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Content by Barbara
Top Reviewer Ranking: 332
Helpful Votes: 282

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Reviews Written by
Barbara "Nature Lover" (Ontario, Canada)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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An Echo in the Bone
An Echo in the Bone
by Diana Gabaldon
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from CDN$ 8.60

3.0 out of 5 stars A good book worth reading, Jan. 23 2010
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This review is from: An Echo in the Bone (Hardcover)
I'm so glad that this story has continued and I look forward to book 8. There are no spoilers in this review but I warn you that in a few of the other reviews there are enough comments about plot that I felt it ruined the suspense because I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen.

This book doesn't focus quite so much on Claire and Jaimie, or I should say that the stories of the secondary characters - Lord John, William, and Ian are expanded upon. We also follow Brianna and family but not as the main theme of the book. Some new characters are also introduced which became important characters.

This book was well written but not as exciting a page turner in the middle as the other books in the series, but it's still an excellent book and the story is good. Things really build up near the end and the last few hundred pages are pretty exciting.

It does end very abruptly with many things up in the air and you're left waiting for book 8 to find out what happens. If you are familiar with Galbaldon's work you know she's a great author and that book 8 will probably be a real romp.

Victorian Lace Today
Victorian Lace Today
by Jane Sowerby
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.62
39 used & new from CDN$ 23.77

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lace & Tons of Variety, Nov. 23 2009
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This review is from: Victorian Lace Today (Paperback)
This book is a great purchase. It's chock full of shawls, rectangular square, triangular and even circular. Most of the designs are for rectangular shawls. What makes this book exceptional is the great variety of designs. About 3 are rated as easy and the rest are for either intermediate or expert level knitters. There are several lovely scarf designs, and a fichu which is like a little bit of lace that ties around the neck. Of course there are tons of charts for tracking the stitches. At the back of the book are the usual abbreviations explained and knitting basics such as different cast-ons and offs. The photographs are wonderful, taken showing some Victorian architecture, but the focus is still on the garment, not the location. There are so many designs in this book that you'll have to look at it many times to be able to absorb them all. This book is a great value for your money with the number of patterns offered. Oh, and there are bits of Victorian history sprinkled throughout the book which is an interesting read as well.

Time Traveler's Wife
Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Writing, Brilliant Story, Sept. 10 2009
This review is from: Time Traveler's Wife (Paperback)
The idea for this book is absolutely brilliant. Time travel isn't novel as a topic but the author's enchanting writing will keep you turning page after page. This book is hard to put down. Told from two perspectives, Henry's and Clare's their love story unfolds over time, sometimes in the past, sometimes the present. The characters are wonderfully real and interesting and their love story is very compelling.

My only negative comment is that the author often uses the names of other people as comparisons of what someone is like and when I didn't know who that famous person was it did detract from being able to appreciate the description. But this was minimal and by no means negative enough not to still rate as a 5 star book. A great read and I'm sure the movie will be equally good.

Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind
Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind
by Stephen Buchmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.76
24 used & new from CDN$ 1.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading historic book, Aug. 22 2009
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This book covers prehistoric honey hunters and takes you on a really interesting descriptive tour into Malaysia where hunters are still collecting honey using ancient methods and rituals. Also fascinating was the info on other types of bees, giant bees in Asia and stingless bees in South America. The book reads like a novel and reveals through the years our ancient relationship with honey bees.

The Secret Life of Bees: Tie In Edition
The Secret Life of Bees: Tie In Edition
by Sue Monk Kidd
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.62
89 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good when read a second time, Aug. 9 2009
I loved this book the first time I read it years ago. Recently I reread it and enjoyed it even more so, mostly because now I'm a beekeeper.

This is the story of Lily who was raised by an abusive father who told Lily she killed her own mother. Lily eventually flees her home accompanied by her childhood nurse and comes across a beekeeping family that her mother had contact with.

This book is a delightful read. The characters are well described and very believeable, as is Lily's internal pain and uncertainty. The black history is very interesting as well as the beekeeping facts which are moderately sprinkled throughout the story.

