Home, Garden, and DIY
Seasonal Flower Arranging: Fill Your Home with Blooms, Branches, and Foraged... by Ariella Chezar with Julie Michaels; photos by Erin KunkelWhat it is: a beautifully written guide arranged by season that encourages the use of locally grown flowers and provides flexible, step-by-step instructions for 39 floral projects.
Don't miss: the eye-catching color photos and the section about creating a cutting garden.
Reviewers say: "a delightful companion for gardeners, florists, or armchair naturalists" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook by Carla Lalli MusicWhat it is: a modern cookbook (ordering staples online is encouraged) showcasing the author's six most-used cooking methods, 70 flexible recipes, her shopping philosophy, and tips for a pared-down kitchen.
Author buzz: Though Carla Lalli Music is Bon Appétit's Food Director, this book focuses on her life as a home cook.
Try this next: new cooks should check out Mark Bittman's or America's Test Kitchen's clearly written books featuring well-tested recipes.
The Inspired Houseplant: Transform Your Home with Indoor Plants from Kokedama... by Jen StearnsWhat it is: a "stellar" (Library Journal), beginner-friendly book that demystifies house plants, especially for those with brown thumbs.
What it does: walks readers through plant selection (with profiles of common houseplants), plant care (potting, watering, pruning, and more), and several special plant projects (bowl gardens, kitchen gardens, etc).
Don't miss: the color photos and the section on incorporating plants into your home's style, be it minimalist, rustic, or eclectic.
Container Gardener's Handbook: Pots, Techniques, and Projects to transform... by Frances TophillWhat it is: a creative book that encourages recycling and will inspire and educate readers about the ins and outs of container gardening.
Topics include: choosing the size, shape, and material of containers; refreshing soil; repotting; feeding; watering; deadheading; pruning.
Author buzz: Author Frances Tophill appears on BBC's Gardeners' World and ITV's Love Your Garden.
Dinner Illustrated: 175 Meals Ready in 1 Hour or Less by America's Test KitchenWho it's for: busy people who want a meal kit in book form and would enjoy dinners like Crispy Skillet Turkey Burgers with Tomato-Feta Salad; Rice Noodles with Crisp Tofu and Cabbage; and Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes.
What's inside: 175 recipes for fast meals (including sides and salads); illustrated, step-by-step directions; ingredient lists that work as shopping lists; nutritional information; gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.
The Less Is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard by Susan MorrisonWhy you should read it: It takes a lifestyle-based approach to garden design that'll help aspiring gardeners turn their modest-sized yards into personalized spaces.
What's inside: inspiring color photographs, thoughtful questions, and suggestions for livable, low-maintenance designs using appropriate plants, furniture, and hardscaping.
Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 Small Paintings by Mark Daniel NelsonWhat it is: an accessible how-to book for beginners that cleverly drops the intimidation factor by having readers paint on small (5x5) canvases, boards, or pieces of paper, working their way through 50 paintings, which start simple and progress as skills are acquired.
Want more? Try Claire Watson Garcia's Painting for the Absolute and Utter Beginner or Annie O'Brien Gonzales' The Joy of Acrylic Painting.
Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio SasakiWhat it is: a contemplative memoir and guide to minimalism with color photos by a Japanese book editor who got rid of all of his books.
Topics include: what minimalism is and why it's grown in popularity; tips on decluttering; why we own so much stuff; the positive changes in the author's life since going minimalist.
Other decluttering options: books by Marie Kondo, Peter Walsh, Joshua Becker, Francine Jay, or Dana K. White.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Villa Park Public Library
305 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, Illinois 60181