A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Landskipping: Painters, Ploughmen and Places by Anna Pavord

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cyjfOU.
An American reader ends up wanting to invite Pavord, obviously a very thoughtful companion, on a trip to the Alaskan wilderness or the California desert.
Book description from Google Books:
In Landskipping, Anna Pavord explores some of Britain’s most iconic landscapes in the past, in the present, and in literature. With her passionate, personal, and lyrical style, Pavord considers how different artists and agriculturists have responded to these environments. Like the author’s previous book The Tulip, Landskipping is as sublime and picturesque as its subject. Landskipping features an eclectic mix of locations, both ecologically and culturally significant, such as the Highlands of Scotland, the famous landscapes of the Lake District, and the Celtic hill forts of the West Country. These are some of the most recognizable landscapes in all of Britain. Along the way, Pavord annotates her fascinating journey with evocative descriptions of the country’s natural beauty and brings to life travelers of earlier times who left fascinating accounts of their journeys by horseback and on foot through the most remote corners of the British Isles.
The book is rated 3.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 34 ratings. See 8 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1TEfdnE.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sucYZU.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: A Natural History of English Gardening: 1650–1800 by Mark Laird

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1gctabz.
This book is at its best in celebrating women who contributed to gardening and natural history. I wish Mary Delany (1700-1788), about whom Laird has written before, could be spirited back to life.
Book description from Google Books:
A beautifully illustrated exploration of the quest for order within the garden, and within the natural world Inspired by the pioneering naturalist Gilbert White, who viewed natural history as the common study of cultural and natural communities, Mark Laird unearths forgotten historical data to reveal the complex visual cultures of early modern gardening. Ranging from climate studies to the study of a butterfly’s life cycle, this original and fascinating book examines the scientific quest for order in nature as an offshoot of ordering the garden and field. Laird follows a broad series of chronological events–from the Little Ice Age winter of 1683 to the drought summer of the volcanic 1783–to probe the nature of gardening and husbandry, the role of amateurs in scientific disciplines, and the contribution of women as gardener-naturalists. Illustrated by a stunning wealth of visual and literary materials–paintings, engravings, poetry, essays, and letters, as well as prosaic household accounts and nursery bills–Laird fundamentally transforms our understanding of the English landscape garden as a powerful cultural expression.
The book is rated 4.14/5 at goodreads.com, from 7 ratings. See 3 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1gctabC.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2spHaWa.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Cutaway Colouring 1960 onwards (all makes and models) by Editors of Haynes Manuals

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1INg2qs.
Haynes, famous for its maintenance manuals, has now brought out a book of them. And, as if that’s not exciting enough, the idea is that you can colour in the diagrams, too.
Book description from Google Books:
The enthusiasm for adult ‘colouring-in’ has resulted in numerous titles being published over recent months, covering subjects such as flowers, animals and decorative patterns, with links to mindfulness and art therapies. The one area that hasn’t been targeted is the more structured and mechanical approach, which would appeal to the male market. The Haynes classic cutaways fit the bill perfectly, and the variety of cars included in the owners’ colouring manual have wide appeal across all ages. Cutaway Colouring contains over 180 cutaways, along with a brief history about the classic Haynes Manual.
The book is rated 2.67/5 at goodreads.com, from 3 ratings.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2u8jbPb.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Man Who Made Things Out Of Trees by Robert Penn

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1ReERiW.
There is something special about the stuff…From his tree Penn has made a lovely book: part elegant history, part anxious lament.
Book description from Google Books:
Out of all the trees in the world, the ash is the most closely bound up with who we are- the tree we have made the greatest and most varied use of over the course of human history. This is the story of how Robert Penn cut down an ash tree to see how many things could be made from it. Journeying from Wales across England and Ireland to the USA in his quest, Robert finds that the ancient traditions, skills and knowledge of the properties of ash, developed over millennia making wheels and arrows, tools and bowls, furniture and baseball bats, are far from dead. He reveals how the people working with this wood every day have a particular and intimate understanding of the physical world, preserving unique expertise handed down through generations. This exuberant tale of nature, human ingenuity and the pleasure of making things by hand chronicles how our urge to understand and appreciate trees still runs through us all like grain through wood.
The book is rated 3.79/5 at goodreads.com, from 206 ratings. See 35 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1RfEQ8d.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tXNMyT.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Landskipping: Painters, Ploughmen and Places by Anna Pavord

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cyjfOU.
An American reader ends up wanting to invite Pavord, obviously a very thoughtful companion, on a trip to the Alaskan wilderness or the California desert.
Book description from Google Books:
In Landskipping, Anna Pavord explores some of Britain’s most iconic landscapes in the past, in the present, and in literature. With her passionate, personal, and lyrical style, Pavord considers how different artists and agriculturists have responded to these environments. Like the author’s previous book The Tulip, Landskipping is as sublime and picturesque as its subject. Landskipping features an eclectic mix of locations, both ecologically and culturally significant, such as the Highlands of Scotland, the famous landscapes of the Lake District, and the Celtic hill forts of the West Country. These are some of the most recognizable landscapes in all of Britain. Along the way, Pavord annotates her fascinating journey with evocative descriptions of the country’s natural beauty and brings to life travelers of earlier times who left fascinating accounts of their journeys by horseback and on foot through the most remote corners of the British Isles.
The book is rated 3.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 34 ratings. See 8 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1TEfdnE.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sucYZU.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies by John R. Lott Jr.

