Garden Bloggers' Book Club November Selection

Dogwood turning red...

After much review of the list of suggested books for the Garden Bloggers' Book Club, I am pleased to announce a book that I think will be a good read for November.

Without further ado… the November selection is The Essential Earthman by Henry Mitchell.

Why this book? There were several reasons…

Henry Mitchell was one of the most often named authors on the various lists and suggestions I received from everyone, so this book has wide-spread appeal going for it.

This book is available just about everywhere. It is available at both Amazon and Amazon UK. There is also a “limited view” on Google Books, but I suspect after looking at it for a few minutes that you’ll be able to read a page or two of a chapter, but not the whole thing. That might get kind of frustrating, but might be better than nothing at all. I also checked my local library, and they have copies of it, so I assume most libraries will have a copy.

The way the book is written, you can read a chapter or two or the whole book and have something to write a post or two about. So, if you aren’t sure you have time to read a whole book, you might read a chapter or two, and still find plenty to comment on.

Several people commented that they also like to re-read Henry Mitchell, so if someone has already read this book, it is worth reading again.

The “clincher” endorsement came from Annie at The Transplantable Rose, who commented that she used Henry Mitchell’s books as a reward, telling herself “now just get a couple more loads of clothes done and you can reread 4 chapters of Earthman".

With all that going for this book, how could we go wrong with it as the first month’s book selection?

I found this website with more information about Henry Mitchell, if you would like to learn a little more about him before you set about reading his book, The Essential Earthman. From this web page, you can explore his garden, read about his life, and explore other websites with information about him.

Remember that all you have to do to participate is read the book (or part of it), write a post in November with your thoughts about the book, and post it on your blog. Then send me a comment to let me know you’ve posted, and I’ll try to put it all together in a “compilation” post at the end of November.

And keep sending me your suggestions, as I am looking through them to pick books for December, January, February and March. I’ve received some interesting choices, including mystery books with a gardening theme from Judith at Weeds between the Cracks and several ideas in the comments to this post.

I leave you with this quote from The Essential Earthman:

“… but fall--not spring—is the great planting season for woody things. If, in other words, you had thought of lolling in the warm weekends admiring the chrysanthemums and the dogwoods turning red, congratulating yourself perhaps that the weeds are losing heart, let me cheerfully remind you that you should be exhausted (not lolling) since this is the busiest of all the garden seasons. When you are not planting bulbs, digging up bindweed roots, rooting out pokeweed, soaking bamboo, there are still other tasks. Thousands of them. You are terribly behind. The very idea of just sitting about in the sun!”

I feel sufficiently chastised in even thinking that I should start winding down for the season this soon, don't you? Well, we do have all of November to read the book in between our "thousands of tasks". Happy Reading…


  1. Henry Mitchell is the author who got me hooked on garden essays...I'm happy with your choice!

  2. I just bought a used copy on e-bay! Count me in!

  3. I came across a quote by Cicero the other day :

    "If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need."

    It made me think of the book club ...

  4. I'm in. I'm starting to re-read my copy now. Good choice! For people who haven't read Henry Mitchell, this is their chance. For those who have, like you pointed out, we are happy to have a reason to read the book again.

  5. Oh this book sounds like I am going to enjoy it so much!I will get to know Henry Mitchell who sounds like a wise gardener..he's right.. this is not the time to sit around enjoying the autumn sun so much to do and the clean up and storage and.. and.. and!!I'm exhausted already!! I need to sit and read now!

  6. I'm in! Will the discussion take place on your blog?

  7. I will track a copy down.He seems quite wise in the quote, great stuff to keep the spirit up in the darkness of an english winter..

  8. Carol,

    I'm excited to participate in the book club -- looking forward to it! I stopped by the Iowa City Public Library today to see if they had a copy, but no luck...however, they've identified a couple other copies at other Iowa libraries, and are even willing to go out of state, if need be! I should have a copy within a week or so.

    I'll let you know when I post something. Thanks for getting this going -- I think it's a terrific idea!

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  9. This is a great choice. Henry Mitchell was a terrific, careful writer, with a lot to say about life, as well as about gardening. And don't be surprised when you find yourself laughing out loud as you read his essays. He was a real gardener, who understood how greedy we can be, always trying to cram in more plants than could possibly fit... and the inevitable outcome of our greed. But he, and we, kept at it.

  10. Having only recently started a weblog this is all very new. May I join you? I have a copy of 'The
    Essential Earthman' from the local library and am enjoying his outlook on gardens and gardeners.
    "It is the spectrum, not the color that makes color worth having, and it is the cycle, not the instant, that makes the day worth living."

    I could write pages on this sentiment alone...Gloria

  11. Carol,

    I now have both my November book club posts up and running. They can be found here and here.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else had to say about Henry Mitchell's work!

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  12. My contribution to the book club is now published here.


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