Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the tag “Book review”

At Long Last – Recommended Reading

Books I’ve Liked

I’ve decided to only share my recommended reading since it’s been almost two complete (weather-related) seasons since the last reading report.  EGADS!!!

I have been reading up a storm.  I’ve checked out many books that were not memorable, or that I did not get through the first chapter or so.  I’m sorry to all the authors who take awhile to get to the action.  I do not have the stamina nor the interest to suffer through interminable pages before my interest is captured.  I’ve left all those experiences off this post!

The books listed below were all enjoyable in one sense or another. Some were lighthearted romances, while others just blew me away.

Recommended Reading

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk is a historical novel intertwined with a modern story that conveys the story of the removal of the Chinese from California in the late 1800’s.  Given today’s political turmoil about allowing or removing refugees from our country, it was timely to be reading about a situation that might be repeating itself shortly.  This is a well written story, with great detail, emotion, and character development.  I read it in a few days or so.  Too busy reading to write any posts!

Recommended Reading

Jodi Picoult writes good stories.  However, I still object to her tendency to bring in a new detail to end the story.  With Small Great Things, this was also the case.  Yes, it’s worth reading. It’s thought provoking, good for discussions, believable, and well written.  However, the little detail she throws in at the end would have been so much more interesting if she had incorporated it into the actual story.

Recommended Reading

LaRose tells a story of a man who accidentally kills his neighbor’s son, and his own son’s best friend, while deer hunting.  To make up for this terrible mistake, he and his wife give their son to the other family.  This is an amazing story about each member of both families and how they cope.  It’s an entirely new story line that’s fascinating, well written, and believable.

Recommended Reading

Yes, a cookbook has made it to the Recommended Reading report.  Anthony Bourdain wrote Appetite: A Cookbook for his daughter, and it’s a conversational account of how to make the recipes they enjoy together. It’s well written, and easy to grasp and follow. I will admit that I did not finish reading all the recipes, but I fell in love with the book nonetheless.

Recommended Reading

This Jewelry Making book is very helpful in breaking down different techniques, at a high level, but still with enough detail.  The topics I knew a little bit about were explained well.  That led to my comfort level in understanding techniques that I have not tried yet. I checked this out from the library, but may actually buy a copy later.

Recommended Reading

The Story of Beautiful Girl had been recommended for our now defunct book club over and over again, and we kept rejecting it. The story description was just not appealing: two runaways from a mental institution leave a baby in the hands of an older woman before they are taken away.

Yes, that’s the basis of the story, but it is so much more.  I will admit that there are some details where I felt I had to suspend reality, but then again, life is often stranger than fiction, so I need to give those parts of the story room to be possible.  I know I am not giving you more incentive to read it, but I think you just need to go with blind faith, like I finally did, to give this book your attention.

There are more comments in the complete list below.

All these books were good.  No bad reviews this time!

Recommended Books Since September 2016

Love and TreasureAyelet WaldmanGood story, well written, B+
Elizabeth is MissingEmma HealeyEnjoyed it
The Ladies RoomCarolyn BrownVery light-hearted story, but still enjoyed it
The DressmakerKate AlcottGood
Everyone is BeautifulKatherine CenterGood writer
The City Baker's Guide to Country LivingLouise MillerEnjoyed it
Appetites: A CookbookAnthony BourdainExcellent - written the way you would share recipes. Good recipes. Good instructions. What else do you need?
Small Great ThingsJodi PicoultVery good - but the usual twist at the end (not a fan of that tendency)
The Invention of WingsSue Monk KiddVery good. Well written. Good story.
LaRoseLouise EdrichVery good. Good story, good characters. All believable. New subject matter and story line for me. Would recommend it.
The House on Main StreetShirlee McCoyLight romance but enough of a story to keep me interested & read the 2nd in the series!
The Forgotten GardenKate MortonB+ worthy. Good story, believable. I think I read this one pretty quickly.
The Girl Who Wrote in SilkKelli EstesCaptivating.
I think I devoured this in a couple of days.
Recommend it!
The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry MakingTammy PowleyGreat reference & explanations for different types of jewelry making. I got this from the library, but may actually buy it too.
The Cottage on the CornerShirlee McCoyThe 2nd book of the Apply Valley trilogy. Still good. Nothing serious or thought provoking, but enjoyable.
The Story of Beautiful GirlRachel SimonVery good book. Different kind of story, new story line. Kept me reading and reading. Finished quickly.


April 2015 Reading

It got to a point that I would not allow myself to read any beading books before bedtime. Worse than electronic interaction where people do not watch TV at bedtime, the beading books got my mind whirring so swiftly that I could not sleep.  Or I would finally get myself to sleep and then I would wake up two hours later to jot down ideas.

It’s nice to be obsessed!  Oh my, another stash opportunity! With beads being so less expensive than skeins of yarn, it is a frightening thought! I. Must. Contain. Myself. at least until I have a direction. Which I Am Working Toward.
Shop Interweave Store
Thus said, you may not be surprised with the April Books Purchased Assortment. “Damn Interweave Press!”  They had some April 15th sales going on, and as you may recall from the Holiday season, I find their sales very hard to resist.

Books Bought

Getting Started with Seed BeadsDustin Wedekind
Beadwork, June/July 2014Magazine
Beadwork, August/September 2012Magazine
Mastering Beadwork A Comprehensive Guide to Off-Loom TechniquesCarol Cypher
Beaded Allure Kelly Wiese
The Beader's BibleDorothy Wood
PlainsongKent Haruf
Eggs for BreakfastDonna Leahy
Farmstead Feast: WinterAnna Hess
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks LeagueJonathan Odell
StolenSusan Lewis

My mother told me about an email service called Book Bub, where you get daily emails about book bargains for your e-book provider.  Stolen is the first that I found and bought from this source.  I’ve never heard of the author, Susan Lewis, though I now see that she is very prolific.

