Weekend Reading: Spring Has Sprung


Written by Willow Gale, Bookmobile Manager.

Spring is in full swing and many of our thoughts turn to gardens (especially with all the rain we’ve been having)!  For a different perspective on our relationship with plants, try:

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer – As a botanist, Dr. Kimmerer is Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. And in both worlds, she is an amazing storyteller. A mother and a teacher, she shares stories from her personal life, adventures with her students, and a deep understanding of the connections in all life.

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart – With an entirely different twist on things, Stewart takes on over 200 plants that are not quite people-friendly. Humorous, illustrated, and factual, this book shows you which plants to avoid – unless you have some dastardly plan in mind. You may also be interested in another plant book by the same author: The Drunken Botanist: the Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks. As the title implies, this book covers history, botany, etymology and mixology with recipes included.

For those of you who don’t have a green thumb (and don’t wish to), here are a couple excellent biographies to peruse:

Here If You Need Me: A True Story by Kate Braestrup – Braestrup’s husband, and father of their four children, was killed in the line of duty as a Maine State Trooper. To help deal with her tremendous grief, Braestrup chose to pursue his dream – to become a minister. Enrolling in divinity school, caring for her grieving family, and trying to keep the day-to-day together, Braestrup persevered and became a Unitarian Universalist minister. She then found her calling as the first chaplain for the search-and-rescue teams across the state of Maine. A moving, inspirational story that reminds us that it’s the small miracles that happen every day.

Not My Father’s Son: a Memoir by Alan Cumming – Longtime actor on stage, screen, and television, Cumming is currently popular for his role on The Good Wife and as host of Masterpiece Mystery. This is far from a celebrity bio, though. Cumming recounts his childhood in Scotland with his family and the early years of his career. As the title suggests, his relationship with his father, a forester, was a difficult one. Through many years and ongoing conversations with his brother Tom, Cumming finally makes some realizations and comes to a more comfortable place with his past.

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