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Recent Acquisitions

Everyone has their own shopper’s paradise. For an ex-boyfriend, it was the vinyl section of Amoeba Records in San Francisco. For my sisters, it just might be the Frye boots section at Discount Shoes, which they plunder whenever they visit. For Glenn and I, though, it’s the bookstore at the Screen Door.

Whenever we stop by, we sort of mentally prep ourselves that we won’t be leaving empty handed. The selection of cooking, baking, gardening, children’s, and decorating books on offer there is seriously stellar, and amazingly affordable. During a visit this Monday, I met Gail, the buyer for the store. Turns out the bookstore is part of Common Ground, a wholesale book distributor. They have show rooms in Atlanta and New York. All of the books on sale at the Screen Door come from those show rooms, and are marked down considerably from their retail cost. That translates to books that are, say, $35 retail costing $20 or less there. Oh. Yes.

We went looking for some gifts for friends, as well as some books to fill out Huxley’s Easter basket (which I am SO excited about this year-it’s the first one we’ve made for him, and we’re having a ball filling it up!). We left with a stack, for our friends, Huxley, and ourselves. Yes, it happens. BUT, it’s a good thing, really. We’re patronizing a wonderful local business and expanding our literary horizons in the process! Three of the books above were part of our cache, while the last was a recent gift from my editor at Roost. Here’s what’s what:

People’s Pops. Yes, I’m excited about popsicles in what is turning out to be a very chilly March. And why? Because friends, hope springs eternal. It will (eventually) warm up again, and I intend to be ready, popsicle in hand, to greet the heat. This book, created by the Brooklyn-based business of the same name, is full of natural, delicious recipes. Can’t wait to pack the freezer full of frosty relief!

The Essential Herbal For Natural Health. This little gem of a book was sent to me by my editor at Roost, Jennifer Urban-Brown (LOVE her!). I am perpetually adding to our home apothecary, and Holly Bellebuono’s book is looking more and more like it will become my go-to herbal book of choice for creating tinctures, teas, salves, and more.

Free-Range Chicken Gardens. Not only is this book by Jessi Bloom gorgeous to look at, it’s rife with wonderful information for creating gardens your chickens will benefit from. Profiles of people and their chicken gardens fill the book, too, and I always love some anecdotal, first-person advocacy!

Handmade Houses. Some day, when time and fortune collide, we really, really, REALLY want to build a house from scratch. It’ll likely be made of wood and stone, full of organic, curving lines, and blend into the forest here completely. Until that day, Richard Olsen’s stunningly beautiful book showcasing the hand built homes of others will suffice. There is so much inspiration to be gleaned from this book!

What about you? What’re you reading these early spring days?

12 Responses to Recent Acquisitions

  • Jen says:

    Discount Shoes is about to stop carrying Frye boots. Get ’em while you can!

  • Michelle says:

    I just got the Free Range Chicken Gardens book from the library and it looks really good.

  • Emily says:

    What a treasure to have a store like that! Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Laura Markham is my daytime reading (very much helps to grab a paragraph or two throughout the day, very centering) and The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball and Keeping Chickens :-) are my night reading. Highly recommend all three!

  • Jessica says:

    I’m actually reading your book about bees. We’re getting our hive set up in early May :)

  • jen says:

    How did I not know about Frye Boots at Discount Shoes?? Bugger. I think I’ll have to head there tomorrow on lunch and see what I can find.
    I love the Screen Door (such a fun place to browse) and the bookstore prices are so great! I am the aunt in the family that always gives books for gifts to nieces and nephews — though my 6 yr old niece recently requested that i start giving her books she can read on her iPad. Seriously? That seems wrong! : )
    Looks like you found some good ones this trip. I especially love the Handmade Houses book – looks beautiful!!

  • EcoGrrl says:

    LOVE the Handmade Houses book! Me? I’m reading about genocide this week. You know, light reading :)

  • KellysKitschn says:

    Not so sure I could pull off a chicken garden on my condo patio … I am currently reading Food In Jars and Marmalade … just guess what my new little business is :)

  • Dawn says:

    Just finishing up Simplicity Parenting and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Love when you read something that so eloquently captures your thoughts but in a way you can succintly remember and discuss as necessary – especially if someone questions your parenting methods! We, too, are loving filling Easter baskets forour two boys (both under age 2.) Very sentimental for me as the baskets themselves were mine and my brothers growing up – antiques, now! We’re filling with books (my favorite is Spring by Gerda Muller – love that series) and musical instruments such as a wooden slide whistle and hand drum so my littles can make even more “joyful noises!” Happy Easter to all!

  • Lauren says:

    Just wanted to chime in re: Discount Shoes. YES! I live in Charleston but grew up in Asheville and I don’t waste my time trying to buy shoes anyplace else. Paradiso! (And now my whispered secret: do y’all know about the JCrew warehouse store that’s right down the road, across from Avery’s Creek Elementary? It’s up the hill at the far end of the JCrew distribution warehouse. Good tweeds and wool for pennies! Catch a weekend sale if you can. It’s unreal. Good quality threads for 20-60 bucks.)

  • Lauren says:

    Oh, and right now I’m reading Mary Chestnut’s Civil War which is fairly terrific.

  • Bette says:

    Just wanted to wish you a Blessed Easter. Thank you for your wonderful columns.

  • Nicole says:

    I am one of those folks who always has a tall, teetering stack of books beside the bed. I can’t ever seem to just choose one! At the moment, my stack includes:
    Edible Forest Gardens, by Eric Toensmeier
    Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats (as we prepare our new pasture area!)
    Everyday Blessings; The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn
    The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, by Robson & Ekarius (again, researching for our new pasture…)
    There are an embarrassing number of other books as well, but those are the ones I’ve been thumbing through the most these days. And, of course, there are many seed catalogs tucked into that stack as well!
    I’m quite keen to get my hands on a copy of that Handmade Houses book! Looks beautiful and inspiring!
    Happy springtime reading to all!