Home & Garden Newsletter – September 2014

Treat yourself with delicious dessert recipes, new craft projects and garden and DIY ideas this month. We really couldn’t resist all the decadent dessert books this month, so we’ve packed a number of these in, along with quilting and crochet project books — and our favourite of all our picks, a book on DIY furniture!

You may also notice that this newsletter looks a bit different — we’ve switched our newsletters over to Mailchimp, but other than the engine powering them, nothing else has changed! These newsletters are still put together by our librarians, and we hope you enjoy our picks of the new books! If for any reason you would like to stop receiving these emails, you can find a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.

Have a browse, and we hope you enjoy our picks!

Library News

Cooking

In this month’s selection we have loads of decadent dessert ideas and cakes galore, including delicious and indulgent specialty cakes, wedding cakes, and cake and sweet treat ideas for those going gluten-free. Our final cookery pick (in a departure from all the cake!), is a book on making dairy products at home — from butter, to sour cream, to feta cheese. Check out these new books below!

Syndetics book cover Decadent Gluten-Free Treats : with tempting vegan & dairy-free options / Tamara Jane ; photography by Devin Hart.“Created especially to cater for people on a restricted diet, there are recipes that are free from gluten, others that are free from eggs or dairy and some that are suitable for vegans … Each recipe is annotated gluten, dairy, egg or nut free for quick and easy reference and all the special ingredients are listed and explained at the front of the book” (Publisher information)
Syndetics book cover Sweet/ Valerie Gordon ; photographs by Pedem + Munk.
“Gordon, founder of the acclaimed Valerie’s Confections, shares her passion for creating high-quality pastries and candies. Full-color photographs highlight the simple beauty of Gordon’s creations, which can be mastered by the home cook with a little effort.” (Publisher Weekly)
Syndetics book cover Wedding Cakes / by Rosalind Miller.
“This book is a luxurious source of inspiration as well as a clear how-to of high end wedding cake making and decorating. With easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful step-by-step photography it takes the cake maker through the construction of each individual sugar flower and decoration, so that the reader can either replicate the cakes, or pick and choose techniques from each, to achieve their own unique creation.” (Book Jacket)
Syndetics book cover Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free : Allergy-Friendly Vegan Desserts : 100 recipes without gluten, dairy, eggs, or refined sugar / Ricki Heller ; photography by Celine Saki.
“You’ll make delicious – and healthy – changes to the way you bake with Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. Ricki Heller provides all the tools you need to make wonderful desserts and to receive the benefit of her wealth of experience.” (Book Jacket)
Syndetics book cover Wintersweet : Seasonal Desserts to Warm the Home / Tammy Donroe Inman.
“Donroe Inman, a food blogger with a culinary degree, has worked for Cook’s Illustrated magazine and TV show America’s Test Kitchen. Her debut cookbook encourages readers to spend their winters in a warm kitchen preparing comforting seasonal desserts such as pear crostada, brown butter pecan ice cream, and gingersnap-crusted pumpkin cheesecake.” (Library Journal)
Syndetics book cover The Creamery Kitchen : discover the age-old tradition of making fresh butters, yogurts, creams, and soft cheeses at home / Jenny Linford ; photography by Clare Winfield.
“Easy step-by-step recipes for fresh dairy products, including butter, yogurt, labneh, sour cream, cream cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, feta, and more. This is the perfect book for anyone with a passion for good honest food.” (Book Jacket)

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Crafts

Are you looking for a quick and easy project? Here are some suggestions and ideas, including how to make slippers that fit like a dream. (A perfect antidote to tortured toes, after you’ve danced the night away!) Plus, little quilts, and crochet ideas!

Syndetics book cover Knitted & crocheted slippers / Alison Howard.
“Slippers make a superb gift, and home-made ones are the best. Making your own slippers is ideal, as you can make them to fit the wearer perfectly and add your own personal touch. This book has projects for girls and boys of all ages and adults too, from delicate ballet slippers and dainty Mary Janes to moccasin-soled slipper socks, chunky felted boots and sparkly party pumps. The book caters to all levels, from straightforward booties for beginners to slippers with details such as I-cords, pompoms, picot trims and lacy sock inserts. All the knitting and crochet stitches and techniques are presented in a clear and easy-to-follow style”. (Adapted from Amazon.com)
Syndetics book cover My rag doll / Corinne Crasbercu ; photography by Frédéric Lucano ; stylists: Sonia Lucano and Vania Leroy-Thuillier ; text by Dominique Montembault.
“Sew super cute rag dolls and their gorgeous clothes to make the perfect present for little girls. Crasbercu had designed patterns for 11 adorable dolls and a wide range of outfits and accessories to sew, including hats, shoes and bags. The basic doll pattern can be used to sew all the dolls and then altered according to hair and eye colour and hair style”. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Little quilts : 15 step-by-step projects for adorably small quilts / Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsiger.
“Packed with techniques, patterns, and inspiration for small-scale quilts. Doll-sized quilts can be completed relatively quickly and inexpensively. They can be made into pillow covers, runners, or wall decorations, or used as a lesson or as a trial for a larger project; and they can be swapped, gifted, or posted. In Little Quilts’ 15 step-by-step projects, sometimes the quilt is just one block, sometimes several blocks, but all have been designed with the same attention to detail as a full-sized quilt. Seven quilts have been designed by Sarah Fielke and seven by Amy Lobsiger, and the final quilt is a collaboration–with Amy making the central circle, then sending it to Sarah to turn it into a finished quilt. Techniques include hand and machine-quilting, traditional piecing, paper piecing, appliqué, and embroidery. The size of the quilts (nothing larger than 24×24 inches) will tempt you to try a new sewing technique or a new design concept, and you can follow the instructions or use them as inspiration for your own quilt design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The quilter’s appliqué workshop : timeless techniques for modern designs / Kevin Kosbab.
“A fresh take on quilting and applique. Kevin Kosbab shows quilters that not only is applique fun and easy to do, it can open up a world of design possibilities. “The Quilter’s Applique Workshop” teaches you everything you need to know to create applique both as embellishment and as the focus of projects. The book is divided into three sections that each explores a basic applique approach: raw-edge, prepared-edge, and needle-turn applique. Each section includes detailed instructions, tips, and illustrations. Twelve home-decor projects, including bed quilts, wall quilts, table runners/toppers, and pillows, illustrate the techniques and allow you to explore more specialized methods such as broderie perse, felt applique, and bias-tape applique. “The Quilter’s Applique Workshop” gives you the tools to mix and match applique techniques and create any design you can imagine.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Granny squares : all shapes & sizes ; Over 50 projects and techniques to give the classic crochet pattern a whole new look / Barbara Wilder and Beatrice Simon.
“These are not your granny’s granny squares! They’re young, hip, and sometimes not even square. More than 70 contemporary versions come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, along with fabulous finishing ideas. They’re attractive enough to use as an embellishment on a piece of clothing, as well as in traditional stitched-together projects. Many of the designs appear in different yarn weights and colors, allowing crocheters to personalize any of the items and get exactly the look they’re after. The wide selection features everything from ponchos and scarves to sweaters and skirts. – check book for accuracy” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Gardening DIY

This month our gardening picks include DIY furniture (we love this one!), gardening ideas for kids, a book on introducing wildflowers to your backyard, and getting creative with shrubs. Enjoy!

Syndetics book cover Creative shrub garden: eye-catching combinations for year-round interest
“The Creative Shrub Garden celebrates a plant that is too often taken for granted and gives gardeners the confidence to use shrubs in the design-forward treatment they deserve. This book shows you how to make the most of the many benefits of shrubs–including their hardiness, year-long beauty, size, and low-maintenance nature–by making them the main element in a garden design. McIndoe teaches you the basics first, with tips on choosing shrubs based on a garden’s size, determining soil and climate needs, and pruning and maintenance. He then offers hundreds of shrub combinations that work with 15 main garden styles, including coastal, cottage, Mediterranean, tropical, urban, and more.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover DIY furniture 2 : a step-by-step guide / Christopher Stuart.
“Featuring 30 new designs by leading designer-makers from around the world, DIY Furniture 2 builds on the international success of the previous title, showing you step-by-step how to make unique designer furniture.Including both conceptual objects and modern designs, the book showcases innovative processes using readily available materials commonly found at the local hardware store. Each project features diagrams with short, easy-to-follow instructions on how to build the piece.The projects range from novice to experienced, allowing the reader to start where they are comfortable and work towards more difficult projects as they gain knowledge, familiarity with tools, and confidence.The designs in this book will have you thinking about common materials in a whole new way!” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Taming wildflowers : bringing the beauty and splendor of nature’s blooms into your own backyard / Miriam Goldberger.
“Easily cultivate wildflowers in your own garden…and have a year-after-year supply of gorgeous flowers at your fingertips. Wildflower farmer and floral designer Miriam Goldberger is here to show you how.” (Library Catalogue)
Syndetics book cover Gardening lab for kids : 52 fun experiments to learn, grow, harvest, make, play, and enjoy your garden / Renata Fossen Brown.
“A refreshing source of ideas to help your children learn to grow their own patch of earth. This fun and creative book features 52 plant-related activities set into weekly lessons, beginning with learning to read maps to find your heat zone, moving through seeds, soil, composting, and then creating garden art and appreciating your natural surroundings. Author Renata Fossen Brown guides your family through fun opportunities learning about botany, ecology, the seasons, food, patience, insects, eating, and cooking. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hands-on outdoor experiences. So, slip on your muddy clothes, and get out and grow.” (Abridged from Syndetics Summary)

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Health

This month’s picks feature not just one, but two books on sleep and its importance to our health. Plus some nutritious food for thought, with books on preventative diet for allergies, and more!

autoimmune paleo cookbook The autoimmune paleo cookbook : an allergen-free approach to managing chronic illness / by Mickey Trescott ; [photography by Kyle Johnson].
“In The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, Mickey Trescott provides a resource for those looking to embark on the Autoimmune Protocol–a version of an ancestral diet that is focused both on removing potential food triggers as well as healing the gut. Research shows there is a clear connection between diet and autoimmune disease, and many, including the author, have used these principles to heal their bodies from these debilitating conditions and their accompanying symptoms. With the information and recipes in this book, you can embark on this process for yourself–without suffering through bland and tasteless “allergen-free” meals. Instead, with all of the incredible food you will be enjoying, you may forget that you are achieving better wellness!” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Eat like a woman (and never diet again) : a 3-week, 3-step program to finally drop the pounds and feel better than ever / Staness Jonekos with Marjorie Jenkins, MD.
“EAT LIKE A WOMAN and find the health, happiness and harmony you’ve been missing Based on the latest research showing that men and women metabolize food and lose weight differently, Eat Like a Woman (And Never Diet Again) is a groundbreaking three-step program tailored specifically to the needs of the female body. Staness Jonekos, author of The Menopause Makeover, and leading women’s health expert Dr. Marjorie Jenkins show you how to lose weight without deprivation, look younger and feel better than ever. You’ll also learn to understand the relationship between stress and your health, interpret the messages your body is sending you, and correct hormone imbalances without the use of medication. Includes favorite recipes from Sheryl Crow, Padma Lakshmi, Florence Henderson, Dolly Parton, Nancy Cartwright, Devin Alexander, Cristina Ferrare, and other popular chefs and celebrities.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Eat to cheat ageing : what you eat helps you make 60 ‘the new 50′ and 80 ‘the new 70′ / by dietitian, Ngaire Hobbins.
“Did you know that what you eat is key to maintaining an independent and healthy life? The right food choices maximise physical and mental abilities, immune response and the crucial capacity of every body cell to repair, function and renew itself. The science of nutrition shows that what someone in their 60s or over needs is quite different to what was needed when they were younger. This book is for anyone 65+ wanting to head off declining function in the years ahead. But it’s also for anyone 50+ looking to make food choices tailored to their future health and to head off wrong food choices that could hasten dementia, type 2 diabetes, frailty, and more. The genesis of this book lies in dietitian, Ngaire Hobbins’ frustration in seeing so many older people struggling with everyday physical tasks, cognitive decline and dementia, and suffering debilitating frailty, particularly after illness or surgery, when something as simple a change in diet may have helped them continue to live productive, independent lives.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Whole : rethinking the science of nutrition / T. Colin Campbell, PhD ; with Howard Jacobson, PhD.
“Humans should eat only the whole food, plant-based diet for which their bodies are designed. All animal products and/or added fats are bad. Repeat. Tell a few interesting stories, oversimplify a few biological concepts, and repeat. This sequel to the author’s extremely popular The China Study is more a personal examination of political and social constraints on Campbell’s diet crusade than true science. It should be no surprise that the coauthor Jacobson is a marketing expert. Don Hagan gives a beautifully clear reading. Verdict Readers looking for “scientific” support for radical diet choices will probably love this book; however, a more skeptical approach might be safer.” (Syndetics)
secret life of sleep The secret life of sleep / Kat Duff
“We all sleep, but how often do we consider what goes on while we engage in this (usually) nightly practice? This impressive account from Duff (The Alchemy of Illness) presents the science of sleep without putting its readers to sleep. She intersperses personal anecdotes amid her array of data, which ranges from laboratory sleep studies to poetry and folklore. Some of her examples might already be familiar to readers, but here they serve to show the universality of sleep. The scientific work Duff seamlessly draws into the narrative serves to illuminate cultural understandings. For example, the mythic spirits that visit us in our sleep-the kinds that come to Scrooge at the height of his Christmas cynicism-are described in their literary contexts, before being analyzed on their biological bases. Dreams, from the barely memorable to the life changing, play a prominent role in this text, and Duff addresses the anxieties and fears of sleep itself that keep us awake at night. We learn, too, about what differentiates a waking state from its sleepy counterpart. Sleep as a phenomenon exists just outside of our conscious awareness, and can be difficult to study objectively, yet Duff leads an absorbing foray into the vibrant activity that we otherwise sleep right through.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The complete guide to a good night’s sleep / Dr Carmel Harrington.
“Sleep is highly individual and there are many reasons why you may not be sleeping well. In this definitive guide, we examine the process of sleep, the particular reasons why you are having trouble sleeping well, the behaviour patterns that hinder your restful sleep, and helps you to uncover ways to achieve deep, restful sleep on a permanent basis.” (Syndetics)

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Personal Development

Because we can all do with a little bit of help and encouragement, here is a selection of books that will guide you through life’s meandering journey.

