Award winners, incomplete books, homesteading, martians & fantasy wilderness

New Books - Jan 9

We’re closed today and tomorrow for our winter hours but, in the meantime, here are the books that arrived in our shipment this week:

– “The Back of the Turtle” by Thomas King (Winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction)
This is Thomas King’s first literary novel in 15 years and follows on the success of the award-winning and bestselling The Inconvenient Indian and his beloved Green Grass, Running Water and Truth and Bright Water, both of which continue to be taught in Canadian schools and universities. Green Grass, Running Water is widely considered a contemporary Canadian classic.

In The Back of the Turtle, Gabriel returns to Smoke River, the reserve where his mother grew up and to which she returned with Gabriel’s sister. The reserve is deserted after an environmental disaster killed the population, including Gabriel’s family, and the wildlife. Gabriel, a brilliant scientist working for DowSanto, created GreenSweep, and indirectly led to the crisis. Now he has come to see the damage and to kill himself in the sea. But as he prepares to let the water take him, he sees a young girl in the waves. Plunging in, he saves her, and soon is saving others. Who are these people with their long black hair and almond eyes who have fallen from the sky?

Filled with brilliant characters, trademark wit, wordplay and a thorough knowledge of native myth and story-telling, this novel is a masterpiece by one of our most important writers.

– “Finish This Book” by Keri Smith
From the author of Wreck This Journal, a collaborative creative journey where you complete the book.

Dear Reader,

One dark and stormy night, author Keri Smith found some strange scattered pages abandoned in a park. She collected and assembled them, trying to solve the mystery of this unexpected discovery, and now she’s passing the task on to you, her readers.

Your mission is to become the new author of this work. You will continue the research and provide the content. In order to complete the task, you will have to undergo some secret intelligence training, which is included in this volume. Since no one knows what lies ahead, please proceed with caution, but know…this book does not exist without you.

Yours truly,
Keri Smith

– “Wreck This Journal” by Keri Smith
For anyone who’s ever wished to, but had trouble starting, keeping, or finishing a journal or sketchbook comes Wreck This Journal, an illustrated book that features a subversive collection of prompts, asking readers to muster up their best mistake- and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book (and destroy them). Acclaimed illustrator Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in “destructive” acts-poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting with coffee, and more-in order to experience the true creative process. Readers discover a new way of art and journal making-and new ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.

– “This is Not a Book” by Keri Smith
In this uniquely skewed look at the purpose and function of “a book,” Keri Smith offers an illustrated guide that asks readers to creatively examine all the different ways This Is Not a Book can be used. With intriguing prompts, readers will discover that the book can be:

A secret message—tear out a page, write a note on it for a stranger, and leave it in a public place.

A recording device—have everyone you contact today write their name in the book.

An instrument—create as many sounds as you can using the book, like flipping the pages fast or slapping the cover.

This Is Not a Book will engage readers by having them define everything a book can be by asking, “If it’s not a book, what is it then?”—with a kaleidoscope of possible answers.

– “Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on a Scrappy Six-Acre Homestead” by Jenna Woginrich
Farm City meets The Omnivore’s Dilemma in Cold Antler Farm, a collection of essays on raising food on a small homestead, while honoring the natural cycle of the “lost” holidays of the agricultural calendar.

Author Jenna Woginrich is mistress of her one-woman farm and is well known for her essays on the mud and mess, the beautiful and tragic, the grime and passion that accompany homesteading. In Cold Antler Farm, her fifth book, she draws our attention to the flow and cycle not of the calendar year, but of the ancient agricultural year: holidays,  celebrations, seasonal touchstones, and astronomical events that mark sacred turning points in the seasons.

Amidst the “lost” holidays of the equinoxes, May Day, Hallowmas, and Yule, we learn the life stories of her beloved animals and crops–chicken, pig, lamb, apples, basil, tomatoes. May apple blossoms are sweet fruit for rambunctious sheep in June. And come September, the harvest draws together neighbors for cider making under the waning summer sun. The living beings she is tending fuel one another–and the community–day to day, season by season.

By examining what eating seasonally really means, the “ancient” reclaimed calendar becomes a source of wisdom. How do we set down roots and break new ground in spring? How to best nourish body and soul in the heat of deep summer? And what can we learn by simply paying more attention to weather patterns than to our social network feeds? Cold Antler Farm encourages us to eat and live well with respect to for the natural rhythm of the seasons. In turn we learn what it means to be truly connected, not super-networked.

– “The Martian” by Andy Weir
Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

– “Wildwood” by Colin Meloy
For fans of The Chronicles of Narnia comes the first book in the Wildwood Chronicles – an epic middle-grade fantasy series full of magic, wonder, and danger – by Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of The Mysterious Benedict Society.

In Wildwood, Prue and her friend Curtis uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval—a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Wildwood captivates readers with the wonder and thrill of a secret world within the landscape of a modern city. It feels at once firmly steeped in the classics of children’s literature and completely fresh at the same time. The story is told from multiple points of view, and the book features more than eighty illustrations, including six full-color plates, making this an absolutely gorgeous object.

– “Backyard Farming: Growing Garlic” by Kim Pezza
Backyard Farming: Growing Garlic is your expert guide to successfully tending and harvesting garlic.

Delicious when fresh and effortless to cure and preserve, garlic is a great choice for homesteads and gardens. Growing Garlic is a comprehensive primer for anyone looking to add garlic to their harvest and includes detailed instructions and informative photographs that help ensure that your garlic crop is a success.

Growing Garlic covers a broad range of important topics, including selecting the right variety of garlic for your wants and needs, storage and preservation  methods, recognizing common pests and diseases, and incorporating garlic into your diet, among many others.

With Growing Garlic , you will:
• Learn when and how to plant to get the most out of your garlic crop
• Utilize garlic as the perfect companion plant to improve the health of your entire garden
• Learn the various methods of planting garlic, allowing you to work within your schedule and workload
• Learn to harvest your garlic and prepare it for sale or personal use
• Discover a variety of delicious homestead recipes
…and many more tips and tricks from experienced farmers to help you achieve success with your garlic harvest.

Growing Garlic is your first big step to joining the growing movement of homemakers and homesteaders looking to make a return to a healthier, happier way of life—and it starts right in your own backyard.

Backyard Farming is a series of easy-to-use guides to help urban, suburban, and rural dwellers turn their homes into homesteads. Whether planning to grow food for the family or for sale at the local farmers market, Backyard Farming provides simple instruction and essential information in a convenient reference.

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