Archive for October, 2016



An introduction to take Body MeasurementAn introduction to take Body Measurement by Moyo Abikoye

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I nearly forgot to make a review of this book. It is a very quick read but a marvelous reference if you are a sewer and like to make your own clothes. I did learn about things I often forget to measure when buying a pattern or even making my own patterns. I will be keeping this handy when I get back into sewing again.

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A Looming LadyA Looming Lady by Pamela Murrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I belong to a wonderful little group who makes hats for cancer patients, preemies, the homeless, and many other who need warmth and comfort. Before I started with the group I could crochet fairly well and had knitted a few scarves and slippers. I had bought the Knifty Knitter sets when I worked at JoAnn’s a while back. But I didn’t know how to use them. Carol, the chairman of our group, taught me how to use the knitting looms and I have become addicted to loom knitting. I scour the internet for new patterns.

That is how I found this gem. Most of the patterns in this book are easy beginner projects that didn’t fit what I want to make but I think novice knitters would like to try some of these. Notice I didn’t say women. Many men are finding the joy of making things with these looms. In fact, we have a guy in our group who makes many hats and gives us advice in our knitting pursuits. He is also a liaison to vets in need.

But this book is better than just a pattern book. It is a story of a homeless person who learned to use the looms. If you are involved in helping by making hats, this book personalizes recipients. Many people see the homeless as takers and leeches on society. They think that all homeless are out for drugs, in general, worthless beings. For those of us who have known folks who have been there, or almost were there, we know misfortune can happen to anyone and those without connections to help out of their plight are the most susceptible. This story gives us one example of a person as she tries to find her way out. Not everyone is as lucky as she becomes, even though that luck doesn’t seem good to her in any way. We get to see her growth. I loved the story.

Though I am on SS myself, the donated yarn gives me a chance to learn more about my obsession, while making comfort items for folks who need them. If you have the same obsession, this book may ring true for you. Even if you haven’t found your way to actually making loom hats, this story may open your eyes to the plights of the homeless.

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Forgotten WomenForgotten Women by Freda Lightfoot

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from NetGalley.

Historical fiction is usually the best way for me to pay attention to history. Take a historical event and make it more real by putting characters I like into the story. That is not to say there weren’t real characters I would care for in the real event. But since I wasn’t there then, I don’t know characters who were.

In this case, I have to admit to not having a clue about the involvement of the British helping in Spain. Most of the history given to US students in my day was about dates and famous men. Yawn. Maybe teachers should take note to Freda Lightfoot’s method of letting us know about the women who helped all the people regardless of politics.

My only problem was that I didn’t care much for most of the characters until near the end. There wasn’t a strong urge to see how the painting had anything to do with the rich lady or the crazy hormones floating around the young people who started out with only the desire to help.

Still, there was enough story, or draw, that I kept reading. I remember! It was the feminist thread. It was nice to see that there were some who thought women could do anything that men could do. That women artist could paint as well as their male counterpart, etc.

I just couldn’t fall in love with the characters. Hopefully, other readers will like it more.

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Elphie Goes Trick or Treating (Elphie Books Book 3)Elphie Goes Trick or Treating by Hagit R. Oron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author. Thank you!

Do you have a child that is afraid of masks or other aspects of Halloween? I remember when my first was afraid of masks. The one that frightened him was made of rubber. I turned it inside out and said it was made of rubber. Then I picked up other things around the house made of the same substance. I don’t think it helped at all. This little story might have helped.

I loved how the parent let the little guy go out without his mask just so he could still have fun wth his friend. When the child got used to how everyone responds to the fun of the evening he decides for himself that wearing a mask is okay. It is always better to let the child come to his or her own healthy conclusions than forcing an issue. Wise messages are here.

I think that the only problem I had with the book was that it was written in first-person. For some reason that was jarring. I tried to imagine reading this story to a child reading the “I” statements would seem to take a child out of the story. If it is meant to be an early reader that might work. But books like this I would want to read aloud to my children long before they learned to read so we could talk about the subject matter.

Still, I do think this is a cute book. I love the little elephant, Elphie.

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Life After CoffeeLife After Coffee by Virginia Franken

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this book. I liked the title and the premise of the story.

If you are under 45 this may be the book for you. Being a child of the 60s and the era of bra-burning, I was excited to see a book about a reversal of roles. Stay-at-home dad, mom travels for a high paying job. But I didn’t much like the characters. The dad seems the abandon the parenting job when the wife needs him to step up. She is left floundering with a couple young children after losing her job. She makes a lot of bad choices while her husband won’t see that his ‘back-up-plan’ won’t keep the family feed.

Look, I am glad we are in an era where this kind of story can be told and most of the reviewers LOVE it. The feminist in me is SO happy. But the humanist in me is still not satisfied with most of this story. I do love that the author researched about the finding and securing good coffee for the Starbuck’s obsessed. But for me, a tea-drinker, the story ended where I wanted it to start.

Still, I am giving this four stars for being modern and different. But YOU may just LOVE it.

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That's What Friends Are ForThat’s What Friends Are For by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short review on a short book. It was sweet and I wish there was more. I read this a couple weeks ago but life got in the way of reviews. I hope you’ll give it a try. I have a glow as I am writing this so even though it was a long time ago, it left its bittersweet mark on me. Enjoy!

