I won’t lie. May was short on the book reading because we were so busy outside-ing, and I do not regret it. Instead of our usual 80+ books/month, we were scaring up half. But they were even more wonderful read over picnics and across the trampoline. Even audiobooks sound better in the car on our way to streams and rivers. As the sun crisps the grass in our front yard and we retreat, yet again, to the table, I’m still thinking about all those hours sprawled outside. If you haven’t tried it, hammock reading improves even the least inspiring book. Try the good ones first, please. Don’t waste it. A few suggestions…
1 Taproot // Buy or subscribe
I’m veering off-course by choosing this magazine. And this one is admittedly difficult to come by, being an ad-free publication. But I’ve subscribed to Taproot since Amanda Soule began creating it, after following her blogging career, and I’ve gifted it to select people I think appreciative of thoughtful writing. Taproot features handcrafts that often miss the mark, at least for me, and seasonal, healthy recipes. I haven’t found another magazine that focuses so well on all three parts involved in living from the land: hands, heart and head. Add in the whimsy of their changing cover artists, and the magazine designer in me is clearly, cleverly sold.
2 The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang (illustrated by Khoa Le) // Buy in CO
Gorgeous, artistic illustrations limn this book with loveliness that elevates the story. I loved the honest interaction of Hmong refugee Kalia with her parents, with her elder grandmama, the relatable fears of tween-hood – all crooked teeth and money worries. The story resonates with love, told simply, with smiles, with so much care.
3 The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury) // Buy in CO
A flip on the traditional story, my son laughed aloud when the Big Bad Pig arrives with a sledgehammer to knock down the wolves’ house. The tale continued in raucous fashion, keeping the catchy repetitives of the original that children find so appealing, but upside down. We greatly enjoyed the humorous artwork that sold the surprises.
4 Avengers: The New Danger by Matthew K Manning (illustrated by John Summariva) // Buy in CO
My son’s watched enough Marvel movies with his dad to feel curious about some of the characters’ back stories. He’s asked for more comic books to find out what he can. This is a relatively new series, with more to come, and thicker than usual at 72 pages.
5 Up the Mountain Path by Maryanne Dubuc// Buy in CO
What a sweet, long, simple story about growing old. Dubuc parallels Mrs. Badger’s mountain climb with her aging, and alongside showcases the beauty and comfort of ritual. Friends rely on seeing Mrs. Badger weekly, and a new friendship blossoms based on a common goal, reliability, and time together. Perfect and timeless, and precisely how I wish to grow old.
6 Creative Folk Art and Beyond by Flora Waycott, et al // Buy in CO
I found this book super inspirational! Partly because it features one of my favorite floral artists, Oana Befort, and partly because it’s stuffed with Scandanavian cuteness. Each artist’s section showcases a detailed tutorial for a project, and a selection of work. The projects covered both the aspirational and the easy-to-complete. Collecting the different styles within the genre in one book inspires without overwhelming.
The links provided show where to buy the work, no matter where you live. However, please consider supporting independent bookstores. If you live in Colorado, these stores are my favorites:
I also support buying used whenever possible. Online, try https://www.thriftbooks.com/