Monthly Archives: April 2012

World Book Night: Giving Thanks in April

Once in a while it occurs to me that I ought to be a better person. Better in the selfless, I’m-going-out-for-coffee-can-I-get-you-anything kind of way. Better like my grandmother, who never forgets a birthday for any of her children, or her children’s children, or the steps, the halfs, or the otherwise affiliated but geographically estranged. My grandmother always bought me books for my birthday. I loathed getting books when I was younger, books which were always a few hundred pages beyond my yet undisciplined attention span, usually featuring protagonists who were a little too world-wise for a grade-schooler to appreciate. And, anyway, I was a materialistic brat of a tweenager– I wanted lip-gloss and nail polish and body lotion that would make my arms glittery.

As an adult, all I ever want to give anyone is a book. For a birthday, a funeral, a holiday, for an ‘I’m sorry’ or a ‘thank you,’ for a long train ride, or to strangers I meet briefly and with no expectation of seeing again. Like my grandmother, I usually give my favorite books, which is, I am aware, completely inconsiderate of the literary sensitivities of the recipients of these books, but it is something they will endure as I did, because eventually you will find yourself thinking of this person (be they a kind stranger or a far-from-home friend), and in the book you will find their company.

On the night of April 23rd tens of thousands of people will swell into the streets of their cities and neighborhoods to give 20 copies of a specially-printed, not-for-resale edition of a book of their choosing to 20 strangers. Launched internationally in 2011, World Book Night debuts in the United States this year, joining the U.K. and Ireland to celebrate the power of books, spread literacy awareness and bring individuals together on a date that famously marks Cervante’s death and Shakespeare’s birth. It is my instinct that this night will unwittingly inspire some new friendships, that insights usually reserved for classrooms will be exchanged without pretention or hesitation and that there will be much to be thankful for in April. It’s like Trick-or-Treat with books. Thanksgiving in spring. A birthday present for Shakespeare. It’s good-doing that’s really, really fun. 

This year’s deadline for becoming a giver has passed, but for those of you who were able to become givers this year, we invite you to share your stories of the events of the night of the 23rd with us. Learn more about World Book Night , or to visit their blog. Do you have your own blog? We’d love to share your posts about WBN on You can also view their Facebook Page, where other givers will be sharing their stories, as well.


Wild Fermentation

BACK IN PRINT! A very literal guide, “A DIY Guide to Cultural Manipulation” is a great resource for learning to use the microbes around you. Wanna learn how to make your own sourdough? Miso? Injera (Ethiopian sourdough) bread?!!! It’s in this handy dandy and super resourceful guide for fermenting in the comfort of your own home. Yummy home made sour cream! Buttermilk! Cheese and tempeh!!! Double and triple wow your friends and family with the helpful directions on how to ferment your own kimchi and other tasty, briny treats.

White Elephants

OUT NOW! White elephants are the odd, old, and discarded things that end up at yard sales and flea markets—and Katie Haegele loves them all. Well, an awful lot of them, anyway. She lives a few blocks from the house she grew up in, and every summer she and her mother scour the neighborhood tag sales, looking for treasure. In this unusual, touching memoir, she chronicles the places they go and the things they find there, describing every detail in her singular, charming voice. In the end she finds more than just ugly table lamps and frilly aprons, ultimately discovering a real friendship with her mother, a deeper connection to her father, whose death left a hole in her life—and even a bit of romance.

Interview! Robyn Jasko from Homesweet Homegrown and!

Homesweet Homegrown author Robyn Jasko (also of and illustrator Jennifer Biggs are currently Kickstarting their upcoming BY-TRAIN BOOK TOUR! That’s right: They’re doing an AMTRAK TOUR and we were so stoked to hear about their upcoming adventure we just had to do an interview! Here Robyn talks growing season, tour plans, and more!


