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

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Break No Bones
Break No Bones
by Kathy Reichs
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.67
117 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Good to Moderate, Aug. 8 2010
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I agree with the other 3 star ratings. This book is a decent read but it isn't such a page turner as her other books such as Deja Dead and Death du Jour. This book is one you can skip or borrow from the library.

The story lacked twists, suspense or surprises and I could guess most of the outcomes.

The forensic information was awesome, as it always is and that was the book's best part.

The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children
The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children
by Nancy Lamb
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.89
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.44

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book for any aspiring fiction writer, July 19 2010
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I've read this book 2 1/2 times and I have to rave about it. I bought it based on the reviews and they are correct and then some. This book is a must have for anyone who wants to write fiction, even if it's not for children. The principles are very much the same.

Nancy Lamb gives clear examples throughout this book on techniques such as structural design, plot, sub plots, scenes, point of view, voice and tone, characters, mid story crisis, etc., etc. Chapter headings are Foundation & Structure, Structual Supports, Interior Designs, and Finishing Touches. She covers everything, even how to deal with that inner critic.

Her writing style is very comfortable to follow and easy to read. I too, like another reviewer, experienced something inspirational and magical while reading this book which really helped my creative muse. Ms. Lamb helped me to rethink the structure and plot of my book with a better understanding of where I was going and how to carry the story through. She uses solid examples taken from popular children's books throughout to demonstrate her point and I think that's what I found most useful. She teaches you to analyze the techniques in the books that you read to see how they are written, what the author was doing--that was amazing and I'll never read a book the same way again... "reading in a way that teaches you how to write".

She has lots of tip pages like "Nancy Lamb's Twenty-Six Steps to Good Writing". Many of these I want to pin up next to my computer as I write to check against each chapter. For example, "Does it carry the scene advance the plot or develop the characters? If not rewrite it or get rid of it".

Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web
by E. B. White
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.34
172 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Timeless Story, June 27 2010
This review is from: Charlotte's Web (Paperback)
This is an amazing story about a farm pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a clever spider named Charlotte. The book is an enjoyable read no matter what your age.

The author takes us into the lives of the farm animals and their hopes and dreams and struggle to survive. The characters are unique and interesting. One of my favourites is Templeton the rat who later reluctantly helps Wilbur.

This book is a timeless classic describing friendship, loyalty and love.

Deja Dead
Deja Dead
by Kathy Reichs
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
102 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, fast plot with tons of suspense, May 28 2010
This review is from: Deja Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
I got very hooked while reading this suspenseful and fast paced book. For a debut novel it is very smartly written.

What impressed me most was that you could tell the author knew what she was writing about because she had been there and done that. She hasn't just researched what she's writing about. As a forensic anthropologist, she's done it. The detail she describes is very real and vivid. Probably why I too felt the need to double check I had locked the doors at night.

I loved the detail on Montreal and the map and didn't feel it was overdone. After all there are other books with this character so that imprint will carry over to her other books I'm sure.

The occasional French used in the book was smartly done, and not overdone in any way. The fact that the book was placed in Quebec but with a bilingual doctor that had lived in both US and Canada was a refreshing take that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I've already order her next two books.

The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism
The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism
by Jürgen Tautz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 43.56
30 used & new from CDN$ 40.60

5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Rates Ten Stars, March 31 2010
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I've read quite a few bee books. With this one I am learning all kinds of things I didn't know and had never heard of.

The Buzz about Bees, has the very latest information on studies of bees inside and outside the hive and many revelations and facts not known before.

Two new bee tasks I did not know about are heater bees and filling station bees. I also didn't know that bees actually build their combs round and then heat the wax. I didn't know that they mark the dance floor in the hive... and so on. There is so much new info that I'll need to read the book again.

There are so many interesting facts that you will not regret this purchase. Some of the topics covered are What Bees Know About Flowers, Honey bee Sex, Royal Jelly, The Largest Organ of the Bee Colony - Construction & Function of the Comb, Cultivated Intelligence and so on.

The photos are wonderful closeups of the intimate life of bees as well as the scientific revelations. The text covers the science but any lay person can understand it (great translation from it's original German).

This book should be on the beekeeper and interested in bees must-have list!

Learning to Weave
Learning to Weave
by Deborah Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 26.67
36 used & new from CDN$ 14.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Trust the Reviews. This book is a Weaver's Keeper, March 15 2010
This review is from: Learning to Weave (Paperback)
Based on the great reviews of this book I decided to get it. This book is fabulous and a real keeper for anyone new to weaving.

From the first few sentences you'll feel comfortable with this author's teaching style. She's experienced with teaching weaving and she knows exactly how to explain the techniques to beginners so that they're easily understood.

She creates a comfortable learning environment and encourages each student to try and test the methods and decide which they prefer. As an example, to dress the loom it can be done two main ways, from the front or the back. The author demonstrates both methods and even a third unique method. She encourages you to choose which suits you best.

All the parts and equipment are explained and most of them are pictured in the book. The different types of looms are pictured and she explains in perfect timing each new thing or tip that will really help you out.

There are many illustrations and photos throughout the book as well as weaving assignments which you can work through at your own pace.

The book is set up for the very beginner (For the Very Beginner, Now That You Know the Basics), or if you have some experience, you can jump in on Part III - For Those of You Who Know What You're Doing.

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis
Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis
by Rowan Jacobsen
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 5.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well researched book and a good read, Feb. 17 2010
This book is very well researched and the author expresses himself in a very lively and interesting style that reads like a novel. He inserts humour at appropriate moments that will make you chuckle out loud.

The scientific and biological aspects are very well described using everyday analogies that we'd all understand. This book would be great for a beekeeper (like myself) or just someone who wants to know what is happening to the bees. You don't need any prior knowledge or understanding of bees to enjoy this book. As a beekeeper, you'll find all the research and interviews with the commercial beekeepers, scientists, etc., has been done for you and neatly laid out in a chronological order.

The book starts with the beginnings of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in Florida. From there the author takes us back a little to review the history of bees around the world (briefly and not overdone) but necessary in order to understand how we got to where we are now. He covers some bee biology and life both inside and outside the hive to give the reader a perspective on the sociology of bees through time as well.

He covers the importation of bees, the spread of bee diseases around the world, transport bees to pollinate for the almond industry in California, the laundering of Chinese honey into North America, just to name a bit. Alongside the story of bees, the growth of agriculture is explained. The novel covers the rise-fall-rise of honey on the market and its affect on the beekeeping industry and the bees.

The list of reference material at the back of the book is substantial. I've been researching honey bees for a while now and the sources of information are so great that it's impossible to read them all or keep up. This book is the finger on the pulse of the industry and condenses the whole story into one very readable book.

There are a few drawings in the book showing the parts of the hive, parts of the bee, etc.

The copy I'm currently reading came from the library but I will also be buying a copy for my personal library. I highly recommend this book as the best source of information on the whole story of what is happening to the honey bee and the beekeeping industry and our future in agriculture.

An Echo in the Bone
An Echo in the Bone
by Diana Gabaldon
Edition: Hardcover
24 used & new from CDN$ 8.27

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
47 used & new from CDN$ 23.12

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
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.27

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.

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