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6 New Books We’re Reading This Winter

Earth Medicine: Revealing Hidden Teachings
Author: Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz

In the last two years, many have turned back to the earth, seeking knowledge on how to stay healthy in a holistic manner. With her rich pedigree as an herbalist and great granddaughter of a well-respected medicine woman, Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz is versed in using the elements as a means of finding physical and spiritual wellness. In “Earth Medicine,” the lifelong north Phoenix native taps into her roots as an indigenous woman of Tewa, Spanish and Mexican descent to present a variety of desert botanical-infused recipes for everything from food and tinctures to skincare and mindfulness rituals. $25 (

Wild Design: Nature’s Architects
Author: Kimberly Ridley

Humans are not the only masters of functional form. Written by an experienced science writer and essayist, “Wild Design” explores the extraordinary shapes and structures found in and created by nature. From the seduction chambers of bowerbirds to intricate underground fungal networks in forests, this compilation of essays and illustrations is a fascinating ode to the masterful architects of the plant, animal and mineral worlds. $25 (

Hi Cacti: Growing Houseplants & Happiness
Author: Sabina Palermo

There’s contemporary wisdom to the famous quote, “bloom where you’re planted.” UK-based author and boutique owner Sabina Palermo happened upon the mantra while visiting Tucson—emblazoned on everything from T-shirts to beer coolers—and it stuck. “You can understand why this mindful quote hits home with the locals as a tiding of perseverance and hope—sometimes in life it feels tough to survive, let alone bloom, when you’re in the desert,” she says. “Thousands of giant saguaro cacti hold their heads up to 40 feet high, and despite the heat and lack of rain they still thrive.” Say hello to caring for houseplants and explore the therapeutic power of cultivating a leafy friend while learning practical ways to use plants for personal growth—including self-care rituals and mindfulness practices, botanical crafts, aromatherapy, skincare and recipes. $17 (

Peace, Love, and Pasta: Simple, Elegant Recipes from A Chef’s Own Kitchen
Author: Scott Conant

The doyen of al dente himself, Scott Conant, celebrity chef and owner of Valley restaurants Mora Italian and The Americano, gives us an intimate look at the dishes he cooks for family and friends. Famed for what The New York Times once called the “admirable simplicity” of his food, Conant has mastered the concept of unfussy, wonderfully delicious Italian fare. The 240-page tome features easy, flavorful recipes, from creamy polenta with stewed mushrooms to gnocchi with clams. “This book is particularly special to me because of the connection I have to the recipes as both chef and audience,” he says. “These are the recipes that are closest to my heart. I’ve drawn on my greatest hits and cooking memories from throughout my career to create dishes I can share at home with my family and, through these dishes, share those experiences with them.” $35 (

The Art of Wildflowers
Author: Dyana Hesson

Botanical artist and Phoenix Home & Garden Master of the Southwest Dyana Hesson is drawn to bright pops of color and brings those colors to life on canvas. The paintings included in this book are merely a sampling of the powerful body of work she has created since she first picked up a paintbrush in college. From delicate primrose wrapped around agave leaves to a stunning standalone sunflower, Hesson’s art celebrates the beauty of Arizona’s botanical species. $15 (

The Hummingbird Handbook
Author: John Shewey 

Hummingbirds are a natural wonder, with their dazzling colors, diminutive size and speedy flight. In this 240-page book, bird enthusiast John Schewey delves into the various species and provides practical advice for creating a hospitable haven for these prolific pollinators. From feeder tips to landscaping techniques that will have your garden buzzing with tiny flapping wings, this comprehensive guide provides all you need to know to entice these delightful creatures. $25 (


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