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All Souls: A Family Story From Southie by Michael Patrick McDonald

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In this devastatingly honest memoir Michael MacDonald, one in a family of ten, recounts his experience growing up in Southie which is one of South Boston’s public housing projects.  Described by all the residents as “the best place in the world”, McDonald has the courage to pull back this veil and tell the emotional and powerful true story.  MacDonald explores the busing riots of the 1970s, Southie’s “no snitch” culture, the loss of four of his own siblings, and the exploits of Whitey Bulgar (the town’s top gangster and father figure).  Through all of this pain and loss McDonald is still able to point out areas of hope and the strong sense of community that is still alive in Southie today.  

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening

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MISTER OWITA'S GUIDE TO GARDENING is a beautifully written memoir by a first time author Carol Wall. The story is a very personal account of friendship between two people.  Less about gardening, the book is more about those accidental judgments that we make based on prejudices of race, money, education, and plain old general appearances.

I enjoyed this book.  It is about the power of friendship which can change our hearts and transform our lives; it is a reminder we all have more in common with each other than we think.

  

Picture Book Selection: And Then It's Spring

What a winter we have had in central Ohio!  Spring is finally here according to the calendar!  Celebrate by checking out “And Then It's Spring” by Julie Fogliano and award-winning artist Erin Stead.  A boy and his dog are tired of brown winter and they dig and plant seeds.  They wait and then wait and then finally it's spring and everything is green and colorful!  Great for ages 4 and up.  

50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants

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Snow is still on the ground but gardening is blooming in my heart.   The month of March finds seed catalogs, gardening books, and over wintered herbs strewn all over my kitchen and dining room.  The need is for spring!

My favorite gardening books for Ohio are authored by Tracy Disabato-Aust. Every spring I start a plant list for my garden from Tracy’s book, 50 High-Impact Low Care Garden Plants.  The book has a little bit of everything from grasses to shrubs, but all are Ohio hardy and easy care.  My favorite stand out plants are Bear’s Breeches, Variegated Aralia, Blue False Indigo, Bleeding Heart, and Hellebore.  The Dragon's Eye Pine made the list this year but where to plant, the garden is getting full!

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