Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Book Boost and a little link love

So--if you're NOT interested in books, check out my friend Phillip's new blog, How It Grows. Phillip--whose blogonym on my blog has been the Curmudgeon--is a landscape designer, and he's done three postings on designing with native plants. Plus he has a link to his photos of the natural wreaths displayed in Colonial Williamsburg this holiday season.

So--if you ARE interested in books (or looking for gifts for someone who is), check out Sarah Laurence's Blogger Book Boost. This is my contribution, starting--since this is a garden blog--with the garden books on my Christmas list.

(Given the nature of Sarah's post, I need to say that although I use pictures below from an on-line source, support your local bookseller!--that way you can look at all the pictures in the garden books I don't mention . . .)

The Well-Designed Mixed Garden is by Tracy Disabato-Aust. Marnie at Roses and Lilacs has already posted on Disabato-Aust's The Well-Tended Perennial Garden, one of my favorite and most-(ab)used garden books. In the Mixed Garden, Disabato-Aust extends her expert advice to trees, shrubs, annuals, and bulbs, and provides 27 sample designs.


Another book I'd love is Making the Most of Shade by Larry Hodgson--lots of pictures, lots of suggestions, lots of design ideas.

And Tony Lord has published a follow up to Gardening at Sissinghurst called Planting Schemes from Sissinghurst. Not that my garden will ever look like Sissinghurst, but one can dream . . .
I've also added Tina's suggestions from In the Garden to my list. That ought to be enough garden reading to get me through January.

Salix has just picked up P.D. James' new novel, The Private Patient. I've been reading James's Adam Dalgliesh novels since I was a teenager (these are fabulous British murder mysteries; Dalgiesh is a poet as well as a detective). Word is, this one (the 14th) may be the last one. Anyway, I can't wait until Salix finishes it.


The book on my nightstand right now is John Dunning's The Bookwoman's Last Fling. Dunning's detective, Cliff Janeway, is a rare book dealer who moonlights as a detective--in this book, he's investigating forgeries he discovers in a dead woman's estate, and his investigation takes him to California racetracks, where he gets a job as a hotwalker to get behind-the-scene info. Books, murder, racing, horses--I couldn't pass this one up. (But as someone who once got a job as a hotwalker to get behind-the-scene info, I have to tell Janeway--the horses say almost nothing useful).

And on my Christmas list, Jane Smiley's latest novel, Ten Days in the Hills. Here's a blurb from the Washington Post:

"A violent war has begun, and a small group of family and friends has taken refuge in a secluded house high in the hills to escape the fighting. Actually, they are hoping to escape news of the fighting. They're in southern California. The fighting is in the Middle East. But most of them don't approve of the conflict, and, besides, the house where they've holed up has a pool and a terrific room in which to watch movies. It's March 2003, and the war in Iraq has just begun. Such is the backdrop for Jane Smiley's new novel, Ten Days in the Hills, a work modeled in part on Boccaccio's Decameron."



Smiley is one of my favorite authors--whether she's rewriting King Lear (A Thousand Acres), sending up academia (Moo), or writing about her love of horses and horse racing (Horse Heaven, A Year at the Races), she's consistently smart, funny, weird, ironic, and often eloquent.

So those are my recommendations. I haven't been doing much reading lately, but the cooler weather and some time in Arizona (and away from the garden) may give me time to catch up.




23 comments:

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I want a garden eye candy book -- Piet Oudolf! :-)

The books you mention are good ones, for sure. I've been previewing a few of those, too.

Cameron

Anne said...

Excellent recommendations! I really like Jane Smiley too. And the SIssinghurst books look great!

I listed some garden and other books at my blog too if you're interested in exchanging info. The post is called "Read All About It."

Jamie and Randy said...

There are so many wonderful books to choose from! My problem is I buy them then never sit still long enough to read them.-Randy

tina said...

All good choices! The 10 Days in the Hills sounds so good. I am going to look for it. I do like those war books. I am glad you got a post in-and a really good one too. I'll go check out Curmudgeon's blog, I haven't yet-keep forgetting. Sorry!

Thanks for the info on the chamomile. I have NO idea what type it is and it frustrates me. I really need to find the wildflower package. The Roman and German looks so similar.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Cameron--How do you preview? Do you work for the publishers? I still think YOU should write a book (though point taken about books and the economy)

Welcome, Anne--what a great blog you have--I'm embarrassed by how much you read, but it's great to have your lists. I didn't notice whether you follow Sarah Laurence's blog--if you don't, she's on my blog roll--you all would have a lot to talk about!

Randy, I have more books that I haven't read than that I have. It's a nice "problem," but I really shouldn't buy more. Still, we want to help the economy, right?

Tina, I can't wait to get into that Perennials book you recommended--and I'm really looking forward to the Smiley book.
I think you were right in your comment to Frances that you have German chamomile--the Roman is a perennial. They are so similar it almost seems like it doesn't matter (and they're both really finicky for me . . .)

Gail said...

