If, to paraphrase Spanish novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafón, books are mirrors of our interior lives, then the forthcoming season’s home and garden titles reflect a growing desire among readers to see who they are, and what they believe, manifest in their immediate surroundings.

For some, this means ensuring that every aesthetic choice—the color on the walls, for instance, or the arrangement of bottles on a bar cart—supports the image they are trying to project. Some, too, see the home as a starting point for responding to larger concerns, such as their carbon footprint.

“Our own spaces are something we actually have control over,” says Abigail Gehring, editorial director at Skyhorse Publishing, “whether it’s choosing a tiny home to have less impact on the environment, or growing houseplants for our well-being.”

Aspirational eye candy continues to claim space on bookstore shelves, but many readers are also turning to hands-on titles that teach how to build, grow, and scale back. There’s a politically motivated contingent for whom this means learning to live off the grid. But more generally, says Deborah Balmuth, publisher at Storey Publishing, “we’re seeing that we can take once-niche topics, like self-sufficiency, and do practical books that speak to a wider audience.”

Even design-centric Rizzoli has begun to embrace service-oriented home and garden titles. More than ever, says publisher Charles Miers, “these books have to have real purpose, and relevance, and reusability.”

Here PW looks at forthcoming books that tackle subjects as diverse as butterfly garden cultivation and disaster preparedness, all with an undercurrent of self-expression.

Lela Nargi is a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Below, more on the subject of home and garden books.

Our Homes, Ourselves: Home & Garden Books 2018
The theme of ‘authenticity’ recurs throughout the home and garden space, and personalization is key.

Living Small: Home & Garden Books 2018
Micro living spaces are sustainable, affordable, and the ultimate way to showcase one’s personal style.

Are You Ready for This?: Home & Garden Books 2018
New books for the modern-day prepper mesh sustainability with emergency preparedness.