Our Favorite Nonfiction & Poetry of 2022!

Here’s our favorite nonfiction and poetry reads of 2022. Click on the the book covers for links to our catalog.

Check out our eBooks and eAudiobooks here.


Wintry Reads 

Sometimes I like to read seasonally, maybe especially in winter. When there’s snow outside and snow falling in my book, I feel that much more immersed in the season. Here are a few snowy reads if you want to go all in for winter. 

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod, by Gary Paulsen 

I can’t even begin to imagine wanting to experience the kind of discomfort and danger Gary Paulsen describes in this book about racing across Alaska with his dogs. Frostbite, dog fights, hallucinations—no thanks! But sometimes it’s fun to read about someone else’s crazy idea of a good time. And if it’s not your favorite thing to get into a cold car these winter mornings, maybe you’ll feel that much better reading about what it’s like to emerge from a sleeping bag and start your chores (outside of course) when it’s fifty below. Amid the near-death experiences, some charmed moments: like when a chickadee perches for half a day on the hood of Paulsen’s parka.  

The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann 

Sometimes in winter you want a long book. Something substantial waiting patiently on your bedside table. Something you can live alongside for a while. The Magic Mountain is an especially good candidate in winter because it’s got what has to be one of the most terrifying blizzard scenes in all literature. It’s also a good novel for reading at a leisurely pace, all the better for witnessing the slow transformation of the main character, who goes to visit his cousin at a Swiss sanitorium for tubercular patients and ends up staying there himself for seven years. Time warps at the sanitorium, and the lines between sanity and madness, and health and illness waver. Nothing about any of this sounds funny, yet somehow this is a most amusing book. I laughed out loud twice. 

The Snow Leopard, by Peter Matthiessen 

“In the clearness of this Himalayan air, mountains draw near, and in such splendor, tears come quietly to my eyes and cool on my sunburned cheeks … My head has cleared in these weeks free of intrusions—mail, telephones, people and their needs—and I respond to things spontaneously, without defensive or self-conscious screens.” Peter Matthiessen wrote this in October 1973—how much more do our heads need clearing of intrusions now. Reading this book, and following Matthiessen’s gaze as he treks across Nepal with a biologist friend who studies Himalayan blue sheep, clears my head a little. Matthiessen’s gaze takes in so very much, and when it isn’t trained on his path through the mountains, on every variety of wind and effect of the sun, it’s trained inward. A student of Zen Buddhism, he goes along with his friend in search of the elusive, rarely seen snow leopard that hunts the blue sheep, and also in search of enlightenment. Spoiler alert: There’s plenty of snow in this book but maybe no snow leopard. And maybe it’s better that way. 


Ode to Ann

I am an unabashed Ann Patchett fangirl, particularly for her nonfiction. What I love most about her memoirs: she is so open about her life’s experiences. This is particularly valuable for (ahem) aspiring writers like myself, but I think it’s also just a trait of good writing. Who wants to read something where you can tell the writer’s holding back? Isn’t it better when they just go there? Again, I’m biased! But I think this truth-telling adds so much wisdom and poignancy to the work. 

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

My favorite essay in this collection is “The Getaway Car,” in which Ann tells of how she transformed herself from a waitress at TGI Fridays into one of the country’s most successful novelists. Other essay topics: dogs; marriage; divorce; starting a bookstore; and making ends meet as a creative person before she became a household name. I have read this collection several times, twice via audiobook.

Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett

This memoir is about Ann’s close friendship with the late poet Lucy Grealy, who she attended both Sarah Lawrence and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with. Grealy is well-known for her memoir, Autobiography of a Face, in which she wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer and undergoing years of chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgeries. Consequently, Grealy has a fascinating (and often heartbreaking) perspective on the subject of beauty.

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

In her latest essay collection, These Precious Days, Ann tackles writing, shopping, holidays, furniture, and she gushes about one of my other favorite writers, children’s author Kate DiCamillo. Each essay is steeped in themes of mortality, especially the title essay, “These Precious Days,” about Ann’s intense friendship with Tom Hanks’s assistant. I know people who steer clear of these kinds of books because they feel too real. But in this collection, Ann has made it clear she’s accepted the fact that her own days are limited, and, for whatever reason, I find it oddly comforting and reassuring.


A Small Story of Big Courage

Claire Keegan’s short story Small Things Like These was published last year to much acclaim. It won the Orwell Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. When you read about Bill Furlong, his humble life, and his small act that took a great deal of courage, you’ll understand why it garnered such praise.

