it seems like i have quite a few books piling up on my bedside table this week, and i thought it might be fun to share some of them here. feel free to chime in with what you're reading or recommend!
i've mentioned before that i love books about the west coast - history, ecology, etc - and right now i'm reading the collector, by jack nisbet, which is about the botanist david douglas, and his explorations in the pacific northwest in the 1830s. i'm finding it pretty interesting so far, realizing how many hundreds of plants and animals he documented and "discovered", besides the douglas fir, whose cone is featured on the cover. "collector" is a very apt title, as i'm slipping back and forth between fascination and mortification on the techniques of that time. common practice for botanists/naturalists seemed to be all about preservation (of plants and animals specimens, to take back to england) but with very little note for conservation (ie picking all samples of a plant that could be found, with little regard for leaving some be).
the second and third books in the pile, books #1 and #2 in the bone collection, by jeff smith, were actually picked up for my nephew, for his birthday next week. but i didn't think he would mind if i started reading them, and i finished the two over the past three evenings. they are graphic novels, telling the story of the three bone cousins and their many adventures, and i really enjoyed them. there are actually nine books in this first series, so i am thinking i might have to get the others at some point to read.
like so many others, i am a big fan of heidi swanson and her food blog, 101 cookbooks. i've been reading it for a few years now, and last year i picked up her other book, super natural cooking. it is one of my most used cookbooks. i was thrilled to hear she had another book coming out this spring, and my copy arrived this week. super natural everyday is looking really good so far, although i haven't had time to make any of the recipes yet. but i highly recommend checking out her website if you are not familiar with it, and the books are a great extension of that. all the recipes are vegetarian, with a focus on whole foods that incorporates lots of interesting ingredients while still being very approachable.
bottom of the pile is a library book, one that i wanted to check out before purchasing. so far, handmade living, from lotta jansdotter, is a beautiful look at clean scandinavian style. i think she describes her style as swedish, with influences of asian and the west coast, and that is a mix that definitely appeals to me. lotta's own printed fabric is featured throughout the book, and that along with recipes and decorating ideas makes it a wonderful feast for the eyes.
so, what's on your bedside table this week?