Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Nook

I finally broke down and purchased a Nook from B & N.  It arrived tonight, and I fully expected problems getting it set up.  I am pleasantly surprised - so far so good!  I have updated the software and downloaded some books.  I haven't quite figured out how to get my wallpaper on there, but that will be for another day. I tend to get frustrated when I can't figure out how to do something. There is still a lot to learn, but since I am not ready to throw it out the window, I am pleased with it out of the box.

Dress Your Dog, Nifty Knits for Classy Canines by Sys Fredens link for Dress Your Dog by Sys Fredens
This book elicited a lot of excitement when I showed it to friends, especially the sweater aptly named Ribbed Sweater. It is a simple ribbed knit but with kind of a rolled turtle neck. It is pictured on a small dog, and we all picked it as our favorite. Of course it is not the only charmer in this book. With all different colors, shapes, and styles, there is something for every small to medium sized dog in this book. Most of the circumference sizes for the sweaters are in the 20”-25” range, so for large dogs some tweaking of the pattern would be necessary.

There is a ribbed wraparound vest that would be perfect for a beginner because there is very little shaping or fitting needed. Also, a knit shrug which has simple shaping and little seaming. Although these are mostly knit patterns, there are a few crochet patterns.

There is much more in Dress Your Dog than just sweater patterns for warming up your pooch. Other useful items include also several non-clothing items. There is a crocheted shoulder bag for carrying small dogs and a crocheted collar and leash. There is a knit carry bag, a rug, a striped food mat, a patchwork blanket, two soft pillow-beds.

Dress Your Dog is a fun and practical book with patterns for all skill levels.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Heart Healthy Monday on Bookvisions

Web link:  Some interesting information on the connection between gum disease and heart disease here:  Heart Disease Project

Heart Healthy Tip:  Take care of your teeth and gums. Floss every day to remove plaque and food between your teeth that your toothbrush missed. Rinse your mouth with water afterwards.

Heart Healthy Recipe from:  National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Even sweets can be healthy!
Banana Mousse

2 Tbsp lowfat milk
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 medium banana, cut in quarters
1 C plain lowfat yogurt
8 slices (1/4 inch each) banana

1. Place milk, sugar, vanilla, and banana in blender. Process for 15 seconds at high speed until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into small bowl and fold in yogurt. Chill.
3. Spoon into four dessert dishes and garnish each with two banana slices just before serving.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer link for A Fierce Radiance
About the book: New York City is awash with a sense of purpose in 1941, in the days following the U.S.'s involvement in WWII. Emotions are heightened, and everyone wants to do something important. Claire Shipley stumbles upon the greatest story of her career when she is assigned to take pictures of the scientists at the Rockefeller Institute who are working against time to develop life-saving antibiotics. Little does she know that the assignment will involve blackmail, espionage, and murder.

My Review: A Fierce Radiance crosses genres as a historical novel, a love story, a crime thriller, and a murder mystery. It captured my attention from the very beginning and held it throughout. Claire Shipley is a fascinating character as a photo journalist dealing with situations in her job, her family, and her relationships. Claire is assigned to a local hospital to report on a still experimental drug, penicillin, but her interest was more than professional. Penicillin could have saved the life of the daughter she lost to an infection. Through her work she also meets her love interest, Dr. James Stanton.

The author brings to life the promise and heartache of experimental drugs. Problems arise when they cannot create the drugs quickly enough to give the patient a complete series, and some of the drugs have unexpected side effects. Competition among drug companies, the Federal Government, and greedy business men round out this superb crime drama.

I am very impressed with the author’s depiction of a mother living with the grief of losing a child. In A Fierce Radiance, Lauren Belfer captured this aspect of Claire’s life perfectly. I’ve read other books that do not come close to portraying this appropriately. All of the characters and their roles are clearly defined and developed. Claire is not always likeable, but she is always interesting.

If you visit Lauren’s website, she has some interesting historical facts she learned while researching for the book. You can see it here: Lauren Belfer

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gone Blog Hopping

Join the blog hop by going to the above link on Crazy For Books.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Heart Healthy Monday on Bookvisions

Heart Healthy Web Link:  How do you sleep?  Do you Snore? Wake frequently with a morning headache? Wake up with a choking sensation?  Do you have excessive daytime sleepiness?  Check out this website on Sleep Apnea and heart health:  What is Sleep Apnea?

Heart Healthy Tip: On this week’s shopping trip, look for low-sodium or “no-salt added” soups, vegetables and beans. Skipping sodium can reduce your risk for high blood pressure.

Heart Healthy Recipe:

Tropical Salsa
1 cup peeled and diced mango
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
2 T minced sweet onion
2 T minced Cilantro
1 T lime juice
Mix all together in a small bowl. Cover and chill. Makes 1 cup

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Language God Talks by Herman Wouk link for The Language God Talks by Herman Wouk

The Language God Talks, On Science and Religion by Herman Wouk is not so much about God, but the gentle philosophical musings of the author as he looks back on his life. He writes about his meeting with a theoretical physicist, Richard Phillips Feynman, which seemed to have quite an impact on his life. The author obviously has an interest in the heavens, but in a secular way, as he discusses space exploration. He describes his witness to the liftoff of Apollo 11 and what he believes is the future of space travel.

