Spring is in the air! Your customers are looking forward to the growing season, spring cleaning, and a fresh start. So, this issue’s Fine Print is devoted to Home and Garden books. While they may not all seem like traditional gift book selections, they are all powerful books, worthy of stand-alone display, and unique enough to aid in the sale of other items in your store. Take a look.
HausMagick brings witchcraft fully into the 21st century. It transforms ancient practices into rituals for self-care, specifically differentiating between self-care and complacency. Feldmann is offering your customers tools that make a house feel like a home, regardless of how much money is spent. If it’s true, as many are stating, that millennials are focused on value rather than status, then Feldmann and this book are riding the next wave into the future. Don’t get me wrong, she has nothing against ordering luxurious items from the comfort of your couch, but she wants to make sure that the focus is on personally connecting to the spaces we inhabit. She’s worked with interior designers, antique dealers, artisans, and witches to put together a manual for creating positive energy in the home and channeling that energy into lives well-lived. The book is filled with lots of information that will appeal to witches, would-be witches, and non-witches equally.
Rachel Ashwell parlayed a love for vintage style and flea-market finds into a successful couture-level business that has, for the last 25 years, influenced the way many of us decorate our living spaces. Exquisite photography by Amy Neunsinger helps her to take us on a tour of some of her most iconic spaces. Beginning with her own residence in Los Angeles, she then showcases homes in the Hollywood Hills, Malibu, and southern California, followed by some celebrity homes (including one that belonged to Marilyn Monroe). Those of us who enjoy living with “stuff” from the past, celebrate her vision and her tutelage. The book will be an inspiration for do-it-yourselfers who believe that money doesn’t have to dictate taste.
Written to be useful for both novices and those experienced in magical workings, the 60 flower spells in this book have been created by Darcey over the course of her lifetime. The instructions are clear and the required tools and ingredients readily available. She even encourages the use of flower images and card decks for those who don’t have access to fresh flowers. Beautifully designed and illustrated, this book presents as a sacred treasured object, to be called upon over and over for a myriad of purposes. Also available is Darcey’s The Book of Herb Spells.
The master of Gyoza gives new meaning to the definition of celebrity chef, reinventing the concept with his artistry and sense of purpose. He personally makes these dumplings in his “members-only” Vine Garden restaurant, serving only six customers a night. Yamamoto-san keeps his time free so that he can make room in his life for industrial design, music, and being a certified Santa Claus. His stated goal is to “spread happiness every day.” This book, created for home cooks, goes a long way towards fulfilling that goal. He suggests commercial wrappers for the dumplings so that readers can focus on his simple-yet-exquisite fillings. Tuttle Publishing honors his objectives with the finished book. Innovative, modern Japanese design makes it as visually inviting as it is accessible. Yamamoto-san believes everyone can make these dumplings, and this book does everything possible to deliver on that promise.
This beautiful coffee table book has been released in paperback just in time for Black History Month. It was 1983 when a front-end loader brought sunlight back into Anne Spencer’s 70-year labor of love. Along with the carefully documented historic plants, there were also lattice fences, garden landmarks, and 300 feet of wrought iron fence trimming salvaged. The small bulldozer tiptoed over the ground where the likes of W.E.B. Dubois had walked. All three dozen of Spencer’s original roses survived the rescue and replanting as the Lynchburg community reclaimed a treasure from its past. This visual and intellectual feast tells the story of hope and perseverance beautifully and in great detail. It overflows with stunning photography – some of it vintage, most of it modern day, documenting both Spencer’s creation and the community-based restoration and preservation effort which restored it to glory.
Most of your customers have become savvy about lifeforce energy and the ways in which it impacts all of us. Many of them are familiar with the Taoist Five Elements, made famous by the practice of Feng Shui. Perhaps fewer are knowledgeable about biophilic design, the scientific application of how the environment affects people. Maureen Calamia not only understands all of it, she has synthesized it into a cohesive wisdom teaching that makes it readily accessible to people at various levels of experience. She makes it all personal. She tells readers that our homes are not only “conscious,” but they are receptive and reactive as well. They affect us subliminally, but they also absorb our energy patterns and reflect those back to us. Rather than telling us what color our couch should be and which corner to put it in, Calambia introduces us to our environment and teaches us how to successfully interact with it. Living in harmony with nature is essential to our wellbeing, but how to do that is personal for each of us. This book offers lots of interesting information, practical suggestions, exercises, and meditations to help your customers form a lasting bond with their homes and gardens.
These ecovillages are not your grandmother’s hippie communes. To the contrary, it is possible that mass market hippie culture took superficial aspects of some of these existing communities and applied them to self-serving lifestyles. The common denominator for these 20 ecovillages, selected by Hildur Jackson, cofounder of The Global Ecovillage Network, is responsibility: to live with social awareness of the needs of others, to remain alert to the needs of the environment, and to live as part of a larger global picture. For these groups diversity is not a goal, it is a given. Sustainable is not a badge of honor, it is a way of life. Some of these ecovillages, like Lotan Kibbutz in Israel, began as socialistic communities and found that that lead them into sustainability and ecobiodynamics. Some, like Auroville in India were founded on the highest of spiritual ideals and now find themselves struggling to learn how to defend themselves against rising land values and the invasion of development. The somewhat lackluster cover of this book belies the excitement that lies within its pages. Let your customers know that there are world-changing ideas in this book that are just now beginning to have their moment in the spotlight.
