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Outdoor Living & Gardening

Get outside! Plant a garden! Explore nature! But before you go, prepare ahead with some reading on the great outdoors.

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Green Shades

- by Elizabeth Ja Howard

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Acclaimed author Elizabeth Jane Howard said she would certainly have been a gardener had she not become a writer first. In Green Shades: An Anthology of Plants, Gardens and Gardeners, first published in 1991, she brings together a diverse and fascinating selection of gardening writing spanning the centuries, the seasons and the species.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, pocket sized classics with ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover.

The contents are eclectic and wide ranging, practical as well as lyrical - she pays homage to the great English landscape artists of the eighteenth century and to the great women gardeners such as Vita Sackville West. There's advice from Pliny on how walnuts can be used to dye hair and Joseph Addison encourages blackbirds to gorge on his cherry trees. Linking the numerous extracts is Elizabeth Jane Howard's perceptive and highly personal commentary which skilfully leads the reader from one subject to the next.

Seed to Dust

- by Marc Hamer

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For readers of Late Migrations and Vesper Flights

From the acclaimed author of How to Catch a Mole, this meditative memoir explores the wisdom of plants, the joys of manual labor, and the natural cycle of growth and decay that runs through both the garden's life and our own.

Marc Hamer has nurtured the same 12-acre garden in the Welsh countryside for over two decades. The garden is vast and intricate. It's rarely visited, and only Hamer knows of its secrets. But it's not his garden. It belongs to his wealthy and elegant employer, Miss Cashmere. But the garden does not really belong to her, either. As Hamer writes, "Like a book, a garden belongs to everyone who sees it."

In Seed to Dust, Marc Hamer paints a beautiful portrait of the garden that "belongs to everyone." He describes a year in his life as a country gardener, with each chapter named for the month he's in. As he works, he muses on the unusual folklores of his beloved plants. He observes the creatures who scurry and hide from his blade or rake. And he reflects on his own life: living homeless as a young man, his loving relationship with his wife and children, and--now--feeling the effects of old age on body and mind.

As the seasons change, Hamer also reflects on the changes he has observed in Miss Cashmere's life from afar: the death of her husband and the departure of her children from the stately home where she now lives alone. At the book's end, Hamer's connection to Miss Cashmere changes shape, and new insights into relationships and the beauty and brutality of nature emerge. 

Just like all good books and gardens, Seed to Dust is filled with equal parts life and death, beauty and decay, and every reader will find something different to admire.

The Philosophy of Gardening

- by Karen Caruana

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A book for philosophizing gardeners, now available in English. Kitchen gardens, moss gardens, botanical gardens, landscape gardens: there are as many varieties of gardens as there are gardeners, and the way we tend to our gardens is just as vast. Every gardener discovers a new world every year--regardless of whether they cultivate heirloom vegetables, specialize in wild herbs, create a small permaculture garden on the city balcony, or maintain a garden designed for self-sufficiency. In these informative personal essays, writers, designers and master gardeners explore the philosophical dimension of gardening and tend to the aesthetic, cultural, political and sociological implications of gardens and the people who keep them. Why garden at all? Is it better to leave nature to its own devices? Can cities reclaim nature through urban gardening? Which garden design, which plants andseeds? In addressing gardening's most deep-rooted questions, this delightful volume highlights the magic of gardens that makes us, year after year, pick up a shovel and a rake and get back to gardening.

The Inner Life of Animals

- by Peter Wohlleben

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From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees.

"The Inner Life of Animals will rock your world. This book shows us that animals think, feel and know in much the same way as we do."--Sy Montgomery, bestselling author of The Soul of an Octopus

Through vivid stories of devoted pigs, two-timing magpies, and scheming roosters, The Inner Life of Animals weaves the latest scientific research into how animals interact with the world with Peter Wohlleben's personal experiences in forests and fields. We learn that horses feel shame, deer grieve, and goats discipline their kids. Ravens call their friends by name, rats regret bad choices, and butterflies choose the very best places for their children to grow up.

