Abundance, part 2

Ok, so I talked about the sentimental side of this season yesterday, but today kids, it’s time to talk stuff.  Good stuff.  Great gifts.  So with that in mind, here are a few books that I thought you might like to have in your life too.

BOOKS!  And lots of them!  Exclamation Points All Around!  I’m still having trouble with my computer battery, so rather than spend its precious life with downloading pictures from my camera and editing/uploading/whatever, we’re relying the lovely Miss Interwebs for this tour or covers and pages.

1. It is Folly to Assume that My Awesome Lies Dormant, by The Mincing Mockingbird.
This is a book of paintings of birds, which is in and of itself interesting enough.  However, each painting comes with a clever, irreverent, and seriously fantastic caption that has left Drew and I in stitches for days.  The paintings are emotive and lovely, and the captions…well, let’s just take a look, shall we?

This is a particular favorite of ours:

My Modus Operandi is Dial Up the Awesome and Break off the Knob.

Except that it’s a whole book of these.  Hilarious.  Beautiful.

2. Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart, by Tracey Clark et al.

I have been wanting this book from the second that I first saw it. This is a mostly non-technical book with tips and motivational words about the importance of photographing from somewhere other than your brain, which definitely speaks to me.  If you’re looking for a hard hitting instructional guide to photography, I don’t think this will be your cup of tea, but man do I love it!  While I will never be a professional photographer, and my skill set leaves plenty to be desired, I do love finding myself behind a camera, and this book is the perfect motivation to keep foraging ahead and look for the emotion in a picture, not just the subject.

3. Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor, by Peter Reinhart
Be warned, this book will make you salivate and want to stop what you’re doing and get thee to the kitchen.  What’s cool about this book is that Peter Reinhart takes a very scientific, but easily accessibly approach to baking wholesome bread that he promises is a far cry from the dense whole grain loaves that we’re used to.  Doubly cool? He lives in NC now, and features a number of bakers from the Asheville area, including the wonderful baker who gifted us bread for our wedding.  I am incredibly excited about getting elbow deep into the recipes of this book and promise to share my progress.

5. Crafting a Meaningful Home, by Meg Mateo Hasco
No lies, I got really excited flipping through this book.  It’s emphasis is not just on making lovely little things for your home, but about capturing the memories and heritage of a family (well I mean, your family, not just any family) for your house.  I cannot wait to get cracking on these projects, and just looking at the pages makes my fingers start to twitch a little.

6. Come Back, Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parish
I cracked up when I opened this lovely hardcover book from my mother-in-law.  Oh Amelia Bedelia, you and I still have so much unfinished business together. I am not lying when say that I had (and have lost?) almost the entire collection of Amelia Bedelia books.  I can’t wait to start fresh and share her antics with our little ones.

7. Lotta Jansdotter: Simple Sewing: Patterns and How To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects, by Lotta Jansdotter and Meiko Arquillos
This book makes contemporary sewing seem like a snap.  I’ll let you know how I fare, and if you’re not familiar with Lotta Jansdotter, I highly recommend checking out her other books, and especially seeking out her textiles.  Seriously beautiful, simple designs that make me feel all cozy inside.

8. New and Selected Poems: Volume Two, by Mary Oliver

I learned poetry, like so many others, from Mary Oliver’s pen.  Every single one of my writing teachers has turned to her seemingly infinite understanding of the world and the written word (and the relationship between the two) to help shape our feeble attempts at what is so clearly her craft.  The very first thing that I remember giving Drew was her storied and often printed poem, Wild Geese, which I made into a little book with pictures of us in a futile effort to assert his, our, place in the “family of things”.  In this collection, I have already found so many gems, the kinds of lines that make you want to drop everything and see what the grass has been up to for the last couple of hours.  She is the kind of writer that you just know has been responsible for the emotional education of the world, and I am delighted to return to her again.

Ok, ok, that’s a lot of books and I find it hard to believe that anyone has stuck with this post this long, so I think I’ll stop there for now.  Just in case there’s still one or two of you out there still reading, I wanted to share one last thing, my most sentimental gift this Christmas…
A  sterling silver necklace with Asher’s fingerprint pressed into it.  I know that this picture doesn’t really do it justice, so here’s a picture from designer Tina Steinberg’s site:I LOVE this necklace, I love having Asher’s little fingerprint right there where I can reach up and touch it, and I think that this is such a cool twist on all of the “mommy jewelry” that’s out there right now.  That kid, his little tiny fingerprint, his perfect being, hanging around my neck in all of the most wonderful senses of that phrase.

Ok, so that’s that.  Abundance. Joy. Reading. Making. Lucky Duck.

**I didn’t include any online links to the books because it’s time for me to go to sleep, and also because your local bookshop, the one that is counting its beans right now and hoping to make it through the winter, that one, really wants your business.**