Book Awards, Interviews, News & Reviews




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Recognizing the Year's Best Books for Better Living

BOOK OF THE YEAR - Gold Medal: Body Category: Growing Roots

Independent Publisher: 2011 Living Now Book Awards Results Link

The Living Now Book Awards celebrate the innovation and creativity of newly published books that enhance the quality of our lives, from cooking and fitness to relationships and mature living. The awards are open to all books written in English and intended for the North American market.

The gold, silver and bronze medalists in this year's Living Now Book Awards offer a list of books representing the fastest-growing segments of book publishing today, and the Living Now Book Awards help demonstrate the importance of these books to readers and their vitality in the marketplace.

The awards are presented by Jenkins Group of Traverse City, Michigan. Jenkins Group has been involved in book packaging, marketing and distribution since 1988, and is dedicated to promoting books that improve readers' lives, bring families together, and make the world a safer, healthier place.

Our third annual Living Now Book Awards are designed to honor the year's best books that help readers attain healthier, more fulfilling, and productive lives.

Announced on the eve of Earth Day, the Living Now Book Awards recognize books that help readers help themselves, to learn about enriching their lives in wholesome, Earth-friendly ways. In all, 97 medals were awarded in 29 categories, chosen from 452 total entries. Winning publishers are a diverse group, hailing from 28 U.S. States, three Canadian provinces, and five countries overseas. Congratulations to all!

The Living Now Books of the Year are chosen because they best represent the spirit of the Living Now Awards and the aspects of mind, body, spirit. All receive gold medals.


FIRST PLACE: Body - Mind - Spirit Category: Growing Roots
Herman University Award for the Best Nonfiction Book of the Year:
Growing Roots

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (12/10)

I moved to the United States as an adult and even after more than a decade of living here, there are still things that baffle me. One of those, and probably the one that I talk about most often, is the relationship most Americans seem to have with their food. Everything needs to be bigger, shinier and "better value," but so very few people seem to be concerned about where their food comes from and how it was raised. Do not get me wrong, I am not knocking convenience and I am also not preaching about being ultra-green and fanatically locavore-ish, but I sure do miss going to the market most days. Those nearly daily trips to the market, always on foot and with my basket, were something to look forward to, and talking to the grannies who grew the best lettuce in their backyards in the suburbs and the old man who sold the best pickled turnip anywhere in the world were always a highlight for me.

I have to admit that I have seen many positive changes in this direction recently, and the absolutely gorgeous "Growing Roots" by Katherine Leiner showcases them beautifully. There is a lot to like about this book, starting from the purely aesthetic beauty of the photos by Andrew Lipton, who managed to catch a variety of precious moments on film. Then there are the stories, written with so much passion and such great respect for the work the people we get introduced to in the book are involved in. The author's admiration for the passion and purpose of this fascinating line-up of sustainable farmers, cooks and food activists shone through in every single story. If that would not be enough for you, the book also contains some 150 recipes, ranging from incredibly simple to quite complex, but all of them sounding delicious, tempting and actually doable.

The stories introduce us to a vast array of people who are trying to make a change in fields as diverse as cooking raw food, producing compost, fishing for oysters, raising poultry or pigs, growing herbs, keeping bees, practicing naturopathic medicine, running a farmers market, producing biodiesel, making organic ice-cream and many more.

"Growing Roots" is a book for anybody who wants to know more about what's on his or her plate, for anybody who's curious about the newer trends in food and for anybody who wishes to respect our planet more. It's a book to make you dream and yearn and slightly envy places like California or NYC for their abundant farmers markets and other food outlets. Hopefully, it is also a book that will inspire more of us to do what is right.


Book Review at Dig It Magazine, Dec. 7, 2011  Betsy Hays Review
Katherine is speaking at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, CA, Sept. 15, 2011

Radio Interviews with Katherine & Guests on WNYC Public Radio, Apr. & May, 2011  WNYC Links Page
Book Review at Deer Hill Expeditions, Mar. 30, 2011 
Katherine appearance at Summer Day Cafe on Marco Island, Feb. 4, 2011
Event Link: Coastal Breeze News Entry
Book Review at Anatomy of Food, Nov. 29, 2010  Kate Perkins Review
Book Review at The Evolving Homemaker, Nov. 16, 2010 
Katherine is interviewed by Annie Novak of Eagle Street Rooftop Farms in
Greenpoint, Brooklyn., Nov. 13, 2010
  Event Link: Word Site
Radio Interview with Katherine on KCHO Northstate Public Radio, Nov. 5, 2010 
Growing Roots Book Referenced, Nov. 3, 2010  Kitchen Talk: Press Democrat Link
Katherine appearance at A Novel Idea, Oct. 25, 2010  Includes article by Chance Solem-Pfeifer

