Children’s Books about Thoreau

  Not content with an article on D.B. Johnson’s wonderful Henry series, I published another article today, on, about five more children’s books about Henry David Thoreau: The Trouble with Henry, written by Deborah O’Neal and Angela Westengard and illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Candlewick Press, 2005). Henry David’s House, words by Thoreau (gleaned from […]

D.B. Johnson’s Henry Books

      We love Thoreau around here.  Ever since our visit to Walden Pond, Amie often asks to be read her books about “Henry David Thoro-ow”. We have several children’s books about Henry, but the core of our collection is the series written and illustrated by D.B. Johnson: Henry Hikes to Fitchburg Henry Climbs a Mountain […]

Marie-Louise Gay’s What are you doing, Sam?

The Sam and Stella Books We love Marie-Louise Gay’s Sam and Stella books. Amie loves the repeated “Stellaaaaaaa!” or “Saaaaaam!” exclamations, Stella’s red hair, and Sam’s funny dog, Fred. And, o yes, the stories – always surprising, uplifting and subtly wise – and the illustrations – delightful watercolors and pencil works of art (colorful, but easy on the […]

Silk Road Cooking in Massachusetts

  I just published a review of Najmieh Batmanglij’s wonderful cookbook, Silk Road Cooking. A Vegetarian Journey on You can read it here. It did occur to me that the Silk Road and many of the other ancient trade routes that Batmanglij travels in this book are about as non-local as you can get! How […]

Suite101 article on Bill Coperthwaite’s *Handmade Life*

I published a review of A Handmade Life, by William Coperthwaite, on    It took me a long time to write this review, simply because I wanted to do the book justice. And 700 words are not enough to do it justice. There was, for instance, no space to treat Coperthwaite’s fascinating views on education […]

Toby Hemenway’s book “Gaia’s Garden”

  Just published a review on of Gaia’s Garden, the book that led me to Holmgren’s Permaculture. I  tremendously enjoyed reading Hemenway’s book and I hope the review does it justice. I also hope that, once we have some land, I can put the permaculture way of gardening into practice. I might have to revisit […]

Article: What and Who is Self-Sufficient?

This blog has been taking on a rather schizophrenic aspect: here I am, writing blissfully about my daughter’s drawings, about her funny and embarassing first attempts at public speaking, and so forth, while lamenting the destruction of her future and my sometimes rational/sometimes panicked efforts, small and drastic, to make and plan for a better one. […]