Syndetics book cover Could I do that?
“Hands up who feels like a completely inadequate underachiever whenever you hear about someone’s great achievement. When someone in the office is off cycling around the world, or someone on TV has just launched a great new business which will save the planet? Most of us envy the drive and determination of these people. They’ve actually made this stuff happen rather than just day-dreamed about it. We all ask… Could I Do That? Well Simon Hartley is here to show us that we can! Taking on a challenge – big or small – in your career or personal life, can be intimidating but also totally transformational.” (From Amazon.com)
Syndetics book cover Risk savvy : how to make good decisions / Gerd Gigerenzer.Posits that “most of us, including doctors, lawyers, financial advisers, and elected officials, misunderstand statistics much more often than we think, leaving us not only misinformed, but vulnerable to exploitation. Yet there is hope. Anyone can learn to make better decisions for their health, finances, family, and business without needing to consult an expert or a super computer, and Gigerenzer shows us how”. (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The life plan : 700 simple ways to change your life for the better / Robert Ashton.
“Do you ever feel you’re just floating through life with a lack of direction? Or get that nagging feeling that things could be better? People’s lives can be thought of as stories -filled with challenges, turbulence and adventure – and, like all great classic stories, they follow a pattern. By understanding this pattern, you can develop the perspective you need to write your own story and live an extraordinary life. Your Life Plan brings together practical tools and approaches to help you master the art of personal change, by developing a plan to identify and realize your life goals.” (Back cover)
Syndetics book cover The ecstasy of surrender : 12 surprising ways letting go can empower your life / Dr Judith Orloff.
“In this hope-filled offering, Orloff (Emotional Freedom) posits that the only way to live a powerful, successful life is to surrender to it. Blending neuroscience, energy medicine, psychiatry, and the art of intuition, Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, addresses major life issues by breaking them into 12 different “surrenders,” including “redefining true success, power, and happiness”; the “four vital insights into power and letting go”; “cultivating impeccable communication”; and “exploring the divinity of your body and sexuality.” With a compassionate and empowering tone, she counsels others not to micromanage life details, but to be in “flow” with them and to look for the lessons in all situations as well as to refuse to live a life governed by fear. Self-assessment quizzes allow readers to measure their level of involvement in self-defeating behaviors; helpful and non-judgmental suggestions provide strategies for overcoming these negative mind-sets. Orloff demonstrates her own adherence to these principles by unflinchingly sharing her own experiences in the spirit of teaching others.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Living with intensity : understanding the sensitivity, excitability, and emotional development of gifted children, adolescents, and adults
“Gifted children and adults are often misunderstood. Their excitement is viewed as excessive, their high energy as hyperactivity, their persistence as nagging, their imagination as not paying attention, their passion as being disruptive, their strong emotions and sensitivity as immaturity, their creativity and self-directedness as oppositional.This resource describes these overexcitabilities and strategies for dealing with children and adults who are experiencing them, and provides essential information about Dabrowski s Theory of Positive Disintegration. Learn practical methods for nurturing sensitivity, intensity, perfectionism, and much more.” (From amazon.com)

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Enjoy your garden all year round: Home, Garden and DIY June

This month’s blog features tips on enhancing outdoor space, growing flowers all year round, and entertaining the children outdoors.

Syndetics book coverThe cut flower patch : grow your own cut flowers all year round / by Louise Curley.
“Louise Curley looks at what makes a great cut flower, ideal conditions and soil and the tools you’ll need. There is advice on what to grow – from favourite hardy annuals, half hardies and biennials to spring and summer bulbs to adding foliage and fillers to balance arrangements – and advice on how and when to sow, how to support your plants and tips on weeding, deadheading, pests and feeding.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe nourished kitchen : farm-to-table recipes for the traditional foods lifestyle : featuring bone broths, fermented vegetables, grass-fed meats, wholesome fats, raw dairy, and kombuchas / Jennifer McGruther.
“Following the precepts of dentist-nutritionist Weston Price, McGruther has developed a system for healthy eating based on lots of vegetables and grains as cooked and preserved on early twentieth-century American farms. What differentiates McGruther’s approach from other regimens is her unabashed advocacy of animal fats. She is especially fond of cooking foods in lard, noting its fat-content profile’s similarity to that of olive oil. When sweetness is an object, McGruther suggests replacing refined sugar with honey, molasses, sorghum, or maple syrup. Bread recipes specify ancient grains such as einkorn, and leavening comes from sourdough. She favors making one’s own butter when possible, and she recommends drinking that by-product of churning: buttermilk. Her meat dishes will satisfy carnivores, whether with a rich rabbit pie studded with bacon and chanterelles or with a rare-roasted elk steak. McGruther advocates sustainable agriculture, and she enthusiastically preserves summer’s bounty through fermentation for pickles, sauerkraut, and relishes.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverPlantiful : start small, grow big with 150 plants that spread, self-sow, and overwinter / Kristin Green.
“Green (interpretive horticulturist, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum) wants readers to overcome anxiety about fast-spreading plants so they can creatively take advantage of them to save time and money. She encourages the opportunistic use of 50 self-sowers, 50 spreaders, and 50 tender plants that can extend the season or successfully winter over, but she wisely tempers her enthusiasm for such plants with appropriate cautions about invasive species and implores people to engage with their plants and gardens conscientiously. While she recommends self-sowers, Green empowers the gardener to “edit” them as necessary to create more pleasing combinations. Further, she teaches seed saving and propagation methods so gardeners can feel in control. Beginners will benefit from tips such as creating a photo directory of seedlings for future reference. Green is also a skilled photographer: her book is more beautifully illustrated than Sue Fisher’s Fast Plants (although Fisher’s includes specific notes on controlling growth for recommended plants). Verdict? Gardeners who enjoy a bargain will want Green’s book to begin cashing in on nature’s generosity.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book cover101 things for kids to do outside / Dawn Isaac ; photography by Will Heap.
“Because it’s about time you stopped staring at that screen and had a go at racing snails, playing human croquet, brewing potions, planting wigwams, setting traps, weaving nests, autographing pumpkins, hunting bears, making twig stars, building snow lanterns (and 91 more totally brilliant ideas that just won’t fit on the back cover.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverKitchen stitches : sewing projects to spice up your home / compiled by Karen M. Burns.
“Brighten your kitchen and dining area with delightful projects from a host of talented designers. For sewists of all skill levels, this value-packed volume offers an extraordinary variety of styles, including quilted, appliquéd, and embroidered designs. Create everything from aprons to table runners, towel sets, casserole covers, place mats and more.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandmade for the garden : 75 ingenious ways to enhance your outdoor space with DIY tools, pots, supports, embellishments & more / Susan Guagliumi ; photographs by John Gruen ; photostyling by Raina Kattelson ; illustrations by Sun Young Park.
“Guagliumi, author of many books on knitting (Hand-Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters), takes a trip to the garden with this lovely book. Chapters are arranged to follow the gardening year. Early season projects involve making newspaper cups for seedlings, seed tapes, coverings, and planting tools. Some sections are weak-the one on painting and altering terra cotta pots is a little less adventurous, and the part about making concrete containers and building plant supports lacks needed detail-while other sections shine (the areas devoted to making sieves, garden baskets, and gift seed packages are quite well done). Step-by-step illustrations are only sporadically provided, though instructions are well written. A better choice for readers learning to make concrete containers is Sherri Warner Hunter’s Creative Concrete Ornaments for the Garden: Making Pots, Planters, Birdbaths, Sculptures & More; those seeking information on plant supports and related structures would be best served by Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds: 50 Easy, Unique, and Useful Projects You Can Make with Common Tools and Materials. Verdict? Despite some flaws, this pretty, fresh work would round out any garden project collection. Recommended.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe urban house : townhouses, apartments, lofts, and other spaces for city living / Ron Broadhurst ; foreword by Richard Meier.
An authoritative volume on the most innovative new residential design in cities around the globe. This carefully curated book presents twenty-five new and recent spaces for city living. Author Ron Broadhurst has selected projects that represent a set of ideas that can be described as belonging particularly to our time and which will shape how we think of living in the city in the future. Where the great experimenters of the last century were stripping away ornamentation and creating free-flowing spaces for the first time, today’s innovators are pioneering research in the potential of new materials for both formal invention and environmental sustainability and creating bold and sophisticated essays in the adaptive reuse of spaces originally designed for other purposes. With the newest work from such design luminaries as Andrée Putman, Annabelle Selldorf, and Richard Meier, as well as emergent talents like Barbara Bestor and Messana O’Rorke, The Urban House is a uniquely coherent volume on the best in new residential design.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverForest feast : simple vegetarian recipes from my cabin in the woods / Erin Gleeson.
“Erin Gleeson made her dream a reality when she left New York City and moved into a tiny cabin in a California forest in order to be closer to nature. The natural beauty of her surroundings and the abundance of local produce serve as the inspiration for The Forest Feast, based on her popular blog. Most of the book’s 100 wholly vegetarian recipes call for only three or four ingredients and require very few steps, resulting in dishes that are fresh, wholesome, delicious, and stunning. Among the delightful recipes are eggplant tacos with brie and cilantro, rosemary shortbread, and blackberry negroni. Vibrant photographs, complemented by Erin’s own fanciful watercolor illustrations and hand lettering, showcase the rustic simplicity of the dishes. Part cookbook, part art book, The Forest Feast will be as comfortable in the kitchen as on the coffee table.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA woman’s shed : spaces for women to create, write, make, grow, think, and escape / Gill Heriz ; with photography by Nicolette Hallett.
“Every woman deserves a shed of her own, somewhere to retreat to for some quiet time, to create or grow, to write or paint, or just to contemplate the view. Gill Heriz has interviewed over 80 different women, and Nicolette Hallett has photographed their sheds inside and out, to collect together this unique insight into why women have sheds, and what they do in them. Virginia Woolf once argued that, for women, writing fiction required a room of one’s own. These women have taken that premise a step further – to the end of the garden – to find their own very personal space.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCompost : how to make and use organic compost to transform your garden / Clare Foster.
“Composting is one of the most fundamental aspects of gardening. Clare Foster shows you how easy and natural it is to feed your soil with your household and garden rubbish.” (Library catalogue)

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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Home, Garden and DIY March: Stylish Living and Property Investment

Gorgeous hand-made bouquet, with a hint of caffeine-influenced design, and beautifully preserved vegetables will bring your home a fresh new look. Also have a look at the property investment books.

Syndetics book coverDecorate with flowers: creative ideas for flowers and containers around the home
“This unique collaboration between international bestselling interiors author and stylist Holly Becker of the award-winning design blog, decor, and Leslie Shewring, product designer, photographer and stylist, offers advice on selecting, combining and arranging flowers to best complement your decor. Decorate with Flowers contains a host of exciting ideas separated into eight gorgeous styles, showing flowers in relaxed, casual homes alongside those with some serious panache. You’ll find a host of creative ideas for entertaining at home, from tea parties to cocktails with friends.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverBuilt for caffeine / by Ben Crawford.
“In the land of the long black and flat white, it’s no surprise that some of New Zealand’s most innovative and original design is found in our cafes. In Built for Caffeine, Ben Crawford explores the beautiful, inventive and sometimes quirky interior design from 20 favourite cafes nationwide… Contains interviews with the owners, architects and designers of each cafe, retelling their inspiring stories before translating their fit-out features into design ideas and tips that you can use in your own home.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverRowan Bishop with relish : fine chutneys, pickles & more / photographs by Carolyn Robertson.
“Preserving fresh seasonal produce as well as adding interest and flavour to meals with chutneys, pickles, relishes and sauces are age-old, timeless practices. In this, her fifth book, Rowan Bishop indulges her passion for these wonderfully versatile condiments. Not content to stick with the traditional, Rowan has developed over 50 recipes designed to reduce sugar content and let the natural qualities of ingredients shine. She has then enhanced and intensified flavours with spices and herbs from different cuisines and also extended the preserves repertoire beyond the familiar, to include sambals, salsas, pastes, tapenades, a liqueur and even a ‘champagne’. Ideal for the home gardener as well as easy on the budget, these are recipes to savour and relish.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe manual of seed saving : harvesting, storing, and sowing techniques for vegetables, herbs, and fruits / Andrea Heistinger ; in association with Arche Noah, Pro Specie Rara ; translated by Ian Miller.
“Heistinger, an Austrian agronomist, in association with Austrian (Arche Noah) and Swiss (Pro Specia Rara) conservation foundations, presents agronomist Miller’s translation of her award-winning Austrian publication, a comprehensive guide to correctly harvesting, storing, and planting seeds from more than 100 vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The author aims to enable gardeners and farmers to create their own heirloom seeds rather than depending on commercial varieties to grow plants that will thrive under local conditions, to maintain existing plant varieties that may be otherwise lost, to diversify crops, and simply to enjoy good-tasting homegrown foods. The tested techniques offered here in consultation with global experts are easy to follow in both photographs and text. Arranged alphabetically by common plant name, from amaranth to “tomato and relatives,” each plant is described in terms of botanical and propagation characteristics. Also included for each entry are overviews of the plant family, “What You’ll Need” to harvest the plant’s seed, pollination notes, and extensive information on growing the plant for its seeds, harvesting it, selection criteria of which to be aware, and cultivation history. VERDICT With increasing numbers of edible plant varieties disappearing from seed catalogs and gardens, this work enables its audience to engage in a worthy pursuit. It will be very useful for hobbyist and professional growers. A green thumb up.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverTruth lies & real estate : a property seller’s essential guide / Nigel Mayson & Wendy Mayson.
“The authors, who have extensive experience in both property and marketing in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, offer a practical guide for all property owners to confidently and successfully negotiate their way through the agent/agency appointment, property marketing, and selling processes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInvest & prosper with property : how Kiwis can profit from property investment / David Whitburn.
“A bang-up-to-date book on property investment in New Zealand, with lots of practical advice from a rising star in this market. This book has been written as an authoritative text on New Zealand property investment. Its goal is to inform investors and inspire and teach would-be investors about how investing in property the right way can make for an improved life. There have been numerous changes to legislation recently, requiring the vast majority of New Zealand property investors and would-be investors to consider changing their investment strategy in response. The global financial crisis and systemic changes to the finance industry also require changes from investors. The book includes many of the author’s own experiences. It is clear and readable in its technical aspects. Chapters include: Why should I invest in property? What do I need to know to get started? Should I buy commercial or residential property? What investment strategy is best for me? How can I really check out a property? How do I structure my property ownership? How can I save money on my mortgage? What do I need to know about accounting and taxation? How do I get and keep good tenants? How can I minimise risks… and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand guide on how to subdivide a 1/4 acre property : my experience of residential subdivision in New Zealand / by Toa Greening.
“This book is the complete guide on ¼ acre residential property subdivisions in New Zealand. A 90 page compilation of budgeting calculations, estimations, graphs, site diagrams, pictures and case studies are used throughout to illustrate the various aspects of property development and subdivision. “The aim is to share my experiences of subdividing a quarter acre section so that you too can realise the potential of property subdivision. I will show you how the initial deposit of $30,000 turned into $400,000 in less than five years through property subdivision. More importantly I will teach you how to successfully subdivide property yourself.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomes people can afford : how to improve housing in New Zealand / edited by Sarah Bierre, Philippa Howden-Chapman & Lisa Early.
“This book investigates New Zealand’s shortage of affordable and social housing. Contributors from a variety of disciplines and policy perspectives argue that when affordable and social housing is under-provided by the market, more active policies and investment are required from central and local government. They offer viable and exciting options which, in combination, could house New Zealanders in homes they can afford. The book explores new models of urban living that encourage a sense of community and a good quality of life, and shows that intelligent housing policy can help make communities healthier, happier, more stable and more resilient to climate change. In Aotearoa New Zealand we need once more to see quality, healthy, safe housing, whether it is rented in the public or private sector, or owner-occupied, as a human right.” (Publisher’s information)

Home & Garden Newsletter for March

This month’s book selection features fabulous recipes and cooking tips, knitting, stitching and jewellery projects and more. Get good advice on how to cultivate trees and grow your own plants in your garden. Choose from a variety of delightful recipes from all over the world to share with friends and family and if you are looking for a detoxification plan after the Christmas season, check out some health guides that will help put the bounce back in your step and add years to your life. Have fun!

