Monday, April 21, 2014

Quilting Happiness: Projects, Inspiration and Ideas to Make Quilting More Joyful by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland

Quilting Happiness: Projects, Inspiration and Ideas to Make Quilting More Joyful by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland is written for quilters who use traditional designs working with modern fabrics. The authors say that this book isn't for beginners, but explain that the designs are fairly simple and they give tips and tools in the back of the book to make it easy to understand what they are talking about.

This book is currently in the New Book section.


Ornament Extravaganza by The Decorative Arts Collection Museum

Ornament Extravaganza is a great book for artists who would like to paint ornaments for various holidays.
Many of these designs would work beautifully on a Christmas tree. There are also designs for Valentine's Day, Fourth of July and Halloween.

If you are handy with a paintbrush, come and check this book out for some new ideas.


Little Aran and Celtic Knits for Kids: 25 Designs for Babies and Young Children by Martin Storey

If you are a passable knitter and have little ones to keep warm, you will enjoy Little Aran and Celtic Knits for Kids: 25 Designs for Babies and Young Children by Martin Storey.

Most of the patterns are sweaters and jackets with cabling, Celtic knot designs, or little animals knitted into the piece. Some have hoods, some are slip-overs, and some are button-down. There are also socks, blocks, and an alphabet blanket.

It's currently in the New Book section.

Kathi Linz

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Among Thieves by David Hosp

Jackson County Public Library's Fantastic Fiction group is reading Among Thieves by David Hosp this month.

The first chapter is rife with language I would ordinarily prefer not to read. Once I got past that obstacle, the story was full of interesting twists and turns.

Everything turns on a twenty-year old robbery at a private art museum. No one to date has figured out who did the robbery or where the Old Masters' paintings are. Also a two men with checkered pasts are found murdered with evidence of unbelievable torture preceding their deaths. How are these tied together? It seems that someone who wants those missing paintings is tracking down anyone he believes might have knowledge of their whereabouts and will stop at nothing to get the information.

Scott Finn, an attorney whose life started on the wrong side of town, finds himself with a client who does know about the paintings and whose life is now in danger because of it. As the story progresses, the client's daughter and Finn himself find themselves in the murderer's sights.

If you can stomach the earthy language, this story will keep your attention. It's even more compelling because it is based on a real theft at that museum.

Kathi Linz

Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Joanne Fluke is still cooking when it comes to her mysteries with recipes. The cookie and muffin recipes tucked between chapters sound excellent.

Hannah is driving her cookie truck through a rural area during a crashing thunderstorm when she spots a tree limb down in the road. As she hits the brakes to stop, the truck skids and she feels a thump. Hannah gets out of the truck to check it out and finds that she has hit a man and he's dead.

Although it was completely an accident, Hannah ends up in jail for the weekend on a charge of vehicular homicide. She sends her family, friends and coworkers in search of the man's identity, since no one in town has ever seen him before.

On top of that, Delores, Hannah's mother, has told her four daughters that they can plan her wedding. But every time they try to suggest, colors, flowers, music, or anything else about the wedding, Delores changes her mind. The end result is that there is still no plan and time is running out.

A few of the riddles posed in this book come to a satisfactory conclusion, but this book is obviously part one of two since Hannah still has to go on trial for the man's death and the wedding has not yet taken place. I have to wait (as patiently as possible) for part two.

Joanne Fluke, soon please.

Kathi Linz

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crochet Love: 27 Sweet and Simple Zakka-Inspired Projects by Jenny Doh

In Crochet Love: 27 Sweet and Simple Zakka-Inspired Projects, Jenny Doh has found small and simple decorative pieces that will make your home more cheerful or would be great gifts for any occasion.

If you (like me) were not aware of the meaning of Zakka, it is a Japanese-inspired way of improving anything and everything that has to do with your home, life, and appearance.

Some of these cheerful patterns include crocheted covers for a rock paperweight or a brick that serves as a door-stopper. There are crocheted belts and cocktail rings. Old sheets are turned into pretty seat covers and old plastic bags into strong and useful totes. She makes jar cozies, coasters and decorations for lemonade glasses. There a pattern for a cover for a three-ring binder, a toddler's crown, and a skinny scarf which looks like it wouldn't take more than half an hour to work up.

That is only the tip of the iceberg. So if you have an itch to decorate yourself or your space, come and check out this book. It's in the new section for the time being.

Kathi Linz

Friday, March 21, 2014

Organic Gardening by Lavelle

Lavelle's Organic Gardening is absolutely full of how-to-garden expertise boiled down into easy-to-understand pages. The photos clearly show you how to follow all steps of gardening to create your flower and vegetable gardens, ponds and more. I recommend this, but must warn that the print is small!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Safely Buried by John Pesta

Safely Buried by John Pesta is not a cozy mystery.

Phil Larrison, a reporter/editor for The Gleaner, starts off innocently enough by picking up a lady, Paula Henry, clumping along the road with a cast on her broken leg. After she directs him to an out-of-the-way house where her friends live, he helps her get into the house after no one answers the door. The two of them find the residents upstairs in the bathroom in a badly decomposed state. Phil calls the police and Paula disappears.

