby salad leaves.

powerhouse plantsPowerhouse Plants : 510 Top Performers for Multi-Season Beauty by Graham Rice (Timber Press, 2013) is a guide to creating a garden with year-round interest.”The title is organized alphabetically by genera (a group of species, e.g., Acer for Maples) and Rice broadly examines each genus, then provides more detailed species information emphasizing what each plant group offers for different seasons. Readers get an overview of plant groups and particular species. Overall, this is a handy A-to-Z overview of a variety of plants from grasses to trees. Each entry includes a sidebar of “Essentials” as well as numerous color photographs.” – Library Journal

touchbutterflyWant to attract birds and butterflies to the garden?  Whether you have young children or not, Touch a Butterfly: Wildlife Gardening with Kids by April Pulley Sayre (Roost Books 2013) will show you how. “In our digitally driven age, many experts bemoan the loss of connection with nature that’s afflicting our populace, particularly children. By creating a wildlife garden, Sayre believes, anyone can create that connection without having to take a vacation or trek to the woods.” – ForeWord Magazine

Happy Gardening!

New Spy Novels

Last year I recommended some of my favorite spy novels, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the James Bond franchise.  This year, I’m recommending spy novels again, but for a different reason.

Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn, two very popular novelists, passed away in the last year or so.  That started me thinking about new spy novels that have recently debuted.  Here are a few good ones:

Terror Red by David Hunt and Christine Hunsinger

You are One of Them by Elliot Holt

Multiple Exposure by Ellen Crosby

And finally, one of the hottest non-fiction books around right now is George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade.   It’s the fascinating story of a spy ring in and around New York City that helped discover Benedict Arnold’s plans and ultimately win the war.



New Historical Fiction

Do you like historical fiction? Some favorite authors have new books out this spring.

I Always Loved YouRobin Oliveira, who wrote, “My Name is Mary Sutter”, has just published “I Always Loved You,” a novel about Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas’s great romance.   Artist Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War was going to be easy, but after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected and her determination wavers.  Her father begs her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband, her sister Lydia falls ill, and Mary begins to doubt herself.  Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever.

Under the Wide and Starry SkyNancy Horan, whose debut novel “Loving Frank” about Mamah Cheney and her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright, has written “Under the Wide and Starry Sky.”  This new novel imagines the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson and American divorcée Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, who after meeting in rural France take refuge from their unhappy lives and embark on two shared decades of international turbulence.

A Star for Mrs BlakeApril Smith, author of the Ana Grey mystery thrillers, has branched out into historical fiction with “A Star for Mrs. Blake.” This novel is set in the 1930’s and tells the story of five American women, Gold Star Mothers, who travel to France to visit the graves of their WWI soldier sons.  The women meet for the first time just before their journey begins and when the women finally travel to Verdun to visit the battlegrounds where their sons fought as well as the cemeteries where they are buried, shocking events — a death, a scandal, a secret revealed — cause their lives to become inextricably intertwined.

Stop in to check out these and other great reads!


Poetry Unites Contest

Do you love poetry? Do you have a favorite poem that means something very important to you? Now is your chance to share that poem and its importance with the world!  New York State is looking for people of all ages(kids to adults) and backgrounds who are passionate about a poem to enter the first New York State Poetry Unites Contest. To find out how to enter, please follow this link: New York State Poetry Unites

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