As the adage goes: home is where the heart is. This may seem self-explanatory, but none of our close primate cousins have anything like homes. Whether we live in an igloo or in Buckingham Palace, the fact that Homo sapiens create homes is one of the greatest puzzles of our evolution.

In Home: How Habitat Made Us Human, neuroanthropologist John S. Allen marshals evidence from evolutionary anthropology, neuroscience, the study of emotion, and modern sociology to argue that the home is one of the most important cognitive, technological, and cultural products of our species’ evolution. It is because we have homes—relatively secure against whatever horrors lurk outside—that human civilizations have been able to achieve the periods of explosive cultural and creative progress that are our species’ hallmark.

  Francine Jay pioneered the simple living movement with her self-published bestseller, The Joy of Less. 

Her easy-to-follow STREAMLINE method works in any space—from a single drawer to a closet, room, or entire house. What's more, it can be called upon during clutter-inducing life events such as moving, getting married, having kids, or downsizing.

  Elisabeth Grace is a retired clinical social worker living in rural Columbia County with two cats, Molly and Silkie. She divides her time between birding, animal welfare, gardening and writing.

After the Rain

Over two days in early June, 2013, I watched my driveway flow downhill and join Albany Turnpike. Soon, a lumbering orange tractor would grind its way up and down the slope scraping displaced earth and stone from the ditches at each side, would divert the runnels of water from the plateau at the top into a gully which had become blocked with fallen branches, rocks and mud, and filled in the 18-inch- deep crevasses which had kept me from driving up to the house for several days.

  Jesse Feiler is a developer, consultant, and author specializing in Apple technologies. He is the creator of Minutes Machine for iPad, the meeting management app and Saranac River Trail app a guide to the Trail that includes location-based updates as well as social media tools.

Today, Jesse joins us to talk about what's new in home automation for smart control and energy savings.

  When Allan Johnson asked his dying father where he wanted his ashes to be placed, his father replied--without hesitation--that it made no difference to him at all.

In his memoir, Not from Here, Johnson embarks on a 2,000-mile journey across the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains to find the place where his father's ashes belonged.

More than a personal narrative, Not from Here illuminates the national silence around unresolved questions of accountability, race, and identity politics, and the dilemma of how to take responsibility for a past we did not create.

  Growing up in a small river town in Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: “Indifference to history—that’s why you Americans seem so naïve and don’t really know where you’re from.”

In her new memoir, Flyover Lives, Johnson explores the Midwest and the family’s history. In digging around, she discovered letters and memoirs written by generations of stalwart pioneer ancestors.

    Hammertown Barn is a popular lifestyle store with locations in Pine Plains and Rhinebeck, NY and Great Barrington, MA. In Love Where You Live: At Home in the Country, design expert Joan Osofsky of Hammertown Barn, shares her in-depth knowledge on stylish modern country living with a collection of creative ideas and real-life tips for making your home warm and welcoming.

Joan and her co-author, Abby Adams, will sign copies of their book at Oblong Books & Music in Millerton, NY tomorrow beginning at 4pm.

  Tina Lincer is a writing in Loudonville, NY.

    NY Times best-selling author and lifestyle expert Bruce Littlefield’s latest book is his most personal to date. In Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage, he takes readers on a wild and often hysterical ride through the first year spent fixing up a historic old house with partner (and unwitting handyman) Scott Stewart, one of Manhattan’s top real estate brokers.

    The modern world can get messy. Fortunately, Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli is a man of obsessive order, as he demonstrates in The Art of Clean Up.

Tapping into the desire for organization and the insanity of über-order, Wehrli categorizes everyday objects and situations by color, size, and shape. He arranges alphabet soup into alphabetical order, sorts the night sky by star size, and aligns sunbathers' accouterments—all captured in bright photographs sure to astonish even the pickiest of neat freaks.