This book is a keeper. I'll read it again and again.

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World
Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World
by Holley Bishop
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.14
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best historic bee book and reads like a novel, Aug. 9 2009
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I am really enjoying this book. This is the BEST historic book I've read to date about honey and bees. It covers the history of beekeeping from ancient times right up to modern day beekeeping. What I'm enjoying is the novel-like writing of the book. It's packed with historic information but it's a delightful read. The author covers her own hobby beekeeping experiences, she shadowed a commercial beekeeping operation in Florida which she reports on as well as many historical facts that she's gleaned from ancient texts. I found the ancient myths and beliefs (mostly false) about bees to be most interesting. She covers how we moved from the myth or bee legend to the scientific facts. The book has many reproductions of paintings, many from early North American beekeeping. I'm really pleased with this book and its historic contents. The author also has a unique way of describing her subject which really engages the reader.

Things I Learned From Knitting: ...whether I wanted to or not
Things I Learned From Knitting: ...whether I wanted to or not
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.17
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Knitter's Validation, refreshing and funny, March 9 2009
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All knitters will easily identify with this little book of humorous stories built around familiar adages like "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" and "The Truth Will Out". Stephanie Perl-McPhee shares her knitting wisdom, experiences, adventures and misadventures.

Anyone who has every knit will identify with her unique stories told from a knitter's perspective.

At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.78
81 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh Out Loud with this Knitters' Book, March 9 2009
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Are you guilty of this? "You know when you knit too much when... Your knitting children have accused you (openly, and more than once) of giving them only your "crap wool" for their projects."

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's books are a delight to read. If you're a knitter or you know a knitter, this is the book to get. Knitters will identify with all Stephanie's foibles as she reflects on her adventures, lessons and misadventures as an obsessive knitter.

This book is a great way to unwind and have a chuckle. If you knit you'll see yourself in every page [..]

Folk Shawls
Folk Shawls
by Cheryl Oberle
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 13.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Remakes of Traditional Shawls, March 9 2009
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This review is from: Folk Shawls (Paperback)
I agree very much with the "beautiful if not traditional" review. I too thought this book would be giving me the original patterns for folk shawls from around the world - but the emphasis should be placed on "derived from folk traditions".

The book covers some knitting basics such as different cast-ons/off, joining yarn, how to read patterns & charts, yarnovers, grafting, borders, etc., as well as a chart of symbols and abbreviations.

There are 25 patterns that in my opinion have an old-fashioned flair (so they're not a super modern twist on an old idea). The patterns are the traditional triangular, rectangular and square shawls that are accompanied by charts to show the stitches along with instructions.

The countries represented are: Scotland, Russian, Japan, Ireland, American Heartland, England, Mexico & South America, Norway, Native America, the Himalayas, Spain and the Faroe Islands.

Most of the shawls have some lace stitches. I would classify them as practical or serviceable shawls - something that would keep you warm (not too lacey, or using a lace pattern that's really open) but most of the shawls have some lace work for its visual appeal. That's not to say there's not lots of pattern - the Irish Diamond Shawl (done in a square) as an example is a very lacey pattern.

If you are interested in traditional style shawls, some with lacework, and lots with patterns, this book is an excellent purchase.

Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks
Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.53
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Rate Laughs for All Knitters, March 9 2009
This book is entertaining, fun and encouraging as Stephanie reveals her knitting triumphs, mistakes and misadventures. Anyone who knits or has ever had to rip back a few rows will enjoy this book immensely.

Not only do you laugh along with Stephanie's quips, knitting adventures, and stories, she also gives great advice to knitters on how to deal with knitting problems, patterns, tips and tricks, etc. as well as knitting recipes, and my favourite - suggestions on how to deal with the stash.

I laughed along with this book and I have bought her other books too. You can follow along by reading her highly entertaining blog at [...]

Here are some of her other books: At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much, Free-range knitter: The yarn harlot writes again, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting, Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a KnitterThings I Learned From Knitting (Whether I Wanted To or Not)

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