Home & Garden Newsletter for April

It’s the time to celebrate the passage from summer to autumn and this awesome collection of new library books filled with inspiring ideas and helpful tips might be just what you are looking for. Easy recipes for relaxed entertaining, craft ideas to suit every home, innovative therapy techniques to help you break out of negative habits and more. Choose your favourites and enjoy reading!

Library News

Cooking

This month’s recent picks feature books from the budget-hero blog A Girl Called Jack and the delicious bad-things-free experiment that is The Extra Virgin Kitchen from Sunday Independent food writer Susan Jane White. We’ve hidden some treats among there too ;p

Syndetics book coverA Girl Called Jack : 100 delicious budget recipes / Jack Monroe ; photography by Susan Bell.
“Jack is a woman of our times, facing head-on the realities of recession-hit Britain and responding with a ‘make do and mend’ way of thinking that we should all consider. When she found herself unemployed and with a food budget of just 10 pounds a week, she decided to address the situation by adapting her weekly shop and embracing the value range of her local supermarket. Keeping to her budget, she created recipe after recipe of nutritious food for herself and her son, which she then posted on her blog, A Girl Called Jack. In her first cookbook, Jack shows you how to adapt the way you shop to be less wasteful, and to value the techniques of inexpensive but good cooking. Her recipes are reassuring and just the thing to make confident, budget-conscious cooks of us all, suggesting great alternative ingredients and different approaches to getting a good result – this is real food for real people.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverThe Extra Virgin Kitchen : recipes for wheat-free, sugar-free and dairy-free eating / by Susan Jane White ; [photography by Joanne Murphy].
“When Sunday Independent food writer Susan Jane White was told to stay away from wheat, dairy and refined sugar due to intolerances, she created seriously tasty recipes that didn’t compromise her health. The result? Susan’s energy levels went through the roof and her friends and family began to look for her ‘free-from’ recipes whether or not they had intolerances.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverSweet / Alison Thompson ; photography by Sharyn Cairns.
“This new collection from Alison Thompson, best-selling author of Bake, celebrates desserts in every delicious form: creamy, fudgy, gooey, molten, fruity, refreshing, chocolatey, crunchy, chewy, light-as-air or sinfully rich. From elaborate show-stoppers to comforting family puddings, Alison’s clear, straightforward recipes guarantee sweet success, every time.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverHidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka / Bree Hutchins.
Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka is far more than a collection of traditional recipes. It is a book as much about the people as their food. Brought to life by her stunning photographs, Bree interweaves recipes with heartfelt stories about the people who opened not only their kitchens but also their homes and hearts to her, and created a moving yet hopeful picture of Sri Lanka.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverGreedy Girl’s Diet : Second Helpings! : fab food fast for a slim life / Nadia Sawalha ; photography by Nicky Johnston and Gavin Kingcome.
“We’ve all been there: you start a diet with the best of intentions, but, after a busy day at work or a nightmare journey home, the thought of spending an age chopping vegetables for a salad or gloomily sipping a flavourless soup is just too much. Before you know it, you’re reaching for the frozen pizza or dialling the number of your favourite takeaway. That’s where Nadia comes in. In Greedy Girl’s Diet, she proved that healthy food doesn’t have to be dull and that you can still have treats without overindulging. Now she’s back, with a host of family-friendly, healthy and nutritious recipes (including her famous desserts!) that can be prepared and on the table in no time.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Vegan Cookbook : Feed Your Soul, Taste the Love : 100 of the best vegan recipes / Adele McConnell.
“This brilliant book brings a fresh, inspired look to plant-based food, showing just how satisfying, dynamic and undeniably delicious contemporary vegan cooking can be. The beautifully photographed recipes make the most of a wide variety of fresh ingredients, drawing inspiration from cuisines around the world to help you create healthy, balanced meals effortlessly. Renowned blogger Adele McConnell, founder of vegiehead.com, proves there’s no need to sacrifice flavour to eat animal-free.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnnabel’s Family Cookbook : 100 simple, delicious recipes that everyone will enjoy / Annabel Karmel ; [photography by Martin Poole].
“In this beautiful cookbook, Britain’s bestselling children’s food writer, Annabel Karmel, offers her favourite dishes for busy week nights and busy weekends.
– Speedy recipes that take no more than 30 minutes
– Ideas for leisurely brunches and Sunday lunches
– Food to prepare ahead and store in your fridge or freezer
– Easy recipes for relaxed entertaining
– Delicious snacks, salads and lunchbox ideas
– Foolproof, impressive cakes for parties and teatimes.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe Bonne Femme Cookbook : simple, splendid food that French women cook every day / Wini Moranville.
“Like any good bonne femme, Wini Moranville begins with an aperitif and something to nibble on. The salty, tangy green olive and cheese spirals and puffy Gougeres are incredibly addictive, especially when you’ve already had a bubbly, refreshing French 75 cocktail or two. The following chapters move through the gamut of soups, salads, entrees, and desserts; all emphasize quality ingredients that allow basic recipes to attain a high degree of flavour.” (Publisher Weekly)

