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Looking for reviews on some of the latest books about home, gardens, cooking, and more? Here are my reviews on some books that arrived in my mailbox during the month of May.
May Book Reviews
If you are looking for something new to read, here are my quick reviews of some new release books related to home, gardening, cooking, simplifying, or anything else that I found interesting! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to enter to win a giveaway for some of these titles!
A guide toward a more sustainable landscape with dozens of tips, tricks, and solutions that save you time and money—all while saving the planet, too! A revision of Shawna’s previous title,101 Organic Gardening Hacks, this new book tackles waste-reducing gardening in a clever, accessible way. Plus, you’ll find solutions to common garden problems and plenty of innovative and resourceful ways to reduce your outgoing waste. Conquering the increasingly important art of responsible gardening is a whole lot easier than you might think, with help from No-Waste Organic Gardening.
Merissa’s Thoughts – I really liked the layout of this book, it was very easy to read. I did feel like the recipes seemed to jump around a little bit, even though they were in chapters of a similar topic but it made me wonder a little bit if this was a “repurposed garden” book or a garden solutions book. I think it may have been trying to be both. Overall there are some handy ideas in here that we will likely use in the future, particularly the natural wasp control.
A comprehensive and highly practical study of the art of growing flowers, Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening presents expert tips on growing both annuals and biennials (including native and heirloom species) alongside hundreds of lush photographs. This gorgeously illustrated book is based on decades of Mattus’ first-hand experience in his own garden and greenhouse made popular on his blog Growing with Plants. Every variety or species presented is one that he has personally trialed and grown. Mattus sets you up for success by providing everything you need to know about starting seeds, soil, sowing, hardening off, to transplanting, and growing on. Then, in the following chapters, you’ll find tips for growing over 100 different annuals from seed and many summer bulbs, vines like wisteria, and even blooming shrubs like lilacs. Every flower includes detailed information based on his hands-on experience, going beyond the information typically available on the seed packet or a nursery tag.
Merissa’s Thoughts – I am a terrible flower gardener but I’m trying to get better so I was excited to read this book. So far it’s already helping me identify many of the plants that are growing naturally on our property like lavender. I like how there is a small section for each flower/plant that has all kinds of detailed tips on how to care for that particular flower. Just what a terrible flower gardener like me needs!
This gardening recipe and project book is packed with over 80 ideas to naturally beautify your garden, using organic methods that regenerate your soil and revitalize your plants. By following the processes that are closest to nature, it brings the gardener in sync with the garden, allowing plants to thrive with less effort and less cost. There’s recipes for mixing your own potting soils and homemade organic fertilizers; step-by-step instructions for building a compost pile, concocting soil tests, and constructing inexpensive DIY seed-starting equipment. There’s are also recipes for natural pest deterrents and traps, garden teas, and growth-boosting foliar sprays to help your garden grow strong all season long. All accompanied by gorgeous, full-color, step-by-step photography.
Merissa’s Thoughts – I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! There were so many tips within it that I plan on utilizing this year in my own garden. Everything from propagating new plants to creating a great compost mix. There were also some cute projects within the book (like the seed bombs) that would make nice gifts.
Elevate your backyard veggie patch into a work of sophisticated and stylish art. Kitchen Garden Revival guides you through every aspect of kitchen gardening, from design to harvesting—with expert advice from author Nicole Johnsey Burke, founder of Rooted Garden, one of the leading US culinary landscape companies, and Gardenary, an online kitchen gardening education, and resource company.
Merissa’s Thoughts – The pictures in this book made my garden look like nothing, the gardens it contained were so fancy! While I really loke the idea behind the book and the idea behind a kitchen garden, we have to remember it’s not the same as a “feed your family through the winter” garden like mine is and like I’m guessing many of yours are. It’s not feasible for me to grow such small amounts of food, it would be too much effort for too little value. If you have a space you want to design for an eye-pleasing garden, this would be a great book for you.
Mee McCormick, real food cooking expert and author of My Kitchen Cure, brings a Southern twist to comfort food classics with more than 130 recipes that heal your gut, reduce inflammation, and reverse chronic autoimmune diseases. Best of all? Mee offers a completely customizable approach to adapt recipes for different dietary needs, whether you’re gluten-free, Paleo, keto, or vegan.
Merissa’s Thoughts – I always look for the same thing in a cookbook, how long are the recipes and do they have fancy ingredients? With My Pinewood Kitchen, I felt like it did well with both of my questions. The recipes aren’t too long and the ingredients are generally something you would have in your pantry or growing in your garden. Many of the recipes within the book contained fresh summer fruits and vegetables so this might not be the best cookbook for winter when those items are harder to find, but it will be a great summer cookbook!
Want to win these books? I’m giving away a copy of
- Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening
- No-Waste Organic Gardening
- Garden Alchemy
- Kitchen Garden Revival
- My Pinewood Kitchen
to one winner! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win all of these books to add to your personal collection. Good luck!
**Please note: I will email the giveaway winner as soon as the giveaway has ended. The winner has 72 hours to respond to the email and claim the prize. If there is no response, all books will be donated to my local library. Please add [email protected] to your email contacts to help ensure email delivery.**
Have you read any of these books? Which one do you think interests you?
Are you an author or publishing house that wants me to review your book? Send an email with the information to [email protected].