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Foraged, no chaser.

If you think the artisan food trend has gone too far, this is not the book for you. But adventurous cocktail connoisseurs with a love for the outdoors should peruse with great appetite the pages of The Wildcrafted Cocktail (Storey, $18.95, 240 pages, ISBN 9781612127422). For starters, Ellen Zachos explains how to make juices from wild grapes and silverberries (an invasive shrub in the eastern United States), which she says is "one of my favorite foraged fruits, and not because it's high in vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant." Then there are sodas made from sumac, elderberry (not flower!) and nettle. You'll learn the best tools for foraging--paper bags are best for collecting mushrooms--and tips for the bar (don't muddle; herbs should be spanked by hand). The number of foraged plants that can be pickled may surprise you: daylily buds, fiddlehead ferns, garlic bulbs, crab apples and more. Enchanting drink recipes follow, such as A Butterfly Kiss, made with vodka, Milkweed Flower Syrup and seltzer. Cheers!



In the beginning of Goodbye, Things (Norton, $21.95, 288 pages, ISBN 9780393609035), Fumio Sasaki explains that step two in his journey toward peak minimalism was "I got rid of all my books." Instantly, I knew I'd never be a member of that club. But I kept reading, because it can't hurt to live with less, and Sasaki's view is that it can in fact profoundly help. His guide to discarding most of what you own to achieve greater contentment and happiness clearly rides the coattails of the Marie Kondo craze, with Chapter 3 offering a tidy list of 55 tips that should help anyone learn the art of throwing things away.

Thing is, the principles of minimalism go so profoundly against everything contemporary American life is built upon that it's sort of puzzling to imagine U.S. readers following Sasaki's advice. But we may be the ones who need this book most--provided we then give it away. Chapter 2, "Why did we accumulate so much in the first place?" is an especially enlightening read.



There are a few things I didn't know before reading Yumi Sakugawa's The Little Book of Life Hacks (St. Martin's, $19.99, 208 pages, ISBN 9781250092250): Lemon juice is a perfectly good substitute for salt; white vinegar subs for lemon; crayons can be turned into lipstick; milk can remove your eye makeup; there's a better way to slice a cake; speak only when necessary to exude confidence; washi tape makes a great low-maintenance pedicure. OK, I'm not so sure about that last one. But there are loads of truly useful tips in this adorable book, all of them presented in hand-lettered, hand-illustrated glory. Know someone graduating from college or moving into their first apartment? This is the book to buy them. Sure, some of Sakugawa's advice is regular magazine (or internet) fare; indeed, the book is a spinoff of her popular website, The Secret Yumiverse. But I was surprised by how often it surprised me, and the original presentation and wide range of "hacks" makes the book a fun browse. Cute, helpful, upbeat--you can't go wrong.


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Title Annotation:LIFESTYLES; The Little Book of Life Hacks, The Wildcrafted Cocktail and Goodbye, Things
Author:Susannah, Felts
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2017
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