Set in Ireland in the 1980s the story has the feel of being set one hundred years before. The Ireland that Keegan presents is small, insulated, and quite traditional. You are only reminded that it’s the 20th century when there’s a brief mention of pop culture or fashion.

Bill Furlong is the story’s protagonist; a working-class family man who is loyal, hardworking, and keeps his head down. One morning Bill is making a fuel delivery and discovers something that disturbs him, though he is not exactly sure what he’s seen. When he tries to investigate further and ask questions, he is met with pushback from the town’s institutions, his peers, and most interestingly, his family. When Bill decides to act, he puts his reputation and his family at risk, because what he’s uncovering will not only horrify others, but it will expose the complicity of the entire town, that out of their own self interest they turned a blind eye to injustice and abuse.

Despite sadness of the topic, the courage Bill Furlong takes on provides for a deeply uplifting story. It’s an impressive that Keegan accomplishes so much in so few pages. Small Things Like These is well worthy of its acclaim.

Unlikely Animals

If you’re looking for something playful these days, something that doesn’t bring more darkness to an already foreboding time we seem to live in, then you might want to pick up Unlikely Animals. Despite its lively tone, I would not call this a cozy read: drugs, missing persons, mental illness, etc. It’s has a kind of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink thing going on.

Set in the fictionalized Upper Valley town (that’s us, we live there!) of Everton, this novel is meandering, but one that eventually finds the path home.

Emma Starling has dropped out of med school and moved back to her hometown to reset. She has to deal with a lot. She hasn’t told her parents she’s dropped out of school. Her bitter, formerly drug addicted brother still lives at home, constantly criticizing his perceived perfect sister. Her mother is herself a perfectionist. Her father has a medical condition that causes him to have illusionary visions. His behavior leads to some truly calamitous situations around town that Emma must clean up. She needs a job and somehow ends up as a long-term substitute teacher to a class that has lost a classmate and a teacher to an illegal drug dealing trial. Oh, yeah, and the who thing is narrated by the ghosts in the local graveyard. So, there’s a lot going on here.

The thing that is looming over Emma as she’s moved back home is that her estranged, former best friend from high school is missing, vanished, presumed dead by some, or a runaway by others. Her father is obsessed with finding her friend, which leads to some eyebrow raising situations.

The entire novel takes place in the shadow of the real-life Corbin Park, which is a 19th-century game park set up by old money tycoons that survives to this day. It’s an odd and secretive place, with elk, wild boars, bears, and no one but it’s few members who are allowed in.

This novel is a little hard to describe because there are so many different parts moving about. But rather than seeming complicated, Annie Hartnett writes of a rich and lively town with eccentric characters whose personalities are as idiosyncratic as their interpersonal relationships are.

Unlikely Animals is a little bit of everything, a small-town and character driven novel, a funny story, a bit of a mystery, and a latter-day bildungsroman. It’s about friendship, and family, and how easily they can become frayed or torn apart and what it takes to mend them. For Emma it’s also the realization that our relationships to those we love are much more complicated than we often understand.


Click here for downloadable versions.

Why is this book on the shelf? 

Trust by Hernan Diaz

Okay. The other day I was looking at our shelf of new books and was astonished to see Trust by Hernan Diaz sitting there un-checked-out. I could not believe it. I had just read the book a few months ago and was so impressed by it that I thought: right here, one of the best books of the year. Folks are going to be fighting each other to get their hands on it. Instead, there it was, staring back at me, just being a book not being read. But let me explain. 

The book is set in the early decades of the 20th century. Its main character is a robber baron type financier. Think Andrew Carnegie or J. P. Morgan types. The story alone is interesting, but Hernan Diaz also structures the novel in a way that is completely new to me. You begin by reading a novel titled Bonds. Yes, you are already reading a novel, but it’s a novel within the novel, a work of fiction set in the historical fiction world of Trust. You with me? The next section of the book is the unfinished memoirs of Andrew Bevel, the person who was fictionalized in Bonds, a book he is unhappy with as it paints him and his wife in an unflattering light. After that we get the story from the perspective of his secretary, many decades after his death. And finally, we get the long-lost journals of Andrew Bevel’s wife, Mildred.  

What is brilliant about this book is the layering, the way in which the story is revealed, not through successive plot points, but through different perspectives. It’s a story of money and power and who gets to tell the story of a person, of who gets to write the history books. Though it is set one hundred years ago it is an oddly relevant book. Real power today is the ability to shape the perception of reality as Andrew Bevel did with immense success. 

