The Book Corner: April selections from the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library


“Save the planet!” We see those words often and they make a critical sentiment with all that our environment is experiencing due to climate change, urbanization, pollution, global warming, and more. To stem the suffering of our precious Earth we need to learn more about these environmental problems and find ways to step up our actions to keep our planet healthy and thriving. There are many books that offer ways we can do our part in helping our little piece of the world or beyond.

We’re reminded of this on April 22 – Earth Day. The annual global event was established in 1969 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing a massive oil spill in California. Nelson inspired Americans to take action to help our deteriorating environment. According to EARTHDAY.ORG, the global organizer of Earth Day and the largest recruiter of environmental movements worldwide, this year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” Billions of people come together on this day to raise awareness of environmental issues, find ways to protect the Earth’s natural resources, and participate in earth-related activities. Books can help us to learn more about our planet and make it a better place.

“The Herb Gardening Handbook” by Andrew Perry is a stylish guide to 12 herb projects for everything from indoor window ledges to balconies and gardens. Using widely accessible herbs, it’s perfect for gardening beginners and seasoned pros looking to make the most of herbs.

“The Wild Bee Handbook” by Sarah Wyndham Lewis is an essential, practical resource for anyone interested in bees, biodiversity, and sustainable gardening, featuring sections on container gardening and building soil health. It offers easy ways to bring the wild back into your gardening, whether you have a large space or city windowsill.

“Seasonal Family Almanac: Recipes, Rituals, and Crafts to Embrace the Magic of the Year” by Emma Frisch and Jana Blankenship is an indispensable guide and hands-on resource for families that want to joyfully build or deepen their connection with nature through a range of recipes for cooking, wellness, personal care, and crafts all year long.

“Searching for Sunshine: Finding Connections with Plants, Parks, and the People who Love Them” by Ishita Jain is an illustrated, heartfelt journey into answering the simple but vital question, "Why do plants and green spaces make us happy?"

“Wildscape: Trilling Chipmunks, Beckoning Blooms, Salty Butterflies, and Other Sensory Wonders of Nature by Nancy Lawson, author of “The Humane Gardener,” this first-of-its-kind guide takes readers on an insightful and personal exploration of the secret lives of animals and plants.

“The Elephants of Thula Thula” by Francoise Malby-Anthony is a powerful, gripping story about an extraordinary herd of elephants and the woman dedicated to keeping them safe.

Library Director Cathleen Sulli’s picks:

“The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben. Are trees social beings? Wohlleben believes they are and they live in social communities of parent and child trees and that trees communicate, share nutrients, and support sick neighbors.

“Deer-Resistant Native Plants for the Northeast” by Ruth Rogers Clausen. Tired of feeding the deer? Learn some of the easy-to-grow colorful plants which butterflies like, such as Liatris, Joe-Pye weed, and Rudbeckia.

Children’s Librarian Jen Gileno’s pick:

“Be a Tree” by Maria Gianferrari is a lyrical, gorgeously-illustrated picture book on the majesty of trees and what humans can learn from them.

April happenings at the library:

Conversation with Gardeners

In-person event on Saturday, April 8; 10:30 a.m.

A group of gardening enthusiasts meets monthly to share ideas and techniques about local plants and flowers. Newcomers are welcome. No registration required.

Author Talk, Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland’s Elves Can Save the Earth by Nancy Marie Brown

Online event on Wednesday, April 19; 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Registration required.

The compelling, quirky book looks at Iceland’s elves (50% of Icelanders believe in them) and offers an intimate conversation about how we look at and find value in nature. It reveals how the words we use and the stories we tell shape the world we see and argues that our beliefs about the Earth will preserve or destroy it.

Beginner’s Garden Design Studio

In-person event on Saturday, April 22; 10:00 a.m.

Join seasoned gardeners Pam Pooley and Jeanne Farewell, co-hosts of the Parsley and Sage Podcast, for a fun, hands-on session with graph paper, tracing paper, rulers, and colored pencils provided by the library! The event will begin with a short slide show featuring a native plant palette and a variety of graphing styles to choose from, then you start planning your garden! Bring a photo of a spot you want to landscape or make up at the library. You’ll leave with a planting plan to scale.

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