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Crafts

It’s been an exiting time for our crafty library team, cataloguing and sorting out all these cool and ‘delicious’ craft books, which are packed with inspiring knitting, quilting, crocheting and sewing projects. If you are ready for an artistic journey take a look at some of our latest arrivals. Get inspiration with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step tutorials and tips. And, there is much more. You are offered guidance on how to market your craft business, ways to engage with customers, sell your work online and move your business forward with confidence. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverOnce upon a knit : 28 Grimm and glamorous fairy-tale projects / Genevieve Miller. “Iconic fairy-tale characters from storybooks, movies, and television inspire this collection of magical knitting patterns perfect for modern knights, villains, and princesses. Once again, Genevieve Miller taps a wide range of contributors (from knitwear designers to students) to create a collection of 28 wearables, accessories, and toys that can be knit for adults or kids. Inspired by the recent resurgence of fairy-tale and fantasy characters, these projects draw from classic stories as well as pop-culture phenomena featuring romantic, feminine costumes. Projects range from kid- and teen-friendly animals hats to an Alice in Wonderland beret to a crystal-embellished vest fit for a Snow Queen, adding a little dress-up fun to knitters’ everyday wardrobes.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverQuilting with a modern slant : people, patterns, and techniques inspiring the modern quilt community / Rachel May. “May, a founder of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild, has created an encyclopedia of modern quilting. So-called “modern” quilting labels the latest category of quilting, following “traditional” and “art.” Modern quilting-admittedly hard to pin down, but proudly inclusive-is a hybrid of the other two, resulting in quilts that “perform both a design and functional purpose.” May divides her book into seven sections with titles that reflect the whimsy and experimentation that help define modern quilting, including “A Sense of Play,” “Improv,” and “For the Love of Color.” Within those chapters, she presents modern quilters (”Meet”), such as Angela Walters, David Butler, and Caro Sheridan; offers directions (”Project”) for techniques like paper piecing and for quilts, like Sherri Lynn Wood’s modern t-shirt quilt; and covers history and museums. Sidebars cite quilters’ blogs and places to donate quilts, among other information. Crawls at the bottom of pages define words (”Quilt Lingo”) and blurbed quotes from quilters and their blogs are scattered throughout for encouragement. Like a good host, May serves as an enthusiastic introducer, teacher, and cheerleader.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverBaby crochet / Sue Whiting ; [photography by Sian Irvine and Paul Bricknell]. “Create beautiful baby clothes with these quick- to-make designs. 24 gorgeous designs for babies, ranging from pretty cardigans and cosy jackets to hats, bootees, mitts and toys.