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2eti3KD.
In his new book, “The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies,” John Lott methodically dismantles one popular gun-control myth after another.
Book description from Google Books:
The Second Amendment defender John R. Lott Jr., Ph.D., economist and gun rights advocate, goes beyond philosophical arguments to confront opponents of gun ownership with the facts. Through rigorous research and analysis of data, he has been able to show that increased gun possession can actually make people safer and reduce crime. Terrorists and mass murderers consciously pick targets where they know victims will be unable to defend themselves, and the push for more gun control only makes the types of attacks that we fear more likely to occur. The War on Guns has well-documented data, statistics, practical, legal, and moral arguments to support the natural right to self-defense. He looks into the many ways that anti-gun ‘statistics’ and ‘research’ have been used to perpetrate utter falsehoods and misleading propaganda, using the best evidence available—data from natural experiments on the effects of gun regulations—to compare the effects of alternative policies. Arrayed against him are the entire public health establishment and much of the media, but he carefully analyzes many of the arguments made against gun ownership and shows using both statistical and anecdotal evidence that they are incorrect. He also shows that wealthy opponents of gun ownership finance much fallacious “public health” research on the effects of guns. This is a valuable guide to a more balanced understanding of the issue of gun control.
The book is rated 4.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 68 ratings. See 8 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dAHNY2.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tC6mwh.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2mVCZPw.
The thickly bound format is ideally read in bed. This is just the kind of book to shut out the world with a sense of Scandinavian comfort.
Book description from Google Books:
The Sunday Times bestseller The New York Times bestseller The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness. Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right. Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. This year live more like a Dane, embrace hygge and become happier.
The book is rated 3.72/5 at goodreads.com, from 13952 ratings. See 1639 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mKHIa1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2s6nyGu.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher

A critic review (source LA Times) can be read at: http://lat.ms/1IP4yMg.
The human hand is everywhere evident here — the letters written so carefully, addressed and stamped and sent by post, the wait for response, which took sometimes only a few days, sometimes weeks as the terrible irony of Millar’s developing Alzheimer’s disease robbed him of his memory and ability to write fiction and letters to his beloved.
Book description from Google Books:
This spectacular collection of more than 125 letters offers a never-before-seen glimpse of the events and people of history—the brightest and best, the most notorious, and the endearingly everyday. Entries include a transcript of the letter; a short contextual introduction; and, in 100 cases, a captivating facsimile of the letter itself. The artfulness of Shaun Usher’s eclectic arrangement creates a reading experience rich in discovery. Mordant, hilarious, poignant, enlightening—surprise rewards each turn of the page. Colorfully illustrated with photographs, portraits, and relevant artworks, this handsome hardcover is a visual treat too, making Letters of Note an utterly distinctive gift, and an instant classic.
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 3037 ratings. See 402 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1IP4wnJ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2swGA8W.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The Good, the Bad, and the Furry: Life with the World’s Most Melancholy Cat by Tom Cox

A critic review (source AV Club) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1Hah4FZ.
His acute understanding of cats is entertaining and poignant, but those cute pet stories stand on the foundation of a talented and deeply thoughtful writer.
Book description from Google Books:
Meet The Bear—a cat who carries the weight of the world on his furry shoulders, and whose wise, owl-like eyes seem to ask, Can you tell me why I am a cat please? Like many intellectuals, The Bear would prefer a life of quiet solitude with plenty of time to gaze forlornly into space and contemplate society’s ills. Unfortunately, he is destined to spend his days surrounded by felines of a significantly lower IQ. There is Janet, a large man cat who often accidentally sets fire to his tail by walking too close to lighted candles; Ralph, a preening tabby who enjoys meowing his own name at 5AM; and Shipley, Ralph’s brother, who steals soup but is generally relaxed once you pick him up and turn him upside down. And then there’s Tom Cox, writing with wit and charm about the unexpected adventures that go hand-in-hand with a life at the beck and call of four cats. This heartwarming Sunday Times bestselling  memoir about a man at the mercy of his unpredictable, demanding and endlessly lovable cats is sure to become an instant hit with American readers and petlovers.
The book is rated 4.08/5 at goodreads.com, from 1246 ratings. See 180 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1Hah6O3.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sIwRwl.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/1HzmZoh.
Before deciding about pipelines, carbon emissions, and war and peace, people need to read Darwin and other volumes on how life on this planet works. You could even have some fun and start with Hanson’s engaging book.
Book description from Google Books:
We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life, supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and the humble peppercorn drove the Age of Discovery, so did coffee beans help fuel the Enlightenment, and cottonseed help spark the Industrial Revolution. And from the Fall of Rome to the Arab Spring, the fate of nations continues to hinge on the seeds of a Middle Eastern grass known as wheat.In nature and in culture, seeds are fundamental—objects of beauty, evolutionary wonder, and simple fascination. How many times has a child dropped the winged pip of a maple, marveling as it spirals its way down to the ground, or relished the way a gust of wind(or a stout breath) can send a dandelion’s feathery flotilla skyward? Yet despite their importance, seeds are often seen as a commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to Thor Hanson and this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more.What makes The Triumph of Seeds remarkable is not just that it is informative, humane, hilarious, and even moving, just as what makes seeds remarkable is not simply their fundamental importance to life. In both cases, it is their sheer vitality and the delight that we can take in their existence—the opportunity to experience, as Hanson puts it, “the simple joy of seeing something beautiful, doing what it is meant to do.” Spanning the globe from the Raccoon Shack—Hanson’s backyard writing hideout-cum-laboratory—to the coffee shops of Seattle, from gardens and flower patches to the spice routes of Kerala, this is a book of knowledge, adventure, and wonder, spun by an award-winning writer with both the charm of a fireside story-teller and the hard-won expertise of a field biologist. A worthy heir to the grand tradition of Aldo Leopold and Bernd Heinrich, The Triumph of Seeds takes us on a fascinating scientific adventure through the wild and beautiful world of seeds. It is essential reading for anyone who loves to see a plant grow.
The book is rated 4.05/5 at goodreads.com, from 839 ratings. See 153 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1HzmZom.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tUZtYa.