Wicked Bugs

Wicked Bugs
The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

by Amy Stewart

288 pages
Algonquin Books, 2011
List Price: $18.95





In the spirit of the wildly successful Wicked Plants, author Amy Stewart has done it again. This time, she exposes the sordid secrets of the some of the world's most dastardly insects. Gardeners, no matter how they feel about bugs and their creepiness, have to come to terms with them if they ever hope to be comfortable inhabiting the same space (the garden).

If you're one that has a hard time with that, then you might think this book isn't for you. But not reading it would mean you'd miss finding out some of the most fascinating and intriguing facts about both common and little-known insects that we share the planet with. Many, you'll never encounter in your backyard. (Whew!) Others will earn new respect from you as you come face-to-face with them.

Scorpions glow under ultraviolet light, so Arizonans who wish to check under their beds for scorpions can use a black light flashlight.

Once again, I chose one of Amy's books for bedtime reading and just as with Wicked Plants, I nudged my husband and made him listen to me as I read one incredible fact after another about bugs. Luckily, he finds them just as captivating as I do, but it's a miracle we both don't have nightmares after reading some of this.

Listen, as Amy gives you a preview:



Doesn't that sound fun? Of course it does. Buy it.


Amy Stewart is the bestselling author of five books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world. She has been featured on NPR, in the New York Times, and on CBS' Sunday Morning. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the American Horticultural Society's 2010 Book Award. Visit www.amystewart.com for more.




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The publication being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.

Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too

Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too
The Modern Step-by-Step Guide to Preserving Food
by Daniel Gasteiger

252 pages
Cool Springs Press, 2011
List price: $19.95






With the harvesting season well under way in our gardens, the question becomes, “What do we do with all this produce?” The number one reason people grow fruits and vegetables in the garden is to put food on the table, but you can only eat so much of it at a time, and many plants produce considerably more than is possible to consume when it’s fresh.

We can share the bounty from our garden, of course, but there are other ways to make it last longer. Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too is a comprehensive manual in which author Daniel Gasteiger shares his methods for preserving the goodness. I’d never really thought about the number of ways that food can be preserved. Canning, freezing, drying, and pickling, I knew. But fermenting? Sugaring? Gasteiger explains the processes for those and every other way to get the most of your summer crops.

Buying this book may well be the edible gardener’s smartest purchase of the season. With easy to understand explanations and plenty of photographs to illustrate the text, gardeners who want to preserve their harvest, or those who buy vegetables and fruit in bulk, will find the detailed help they need.



Daniel Gasteiger is a social media marketing consultant who nearly plants more stuff in his tiny vegetable plot than gardening books recommend for plots four times as large. He learned canning and jelly making in his mom’s kitchen when “preservation” meant pouring melted wax on fruit
preserves. Daniel preserves produce from his garden and from local farmers’ markets, putting up more each year as he tries to improve the
quality of ingredients that go into his home‐cooked meals.

He maintains three blogs related to gardening and preserving: Your Small Kitchen Garden, Your Home Kitchen Garden, and Food Dryer Home. Gasteiger, his wife, and three children live in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
 
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The publication being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.