Saturday, 8 September 2018

Reminding You About one of my Top 20 books - The Garden of Small Beginnings

One of my top pages contains links to my posts about my Top 20 books (not of all time but since I've been blogging) – you'll find some goodies there.

One of the novels there is the Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman – this is what I said about it:

The Garden of Small Beginnings is simply awesome.  A gem of a book, exquisitely constructed and very witty.

The author blurb will give you a touch of what I mean:

'Abbi Waxman is a chocolate-loving, dog-loving woman who lives in Los Angeles and lies down as much as possible.  She worked in advertising for many years, which is how she learned how to write fiction.  She has three daughters, three dogs, three cats, and one very patient husband.'

After each chapter there is a page that deals with growing vegetables – quite why I'm not sure – but the author lets her wit shine through here as well.  Not only were these pages entertaining – they also inspired (or re-inspired) a wish to do a bit of gardening.

As a sample, here is  what she says about growing cabbages:

'Start cabbage seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost, assuming you know when that is.

·         Put them outside a week before you want to put them in the ground, to harden them off and get them excited about the wider world they're about to inhabit.
·         Put them in the ground 2 or 3 weeks before the last spring frost, so they're good and settled before it comes and startles them.
·         Plat 12 to 24 inches apart in rows, depending on size of head desired.  The closer you plant, the smaller the heads.
·         They are many, many ways to prepared cabbage, most of them delicious.  If you think cabbage is smelly, it's because you've been overcooking it.  Cook it for too long and it produces hydrogen sulphide, presumably as a comment on your cooking skills.  Sorry but that's how they roll.'

But all that is just the appetiser, the main course is the story. The author of Be Frank With Me (another good book) is quoted on the cover as saying 'this is my favorite kind of book – hilarious, sad, joyful.  Beautifully written. Fun. I dare you not to enjoy it.'

I couldn't agree more.  Get this book and enjoy all the characters – especially Lilian.

One small postscript – there is a sprinkling of bad language in the book – but I didn't find it at all gratuitous.  There is no x-rated content. 


  1. This book sounds appealing to me, thanks for reminding me.

  2. Sounds like a good read. Just put it on hold at the library. Thanks!


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