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Book Reviews April 2015

 beautiful encore


Throughout their youth, females are inundated with information and advertising related to health and beauty. As they get older, however, that information becomes more difficult to find – especially as women enter their 60s and beyond. Beautiful Encore: Makeovers for Mature Women by Anne Reizer embraces aging by inspiring women to see the possibilities of combining sharp physical appearance with good health practices and mental stimulation. This combination will allow women to mature with vitality and confidence.


growing healthy houseplants


Many of us feel like our home or office just isn’t complete without a plant or two to keep the space cheery and the air we breathe clean and fresh. Unfortunately, we all weren’t born with green thumbs; we need help not only choosing the right houseplants but also in keeping those plants alive and thriving. Now that help is at hand with Growing Healthy Houseplants by Ellen Zachos, who breaks down the often intimidating role of plant guardianship into four easy steps: accurately evaluate light, choose a plant to suit that light, use the right watering techniques and watch it grow. Thirty-one plants are profiled, so you can choose what works best for you and your home.


crafting a colorful home


In her book Crafting a Colorful Home, crafter Kristin Nicholas teaches you how to make your home sing through handmade crafts and a bold use of color. She shares her secrets to selecting colors and patterns and explores the variety of crafts and decorating touches that have made her home so unique. Going from room to room, Kristin uses her own 1751 farmhouse as a leaping-off point to make your home cozy and bright, including refinishing furniture, faux finishing walls, knit pillows, embroidered curtains, crocheted blankets, painted lampshades and more.




There is nothing more regionally specific than vegetable gardening – what to plant, when to plant it and when to harvest are decisions based on climate, weather and first frost. The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southwest, by regional expert Trisha Shirey, focuses on the unique eccentricities of the Southwest gardening calendar, which include extreme temperatures and low rainfall. The month-by-month format makes it perfect for beginners and accessible to everyone – gardeners can start gardening the month they pick it up. This book also profiles the best 50 vegetables, fruits and herbs for the region, along with basic care and maintenance for each.




Your heaping piles of fabric scraps from old T-shirts and outgrown jeans, to cuttings from sewing projects and leftover gift ribbon can all be transformed into pretty projects with the help of Scraps: Stylish Stash Fabric Crafts to Stitch by Vera Vandenbosch. This book is bursting with fashionable, fantastic and unique projects to make from fabric scraps – more than two dozen in all – for jewelry, accessories and home decor. The designs are obviously affordable and fabulously kid-friendly. The step-by-step instructions, attractive photographs and illustrated templates ensure success for all ages. No formal sewing experience is required, and in fact, many projects don’t require a sewing machine.


epic tomatoes


Over a 30-year span, Craig LeHoullier’s passion for tomatoes has inspired him to try more than1,200 tomato varieties and introduce favorites such as Anna Russian and Cherokee Purple to the gardening world. Now with Epic Tomatoes, LeHoullier aims to share his passion with anyone who’s ever savored the sun-warmed taste of a vine-ripened tomato and wanted to grow their own. Gorgeous, full-color photography accompanies every aspect of the text, with step-by-step instructions for starting seeds, transplanting, growing and caring for tomatoes.

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