Library News

Cooking

Inspiring recipes from all over the world to share and celebrate every occasion. Read about Rick Stein’s gastronomic odyssey or learn aspects of Japanese cuisine and, if you like a taste of Greek food, take a look at some celebration dishes – especially for Easter. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe Way I Cook– / Lisa Faulkner.
“Bestselling author Lisa Faulkner’s new collection of innovative recipes based around moments to share with family and friends.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe Kinfolk Table : recipes for small gatherings / Nathan Williams.
“A collection of simple and inspired recipes…Nathan Williams and the Kinfolk team understand that some of the most meaningful exchanges happen when we come together to share a meal.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverLittle and Friday : celebrations / Kim Evans ; photography by Tamara West.
“Kim Evans, owner of Auckland’s Little and Friday cafes, presents sweet and savoury recipes for a host of fun-filled occasions. Capturing the delightful style that has made Kim’s Little and Friday cafe’s so popular, the recipes in this book promise plenty of good times with friends and family.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverShare : the cookbook that celebrates our common humanity / Women for Women International ; foreword by Meryl Streep ; edited by Alison Oakervee ; food photography by Philip Webb.
“Nothing conveys our interdependence more compellingly than the food we eat. It builds our physical resilience, brings us joy, and strengthens our bonds with family and friends. The recipes in this uplifting book celebrate this truth. They come from the women living in the war-torn countries in which Women for Women International operate. Recipes also come from renowned international chefs such as Alice Waters and Maggie Beer and humanitarians such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Emma Thompson and Paul McCartney. Illustrated with stunning photography of the countries as well as the food, they cover everyday dishes, family meals, and recipes perfect for sharing and celebrating.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverGreek : Heart-warming traditional recipes / [food director, Pamela Clark.]
“Greek food is loved all around the world. From the delicious dips and little morsels they call Mezze and eat with a glass of ouzo before dinner to the super-sweet honey-drenched baklava they eat with their coffee after dinner, Greek food is a culinary delight. Seafood is plentiful in Greece and there are recipes included here for prawns, sardines, squid and octopus. Peasant dishes such as moussaka, slow-roasted lamb, and dishes made from rabbit and goat are an important feature of the cuisine too. And there are celebration dishes – especially for Easter. And along with the beautifully photographed recipes, there are several beautifully photographed landscapes of Greece.” (Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverRick Stein’s India / [Rick Stein].
“Rick Stein is undertaking a new gastronomic odyssey – a journey through the vibrant colours, spices and tastes of authentic Indian cuisine. Whether sampling Bhapa maach paturi (spicy steamed fish) in Calcutta, exploring the impact of spicy Konkan cuisine on European settlers or trying his hand at a hot Tandoori grill, Rick is searching for the soul of Indian food – the real flavours, ingredients and techniques that make up this fiery and fragrant cuisine.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe Great British Farmhouse Cookbook : Yeo Valley Family Farm / Sarah Mayor ; photography by Andrew Montgomery.
“Much more than a name on a yoghurt pot, Yeo Valley is a real family farm in the heart of the West Country. Informed by rural Britain’s superb culinary heritage, The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook captures the true taste of today’s country cooking, with a collection of over 100 mouthwatering recipes inspired by the traditions of the British farmhouse kitchen but given a modern twist.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverJapanese Food and Cooking : a timeless cuisine : the traditions, techniques, ingredients and recipes / Emi Kazuko with recipes by Yasuko Fukuoka.
“This is a comprehensive and beautiful guide covering all aspects of Japanese cuisine, from its history and underlying philosophy, to its unique ingredients, methods of preparation, and cooking techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

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Crafts

Enjoying crafting? Start this New Year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Have fun with yarn and fabric and make use of treasured possessions to create your own piece of history. Look at some enchanting knitting designs of unique accessories, as well as, innovative jewellery, quilting and stitching projects for you and the family. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverBead embroidery jewelry projects : design and construction, ideas and inspiration / Jamie Cloud Eakin.
“Life is too short to wear ordinary jewelry, Eakin pronounces in the introduction to Bead Embroidery Jewelry Projects. The book begins with basics of design and construction and encourages the individual design process, including creative exercises. The designs are then grouped by necklace style, and the last three chapters cover earrings, pins, and bracelets. Each chapter begins with an explanation of the style of jewelry and basic techniques. Some of the projects are beautiful and elegant, like the classic super simplicity necklace, pendant style, while some are fun and whimsical. Got a Vegas vacation coming up? There’s a fun collar necklace just for that. There are plenty of diagrams and pictures, a techniques index, and tips scattered throughout. This book will be loved by jewelry makers looking to learn a new technique or try design.” (Adapted from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverThe sparkle factory : the design and craft of Tarina’s fashion jewelry and accessories / Tarina Tarantino.
“The cover photograph of celebrity jewelry designer Tarantino will give readers a good idea as to whether her aesthetic suits their tastes. Those whose reaction to her candy-pink hair and bright, oversize, kitschy jewelry is “I love it!” will enjoy this book, while those who think it looks like the aftermath of an unfortunate incident in a costume jewelry factory aren’t the intended audience. Tarantino provides a peek at the steps she took to get her business off the ground, the places she looks to for ideas, and simple projects that reflect her fun-loving credo. The photography is gorgeous; even the images of basic supplies look like still lifes with rhinestones. Furthermore, the projects themselves are easy enough for most crafters to attempt successfully. Verdict? Part collection of projects, part feel-good inspiration, Tarantino’s print debut will appeal to those who believe that there’s no such thing as too much sparkle.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverVintage projects / Vivienne Bolton.
“Things which though they’re old, have now become fashionable again. This book shows you how to make over 15 lovely projects – ranging from brooches, gloves, guest towels and scented cushions – using genuine family keepsakes, or fabrics, trimmings and other knick-knacks that have a nostalgic feel and style.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverFun with yarn and fabric / Susanna Zacke & Sania Hedengren ; photos by Magnus Selander ; translated by Ellen Hedström.
“A translation of a Swedish crafting book by two authors who are apparently quite prolific in their homeland, this slim volume is wonderfully illustrated with beautiful full-color photographs by Magnus Selander in the Swedish minimalist style that is beloved in the U.S. To this bare stage, the authors add pops of color in the form of eye-catchingly cheerful crocheted projects, including an unusual- and if not quite the “easy” of the title, at least simple-African Flower stole; covers for a car’s headrests; and a stunning Large Granny Squares bedspread. There are also a handful of knitted and embroidered designs, although many of those rely on purchased embroideries. What Zacke and Hedengren don’t offer are detailed instructions, beyond a handful of stitches in the back; one project, a necktie cross-stitched with a phrase, begins, “Think of what you want to write. Cross-stitch patterns for letters can be found online.” Since the materials used are Swedish (and not sourced) and the text is awkwardly translated at times, readers are advised to enjoy the lovely photographs and project ideas and to glean inspiration from them. Full-color photographs.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverKnits from an English rose : 25 modern – vintage accessories / Louisa Harding ; [photography by Stephen Jessup].
“Timeless, accessible, and unabashedly romantic: this collection from renowned knitwear designer Louisa Harding will charm knitters of all levels. Inspired by Edwardian style, these 25 accessories all feature Louisa’s signature touches: subtle shaping, masterful and delicate stitch pattern combinations (especially cables and lace), beautiful embellishments, and exciting fibers. The fashionable, feminine projects range from capelets, collars, and cowls to gloves, hats, purses, and scarves-and include notes from Louisa.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverStitching : 35 cute sewing projects to turn everyday items into works of art / Fiona Goble.
“Stitching offers cute and quirky embroidery ideas to add a light-hearted touch to your clothes, home accessories and gifts. This fabulous collection of simple and fun motifs will inspire even a complete beginner to take up a needle and thread. Each design is shown on a different object, whether it be a French café on a apron, cheerful weather clouds on canvas shoes or a beaming moon on a lampshade, and is accompanied by straightforward instructions and suggestions for other uses.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverQuilters : their quilts, their studios, their stories / Jo Packham.
“Every quilt tells a story – carefully preserved with fabric and thread by a purposeful hand to be cherished and passed down to keep the narrative alive. Learn about the personal biographies and stories of the contributing artists and the most important aspects of quilting and be inspired by an array of memorable quotes.” (Book Cover)

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Gardening DIY

Amongst this month’s new garden book picks In the Garden was a standout. This beautifully illustrated book cleverly introduces some of our iconic native flora and fauna in a very accessible way. In the practical gardening tips department there is advice on how to rejig and refresh existing plant arrangements rather than starting from scratch which is also appealing.

Syndetics book coverIn the garden : explore & discover the New Zealand backyard / Ned Barraud & Gillian Candler.
In the Garden introduces young children to common creatures they can find in a New Zealand garden. The book describes their relationship with other living things, and includes many interesting and intriguing facts. This book encourages children aged 4-8 to explore their gardens and discover the plants and animals that live there, with sections on bees, wasps and flies; butterflies and moths; snails and spiders; lizards, mammals and birds. Aimed at children from pre-schoolers and up, the book will also appeal to anyone who is curious about the wild side of New Zealand gardens.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRefresh your garden design with color, texture & form / Rebecca Sweet.
“This book is packed with advice on how to wake up boring garden beds, ways to make a cramped garden feel bigger and also ideas on how to bring a sense of intimacy to an expansive area. If you are needing ideas on how to downplay eyesores, or need to create a certain mood this you will find suggestions on which plants to keep and which to pull, and also how to thoughtfully integrate hardscaping, structures and accessories.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeatrix Potter’s gardening life : the plants and places that inspired the classic children’s tales / Marta McDowell.
“There aren’t many books more beloved than The Tale of Peter Rabbit and even fewer authors as iconic as Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life is the first book to explore the origins of Beatrix Potter’s love of gardening and plants and show how this passion came to be reflected in her work. The book begins with a gardener’s biography, highlighting the key moments and places throughout her life that helped define her, including her home Hill Top Farm in England’s Lake District. Richly illustrated and filled with quotations from her books, letters, and journals, it is essential reading for all who know and cherish Beatrix Potter’s classic tales.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe biodynamic orchard book / Ehrenfried Pfeiffer and Michael Maltas.
This book brings together the best advice for cultivating fruit trees, berries and shrubs using biodynamic methods, with the aim of harvesting healthy fruit free of pesticides.This is an invaluable book with practical advice on all aspects of planning and maintaining a healthy orchard.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBackyard foraging : 65 familiar plants you didn’t know you could eat / Ellen Zachos.
“You don’t need to trek into the forest to forage edible plants. Ideal for first-time foragers, this book features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods. You’ll be amazed by how many of the plants you see each day are actually nutritious edibles. Full-color photographs make identification easy, and tips on where certain plants are likely to be found, how to avoid pollution and pesticides, and how to recognize the plants you should NEVER harvest make foraging as safe and simple as stepping into your own backyard.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kitchen garden cookbook / Jeanne Kelley ; photographs Ray Kachatorian. “There are few things more rewarding than sitting down to enjoy a delicious meal made with items harvested right outside your back yard. This gorgeous kitchen gardening cookbook is filled with simple and inspiring recipes as well as practical, useful information for anyone interested in growing the foods they love to eat.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)

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Health

syndetics-lcThe Last Best Cure
“One day Donna Jackson Nakazawa found herself lying on the floor to recover from climbing the stairs. That’s when it hit her. She was managing the symptoms of the autoimmune disorders that had plagued her for a decade, but she had lost her joy. As a science journalist, she was curious to know what mind-body strategies might help her. As a wife and mother she was determined to get her life back.
Over the course of one year, Nakazawa researches and tests a variety of therapies including meditation, yoga, and acupuncture to find out what works. But the discovery of a little-known branch of research into Adverse Childhood Experiences causes her to have an epiphany about her illness that not only stuns her—it turns her life around.
Perfect for readers of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, Nakazawa shares her unexpected discoveries, amazing improvements, and shows readers how they too can find their own last best cure.” (Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcBroken Hearts
“Still the leading cause of death worldwide, heart disease challenges researchers, clinicians, and patients alike. Each day, thousands of patients and their doctors make decisions about coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery. In Broken Hearts David S. Jones sheds light on the nature and quality of those decisions. He describes the debates over what causes heart attacks and the efforts to understand such unforeseen complications of cardiac surgery as depression, mental fog, and stroke.
Why do doctors and patients overestimate the effectiveness and underestimate the dangers of medical interventions, especially when doing so may lead to the overuse of medical therapies? To answer this question, Jones explores the history of cardiology and cardiac surgery in the United States and probes the ambiguities and inconsistencies in medical decision making. Based on extensive reviews of medical literature and archives, this historical perspective on medical decision making and risk highlights personal, professional, and community outcomes.” (Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcGood Medicine
“Perfect for anyone who values a natural approach to health, this practical book covers the top 70 most common health problems and offers simple things one can do to prevent or reverse each condition. The solutions all tried and tested and have been proven to work, both in clinical research and in practice. For each condition the book offers five or six good medicine solutions, explains how each solution works, and discusses the best and worst foods and the most appropriate supplements. It also provides revealing case studies and general advice on the habits that help people stay healthy, from reducing one’s stress level to improving diet, and it explains how to monitor which changes make the biggest difference. Covering everything from everyday ailments such as the common cold to more serious illnesses, this comprehensive book is the perfect guide to natural approaches to health.” (Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcLove, Laugh and Eat
“PBS host, weight-loss expert, and renowned authority on longevity, Dr. John Tickell shares the secret to a long life: moderation. Moderation in everything except love, laughter, and fish (and a few vegetables!).
Based on common sense, sound science, and good food, Love, Laugh, and Eat is an easy-to-follow guide that will help put the bounce back in your step and add years to your life. With his characteristic wit and medical expertise, Dr. Tickell lays out his proven Activity, Coping, and Eating (ACE) program, which simultaneously works out your body, your brain, and your mouth—the three keys to a healthy life—through physical activity and stress-management techniques and his revolutionary Four Simple Rules of Nutrition. He also serves up a seven-day detoxification plan and a series of delicious, manageable, and satisfying meal plans that actually work, as well as his eight Fall-Safe Snacks to keep you energized morning, noon, and night.” (Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcSalt, Sugar, Fat
“From a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter at The New York Times comes the explosive story of the rise of the processed food industry and its link to the emerging obesity epidemic. Michael Moss reveals how companies use salt, sugar, and fat to addict us and, more important, how we can fight back.” (Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcThe prediabetes diet plan : how to reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes through healthy eating and exercise
“A practical, empowering guide to managing and reversing prediabetes through diet and exercise, from a registered dietitian. Increasingly diagnosed by doctors and affecting millions of Americans, prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are elevated. It often develops into full-blown diabetes, one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and it is a major risk factor for heart and blood vessel disease, kidney failure, and blindness. While diabetes cannot be cured, prediabetes can indeed be reversed, so it is critical to implement lifestyle changes at an early stage. In straightforward, jargon-free language,The Prediabetes Diet Plan explains prediabetes’s underlying cause of insulin resistance and offers a comprehensive diet strategy based on Hillary Wright’s two decades of experience counseling clients on diet and lifestyle change. With sections on meal planning, grocery shopping, dining out, and supplements, this book empowers readers to make healthier everyday choices that can effect real change on their insulin levels.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcConsumed
“By 2050, the world population is expected to reach nine billion. And the challenge of feeding this rapidly growing population is being made greater by climate change, which will increasingly wreak havoc on the way we produce our food. At the same time, we have lost touch with the soil—few of us know where our food comes from, let alone how to grow it—and we are at the mercy of multinational corporations who control the crops and give little thought to the damage their methods are inflicting on the planet. Our very future is at risk.
The food system as we know it was assembled in a few decades—and if it can be built that quickly, it can be reassembled and improved in the same amount of time. Elton here lays out the targets we need to meet by the year 2050. The stories she tells give us hope for avoiding a daunting fate and instead help us to believe in a not-too-distant future when we can all sit at the table.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcA Man’s Guide to healthy aging
“As they reach middle age, most men begin looking forward to “what’s next.” They gear up to experience renewed productivity and purpose and are more conscious of their health. A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging is an authoritative resource for them, and for older men, as well. In collaboration with a variety of medical experts, the authors provide a comprehensive guide to healthy aging from a man’s perspective.
Refuting the ageist stereotype that men spend their later years “winding down,” this book will help men reinvent themselves once, twice, or more—by managing their health, creating new careers, and contributing their skills and experiences to their communities.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)

Though we may not realize it, our behavior has tremendous effects on our health, well-being, and even gene expression. In Disease-Proof, renowned preventive medicine specialist Dr. David Katz reveals that we can reduce our risk of any chronic disease by an astonishing 80 percent—more than any drug or intervention could ever hope to do.