Appearance through Rocky Mountain Land Series at the Tattered Cover Bookstore, Oct. 23, 2010
Tattered Cover Bookstore Notice
Appearance at the Boulder Bookstore, Oct. 13, 2010  Boulder Bookstore Notice
Katherine appearance at the Morrison Lounge, Oct. 8, 2010  Event Link: F.E.A.S.T. Blog Entry
The Power Hour, Minneapolis, MN - Radio Interview with Katherine Leiner, Sept. 29, 2010
Well Fed Neighbor Alliance, Blog Review, posted Sept. 29, 2010

Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists (by Katherine Leiner, $35, Sunrise Lane Productions

Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists is about a new revolution in food that involves young people who are living sustainable lives that revolve around healthy, natural food. The book introduces us to farmers and beekeepers, fishermen and chefs, food activists and cheese mongers, and many, many more. We meet these fascinating young people from all across the nation through first-person profiles, along with brilliant photographs and delicious, simple recipes. They talk about raising grass-fed beef, lamb, and pork; growing vegetables and grains; keeping bees and making cheese; and their restaurants and their markets. Included are filmmakers, writers, and artists who change the way we look at what we eat and where our food comes from. In their profiles we learn how these young people got to where they are today, their backgrounds, their education, and their passionate relationship to food.

The author's through-line gives us a glimpse of her own journey with food, through her own childhood, raising children, and becoming an empty-nester. Growing Roots is about relationships and how food figures in those relationships. It is for everyone who is interested in learning about this new iteration of the food movement and the folks involved, whether you'd like to figure out how to do it for yourself, or just love reading about it. The photos are beautiful, the narrative lively, and the recipes simple and delicious. A must-read for all ages and a wonderful addition to the food-lover's bookshelf. —Reviewed by Joe Tittiger

Sacramento Book Review and San Francisco Book Review, posted on Sept. 26, 2010

Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists Stories and Recipes, filed in Featured-NonFiction, Home & Garden, By Katherine Leiner, Sunrise Lane Productions, $35.00, 303 Pages

Growing up working in an organic vegetable garden is something quite magical. I was fortunate enough to have parents that believed in composting, saving seeds, using non-chemical fertilizers, and natural methods of pest control, not to mention saving to buy land to grow food on. Married with kids of my own, the first thing we did after buying a house was take out the ornamental, water-hogging landscaping in half of the backyard and put in a 20×20 organic vegetable garden…something that the whole family takes part in learning about and caring for. Stories of folks and families just like ours across America are the focal point of Growing Roots a gardening, nutrition and healthy-living book by Katherine Leiner. I liked this book for three reasons: 1. it wasn’t some a uber-green-party browbeating session on lazy, fat consumers, 2. it offered real stories of real folks with real solutions for a variety of sustainable gardening/farming, 3. each contributor offered a parting gift: healthy recipes almost anyone can make. I was so encouraged after reading this piece. From New York to California, more and more folks are re-discovering they can indeed grow and raise with own food, slowly and surely producing more than they consume. —Reviewed by Meredith Greene

Book Review at The Durango Herald, Sept. 14, 2010  Leslie Doran Review
Katherine appearance at Maria's Bookshop, Sept. 10, 2010  Katherine's Books at Maria's: About Katherine Leiner
Library - XPress Reviews, posted Sept. 3, 2010

Leiner, Katherine (text) & Andrew Lipton (photogs.). Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists. Sunrise Lane, dist. by Chelsea Green. Sept. 2010. c.320p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781603582889. pap. $35. COOKING

Writing about sustainable food by interviewing practitioners is a new direction for Leiner, who has authored novels for adults and children, among other works. Her first good decision was to frame the series of interviews within the narrative of her own routes across the country, especially between homes in New York and Colorado. This, rather than a dry organization by food type or practice, draws the reader from section to section effectively. The other significant strength of the book is how well its subjects' voices emerge. The sections are presented not as Q&A but as flowing monologs that permit bursts of personality—even eccentricity—through philosophical and practical ruminations. On the downside, some readers will tire of the earnestness that will appeal to others. The recipes in nearly every section, moreover, are not uniformly interesting and should have been better selected and edited. Verdict Leiner presents readers with thought-provoking ideas throughout, cloaked in an eminently readable travelog. Inspirational and entertaining reading, though perhaps best suited for those who already subscribe to many of the same tenets. —Peter Hepburn, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

The Green Life from Sierra magazine, Book Review, posted Aug. 25, 2010

Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists (by Katherine Leiner, $35, Sunrise Lane Productions, Sept. 2010):

This collection of interviews with a diverse group of organic farmers, raw-food chefs, winemakers, beekeepers, and slow-food advocates forms an intimate portrait of America's growing sustainable-food movement. Candid conversations are paired with recipes and tips from these passionate foodies, leaving readers feeling enthusiastic about the future of green cuisine.

Appearance through Books at the Market at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, Aug. 14, 2010