'more than just gardening:' book giveaway, events, and an online chat

backyard parables and magical journey“THE BACKYARD PARABLES” is a garden book—and then it isn’t. That’s what I intended when I wrote it, and what many early readers offered as feedback, saying they’re sharing it with non-gardener friends, too. That’s because the garden isn’t my hobby—not as if I were into bowling, or macramé—but rather my life practice, the thing that informs and inspires me every day. With my author friend Katrina Kenison, I’ve been doing a series of events that are not pure horticulture but more about the “bigger picture” the garden helps me explore, such as celebrating the moment and not rushing to the next; letting go of my urge to control everything, and facing change. Win our books, come hear us speak, or if you can’t—jump in to our free online chat starting Monday on Goodreads.

the goodreads.com event

GOODREADS IS LIKE a giant online book club that never sleeps. It’s amazing, and it’s free; a great place to get tips from other keen readers on books to look out for, according to your interests, and to “talk” to authors. Katrina Kenison (author most recently of “Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment”) and I will be there Monday February 25 for an open forum, to answer your questions about our new (or older) books, about writing, or about whatever you feel like asking about.

In our in-person events recently, the topics have ranged from finding midlife friendship, to raising adolescent boys (or unruly plants), to recipes we’ve swapped and books we’ve both read, to our writing “process” (I pace, she sits still)—no kidding, that wide a range, and more. Fun! So come share whatever’s on your mind. Won’t you sign up and join us?

the in-person events

  • Saturday, February 23, afternoon, 2 PM: Gardening-and-more conversation and reading (just me, no Katrina at this event) hosted by The Hillsdale Gardeners and the Roe Jan Library, at the Library, 9091 Route 22, Hillsdale, New York.
  • UPDATE: POSTPONED BY WEATHER TO APRIL 28. Sunday, February 24, 3 PM: Reading and conversation with author Katrina Kenison from our two new books, “The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life” and her “Magical Journey” An Apprenticeship in Contentment,” at the Concord (MA) Bookshop. Note: new date April 28.
  • Thursday, February 28, 7 PM: Reading and conversation with author Katrina Kenison at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY, hosted by memoir-teacher and author Marion Roach Smith.
  • Sunday, March 3, afternoon: Two events, same location: 2 PM, “The 365-Day Garden” slide lecture. 3 PM, a reading and conversation with author Katrina Kenison from our two new books at Battenkill Books, Cambridge, NY.
  • Thursday, March 7, 7:30 PM: “The 365-Day Garden” lecture (just me, no Katrina!) to benefit Barstow-Pell Mansion Museum, 895 Shore Road, Pelham Bay Park Bronx, NY. Members free, non-members $10 adults and $7 students and seniors.

how to win the signed books

TO ENTER TO WIN a signed copy of “The Backyard Parables” and one of “Magical Journey,” too, simply comment below, answering the question:

What’s the last book you read that you recommended afterward to a friend, and why?

Then to double your chances to win—two sets are being given away on each of our websites—scurry over to Katrina’s book giveaway now and paste your comment there as well.

No answer to the question, or simply feeling shy? No worry; just say “count me in” or something to that effect, and I will. Winners will be drawn at random after entries close at midnight on Wednesday, February 27. Good luck to all.

  1. Barb says:

    The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, the most recent in her Gamache series. Louise is an amazing writer. Every word counts in her writing, and her sentences are be beautiful. Her characters are flawed yet unforgettable. The setting is as much a character as the people. I recommend starting at the beginning of the series, but each book gets progressively better and more amazing.

  2. Sarah Ray says:

    God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours by Regina Brett, like Katrina’s first book that I read many years ago, this one helps me readjust my focus and keep a bigger picture in mind.

  3. Martha says:

    Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier, an absorbing novel real-life fossil hunter Mary Anning in 19th century England.

  4. Mary says:

    The last book that I recommended to a friend was “Magical Journey.” Just this week, I recommended this book to 5 friends! I also recommended Stephen Cope’s “The Great Work of Your Life.”

  5. Susan Nunn says:

    Lately, I have been reading Karen Kingsbury books one after another. I am
    currently in the middle of the The Bailey Flanigan series. But before I got going with the Above the Line series and on to where I am with Bailey Flanigan – I read her Unlocked. I totally recommended this to my sister. Unlocked is not in a series, but is a “stand alone”. It is about an autistic boy, but I learned so much about myself. I recommended this book to her because she works with autistic children, and because of how it touched me in a personal way.

  6. Jean Glaser says:

    “Emperor’s Edge” by Lindsey Buroker I recommended it to my friend Julie as she is a writer and hadn’t heard of Steam punk.

  7. Iska Wire says:

    How full is your bucket – I love this book because it is short (you can read over a nap time) and it is useful. It talks about each interaction being significant. I like that even a smile can completely change someone’s day. I believe this and this book takes this simple concept a step further.

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