Rhody Reads: A bouquet of spring-themed picks by authors with local ties

April 2022

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In April, the world comes back to life. What better time to don a rain jacket and visit your favorite bookstore than on Independent Bookstore Day, Saturday, April 30. Provided are some suggestions to help you pluck a title that renews and refreshes.

Floral designer Jill Rizzo does it again with The Little Flower Recipe Book. For her third book, she has teamed up with fellow Middletownian, photographer Maaike Bernstrom. All arrangements are miniature and make use of the smallest blossoms but are still beautiful to assemble and behold. A hundred easy-to-follow recipes are arranged by season so your projects can feature the freshest posies at any time of the year. Get your hands dirty and enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers.

Nature comes alive in spring. Experience it all with botanist and Citizen Potawatomi Nation enrolled member Robin Wall Kimmerer as she integrates science and nature in Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Let her share the gifts and lessons she has gained in this book of essays, which was the 2021 Reading Across RI Adult Nonfiction Companion Read.

With spring comes change, often causing us to find new ways to adjust and adapt. In the children’s book The Blue House by RISD graduate Phoebe Wahl, Leo and his father must learn to accept that their lives will be different, whether they like it or not. Join them on their journey together as they learn to understand the true meaning of home. Fans of illustration will be drawn to the enchanting drawings.

In Providence resident Annie Hartnett’s Unlikely Animals, Emma Starling, a natural-born healer returns home from medical school to care for her ailing father. When she steps up to search for a missing friend, she begins a journey of redemption, no matter how unlikely. Will Emma find her way back on her journey home? Set against the backdrop of the opioid crisis, this tragicomic story of new beginnings is a pitch-perfect spring read.

For sports fans, spring means the start of the baseball season. Local author Dan D’Alessio pens a love letter to the game in his book, Baseball From Providence To Prominence. This collection is presented in three sections: baseball quotes, stories on ballplayers from 1880 to 1970, and D’Alessio’s own poems on baseball “and the men that brought the game to life.” This second effort is sure to thrill anyone who loves to hear the words, “Play ball!” shouted on the diamond.

If spring is here, then summer must be right around the corner. Explore stunning architecture from your armchair with pages full of notable homes in Bret Morgan’s Summer Houses by the Sea: The Shingle Style. Among the notable homes featured are Shope Reno Wharton’s Black Watch in Jamestown and McKim, Mead & White’s Ochre Point in Newport. From Maine to Montauk, you’ll long for a life by the sea in all of its romantic glory.

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