So you bought a plant or six. (I fully endorse this decision. Good job.) Now, how to help it harmonize with your home and furnishings? Baylor Chapman knows that plant stewardship goes further than purchasing, watering and fertilizing, and in Decorating With Plants , she provides copious ideas for styling your living spaces, room by room, with a wide variety of houseplants. Narrow entryway? Big flatscreen TV? Noisy neighborhood? Yes, there’s a plant for all of that, and Chapman’s design ideas will leave you ready to frame a window with cacti, geraniums and pelargoniums or to outfit a kid’s room with touch-friendly greenery. Chapman has an artist’s eye and a plant lover’s delight in the details. Her go-to plant list digs deeper than basic care info, occasionally weaving in historical background. (I love that she describes the good old Boston fern as “a mutant stowaway that has stood the test of time.”)
Gale Straub has collected travel and adventure stories from women through her website and two podcasts, and her first book, She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild, brings some of those short, motivational, on-the-road narratives to the printed page alongside rich color photography. We meet women who have found joy and self-knowledge in the great outdoors, but we also meet nonprofit founders, nomads, conservationists and artists. Straub includes stories from a firefighter, an indigenous archaeologist and a woman who plays the violin on mountain summits. All of their stories uplift, revealing the benefits of physical challenges, embracing fear of the unknown and shaking loose from stale routines—wherever you lay your head at night.
I felt calmer just paging through The New Rules of Pregnancy: What to Eat, Do, Think About, and Let Go of While Your Body Is Making a Baby, and I’m certain the results would be the same were I currently pregnant. The anxiety brought upon by some past pregnancy books is real; sometimes, too much information really is too much. But this sweet little book keeps most pieces of advice to a single page. Nutrition, stretch marks, sleep, birth plans, nursing—it’s all here, but it’s never more than a mom-to-be can handle. The overarching message from authors Dr. Adrienne L. Simone, Dr. Jaqueline Worth and Danielle Claro is to relax as much as you can, be kind to yourself and experience the magic. “Our mission was not only to inform, but to bring some of the beauty back to pregnancy,” the authors write in an afterword. Mission calmly, beautifully accomplished.