In this captivating book, Peter Wohlleben follows the hugely successful The Hidden Life of Trees with insightful stories into the emotions, feelings, and intelligence of animals around us. Animals are different from us in ways that amaze us--and they are also much closer to us than we ever would have thought.

"Wry, avuncular, careful and kind. . . Each story adds to a widening vision of intelligence, emotion and relationship."--The Guardian

Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute

Finding the Mother Tree

- by Suzanne Simard

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER
NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLER

 
A world-leading expert shares her amazing story of discovering the communication that exists between trees, and shares her own story of family and grief.


Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she's been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls in James Cameron's Avatar), and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide.
     Now, in her first book, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths--that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own.
     Simard describes up close--in revealing and accessible ways--how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved; how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about their future; how they elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication: characteristics previously ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies. And, at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.Simard, born and raised in the rain forests of British Columbia, spent her days as a child cataloging the trees from the forest; she came to love and respect them and embarked on a journey of discovery and struggle. Her powerful story is one of love and loss, of observation and change, of risk and reward. And it is a testament to how deeply human scientific inquiry exists beyond data and technology: it's about understanding who we are and our place in the world. In her book, as in her groundbreaking research, Simard proves the true connectedness of the Mother Tree to the forest, nurturing it in the profound ways that families and humansocieties nurture one another, and how these inseparable bonds enable all our survival.

The Bird Way

- by Jennifer Ackerman

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds -- how they live and how they think.

"There is the mammal way and there is the bird way." But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries -- What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, survive. They are also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own: deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play.

Some of these extraordinary behaviors are biological conundrums that seem to push the edges of, well, birdness: a mother bird that kills her own infant sons, and another that selflessly tends to the young of other birds as if they were her own; a bird that collaborates in an extraordinary way with one species--ours--but parasitizes another in gruesome fashion; birds that give gifts and birds that steal; birds that dance or drum, that paint their creations or paint themselves; birds that build walls of sound to keep out intruders and birds that summon playmates with a special call--and may hold the secret to our own penchant for playfulness and the evolution of laughter.

Drawing on personal observations, the latest science, and her bird-related travel around the world, from the tropical rainforests of eastern Australia and the remote woodlands of northern Japan, to the rolling hills of lower Austria and the islands of Alaska's Kachemak Bay, Jennifer Ackerman shows there is clearly no single bird way of being. In every respect, in plumage, form, song, flight, lifestyle, niche, and behavior, birds vary. It is what we love about them. As E.O Wilson once said, when you have seen one bird, you have not seen them all.

Manitoba Birds

- by Andy Bezener

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Manitoba's 145 most commonly seen birds are profiled in this beautifully illustrated book. Each account includes a description of the bird's key features for quick identification in the field, as well as the bird's song, habitat, nesting and feeding habits and best locations for viewing. Ken De Smet, of the Manitoba Wildlife branch, is a biologist specializing in endangered species.

The Hummingbirds' Gift

- by Sy Montgomery

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From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of the "fascinating...entertaining" (The Daily Beast) National Book Award finalist The Soul of an Octopus, a charmingly perfect gem of a book about the most exquisite and extraordinary of winged creatures--hummingbirds.

As one of the most beautiful and intriguing birds found in nature, hummingbirds fascinate people around the world. The lightest birds in the sky, hummingbirds are capable of incredible feats, such as flying backwards, diving at speeds of sixty-one MPH, and beating their wings more than sixty times a second. Miraculous creatures, they are also incredibly vulnerable when they first emerge from their eggs. That's where Brenda Sherburn comes in.

With tenderness and patience, she rescues abandoned hummingbirds and nurses them back to health until they can fly away and live in the wild. In The Hummingbird's Gift, the extraordinary care that Brenda provides her peanut-sized patients is revealed and, in the process, shows us just how truly amazing hummingbirds are. With Sy Montgomery's signature "joyful passion" (Library Journal), and including sixteen pages of gorgeous color photos, this beautifully written and inspiring little book celebrates the profound gift that hummingbirds are to our planet and is the ultimate gift for nature lovers and bird watchers everywhere.