Good news though, folks. As I was finishing this post, Trust was gone, off the shelf and in someone’s hands. I was the able to sleep easily knowing that someone was reading Trust and being exhilarated by the gradual truths that are revealed layer by layer. 

Best of the Year So Far – 2022

Jeez, are we halfway through this thing already? There’s been some ups. There’s been some downs. But we have read some amazing books and we think you will love them too. We’ve thrown together our favorite things that we’ve read so far this year. It’s mostly new stuff, but we’ve thrown in some oldies too. History, mystery, poetry, fiction. Short stories, long stories, nonfiction, essays. Everything is in there. Happy reading!


Reading about Ukraine

The Howe has a number of books that relate to Ukraine, whether nonfiction on the country’s history and current events, or literature by Ukrainian authors or set in Ukraine. We are grieved that war has put the spotlight on Ukraine, but we are grateful there are so many books to help us get to know this fascinating country.

New additions to our collection include these contemporary novels:

DEATH AND THE PENGUIN, by Andrey Kurkov, in which an obituary writer and the penguin he’s adopted from the Kyiv zoo navigate a post-Soviet landscape vulnerable to mafia harassment.

THE ORPHANAGE, by Serhiy Zhadan, which follows a Ukrainian teacher through the war zones of the Donbas to reach his nephew.

Kalani Pickhart’s I WILL DIE IN A FOREIGN LAND, which mixes fiction, documentary, and folktale to put the reader at the center of the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests in Kyiv, and also manages to be a love story.

A new anthology, WORDS FOR WAR, gives us poems by Ukrainian poets from the years following 2014. The editors write in their preface, “As we try to understand the scope of the tragedy … poets shift our attention to the domain of the Self that survives, and the cost of its survival.”

Our nonfiction titles by area experts include:



RED FAMINE: STALIN’S WAR ON UKRAINE by journalist and historian Anne Applebaum;

and MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL by journalist Adam Higginbotham.

I also recommend the work of essayist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich (including SECONDHAND TIME: THE LAST OF THE SOVIETS and VOICES FROM CHERNOBYL). Her books provide an immersive experience that lets you hear the voices of a broad spectrum of people in Ukraine and across the former Soviet Union.


Container Gardening

Are you itching to plant something, but short on space, time, or energy?  Here are four container gardening books that may be just what you’re looking for.

Small-Space Container Gardening by Fern Richardson

Lack of space needn’t inhibit style and ecological awareness when gardening.  Fern Richardson offers suggestions for container gardens that attract birds and bees, grow herbs and veggies for the kitchen, and enhance the attractiveness of small spaces on balconies, porches and terraces.  Small-Space Container Gardening is useful as a reference work, but it’s also a pleasure to read, whether you actually plant or not.  Chapters such as “The Birds and the Bees”, “Green Thumb Crash Course”, and “Uninvited Guests” (garden pests and diseases) are full of helpful information, and the beautiful photographs invite the reader into stylishly designed spaces.

Container Gardening for Kids by Ellen Talmage.

Are your kids interested in gardening, too?  Do you want to start them out in a manageably sized garden with a high probability of success?  If so, then container gardening may be the perfect place to begin.  Using a wide variety of readily available, often re-purposed, containers such as toy wagons, plastic bottles, gourds and even half a watermelon, Talmage provides clear instructions for twenty-three different container projects.  Careful attention is also paid to gardening basics such as soils, drainage, and plant care.  A helpful list of appropriate plants is included.  With terrific photos of kids and their container garden projects, this book is a sure bet for encouraging kids to try their hand at gardening.

Container Water Gardening for Hobbyists.  (Pond Guy Publications, 2008.)

Can there be anything more soothing and inviting in your garden than the sound of water bubbling over rocks?  While large water features can be expensive to create and time consuming to maintain, a container water garden is easy on the budget and the back.  In Container Water Gardening for Hobbyists, the publishing team at Aquascape Lifestyles magazine <www.aquascapeinc.com/aquascape-lifestyles-magazine> have created a “soup to nuts” guide to container water gardening.  There are chapters on materials and construction and planting design and care, as well as a variety of projects, all of which are carefully explained.  There are lavish photos, and an extensive “gallery” of plants is included.  Whether you opt for still or moving water, a large container or small, Container Water Gardening for Hobbyists provides all the information needed for a successful project.

