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

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Time Traveler's Wife
Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
33 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$ 18.95
22 used & new from CDN$ 4.18

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$ 19.00
68 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$ 21.72
35 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$ 13.30
33 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$ 16.95
62 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
17 used & new from CDN$ 12.90

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$ 13.67
40 used & new from CDN$ 5.61

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)

Creative Spinning
Creative Spinning
by Alison Daykin
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 17.83

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice if you're looking for a Coffee Table Book, March 7 2009
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This review is from: Creative Spinning (Paperback)
I was really disappointed with this book. I was hoping for a lot more information on designing yarn than what I thought was supplied.

The descriptions to make the yarn are incredibly brief, and there are no instructions of any kind on how to get the wool the colours needed, only that you need to obtain a certain amount of dyed wool in the recommended colour. I guess I was expecting more of an explanation such as what the roving looked like before and after, how it was dyed, how much of one colour was used, etc. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the title: Creative Spinning?

To be totally honest, I felt like the book was making fun of me with such stupidly simple directions such as obtain "pink and green wool". If the yarn is pink and green I know that I need pink and green roving. But what I wanted to know was did you spin the colours separately and ply or were the rovings mixed up, how much of a colour was used at a time? The photos, although lovely, don't really show what the roving looked like before it was spun so I'd have a better idea how to get the final product.

On the positive side, the book does cover how to set up a spinning wheel, how to use a spindle, how to spin, card, ply and add beads to yarn. These are all hand drawings, not photos so I glossed over them too quickly at first, not realizing that this is the actual main information given in the book. But the way this content is displayed makes it seem less important than the large glossy photos. The content also covers how to make designer yarns: Slub, spiral, knot and marl, tuft, snarl, crepe, diamond and core spun yarns but the explanations are brief.

The photography is lovely and is the definitely the focus of the book. I was disappointed that so much photography is shown of trees, clouds and sunsets next to beautiful yarns instead of photos of the actual techniques to create that yarn. This gave me the impression that this is more of a coffee table book than an actual learning book. I'd like my money back on this one.

KNITTED LACE OF ESTONIA
KNITTED LACE OF ESTONIA
by Nancy Bush
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 23.79

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this book! Lots of Lovely Patterns, March 5 2009
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I've had this book on my wish list for a while and I'm very glad I got it!

I truly do love all the shawls and scarves in this book. They are similar to the front cover so if you like that pattern, you'll be happy with the patterns inside.

There's a little bit of the history of shawls from Haapsalu, Estonia along with photos which was very interesting.

Many shawl patterns from the region are used such as leaf, twig, birch, lily of the valley (absolutely lovely!), blueberry, ladybug, peacock, etc, etc).

The shawls are either triangular, rectangular, or square - the book cover shawl is square and called Crown Prince Square Shawl.

I was very pleased with this book and the lacey shawls offered--I'd like to start on about 4 of them right now.

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