Books for a Flourishing Garden

Along with barbecues and visits to the park, warmer weather also means it’s time to spruce up your garden. Here are some books to help you make the most out of your garden this year.

The Perfect Plot

A great book for beginner gardeners, this book teaches you how to start an allotment from scratch. Through the story of a group of villagers’ gardening successes and failures, this book helps you discover new methods and growing techniques. It’s also a great story about a community with a shared passion.

Right Plant, Right Place

This handbook will help you optimize your garden, teaching you which plants to grow where. With full colour photography, specific plants, their characteristics and their unique needs are described. Covering over 1470 plants, this book guides you through the process of plant and soil selection to help bring your gardening vision to life.

My Empire of Dirt

For those of us who live in the city, gardening may not be the first thing on our minds come springtime. However, this book may change that. It’s the story of a man who turned his Brooklyn backyard into a farm with the goal of creating enough produce to sustain him for one month. Although city-dwellers may not be striving toward the same achievement, it’s an inspiring story that could just sprout the roots for our own gardens. Read an excerpt from the book.

Hear more about author Manny Howard’s challenging gardening feat:

Get Your Eat On with Summer Cookbooks

With each season comes a new menu. Whether it’s a barbecue, picnic or sunset dinner, these books have great recipes for summer dining.

The Book of Burger

Are burgers not the official food of summer? Food Network chef Rachel Ray has created the ultimate burger book, including tips on what ingredients to include in your patty, how to grill it perfectly, and what to top it with. But it’s more than burgers; it also features recipes for hot dogs, sliders, sides, sloppies, fries, sauces and more.

Good Food to Share (Williams-Sonoma)

Summer is a great time of year to share food with friends and family. This book features recipes that are perfect for just that, from starters to dessert and everything in between. Mouthwatering recipes include brined pork loin with apricot-onion mostarda, maple-glazed sweet potato wedges and grilled peaches with cardamom cream, to name a few.

Adventures in Grilling

The start of summer means firing up the grill again. Whether you’re a novice or grilling enthusiast, this book offers an adventurous approach to the craft. In addition to telling you what to grill, from veggies to meats to seafood, this book also teaches you how to grill using the right tools and techniques.

Ice Pops

Who wants chocolate or vanilla when you can have bright watermelon and lime, rich chocolate layered with raspberries, green tea with pomegranate, or champagne-infused mimosa? This book is the guide to homemade ice pops, with everything you need to know about ingredients and freezing and unmoulding techniques. With over 40 recipes, there’s something for everyone.

Memoir Mondays: The Glass Castle

Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. Every Monday, we’re pleased to feature a memoir and open a window to someone else’s life.

A book that has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 261 weeks, The Glass Castle is an autobiographical memoir that details Jeannette Walls and her siblings’ unconventional and poverty-stricken past living with dysfunctional parents. Her father was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, shared stories and taught them about physics and geology. At other times, he stole grocery money and disappeared for days. Her mother, an artist, struggled to raise her family in an environment of chaos. With absent parents—literally and figuratively—Jeannette and her siblings were forced to raise each other. As they got older, she and her siblings went on to educate themselves and found success, while her parents chose to become homeless.

Astonishing but tender, The Glass Castle is a memoir about the enduring love of a family despite chaos. It quickly became a bestseller and book club favourite. Click here for the reading group guide. You can also read an excerpt from the memoir.

Find out more from Jeannette Walls about what inspired her to tell her deeply moving story:

Rainy Day Reads For Kids

Spring is here, but along with blossoming flowers and warmer weather also comes rainy days. For parents with young children, here are some books that will inspire you with ideas to that will help keep your kids entertained indoors when it’s too wet to go outside.

Do It Now! Crafts

Crafts are a great way to keep kids busy for hours. From the minds of two mothers themselves, this book features over 70 project ideas, including making sand candles, weaving friendship bracelets, creating a pop-up 3D cards and more. It also includes a chapter on creative and fun snacks, like stained-glass cookies, candy sushi and chocolate anthills.

Crafty Princess

This craft book is perfect for little girls who love princesses, sparkles and the colour pink. This kit teaches kids to make tiaras, jewellery, mini thrones, magic mirrors and more, using household items. It also comes with glitter, gemstones, satin and ribbons for maximum style!

The Cookbook for Kids (Williams-Sonoma)

This is a great book to get children exploring the kitchen and lending parents a hand with dinner. Children will be able to prepare some for these recipes on their own while others will require an adult’s help. With recipes from crepes to cookies, fish tacos to nachos, kids will love eating their own creations. Have a look at an excerpt of recipes.

The Lonely Sock Club

This book includes fun projects for kids to create with socks. Easy, creative crafts include fingerless gloves, decorative vases, stuffed toys and more. The kit also comes with pom poms, yarn, googly eyes and felt. Take a peek at some of the crafts.

Memoir Mondays: Moonlight on Linoleum

Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. Every Monday, we’re pleased to feature a memoir and open a window to someone else’s life.

Moonlight on Linoleum is a beautifully written, touching memoir where Terry Helwig crafts a moving tale about growing up with a mother who neglected her children and responsibilities. As a child, she grew up roving around the American West because of her stepfather’s job, denying any stability in her life. Her mother Carola was involved meeting other men, often leaving her alone with her siblings. Because of that, Terry was forced to become a mother-figure to six girls (one of them was actually her cousin) and sometimes, even to her own mother. Carola began to feel overwhelmed by stress, guilt and nightmares that deteriorated her mental health to the point that Terry needed to take her to a mental hospital. When Carola left the hospital, she spiraled into drug addiction and found herself seeing even more men. In 1974, she died of an accidental overdose.

Sensitive yet honest, Moonlight on Linoleum is a portrait of the powerful love a child has for her mother and the enduring fortitude Terry upholds to keep her family together. Read an excerpt from the memoir.