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Discover New Hobbies at the Library!

While we can all agree that reading is the best hobby, the new year can be a great time to discover even more! Luckily, we can combine the two interests, and recommend some books to inspire new activities and creative pursuits.



A Baker’s Year: Twelve Months of Baking and Living the Simple Life at the Smoke Signals Bakery

A year in the life of Instagram bread-baking sensation Tara Jensen as she teaches readers how to bake bread and pies, build the perfect fire to cook with, and live a simple, satisfying life.

Why do so many people make pilgrimages to Tara Jensen’s North Carolina Smoke Signals Bakery? Why do over a 100,000 people follow her Instagram feed @bakerhands? It’s because Tara bakes the most exquisite bread in the US, using a wood-fired oven that she tends with her own two hands. It could also be to learn how she makes her bubbly, deep-dish fruit pies or to see the crisp pizzas that are sometimes covered with fresh flowers. It could be something deeper: Tara Jensen has learned to live a simple life, close to the land that feeds her oven. In her first book, she shares her philosophy of simple living and her trove of recipes with others.

A Baker’s Year takes readers month-by-month through the seasons at Smoke Signals for porridge and waffles in winter, crusty bread in spring, pies and pizza in the summer, and celebration cakes for end-of-the-year holidays. Along the way, Tara writes about how to live in a more peaceful world, shares stories from her own life, mourns romances lost, and celebrates the promise of a new relationship.

Illustrated throughout with Tara’s photographs and drawings, A Baker’s Year is a true American original destined to be a classic of cookbook shelves.


The Complete Book of Woodworking

The Complete Book of Woodworking is a comprehensive guide to help you become a master woodworker and have a house full of hand-made furnishings to show for the effort! Set up shop, understand the tools, learn the principles of basic design, and practice essential woodworking techniques as you complete 40 detailed plans for home accessories, furnishings, outdoor projects, workshop projects, and more! With over 1,200 full-color photographs, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, and helpful diagrams, woodworkers of all levels will enjoy enhancing their skills and learning something new!


DIY, Dammit!

Doing it yourself always seems so simple. Only 3 steps! Just 5 supplies! Less than 30 minutes! Yeah right.

The truth is, craftin’ ain’t easy. But it also doesn’t have to be an exasperating lesson in your own clumsiness.

Joselyn Hughes knows the struggle. She’s lived it. And now, with  DIY, Dammit!, she offers up foolproof craftables that deliver maximum cute with minimal effort. There are easy-to-follow instructions and realistic shortcuts—because waiting for paint to dry is as boring as…well, you know.

With Joselyn by your side you’ll laugh, learn, and end up with handcrafted creations that will impress your friends, family, and strangers you accost on the street. She’s already made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to. What are you waiting for? DIY, Dammit!


40 Nights to Knowing the Sky: a Night by Night Skywatching Primer

The first practical, interactive guide for learning astronomy. Fred Schaaf has spent years perfecting the teaching of skywatching and astronomy to newcomers. Here, he distills his experience into a revolutionary new approach to learning about the night sky. No other book on the market offers anything like the simple, interactive, step-by-step program Schaaf has created for new skywatchers of all ages. The key to Schaaf’s ingenious program is a system of practical objectives and activities that get readers actively involved in skywatching. Starting with simple instructions on learning one’s way around the night sky and progressing to more challenging concepts, each night’s activity takes the reader to a deeper level of knowledge and understanding. All it takes is forty clear nights, and anyone can learn to enjoy the beauty of the heavens.

Don’t forget you can check out a telescope at Homewood Public Library!


How to Get Started in Southern Gardening

General Content includes:

Site and Soil Evaluation-What’s Important Gardening Zones-Climate and Microclimates in Your Yard How Plants Grow-Basic Understanding Plant Types: Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, Woody Plants, Edibles, Lawns and Ground Covers Water-How to Use it Wisely Planting and Plant Maintenance Sun and Shade Considerations
Your Southern Garden:

Ground Zero: Soil Amending, Mulching, Fertilizing Design Choices: Formal, Naturalistic and More Plants for Success: Top 50 Plants for Southern Gardens Troubleshooting in the Southern Garden: Pests, Invaders, Diseases


Quick-Fix Southern: Homemade Hospitality in 30 Minutes or Less

Who doesn’t love comforting home Southern cooking, especially when it’seasy and fast.

In Quick-Fix Southern, Rebecca Lang, cookbook author and contributing editor for Southern Living magazine, promises homemade hospitality–Southern style–in 30 minutes or less. Lang dishes up 115 recipes grouped in 10 themes ranging from Rise and Shine breakfasts to Sipping on the Screened Porch beverages, Girls’ Night In party pleasers, and Southern Sweets desserts. In addition to photography, the book features cooking and preparation time for the effortless recipes.

The ultimate goal of Quick-Fix Southern is to present novice and experienced cooks with authentic homemade dishes reflective of New South cuisine that are delicious, fast, and easy to prepare. From Three Cheese Grits, Peach Yogurt Parfait, and Spiked Lemonade and Lime Mint Juleps to Fried Green Tomatoes and Roasted Tomatoes and Parmesan Grits, Benne Seed Sugar Cookies, and Lazy Girl Berry Cobbler, the delectable flavor combinations offered up inside Quick-Fix Southern transition to any setting. So, whether you’re cooking up a side for a church potluck or preparing a main course for Sunday dinner or a Sunday spent at a sporting tailgate, Quick-Fix Southern promises to be your go-to guide for every occasion.


Mindful Crochet: 35 Creative and Colorful Projects to Help You Be in the Moment, Relieve Stress, and Manage Pain

The 35 patterns in Mindful Crochet include specially designed elements of repetition, color, and texture that will help you relax, refocus, and unwind.

Anyone who’s ever tried to master a new stitch or work out which granny squares should go where on an afghan will appreciate how crochet can totally engage your attention and harness your creativity. Being in the moment is an essential part of following a pattern, keeping your yarn on the hook, counting stitches, and remembering which color to use next. Emma Leith shows how these qualities can become a form of mindfulness practice, bringing you peace, calm, and a greater sense of well-being. There are projects here that you can make for yourself or your home and others designed to be given as gifts. The satisfaction you’ll get from creating these lovely makes and seeing others appreciate them is another important way crochet can encourage a positive outlook and bring happiness. (Note: This book uses U.S. crochet terms.)


Oil Painting for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear and Easy Guide to Oil Painting

The quick-start guide to great results! Oil painting doesn’t have to be rocket science, although some books on the subject make it seem that way. Filled with encouraging, easy-to-follow instruction, Oil Painting for the Absolute Beginner is a no-fear, no-experience-required guide to enjoyable painting and happy results. Focusing on the needs of the first-time painter, this book covers everything from selecting brushes and setting up your palette to key principles of color and composition, presented in a way that moves you confidently from first strokes to finished paintings.

Mini demonstrations break down fundamental painting techniques in a clear, common sense way
12 step-by-step painting projects progress from simple landscapes, still life and flower paintings to more challenging subjects, such as animals, seascapes and portraits You’ll learn tricks for keeping the greens in your landscapes looking fresh, advantages to working with water-soluble oil paints, simple tips for dynamic compositions and other expert advice to make your introduction to oil painting the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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