While trying to get a story for the newspaper, Phil uncovers an intricately woven web of criminal cover-ups and corruption. Blackmail, illegal drugs and chemicals (not what you may be thinking), child abuse, and more deaths come to light - all of them supposed to be "Safely Buried".

John Pesta writes from a local perspective. Meridian County is our Jackson County. I will leave you to figure out which town he calls Campbellsville and which is Brickton. Maybe you will even recognize the area called Blind Horse Hollow where most of the action takes place.

Once I got into the story, I had trouble turning out the light before I finished the book.

Kathi Linz

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Paleo Bread: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo-Friendly Bread Recipes

Paleo Bread: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo-Friendly Bread Recipes by Rockridge Press gives ten tips for baking gluten-free bread as well as dozens of recipes for different types and different flavors of breads.

The tips that sticks with me most is that paleo-friendly bread is more like a quick bread than a raised bread. It can still be toasted and dipped in your soup. It can be sliced for sandwiches. It will be different, but just as useful as gluten bread.

If you want to go gluten-free, but miss the bread or haven't found a good substitute yet, this may be the book for you.

Kathi Linz

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love

It's been a while since I read a graphic novel. Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love by Patricia McKissack and Fredrick McKissack, Jr. is based on Nat Love's autobiography.

Nat Love was born a slave. He describes his master as a good man, but his master failed to tell his slaves after the end of the Civil War that they were free. Once they found out, life became more difficult as they had to find the means to provide for themselves.

One by one, the older members of Nat's family die leaving Nat more and more in charge of being the breadwinner. He earns money by breaking horses. Eventually he travels west to become a cowboy.

Many well-known Western figures show up in this story: Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Bill Cody to name a few.

In the space of Nat Love's lifetime, the West changed from vast open prairies filled with buffalo and tribes of Native Americans to a land crossed by railways and a few small herds of wild buffalo.

This is not a manga book, but rather an illustrated version of real history. It reminds me of the Classics Illustrated comic books I used to read when I was young.

Kathi Linz

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

What would you do if you came across a letter that your husband wrote that was only meant to be opened upon the event of his death?  After reading the letter, you see that your husband confesses to murdering a girlfriend when he was a teenager.  Cecelia Fitzpatrick is the character that has to deal with this dilemma.
Another character, Tess Curtis, who is an advertising executive, is told by her best friend and cousin, Felicity, that she is in love with her husband, Will.   Learn how Tess deals with this betrayal and how she tries to protect her preschool-aged son, Liam.

Rachel Crowley, a third main character of the book, is a widow.  Her daughter is the one who was strangled to death as a teenager.  Rachel suspects one of her daughter's old boyfriends is the murderer.  This old boyfriend happens to be the P.E. teacher at the school where Rachel works as the school secretary.

Ethics and morals are explored in this book that is currently ranked eighth on the New York Times Best Sellers list.  Are secrets meant to be uncovered or should they remain secrets? -Reviewed by Kim D.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution Cookbook by Arthur Agatston, MD

Like the South Beach Diet, but need a gluten-free solution? This is that book for you. !75 recipes and not a scrap of wheat in the lot.

I scanned through the recipes and my mouth was watering before I finished. The ingredients don't appear to be too exotic. A few gluten alternative flours are all that's required outside of the ordinary kitchen supplies.

Kathi Linz

The New Tunisian Crochet: Comtemporary Designs from Time-Honored Traditions by Dora Ohrenstein

Tunisian crochet done in modern patterns. Pull out your afghan hook and make something spectacular.

Kathi Linz

Runaway Man by David Handler

Benji Golden is a private investigator who specializes in finding people, especially teen-agers.  He is twenty-five, but at just under 5’6” and less than 140 pounds, he could pass for one.  When he and his boss/mother, a former exotic-dancer, get a visit from an uptown lawyer wearing mink-lined shoes and looking for a missing college student, Benji is on the trail.  Not what it first appears, this mystery has links to college basketball and the favorite gubernatorial candidate of New York.  Reminiscent of a hard-boiled P.I. novel, except for the baby-faced P.I., Runaway Man is a fun read, with an ending that surprised this mystery reader!

This is the first book in a new series by the author of the Berger and Mitry Mysteries and the Stewart Hoag mysteries, which also feature his faithful basset hound, Lulu.  After really enjoying both series, this was not a disappointment!

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett is a children's mystery about the theft of a painting by Vermeer called "A Lady Writing". Two children, Calder and Petra,attending a magnet school in the Chicago suburb of Hyde Park follow clues and "coincidental" hunches to try recovering not only the painting, but the strange disappearance of Tommy and his friend named Frog. Puzzles and patterns help them figure out the clues.
A teacher, Ms. Hussey, the children's neighbor, Mrs. Sharpe, Petra's father, and a bookstore owner, Mr. Watch, somehow figure in the mystery, but the children can't decide which side they are on until all the pieces start to fit together.

I picked all the wrong suspects before I finished reading this book. I'm betting you will, too.

Kathi Linz