A native of Michigan, Matt Forster has lived in the Midwest, New England, and the Rocky Mountain regions of the country. With a number of books under his belt, including guides to Colorado, Michigan, and Ohio, Matt is currently working on a book that explores the Great Lakes. He dreams of someday writing a book on the national parks of Israel, a biography of John Woolman, and thrilling fiction for young readers.
Owls: Our Most Enchanting Bird does a couple things well, and one not so well, but the latter might just be a matter of expectations.
We buy books like this for one reason: to read to the kids. In one sense, Owls has a lot going for it. It’s a book about nature, what Tater (now in kindergarten) calls an “informational” book. But it’s not one of those photo-heavy animal picture books we usually run across. The art is beautiful, and the text doesn’t try to explain the entire owl-eat-mou
School does not necessarily prepare you to be a writer, so there is a market for books that promise to teach writers about the craft. In fact, there are way too many books, and I have the unpleasant belief that the more “how to write a novel” books you buy, the less likely you are to ever write one. (That’s why I stopped buying them, though I am not yet any closer to that novel.) What follows is a list of books that are better than most. Most of these will teach you something. A handful might
I’ve edited many books about theology, biblical studies, and church history. Most of this work is for the academic market, but the publishers I work with also hope that these books find a more general readership. As a result, I read a lot of readable manuscripts on very interesting subjects.
But it’s not all easy to read and digest, and some very brilliant people could use some help. The Sense of Style by Steve Pinker is one place to start. The book looks closely at what makes for goo
You can’t spend too much time outside before you realize that there’s a lot of death and dying sprinkled throughout nature’s celebration of life. That’s part of the deal, though, right? Living and dying? Growth and decay? To a point.
Unfortunately, a lot of the dying we see these days is not all that natural after all. Here in the Great Lakes, we have phragmites, oriental bittersweet, and mute swans. These species all come from somewhere else and are able to out compete native species
Cookbooks are a weakness of mine. I love all sorts. Earlier this year I was excited to receive a copy of The Soup Club Cookbook to review on our site. This blog is mostly about getting kids outdoors. There are lots of book reviews on here, but the rub is that the book has to have something to do with being together as a family–eating together, preparing food, growing food, etc. There is some potential for that with this book, so I wanted to give it a read.
More than a cookbook, this b
A few years back my doctor told me it was time to improve my diet. “For example,” he said, “you need to take pizza right off the menu.” Of course, I love pizza, so moderation rather than total abstinence became the mantra.
When pizza became a “special treat,” it was suddenly terribly important that when we had pizza, we had good pizza. Of course, there’s only so much good pizza we can find locally. So I started trying make good pizza at home. I even took some classes and became profic
We’re a handsome family, I am not too humble to admit. And though we take a mighty fine picture from time to time, when I see amazing family photos on Pinterest, I feel judged… Ha! No. I don’t feel judged. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I simply assume that all these families with great photos have all this extra money that they have chosen NOT to spend on the poor. Instead, they hire professionals to come out their homes with cameras and formally stage informal moments with the kids (who a
Once again I return to write a quick book report. There are a couple more in the works, so if you enjoy reviews of new books, stay tuned. But for now, permit me to turn your attention to The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther.
Food culture in America is a complex thing, borne of a mishmash of traditions from all over the world that inform family cooking habits, World Wars that introduced a generation to Old Country cooking, and the advent of industrialized food production. For al
There’s a book I have that I love. It’s called Country Wisdom & Know-How. The tag line is “Everything you need to know to live off the land.” It’s brilliant. Everything about the book screams utility. Its trim size is 13.5 by 10.5 inches, that is to say, this thing will NEVER rest on a bookshelf. Even then, it’s close to 500 pages of micro-tiny print. I honestly feel that if civilization collapses tomorrow, I will be all set to head out and homestead with this book.
Given my appre
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows.
Ken Ludwig kicks off his book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, with the first line from the bard’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From the very start Ludwig emphasizes the book’s approach, that is to get kids (and parents) memorizing Shakespeare.
The author rightfully compares the work of Old Bill with the King James translation of the Bible for its influence on Western culture. It would be very hard to overstate this influ
The easiest posts are reviews of books and gear, and since I’ve been slacking on here a bit, I thought I’d share a recent cookbook we discovered.
Mark Bittman’s cookbook, How to Cook Everything, has been to me and my family what the Fanny Farmer Cookbook was to my parents. Come Thanksgiving, I am digging through that weighty tome for everything from how to make cranberry sauce to how to roast a turkey. In fact, I used it weekly for years and years. It’s been a lifesaver more than a fe
Many people bemoan the cultural slackening that introduced Casual Fridays into the workplace, the devil-may-care dress code of the Internet start-up, and the banishment of the neck tie from all but the highest levels of business. The wisest among us balance the demands of a more relaxed attitude with the realization that what we choose to wear says a lot about us. In other words, we want our clothes to say something like, Hey, I am easy to get along with, but you still need to take me and my
pernicious – highly injurious or destructive
abtruse – difficult to understand; hidden or concealed
opprobrious – disgraceful (opprobrium is the disgrace attached to actions considered evil or wrong)
putative – generally considered or reputed to be
seminal – something that effects later developments
caprice – a sudden, unpredictable action or notion
assertoric – describes a statement of fact
apodeictic – describe
I can be a bit of a shopper, at least in theory anyway. Maybe it would be more correct to say I am an avid browser. This most likely stems from my lifelong commitment to procrastination. Do I have some writing to do? Maybe I should double-check that thing online…
Anyway, as many of you writers would know, there’s a lot of productive procrastination to be had when you set out to find the “best” books on writing, or the “best” tools for writing your book, or even the “best” software for