Container Kitchen Garden by Anthony Atha.

Last, but by no means least, is Anthony Atha’s guide to growing herbs, vegetables, and fruit in small spaces.  As with the other titles, there is plenty of useful information on the basics of choosing containers, preparing them for planting and choosing appropriate plants.  Design suggestions for containers that will live on patios and balconies and in window boxes are included, as are helpful tips about everything from fertilizers to pest control. An extensive list of herbs, veggies and fruits that can be successfully grown in containers completes this volume.  Photos are plentiful and will whet the reader’s appetite for container grown edibles.


Very Cold People

I’m not sure why I picked up Very Cold People in the first place. I must have read good reviews in print but that’s rarely enough to pick anything up (a lot of books get good reviews, ya know.). But something made me drawn to it and when I finally opened the first page I was completely sucked in, enwrapped in its tone and unsentimental style.

Very Cold People is a strange novel. It’s not necessarily a series of events, or plot points, but short paragraphs, almost vignettes, descriptions of small scenes peppered with perfectly detailed moments. The language can be spare, but the author can afford to be. She is deft at choosing the exact right napkins at a funeral or the uncomfortable stare from a strange relative. These are objects and feelings that already exist in your mind, and she chooses the right ones as if she’s plucking items off a supermarket shelf.

For much of the novel it’s as if nothing is happening, that it’s just a description of a young girl’s life in a 1970s/1980s New England town. But unbeknownst to you each detail is being slowly applied to our protagonist Ruthie, her family, and the town, forming something fuller.

Reading this novel felt like standing too close to a painting and then backing up. As each brushstroke is added a story emerges of people hiding secrets, suffering alone, erecting facades and harming others, never quiet coming to terms with their own trauma.

By the end of the novel, you understand that many details thought to be insignificant were in fact part of a greater story, part of a person hidden to everyone else. Manguso widens the lens, zooms out, and stories spiral backwards through the book revealing lives yearning for love but having it withheld in every needed moment.

So, yeah, I’ll admit, it’s not exactly a happy novel but there’s strength and hope there too, even if it doesn’t show up until much later.


Save Me the Plums

If my role as a library worker is part literary matchmaker, then I would like to suggest Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl. Personally, the pairing of this memoir and myself was a joyous match! Reichl’s book connected with my love of food and cooking as well as the gratitude I experience when someone shares their life story. Reichl made me feel like a trusted friend as she offered influential pieces of her childhood and the formative years she spent as a restaurant critic. The book largely focuses on her time as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and how she – and an entourage of dynamic characters – shaped the final years of this iconic publication. If the noteworthy stories and well-sized font don’t woo you, perhaps the thoughtfully-chosen recipes will give you a winsome taste of Reichl’s down-to-earth Gourmet life. 


Save Me the Plums – eAudiobook

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Elena Silverman and Jake Silverstein.

In 2019, The New York Times published a special issue commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans’ arrival on American shores.  The creation of the issue was imagined and led by The Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones. Subsequently, Hannah-Jones and her colleagues expanded the issue to book form.  From its initial publication as a special issue, to the book, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, has enlightened, enraged and engaged readers across the political spectrum.  The book’s title suggests its startling premise: that the date when the first enslaved Africans arrived in what would later become the United States is the nation’s more accurate birthdate.  The 1619 Project asks readers to place both the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the American story.

In these essays, written by noted scholars and historians, The 1619 Project examines all aspects of our history, from race to politics, to economics, and from food to music.  One of its most controversial conclusions is that the founding fathers, many of whom were slave holders, sought to declare their independence from England, not only because they wished to ensure (for white men) the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but because they feared that England would soon abolish slavery, an institution upon which the colonies were overwhelmingly dependent for their economic survival.

In other essays, the writers place slavery and race at the center of political, economic and social policies and decision making, as well as everyday life. They examine a wide range of topics including Lincoln’s attitudes toward slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, the New Deal, and the presidency of Barack Obama.

These essays are as thoroughly researched and documented as they are unsettling.  The 1619 Project leads readers to ask a number of important questions.  What is history?  Is it facts, based on documents, statistics and other verifiable data?  Or is history the conclusions we draw from that data and the meaning we make of those facts and conclusions?  Moreover, who controls those facts?  Which facts get recorded and which are hidden or lost?  How do the assumptions, beliefs and subconscious biases of historians and others distort what actually happened?  