The Complete Fishing Manual

- by Henry Gilbey

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This is the perfect book for you--whether you're an experienced angler or have only just picked up a rod.

The Complete Fishing Manual is the definitive guide to fishing, covering everything from strategies and techniques to choosing the perfect bait, tackle, and equipment.

Whether you're beach-fishing for sharks or fly-fishing in the rivers of the US, essential advice on anatomy, behavior, and habitat and detailed photography on every technique means that no fish is safe--no matter how wily.

And for those who want to cast their net further? A dedicated section of the book gives you an amazing insight into the world's best fishing destinations and the once-in-a-lifetime species that you can find there.

Inspiring novices and experienced fishers alike, The Complete Fishing Manual is an invaluable resource for keen anglers everywhere.

The Well-Gardened Mind

- by Sue Stuart-smith

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A distinguished psychiatrist and avid gardener presents "a truly uplifting book on the power of gardening--and how it can change people's lives" (Stylist, UK).

The garden is often seen as a refuge, a place to forget worldly cares, removed from the "real" life that lies outside. When we get our hands in the earth we connect with the cycle of life in nature through which destruction and decay are followed by regrowth and renewal. Gardening is one of the quintessential nurturing activities and yet we understand so little about it. The Well-Gardened Mind provides a new perspective on the power of gardening to change people's lives. Here, Sue Stuart-Smith investigates the many ways in which mind and garden can interact and explores how the process of tending a plot can be a way of sustaining an innermost self.

Stuart-Smith's own love of gardening developed as she studied to become a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. From her grandfather's return from World War I to Freud's obsession with flowers to case histories with her own patients to progressive gardening programs in such places as Rikers Island prison in New York City, Stuart-Smith weaves thoughtful yet powerful examples to argue that gardening is much more important to our cognition than we think. Recent research is showing how green nature has direct antidepressant effects on humans. "The most original gardening book ever [that] combines observation, horticulture, literature and history" (Sunday Times, UK), The Well-Gardened Mind is a book for gardeners and non-gardeners alike, and the perfect solace for people seeking healthier mental lives.

A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba

- by Bartley Kives

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Sandwiched between North Dakota and Nunavut, Manitoba has never been the busiest chunk of tourism real estate in North America. To independent travellers, this is a good thing: Canada's undiscovered province offers uncrowded beaches, innumerable lakes and unlikely cultural attractions, especially in the gritty/cool capital, Winnipeg.

A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba is the only comprehensive travel handbook to the province - and an indispensable tool for visitors from abroad, Canadians passing through and Manitobans who want to get to know their own backyard. 

Get the straight goods on cities, towns and natural attractions in every corner of the province, compiled by one of Manitoba's most tenacious independent travellers, Winnipeg Free Press columnist Bartley Kives. Plunder a small-town gift shop. Eyeball turn-of-the-last-century architecture. Commune with nature in wild areas that still feel wild. And forget what you think you know about the Canadian prairies - the only thing flat about Manitoba is the Trans-Canada Highway.

Freshwater Fishes of Manitoba

- by Kenneth Stewart

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Winner of the Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award at the 2004 Manitoba Writing and Publishing Awards.

Winner of the 2004 Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher.

Clearly written and handsomely illustrated, this book is a comprehensive and definitive guide to all 95 of Manitoba's freshwater fish species. With its many lakes and rivers, Manitoba has Canada's third most diverse freshwater fish fauna, ranging from the sturgeon, goldeye, and catfish in the province's south, to Arctic char and Arctic grayling in the northern rivers that feed into Hudson Bay.

This book gives all readers an easy-to-use guide to the province's varied fish fauna. Detailed identification keys and over 150 colour photographs enable both amateurs and specialists to recognize any fish found in Manitoba's waters. Fish are grouped by order and family, and colour-coded for fast reference. Each fish is described in detail, including its physical characteristics, spawning and feeding habits, distribution, habitat, ecological role, and economic importance.