I was quite moved as I read his account of viewing the Dead Sea Scrolls in an underground wing of Jerusalem’s Israel Museum. This was not an easy book for me to read and understand, but I will accept the blame as my own shortcoming. Herman Wouk is an intellectual – and I am not.

Mostly Mittens by Charlene Schurch link for Mostly Mittens - Ethnic Knitting Designs from Russia by Charlene Schurch

Part of the charm of this knitting book is the author’s research of the Nomi people and their history of textile ornamentation. It is just a brief taste of their history, but it is a wonderful addition to the book.

The introduction to the patterns contains a Basic Guidelines section, with an introduction of the yarn and needles used. There are several pages of instructions on how to use the charts and general mitten crafting. The actual patterns are only written in chart form, but that allows room for 35 beautiful and unique designs. There are also four knitted hat patterns, three caps and one Fez-style hat.

The patterns are rated as intermediate to expert, but that may be due to learning the general shape along with yarn and needle management. If you can knit socks using the double pointed needles and can use more than one color yarn, these patterns should be no problem.

I am going to start on Mitten 17, which is a two color pattern with a third color added in a duplicate stitch (embroidered in). I suspect it will be as addictive as sock knitting!

Also see my review for Sock Club by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott

Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower

About the Book: India Hayes is a small town college librarian surrounded by unusual characters, including her neighbors and family. When a childhood friend turns up dead, all fingers point at India’s brother.

My Review: Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower is the first of what I hope is a long list of India Hayes mysteries. The story is a wonderfully entertaining cozy mystery. India‘s character is likeable and has an admirable tolerance level for her radical parents and rather eccentric neighbor. She also has an endearing loyalty to her brother and an understanding of his moods and behavior.

The story is clever and fast-paced as India takes the lead in finding out what really happened to her long-time friend Olivia. It looks bad for her brother, but her loyalty to him drives her through some adventures and very funny action. Her relationships with her brother, sister, nephew, and parents seem like a real-life family. I enjoyed every minute of this first-rate book and I look forward for more.

Amanda Flower's website is here:  Amanda Flower

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sock Club by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott Link for Sock Club
This unique knitting book is a collection of original designs for sock clubs from both Internet and local sock club groups. All thirteen clubs are described in the book. The section on Making It Your Size has excellent information on changing gauge, pattern and spacing to make the fit just perfect. There are instructions on six different ways to change the size and fit.

The skill level is mostly categorized as Expert, but some are for intermediate. After reading through the instructions I found a few stitch terms that were new to me, but there were clear instructions to walk the knitter through the process. I find charts difficult to follow so I appreciate that the patterns have both charts and written instructions. I took the pattern Havana Lace, that was labeled as “expert” and decided knit up a sample. I cast on and then knitted about 10 rows of the main pattern. I consider myself as an experienced beginner, but I had no problem following this more advanced pattern. I think if you can handle the double-pointed needles you can handle most of these patterns.

The book contains five cast-on and six bind-off techniques. There are also instructions for wrap and turn, circular knitting, no-gap gussets and grafting. The photograhy in Sock Club is also very good.  The pictures are large, and the pattern is easy to see. I highly recommend this fun sock knitting book.

A review copy was provided by Martingale & Company

Monday, April 12, 2010

Heart Healthy Monday is Back

I missed last week's HHM due to a very sick dog.  Dusty the Sailor Dog is doing better now, but he has Lyme Disease which is a tick-borne illness (and he was vaccinated against it!).  If you live in an area with ticks, please know the symptoms of Lyme in both humans and dogs.

Heart Healthy Web Link - Reducing your Blood Pressure

Heart HealthyTip is from and is one of my favorites:

Make Monday the January of every week

Begin fresh by reaffirming your resolutions. Recommit every Monday to sustaining your healthier lifestyle and look forward to feeling great.

Heart Healthy recipe is: Taco Salad

This is one of my favorites because you can use whatever you like and leave out whatever you don’t. Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you away. If you don’t want to use the vinaigrette dressing, use a store-bought French or Western or vinaigrette low-fat dressing instead. I have posted the original recipe along with my additions, omissions, or substitutions.

Taco Salad

3 (6”) Corn Tortillas
Vegetable cooking spray
½ lb ground raw turkey
1 C chopped onion
1 C frozen whole-kernel corn thawed (I use canned and add at the end)
2 T minced Jalapeno pepper ( I omit)
2 T chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 (15oz) can black beans rinsed and drained (I use light Kidney beans)
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ ground red pepper
8 Cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce leaves
1 Cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 cup seeded, diced tomato
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
2 T sliced ripe olives
½ cup non-fat sour cream

Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray; cut into ¼ inch wide strips. Place in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add turkey and next 3 ingredients; cook over medium heat until turkey is done, stirring until it crumbles. Stir in chili powder, cumin and beans; cook until thoroughly heated. Set aside.

Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients; cover and shake vigorously.

Combine lettuce and vinaigrette. Place 2 cups lettuce mixture on each plate. Spoon turkey mixture over lettuce. Top with cheese and remaining 4 ingredients; serve with tortilla strips. 4 serv.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze & GIVEAWAY

WaterBrook Multnomah website for Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze

Be sure to visit the publishers website to download the first chapter hereForget Me Not by Vicki Hinze 

About the Book:A mysterious incident leaves Susan Brandt dead---and her husband, Ben, devastated. Three years later, a similar accident occurs. The victim looks exactly like his late wife and carries Susan's name on a crisis center's card---but this woman survives. When somebody wants her dead, will Ben risk his life and his heart to save her?

My Review: I love good Christian fiction, and this one certainly falls into that category. Forget me Not has all of the elements of a good Christian/mystery/thriller/crime drama/romance all rolled up into one book! The main plot was wonderfully intricate with several people involved in different ways. I did not guess the outcome - and I usually do. It is an interesting look at powerful people and those who use their power and wealth for good and those who use it for evil.

This is a Christian book with clear moral guides, but it is not heavy handed or doctrinally specific. The main character struggles with her identity, but even when she does not know her name she knows she is a woman of faith.  The story held my interest until the end, and I can't wait to read more by Vicki Hinze.

I have one copy of Forget Me Not to give away.

The giveaway will end April 24, 2010 at Midnight Central time. Please note: You must leave your email address or the entry will not count. US only.
A comment – 1 entry
Become or already be a follower 4 entries
You may come back the second week and leave another comment for an additional 1 entry
Tweet about the giveaway – 1 entry

You may leave separate comments for each or list them all in one comment.
I will choose the winner by using The winner will have 48 hours to respond with a mailing address.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where There Is No Comfort by Juliann Troi link for Where There Is No Comfort - Seven Days in Ethiopia by Juliann Troi

Book Description: When Pat Bradley, president of International Crisis Aid (ICA), asked Juliann Troi to write an article to promote awareness of the life-saving work his nonprofit organization was doing in Ethiopia, Troi realized it couldn't be done from her office; first-hand experience was needed. Knowing that Pat's work focused mostly on life-and-death situations in places where no one could easily go, guaranteed a difficult trip. Gathering her courage, she left her family and comfortable home to embark on a journey that forever changed her and the way she saw the world.

My Review: This beautifully written 7-day journal is the author’s personal account of her experience with the poverty and desperation in Ethiopia. Juliann Troi takes the reader through her days and her work with ICA as they provide food and medical treatment to those in most need. Her descriptive style is flawless, and I appreciate her very personal approach. She describes her discomfort, her admiration for the Ethiopian people, and their hardships.

The story begins with her thoughts upon waking in her own bed following her journey. She has a new appreciation of the simple things we take for granted.

As her journal of the 7-day mission begins the sounds, smells, and sights come to life. The author not only treats us with her descriptions, but also with many photographs of the people and places in Ethiopia. The story describes the hardships and suffering of the Ethiopian people, but also their spirituality, curiosity and love. This is a heart wrenching story of the poorest of the poor.

For more information and how to assist in the work, the website is here: International Crisis Aid

Publisher's website: Where There Is No Comfort

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Please Note - Blogmania participation

Due to new "rules" in the April 30th Blogmania participation, Bookvisions will not be participating.  I am disappointed, but it is necessary for me to withdraw. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

No Heart Healthy Monday today

I am dealing with a sick dog, so no heart healthy Monday today.  Back next week.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Should We Fire God? By Jim Pace link for Should We Fire God?

Book Description: When the worst school shooting in history occurred, Pastor Jim Pace, a Virginia Tech alumnus, was front and center. Media, students, church members, and strangers asked him the same question: If God is loving, why doesn't He stop disasters before they start? SHOULD WE FIRE GOD is Jim's thoughtful, reasoned response to the idea that God isn't doing His job very well.

My Review: Jim Pace tackles the subject of tragedies and why God allows them to happen. I liked very much the chapter on God’s protection because it explained what it means and especially what it doesn’t mean.

I did have a problem figuring out what the author believes about Jesus. He clearly states that his is not a Christian, because the term “Christian” has baggage. He says that he is a follower of “Jesus of Nazareth”. Does that mean that he is a follower of the historic Jesus, but not a follower of Jesus Christ, the Son of God? This is actually the second book I have read by an author that makes this peculiar claim.

I was never quite sure what target audience the author had in mind. The book is written with youth-speak language so I thought the audience was young teens, but then other chapters had advice on raising children. There seemed to be a lack of cohesion and flow from chapter to chapter.

Aside from the problems, Should We Fire God does a good job dealing with very difficult subjects. Jim Pace uses his very personal experiences and insights to help those in heartbreaking situations.

The author's website with more information about his book is here: Jim Pace .
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...