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review 2017-08-14 13:23
Contemporary Cables
Contemporary Cables: Classic Aran Reimagined in Current Styles - Jody Long

by Jody Long

 

I love cable knitting and the sweaters that result.

 

This is a collection of patterns for twenty-one different projects, each of them interesting in their own way. As with most knitting books, patterns for women dominate, though two of the three men's patterns are particularly interesting! No children or babies in this one.

 

Measurements and all instructions are very clear, giving both US sizes for needles and metric. The description says medium to advanced knitters, but I didn't see anything too complicated. Cables are actually very easy!

 

The patterns diverge from traditional into some creative combinations and there are at least three of them that I'm looking forward to knitting for myself. Full color pictures of all the finished designs and extensive charts to show texture or crossover patterns.

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review 2017-08-14 06:54
Crochet Bathroom Accessories, Give Your Bathroom Some Color and Personality with Crochet by Dorothy Wilks
Crochet: Crochet Bathroom Accessories. Give Your Bathroom Some Color and Personality with Crochet - Dorothy Wilks

Crochet Bathroom Accessories, Give Your Bathroom Some Color and Personality with Crochet by Dorothy Wilks gives clear directions on making bathroom accessories. Examples are:  Ribbed Shell Toilet Paper Hanger, Ribs and Stripes Toilet Tissue Cover, Flowers and Vine Toilet Paper Cover and Hanging Laundry. These items could add personality to a bathroom.

 

I gave it almost four stars because the directions are well written. The patterns are a bit old-fashioned. This is not for someone just beginning to crochet.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Amazon. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Crochet-Bathroom-Accessories-Color-Personality-ebook/dp/B011N13CNG

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review 2017-08-14 06:23
Auschwitz: A Short History by Ben Stevens
Auschwitz: A Short History - Ben Stevens

Auschwitz: A Short History by Ben Stevens is a documentary style story. I gave it four stars because it was a straightforward account of history.

 

It is sad to remember the atrocities that took place. There were the "Einsatzgruppen - paramilitary 'death squads' who followed the regular German army into occupied territory before 'cleansing' it of anyone deemed racially or politically 'undesirable'. Previously, this had consisted chiefly of Einsatzgruppen soldier shooting unarmed men, women and children in the back of the head, or machine-gunning them in large groups, before hurling their bodies into deep trenches." There were 33,771 people killed in a massacre in Kiev in September 1941.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS53R46

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review 2017-08-14 06:10
The Spring Cleaning Murders, An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell
The Spring Cleaning Murders - Dorothy Cannell

The Spring Cleaning Murders, An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell is a quick cozy mystery to read. Because it kept me guessing, I gave it four stars.

 

Ellie's family meets a new housekeeper, Mrs. Large. "'Morning, all.' Her voice was deep and gruff and--as might be expected--she was definitely a big woman. A good six-feet tall, with a long lugubrious face and a plodding walk."

 

Ellie is thinking about the loved ones in her life: "the heart has many nooks and crannies, each of which can only be filled by certain people."

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Random House Publishing Group-Alibi and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Murders-Haskell-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KE61LTI

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review 2017-08-10 17:57
The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Colson Whitehead

A special thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Cora and Caesar are slaves on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Like all of the slaves, she is treated horrifically, but even more so because she is also an outcast among her people. Things are only going to get worse for Cora as she is approaching womanhood and is drawing unwanted attention from her owner.

Caesar, recently arrived from Virginia, tells Cora about the Underground Railroad. She initially refuses Caesar's idea to escape, but then her situation becomes more dire, and the two decide to leave the plantation and head to the north.

The narrative follows Cora's journey—at each stop she is met with a different world. She is also hunted by Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, and must navigate her way to liberation. At times, this structure didn't work because the reader gets bumped around from place-to-place and between past and present.

I wanted more from the supporting cast of characters, Whitehead does them a disservice by not developing them to their full potential. Caesar is also underdeveloped, and at times, Cora. There is a definite disconnect—would this book have been better in the first-person? Whitehead certainly did his research, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe the research took over the plot? The idea of an underground railroad was genius, but this component/concept was not fully explored.

This book was hard for me to rate, and at times, to read. There was a lot of disturbing subject matter, and while this is a fictitious story, there were many Cora's and Caesars, and this story is important to tell. I don't doubt that this novel will be the topic of many Book Clubs.

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