Campfire Stories Deck

- by Ilyssa Kyu

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Campfire Stories Deck is a collection of 50 cards with storytelling prompts to help people of all ages find engaging and meaningful ways to connect with family and friends. While the glow of a campfire is the iconic setting for intimate stories, these cards can be used anywhere--on a camping trip, in the backyard, around the dining room table, or even an online hangout--to spark a story. The cadence and authenticity of personal stories can help us reveal ourselves, allay fears, bring comfort, and pass the time.For example, "Tell a story about a time when you left something behind" might lead to a tale about a teddy bear, favorite shirt, well-worn book, or grandmother's ring. Many of the deck's prompts look to nature for inspiration: "Tell a story about your first visit to a national park"--or your first time in a tent, first encounter with a wild animal, or favorite beach experience. People dream of their next adventures by reminiscing about past ones, and these cards help bring those memories--and rich stories--to light, whether around a candlelit dinner table or under the stars. Additional cards explain fun ways to use the deck and offer storytelling tips.

Farm, Fire & Feast

- by Michael Smith

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Celebrity chef Michael Smith's extraordinary collection of recipes from his award-winning restaurant on Canada's east coast.

Famous for its miles of beaches, lighthouses, farmland, and seafood, Prince Edward Island is a destination for travelers and food-lovers alike. Nestled on forty-six acres of land overlooking the picturesque Fortune River near the eastern tip of Prince Edward Island, The Inn at Bay Fortune is a leading five-star country inn with the award-winning restaurant FireWorks offering a unique live-fire culinary experience with unforgettable meals enjoyed family-style at long feast tables.

The Inn at Bay Fortune is first an organic farm, encompassing eight fertile acres, multiple herb gardens, various permanent farm beds, five greenhouses, and a small orchard. As a restaurant with its own farm, award-winning chef Michael Smith brings his culinary knowledge and passion for flavour first to the restaurant and this stunning collection of recipes inspired by the ingredients of the Island and cooking with multiple fires daily to pull off the FireWorks Feast.

Featuring gorgeous food and location photography, Farm, Fire & Feast is an impressive cookbook. Smith's collection of unique recipes includes Iron-Seared Island Scallops, Oven-Baked Salt-Crusted Halibut, Beach Lobster, Wood Grilled Butchers' Steak, Smokehouse Pork Belly, Wood-Roasted Spatchcock Chicken and Vegetables, Fire Garden Tacos, Sunchoke Fries, Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart, Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake, and Wild Blueberry Grunt. Packed with recipes to cook over fire, wherever possible, alternative cooking methods are provided so a recipe can be pulled off in an indoor kitchen--and all are well within the reach of the home cook.

Park Bagger

- by BUTCHER

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An inspiring collection of thrilling personal adventures and stunning photographs sharing the incredible diversity and profound beauty of Canada's national parks.

Distributed across the second-largest country in the world, the Canadian national parks can be challenging to get to. Many of them are so remote that they have no road access or infrastructure of any kind, but they are not impossible to visit. Although much of the vast Canadian wilderness is fraught with challenging terrain, unpredictable weather, and sometimes threatening wildlife, there are also pleasant beaches, waterfalls, and places to kick back and relax in.

Explorer Marlis Butcher has "bagged" all of the Canadian national parks. In her quest to visit and get to know the parks, Marlis canoed, kayaked, mountain biked, backpacked, hiked, snowshoed, snorkelled, and trekked by whatever means of travel she could devise. During her park explorations she's encountered grizzly and black bears, polar bears, wolves, and wolverines. She's survived incredible storms, falls off mountainsides, and sinking boats. Marlis has investigated uncharted lands and travelled down quaint country roads. In Park Bagger, she shares her adventures, with the objective to encourage others to explore the national parks and to protect Canada's vast wilderness.

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