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Refresh your home and garden this summer: Recent Picks For February

This year’s new books features great innovative ideas for decorating and refreshing the home and garden. Have a browse.

Syndetics book coverBathroom ideas you can use : secrets & solutions for freshening up the hardest-working room in your house / Chris Peterson.
“A design and inspiration book that is packed full with gorgeous photos of beautiful bathrooms and highly desired bathroom fixtures. It contains useful information and intelligent discussion, and features hundreds of beautiful photos of rooms, materials and fixtures. All of the most common fixtures include: multi-head shower stalls, tubs and spas, vanities, lavatory sinks, toilets and bidets, vent fans and even saunas and infrared steam baths. Accessories can transform a plain bath into a luxury salon, including: towel warmers, anti-fog mirrors, cabinetry and cabinet organizers, paper holders and towel rods, shower doors, and home electronics. Whatever your plans may be, from a simple refreshing to a complete makeover, your next bathroom remodeling project starts here.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCreative vegetable gardening
“British garden writer Larkcom suggests ways to enliven vegetable gardens by adding flowers, arches, arbors or free-standing decorative items. Beginning with a brief overview of the potager, the centuries-old concept of vegetable gardening in France, she moves from vast elegantly designed gardens to the practical, with photos of British gardens she knows. Elements of design and siting are explained and beautifully illustrated in sufficient detail for even novice gardeners who want to embellish their vegetable patches with colorful unexpected elements. Taking on all details, from myriad variations on fencing, edging and garden paths to the multiple color and texture diversity of various lettuces, spinaches and other greens, Larkcom also offers a comprehensive alphabetical directory of vegetables (including little-known varieties).” (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverGardens are for living: design inspiration for outdoor spaces
“Here, Kameon shares insights for making dynamic outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and usable. Inspired by the midcentury-modern ethos that introduced the idea of everyday outdoor living, she shares strategies for making complete environments-what to look for when choosing the paths, walls, and plants but also the lighting, furniture, and accessories. The goal is to create a linked series of warm settings for different purposes to suit different occasions-whether it is a patio for cocktails around the fire pit, a large table for dinner parties, or a cozy hangout nook for curling up with a book. She also shows how to use elements like mats, pillows, lanterns, and benches to carve out individual retreats. It is an inspiring lifestyle with deep roots in California, but one that can be created anywhere.” (Abridged from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverHomes from home : inventive small spaces, from chic shacks to cabins and caravans / Vinny Lee.
“Lee (Recycled Spaces) opens with a reminder that “there is something special about a small, intimate living space, a place where you can let your imagination roam and where responsibilities are few and far between.” The simplicity of these homes may only be skin deep-to convert an old grain store into a residence, the builders used the same tinfoil insulation used in space shuttle construction. The book explores “huts” made from metal, stone, and clay and highlights the appeal of wood structures, including treehouses with long winding staircase up into the branches. Some of the spaces are pure fantasy-a Swiss mountain chalet built by local craftsmen pegging the wood beams rather than nailing, or a South African rondavel with a thatch roof that needs regular patching and replacement. Others seem achievable by anyone: a pop-up trailer “drawn, cut, pasted and sewn by hand.” The author promotes a philosophy of enjoying the natural surroundings: use rainwater to wash hair, harvest herbs to make fresh teas, and decorate with old and recycled furniture and accessories.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverConverted houses : New Zealand architecture recycled / photography, Daniel Allen ; text, Lucinda Diack.
“Converted Houses showcases clever examples of New Zealand’s early architecture being recycled for modern day living. Industrial and farming buildings, halls, chapels, community landmarks and even a cool store are among the clever conversions featured within this inspiring collection of innovative homes.” (Publisher’s information)

Syndetics book cover“Style your modern vintage home : a guide to buying, restoring and styling from the 1920s to the 1990s / Kate Beavis ; foreword by Paloma Faith.
Style Your Modern Vintage Home is an inspirational book for all vintage enthusiasts. It covers a decade from the 1920s to the 1990s, and provides practical tip for buying, styling and restoring your vintage homewares home. Vintage enthusiasts can restore or integrate the living room, bedroom, kitchen, study, hall and even the garden.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverFarrow & Ball : decorating with colour / Ros Byam Shaw ; photography by Jan Baldwin.
“Farrow & Ball is an iconic British brand and a great British success story. Its paints and wallpapers are used to decorate stylish homes all over the world. Following on from the best-selling Farrow and Ball Living with Colour, this book features a fabulous range of homes, all of which have been specially photographed for the book.” (Syndetics summary)

Home & Garden Newsletter for June

Find books that you can connect with, in this month’s selection of the latest library acquisitions featuring inspiring recipes for a variety of vegetables, dazzling crafting ideas and some answers to the question – “What are gardens for?”, as well as, some handy tips and advice on the path of finding cures to our ailments. Enjoy!

Cooking

Everything green and fresh and wholesome is on the menu in this month’s selection of cook books.

Syndetics book coverWild About Greens : 125 delectable vegan recipes for kale, collards, arugula, bok choy, and other leafy veggies everyone loves / by Nava Atlas ; photographs by Susan Voisin.
“Atlas (Vegan Express) successfully elevates leafy greens beyond the salad bowl with this collection of recipes that will appeal to vegans and meat-eaters alike. Though she excludes cabbages and common lettuces, Atlas introduces a host of other dynamic greens-from the “bold” arugula, to the now ubiquitous kale, to the “peppery” watercress-and includes plenty of tips for buying and preparation.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe Art of Cooking with Vegetables / Alain Passard ; [translation by Alex Carlier].
“This is the English-language version of Passard’s 2010 Collages & Recettes. Chef and owner of the three-Michelin-starred Parisian restaurant L’Arpege, Passard illustrates these 48 sophisticated vegetable recipes-organized by month-with his own paper collages. The visual effect is whimsical, recalling children’s books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The quality of vegetables will matter here; Stand Up Asparagus, Globe Artichokes with Bay Leaves and Lime, and Yellow Beetroot Baked in a Dome of Coarse Salt all have five ingredients or fewer, and their simple preparations require attention to detail. VERDICT Readers who regard cooking as art will love this title.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverVegetables, Revised: The Most Authoritative Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking, with More Than 300 Recipes
“This revised edition of Peterson’s 1996 classic vastly improves upon the original through the addition of color photographs that illustrate the vegetable varieties and step-by-step techniques. Peterson has reorganized the content into two sections: “Techniques for Preparing and Cooking Vegetables” and “The Vegetables: A to Z.” Library Journal

Syndetics book coverWelcoming Kitchen : 200 delicious allergen & gluten-free vegan recipes / Kim Lutz with Megan Hart.
“Cooking for those with special food needs can make the pantry feel like an obstacle course, and for parents faced with cooking for a group of children with any number of unknown restrictions, the problem can feel almost paralyzing. Thankfully, Lutz and Hart (The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby & Toddler Book) have created this collection.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverVeggiestan : a vegetable lover’s tour of the Middle East / Sally Butcher.
“Written in her trademark engaging and knowledgeable style, Sally Butcher takes a fresh look at many of the more exciting ingredients available on our high streets today as well as providing a host of delicious recipes made with more familiar fare.” (Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverQuick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking : more than 150 tasty, nourishing recipes that practically make themselves / Carla Kelly.
“Finally, a cookbook of hassle-free meals for vegans – with more than 150 delicious recipes that both experienced cooks and slow-cooker newcomers can create and enjoy! For on-the-go vegans and others looking to eat healthy-Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking is the answer. Utilizing easy-to-find, economical ingredients, Carla Kelly crafts practical main meals that readers will make and eat daily.” (Books in Print)

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Crafts

In this month’s splendid selection of new books we offer you inspiring ideas and techniques to make fabulous handmade projects for your home and family. Enjoy experimenting with contemporary and traditional crafts such as, felting, quilting and knitting using timeless knitwear designs, as well as, recycling and repurposing materials for your beach house, caravan or home. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverThe crafty minx at home : 50+ handmade and upcycled projects for beautiful living / Kelly Doust.
“The Crafty Minx is about making gorgeous things from pre-loved, remnant and vintage items. It is written especially for non-crafters who are desperate to be more creative but don’t know how, and shares the delicious rewards of living with and giving away beautiful handmade objects. Kelly Doust shares her practical tips to help make your own delectable crafts from discarded materials, and a positive impact on the environment in the process. Including over 75 projects which give traditional crafts a modern makeover – from brightly patterned summer beach bags and cotton apron tops to cosy lambs’ wool throws and cashmere-covered hot water bottles, or a soft toy for a friend’s new baby – this book is broken down into the four seasons of the year for easy inspiration, and to carry you through the year creatively. Bringing you stories about great vintage finds and new ways of looking at the treasures within our own homes. No matter where you live or what your circumstances, discover just how easy it is to be a crafty minx” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKirstie’s vintage home / Kirstie Allsopp.
“Transform your home from shabby to chic, with the help of Kirstie Allsopp. Looking to the past for inspiration and embracing vintage style to create something unique and beautiful, Kirstie continues her love affair with everything handmade.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFabric surface design / Cheryl Rezendes ; photography by John Polak.
“Sensational sewing projects demand fabulous fabrics! Fibre artist Cheryl Rezendes shows you how to create an astonishing array of surface designs, simply and safely, using textile paints and printing ink. She covers a wide variety of techniques: stamping, ancient Japanese Shibori, silkscreen, soy wax and flour resist, image transfer, marbling, nature printing, foils and metal leaf, and more. Step-by-step photos illustrate every technique, and Rezendes shows you lots of innovative ways to combine and layer techniques for stunning results.” (adapted from the Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverHandmade glamping / Charlotte Liddle & Lucy Hopping.
“Decorate your tent, tipi, caravan or camper van with any of the 35 stunning projects in Handmade Glamping. Using a variety of crafting techniques including knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery, patchwork and applique, Charlotte Liddle and Lucy Hopping have created a wonderful range of accessories that will bring retro charm to your idyllic country getaway. Whether you fancy a quiet retreat to secluded beaches or are off to live it up at the summer festivals, you will find something to make your home away from home look stunning and feel cosy and comfortable. Divided into four chapters, start with Recycling and Repurposing and make the embroidered curtains using vintage fabrics or the hexagonal patchwork scatter cushions to put on the camp bed. In Campfire Cooking there is everything you’ll need for a romantic meal under the stars, including decorated plates, quilted placemats and a picnic bag.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverFelt with love : felt hearts, flowers and much more / Madeleine Millington.
“Felt With Love is a must-have book for anyone with an appreciation of adorable hand-crafted objects. It is a colourful one-off book, filled with 15 cute, fun and simple projects (plus some variations) made from felted wool. As well as easy to follow instructions and step by step photographs for each project, the book explains various stitching and embellishment techniques. Projects include mini hanging decorations, beautiful brooches, pincushions, various wall hangings, a couple Christmassy pieces, plus much more! The author has provided templates for all the projects so that everything can be replicated with relative ease. This book is a great collection of bright, affordable, and easy to sew felt projects embellished with simple stitching, buttons and beads. They are great to do ‘on-the-go’ and once completed you have a beautiful gift for a special person or a timeless treasure for yourself!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverTula Pink’s city sampler : 100 modern quilt blocks / [Tula Pink].
“Make a beautiful, modern quilt of your own design with the 100 original quilt blocks or try one of the 5 city-theme sampler quilts designed by Tula.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit to flatter : the only instructions you’ll ever need to knot sweaters that make you look good and feel great / Amy Herzog ; photographs by Karen Pearson ; photostyling by Karen Schaupeter.
“Amy Herzog’s primary focus in writing this book is to teach knitters how to assess their own body shapes: top heavy, bottom heavy or proportional and then knit accordingly. The concept for the book began as a series of blog posts. Fans of the blog encouraged Amy to continue fleshing out this concept, so she went on to create ten tutorials that give knitters the tools and techniques they need to create flattering garments. And now she has combined her tutorials with more than 20 new patterns and turned it all into a book. In Knit to Flatter, Herzog provides guidelines for silhouettes and styles that work with each body shape along with three or four sweater patterns per shape category. She then provides patterns for 10 additional sweaters and guidelines for customising each one of them to flatter each body shape. Each pattern is written in up to ten sizes, and garments are photographed on models with a variety of body shapes to keep the whole presentation real. No smoke and mirrors here. Just real beauty!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKnit a monster nursery : practical and playful knitted baby patterns / Rebecca Danger ; [photography by Brent Kane].
“Knit up a delightful collection of fun yet practical monster themed projects your little ones are sure to love. From the creative mind behind the best-selling “Big Book of Knitted Monsters” comes an adorable collection of more than 16 knitted toys, clothing, accessories, and nursery decorations that you’ll love knitting for the little one in your life. Stitch a roomful of fun and practical items – suitable for both boys and girls, and for knitters of all levels – including an irresistible monster mobile, baby blankets, blocks, booties, bookends, rattles, hats, and more!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

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Gardening DIY

How gardens affect us and what constitutes good taste in a garden are some of the questions Rory Stuart asks in his book “What are gardens for?” In this post you will see that philosophising on gardening is a major theme for these recent picks. The other theme popping up here is that of history, the tracing of traditions and personal stories.

