China Bayles' Book of Days: 365 Celebrations of the Mystery, Myth, and Magic of Herbs from the World of Pecan Springs

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Overview

Readers of the China Bayles mystery novels are familiar with the usefulness and wonder of the many herbs the amateur sleuth sells in her beloved Thyme and Seasons shop. Compiled by national bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert at the request of her fans, China Bayles' Book of Days gathers together tidbits and treasures about plants and reveals ways you can put more green into your daily life.

Featuring 365 days of recipes, crafts, gardening tips, remedies, and more, this ...

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China Bayles' Book of Days

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Overview

Readers of the China Bayles mystery novels are familiar with the usefulness and wonder of the many herbs the amateur sleuth sells in her beloved Thyme and Seasons shop. Compiled by national bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert at the request of her fans, China Bayles' Book of Days gathers together tidbits and treasures about plants and reveals ways you can put more green into your daily life.

Featuring 365 days of recipes, crafts, gardening tips, remedies, and more, this special volume is a personal calendar of the legends and lore of herbs and also features brand-new essays from the author, clues from China's mysteries, and some special contributions by the irrepressible members of the Myra Merryweather Herb Guild, Pecan Springs's oldest civic organization.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425206539
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/3/2006
  • Series: China Bayles Series
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 309,342
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 8.13 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Wittig Albert

Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow’s Tears, Cat’s Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.

Biography

Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she now lives with her husband, Bill, in the country outside of Austin, Texas. In addition to the China Bayles mysteries, she writes the Victorian Mysteries series, along with her husband, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books, LTD.

Good To Know

In our exclusive interview with Albert, she revealed some fun facts about herself:

"My first job was selling ladies' undies at Woolworth's for 35 cents an hour in Danville, Illinois."

I learned to garden from my mother, who thought that the most important thing you did every spring was to plant the potatoes. I learned to read from my father, who never planted a potato in his life. Somehow, I managed to create a life and make a living between these two extremes. Happily, I haven't had to go back to selling undies. Not yet, anyway."

"I love living in the country with Bill, two black Labs, and a black cat. I'd rather read a book or write one than do just about anything else in the world, except maybe for gardening and sitting in a bathtub full of hot, hot water and bubbles. Or knitting, spinning, weaving, dyeing -- I'm a fiber-arts fanatic."

"You can find out what I'm doing today (or what I did yesterday) by checking out my web log, at susanalbert.typepad.com/lifescapes (but there's no web cam, so don't look for me in the bathtub)."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Robin Paige
    1. Date of Birth:
      1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      Danville, Illinois
    1. Education:
      Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Read an Excerpt

AUGUST 31

Yesterday was the Feast Day of St. Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners, florists, and herbalists.

If your garden is doing particularly well this year, you can thank St. Fiacre, the patron saint of gardens. If it isn’t—well, perhaps you could ask this helpful saint to lend a hand.

The Tale of St. Fiacre

Fiacre lived in the seventh century. He was raised in an Irish monastery, where he learned to use healing herbs. He wanted to be a hermit, but his skill and knowledge brought people to him, so he went to France in search of solitude, taking up residence in a cave near a spring. He needed a garden (who doesn’t?) so he asked a nearby bishop, St. Faro of Meaux, for land. The bishop gave him as much garden space as he could plow in a day. The next morning, it is said, Fiacre chose his spot and began to walk around it, dragging his spade behind him. Magically, wherever his spade touched, trees toppled, bushes were uprooted, the soil was turned over, and the rocks were plucked out. The local folk, frightened, called it sorcery, but the bishop declared Fiacre’s garden a miracle. (Personally, I suspect that the bishop had some gardening work of his own that needed to be done.) Fiacre’s garden, always in bloom and always beautifully tended, became a place of pilgrimage. His healing herbs were eagerly sought, and his culinary herbs were used to flavor food that was offered to the poor.

To invite blessings to your garden you might purchase a small statue of this gardener’s saint and put it in a quiet corner, where you can enjoy the meditative silence Fiacre sought in his own garden. Surround it with such healing herbs as sage, thyme, mint, fennel, dill, and St. John’s wort, herbs that Fiacre would have known and used.

The growing of the first few herbs is the discovery of a whole new world of garden pleasure and human meaning, but it is when a gardener has tried a few, liked them and been liked by them and would go on that the full adventure begins. –Henry Beston, Herbs and the Earth

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Small Doses of Great Herb Info

    This is a "Must Have" book for any Herb lover. The details on each daily herb is very extensive along with recommended reading for those who want even more information. Of course, it does help that China Bayles is one of my absolutely favorite mystery heroines. Susan Wittig Albert is an outstanding author that has a special gift of writing an attention crabbing book while sharing her knowledge of herbs at the same time. This series is one of my favorite and I often treat myself to a China Bayles book (via my Nook) whenever I feel the need for something special!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Will buy a second book

    Can use book on a daily basis - good mix of topics all relating to herbs

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 21, 2009

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    Posted November 25, 2009

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