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverVintage crafts : 75 do-it-yourself decorating projects using candles, colors, and other flea market finds / author & photographer, Clara Lidström ; translated by Anette Cantagallo. “In this book, which is based on her blog, Lidstrom plays that pretty, talented friend who makes flea market finds and shabby chic decor seem enviable. The author makes make-do and mend look like high design, from her collection of “beloved” vintage dresses to a “scrapbooked” linen cabinet decorated with wallpaper. The author never lets her flea market evangelizing (”I fear that we’re annihilating our heritage in the rush to constantly consume what’s new and modern.”) overtake her enthusiasm at remaking a great bargain. Her favorite thing to do is to “pimp” her finds: a set of old speakers with lace, notebooks with vintage girls’ book covers, and a lampshade. The book contains a few gems, such as a recipe for wallpaper paste using water, sugar, and potato flour, as well as tips for freshening up old clothes with flaxseed oil soft soap. Her advice isn’t always new-using newspaper to form cups for seedlings or attaching jar lids underneath a shelf-but no matter. The book is less a practicum and more an idiosyncratic and inspiring romp through the charming space that Lidstrom has created from scraps and paint. Framing that world is a series of gorgeous, light-filled, photos, in which the author and her son often play a supporting role to the author’s lime-and-red retro kitchen or her tastefully unkempt vegetable garden.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book cover “Make your own cute and easy pompoms / by Kazue Kasuga, Ryoko Nishizua, Naoko Nakui, Idea Oshima ; Kevin Wilson, translator. “Most crafters are familiar with pompoms as embellishments for hats or scarves. The authors, a collective of Japanese fiber artists who call themselves Pompoms, banish the “embellishment-only” point of view with this series of whimsical projects that use creative placement of yarn and shaped trimming techniques to create pompoms featuring patterns or pictures. No specialized equipment is needed-either a piece of cardboard or a standard pompom maker will do; the magic is in the way the yarn is wrapped around the pompom maker. There’s a lot of counting involved, since the directions are given in number of wraps of each color of yarn, but the end results are surprisingly detailed. Standouts include a variety of pretty floral pompoms, as well as a pompom matryoshka set. – These easy projects require simple equipment and inexpensive supplies, making them appropriate for all ages.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book cover “How to show & sell your crafts : how to build your craft business at home, online, and in the marketplace / Torie Jayne. “Online marketplaces like Etsy have opened up a new world for crafters who want to make money from their work, and UK-based Jayne, whose aesthetic is part English country house, part “put a bird on it” quirk, enlists the help of a number of successful craft entrepreneurs for this collection of tips for making a living selling creations. Though the title is presented as a book on showing and selling crafts, it comes across as more of a lifestyle manual, with cutesy projects taking the place of practical advice. Some of Jayne’s suggestions are a little odd-does it really matter if you cover your storage boxes with floral wallpaper, or if the chair you sit in to work is “stylish”?-but her tips on branding will be helpful to those who are new to marketing their wares. Those who have already mastered the basics and are looking to take their fledgling businesses to the next level may prefer Kari Chapin’s Grow Your Handmade Business, which focuses less on making your workspace pretty and more on selling handmade goods as a livelihood. VERDICT Crafters who are just starting out may find some handy tips here, but only if they’re willing to wade through all the style-related fluff to find the nuggets of wisdom.” (Library Journal)

