If you're longing for a cottage in the woodlands, a flowing vintage wardrobe, and pies baked from homegrown berries this fall, we've got the booklist for you!
How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery
Naturalist Sy Montgomery's restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals—Sy’s friends—and the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world. Beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Green.
World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
“What the peacock can do,” Nezhuumatathil tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts. Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
This coming-of-age story is set in South Carolina during the tumultuous summer of 1964. The Secret Life of Bees introduces young Lily Owens, a girl transformed by the power and divinity of the female spirit, into the canon of modern-day heroines. Lily and her fierce-hearted Black "stand-in mother” escape the racism of their hometown and find refuge with an eccentric trio of Black beekeeping sisters, whose world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna is mesmerizing.
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
Sheldrake’s mind-bending journey into the hidden world of fungi ranges from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that sprawl for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’, to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision.
Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms – and our relationships with them – are changing our understanding of how life works.
An Irish Country Cottage by Patrick Taylor
An Irish Country Cottage is a charming entry in Patrick Taylor's beloved New York Times and internationally bestselling Irish Country series.
The New Year brings challenges and changes to the colorful Irish village of Ballybucklebo. The Christmas holidays have barely passed before a fire engulfs the humble thatched cottage housing of Donal Donnally and his family. Although the family escapes the blaze more or less unsinged, Donal, his wife, their three small children, and their beloved dog find themselves with nothing left but the clothes on their back.
Good thing Doctors O’Reilly and Laverty are on hand to rally the good people of Ballybucklebo to come to their aid. Rebuilding the cottage won’t be quick or easy, but good neighbors from all walks of life will see to it that the Donallys get back on their feet again, no matter what it takes.