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.