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Gardening DIY

Syndetics book coverAn invitation to the garden: seasonal entertaining outdoors
“In this indispensable entertaining guide, Michael Devine, a well-known tastemaker, shows how the garden can be a perfect and easily transformable setting to stage enchanted events in every season. Michael Devine shares the joys of outdoor dining in his exquisite garden, presenting several get-togethers throughout the year-from breakfast and lunch to cocktails and dinner. Included are easy-to-prepare recipes as well as lots of ideas for creating festive tablescapes and decor that befit each occasion, from an iridescent butterfly-themed summer luncheon to a Christmas Eve feast in his cozy candlelit garden folly. Each garden event is chic and infused with whimsical effects. This small backyard garden has clipped bushes, trellised climbing roses, potted containers, and raised sprightly vegetable and herb beds, which serve as the source for many of the fresh ingredients for his mouthwatering menus. An array of sensuous blooms for the table is ready for the picking. A charming bagatelle with a thatched roof and a gravel terrace enveloped by the lush garden function as intimate seating areas for his chic parties. This book provides expert guidance and inspiration for readers looking to create their own stylish outdoor parties with ease, whether they are city dwellers with a small plot of land or the owners of country property.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverPhillippa’s home baking / Phillippa Grogan & Richard Cornish ; photography by Mark Chew.
“Phillippa Grogan is the face and name behind Phillippa’s, a well-respected bakery known for its delicious range of traditional baked goods, such as fruit muffins, slices, chocolate cakes and the lightest sponges, as well as pizzas, savoury tarts and traditionally made breads. In this inspiring and generous book, written with Richard Cornish, Phillippa shares more than 140 baking recipes from Australia, New Zealand and beyond, gathered from family, friends and her travels. Backed by expert knowledge of quality ingredients, basic techniques and the chemistry of cooking, Phillippa’s reassuring advice will assist you at every step, whether you are baking for lunchboxes, tea parties or a feasting table.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverKitchen garden experts:twenty celebrated chefs and their head gardeners
“This book features the chefs and gardeners at the UK’s most exciting restaurants, hotels, pubs and cafes focusing on the ways they produce the very best fruit and vegetables to appear on that day’s menu. It reveals their beautiful kitchen gardens, inspiring and delicious recipes, and their tried-and-tested gardening techniques. Now you can explore the kitchens and gardens of famous chefs and restaurants from Terence Conran and Raymond Blanc to River Cottage and Petersham. Gain extraordinary access to the kitchen gardens and personal recipe books of more than 20 head chefs. With this book any gardener can follow the precise steps that top chefs take to create great-tasting dishes. From choosing, growing, harvesting and cooking, find out how to make the tastiest dishes using more than 30 crops and recipes. The chefs reveal the details that contribute to perfection, how they collaborate with their head gardeners to determine soil preparation, the timing of sowing, careful harvesting and refined storage, right down to how they prepare the crops for cooking. For existing gardeners, it will offer inspiration when it comes to choosing what to grow from the perspective of what’s good to eat. Arranged by region, this book will enable armchair and real exploration of restaurants, kitchens and gardens, from fruits to vegetables to herbs and from plot to kitchen. You can book a table at all the places featured, or enjoy recreating the ingredients and the meals yourselves.” (Library Catalogue)

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Health

Drugs and addictions? Nothing to do with me? Whether we like to admit it or not, aren’t we all addicted in some way, be it to conventional drugs, caffeine or sugar? Food for thought in this month’s health selection. And among other topics, two new books look at the process of aging from very different perspectives.

Syndetics book coverMarketplace of the marvelous : the strange origins of modern medicine / Erika Janik.
“Despite rampant scientific innovation in nineteenth-century America, traditional medicine still adhered to ancient healing methods, subjecting patients to bleeding, blistering, and induced vomiting and sweating. Facing such horrors, many patients ran with open arms to burgeoning practices that promised new ways to cure their ills. Hydropaths offered cures using “healing waters” and tight wet-sheet wraps. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby experimented with magnets and tried to replace “bad,” diseased thoughts with “good,” healthy thoughts, while Daniel David Palmer reportedly restored a man’s hearing by knocking on his vertebrae. Lorenzo and Lydia Fowler used their fingers to “read” their clients’ heads, claiming that the topography of one’s skull could reveal the intricacies of one’s character. Lydia Pinkham packaged her Vegetable Compound and made a famous family business from the homemade cure-all. And Samuel Thomson, rejecting traditional medicine, introduced a range of herbal remedies for a vast array of woes, supplemented by the curative powers of poetry.” (Abridged from dust jacket)

