The Joys of Winter Gardening

There’s nothing like a sunny Seattle day during the long dreary winter, especially for those who like to garden. The minute the sun breaks through that cloud cover, even just for a few minutes, you’ll see gardeners all over the city trying to get things in order. For those willing to brave the colder months, though, dedicated winter gardening can offer rewards and surprises that feel extra special. Want to see what’s possible in the world of winter gardening? Here are a few titles to guide and inspire.

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For the Love of Winter

Winter has always been the time for me to slow down, to cuddle up, to pause and recharge, especially after the holidays. But that slowing down doesn’t stop me from enjoying the season.

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Winterlust: Finding Beauty in the Fiercest Season by Bernd Brunner. In winter I’m not hiding out until the sun comes back–if anything I’m more present and taking full advantage of the season. This book offers essays on the meditative quality of winter and all that it has to offer us, such as the magic of snow and the activities it provides, as well as it’s ability to turn us back into children again. Winter is also the season of comfort, along the lines of the popular hygge movement of warmth and contentment. As you embrace the season, that in turn slows you down to be here and now–instead of the go, go, go. Continue reading “For the Love of Winter”

Ready, Set, Holidays!

The holidays are nearly upon us. For many of us, it’s time to start thinking about making a Halloween costume, what dish to make for Thanksgiving, or what gifts to make for friends and family. Now is the time to start planning! Here are some books to guide you as the season approaches.

In The Horrible Craft Book, Laura Minter brings kids and adults together to make gross items like cat poo chocolates, or a brain piñata and tasty eyeballs, just in time for Halloween. In Autumn BouquetSharon Keightley shows quilters how to prepare appliques featuring beautiful fall colors and themes. Deck the halls Scandi-style with Norwegian sensations Arne & Carlos’s 55 Christmas Balls to Knit and Jorid Livnik’s Big Book of Christmas Knits. Make Beautiful Wreaths with Melissa Skidmore or step up your decorating game with Cassie Kitzmiller’s Christmas Tree BookPersonalize your own cards, gift wrap and decorations with Holiday Hand Lettering from Lark Books and Vivienne Bolton’s Making Your Own Greeting Cards and Gift WrapAnd Doerthe Eisterlehner keeps things festive and charming with My Little Crocheted Christmas along with ideas for traditional crafts in Taste of Home: Handmade Christmas Continue reading “Ready, Set, Holidays!”

Snowbound! Winter Chills and Thrills

Desperate messages came flooding in, through the silent darkness of the winter nights. “Help! Snowed in at home! I need something to read!” So, adding to our recent list of Wintry reads, here are some gripping novels that revolve around winter storms.

  • The Quality of Silence, by Rosamund Lupton. An astrophysicist and her precocious hearing-disabled daughter head into a fierce storm to search the Alaska tundra for the girl’s missing father.
  • Whiteout, by Ken Follett. A missing canister containing a deadly virus forms the center of a storm that traps Stanley Oxenford, director of a medical research firm, and a violent trio of thugs in a remote house during a Christmas Eve blizzard.
  • Death Wore White, by Jim Kelly. In the midst of a line of cars stranded in a blizzard, a man is killed with a chisel andhis murderer escapes without leaving a trace.
  • Travelers Rest, by Keith Morris. When a freak snowstorm traps a family, the seek refuge in a grand, crumbling old hotel that holds some ghastly surprises in its strange, labyrinthine depths. A haunting update to Stephen King’s  The Shining.

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Winter Reads

There’s something about cold weather and dark nights that make me want to find a book full of snow and curl up on the couch. If you feel the same, check out one of these recent titles.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – In early 1900s Russia, young Vasya roams her father’s rural estate on the edge of the forest, communing with the spirits of her house and woods. When her father remarries, her devout stepmother Anna prohibits the family from practicing the rites that honor the household spirits. As the town priest supports Anna and the townfolk follow their lead, the helpful spirits weaken and the frost-king returns, with only Vasya capable of helping. Continue reading “Winter Reads”