Archive for the 'Favorite Books' Category

Natural History Related

May Theilgaard Watts Reading The Landscape Of America — Botanical observation and nature writing combined in a stylish book with charming illustrations, perhaps the best of its kind. A legend in Chicago and long associated with the Morton Arboretum, May Watts was a Julia Child of botany. Sometime in the sixties when my mother took […]


George Sessions Perry Walls Rise Up — Most hobo tales are weighed down by sorrow and angst, but not this one. A little known, hard to find gem that tells of three Texas dust-bowl drifters who find trouble yet remain “pure of heart”. Jimmy, their leader, is unforgettable. Perry later wrote the novel, Hold Autumn In Your Hand, which became the movie, ‘The Southerners’, about a poor farmer…

Gardening related essentials

Rex Murfitt Creating And Planting Alpine Gardens — Fantastic, workable introduction to alpines, with adjustments for the unique challenges facing US growing conditions. Murfitt also co-wrote the excellent Creating And Planting Garden Troughs. Roger Swain The Practical Gardener — Best overall gardening primer. Groundwork: A Gardener’s Ecology — Beautifully written. Earthly Pleasures — Collection, mostly, […]


Jean Shepherd  In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash — Tender and brilliantly funny stories of growing up in the Midwest in the early 50s.  Seinfeld was asked who was his greatest influence and, without hesitation, he replied, “Jean Shepherd”.  The follow-up, Wanda Hickey’s Night Of Golden Memories And Other Disasters, is also excellent.  […]