Busy days here at the Trumbull Library. It seems that as the days get shorter, they're packed fuller and fuller. And yet, there are some moments of downtime, even just a few, when we get to relish the change in the seasons. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cool evenings and brisk mornings, the vibrant foliage, trips to the orchard, Halloween and those perfectly clear days where the sky seems impossibly blue. In celebration of these changes, here are a few books to help you pause during these busy days and savor the season.
With Halloween just around the corner, it's not too late to add some easy, festive decorations. Check out Artful Halloween by Susan Wasinger for fast and easy crafts, from super-creepy disembodied hands to DIY garlands with a literary touch, to a variety of ways to spruce up your average pumpkin. (Also, for year-round crafts that are eco-friendly, try Wasinger's Eco-craft: recycle, recraft, restyle, too.) Feel like you could use a little inspiration for your jack-o-lantern this year? The library can help! For kid-friendly guides, try J. Angelique Johnson's Making a Jack-o'-lantern, step by step or Sarah Schuette's How To Carve Freakishly Cool Pumpkins. But who says that pumpkin carving is just for kids? If you're really looking for something out of the ordinary, take a browse through Tom Nardone's Extreme Pumpkins II. Trust me: Tom Nardone knows extreme pumpkin carving.
What would Halloween be without parties and costumes? Get great ideas for grownup get-togethers with Adult Halloween Parties by Mary T. McCarthy, with tips for themes, costumes, food and beverages or the Better Homes and Gardens compilation of the Best of Halloween Tricks & Treats. And for the kids, have a monstrously good time with the help of Chris Kullstroem's Making a Monstrous Halloween and Monster Parties & Games, the latter being particularly useful if you wanted to do a monster-movie tie-in.
Lastly, with pumpkin insinuating itself into all of your daily foods and beverages, why not embrace the season with some comfort cooking and baking. The Seasonal Baker, by John Barricelli will help you use all those fresh-picked apples from the orchard, and make the most of the plentiful pumpkin with recipes for cakes, pies, quick-breads, tarts and crisps. Think that your food allergy or sensitivity means that you can't enjoy the bounty of the season? Think again! Colette Martin's new book, Learning to Bake Allergen-Free, has recipes to accommodate every dietary need. Finally, if you're looking for something to warm you up on a chilly day, I have to recommend Rick Rodgers' Autumn Gatherings and Comfort Food. I love his recipes, and use his Thanksgiving 101 faithfully to help me out every year. These two seasonal selections provide detailed instructions, thoughtful commentary and a nostalgic feel for simpler times.
Now get out there and enjoy the season! I'll be back next week with a little monster mash-up guaranteed to put you in a ghoulish mood!