Cosmo,

I do need to get the new latest Dunning book! Thanks for the reminder! Jane Smiley is incredible...a must read, also. So many good books to read these days where shall I find the time...good thing gardening has slowed down! Now it's off to see all the commenters sites and the links! Have a good day! gail

Tracy DiSabato-Aust said...

Cosmo, Thanks for recommending my book The Well-Designed Mixed Garden. The color information and combinations seem to really be helpful to many gardeners. They were really fun to write/photograph as well! I hope my new book to be released in January 50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants will also be useful. It sounds like you could use it as it features spectacular yet also indomitable/sustainable plants (deer, pest, drought resistant. Thanks again, Tracy DiSabato-Aust

tina said...

Cosmo, I didn't even know there were two kinds of chamomile. I just assumed it was German. I got it in a wildflower mix and just let the seedlings go. That is the trick-seedlings in fall-bloom in spring. Not finicky at all once this is understood:) I had tried so hard to grow it by planting the seeds and babying it, now I have it no problem. That is the secret, ignore it. I'll post some seedlings of on on Friday. Again, thanks for you help. I do hope it is German chamomile. It is an annual so it must be so. Thanks!

Phillip said...

First, thanks for introducing me to the blog, I really enjoyed it. On to books, I'm expecting a lot of gardening books for Christmas (or at least I had a lot on my Amazon wish list). We also just got the PD James here at the library where I work and my name is on it. I enjoy her books and I like Ruth Rendell even better. She is my favorite writer.

Phillip Merritt said...

Thanks for the plug Cosmo!

Sue said...

Wow, Cosmo, Tracy herself made a comment here! I clicked on her name, but she didn't appear to have a blog or website. I have both editions of her book on perennials, that I have read a lot of, and used as a reference to find information on specific plants, as well as the book on mixed beds you showed here. I have been blogging so much, I haven't been reading much. At lunch at work, I have been reading Pass Along Plants, by Bender and Rushing, but also lately, I sometimes get on a computer and blog.

My husband likes the books about the guy who is a book dealer. Great post!

Cosmo said...

Hi, Gail--Yeah, the holidays are the time I squeeze in my reading and movie watching--and I always hope for a couple of snow days in January.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Tracy! I'm going to channel Wayne and Garth and exclaim, "I am not worthy!" "The Well-Tended Perennial Garden" is one of the most touted books on garden blogs--Marnie did a whole post on it, and Carol has it featured in what she's reading. Thanks for letting us know about your new book--I could CERTAINLY use it!

Cosmo said...

Phillip and Phillip--Glad I could bring you together! Phillip O., my mom volunteers in a library, and she gets first crack at most of the new books--she always has a pile when I visit. I love Ruth Rendell, too--have you ever read Josephine Tay?

Cosmo said...

Sue, I was thrilled to see a comment from Tracy. I'll have to check out "Pass Along Plants"--what's the point of the book? Plants that are easy to share? A way of identifying the ones you have?

Cosmo said...

Sorry, Phillip O., I meant Josephine Tey--typing too early--

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cosmo, the 'other' DeSabito-Aust book is on my wish list. Thanks for the recommendation.
Marnie

Aiyana said...

How was your Arizona trip? Our neighorhood Barnes and Noble is struggling in this economy, so I've been trying to help them out as much as possible! I spend far too much on books, and far too much time sitting in the store reading. For some reason, I can sit in the store for hours at a stretch and nothing interrupts me. At home, I can't get through three pages without thinking of something I should be doing. I'll have to check out your recommendations next time I go the the bookstore.
Aiyana

The Organic Gardener said...

I will check out that book list...Thanks!

Rose said...

Great suggestions for gardening books, Cosmo; if I have time I might join in Sarah's meme. I'm a big mystery fan, though, and I appreciate your tips there. I enjoy P.D. James' books, too, and I haven't read this one yet--I'll be sure to put that on my reading list. And thank you so much for mentioning John Dunning! I read one of his books many years ago, enjoyed it, but then forgot about him. Now I have a whole series to catch up on!

Just returned from Arizona; while it's good to be home, I miss the sun and warmth of Phoenix. Enjoy your trip!

queenofseaford said...

Cosmo- Nice to see another Tidewater gardener. It is nice to see other books recommended. I have a couple that are my mainstays; the first is by Pam Harper "Time-Test Plants" and the second is the American Hort. Soiciety A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Pam lives down the road from you in Seaford so all of her gardening experience is applicable to you.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Marnie--Did you see in her comment that Disabato-Aust has another book coming out in January? Sounds like a good one for me . . .

Aiyana, we don't leave for Arizona until Thursday (the 18th), and we'll be there until after New Years. I'm very excited. I know what you mean about reading at home--I work a lot at home and it's a struggle to stay focused.

Cosmo said...

Thanks for stopping by, Zach--did you find your camera cord?

Rose, welcome back--I can't wait to hear more about your trip. I'm really enjoying the Dunning book--it's the first I've read, so I'm glad to have others still ahead of me (I think it was Marnie (?) who said she'd never read PD James--oh, to be in her shoes and have all those books still ahead!)

Queen of Seaford, welcome! I will have to get "Time Test Plants"--the A-Z book, I agree, is a wonderful resource. I look forward to reading about another local garden!