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4 New Books to Add to Your Library

From upcycling to succulent care, here’s what we’re reading this fall.

By John Roark

“Upcycling Outdoors” by Max McMurdo

Whether you are an aspiring DIY-er or a creative soul who sees “spare parts” as opportunities for transformation, this collection of 20 projects will take you on a creative journey that will bring beauty and whimsy to your outdoor spaces. From a fire pit made from bicycle tires to a potting shed crafted from vintage doors, you’ll be inspired to give new life to yesterday’s castoffs. $30 (

“Mezcal: The History, Craft & Cocktails of the World’s Ultimate Artisanal Spirit” by Emma Janzen

This authoritative manual explores all things mezcal, which has been known for centuries south of the border and is now capturing the imagination of enthusiasts worldwide. From the history of this agave-based spirit to cocktail recipes from top mezcal bars across the U.S. and Mexico, this tome is a celebration of the often misunderstood elixir. $25 (

“California Captured” by Emily Bills, Sam Lubell and Pierluigi Serraino

Seen through the lens of celebrated photographer Marvin Rand, California’s midcentury modern architecture is lavishly honored in 240 black-and-white and color photographs that pay homage to architectural giants such as Craig Ellwood, Louis Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright. From iconic landmarks, including the Capitol Records Tower, to public buildings and private homes, this visual index is a must-have for the libraries and coffee tables of fans of the timeless structures that grace The Golden State. $60 (

“Cacti and Succulents Handbook” by Gideon F. Smith

This compendium provides information on more than 140 species and varieties of cacti and succulents, as well as growing tips and tricks to foster a healthy garden. Detailed descriptions and high-quality photographs of specimens make it easy for you to identify the desert plants that will work best in your garden. $20 (


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