October 2016 Quick Reviews
So many wonderful books out there, and I’m slowly, but surely starting to catch up on my backlog of books to read.
The Perfection Deception: Why Striving to Be Perfect Is Sabotaging Your Relationships, Making You Sick, and Holding Your Happiness Hostage by Jane Bluestein*: This is an excellent book for those of us who struggle with perfectionism. Bluestein shows us how perfectionism isn’t a good thing, how it develops, how it hurts us, and how we can learn to live with more authenticity and vulnerability rather than hiding behind the walls of perfectionism. Highly recommended.
Custom Knits: Unleash Your Inner Designer with Top-Down and Improvisational Techniques by Wendy Bernard: Great information on techniques, construction and customization. Most of the patterns weren’t really my style though, so I’m happy I just borrowed it from the library.
Awakenings by Oliver Sacks: I listened to this on Audible. It was a fascinating and simultaneously heartbreaking story of a group of patients with sleeping sickness who had been in a sleep-like trance for decades. Given the new drug L-DOPA many “woke up” – even if only for a brief time.
Things I Learned from Knitting… whether I wanted to or not by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee: This is the first book I read by the Yarn Harlot and I loved it. A hilarious collection of essays on the trials and tribulations of a knitter – I think even the non-knitters would be amused.
Great Catherine: The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia by Carolly Erickson: I listened to this on Audible – I really liked the narrator. This is a great insight into the life of Catherine the Great and how she went from a young German princess to become one of the most powerful women at her time.
Knitting in Circles: 100 Circular Patterns for Sweaters, Bags, Hats, Afghans, and More by Nicky Epstein: A good collection of different circular patterns and motifs, but I didn’t like any of the actual patterns and I’m not sure I would find it that useful.
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (an Outlander Novel) by Diana Gabaldon: After the last couple of Outlander novels being a bit lacklustre (in my opinion), Gabaldon has found her stride again with Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. If you’ve read and enjoyed any of her previous Outlander novels I highly recommend it – if you haven’t I would start at the beginning with Outlander.
Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies: 101 Projects for Infants & Toddlers by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman*: This is another excellent edition to the series of One-Skein Wonders books, this time full of cute projects for babies and toddlers – perfect for using up those leftover skeins and bits of yarn. There’s so many delightful projects, many are excellent for beginners too.
I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable*: Loosely based on the real life of Gladys Spencer-Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, I’ll See You in Paris is both a mystery and a love story. The story had great premise, but the execution was only so-so – still a decent read, and I would recommend it for those who like historical chick-lit.
Garage Band: A comedy that has Nothing to do with Music. Everything to do with Getting Even. by Adam Rabinowitz: I was contacted by the author who apparently had liked some of my Amazon reviews and thought I would enjoy this book. I have no idea why. Not only is it poorly written, it is one of the most sexist pieces of garbage that I’ve ever read. In the end I only read the first 10% of the book and the last chapter (to see if there might be some redemption towards the end. There wasn’t.). This is a book oozing of white, middle-age, male privilege and entitlement and I’d encourage you to stay far far away from it.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman, Ph.D. & Nan Silver: I had heard really good stuff about this book, it had been on my to-read list for a long time and even with my high expectations it didn’t let me down. Too often books on relationships repeat the same-old standard advice about the importance of communication and spout the old stereotypes on the difference between men and women. Instead this book will tell you that it doesn’t really matter how much you argue – as long as you have 5 good moments for every bad one, and as long as you avoid the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling), turn toward rather than away from your partner, foster fondness and admiration, build a love map, create shared meaning and learn to cope with conflicts than can’t be resolved. I highly recommend this book to everyone (whether not you’re currently in a romantic relationship).
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: If you loved The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, but weren’t sure how to practically go about decluttering and organizing (and folding all your clothes Kondo style), or if you don’t really care about the philosophy behind why she does things the way she does; Spark Joy is for you. Step-by-step illustrated details and chapters covering all parts of the average household. I especially enjoyed her storage tips and guidelines on how to properly fold clothes.
The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels) by Philippa Gregory: While Gregory’s novel are more like “light” historical fiction, I quite like most of her books and this one was better than average. Since switching to listening to them on Audible, I also find that it’s easier to keep my focus (and due to their length, they’re a pretty good deal).
Natural Hair Coloring: How to Use Henna and Other Pure Herbal Pigments for Chemical-Free Beauty by Christine Shahin*: Shahin covers all parts of natural hair care – of course with a huge emphasis on how to colour your hair naturally. I was amazed to learn just how many different colours you can achieve using natural methods, including ways to intensify your natural hair colour. I highly recommend this to anyone who colours their hair and are looking for more natural alternatives.
*Received an advanced reader’s copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
- Posted in: Writer's Wednesday
- Tagged: Awakenings, book, book notes, book review, book reviews, books, carolly erickson, Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies, Custom Knits, Diana Gabaldon, Edie Eckman, Great Catherine, I'll See You in Paris, Jane Bluestein, John Gottman, Judith Durant, knitting, Knitting in Circles, Marie Kondo, Michelle Gable, Oliver Sacks, Outlander, Perfection Deception, Philippa Gregory, Quick Lit, Quick Reviews, Spark Joy, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, The White Princess, Things I Learned From Knitting...whether I wanted to or not, Wendy Bernard, Written In My Own Heart's Blood, Yarn Harlot