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The Empress' New GownsThe Empress’ New Gowns by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oops! I thought I actually wrote a review on this book as I ACTUALLY DID write a review already. But there was a computer glitch and the computer shut down. Then, well, life happened and I forgot. Luckily a friend “liked’ the review so I came back to the page and saw what I wrote wasn’t there. Sorry.

Let’s see if I can remember the gist of it. First of all, I do a lot of reviews for Gita V. Reddy. I like her work and when I saw this one I picked it up. I think I actually paid for this one but it was cheap and an author does deserve compensation for their work. I just am on such a limited SS budget that I rarely can buy a book. My small amount won’t keep a roof over her head, but I hope my reviews help lead people to try out her books for their edification and entertainment.

As for edification… this book was a cautionary tale to the pride that can be in each of us. The original tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes is the first part of the story. But the next part should be read by preteens, teens, and new adults. Pride can be a good thing, but if we keep it in check we retain our humanity. Gita was clever telling the female version of the original story. I enjoyed it.

Most readers will find this story fun. For me, the formatting stopped the full enjoyment. Since I do most of my reading at night and always using the black background with white font, I found I couldn’t see the words. I had to change my background to a lighter color but then found it too bright. Luckily, I always use Text-to-Speech and that worked fine. But had this been a longer story I think I would have given up. I have to read while listening as my brain needs to be fully engaged to get into a story. But for most people, this formatting issue won’t cause them a bit of a problem and they well enjoy this story fully.

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FaithfulFaithful by Alice Hoffman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from NetGalley dot com.

I read another book by Alice Hoffman, The Red Garden, and was very impressed. So when I saw this one offered for review I jumped at the chance. It was an ARC or Uncorrected Proof but when you get these from NetGalley it is hard to see the errors. At least, it’s that way for me. With most of the freebies I pick up through One Hundred Free Books, and the like, there are plenty of mistakes that even I can see. Sometimes there are so many I can’t get into the story. If the story is fantastic I can never see them. And this book hid the errors in a terrific story.

Okay. At first, I didn’t like the main character. Nearly stopped reading for her self-pity and hateful ways. But she grows on ya. Maybe that is because there is a line of characters that support and fill up the story. True, nearly killing yourself and best friend, knocking the friend into a permanent coma, would be hard to walk away from. One would think a person might learn that the negative behaviors didn’t help. But I don’t know how I would handle it all. I’m not a young person anymore. Hormones aren’t raging and I’ve seen my share of life. So who am I to judge this girl? So I did as I suggest other readers do, stick with it, get past it. She’ll grow on you. It was a great story. I’m glad I read it. Alice Hoffman is a fantastic writer!

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Daksha the Medicine GirlDaksha the Medicine Girl by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given this book by the author for an honest review.

Sorry it took so long for me to write this review. See my review for Soul Slam to find out why (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…).

I read this book in one evening quite a while ago. I remember enjoying it a lot. I loved learning about the main character, Daksha and her life. When you live in a society that is busy with it’s own goals of education and modern medicine, it is easy to forget that others have been living with herbal medicines and more holistic ways of living than we are used to. And they have survived centuries like that. So when we read about a young girl who apprentices for the local medicine man and finds this is her passion of life, it may seem a bit off. But we grow to love and understand her and her way of life.

The part I didn’t like was how the story was over before it had a chance to follow her next steps. I wanted to know more about her learning to read and getting that kind of education and how she might have taught others how to integrate her type of medicine with others we might have grown up with. Just a thought. I almost think this could be a series. I loved that it was centered around a girl. I just want more.

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Soul Slam (Soul Warriors #1)Soul Slam by Allie Burton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: A few months ago I was asked to read this little treasure for an honest review.

For my own future reference, and for those who might care, I have been busy. I actually finished reading this weeks ago. But here’s my day: Get up, breakfast. Work on DuoLingo Spanish and then German. That lasts about three hours. Then I research Loom Knitting ideas for the Hats I want to work on or my work in process. I finish about one hat a day unless I get into a complicated pattern or make mistakes I have to ‘tink’ (knit backward–unknit) or frog (completely unravel to start again). The hats and gloves and scarves are for charity and I love doing them. I feel I am doing something useful with my life while doing them. AND I can distract myself from the fibro pain.

The rest is watching shows with my hubby while continuing knitting. So my reading time is late at night. That has drastically reduced my reading and writing review time. After I get into a swing of things I might find more reading time while working on easy patterns.

AND I’m getting excited because friends are coming to visit and I want to decorate for Hallowgivingsmas as I know once we are dead into winter no one will be able to navigate the icy roads to see us.

And while none of this has to do with this sweet/fun book, I will need to know later how it was that I put off writing a review for so long.

Now on to the book: It was fun. I would have loved to read this as a preteen or teen. What I really liked was that though the main character is a female, I think this would be a great read for guys, too. The fun part was watching this girl deal with the male being that takes over her soul. King Tut was supposed to take over a young male but circumstances have it to where the poor girl is in the wrong place at the right time. Then farts and spitting become a part of her being, even while she tries to deal with new love.

The other thing I love is that this story takes place in San Francisco with most important things happening in the tourist attractions we all know and love. It is easy to picture the adventure happening on the Golden Gate Bridge or Fisherman’s Wharf, or Lombard Street. It makes the story that much more fun. But even if you haven’t been to SF, the author does a good enough job describing the area as it fits into the story.

Please give this a read and share with the young people you know. You will have a lot of fun! I’m glad I had the chance!

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