Syndetics book coverThe glory of the garden : a horticultural celebration from the pages of Country Life / Country Life editor Mark Hedges ; compiled and edited by Sam Carter & Kate Gatacre ; series consultant John Goodall.
“Gardening writing goes to the heart of the iconic brand that is Country Life. Gertrude Jekyll, the doyenne of gardening art, was a driving force at the birth of Country Life in 1897, and set the standard for some of the best English gardening writing. The influence of this writing on twentieth century English garden design is hard to overestimate. Yet here all is presented in accessible articles and choice photos. Within the pages of The Glory of the Garden you can trace the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Edwardian revolution in garden design, the Italianate obsessions and the eccentric longing for an Olde English style.” (Syndetics summary)

PhilSyndetics book coverosophy in the garden / Damon Young ; text illustrations by Daniel Keating.
Why did Marcel Proust have bonsai beside his bed? What was Jane Austen doing, coveting an apricot? How was Friedrich Nietzsche inspired by his ‘thought tree’? In Philosophy in the Garden, Damon Young explores one of literature’s most intimate relationships: authors and their gardens. For some, the garden provided a retreat from workaday labour; for others, solitude’s quiet counsel. For all, it played a philosophical role: giving their ideas a new life. Philosophy in the Garden reveals the profound thoughts discovered in parks, backyards and pot-plants. It does not provide tips for mowing overgrown cooch grass, or mulching a dry Japanese maple. It is a philosophical companion to the garden’s labours and joys.”(Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book coverWhat are gardens for? / Rory Stuart.
“What do we expect of gardens – when we make them and when we visit them? Could we get more from them, if we thought harder about what it is we want and why we make gardens? This book approaches the experience of being in a garden from many different angles, questioning many of our easily-adopted assumptions and suggesting ways of getting more from any garden, whether it is our own or one we are visiting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFlowers in the world’s most beautiful gardens / photographed by Alain Le Toquin ; text by Yves-Marie Allain ; translated from the French by Nicholas Elliott.
“Flowers in the World’s Most Beautiful Gardensputs the spotlight on the star of the garden—the flower. Tracing the history of flower gardens from the Middle Ages to today, the book discusses the types of flowers commonly planted, the landscape designs, the advances in technology, and how these practices have changed throughout the centuries. Illustrated with more than 180 exquisite photographs by Alain Le Toquin, this book features the world’s most extraordinary flower gardens, showcasing gardens in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Russia, the United States, Thailand, and many more.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book coverGrowing honest food : an oasis of Italian tradition in the suburbs / Gabriella Gomersal-Hubbard.
“A barren block of land in the Australian suburbs has, over a period of 30 years, been transformed by the Sicilianos’ passion, daring, perserverance and hard work into a slice of the Calabrian countryside – a lush and wonderful oasis. At a mere 1.2 ha., Rose Creek Estate is probably the smallest vineyard in the nation and, at less than 17 kilometres from the city centre, certainly the most urban. Yet it is astounding just how productive this small piece of land in a quiet residential corner of Melbourne is. Cherished family and regional traditions, steeped in an ancient culture, remain a large part of this couple’s lives, guiding them in their efforts to create their own piece of paradise. The Sicilianos’ enterprise is the embodiment of these ideas and living proof that such pursuits can build both a profitable business and a healthy and intensely satisfying way of life.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverAdagio : living & gardening mindfully / Trisha Dixon.
“Adagio is a charming treatise on slow gardening and the importance of slowing down and enjoying life. At the same time, it has an environmental message regarding living ethically and sustainably. This message is delivered in Trisha Dixon’s inimitable style, as she seamlessly blends personal anecdote with musings and facts, drawing on her gardening background and her wide-ranging interests in philosophy, music, art, nature and the environment. It will appeal to gardeners and dreamers alike – anyone, in fact, who yearns for a more environmentally-attuned life.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverWartime farm / Peter Ginn, Ruth Goodman & Alex Langlands.
“During World War Two Britain had to look to the land to provide the produce it had previously shipped in from abroad, meaning huge changes on both the agricultural and domestic scenes. Accompanying an 8-part BBC series and written by the three presenters who spend a year living on a reconstructed farm from the era, Wartime Farm sets these changes within a historical context and looks at the day-to-day life of that time. Exploring a fascinating chapter in Britain’s recent history, we see how our predecessors lived and thrived in difficult conditions with extreme frugality and ingenuity. From growing your own vegetables and keeping chickens in the back yard, to having to ‘make do and mend’, many of the challenges faced by wartime Britons have resonance today. Fascinating historical detail and atmospheric story-telling make this a truly compelling read.” (Amazon)

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Health

From understanding what actually happens before we are born to unravelling the causes and finding cures to our ailments, we are on a lifelong quest for answers in the hope that we can make our lives and our children’s better, healthier, happier and more fullfilled.This month’s selection is a mine of advice and knowledge on this path.

syndetics-lcNatural Solutions to IBS
“How to relieve the symptoms of IBS and heal your digestive system.
One in five people are affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you are one of them, then you know that the medical profession can do little to relieve this distressing condition. Luckily, help is at hand. Leading nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, PhD, has applied her many years of clinical experience to bring you a lasting solution. Full of practical nutritional advice, as well as suggestions for ways to help tackle emotional wellbeing, this brilliant book offers the vital support that you need.” (From publisher)

syndetics-lcThe Aging Cure
“You can drop the most amount of belly fat ever, 80 pounds or more, and instantly reverse aging with Jorge Cruise’s, ‘The Belly Fat Cure’. This powerful tool for your ultimate success unveils the three proven scientific secrets to effortlessly reach your goal weight fast, plus reduce visible aging and add vibrant years to your life with increased longevity. Your journey to maximum health begins in the kitchen with tasty, anti-oxidant rich meals. If you’re ready to look, feel and be younger starting today, then dig in”. (Syndetics)

syndetics-lcThe rough guide to men’s health
“Spiralling work stress, junk food overload, and makeover madness all make staying healthy seem a taller order than ever before. The Rough Guide to Men’s Health provides you with everything you need to know to ensure your lifestyle isn’t at war with your health. Avoiding flabby waffle and well being puritanism, features include:
– Wherever, whenever – down-to-earth health advice whether you are in the kitchen, the bedroom, the gym, out on the town or simply looking in the mirror;
– How to improve performance – life coach strategies aimed at optimizing your outlook so you can feel your best every day;
– Wear and tear – identifying the causes of health problems and what to do about them, with “how it works” features on key problem areas like the back and gut and how to cope with sport’s injuries, and;
– Tooling up: getting back into shape, sex and relationships, returning to work, and staying sane plus the low down on supplements.” (From amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcLight on Prāṇāyāma
“The definitive guide to yogic breathing from B.K.S. Iyengar, the world’s most respected yoga teacher.
B.K.S. Iyengar has devoted his life to the practice and study of yoga. It was B.K.S. Iyengar’s unique teaching style, bringing precision and clarity to the practice, as well as a mindset of ‘yoga for all’, which has made it into a worldwide phenomenon.
His seminal book, ‘Light on Yoga’, is widely called ‘the bible of yoga’ and has served as the source book for generations of yoga students around they world. In ‘Light on Pranayama’, he establishes the same definitive level of authority on the art of breathing.
For the serious yoga practitioner, the study of Pranayama is an essential. This work, from the most respected yoga teacher in the world, B.K.S. Iyengar, offers the most comprehensive and instructive work available in the world. With 190 photos of B.K.S. Iyengar himself, the book highlights a progressive 200-week practice, highlighting the best techniques and the common errors in them.” (From amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcThe Beauty detox foods
“In her bestselling book, The Beauty Detox Solution, Kimberly Snyder—one of Hollywood’s top celebrity nutritionists and beauty experts—shared the groundbreaking program that keeps her A-list clientele in red-carpet shape. Now you can get the star treatment with this guide to the top 50 beauty foods that will make you more beautiful from the inside out. Stop wasting your money on fancy, expensive beauty products and get real results, while spending less at your neighborhood grocery.– Enjoy avocados and sweet potatoes for youthful, glowing skin
– Snack on pumpkin seeds for lustrous hair
– Eat bananas and celery to diminish under-eye circles
With over 85 recipes that taste as good as they make you look, you can finally take charge of your health and beauty—one delicious bite at a time.” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lcDo chocolate lovers have sweeter babies
“Jena Pincott writes about the quirky, under-the-radar side of science and, while pregnant, found herself wondering how her baby’s gestation might tinker with her body and how her body was shaping the future development of her unborn child. She started to ask questions that her doctors couldn t always answer and uncovered unexpected answers in scientific journals. Why do thinner women have more daughters? What do foetuses actually learn when they eavesdrop? How does Grandma’s diet affect her unborn grandchild? Drawing on her scientific background Jena Pincott writes about the hidden science of pregnancy. Here is a fascinating supplement to the typical maternity guide, delving into biology, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and epigenetics, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies gives a deeper understanding to what is physically, and psychologically, happening to a woman during pregnancy. Where does the maternal instinct come from? Does stress sharpen your baby’s mind or dull it? What mind control chemicals are in breast milk, sweat and tears? It will satisfy every pregnant woman s curiosity about life’s most mysterious process through the newest, most interesting and, sometimes, controversial discoveries being made by science.
Jena Pincott explores topics including: How does pregnancy change the behaviour of mothers and fathers? What factors influence a baby’s gender? Are bossy women more likely to have boys? As well as science the author draws on humour and her own experience, answering the many questions that trouble all mothers”. (Syndetics)

Identify headache types and triggers Break the cycle of medication dependence Create a self-care plan that combines eastern therapies (yoga, meditation, biofeedback, and reflexology) with conventional western medical approaches (physical therapy, chiropractic) to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks and achieve wellness

“A practical guide to overcoming your fear of flying by top flying experts from British Airways’ Flying with Confidence course.
Does the thought of flying fill you with dread? Do panic attacks leave you feeling scared and vulnerable?
If so, this book could change your life. Written by top flying experts from British Airways’ ‘Flying with Confidence’ course, this reassuring guide explains everything you need to know about air travel alongside techniques for feeling confident and in control from take off to landing. In easy-to-follow sections, you’ll learn how to recognise cabin noises, manage turbulence and fly in bad weather conditions. As your knowledge grows, so will your confidence, with the fear of the unknown removed.” (From amazon.com)

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Personal Development

Whether it’s dealing with the challenges of guilt, how to find solutions, or becoming resilient, here are a few of our latest books that offer a positive way through the big and the everyday things in our lives.

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)

Syndetics book coverA complaint-free world : the 21-day challenge that will change your life / Will Bowen.
“Have you ever noticed how much we complain about things? Moaning and letting off steam – not only is this a waste of time, it also has a harmful effect on the way you live. So how can you focus on the positive, happy things in life instead? Will Bowen shares the simple, innovative philosophy of staying ‘complaint free’ and reveals how it can change your life. He explains what constitutes a complaint (and what doesn’t), why we complain, what benefits we think we receive from complaining, how complaining is destructive and we can all stop complaining and start thinking and acting in positive ways. With this book’s powerful yet simple message, and a little determination, you too can achieve a positive attitude and improve your life for good.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverResilience / Anne Deveson.“How is it that some people can be resilient in adversity while others become overwhelmed? Anne Deveson’s distinguished career with the media and social justice organisations grants her rare insight into spirited people who have faced suffering – ordeals of family breakdown, mental illness, human rights abuse, disaster or war. What is it, she wonders that enables individuals, or communities, to rise out of despair? Anne’s exploration into the nature of resilience weaves together research, memoir and reflection into a thought-provoking intellectual and personal story, salted with gritty humour. This book will be an inspiration to victim’s of life’s ’slings and arrows’, as well as to all who hope to help them.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe curse of lovely : how to break free from the demands of others and learn to say no / Jacqui Marson.
“Many people’s lives, relationships, careers and wellbeing are blighted by the belief that to be liked, loved and accepted they have to limit themselves to the behaviours they believe are approved of by others. This might mean some or all of the following: always being polite, nice, helpful, charming, fun, making people feel good about themselves, not letting people down, never saying ‘no’, avoiding conflict and putting others’ needs before their own. In her 15 years of clinical experience as a psychologist Jacqui Marson has coined the phrase ‘the curse of lovely’ to describe this growing trend. Many people would like to be known as lovely, but for a growing number of people it can feel like a curse. They feel unable to put their own needs before those of everyone else, and feel that changing this is not an option. This book shows readers how to break the curse of lovely to live a more complete, fulfilling life.” (Global Books in Print)

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Garden for Winter and Plan for Spring

Autumn is well and truly here and we can start thinking about getting the garden ready to withstand those winter woes. We can also prepare for the spring by planning what bulbs to plant in the backyard. Our selection will help you do these two things and more: how to make your garden beautiful for both seasons. We also have books for you to get your home ready for a Mid-Winter Feast with plenty of Kiwi recipes to make the occasion a success. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverBackyard winter gardening : vegetables fresh and simple, in any climate, without artificial heat or electricity – the way it’s been done for 2,000 years / Caleb Warnock.
“Without fresh, all-natural winter gardening in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries people would have starved to death. The good news is that feeding your family fresh food from your own backyard garden all winter long is far easier and less time-consuming than you might imagine. And you won’t find better-tasting food at any price!” (Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverThe winter garden : structure, planting and romance in the garden in winter / Eluned Price, photographs by Clive Nichols.
“After the exuberance of summer, the garden in its winter transformation is every gardener’s greatest challenge. The Winter Garden looks at the ways of creating a garden that is beautiful in adversity, when the weather is cold and inclement. With the loss of the rich colours of autumn, it explores the importance of shape and form, of choosing trees as much for their leafless winter frosts as for their summer foliage and textures. Using beautiful and varied gardens as examples, it looks at ways of shaping the garden with topiary, trellis and tunnels, of providing form with architectural planting, of using statuary, urns and tubs. This beautifully illustrated book explores what it is that makes the winter garden magical, unpacking the aesthetic thrill that goes with the sight of the ghostly white arcs of bramble or the flaming wands of dogwood, the clean frame of yew hedging or the filigree of interlaced leafless branches.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverBest winter plants / Stefan Buczacki ; special photography Andrew Lawson.
“Gardening expert Stefan Buczacki presents advice and information on growing the best winter plants. A reference for both beginning and expert gardeners about all aspects of plant care from propogation and pruning, to problem solving.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverSpring bulbs / Peter McHoy ; photography by Peter Anderson.
“Tolerant and trouble free, spring bulbs can play an essential part in any garden. This guide for growers is full of advice on cultivating bulbs and protecting them from harm done by pests and diseases.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverWinter house / Charlotte Moss ; written with Jennifer Cegielski ; photographs by Jason Dewey.
“One of America’s top interior designers presents a beautifully illustrated guidebook for creating a comfortable, inviting winter home. With 200 color photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

The garden in autumn / by Allen Lacy.
“Gardeners who believe that autumn brings merely clean-up tasks and the occasional frowsy chrysanthemum will think differently after reading this book. Lacy ( Farther Afield ), gardening writer for the New York Times , has a vested interest: “to encourage fellow gardeners to pay attention to the neglected but glorious possibilities of the fall garden.” Before reading more than a handful of pages, any floraphile will be feverishly taking notes on new plants and plant combinations to try, and eagerly awaiting the waning of the year. Rather than offer gardening advice for the whole U.S., Lacy sticks to what he knows: the plants that thrive in his region of southern New Jersey. But as he points out, in quoting Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, “the universal is the particular and the concrete, not the abstract or the general”–plenty of information here pertains to gardens in any climate. Lacy devotes a chapter each to lingering summer perennials, fall-flowering perennials, bulbs, grasses, annuals and woody plants. An epilogue describing blooms in December will have gardeners in higher latitudes sighing enviously. Included are an extensive list of nurseries, a bibliography and an index of plant names and nurseries. Photos not seen by PW. Advertising; author tour; Garden Book Club main selection; first serial to HG; second serial to Horticulture and Organic Gardening. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)

Taste of New Zealand winter / Robyn Martin.
“A recipe book for the winter months, illustrated with full colour photograph. The chapters range from ‘stock pot saviours’ and ‘fireside meals’ through ‘hot and hearty’ and ‘things to make on rainy days’ to ‘winter puds’. It is a companion book to Taste of New Zealand Summer. The author is food editor of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.” (Syndetics summary)

Home & Garden Newsletter for May

Enjoy this eclectic mix of craft, gardening and health books with various projects, ideas and tips to connect with and get inspiration from. Read about passions and crazes such as fern fever, or Pteridomania as it became known, and its effect on professional botanists and men and women from all classes. Check our list of books on wellbeing featuring recent information, which suggests that friends provide us with more than just social recreation, including a range of physical, emotional, and professional benefits.
Happy reading!

