It is that time of year again, the time of year where the ground is soggy, the trees are shivering in their leaflessness, and the snow keeps filtering in and out, as if it can't decide whether or not that rodent in Pennsylvania was bluffing. In the spirit of these days where we can't be sure what's what as far as the weather goes (this is Iowa, after all), it's time to start planning for a garden, if you have the opportunity to have such a thing. Or a family vacation, or a solitary get away, or something that gives you the opportunity to flee the formerly frigid frontier.
For gardening enthusiasts, we have a whole case of gardening and botany related books, everything from flowers to trees, how-to books on making ponds and tiered gardens, and even the odd professional thesis on the flowering plants of Iowa and what makes them grand. We have a great little Iowa-centric nature section back with the gardening books, as well. So if you're looking for good ideas for your own little piece of gardener's paradise, come on by and we'll see if we can give you some good insights.
For all of our vacation-itching friends out there, those who need books to take with them, we're chock full of recommendations this time of year. If you're planning a weekend getaway, a good mystery never hurts, and Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Club Dumas is a gem of a book, eerie, mysterious and smart. I confess I lost my copy years ago in France, leaving it in a hotel room. Mercifully, I had a back up book with me, which leads me to my next suggestion.
It's never too late to start with the classics, and JRR Tolkien's The Lords of the Rings is as classic as they come. Said book kept me company for two weeks in France and Spain, and I read it twice while traveling by bus and train, from place to place. It's a story with everything: a rich world, great characters, stories within the greater story, a phenomenal mythology, heroes, villains... it's the kind of story that becomes classic because it draws so much of itself from classic stories, like The Odyssey and the great world mythologies. If you've never read it, or if it's been awhile, there's something for everyone within this truly modern classic.
The Club Dumas and The Lord of the Rings. Two great stories for the eager reader, and two great stories that won't fade away any time soon. Check them out and start building your list for your vacation or your weekend getaway.
Until next week, fellow bibliophiles.