Q: So what’s this we hear about you guys deciding to Kickstart your upcoming tour? Tell us a little about that …

A: Yes, it’s true! We are spreading the word out about our new gardening and homesteading book called Homesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make and Store Food No Matter Where You Live. To fund the tour, we launched a Kickstarter campaign and are selling signed copies, organic/non-gmo garden seed collections, and lots of other schwag.

Check it out here.

There’s also a fun little video we made featuring myself, Classy Poppy, and illustrator Jennifer Biggs that shows off the book, and some of our homesteading shenanigans.

As for rewards, we are offering signed copies and super easy to grow seed collections for just $35. Or, for $65, you get a book and 20 packets of organic/non-gmo seeds—which is enough to grow a ton of food!

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Q: One of our favorite things about this tour is you’re doing it via TRAIN. Why go Amtrak?

A: There are so many reasons we wanted to take the train—we are big fans of public transportation and cutting down on fuel fuels/emissions, so the train was an obvious choice. Plus, there’s a drink cart! We hope to be hanging out there, talking about the book to whoever will listen and proselytizing our mission of homegrown foods as we trek through the US.

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Q: Considering the material you’re working from, this definitely doesn’t sound like your boring ol’ traditional read-a-chapter-in-a-bookstore-then-sign-books kinda book tour. What sorts of things do you plan to do?

A: Exactly, instead, we’ll probably be canning/pickling/and planting up a storm, or making a few projects from our Make section, like newspaper pots and easy homemade seed tape. Or, maybe we’ll make one of our 30 vegan recipes from the book that show you how to get the most out of your garden or CSA share.

Our plan is to hit up urban garden centers, indie shops, and bookstores to reach as many farmer/foodies and DIYers as possible. Through the Kickstarter we even have an option to come help you start a garden! So, you never know what we might be up to … but it most likely will be a good time.

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Q: It’s spring and a lot of us are growing stuff at the moment. (Many of us being excited beginners.) If you had one tip to give the new gardener/future farmer/homesteading urbanist, what would it be?

A: You can grow anywhere—even if it’s just a little windowsill basil plant or a rooftop tomato plant, that’s one less thing you have to buy at the supermarket, so give it a try! It’s not that hard, I promise.

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Q: Finally, what kinds of things are you growing this season?

A: So many things—I have been obsessed with garlic lately, and we have 32 pounds growing in the test garden right now. We’ve also been really into ancient grains, and are experimenting with quinoa and amaranth—in addition to all the usual cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, basil, potatoes, cabbage, zucchini, beans, corn, oh it goes on. Maybe I should have listed what we aren’t growing this year. (Probably peanut plants—although who knows?)

See the Homesweet Homegrown book tour kickstarter right here.

Inside Look! Our Zine of the Day: Rebel Rebel

We are in LOVE with MJ Robinson’s new comic Rebel Rebel. This well-drawn mini looks at gender roles and is a good companion to Julia Eff’s Every Thug is a Lady: Adventures Without Gender. What if gender roles were flipped? What makes a “man” a man and a “woman” a woman? Do girls have long hair because they’re “girls”? Is facial hair manly or feminine? How does the world around us cramp our gender-free/personal-idea-of-gender style? MJ’s comic is a total shake-up of existing “rules” and roles and the result is a pleasant mindblower and a great gift for that special someone in your life with rigid views of what a “man” and a “woman” must be. Order Rebel Rebel right here.

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Book List: Vegan Cookbooks and Cookzines! Part 3 of 3!

And, alas, we bid sad farewell to our Vegan Cookbooks and Cookzines Book List series. Here’s number one. Here’s number two. And, without further pomp and circumstance, three …


Generation V: The Complete Guide to Going, Being, and Staying Vegan as a Teenager

Going vegan is the single most important thing you can do if you want to get serious about animal rights. Yet, going vegan isn’t always easy when you’re young. You’re living under your parents’ roof, you probably don’t buy your own groceries, and your friends, family, and teachers might look at you like you’re nuts. So, how do you do it?In this essential guide for the curious, aspiring, and current teenage vegan, Claire Askew draws on her years of experience as a teenage vegan and provides the tools for going vegan and staying vegan as a teen. Full of advice, stories, tips, and resources, Claire covers topics like: how to go vegan and stay sane; how to tell your parents so they don’t freak out; how to deal with friends who don’t get it; how to eat and stay healthy as a vegan; how to get out of dissection assignments in school; and tons more. Whether you’re a teenager who is thinking about going vegan or already vegan, this is the ultimate resource, written by someone like you, for you.


