It’s fair to say this is not the entry I was planning on writing for Spring in Bucks County – I was thinking about hikes and road trips, Easter egg hunts and garden parties! But in the face of a pandemic, we all adjust. So now, as April begins, I am grateful to be safe at home with my family. And, if, like me, you are reading more these days than ever, we have recommendations for you!

Our region’s list of home-grown authors is staggering – so why not read local? I bet there’s a Bucks County book for every type of reader. And, bonus, many of our local bookshops are still filling online orders, so you can shop local as well!

For the Chef

Try Canal House Cooking by Christopher Hirsheimer and Bucks County native Melissa Hamilton. There are so many volumes of recipes to choose from! Each cookbook is full of seasonal recipes and gorgeous photographs and illustrations. Just glancing at the colorful covers makes me want to get in the kitchen.

For the Craftsperson

Go for The Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworker’s Reflections. A thoughtful, intimate look at master woodworker George Nakashima’s career and artistic process. The photos of his studio are stunning and especially welcome on rainy days stuck inside. Plus, when we’re on the other side of the pandemic, you can visit the George Nakashima Studio in New Hope.

For the Science Fiction Fan

It may hit a little close to home, but check out Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers. In it, an epidemic sweeps the country in which the infected appear to sleepwalk toward an unknown, mysterious location. Epic and unnerving, it’s a story of survival in difficult times.

For the Musical Lover

Pick up Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim spent much of his childhood in Bucks County and was mentored by another local, musical great, Oscar Hammerstein II, a relationship discussed in detail here.

For the Cooped-Up Kid

My high energy son and I have been reading (and rereading) Claudia and Moth by Newtown based author and illustrator Jennifer Hansen Rolli. Claudia, the story’s artistic main character, is frustrated and stuck inside during winter with nothing to paint…until she discovers a moth. It’s a sweet study in patience and fostering creativity in new environments.

To purchase these and oh so many more books, try ordering through one (or several!) of these fabulous local, independent bookshops:
Farley’s Bookshop, The Doylestown and Lahaska Bookshops, The Newtown Bookshop, and Commonplace Reader.