Crafts

Welcome to this month’s selection of irresistible books on knitting, weaving and embroidery, as well as, beautifully finished accessories for your home. Satisfy your creative urge, experiment a little with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step instructions and, if you fancy a pot of tea, take a look at the gorgeous collection of colourful tea cosies, created by J. Occleshaw. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverKnit a monster nursery : practical and playful knitted baby patterns / Rebecca Danger ; [photography by Brent Kane].
“Knit up a delightful collection of fun yet practical monster themed projects your little ones are sure to love. From the creative mind behind the best-selling “Big Book of Knitted Monsters” comes an adorable collection of more than 16 knitted toys, clothing, accessories, and nursery decorations that you’ll love knitting for the little one in your life. Stitch a roomful of fun and practical items – suitable for both boys and girls, and for knitters of all levels – including an irresistible monster mobile, baby blankets, blocks, booties, bookends, rattles, hats, and more!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKnits at home : rustic designs for the modern nest / Ruth Cross ; with photography by Ben Anders.
“One of the trademarks of Ruth Cross, the knitting design company British knitting designer Ruth Bridgeman founded in 2004, is the use of traditional stitches – garter, stockinette, seed and cables – to create texture on items not normally covered with wool, such as vases or furniture. But the traditional nature of Ruth Cross designs is also one of the book’s weaknesses. While the book includes 22 projects, ranging from sachets to rugs, it offers nothing the enterprising knitter could not achieve on his or her own with existing stitch dictionaries. Another weakness is the narrow palette of grey, cream, and black used in almost every project. Such limits are a barrier to inspiration from the otherwise excellent photographs. Still, for the knitter who wants to incorporate his or her craft into her home decor, this book offers a one-stop shop for is pretty patterns for pillows, throws and wall hangings. And the real value of the book lies in the author’s organic approach to knitting, building one stitch on top of another to achieve texture, while her mantra that knitting should always be fun will serve knitters of all levels well. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnitted letters : make personalized gifts and accents with creative typography-based knitting projects / Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major.
“This is a knitting book full of great ideas for knitting with typography. It’s suitable for all knitting skill levels. The introduction includes how to customize projects, information about yarn and gauging and fairly complete diagrams for a beginning knitter. My favourite stranded projects include the Slab Serif collegiate looking children’s backpack, the French press cozy with the word CAFE in a stenciled inspired font (pictured on the cover) and calligraphic black letter e-reader cover with the words “ex libris”. There are a lot more projects than that, including some great children’s projects. The 3D letters pictured on the cover are more involved with more seaming and shaping, and more advanced knitters would have fun with those. As well as the LOVE pillows, there are also bookends that are the letters A and Z for witty knitty fun.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverThe shape of knitting : a master class in increases, decreases, and other forms of shaping : with 20+ projects / Lynne Barr ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy ; photostyling by Karen Schaupeter.
” Lynne Barr is one of my favourite brains in knitting. She’s not afraid to explore, de-and re-constuct to hit on something new and inventive. In this book Lynne searches methodes for shaping flat and dimensional knotted fabrics, as well as, new techniques she has mastermanded. Twenty-four fashion-fresh projects make exploring these skills a fascinating adventure!”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverTea cosies / Jenny Occleshaw.
“This book has a delightful collection of unique, easy-to-make tea cosies to cheer every table. It includes projects duitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike and, every project is explained using easy-to-follow instructions”.–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAlastair Morton and Edinburgh Weavers : visionary textiles and modern art / Lesley Jackson.
“Edinburgh Weavers was one of the most important textile companies of the twentieth century. Alastair Morton, visionary art director of the company, commissioned a remarkable series of textiles from leading British artists, including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Elisabeth Frink, as well artist-designers, such as Marion Dorn, Ashley Havinden and Lucienne Day. Morton was also a gifted artist, textile designer and weaver in his own right. This long overdue study traces his wide-ranging career and records the history of Edinburgh Weavers and the glorious textiles it produced. Drawing on the V&A’s extensive archive this impressive book features over 300 images of artists’ textiles unparalleled in quality and scope and is an invaluable resource.”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe spinner’s book of yarn designs : techniques for creating 80 yarns / Sarah Anderson.
“According to the introduction, Anderson’s goal here isn’t to teach readers how to spin, but to share the information that she has collected over the 35+ years that she’s been creating her own yarn. The first half of the book covers spinning basics, from fiber preparation to spinning singles to a variety of plying techniques. The second half covers advanced techniques for spinning novelty, textured, and art yarns, including boucles, crepe yarns, and coil yarns. Anderson includes ample photographs, many of them including callouts describing the makeup of the yarn being discussed. VERDICT Most recent spinning books have focused on one type of yarn, and Anderson’s more general approach offers enough variety to keep spinners busy. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverEmbroidery : traditional techniques and contemporary applications for hand and machine embroidery / Sophie Long.
“Needlecrafts are currently enjoying a healthy revival as a whole new generation of crafters pick up their needles and get involved. With a plethora of social groups, blogs, and websites such as Etsy and Design Sponge now targeted specifically at a younger, hipper demographic, embroidery has cast off its image as an old fashioned hobby to become more popular than ever before. With its combination of step-by-step tutorials, practitioner profiles, and inspirational galleries full of bang up-to-date modern pieces, Embroidery introduces an authoritative new style of reference that is guaranteed to appeal to a new generation of embroidery enthusiasts, sewers, and needlecrafters of all levels.”–Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHappy home : everyday magic for a colourful life / Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau ; foreword by Holly Becker of Decor8.
“This book shows people how the basics of everyday life can be made so much more enjoyable by bringing colour and a sense of fun to daily living, whether by using colourful accessories in the kitchen or by introducing colourful fabrics, textures and hints of humour in to the living room. Danish design is not all about cool and calm interiors. It is all about fun, colour and enjoyment. The book features RICE style applied to a variety of homes, from a contemporary Copenhagen apartment to a simple country retreat, a comfortable family home to an ultra modern studio space. Happy Home is a beautiful demonstration of the RICE ethos, and how its warm and caring, fun and funky aesthetic can be applied in living spaces, kitchens, bedrooms, children’s rooms and outdoor areas.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

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Gardening DIY

How gardens affect us and what constitutes good taste in a garden are some of the questions Rory Stuart asks in his book “What are gardens for?” In this post you will see that philosophising on gardening is a major theme for these recent picks. The other theme popping up here is that of history, the tracing of traditions and personal stories.

Syndetics book coverThe glory of the garden : a horticultural celebration from the pages of Country Life / Country Life editor Mark Hedges ; compiled and edited by Sam Carter & Kate Gatacre ; series consultant John Goodall.
“Gardening writing goes to the heart of the iconic brand that is Country Life. Gertrude Jekyll, the doyenne of gardening art, was a driving force at the birth of Country Life in 1897, and set the standard for some of the best English gardening writing. The influence of this writing on twentieth century English garden design is hard to overestimate. Yet here all is presented in accessible articles and choice photos. Within the pages of The Glory of the Garden you can trace the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Edwardian revolution in garden design, the Italianate obsessions and the eccentric longing for an Olde English style.” (Syndetics summary)

PhilSyndetics book coverosophy in the garden / Damon Young ; text illustrations by Daniel Keating.
Why did Marcel Proust have bonsai beside his bed? What was Jane Austen doing, coveting an apricot? How was Friedrich Nietzsche inspired by his ‘thought tree’? In Philosophy in the Garden, Damon Young explores one of literature’s most intimate relationships: authors and their gardens. For some, the garden provided a retreat from workaday labour; for others, solitude’s quiet counsel. For all, it played a philosophical role: giving their ideas a new life. Philosophy in the Garden reveals the profound thoughts discovered in parks, backyards and pot-plants. It does not provide tips for mowing overgrown cooch grass, or mulching a dry Japanese maple. It is a philosophical companion to the garden’s labours and joys.”(Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book coverWhat are gardens for? / Rory Stuart.
“What do we expect of gardens – when we make them and when we visit them? Could we get more from them, if we thought harder about what it is we want and why we make gardens? This book approaches the experience of being in a garden from many different angles, questioning many of our easily-adopted assumptions and suggesting ways of getting more from any garden, whether it is our own or one we are visiting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFlowers in the world’s most beautiful gardens / photographed by Alain Le Toquin ; text by Yves-Marie Allain ; translated from the French by Nicholas Elliott.
“Flowers in the World’s Most Beautiful Gardensputs the spotlight on the star of the garden—the flower. Tracing the history of flower gardens from the Middle Ages to today, the book discusses the types of flowers commonly planted, the landscape designs, the advances in technology, and how these practices have changed throughout the centuries. Illustrated with more than 180 exquisite photographs by Alain Le Toquin, this book features the world’s most extraordinary flower gardens, showcasing gardens in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Russia, the United States, Thailand, and many more.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book coverGrowing honest food : an oasis of Italian tradition in the suburbs / Gabriella Gomersal-Hubbard.
“A barren block of land in the Australian suburbs has, over a period of 30 years, been transformed by the Sicilianos’ passion, daring, perserverance and hard work into a slice of the Calabrian countryside – a lush and wonderful oasis. At a mere 1.2 ha., Rose Creek Estate is probably the smallest vineyard in the nation and, at less than 17 kilometres from the city centre, certainly the most urban. Yet it is astounding just how productive this small piece of land in a quiet residential corner of Melbourne is. Cherished family and regional traditions, steeped in an ancient culture, remain a large part of this couple’s lives, guiding them in their efforts to create their own piece of paradise. The Sicilianos’ enterprise is the embodiment of these ideas and living proof that such pursuits can build both a profitable business and a healthy and intensely satisfying way of life.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverFern fever : the story of Pteridomania / Sarah Whittingham.
“Of all the many passions and crazes in nineteenth-century gardening and natural history, none was as long lasting or as wide reaching as fern fever, or Pteridomania as it became known. The obsession with ferns was not confined to a few professional botanists but it affected men, women and children from all classes through the British Isles, the Empire and America. Their overwhelming desire to ‘capture’ a rare specimen led them to wade through streams, scale rock faces, descend gorges and lean over fast-flowing rivers. Accidents were common, sometimes fatal, and over-collecting and even fern stealing were rife. Of all the many passions and crazes in nineteenth-century gardening and natural history, none was as long lasting or as wide reaching as fern fever, or Pteridomania as it became known Fern Fever.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverAdagio : living & gardening mindfully / Trisha Dixon.
“Adagio is a charming treatise on slow gardening and the importance of slowing down and enjoying life. At the same time, it has an environmental message regarding living ethically and sustainably. This message is delivered in Trisha Dixon’s inimitable style, as she seamlessly blends personal anecdote with musings and facts, drawing on her gardening background and her wide-ranging interests in philosophy, music, art, nature and the environment. It will appeal to gardeners and dreamers alike – anyone, in fact, who yearns for a more environmentally-attuned life.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverAuckland’s remarkable urban forest / Mike D. Wilcox.
“A comprehensive account of the trees and forests of Auckland City, New Zealand. It covers native bush remnants, native revegetation, exotic woodlands, parks, campuses, cemeteries, historic homesteads, street trees, home gardens, notable trees, flowering trees, tree health, and utilisation of the urban forest. A particular feature is the description of the parks in each of Auckland’s Local Board areas. The book will be of interest and relevance to park users, gardeners, botanists and ecologists, arborists, dendrologists, Council managers, planners, developers, environmental volunteer groups, and citizens and visitors to Auckland in general.” (Fishpond)

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Health

This month, we’ll explore some fascinating facts about our bodies from a historical, scientific, artistic and sociological angles, look at our relationship with our face and its appearance, find solutions to almost every back problem and take advice on nutrition, health and exercise. Finally, we reflect on how we can change our approach towards gender stereotypes by understanding the neuroscience behind it.

