Category Archives: Reader Advisory

Mel Bartholomew, an Engineer Who Popularized Square Foot Gardening, Dies at 84 – The New York Times

I just came across this in the NY Times this morning, and I wanted to share the article, as this is the book that help me plan my garden for decades, no matter what kind of space I had available. I have to admit that I never really accomplished the one-seed concept, the urge is always to put two or three…just in case, and then they all shoot up and I hate to pull the weaker one, But, the concept is brilliant, multi-use of a simple square foot of space.

For those of you who garden it is worth a look. (and look at my GardenSpot page while you are here, to see my garden progress this season)

Mr. Bartholomew’s innovation saved water and space by folding traditional rows of vegetables into a raised bed that could fit on porches, patios, decks or roofs.

Source: Mel Bartholomew, an Engineer Who Popularized Square Foot Gardening, Dies at 84 – The New York Times


Filed under gardening, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Nature in the Highpeaks, Reader Advisory

Dandelions: food for thought


Dandelions. Weed or Salad Green? The answer is: both.

At this time of year, growing up in Queens I would see people walking aside the Long Island Expressway pulling dandelion weeds, which I thought was very neighborly of them to do. There was an abundance of them along the highway and fortunately people would not walk their dogs on the other side of the highway fence. However, even at a young age I questioned their judgement, as I felt that carbon monoxide, that silent killer that we all grew up fearing, was the poison that these very plants were filtering. You may not inhale it, but was it possible that you could ingest it? Not sure, but I never wanted to test that out. To this day, even though they grow wild and unscathed by herbicide in my back yard, I hesitate to throw dandelion greens in the family lunch.

There are many such plants that scattered around backyards, and are there for the snacking. My reluctance to try many of them is the fact that I feel if it were good to eat, the bunnies and deer would have beat me to them.

A few good books we have at the Library that help you distinguish edible from not

Edible : an illustrated guide to the world’s food plants

The forager’s harvest : a guide to identifying, harvesting, and preparing edible wild plants

The Foraging Gourmet: The complete guide to edible wild plants, mushrooms, fruits, and nuts


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Filed under Healthy lifestyles, Library, Reader Advisory

Amazon’s knock-off problem (35 Shades of Grey, anyone?) – Fortune Tech

Amazon’s knock-off problem (35 Shades of Grey, anyone?) – Fortune Tech.

If someone had asked a librarian to get this, there would have been no confusion!

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Clutter Managment: is that an Oxymoron?

By now this image of the Collyer Brothers clutter-stuffed brownstone is familiar to most people. The fear of being compared to them is incentive enough to call the dumpster company.  Another scenario that happens to be my favorite is Fibber McGee’s closet  I think that is more realistic, don’t you think?  All of us tend to have a little “closet slob” in us.

Well, as with most problem issues, there is always someone who can cash in on it, and make a business out of it. As a matter of fact (and a scary one at that) there is even a reality show that has been made of this very same Collyer brother phenomenon. Closet management systems you can do yourself, or closet management companies you can hire to tackle the Fibber McGee closet in your home are available to all who wish.  And of course, there are many books that can help guide you to a clutter free, or clutter controlled  existence.

If you are curious about the Collyer brothers E.L Doctrow wrote a novel about the duo: Homer and Langley and there is a non-fiction memoir written by a relative of theirs : Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers and My Uncle Arthur, NewYork’s Greatest Hoarders (An Urban Historical)

If you just need a little guidance on how to tackle this yourself here are two titles to get you in the cleanup mood :  For Packrats Only by Don Aslett and  Shed Your Stuff, Change your Life by Julie Morgenstern.

I know I’m ready to get started, I think my work gloves are in the closet….


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Oprah Said So

It’s funny how life is cumulative.

For instance, my career, prior to my present career as a librarian, was as a Graphic Designer. It was my job to create images, along with a copywriter with a clever tag line, to move product. I did it everyday and loved every moment of it, and no, I am not going into why I changed my career, at least not now, that’s another topic.  What my point is here is that I still am doing basically the same thing, in a different realm: the library

When someone asks me what’s a good book to read, I can launch into what I have read, what is popular, what the latest book the book club is reading, I consult Novelist (no, sorry I wasn’t able to skim our entire fiction, and non fiction collection in order to give first hand reader-advisory) but all I need to do is walk past the Oprah  reading selections and my job is done.

If I were to tell you that Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina was not on the shelf for months after I stuck it on Oprah’s display, you would never believe me. You can’t make this stuff up. 836 pages. Circle of life: I’m still in the marketing business.

A couple of good books that I found interesting, and dealt with just this phenomena of popularity and trends are:

Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and Chip Heath’s Made to Stick.

But when it comes to getting a book to move off the shelf, or at least to get someone to notice it, Oprah says  it all with just a little book mark sticking out of the top.


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Filed under Book Clubs, Library, Reader Advisory