Syndetics book coverBlockbuster drugs : the rise and decline of the pharmaceutical industry / Jie Jack Li.
“Li (Laughing Gas, Viagra and Lipitor: The Human Stories Behind the Drugs We Use) surveys Big Pharma’s “golden age” with a nostalgic yet thoughtful history of the science and personalities behind drugs that changed the lives of countless patients while making billions of dollars for the companies that brought them to market. The author examines five classes of blockbusters that gave Big Pharma both esteem and fortunes: from Tagament and Prilosec for peptic ulcers to blockbuster allergy treatments such as Benadryl and Claritin, to blood thinners that refined old-line heparin, to the modern conquest of pain with drugs descended from opium-”one of the first medicines for man.” Li also engagingly relates the tales of the human conflict often involved with discovery, like a precipitous one-year drop in profits that resulted from a feud between an American drug company and one of its Canadian counterparts. Drug discovery is now getting more attention from academia as new products wane, Li notes, but he decries Big Pharma’s “merger mania” and its tarnished reputation, especially following Merck’s abrupt withdrawal of anti-inflammatory Vioxx because it led to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes among those taking it. Nevertheless, Li delights in the “creativity, serendipity and perseverance” of big drug discoveries-lessons he hopes may prompt a renaissance in the industry.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverBeating sugar addiction for dummies / by Michele Chevalley Hedge, Dan deFigio.
“A step-by-step guide to kicking the sugar habit and living a healthier, happier life With many Australians and New Zealanders drawing as much as a third of their total caloric intake from sugar and enriched flour, sugar addiction is a rapidly growing problem.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe Pilates Healing Bible
The Pilates Healing Bibleis your introduction to the principles of Pilates, bringing together the themes of mindfulness and movement. It includes a range of exercises formulated to work with your busy lifestyle, from routines that can be done at your desk, to floor routines for home, plus a classical Pilates mat routine. Easy to follow instructions are accompanied by step by step images to illustrate each exercise.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverMy age of anxiety : fear, hope, dread and the search for peace of mind / Scott Stossel.
“Stossel, editor of the Atlantic, leads a jittery, searching tour through the most common mental disorder in the world: “a function of biology and philosophy, body and mind, instinct and reason, personality and culture.” As an acutely miserable and anxious 10-year old, Stossel began an early journey through various therapies and medications. His experiences with these treatments doubles as an accidental history of how science, psychotherapy, medicine, and the culture at large have attempted deal with anxiety’s psychological riddle: persistent fear with no “concrete object” of which to be afraid. Stossel’s work features biographical sketches of famous anxiety cases like Charles Darwin and Samuel Johnson, and a rigorous survey of the foundations of anxiety research, from Freud to attachment theory to the “chemical imbalance” model of mental illness, alongside discussions of the biological, neurological, and genetic roots of the condition. Stossel’s journey through his own life is unsparing, darkly funny (a nervous stomach tends to flare up at the worst times, like in front of JFK Jr.), but above all, hopeful. As with many sufferers, Stossel’s quest to find relief is unfinished, but his book relays a masterful understanding of the condition he and millions of others endure.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverYou : the owner’s manual : an insider’s guide to the body that will make you healthier and younger
“Featuring more than 75 pages of new information and updated content throughout, this “New York Times” bestseller gives readers the power not just to know what to do to keep fit, but to understand why and how.” (Syndetics summary)

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Personal Development

Pause for a moment to find your element, your focus, and your killer emotions – all whilst smiling at strangers along the way!