The late Dartmouth Professor Bill Cook once said, “We have an American history and a national narrative and they ain’t the same.”  I thought about that statement often while reading The 1619 Project.  The story we were all told about our country, its founding and its character, is powerful and a source of pride.  But it’s also slanted and incomplete.  Books like The 1619 Project ask us to acknowledge the contradictions between slavery and liberty and to include them in the national narrative.

Questions and controversies such as these are what lead libraries to place value on balanced collections which offer differing points of view for readers to consider.  Readers looking for criticism of The 1619 Project, may be interested in Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History From Revisionists and Race Hustlers, edited by Robert L. Woodson, Sr.

Also accessible at the library are numerous journal articles presenting a variety of opinions on all sides of the argument posed by The 1619 Project.


Attn: Books Groups!

Are you and your book group looking for your next great read? Is it difficult to find multiple copies for everyone in the group? Well, Howe Library can solve both of these problems for you with our Books-to-Go bags collection!

Each bag of books contains 10 paperback copies of recent fiction or nonfiction. You checkout the bag and get to keep it for two months. That’s it!

We have over 100 titles to chose from. Here are some of the newest titles added to our collection:

Gary Paulsen

“Anytime I’m on the ocean, or in a forest, next to a dog, or reading or writing a book, I’m home. I am — I know — a very lucky man.”

We lost one of the great writers of children’s literature last year. Here are a few of his most recent titles, one published posthumously.

Gone to the Woods: Surviving a lost childhood, Gary Paulsen, (YA B PAULSEN)

Reading this memoir enables Paulsen fans to see how his early years shaped his writing career. Every one of his books that involves survival is based on his early years when he learned how to live with nature by gathering food based on nature’s migrations and harvest seasons. I’m planning to reread “Hatchet” after reading this book!

Northwind, Gary Paulsen, (J FIC PAU)

Paulsen’s last published book has a very different setting – the Scandinavian ocean. The main character Leif sets off with a fishing crew to harvest fish when a disease devastates the crew. An elder of the crew tells him to leave while he’s well and he learns to survive by observing sea animal’s hunting patterns.


Utopian Feminist Nuns!

Matrix – Lauren Groff is a favorite amongst the staff at Howe Library, but her latest novel, Matrix, is a particularly beautiful portrayal of female voice and power in a world that gives women very little of it. Set in the 12th century, Marie, a bastard child with royal ties, is sent from France to England to be a prioress at an abbey stricken with poverty, starvation and on the brink of collapse. At first life in the abbey is bleak and the sisters that remain there are worn-down, hardened, and set in their ways. Marie mourns her old life, before her time as a prioress, but eventually comes to accept that this is her fate. Once she accept her circumstances Marie is able to prove herself to the sisters, improve the abbey, and pour her desires into her faith. It is after this that the novel takes on bigger questions and Marie seeks things much greater than anything tangible and material. Marie is looking to build a utopia free from the outer world, where she and her sisters can speak directly with god and lock out a cruel world that has no place for them. Marie challenges traditional gender rolls, politics, and power structures. Marie is a strong, formidable woman from a period in which women held little power. Still, Groff presents us with a woman who’s ambition is always inching closer to abuse and self aggrandizement. We are kept wondering if Marie will ever cross the line, or if she’s found the perfect balance of power and love, of inspired faith and living a virtuous life. This was one of my favorite books I read in 2021. Maybe it’ll be the same for you in 2022!


Downloadable e-book and e-audiobooks.

Brrrr! The Cold and Mysterious North Country

Archer Mayor – The Company She Kept

Archer Mayor uses the harsh winter weather and the steel mesh retaining net, attached to the rock face, on what locals will recognize as Interstate 91 in Fairlee, to set his crime. A woman has been brutally murdered and hung from the netting. She’s a state senator and the lover of Joe’s former partner, Gail Zigman, now the governor of Vermont. At first, the murder seems to be a straightforward anti-gay hate crime, but as Joe and his team investigate, it becomes clear that something far more complex is going on. Mayor uses the harshness of a Vermont winter to enhance the details of the work that his ever-evolving team of investigators bring to the solving of this crime. Recognizing the locales, as well as the winter conditions, is the icing on the cake of this 26th book in the Gunther series.

