Handmade Home ~ Amanda Blake Soule
Filled with thirty-three projects made by reusing and repurposing materials, all of the items here offer a practical use in the home. From picnic blankets made out of repurposed bed sheets to curtains made out of vintage handkerchiefs, these projects express the sense of making something new out of something old as a way to live a more financially pared-down and simple life; lessen our impact on the earth; connect to the past and preserve a more traditional way of life; and place value on the work of the hands. Also included are projects that children can help with, allowing them to make their own special contribution to the family home.
This one actually just came in for me. Of course this is just as aspirational as inspirational for me.
A Glass of Water ~ Jimmy Santiago Baca
Award-winning memoirist, poet, and activist, Jimmy Santiago Baca has established himself as an inspiring and important spokesperson for the Chicano experience, continually giving voice to the voiceless. His first novel, A Glass of Water is a gripping tale of family, loyalty, ambition, and revenge that takes us inside the tragedies unfurling along our country’s borders. Having made the nearly deadly journey across the border from Mexico, Casimiro and Nopal spend their days in the chili fields, building a life for their young sons. But when Nopal is brutally murdered, the boys are left to navigate this capricious new world without her. The elder son, Lorenzo, follows his father’s footsteps, devoting himself to the land, and falling in love with a strong-minded young woman who’s come to their migrant camp to study the lives of its workers. But Vito, hot-blooded and restless, breaks away to find fame as an itinerant boxer, gaining notoriety inside the ring and out. Eventually, the brothers’ journeys converge, bringing them face to face with a common enemy. A Glass of Water is a searing, heartfelt tribute to brotherhood, and an arresting portrait of the twisted paths people take to claim their piece of the American dream.
Really looking forward to this one. I remember when we saw him read his poem “El Gato” at the Dodge Poetry Festival. It was probably the only time that I’ve been at a poetry reading where the audience jumped up and cheered when the poet was finished reading. It was that good. I’m sure I had tears in my eyes.