We have been reviewing wonderful books and zines from Microcosm Publishing for some time now. Not too long ago, I dropped by our old offices to pick up some mail and to my very happy surprise there were two large packages from Microcosm. They'd been sitting around long enough that we'd reviewed some of their contents already but I'd like to take this opportunity to say that nothing thrills me more than really good mail. So, thanks Microcosm! See our reviews here: Doris, the book; Dwelling Portably; Ker-bloom!.

There were two books in the package that we hadn't yet seen and they deserve some posting... In Search of the Lost Taste is a cookbook from Joshua Ploeg, traveling vegan chef extraordinaire. We've written about him before and are fans. This slim volume is full of well-crafted recipes for interesting fare such as lavender soda and soup in a pumpkin. It will remind any of us, not just vegans, to look beyond the basics and have some fun in the kitchen. It should also be noted that Aaron Renier did the cover.

Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills is another small manual for good living. In it, Raleigh Briggs offers easy to use instructions for things like household cleaners, herbal salves and tinctures, how to compost and what to plant in your garden. The book is divided into three sections: Health and First Aid, Nontoxic Cleaning and Body Care and Gardening. Each recipe is detailed by adorable drawings and is accessible to even someone as spazzy as myself.

And now for the gift idea... While looking for the links for the above reviews, I discovered that Microcosm sells $20 "superpacks" on a variety of subjects, including veganism, queer stuff, bicycles and DIY crafts. For $20 you get a selection of zines on each topic. Perfect for your younger sibling who just went vegan or your neighbor who is obsessed with his bicycle, par example.

Order all this stuff directly from Microcosm or find select titles at your local cool bookstore.

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