Sarah Stewart Taylor – O’ Artful Death

In her debut volume in the Sweeney St. George mystery series, Hartland, Vermont based author, Taylor, takes us to a late 19th century artist’s colony in Vermont. (Think, the Cornish Colony transported across the Connecticut River.)  Sweeney, a Boston based art historian, is invited to Byzantium as the colony was called, for the Christmas holiday. She eagerly accepts, given her interest in the art colony in general, as well as an extraordinarily beautiful headstone in the colony graveyard. What Sweeney anticipates will be a classic, snowy Vermont holiday mixed with some interesting research, however, quickly become more dangerous and deadly when a descendent of the colony is found murdered, her body left on that same headstone which has captured Sweeney’s interest. Taylor is especially artful herself, using the weather and the landscape to enhance the suspense as Sweeney hunts for a killer.  

Paul Doiron – Dead By Dawn

Maine game warden Mike Bowditch faces his most dangerous enemies yet: the icy winter wilderness of outback Maine and the unknown foe who drove his Jeep off the road and who clearly wants him dead. This skillful combination of murder mystery and survival thriller finds Bowditch trapped beneath the ice of a frozen river and subsequently chased by armed snowmobilers. While struggling to stay alive in the face of deadly conditions, Bowditch tries to figure out if the suspicious drowning of a wealthy professor which he’s been investigating is connected to the determined attempt by someone to kill him. The wintery wilderness landscape and the deadly weather conditions are front and center in this superb entry in the addictively readable Mike Bowditch series.

An Irish Country Doctor

There are times when I need to read a book with a light tone.  Life has its aches, and reading can help soothe the woes we feel while providing a commiseration that lifts us forward.   

An Irish Country Doctor has given me a boost and left me feeling delighted.  It is not a new book.  In fact, it is the first of several books in the Irish Country series.  This book introduces readers to a young physician, Dr. Barry Laverty, and the bold and brisk Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, whom Barry assists in a small Irish village called Ballybucklebo.   

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get used to reading the name Ballybucklebo over and over, but the name became endearing and familiar – just like the individuals Patrick Taylor created in this novel.  I enjoyed getting acquainted with the patients and supporting characters – real people with messy, honest lives who are navigating each day as best they know how.  I gladly followed Doctors Laverty and O’Reilly around as they cared for patients; the landscape they traversed was inviting, the process of their medical diagnosis was intriguing, and their Irish culture left me longing for a cable knit sweater.   

If you are in need of a book that settles gently on the soul, An Irish Country Doctor is worth your attention.


You Say Sewer, I Say Sewist. Tomayto, Tomahto. Let’s Sew!

There’s a debate in the online sewing groups about whether one who sews is a sewer (the traditional term) or a sewist (a newer term).  No matter what term you prefer, here are a few picks from our collection to give you inspiration for your next project.

Modern fabric: twenty-five designers on their inspiration and craft / Abby Gilchrist & Amelia Poole

This book is drop-dead gorgeous.  I think most sewists and quilters will tell you that sometimes, it’s fun just to look at fabric.  Even if you don’t have a specific project in mind. 

That handmade touch: 20 simple sewing projects for you and your home / Svetlana Sotak

I appreciate a book that has projects that a beginner can do without feeling overwhelmed. Sotak has clear explanations with helpful photos.  Got odds and ends in your fabric stash? There are some great projects in here that will help you use them up. 

Zakka wool appliqué: 60+ sweetly stitched designs: useful projects for joyful living / Minki Kim

These designs are adorable and will spruce up any item you add them to. So go ahead and get sprucing!

Quilt as you go: a practical guide to 14 inspiring techniques & projects / Carolyn Forster

I haven’t ventured into quilting…yet…but this book makes it feel less intimidating.   

Love Embroidery Magazine (Avilable via OverDrive.)

I love this British monthly magazine that is all about embroidery.  A great source of inspiration, projects, and how-to. 


Our Favorite Books We Read in 2021 – Poetry!

It’s not too late to revisit our favorite books of 2021 series! This time we are taking a look at poetry. There were some really stunning collections of poems that were published this year. Some were from our favorites like Tracy K. Smith, Ted Kooser, and Rita Dove. Others were from authors new to us like Kaveh Akbar and Joshua Bennett. And one of the biggest young voices in poetry, Amanda Gorman, publish her poetry collection: Call Us What We Carry. We could go on, but we’ll just let you explore. Happy New Year!

Kaveh Akbar
Joshua Bennett
Alex Dimitrov
Rita Dove
Martín Espada
Louise Glück
Amanda Gorman
June Jordan
Donika Kelly
Ted Kooser
Cleopatra Mathis
Joyce Carol Oates
Maggie Smith
Tracy K. Smith
Kevin Young