These three new lifestyles releases will help you kick 2020 off right.
★ The Thank-You Project
You probably have several thank-you notes to write after the holidays, which may feel like just one more item on your to-do list. But what if you thought about thank-yous differently? When she turned 50, Nancy Davis Kho began writing thoughtful letters of gratitude to the people (and places and things) that had shaped her life for the better. In The Thank-You Project, Kho shares stories from her project and encourages us to embark on our own versions. Her process boils down to three main tasks: “see, say, and savor” your memories of formative people, places and things. Kho is a funny, relatable and not-too-sentimental guide to this deeply meaningful practice.
Procrasti-baking: It’s a thing. You’re on a massive work deadline, but you’re mixing cookie batter because baking makes you feel good. Michelle Lopez of the blog Hummingbird High knows all about it, and she’s here to help all of us fit baking into our busy lives. In Weeknight Baking, Lopez applies time management skills to flexible recipes, so you can put together a cake over a few nights or substitute ingredients when the pantry doesn’t cooperate. She shares a list of the right tools—for instance, you’re going to want a quarter sheet pan for freezing cookie dough. Of course, you may be looking for instant gratification, and Lopez has your back there, too, with her “Single Lady Chocolate Chip Cookie” that gives you one beautiful, 4-inch-wide personal dessert in only 12 minutes. What weeknight doesn’t need that?
Growing Good Food
There are lots of good reasons to grow a garden, and now we can add climate change to the list. In Growing Good Food, Acadia Tucker explains that regenerative farming—which focuses on healthy, organic matter-rich soil—is one simple way to soak up carbon emissions. In making the case for a nation full of “carbon-sucking mini farms,” she recalls the victory gardens of World War II, a successful grassroots response to the war effort. Her book outlines steps for becoming a carbon farmer, no matter how small your plot, and suggests starter plants (go with perennials, not annuals), fertilizers, organic pest control solutions and how to make good compost. This is a slim but smart volume of gardening expertise and a necessary call to arms.