Syndetics book coverFinding your element : how to discover your talents and passions and transform your life / Ken Robinson, PhD ; with Lou Aronica.“Ken Robinson’s groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, The Element, introduced readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment and has inspired readers around the world. When people find their Element, they tune in to their most authentic selves, can achieve at their highest levels, and live their best lives. Now, in his new book, Robinson answers the fundamental question: How do I find my Element? With his signature wry wit, Robinson offers a series of practical exercises to help you discover your own talents and passions. Along the way, he tells the stories of many “ordinary” people in all walks of life who have overcome obstacles of every sort to find their Element. And he explores fundamental principles and vital questions to help you find yours. Your answers to these and many others will provide you with invaluable keys to discovering your Element.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverPause button therapy : pause , think, decide, act / Martin and Marion Shirran with Fiona Graham.“How helpful would it be if we could occasionally just pause, freeze time for a few moments and consider the consequences of the actions we are about to take? Pause Button Therapy® is a proven, innovative and interactive new therapy technique that allows you to do exactly this, empowering you to break out of negative habits and unconscious responses. PBT is based on an incredibly simple idea, but can be used for a whole host of issues. It provides additional thinking time, allowing a person to consider the potential consequences of their actions and adjust their behaviour accordingly.It has been hugely successful in the treatment of everything from addictions and weight issues to depression, anxiety and relationship problems, and this book will show you the many ways in which you can use it to transform your experience of life.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverFocus : use different ways of seeing the world for success and influence / Heidi Grant Halvorson, E. Tory Higgins.“We all want to experience pleasure and avoid pain. But there are really two kinds of pleasure and pain that motivate everything we do. If you are promotion-focused, you want to advance and avoid missed opportunities. If you are prevention-focused, you want to minimize losses and keep things working. And as Tory Higgins has found in his groundbreaking research, if you understand how people focus, you have the power to motivate yourself and everyone around you. Showing how promotion/prevention focus applies across a wide range of situations from selling product to managing employees to raising children to getting a second date, Halvorson and Higgins show us how to identify focus, how to change focus, and how to use focus exactly the right way to get results. Short, punchy, and prescriptive, Focus will help you see not just whats going on around you – but what’s going on underneath.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverYour killer emotions : the 7 steps to mastering the toxic emotions, urges, and impulses that sabotage you / Ken Lindner.“Have you at one time or another let your feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, rejection, rage, betrayal, insecurity, or hopelessness cloud your best judgement? Did you make disappointing, self-sabotaging life choices as a result? If the answer is “Yes, many times”, then this book is for you. Emotions can kill your ability to accomplish your plans, fulfill your dreams, and attain the life you so dearly desire. Think of Your Killer Emotions as your emotion-mastery kit, to be used in consistently making positive life choices; it will enable you to beneficially channel the supremely potent energy charges triggered by your potentially sabotaging emotions, impulses, and urges, thereby turning them into your allies so that you can make positive and better life choices.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverBlind spot : why we fail to see the solution right in front of us : how finding a solution to one of the world’s greatest mysteries with the verifier method changes the way we approach success / Gordon Rugg with Joseph D’Agnese.“What can chess masters teach us about how humans become experts?Why can’t race car drivers explain decisions they’ve made behind the wheel? What does predicting the winner of a soccer match say about our ability to make the right choice?When we talk about experts, we typically have bought into the idea that they have all the answers. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Gordon Rugg exposes the surprising ways in which all people tend to make the same sorts of mistakes, regardless of what field they are in, how smart they are, or even their level of expertise. Focusing on why and how we make decisions, Rugg offers insight into what motivates us, how we fail to find the answers we are looking for, how we can learn to ask the essential questions, and more.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverCoping with guilt / Windy Dryden.
“Do you sometimes wish you could turn back the clock and undo mistakes you might have made in the past? Do you feel it’s your responsibility to make others happy? Are you more worried about hurting others than living your own life? Whether you think you’ve failed to do the right thing or caused harm to someone else, Coping with Guilt will help you to move on. Topics include – differentiating between healthy remorse and destructive guilt; how to deal with episodes of guilt; coping with blame and manipulation; how to accept and value yourself; how to practice healthy self-care. You don’t always have to live up to expectations of yourself that are unrealistically high – tackling the unhelpful beliefs that perpetuate guilt will help you to end the guilt trip now.” (Book cover)

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