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Go Green With Your Reading During March

From organic produce to money to the luck of the Irish, these book recommendations all relate to the signature color of March.

You'll feel lucky to get your hands on these recommended reads from Dakota County Library staff, all of which tie in the color green.

7 Money Rules for Life by Mary Hunt

Financial expert Mary Hunt, founder of the organization “Debt-Proof Living,” provides prudent, common sense advice in her new book. Hunt shares her past personal struggles with consumer debt, and explains the lessons she learned while putting herself back on track to financial security. Hunt summarizes the main lessons into the following rules: spend less than you earn, save for the future, give some away, anticipate your irregular expenses, tell your money where to go, manage your credit, and borrow only what you can afford to repay. Hunt writes in a friendly, encouraging way, and frequently references her own experiences. Readers of all income levels will find valuable advice for getting out of debt, and remaining debt free. —Review by Erin Holl

Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet—All on $5 a Day or Less by Linda Watson

Organic food means expensive, right?  Author and organic chef Linda Watson offers her ideas and recipes for buying green, eating green, and saving green.   During the first half of the book, readers learn of the experiment that Watson and her husband took part in during a summer: Spend less than $2 on each meal. This price drop forced them to recreate menus, rethink “regular” grocery shopping, and embrace their freezer and their farmers’ markets. The second half of the book provides recipe ideas such as low-salt Better Blueberry Pancakes, Magic Quiche with Asparagus and homemade "whisk" breads and tortillas. Readers interested in healthy and practical meal-planning will find this book scrumptious. —Review by Sarah Iverson

The Guards by Ken Bruen

The first entry in the excellently written Jack Taylor series, The Guards, finds Jack Taylor recently ousted from the Garda Siochana—the Guards, Ireland’s police force. While nursing his disappointment in a Galway Pub, he is approached by a mysterious woman named Ann. Ann is hoping to hire Taylor to investigate the recent death of her daughter, which had previously been ruled a suicide. Taylor makes his debut as a private investigator in his quest to solve this young woman’s death, which is looking increasingly like a murder by a potential serial killer. The Guards is a tense, absorbing crime drama. Hilarious and grim at the same time, it provides a front row seat to the streets of Galway. The Guards was a winner of the 2004 Shamus Award for Best Novel, and a nominee for the 2004 Edgar Award for Best Novel. —Review by Erin Holl

Lake of Sorrows by Erin Hart

In March of 2011, Erin Hart’s first book Haunted Ground . Lake of Sorrows is the second book in the Nora Gavin and Cormac Maguire series.  Once again, we are introduced to the countryside of Ireland. At the start of the mystery, pathologist Dr. Gavin is called to an archaeological site to assist in an excavation. The location of the well-preserved body is extremely unique—the Lake of Sorrows or Loughnabrone, is a peat bog. Moments after the discovery of the ancient body, the team realizes that yet another corpse is lurking in the bog, this one wearing a modern watch! With the help of investigative partner and archeologist Cormac Maguire, Nora strives to solve the mysteries that surround Lake of Sorrows. Readers who enjoy Ireland as a strong setting, complex characters, and Minnesota authors should check this out! —Review by Sarah Iverson

Children's Books

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Ages 5-9, picture book

Join the book’s young narrator on a walk through a magnificent garden filled with amazing trees and shrubs. Author Lane Smith recently received a 2012 Caldecott Honor Medal for his wonderful portrayal of a topiary garden and the memories each pruned shrub represents. As the young boy travels through the garden, he sees the moments that make up his grandfather’s life—one bush to suggest growing up on a farm, another to suggest going to war. A lovely and heartwarming story of a grandson, grandfather and their shared love of gardening. —Review by Sarah Iverson

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Ages 7-10, chapter book

Meet Gooney Bird Greene, a new student at Watertower Elementary School.   On her first day of school, she arrives wearing pajamas, cowboy boots, and demands a desk in the center of the classroom. Mrs. Pidgeon’s class has never met anyone like Gooney. They soon discover that she has an incredible talent—she tells amazing, “absolutely true” stories. Learn how this delightful character got her unusual name, how she traveled by flying carpet, and her experience directing an orchestra (all “absolutely true” stories, of course!). Mrs. Pidgeon’s class is captivated by Gooney’s stories and her unique personality. Second grade becomes even more entertaining when Gooney’s classmates realize that they each have remarkable tales to share. Children who enjoy the Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones series will love Gooney! This title is the first in the series. —Review by Sarah Iverson

Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook: Recipes Inspired By Dr. Seuss by  Georgeanne Brennan

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2) all month, by having fun in the kitchen with this cook book inspired by classic tales from Dr. Seuss. Grownups and kids alike will enjoy making tasty creations with names like “Yot in the Pot,” “Who-Pudding,” and “Daisy-Head Mayzie Burgers.” The book contains more than 40 recipes, offering fun options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, beverages, and desserts. The author is mindful of safety concerns, and includes many simple tasks for even the youngest chefs in training. Also, many recipes in the book require no cutting, cooking, or electric appliances. The text includes many illustrations lifted from Dr. Seuss books, along with photographs of what the finished product should ideally look like. This cookbook will be enjoyed by both old and new Dr. Seuss fans. —Review by Erin Holl

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