Please Don’t Feed the Bears book

by Brad Misanthropic

In the vein of the classic Soy Not Oi cookbook, Please Don’t Feed The Bears compiles three issues of the previously self-published vegan cook zine with a range of tasty and simple animal-free dishes. The collection finally makes available these long-obscure fanzines originally published in the mid 1990s. Here you’ll find incredible recipes for stews, soups, sauces, noodle & bean dishes, baked entrees, deserts and more! There is also a fair smattering of new material bringing this to a whopping 160 pages of deliciousness! In the spirit of Soy Not Oi, these recipes are written to be simple, straightforward, and perfect for the newest convert to the vegan revolution! But far from bring just a vegan cookbook, Please Don’t Feed The Bears reads as a look into vegan lifestyle and underground culture. The book is thoroughly illustrated with eye-catching drawings and clearly laid-out graphics. In addition, the book also includes assorted rantings about music and the politics of leading a vegan lifestyle. Together the book provides easy-to-make and delectable recipes while reflecting the DIY punk rock sensibility of zine culture.


So Raw It’s Downright Filthy

by Joshua Ploeg

Let us not understate the might and magic of Joshua Ploeg’s cooking. The dude’s meals sparkle in your mouth; they burst and bloom; they explode and breakdance and pirouette! Joshua’s the “traveling vegan chef” and he is—as we speak, no less!—touring the world making insane-in-the-membrane multi-course DIY meals at shows and dinner parties. (You can book him right here! A wonderful follow-up to his third cookbook, In Search of the Lost Taste, this brand-new zine is Joshua’s take on raw food and it is llllllong awaited. Revel in the majesty of easy and cheap recipes like his Mushroom-Pear Salad with Five Spice. Give yourself a massive high five after fixin’ up his pho (which is pho-king great!). Go bananas with his green curry, his incredible Shitakesbury Steak, his OMG-worthy raw Shepherd’s Pie! Want some more? There’s more, much more: 28 slammin’ pages with tips on all-things raw, raw-related articles, and awesome-a-licious recipes like Garlic-Sunflower Pate, Cashew Sour Cream, Melon Gazpacho, and Gumbo! The raw diet does not have to mean a pile of wilted lettuce with lime squeezed over it or a handful of stinkin’ peanuts! The raw diet can be a party!


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How It All Vegan Book

by Tanya Barnard

Vegan recipes for such delights as bee pollen blue banana muffins, tofu jerky, vegan ice cream, chocolate cheese-free cake, and cosmetics, pet treats, even household cleaners.


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Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice

by Nathalie VanBalen

“Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice is a fresh, one-of-a-kind book designed to get a person’s mental juices flowing about compassion, vegetarianism, stereotypes,  expectations, and (of course) juicing. Like the title, a lot of interesting ingredients get blended together in this book; and although it sounds funny, it sure gets one ‘pumped!’ (like the the main characters say). The story revolves around two characters who are super enthusiastic about juicing. They find a reference to using yellow spotted snail shells to make them strong and healthy (and it goes well with juice!), so they bag a bunch and prepare to add them to their special garlic-onion-beet-spinach-mango-carrot-grapefruit juice. One of their housemates firmly believes snail shells do not belong in juice and begins thinking about the snails’ perspective and models critical thinking, empathy, and compassion for the reader. She asks herself thoughtful questions, one of which is ‘How does it feel to be food?'” -VegBooks review Note: Also check out author Nathalie VanBalen’s vegan Thanksgiving coloring zine, Happy Thanksliving!