The queen of everyday witchery has outdone herself with this new tome. Do you have customers who want to make their living spaces into enchanted environments but don’t know where to start? This is the book for them. No secret handshakes. No exotic ingredients. No complex recipes. No mumbo-jumbo. A basket of pinecones encourages prosperity. Painting your front door blue makes your house a safer place. Green invites faeries. Sea salt absorbs negativity. Dill frightens away unwanted creatures. Cloves stop gossip. African violets protect against faery mischief. Simple spells and craft ideas round it all out. There’s something for everyone, and it’s all simple, affordable, and EASY!
This is a gorgeous book which is also extremely practical. It begins with a history of scented gardens in the ancient world, and then moves through medieval monastic gardens, secular pleasure gardens, and formal gardens which grew out of the Renaissance. We finally arrive in the world of modern landscape design. The thread that ties it all together is the aromatic herbs used for healing as well as cooking. Lawless makes it clear that shaking things up and adapting gardens to suit a personal style is not only okay but encouraged. There are lots of ideas for how to grow scented wonders and recipes for using them to maximize their full potential. The stunning photography makes this a special treasure and the wealth of information (including in-depth specifics on 51 aromatic plants) makes it a resource that will provide ongoing insight and guidance for customers who want to do it themselves.
Despite this author’s serious credentials in the field of nutrition, this is definitely NOT ANOTHER DIET BOOK. It has less to do with food and more to do with what’s in your customers’ brains. The desire to be skinny is most often linked to the desire to be happy. Pollack tells readers to start with the being happy part and a healthy body will follow. Further, she says that what most people call “comfort foods” actually make us feel worse, that willpower comes from the energy of fear, that food prison is a state of mind, that the goal shouldn’t be weight loss but learning to love foods that love us back, and that dieting without spiritual tools is utter chaos. This will be a great book to display with beautifully packaged self-care items.
Legeron points out that, unlike food products, consumers aren’t provided with a list of ingredients for the wine they drink. Rather than present a list of grievances, however, she has chosen to sing the praises of winemakers who have risked it all by producing wines with natural ingredients, recognizing that nature cannot be controlled, but instead must be understood. This is a book about the magic that happens when wine is produced according to natural cycles, in cooperation with nature. It is a process that flies in the face of an industry that considers natural wine production to be commercially nonviable. She lets the community of natural wine producers speak for themselves. She admits that her conclusions are subjective. She bases them on her own experience of drinking wine. Her subjective opinion is that she likes it better. She’s hoping that readers of her book will come to the same conclusion. She provides all the information necessary for your customers to conduct their own research into the subject.
Don’t be deceived by the words “Plain and Simple” in this title. The content of this book goes well beyond Plain and Simple. It is, however, presented in plain language so that it will be simple to comprehend, even for beginners. For those of us who have previously tried to understand the concepts of Feng Shui and have been confused by seemingly contradictory systems of application, this is the book that pulls it all together, presents the principles in comprehensible terms, and enables us to apply those principles in real-world ways in our own lives. This is my favorite book in the Hampton Roads Plain and Simple collection. It’s perfect for display alongside candles, incense, crystals, and small decorative objects for the home.
Part graphic novel and part treatise on Japanese culture, three friends (living in Barcelona) joined forces for this book in order to make Japanese cuisine simple enough for everyone to enjoy cooking. Their friendship and their joint commitment to good, yet simple, Japanese food pretty much defines the young people among us who are beginning to take their place in the adult world and make their presence felt. The book is not lacking for serious information. There is an impressive section on making sushi which begins with how to cook sushi rice. The cartoon illustrations make it all fun, while they also effectively convey tons of information. Let your customers now that they too can easily create Japanese pizza, uramaki “inside-out” California rolls, sardine meatballs, rice-stuffed omelets, matcha frappuccino, and mushi-pan banana muffins. It’s a snapshot of the future that is just beginning to appear on the horizon.
Global food is trending better than ever right now. Home cooks are looking for manageable recipes with an international quality. Valerie Aikman-Smith has drawn on her global travels to bring some world-class dishes to American kitchens and backyard grills. Recipes for paella on the grill, coconut and lime shrimp skewers (cooked on Himalayan salt blocks), fish tacos with avocado crema, poke bowls, grilled Harissa chicken kabobs, Korean grilled skirt steak with peanut noodles, ouzo watermelon salad, Mexican grilled corn, matcha ice cream with black sesame praline, blackberry and pistachio cake with lime syrup, cucumber martinis, and spiced iced almond horchata floats make this one a real winner. Stunning photography by Erin Kunkel makes it a spectacular gift item.