syndetics-lc Anatomies : the human body, its parts and the stories they tell
“It is the most fraught and fascinating, talked-about and taboo, unique yet universal aspect of our lives. Until we fall ill, most of us take this extraordinarily complicated collection of flesh, bones and fluids entirely for granted. But from ancient body art to plastic surgery, from early anatomists to conceptual artists, grave-robbers to bionic athletes, our changing attitudes to the human body – how it works, what it should look like, how to live with it, what it means – tell us more about ourselves than almost any other subject in human history. Blending history, science, art, literature and the everyday, one of our finest science writers investigates this most marvellous and mysterious of creations. The result is a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information that encompasses everything from the first finger-printing to the physiology of angels, from synaesthesia to the clown-egg register, from the death-mask of Isaac Newton to the afterlife of Einstein’s brain.” Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

syndetics-lcIn your face : the hidden history of plastic surgery and why looks matter
“We humans have been modifying our faces for centuries-from medieval face-pulling competitions (often fatal) and criminal punishment in ancient India (rhinokopia), to post-war reconstructive surgery and contemporary cosmetic surgery. But what is it that compels us to go “under the knife”? Is it simply the pursuit of beauty, or is it a deeper drive for survival? And why, with all our advances in medical science, does some plastic surgery look so bad? You can open any women’s magazine and find at least one article showing some celebrity’s cosmetic surgery gone wrong, often resulting in that familiar and laughable but tragic “wind tunnel” face. The truth is that kind of look is not really plastic surgery at all-it’s cosmetic surgery done by underqualified practitioners using outdated techniques. It shouldn’t happen. This book shows you why and how. In the tradition of The Brain that Changes Itself; Guns, Germs & Steel; Salt; and Orchid Fever, this lively exploration of the history and science of plastic surgery looks at 500 years of the face-what we do to it, what it means for us, and what the future holds.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcThe back bible
“A must-have family reference packed with proven, practical approaches to caring for your back throughout your life. With a full anatomy of the spine and back, a breakdown of different types of pain, when to see the doctor and at-a-glance diagnostic advice, The Back Bible offers a physiological run down of the problems that can affect you back, neck, and shoulders.
Dozens of self-help measures are covered, including general back care, exercise routines, ways of improving sleeping posture and the benefits of heat/hydro therapy and self-massage. There is also extensive advice on managing back pain, from analgesics to visualisation and meditation. The book then guides you through what to expect from conventional medical care, covering diagnosis, drug treatments, surgery, physiotherapy and a directory of complementary therapies and specialist treatments.” (From Amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcThe honest life : living naturally and true to you
“Actress, activist, and entrepreneur Jessica Alba inspires moms to make affordably healthy choices for themselves and their families without sacrificing style. As a new mom, Jessica Alba wanted to create the safest, healthiest environment for her family. But she was frustrated by the lack of trustworthy information on how to live healthier and cleaner–delivered in a way that a busy mom could act on without going to extremes. In 2012, with serial entrepreneur Brian Lee and environmental advocate Christopher Gavigan, she launched The Honest Company, a brand where parents can find reliable information and products that are safe, stylish, and affordable. The Honest Life shares the insights and strategies she gathered along the way. The Honest Life recounts Alba’s personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real, and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life. She shares strategies for maintaining a clean diet (with favorite family-friendly recipes) and embracing nontoxic choices at home; she also provides eco-friendly decor tips to fit any budget. Alba discusses cultivating a daily eco beauty routine, finding one’s personal style without resorting to yoga pants, and engaging in fun, hands-on activities with kids. Her solutions are easy, chic, and down-to-earth: They’re honest. And discovering everyday ways to live naturally and authentically–true to you–could be honestly life-changing” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcThe unapologetic fat girl’s guide to exercise and other incendiary acts
“An empowering guide for plus-size women shares non-judgmental, practical information and motivational strategies for incorporating exercise into an everyday lifestyle, profiling a range of options from WiiFit to extreme sports while covering such topics as common sports injuries, nutritional guidelines and working with a trainer. This guide is big on attitude, giving plus-size women the motivation, support, and information to improve their health.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcBe your own nutritionist : rethink your relationship with food
“A radical new approach to healthy eating…
Bombarded by fad diets and scary slogans telling you how to eat healthily and lose weight? Confused as to which of the hundreds of diet books out there is telling the truth? Be Your Own Nutritionist has the answers. Forget low-carb diets, superfoods, your five-a-day there are no hard and fast rules about what to eat, when. A healthy diet varies from person to person and, most importantly, from place to place.
This is an exciting new take on nutrition showing how factors such as climate, time, environment and emotional wellbeing should all affect the way we eat. Combining age-old traditions of healthy eating (did you know that the mid-Victorians had the best diet of any Britons before or since?) with modern scientific research, clinician George Cooper shows you how to ignore the fads and eat right for yourself. He explains in clear, easy terms exactly how your digestive system works (and why you need to know). He explains why raw food is sometimes bad for you; and how hot, spicy foods can mitigate against damp and cold. Packed with easily-adaptable recipes and useful tips, this book is your indispensible guide to eating well, wherever you are.”(from Amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcGulp
“Few of us realize what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal. In her trademark style, Mary Roach investigates the beginning, and end, of our food, addressing such questions as why crunchy food is so appealing, how much we can eat before our stomachs burst, and whether constipation killed Elvis.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcAll is well : heal your body with medicine, affirmations and intuition
“This new book by celebrated authors Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, not only explores the medical science behind the affirmations in Louise Hay’s international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, but also offers stories and practical advice for personal healing.
Structured around seven emotional centres, which mirror our chakra system, Louise and Mona Lisa examine the connections between these centres and the body. Drawing on years of research, they explore probable mental causes for the physical manifestation of illness associated with each centre, and then lay out how to address these health concerns. Combining two complementary systems, Louise discusses new thought patterns and offers new affirmations to counteract specific emotional weaknesses, and Mona Lisa, who has worked for many years as a medical intuitive and physician, helps readers listen to their own bodies’ intuition and prescribes medical solutions that are based in Western science. They provide real-world examples of people who faced illness and outline the specific emotional and physical prescriptions that helped them heal.” (from Amazon.co.uk)

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Personal Development

Empower yourself and those around you – whether it’s being decisive in your decisions and making a difference with your power to influence, or just learning how not to slap or be slapped in the face!

Syndetics book coverThe curse of lovely : how to break free from the demands of others and learn to say no / Jacqui Marson.
“Many people’s lives, relationships, careers and wellbeing are blighted by the belief that to be liked, loved and accepted they have to limit themselves to the behaviours they believe are approved of by others. This might mean some or all of the following: always being polite, nice, helpful, charming, fun, making people feel good about themselves, not letting people down, never saying ‘no’, avoiding conflict and putting others’ needs before their own. In her 15 years of clinical experience as a psychologist Jacqui Marson has coined the phrase ‘the curse of lovely’ to describe this growing trend. Many people would like to be known as lovely, but for a growing number of people it can feel like a curse. They feel unable to put their own needs before those of everyone else, and feel that changing this is not an option. This book shows readers how to break the curse of lovely to live a more complete, fulfilling life.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe difference you make : changing your world through the impact of your influence / Pat Williams with Jim Denney.
“Every one of us has influence, whether we realize it or not. In everything we say and do, we are influencing those around us. What if we became more aware, more intentional, and more strategic about our own influence? Well, we might just change the world. True influence, says Pat Williams, isn’t about getting what you want–it’s about serving others. Using personal stories from his own life and the lives of others, Williams shows readers the difference between influence and manipulation, how to influence others through both words and deeds, and ultimately how to change the world for the better, one relationship at a time. This book will inspire readers to build a positive legacy in the lives of others and take the role of influencer to heart. Each chapter includes questions and ideas for personal reflection and practical application, and can be used to guide group discussions as well.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverDecisive : how to make better choices in life and work / Chip Heath and Dan Heath.
“Just making a decision can be hard enough, but how do you begin to judge whether it’s the right one? In Decisive, best-selling authors Chip and Dan Heath draw on decades of psychological research to explain why we so often get it very badly wrong – why our supposedly rational brains are frequently tripped up by powerful biases and wishful thinking. At the same time they demonstrate how relatively easy it is to avoid the pitfalls and find the best answers, offering four simple principles that we can all learn and follow. In the process, they show why it is that experts frequently make mistakes. They demonstrate the perils of getting trapped in a narrow decision frame. And they explore people’s tendency to be over-confident about how their choices will unfold. Drawing on case histories as diverse as the downfall of Kodak and the inspiring account of a cancer survivor, they offer both a fascinating tour through the workings of our minds and an invaluable guide to making smarter decisions.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverA slap in the face : why insults hurt – and why they shoudln’t / William B. Irvine.
“Insults are part of the fabric of daily life. Other people inflict them on us, sometimes blatantly but more often subtly. On some occasions, we are delighted to be on the receiving end of these insults: when the members of a group we have joined start playfully teasing us, for example, it can be a sign of acceptance into the group. On other occasions, though, an insult can cause us pain so intense that even years later, we will find ourselves experiencing insult flashbacks. We are also the source of insults. Some of them are consciously inflicted, but many more are sufficiently subtle that we will not recognize them for what they are unless we replay conversations in our head and try to fathom our motives for having said the things we said. Do this, and we might be astonished by our tendency, in casual conversation, to put people into what we regard as their proper place — namely, somewhere below us on the social hierarchy. In A Slap in the Face, William B. Irvine undertakes a wide-ranging investigation of insults, their history, the role they play in social relationships, and the science behind them. He offers advice, based primarily on the writings of the Stoic philosophers, on how best to curb our own insulting tendencies and how best to respond to the insults that are directed our way.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverBirth order : what your position in the family really tells you about your character / [Linda Blair].
“We’ve all heard the stereotypes – first borns are natural leaders, middle borns are difficult, last borns are spoiled and single children are loners. But how accurate are these snapshots? In this groundbreaking book, clinical psychologist Linda Blair examines what your birth order really tells you about your character, your relationships – even your choice of career. She also considers the factors that skew ‘typical’ birth-order characteristics, such as how you were parented and the sex and spacing of your siblings. Written in a lively, personal style, Birth Order will unlock keys to why you think, feel and behave in the ways that you do.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverFriendfluence : the surprising ways friends make us who we are / Carlin Flora.
“Psychology Today features editor Flora coined the term “friendfluence” to suggest that friends provide us with more than just social recreation; with successful friendship comes a range of physical, emotional, and professional benefits. Her interdisciplinary discussion draws on scientific research, philosophy, and anecdotes to examine friendship across a lifespan, from playground pals to adolescent and adult relationships. She also alights on the particular struggles some-like those diagnosed with Asperger’s-face when trying to make friends. Flora shows that friendships are often formed through unconscious strategies (such as the evolutionary impulse to cooperate), and tend to bind individuals together in ways that are in some sense more resilient than marital or familial ties. Yet friendfluence is not without its darker counterpart, and Flora does not shy away from issues like teasing, lying, and betrayal, topics that-perhaps tellingly-segue into a discussion of friendship in the age of Facebook. The book is far-reaching, and the natural consequence of such a massive scope is that some sections feel limited, and unifying themes can be hard to parse. But just as the “dance of disclosure” allows individuals to get to know one another, so too does Flora’s compelling book disclose many of friendship’s secrets.” (Publisher’s Weekly Review)

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Home & Garden Newsletter for April

Enjoy this fabulous mix of cooking, craft and gardening books with various projects, ideas and tips to create and inspire. Check our list of books on health and wellbeing featuring recent information on how much the food we eat affects our physical body and how our unconscious mind rules your behaviour.

Library News

Cooking

It’s cook-off time with all your favourite celebrity chefs.

Syndetics book coverBarefoot Contessa Foolproof : recipes you can trust / Ina Garten ; photographs by Quentin Bacon.
“Already a best seller, Food Network star Garten’s latest asserts several known truths: it’s hard to get dinner on the table, entertaining is stressful, and recipes can be scary. Seeking to help home cooks bolster their cooking repertoire, Garten offers “foolproof” (i.e., tested, consistent, and clearly explained) recipes like Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons, Parmesan Fennel Gratin, and Raspberry Crumble Bars, alongside tips meant to allay fears and answer frequently asked questions.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book cover15 Minute Meals / [Jamie Oliver].
“This is Jamie Oliver’s simplest and most straightforward book to date. It pushes the concept of fast, everyday food to a new level, without compromising on flavour. It’s designed to excite and inspire people to prepare a balanced, nutritional, no-nonsense meal every night of the week.” (Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverManu’s French Bistro / Manu Feildel ; photography by Chris Chen.
“Have you ever wondered how the French make entertaining at home look so effortless? Join Australia’s favourite French chef, Manu Feildel, as he guides you through one hundred classic bistro recipes that will expand your dinner party repertoire and impress your guests.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverAnjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast / Anjum Anand ; photography by Emma Lee.
“In ‘Anjum’s Vegetarian Feast,’ Anjum adapts the true flavours of India, with her trademark concern for healthy eating and a good diet, to make dishes that are light, bright, modern and balanced, providing all the protein and other nutrients we all need for perfect health.” (Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverThe Great Northern Cookbook / Sean Wilson.
“In the Great Northern Cookbook, Sean Wilson – former Coronation Street actor, now award winning cheese maker and chef – is our guide to the culinary highlights of the North. A proud Lancastrian, Sean serves up timeless recipes and reveals the history behind the foods you love.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverChing’s Fast Food : 110 quick and healthy Chinese favourites / Ching-He Huang.
“With her trademark passion, TV star chef Ching-He Huang brings a new and exciting dimension to Chinese cooking. Confidently fusing Chinese and Western cultures in over 100 quick and easy dishes bursting with flavour, Ching’s fresh and healthy take on the Chinese takeaway, without compromising on taste, has revolutionised Chinese cuisine.” (Books In Print)

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Crafts

Enjoy this delightful mix of craft books with projects, ideas and tips for all the crafts enthusiasts to create and get great pleasure from the wonderful results. I hope you find this book selection a source of inspiration and fun!

Syndetics book coverThe new jewelers : desirable, collectable, contemporary / Olivier Dupon.
“In this beautiful new book, Olivier Dupon introduces the finest modern jewelers practising today. Featuring 108 both up-and-coming and established designers, the book is divided into nine categories inspired not by traditional jewelry typology, but by style and look. Rough stones appear with exquisitely faceted gems; organic forms vie with geometric structures; feathers and leather take their place next to platinum and diamonds. The book showcases fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, luxe jewelry, conceptual jewelry, and much much more. Over 800 mainly colour photographs display the jewelry alongside portraits of the designers at work, shots of sketches and works in progress, studios and boutiques. Complete with short, informative profiles and useful contact details for the designers, as well as a listing of recommended shops, this publication offers a wealth of inspiring material and is a must for any aficionado of jewelry, design or craft.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrystal jewelry inspiration from the Create Your Style ambassadors / compiled by Karin Van Voorhees.
“Tapped by Swarovski for their expertise, innovative work, and sophisticated design sense, this book stages an elite corps of jewellery makers, industry opinion leaders and innovators. This book is not juast a showcase of their work, but also a glimpse into their world. Meet some of the most creative jewellery designers in the world and join their sparkling community”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverMastering peyote stitch / [Melinda Barta].
“”With interest in beadweaving on the rise, Mastering Peyote Stitch provides a much-needed look into the most integral technique-peyote stitch. With 15 styles in all, beading geniuses will finally have an accessible, easy-to-understand guide to one of the fundamentals of beadweaving, brought to you courtesy of Beadwork Editor Melinda Barta. In the “Peyote Basics” chapter, you will learn the basics of creating flat peyote bands, then advance to circular and tubular variations, eventually learning to fashion dimensional jewelry pieces. Once you’ve mastered the basics, Melinda dives into designing dimensional jewelry pieces. Additional chapters cover combining peyote with other popular beadweaving techniques (right-angle weave, herringbone, and bead embroidery) and creating unique edgings and embellishments for finished pieces. Melinda, together with Beadwork’s Designers of the Year, including Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, Carole Ohl, Melanie Potter, Jean Power, Cynthia Rutledge, and Sherry Serafini, demonstrates a range of styles in 15 beautiful jewelry projects. “– Provided by publisher (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPatterns for pooches / Anne Burton ; photographs by Michael and Anne Burton.
“Author Anne and her husband brought home a Boston Terrier Puppy named Bean and from the start as a new pet owner he was a handful. Also Anne quickly worked out with the cooling weather and the Nebraska winds that Bean was not shy about his lack of enthusiasm for the cold and would hide under blankets and crawl under sweaters. Having learned to Crochet in school and only knowing a few basic stitches Anne took on the challenge of designing Bean some outfits. Starting with 10 designs for Bean and some sweaters for other dogs of different shapes and sizes pretty soon a small business was born. This book has 35 designs for dogs. Anne has included her most popular designs from her very successful on line business that keeps getting reordered time after time. She would describe her style as simple and practical with a quirky sense of humour. She uses crochet because it is a versatile medium that can be easily modified and customized. Throughout the book there is sizing options and instructions on how to tailor an item to give your dog the best fit possible. Basic crochet stitches are used for the patterns so easy for beginners to intermediate levels. Patterns include both UK and US stitch names and measurements. A conversion chart should be checked before starting your patterns to make sure you are familiar with similarities and differences between stitch names”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverFashion crochet : 30 crochet projects inspired by the catwalk / Claire Montgomerie.
“A beautifully illustrated publication with a fashion-forward feel, “Fashion Crochet” contains 30 crochet projects for a range of accessories and clothing items inspired by up-to-the-minute catwalk trends. Utterly contemporary and stylish, the projects incorporate a wide cross-section of techniques from granny squares and knotwork to lace and hairpin crochet. As useful for the highly experienced as the absolute beginner, this inspiring and chic book is divided into chapters on accessories, such as shawls, scarves, bags, hats, jewellery and decorative items, and separates, such as dresses, skirts, tops and beachwear. Each project is accompanied by fashion photographs showing the inspiration for the piece, and offers ideas on how to wear the item. Essential tools and techniques are clearly explained – from crochet hooks, working stitches and how to measure tension to adding embellishments and finishing off – with line drawings provided for more complicated techniques”. (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk description)