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Vegan Freak Book: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World, Version 2.0

by Bob Torres

At one time or another, every vegan has felt like an outsider, even in places where they’re supposed to feel comfortable. This book is written to help you embrace your inner vegan freak. Written by people all along the continuum of veganism—there is a special focus towards young, independent minded, tattooed vegans. There’s practical tips, advice, stories, and comprehensive lists of resources, tips of keeping sane, being happy, and being healthy in a non-vegan world. Witty, opinionated, and eminently useful. The tone is refreshing compared and language to most books of this sort. Note: This edition includes revised, expanded, and updated material.

Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege

by Will Potter

Like the Red Scare, this “Green Scare” is about fear and intimidation, using a word—”eco-terrorist”—to push a political agenda, instill fear and silence dissent. The animal rights and environmental movements directly threaten corporate profits every time activists encourage people to go vegan, to stop driving, to consume fewer resources and live simply. Their boycotts are damaging, and corporations and the politicians who represent them know it. In many ways, the Green Scare, like the Red Scare, can be seen as a culture war, a war of values.

Will Potter outlines the political, legal, extra-legal, and public relations strategies that are being used to threaten even acts of nonviolent civil disobedience with the label of “terrorism.” Here is a guided tour into the world of radical activism that introduces the real people behind the headlines and tells the story of how everyday people are being prevented from speaking up for what they believe in.

Happy Thanksliving! A Coloring Zine

by Nathalie VanBalen

This one is somethin’ special. Nathalie VanBalen’s Happy Thanksliving! is a coloring zine about having a vegan Thanksgiving! The fully illustrated zine is a friendly take on animal rights, beginning its running narrative with “We’re setting the table and chopping our veggies for a Thanksgiving feast tonight. We’re excited to say that this is our way to celebrate feeling just right. There isn’t a turkey on our table and we’re happy to tell you why–because turkeys are FRIENDS (like cats and dogs) and feathered friends must FLY!” This engaging, happy, good-hearted zine is perfect for radical kids and adults alike. VanBalen, author of the awesome Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice, has done a good thing here and we’re stoked to have this on our site. We’ve only got a few of these so jump on this while it’s HOT! Get those crayons and colored pencils ready!


Book List: Vegan Cookbooks and Cookzines! Part 2 of 3!

Part two! See part one right here.


Barefoot & In the Kitchen: Vegan Recipes For You

by Ashley Rowe

COMING JULY 1! This heavily illustrated vegan cookbook is packed with delicious recipes and entertaining essays. Not at all an exclusive affair, Barefoot and in the Kitchen works with ingredients available to folks everywhere—not just those with access to fancy health food stores. Make a basic white sauce, your own seitan, mac’n’cheese, cornbread, and cookies. Folks who have been vegan for awhile will love variations like stuffed shells, dirty rice, and “Cinnamon Buns of Doom.” For Ashley resistance is tasty and once you try out these recipes your resistance will taste good too!

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Hot Damn & Hell Yeah / The Dirty South

An anthology of Vanessa’s “The Dirty South”, meets Ryan Splint’s Australian masterpiece “Hot Damn and Hell Yeah”. HD&HY is a finely illustrated and designed collection of recipes that aren’t afraid of spices but are suited for those into easy to find ingredients that don’t taste like sawdust. The Dirty South is a unique take on southern cooking, vegan style with some tasty delectables, especially for those not afraid of garlic or baking. Sizzling with great cooking ideas and recipes, nutrition isn’t always the first priority for either of these editors but the recipes are damn tasty!


Vegan Cupcakes book: 75 Dairy Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule!

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

I like cupcakes! I like vegans too! I want to keep vegan cupcake eaters happy. What do I do? Hmm, well, I can’t go across the street to the Hostess outlet. I’m pretty sure that they use animal shortening in their products, ewww! Maybe I will make the vegans cupcakes myself. If I only had a recipe. Or several, like 75. Wait, there is a book about it? And they are all yummy? For reals? Well, let’s make some cupcakes! And support Total Cupcake Domination!


Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life

by Melisser Elliott

Anyone interested in a cruelty-free lifestyle can discover beauty products, fun vacation spots, plus an assortment of recipes including Jackfruit “Carnitas” Tacos, Twice Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes, Curried Red Lentil Veggie Burgers, Chipotle Hominy Stew, and Double Chocolate Cookies. Learn how to make recycled cake stands, find a cross-stitch pattern by Stitch’d Ink, and find out about natural beauty and cleaning products. From Sugar Beat Sweets baker and blogger Melisser!


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Fire & Ice zine

by Joshua Ploeg

Traveling chef Joshua Ploeg (Plague) of Behead the Prophet, No Lord Shall Live/Mukilteo Fairies/Ravenna’s Secret Cafe presents 80 new and delicious, gourmet vegan recipes. Joshua is the epitome of the post-punk ethic manifest into his passion; traveling the country on buses and trains he presents gourmet dinner parties for you and your friends presented out of his backpack, circumventing the corporate route of disseminating his food, recipes, and love. This collection in particular is primarily spicy recipes and beverages (fire and ice, eh?) – blazing tofu, curried pineapple cream cheese, chicken yassa, garlic linguine, pineapple gazpacho with dates, blackeyed pea salsa, curried banana sandwiches, spicy basil turnip and tofu, iced tea with mango syrup, numerous alcoholic drink recipes, and much much more! A fun little foray into the world of punk rock’s gourmet chef!



Vegan With A Vengeance Book

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

To appreciate this quirky vegan cookbook, readers must welcome the author’s offhand, rambling style. A chatty Brooklynite who hosts her own public access cooking show, she scatters stories about her mother, her friends and her politics among recipes for goodies like Fresh Corn Fritters and Curried Split Pea Soup. In one anecdote, she writes that her mother liked the scones from “one of those overpriced French cafes in Union Square,” prompting the author to create Glazed Orange scones in her mother’s honor, and the sweet, rich result rivals the average “overpriced café” model. BBQ Pomegranate Tofu is actually baked, not barbecued, but still the tofu is rich and smoky, terrific over rice or packed into heroes. Even better, the vegan iterations of Spanakopita and Seitan-Portobello Stroganoff so closely approximate the traditional versions that even the pickiest eaters would happily trade one for the other. And although there’s no chicken broth in Matzoh Ball Soup, the vegetable stock is hearty enough to cure the fiercest cold. Best of all, and rare in a vegan cookbook, the author provides several appealing dairy-free desserts that are tasty enough to fool most omnivores, yet unique enough to thrill any vegan who just can’t face another tofu ice cream bar. (Publisher’s Weekly)


Frugal Vegan’s Harvest and Holiday Survival Guide

by Lisa Van den Boomen

A gigantic cookbook from Montreal spilling over with exciting recipes for people without a lot of cash to thrown down. Recipes for food, non-food, and even gift ideas! Some articles have also been thrown in to help you through those winter months when you`re cold and broke! Get some tea, light up the fireplace, and start perusing the tasty treats in this informative zine!


How It All Vegan Book

by Tanya Barnard

Vegan recipes for such delights as bee pollen blue banana muffins, tofu jerky, vegan ice cream, chocolate cheese-free cake, and cosmetics, pet treats, even household cleaners. Pop culture friendly! I mean, look the front cover features tattooed 20-somethings!


Another Dinner is Possible

by Isy Morgenmuffel

A unique two-in-one cookbook and guide – featuring over 250 recipes of simple, cheap, and tasty food! Additional articles and guides set out to reconnect us with the food we eat, how food affects all levels of our lives, and how to better develop our relationship with what we eat! Recipes are designed to serve 2-6 people but also feature cooking for a large group and which recipes suitable for this. Printed on high quality glossy recycled paper and wire bound so it sits flat on your kitchen counter and the pages don’t deteriorate. Super illustrated by Isy Morgenmuffel and one of our coolest cookbooks! Originally imported from England, now published by AK Press.