sweet paulIt began as a little blog highlighting the recipes and crafts of the Norwegian-born food and prop stylist Paul Lowe. Six years later, Sweet Paul is an online magazine followed by millions and a print quarterly sold nationwide in specialty stores. Praised by the New York Times as “a trove of seasonal delights”, it is turning heads with its easy, elegant food and style-setting aesthetic.

Divided into Morning, Brunch, Noon and Night, with color palettes to match, Sweet Paul Eat & Make includes breakfast dishes like Morning Biscuits with Cheddar, Dill and Pumkin Seeds and brunches like Smoke Salmon Hash with Scallions, Dill and Eggs. For lunch, there’s a super-quick Risotto with Asparagus and for dinner, Maple-Roasted Chicken and a stunning Norwegian specialty, The World’s Best Cake.

Rustically chic craft projects – paper flowers make out of coffee filters, a vegetable-dyed tablecloth and a trivet from wooden clothespins – will captivate even those who are all thumbs. (description from publisher)

a highly unlikely scenerioIn the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario is a dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons. (description from publisher)

$50 home makeoverStunning and easy projects for less than $50 each!

With The $50 Home Makeover, you can finally turn your living space into your home. This inspiring book offers 75 fun and creative ideas that will help give your place the stylish, modern look that you’ve always wanted – without having to spend a fortune. Each of these imaginative ideas cost less than $50 to bring to life and will beautify your space in unexpected ways. From an Antique Door Table to Reclaimed Wood Wall Art, each crafty home makeover project includes: step-by-step instructions with full-color photographs, a key to denote how long a project takes, how much it costs, and the level of difficulty and before-and-after photos of the finished product.

With the trendy yet inexpensive projects in The $50 Home Makeover, you’ll finally get to make those big improvements that you’ve been dreaming of, all while saving hundreds of dollars! (description from publisher)

living landscapeA home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape that is made up of many living layers. The replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass greatly diminishes a garden’s biological diversity and ecological function. The Living Landscape seeks to reverse this trend by showing gardeners how to create a landscape that is full of life.

Written by Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy, two of the most important voices in sustainability and horticulture, The Living Landscape is the definitive guide to designing a beautiful, biodiverse home garden. The authors first explain the layers of the landscape and what role the plants within them plays in the larger environment, from providing berries for birds, food for bugs, or a place for bees to pollinate. The authors then put this information into context and offer design strategies to implement in a home garden. Helpful charts suggest plants, including natives and nonnatives, for each region.

In a gorgeously illustrated, inspirational, and practical way, The Living Landscape supports the important message of biodiversity by showing gardeners how to make it happen. (description from publisher)

storied lifeA. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island – from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J. s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J. s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.

As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love. (description from publisher)

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is also available for check out as a free ebook through the RiverShare Digital Library.

sous chefChef Michael Gibney uses twenty-four hours to animate the intricate camaraderie and culinary choreography in an upscale New York restaurant kitchen.

Here readers will find all the details, in rapid-fire succession, of what it takes to deliver an exceptional plate of food – the journey to excellence by way of exhaustion. Told in second-person narrative, Sous Chef is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider’s perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers. In a kitchen where the highest standards are upheld and one misstep can result in disaster, Sous Chef conjures a greater appreciation for the thought, care, and focus that go into creating memorable and delicious fare.

With grit, wit, and remarkable prose, Michael Gibney renders a beautiful and raw account of this demanding and sometimes overlooked profession, offering a nuanced perspective on the craft and art of food and service. (description from publisher)

lost lakeThe first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future. That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires. It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago. One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place – love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it’s too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places. (description from publisher)

enduring courageAt the turn of the twentieth century two new technologies–the car and airplane–took the nation’s imagination by storm as they burst, like comets, into American life. The brave souls that leaped into these dangerous contraptions and pushed them to unexplored extremes became new American heroes: the race car driver and the flying ace.

No individual did more to create and intensify these raw new roles than the tall, gangly Eddie Rickenbacker, who defied death over and over with such courage and pluck that a generation of Americans came to know his face better than the president’s. The son of poor, German-speaking Swiss immigrants in Columbus, Ohio, Rickenbacker overcame the specter of his father’s violent death, a debilitating handicap, and, later, accusations of being a German spy, to become the American military ace of aces in World War I and a Medal of Honor recipient. He and his high-spirited, all-too-short-lived pilot comrades, created a new kind of aviation warfare, as they pushed their machines to the edge of destruction–and often over it–without parachutes, radios, or radar. Enduring Courage is the electrifying story of the beginning of America’s love affair with speed–and how one man above all the rest showed a nation the way forward. No simple daredevil, he was an innovator on the racetrack, a skilled aerial dualist and squadron commander, and founder of Eastern Air Lines. Decades after his heroics against the Red Baron’s Flying Circus, he again showed a war-weary nation what it took to survive against nearly insurmountable odds when he and seven others endured a harrowing three-week ordeal adrift without food or water in the Pacific during World War II.

For the first time, Enduring Courage peels back the layers of hero to reveal the man himself. With impeccable research and a gripping narrative, John F. Ross tells the unforgettable story of a man who pushed the limits of speed, endurance and courage and emerged as an American legend. (description from publisher)

my gentle barnEllie Laks started The Gentle Barn after adopting a sick goat from a run-down petting zoo in 1999. Some two hundred animals later (including chickens, horses, pigs, cows, rabbits, emus, and more), The Gentle Barn has become an extraordinary nonprofit that brings together a volunteer staff of community members and at-risk teens to rehabilitate abandoned and/or abused animals. As Ellie teaches the volunteers to care for the animals, they learn a new language of healing that works wonders on the humans as well. My Gentle Barn weaves together the story of how the Barn came to be what it is today with Ellie’s own journey.

Filled with heartwarming animal stories and inspiring recoveries, My Gentle Barn is a feel-good account that will delight animal lovers and memoir readers alike. (description from publisher)

on the rocksEver since she was a little girl, Abby Wilkes dreamed of her wedding, the day when she’d wear a pretty white dress and look like a princess. . . . But that was before her life fell apart for the entire world to see. Her longtime boyfriend-turned-fiancé, Ben, unceremoniously dumped her – changing his status to single on Facebook – while she was trying on the most gorgeous Vera Wang dress for the big day in On the Rocks by Erin Duffy.

Six months and twenty pounds later, the usual remedies–cupcakes, a freezer stocked with pints of Ben and Jerry’s, sweatpants, and a comfy couch–haven’t worked their magic. Worried about her best friend, Grace devises the perfect plan to get Abby back on her game. The two of them are going to escape sweltering Boston and its reminders of Ben and head to Newport for the summer. In a quaint rented cottage by the sea, the girls will enjoy cool breezes, cocktails, and crowds of gorgeous men. But no matter which way they turn, Abby and Grace discover that in this era of social media – when seemingly everyone is preserving every last detail of their lives online and prying eyes are everywhere – there is no real escape.

Truth to tell, dating has never been easy. But now that the rules have changed and the boundaries are blurred beyond recognition, will they ever find true love? And if they do, how can romance stand a chance when a girl’s every word and move can go viral with a single click? As the summer winds down to Labor Day, Abby will make some surprising discoveries – about love, men, friendship . . . and, most important, herself. (description from publisher)