Books Read

Getting Started with Seed BeadsDustin WedekindDisappointing
Beadwork, June/July 2014MagazineGood
Beadwork, August/September 2012MagazineGood
Mastering Beadwork A Comprehensive Guide to Off-Loom TechniquesCarol CypherGood
Beaded Allure Kelly WieseGood
PlainsongKent HarufGood
Eggs for BreakfastDonna LeahyOkay
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks LeagueJonathan OdellStill reading
The Storied Life of A.J. FikryGabrielle ZevinLoved it!
The After LifeGigi Levangie GrazerJust Terrible
Girls in White DressesJennifer CloseCould not get into it at all
The Book of TomorrowCecilia AhernTwo stars
When the World was YoungElizabeth GaffneyDid not get through it.
The Mathematician's ShivaStuart RojstazerStill Reading...

I enjoyed Plainsong by Kent Haruf.  Amazon has placed it in a category which I feel is an oxymoron – Vintage Contemporary.  (What is that? Like wearing a 1980’s dress?  It’s still vintage, worn by a contemporary. But I digress.)  This is a story about a pregnant teenager who is taken in by two older bachelor brothers.  I love stories about relationships, and this one abounds with people and how they interact with each other.  At one point, where the girl goes off with the boy who impregnated her, I had to put the book down because I didn’t want to read about the brothers’ reaction of what I expected to be disappointment and confusion.  It really is a lovely book.

I have The Mathematician’s Shiva in paperback next to my favorite chair in the living room. I pick it up sporadically and am slowly wending my way through it.  It’s good enough for me to keep picking it up and returning to it, but it hasn’t drawn me in to think about it all day and rush to get home to see what happens next.

I thoroughly enjoyed our Book Club Selection, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.  Our discussion was relatively short because we all loved it. There were no heated discussions of what was unbelievable or boring, or disengaging.  We understood the characters, they were believable, and we were all in agreement that it was a good book. While I like good books, I was disappointed (for many reasons) that the conversation veered to a discussion about many of the book club members’ pet dogs.

The Storied Life set such a high standard that it was difficult to find another book on its heels.  I tossed multiple library books, then finally got through Cecilia Ahern’s The Book of Tomorrow, a very contrived story about a girl who finds a book that has diary entries for the next day.  Admittedly, the author uses the first chapter to tell the reader to suspend reality but even so it wasn’t that great, and initially I thought I may have read it before until I realized that I was getting it confused with JoJo Moye’s Me Before You because there’s a castle in each story!  When I finished it, I gave it two stars on Amazon.  That meant “well, there must have been something there because I finished it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.”

Reading Resolution Report

My New  Year’s Resolutions for the past two years have included reading goals.  I am happy to announce that I have surpassed the goal of reading at least two books each month!

I have been coveting the book Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby for some time now. It’s a collection of his monthly column articles, “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” that ran for a decade in “The Believer.”   I’ll admit that I’ve only read the first two columns but I am already hooked.  He is irreverent, funny, literary and insightful.


I am going to adopt his reporting method and share my reading adventures on a monthly basis.

Without further ado, here’s November 2014.

Books Bought November 2014

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human DietRobb Wolf
Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole HogMatthew McCarry and Stacy Toth
Easy Paleo Gelatin TreatsCaitlin Weeks
Make Ahead Paleo RecipesSarah Swanson
The GriftersJim Thompson
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionFannie Flagg
The HeistDaniel Silva
Ten Years in the TubNick Hornby
Noro Magazine, Fall Winter 2014Magazine
Debbie Bliss Magazine, Fall Winter 2014Magazine
Vogue Knitting 2014 CrochetMagazine

The abundance in Paleo material was due to Amazon’s Kindle special of Paleo-oriented eBooks for $0.99 and above – well, even one was free!  I could not resist!

One of my book clubs is reading The Heist. I’m not liking it so far, but I keep telling myself that book clubs help me read material other than what I would choose on my own.  It will be interesting to listen to the others’ reviews.

Here is my November Reading Report

You Should Have KnownJean Hanff KorelitzOkay
The Warmth of Other SunsIsabel WilkersonThumbs Down (did not finish)
Twenties GirlSophie KinsellaThumbs Down (did not finish)
The GriftersJim ThompsonReally Liked
The Last RunawayTracy ChevalierReally Liked
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionFannie FlaggNot enthralled, still reading
The HeistDaniel SilvaStill Reading
Ten Years in the TubNick HornbyLoving it so far
Pros & ConsJanet Evanovich and Lee GoldbergHated it
Beyond BaconMatthew McCarryYUM! Will be a good reference.
Easy Paleo Gelatin TreatsCaitlin WeeksUninspiring

I really enjoyed The Last Runaway and The Grifters this month. The Last Runaway is about a Quaker Woman who lives in a community on The Underground Railroad route.  It’s a fascinating read on slavery, Quakers, relationships, history (and quilting) and was written by the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring (on my To Read list) Tracy Chevalier.

The Grifters, written in the 1970’s, is about a man who lived primarily by conning people, but it is also about how he had a normal life in order to hide the illegal one. Since it was written over 3 decades ago, it also provides a glimpse into the culture and customs of that era (in which I grew up!).   This one was made into a movie (for which Anjelica Houston was nominated for an Oscar).  Some members of my book club want to read this during a busy month, so they can watch the movie instead. I think it would be better to read the book first and then all watch the movie together!

Post Navigation