Enjoying the great outdoors

After a long wait, summer has finally arrived. Take advantage of it by getting outside. Get some inspiration from the titles below or others on the shelves at the library.

“70 Picnic Recipes and Easy Outdoor Eating Ideas” by Christine France

Everyone loves picnics, but coming up with easy to transport recipes that will withstand the Iowa heat can be a chore. Browse through this lovely cookbook full of beautiful photographs to help you come up with the perfect picnic menu. Plus, France includes tips and tricks for making eating in the great outdoors easier than ever.

“Summer: A User’s Guide” by Suzanne Brown.

This book is like a bucket list for summer. It has practical guides and suggestions for a huge variety of the summer activities you’ve always wanted to try, from playing yard games to attracting butterflies to your garden. With activities all ages will enjoy, it is a great book to go through with your family or even by yourself (for those who are still kids at heart).

“Baseball: An Illustrated History” by Geoffrey Ward.

Baseball is a summer tradition and this guide will bring up to date on its history. Based on the documentary filmscript by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, the photograph-rich book will engage and entertain as well as inform. Great for devotees of the sport as well as those just interested in its history. (Also, the library has the complete Baseball documentary series by Ken Burns available on DVD).

“The Backpacker’s Field Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills” by Rick Curtis

Maybe you want to have a more immersive outdoor experience. This volume, by Rick Curtis, will get you out of the house and on the trail. A great resource for beginners and experienced hikers alike, the book provides indispensable trip planning strategies and quick reference while on the trail. You’ll learn backcountry skills like how to forecast the weather or bear-proof your campsite, practical tips for the trail, and advice on going ultralight. If a backcountry camping trip is on the horizon for you, don’t miss out on the guidance of this book.

“The Complete Gardener’s Guide”

For those who want to enjoy the outdoors a little closer to home, gardening offers a great way to be out in nature in a more laid-back way. For gardeners of all experience levels and garden sizes, this title from DK Publishing includes great full-color photos and extensive instructions for a variety of gardening techniques makes it the perfect all-purpose guide for creating your best garden yet.