Syndetics book coverThe finer edge : crocheted trims, motifs & borders / Kristin Omdahl.
“Prolific crochet designer Omdahl (Crochet So Fine) explores crocheted edge motifs in this colorful pattern dictionary. The edgings are organized by type of construction (top-down, bottom-up, side-to-side, miscellaneous) and each contains written and charted instructions as well as a full-color swatch. Patterns for crocheted garments and accessories round out the collection and show the edgings in use on real-world projects. VERDICT Several crocheted edging/motif books have been published in the last few years. Omdahl is a big name in the field, and crocheters will appreciate this nicely curated ensemble. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverQuilting : from little things / Sarah Fielke.
A showcase of ten quilting techniques and styles with insider tips providing the quilter with an accessible way to try out new methods, textures and colours. (Book Cover)

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Gardening DIY

Enjoying gardening? Start this year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Have fun!

Syndetics book coverPermaculture design : a step-by-step guide / by Aranya.
“Are you excited about permaculture but unclear how to put it into practice for yourself? In this unique, full colour guide, experienced permaculture teacher Aranya leads you through the design process from beginning to end, using clear explanations, flowcharts and diagrams. It is based on course worksheets which have been designed, refined and tested on students over time. Linking theory to practice, he places the ethics, principles, philosophies, tools and techniques directly into the context of the process itself. While written for anyone with a basic grasp of permaculture, this book also has plenty to offer the more experienced designer.This guide covers:Systems and patterns ~ Working as part of a design team ~ Land and non-land based design ~ Design frameworks ~ Site surveying and map making ~ Interviewing clients ~ Working with large client groups ~ Identifying functions ~ Choosing systems and elements ~ Placement and integration ~ Creating a design proposal ~ Project management ~ Presenting your ideas to clients ~ and much more.A great reference for anyone who has done, or is thinking of doing, any kind of permaculture course.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gardenist : a new way to create inspiring garden spaces / text and photography by Michael McCoy.
” Michael McCoy is ‘The Gardenist’: garden designer, author, broadcaster and obsessive home gardener. In this bold new look at gardens, he shares the secret to understanding what makes a good garden, and shows you how to plan and create your own. ‘The Gardenist’ teases out the anatomy of gardens to discover the different roles plant types play”.(Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverNatural companions : the garden lover’s guide to plant combinations / Ken Druse ; botanical photographs by Ellen Hoverkamp.
“In Natural Companions, acclaimed garden writer Ken Druse presents recipes for perfect plant pairings using diverse species that look great together and bloom at the same time. Organized by theme within seasons, topics include color, fragrance, foliage, grasses, edible flowers and much more, all presented in photographs of gardens that show planted combinations from a wide variety of climates and conditions. Natural Companions also features more than one hundred special botanical images of amazing depth and color created in collaboration with artist Ellen Hoverkamp using modern digital technology.Filled with an incredible amount of horticultural guidance, useful plant recommendations, and gardening lore—all written in Druse’s charming, witty style—this book is a must-have for gardeners and lovers of plants and flowers. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe thrifty gardener / Alys Fowler ; photography by Simon Wheeler.
“Gardner’s World presenter Alys Fowler shows us how gardening is something you do, not something you buy. You don’t have to spend money to have a great garden. Slow gardening – like slow food – is taking time to savour. It’s the process, not this sudden transformation that matters. When you build a little, dig a bit, plant a little, harvest often and more importantly don’t try and do it all at once, nature will work for you. For this is gardening that won’t cost the earth. This is a book that will eliminate the intimidation factor and reveal the ins and outs of soil, seeds, sowing and growing. Designed to be highly appropriate for beginners, it will cover the basics like planning, planting and pruning using organic and inexpensive methods. Its quirky projects and thrifty ethic will mean that it reaches beyond the usual gardening audience – this book is for those who would rather be found hunting through a skip than be seen in a garden centre”. (Amazon.co.uk)

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Health

Below is a list of the latest health books we recieved. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe rough guide to men’s health
“Spiralling work stress, junk food overload, and makeover madness all make staying healthy seem a taller order than ever before. The Rough Guide to Men’s Health provides you with everything you need to know to ensure your lifestyle isn’t at war with your health. Avoiding flabby waffle and well being puritanism, features include: Wherever, whenever – down-to-earth health advice whether you are in the kitchen, the bedroom, the gym, out on the town or simply looking in the mirror; How to improve performance – life coach strategies aimed at optimizing your outlook so you can feel your best every day; Wear and tear – identifying the causes of health problems and what to do about them, with “how it works” features on key problem areas like the back and gut and how to cope with sport’s injuries, and; Tooling up: getting back into shape, sex and relationships, returning to work, and staying sane plus the low down on supplements.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverSupergrains : eat your way to great health / Chrissy Freer.
“What we eat and the impact food can have on our health is becoming increasingly important. This book explores 12 super grains – quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, chia seeds, millet, oats, kamut spelt, barley, farro and freekeh – their history, unique nutritive and health benefits, as well as what they are best used for and how to prepare them. The easy, fresh and delicious recipes utilising each grain in its many forms will give you the confidence to use and incorporate these supergrains into everyday cooking so that your food and your health will be given ‘added life’!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat doctors eat : tips, recipes, and the ultimate eating plan for lasting weight loss and perfect health / Tasneem Bhatia and the editors of Prevention.
“One of the questions we all want to ask our doctors: How do you protect your health? The answer almost always is: It’s all about making smart food choices. Prevention has synthesized the experts’ strategies to create the ultimate healthy-eating plan, that will help anyone reach their goal weight”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYour pregnancy after 35 / Glade B. Curtis, Judith Schuler.
“Now, after more than ten years, Your Pregnancy After 35 has been fully revised with the most up-to-date information, addressing every health and lifestyle concern pertinent to “older” mothers. From how age affects pregnancy to when to consider genetic counseling to how to find the best care when returning to work, this essential guide offers mothers–and their partners–the wise and supportive answers they need”– Provided by publisher (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverIn your face : the hidden history of plastic surgery and why looks matter / Bryan Mendelson in conjunction with Vicki Steggall.
“We humans have been modifying our faces for centuries-from medieval face-pulling competitions (often fatal) and criminal punishment in ancient India (rhinokopia), to post-war reconstructive surgery and contemporary cosmetic surgery. But what is it that compels us to go “under the knife”? Is it simply the pursuit of beauty, or is it a deeper drive for survival? And why, with all our advances in medical science, does some plastic surgery look so bad? You can open any women’s magazine and find at least one article showing some celebrity’s cosmetic surgery gone wrong, often resulting in that familiar and laughable but tragic “wind tunnel” face. The truth is that kind of look is not really plastic surgery at all-it’s cosmetic surgery done by underqualified practitioners using outdated techniques. It shouldn’t happen. This book shows you why and how. In the tradition of The Brain that Changes Itself; Guns, Germs & Steel; Salt; and Orchid Fever, this lively exploration of the history and science of plastic surgery looks at 500 years of the face-what we do to it, what it means for us, and what the future holds”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSubliminal : how your unconscious mind rules your behavior / Leonard Mlodinow.Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
“It can be very tricky to distinguish between behavior that is conscious and behavior that is habitual. We perform numerous automatic tasks every day, mostly unaware that we’re doing them. We act on autopilot even as we also make one conscious decision after another. This very enlightening book explores the two sides of our mental lives, with a focus on the subconscious or subliminal element. More than ever before, researchers are discovering that our perceptions are filtered through the subliminal processes of our minds, that we actually see the world according to our unconscious mind’s expectations and assessments. Drawing on clinical research conducted over a period of several decades and containing a number of rather startling revelations such as the at-first-glance counterintuitive fact that people who are briefly touched on the arm are more likely to order the dinner special in a restaurant, sign a petition, and buy food after sampling it for free the book appeals to readers with an interest in the workings of the human mind.–Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverJanella Purcell’s elixir : how to use food as medicine / Janella Purcell.
”Janella Purcell believes that the food we eat affects our physical body, and also our mind and spirit. In this invaluable book she shares her expertise in foods, health, and nutrition, and shows you how to care for yourself, naturally and easily, using food as medicine at home. In this entertaining and practical guide, Janella presents an intriguing variety of subjects and information. These range from suggestions to assist healthy aging, to a discussion on organic produce and why you should use it, to tips for those suffering from headache, fatigue, immunity problems, fertility issues, and Syndrome X – among many, many other topics. Also included are easy-to-prepare recipes using some wonderful ingredients that will quickly become part of your recipe repertoire and make you feel fabulous. Janella Purcell’s Elixir introduces us to what Eastern philosophy has been practicing for thousands of years – the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit and how this affects our state of mind, health, and personality. Janella Purcell’s Elixir is really a volume to use, to keep, and to treasure.” (Book Description)

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Personal Development

From finding to keeping relationships, and what happens when things don’t go quite as you planned – all with a little help from our friends along the way…

Syndetics book coverFriendfluence : the surprising ways friends make us who we are / Carlin Flora.
“Psychology Today features editor Flora coined the term “friendfluence” to suggest that friends provide us with more than just social recreation; with successful friendship comes a range of physical, emotional, and professional benefits. Her interdisciplinary discussion draws on scientific research, philosophy, and anecdotes to examine friendship across a lifespan, from playground pals to adolescent and adult relationships. She also alights on the particular struggles some-like those diagnosed with Asperger’s-face when trying to make friends. Flora shows that friendships are often formed through unconscious strategies (such as the evolutionary impulse to cooperate), and tend to bind individuals together in ways that are in some sense more resilient than marital or familial ties. Yet friendfluence is not without its darker counterpart, and Flora does not shy away from issues like teasing, lying, and betrayal, topics that-perhaps tellingly-segue into a discussion of friendship in the age of Facebook. The book is far-reaching, and the natural consequence of such a massive scope is that some sections feel limited, and unifying themes can be hard to parse. But just as the “dance of disclosure” allows individuals to get to know one another, so too does Flora’s compelling book disclose many of friendship’s secrets.” (Publisher’s Weekly Review)

Syndetics book coverThe new rules : the dating dos and don’ts for the digital generation / Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider.
“The Rules taught a generation of women how to successfully play ‘hard to get’ and in the process helped millions of women get their Mr Right. Some called it controversial but it became a movement that helped improve the love lives of women across the world. But that was all before texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, BBM, iPhones and online dating. Now there are even more ways to unwittingly mess up your dating life. The Rules Girls are back with the dating bible for the modern age. Rules Girls are savvy women who know how to return texts and emails to a man without seeming desperate, how to maintain a cool Facebook profile without giving away too much and how to spot cheaters and players, and avoid them like the plague.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverMaking couples happy:) / John Aiken & Alison Leigh.
”Making Couples Happy, the companion to the ABC-TV series, uses science to help couples rediscover happiness in their relationships and get them on the path to enduring love. Couples and singles will identify with the raw honesty of common hurts and resentments, disillusionment and despair that plague many relationships. Equally, they will share in the breakthroughs and ultimate triumphs, and learn the four simple steps that will help them better talk, support, connect and dream together. Making Couples Happy readers who follow the easy steps and activities can expect a significant improvement in how they relate to their partners, and learn to communicate more effectively, argue less, be kinder and achieve new levels of trust and intimacy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSex changes : a memoir of marriage, gender, and moving on / Christine Benvenuto.
“What do you do when the other woman is your husband? Christine Benvenuto and her husband had been married for more than twenty years and were raising their three young children in a beautiful New England town. One night in bed he turned to her and said, “I’m thinking constantly about my gender,” adding that he was unhappy in his body and wanted to become a woman.
Part memoir, part voyeur’s glimpse into a relationship, Sex Changes is a journey through the end of a marriage and out the other side. Christine, desperate to save her family and shelter her children, discovers a well of strength and resilience she never knew she had. She learns what to tell the neighbours when your husband starts accenting his shirts and ties with heels. She discovers how to manage as a single mother. And she opens herself up to a group of friends who travel with her through her darkest times – and who show her the love and support of true friendship. Fiercely funny, self-lacerating, and not entirely politically correct, Sex Changes is a journey of love and anguish told with hilarity, heartbreak and a lot of soul-searching. It is about the mysteries in every marriage, the secrets we choose to keep, and the freedom that the truth can bring.” (Publisher description)

Syndetics book coverTen years later : six people who faced adversity and transformed their lives / Hoda Kotb with Jane Lorenzini.
“Ten Years Later profiles six people who’ve faced a series of life’s game changers and challenges – abuse, illness, addiction, grief, job loss. These people didn’t just fight their way through adversity, they forged better lives because of the battle. Their journeys are measured in the very small steps that painstakingly result in change and the big, bold leaps of faith that launch dreams. The book is meant to inspire you, wow you, motivate you, and move you – and maybe even do all those things within the same chapter. In the pages ahead, the courageous people who share their life stories have done so in hopes of enriching yours – now or ten years later.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverMadly in love with me : the daring adventure of becoming your own best friend / Christine Arylo.
“Most of us know that loving ourselves would be a good idea, but we have no clue what that really means. Self-love feels too vast, too esoteric, and frankly like something you should keep under wraps. This breakthrough book on self-love changes all that by taking you beyond the idea of loving, valuing, and caring for yourself into daring acts that will help you experience it. Christine Arylo provides practical, fun ways to explore and embody the ten branches of self-love every day and in every part of your life. Reading this book is like receiving permission to treat yourself as a best friend would.” (Book cover)

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