Saturday, June 28, 2008

Square Foot Gardening: A New Way To Garden In Less Space With Less Work - Mel Bartholomew

Square Foot Gardening: A New Way To Garden In Less Space With Less Work
Mel Bartholomew
Rodale Books
Copyright: 2005
ISBN: 9781579548568

The publisher describes this book as a 'bestselling garden book' (on I waited to review it from when I first read it at the beginning of the month because I was inspired to try the methods the author describes.

In my experiment, I'd have to say it's a success so far. Last night I harvested the first lettuce and swiss chard from the garden. The beans are blooming and one of the tomato plants as well. I'm actually thinking of setting up another patch this year.

Square Foot Gardening is good for the beginning gardener as well as the advanced gardener. It starts out describing the method, tells you how to set up the garden, and even gives a few recipes to use the vegetables in. Not to mention plant spacing and growth to harvest spans as well as how long you can harvest and replant the plant before the season is over. At the end of the book it gives detailed information down to the pests to watch out for for each of the plants the book discusses.

Speaking as someone who's never had success with a vegetable garden before, I have to recommend this book highly.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Snow Queen - Mercedes Lackey

The Snow Queen
Mercedes Lackey
Luna Books
Copyright: 2008
ISBN: 9780373802654

This is the latest offering in Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series, and in addition was the first book in the last couple of months that I've read and couldn't put down.

As with all of the series, The Snow Queen looks at a particular fairytale or fairytale convention from an unusual point of view: That of the magical agent who enables the tale and gives us the happy ending, be it a Fairy Godmother, sorceress or some other magical figure. As a result, the story is filled with all of the details and thought needed to have the situation be resolved and the characters involved come out as better people.

Unlike some of the other books in the series, such as The Fairy Godmother (the very first book in the series), I couldn't outright identify the fairytale the story is centered on this time. Not that it mattered, The Snow Queen was definitely a very good read. I'm just kind of curious, because the last book had elements of Russian tales and also bits from Japan and the Middle-East incorporated into the story.

The whole series is one where the magical system is well thought out and makes sense as a coherent whole, but also leaves room for new things to be shown in upcoming books as well.

Perhaps The Snow Queen isn't the highest of literature, but it was a good read regardless, of the sort where you know there will be a happy ending. The question is, "how is it going to get to that happy ending?" I certainly enjoyed finding out the answer.


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