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Books Make Great Gifts

What types of books do you cherish? Do you enjoy poetry or historical fact or fiction? Are you a nuts and bolts kind of person or do you prefer to be drawn into a reverie? Maybe it is not words, but imagery that inspires you. My bookshelves are overflowing with biographies, anthologies of my favorite poets and of course, a plethora of gardening books.

On a recent trip to Winterthur Museum and Country Estate in the Brandywine River Valley near the Delaware/Pennsylvania border, I stopped by their bookstore. Before I knew it, I had spent a couple of hours browsing through the titles and thumbing through pages. Had it not been for closing time I might still be there today. Needless to say, I added quite a few new books to my collection.

I’ve always believed that the nice thing about a book is that it is always there to return to when I’m in need of some inspiration or information. This is why books are such wonderful gifts for gardeners. A good gardening book, whether viewed for the first time or the fiftieth, will offer many year’s worth of incentive to get out into the garden.

Here are seven books that I discovered at the Winterthur bookstore that I thought would be welcome gifts for the gardeners on your holiday list.

The Birdwatcher's Companion The Birdwatcher’s Companion: Winged Wonders, Fantastic Flocks and Outstanding Ornithology
A fun compilation of notes, quotes, facts and snippets about everything aviary. With quotes ranging from Emily Dickinson to Jack Handy, it’s a great little book to keep by the coffee pot to read while you are waiting for your morning’s first cup.
Malcolm Tait and Olive Tayler
ISBN: 1861058330
Robson Books, Limited, 2005
Buy this book online from Amazon.com
or pick up a copy from your favorite local bookstore.
 
An Affair with a House An Affair with a House
A favorite for gathering ideas for decorating in an English cottage style, this book tells the tale of interior designer Bunny Williams’ 30 year love affair with her New England home. Beautiful photographs illustrate Bunny’s charming style in both the house and garden. And it includes an index of her favorite recipes, too!
Bunny Williams
ISBN: 1584794704
Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Buy this book online from Amazon.com
or pick up a copy from your favorite local bookstore.
 
The Bedside Book of Birds The Bedside Book of Birds
This book is a wonderful collection of essays, myths and stories about man’s relationships with and observations of birds. Interlaced with gorgeous illustrations, this book will be appreciated by not just birders, but also anyone who loves a good tale.
Graeme Gibson
ISBN: 0385514832
Nan A. Talese, 2005
Buy this book online from Amazon.com
or pick up a copy from your favorite local bookstore.
 
Picasso and Lump Picasso and Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey
Perfect of the animal or art lover on your list. This book is a photographic memoir of two headstrong characters, the artist Picasso and his dachshund Lump. This little book was created by veteran photojournalist David Douglas Duncan who was a friend of the artist and original owner of Lump.
David Douglas Duncan
ISBN: 0821258109
Bulfinch, 2006
Buy this book online from Amazon.com
or pick up a copy from your favorite local bookstore.
 
The Best Light Recipe The Best Light Recipe: A Best Recipe Classic
This cookbook includes 362 pages of recipes, product reviews and how to techniques that will help your favorite cook prepare a light meal that actually tastes good. An option that is especially important after the gluttony typical of the holidays.
By the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
ISBN: 0936184973
America’s Test Kitchen, 2006
Buy this book online from Amazon.com
or pick up a copy from your favorite local bookstore.
 
Round About Chatsworth Round About Chatsworth
I am honored to be able to call Deborah Devonshire a friend. She’s an inspiration to me in both her style and wit. This book is a highly entertaining combination of entertaining stories, anecdotes and photographs centered around her home, Chatsworth. It’s a great book for both jet setters who might visit the garden and arm chair travelers who want to experience the magic of the site from the comfort of their home.
The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire
ISBN: 0711225370
Frances Lincoln Limited, 2005
Buy this book online from Amazon.com
or pick up a copy from your favorite local bookstore.
 
David Hicks My Kind of Garden David Hicks: My Kind of Garden
Written by the late interior designer David Hicks, this books takes the reader on a visual odyssey of the gardens that inspired him as well as those he designed himself. Hicks’ background in both interior and exterior design made him a great proponent of the concept of blurring the lines between indoors and out. This book is loaded with inspiring photographs that help illustrate that concept.
David Hicks
ISBN: 1870673301
Garden Art Press, 1999
Buy this book online from Amazon.com
or pick up a copy from your favorite local bookstore.