Today, I'm putting the finishing touches on our Solstice gifts to one another, one of which being our tradition of a book bundle. As straight-forward as it sounds, a book bundle is just a collection of books I've gathered for each person in the house, of things they're interested in or thing I think they might like. Granted, the books come in all year long (they know that Mama can't say no to the request for a new book), but still, it's a fun chance to hunt for new favorites and gather them for giving. This year's book bundles are all tidy in wrapping paper and fabric, ready for giving tomorrow. But it got me thinking about some other books that have recently made their way into our home and become favorites. I thought I'd share some of those with you today. Books are one of my very favorite gifts to give, and even more so - one of my very favorite last minute things to search for. (And hooray for local bookstores! I'm so thrilled that Portland just added another - do check out Print alongside a visit to Longfellow Books. The more the merrier in hometown bookstores!)
This book came out a few months back now, and I have been loving this book ever since. I love thinking about our food as medicine, and this book is such a great guide in doing that. The knowledge she shares about the benefits of various herbs and foods is so helpful, combined with simple recipes that can put them into healing use in the everyday kitchen. Not fussy, just good food. Love that. (Holly writes for Taproot and has an article in the recent issue about stocks and broths.)
The truth is that I'm NOT reading this book because I do not read Portuguese. But! I can't tell you how many times I've picked this up off the coffee table to flip through, and I'm not alone in that. Rosa's book is full of old photographs of fiber folks, tools, as well as contemporary designs and patterns. And from her illustrated instructions, I just might sort out knitting Portuguese style - you all really have that purl stitch going!
I can't tell you how excited we all get when a new Elsa Beskow illustrated book is released from Floris. Obviously, I'm not alone in my love for her simple and pure style of telling a story, and I am so thrilled that they keep discovering and releasing more of her work for all of us who adore it. This one, illustrating the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, is no exception to that sweetness. So dear.
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
We have read so much of Astrid Lindgren's writing (oh, do be sure you go beyond the fun that is Pippi! She has so many other wonderful tales!), but this one escaped us until a Swedish friend of ours directed us to it. I'm so glad she did - this tale of friendship is a wonderful one and made for such great nighttime story reading.
Otherwise known as MAV and SCB from 3191, this book is their best work yet! It's an intimate and tender look at a friendship over the course of a year, through letters to one another, craft projects shared, recipes written, and all the things that we all spend our days doing. Universal in the nature of friendship and life, it's a treasure for anyone reading it. (And that's Harper above, at Thanksgiving, using Maria's mom's recipe for cranberry sauce - it was delicious!)
Oh gosh, this book is stunning. I first poured over the pages in a friend's kitchen, and then immediately ordered my own. There are so many deliciously simple yet beautiful things to be made in here (beet and sweet potato soup yesterday!). I'm glad for the introduction to this Icelandic chef's work. (And, because let's keep things real, you should know that I most recently enjoyed pouring over that book and planning the week's menu while at our favorite taco place, drinking a margarita and watching my eldest son drink a - gasp - CocaCola. Life's all about balance, right?)
I wish you many happy hours of reading this holiday season, friends!