Friday, August 31, 2012

Middle SIster's August Reads

An interesting month for books, August was. Forthwith:

  • Classic Elite Quick Knits by Classic Elite Yarns Quick Knits is a nice compendium of quick knit projects for knitters of all levels of experience. The hat and sock patterns are particularly nice, with a range from easy to intermediate patterns. Large-sized photos and information on yarn types and weights make it easier to substitute yarns. Although these were individually published in pattern books or the CEY newsletter, this would make a nice holiday gift.
  • Walking Meditations by Nguyen Anh-Huong and Thich Nhat Hanh Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk who has written and instructed lots of people on mindfulness walking. The text is a short and easy introduction to the concept of meditation walking. The accompanying DVD and CD instruct the walker who wants to engage more fully with nature and themselves. Apparently I wasn't in the right frame of mind to follow the CD, as I found the repetitive instructions frustrating at times, so clearly I need to practice my mindfulness walking more. I do wish they had not used the terms 'in-breath' and 'out-breath' for inhale and exhale, though; I found it grating and that may be why I had trouble focusing on the exercises.
  • Face of the Enemy by Joanne Dobson and Beverle Graves Excellent mystery, first in the Wartime Mysteries series. Set in 1941 NYC, the story opens with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the rising hysteria within the city regarding invasions and spies blends well with the rising tension of the murder of an art dealer. Louise is a nurse from Kentucky, an exotic herself in the gritty Big Apple, hired to nurse the American professor husband of a Japanese artist. Masako, the artist, is arrested as an enemy of the state, and the night before she is arrested, the art dealer who decided to stop her show because of public anger, is killed. While the feds and NYPD fight over who has jurisdiction over Masako, Louise and Abe, a feisty lawyer, investigate the murder as they try to clear Masako and save her very ill husband's life. This has to have been the best galley I've read all year for Net Galley. The book is scheduled for release in September and I urge all fans of historical mysteries to read it. Beyond a good mystery and superb ambiance, and despite some distressing racial slurs, the attitude of several characters is mirrored in our current society's issues over Mexican-Americans and illegal entrants, and makes this a particularly thoughtful and timely mystery story.
  • Drop Dead on Recall by Sheila Webster Boneham The wold of canine obedience trials is cutthroat, and this mystery captures that perfectly. When a contender for top obedience handler drops dead in the ring, 50-year-old Janet MacPhail, photographer and dog lover, hastens to help, and is drawn into a dangerous, murderous world. The author is a bit heavy-handed with her suspects, making it pretty easy to figure out whodunnit, but the grown-up romance between Janet and fellow dog-lover Tom is nicely and realistically portrayed, and gives all of us dog-loving women of a certain age hope, even if it is a fictional romance. Who knows? The author got the world of obedience trials and competition right; maybe she's right about middle-aged romance, too. Definitely a recommendation for dog lovers.
  • Pets at the White House by Jennifer B. Pickens and Barbara Bush Lovely book showcasing the pets that have helped our First Families make the White House a home. The book begins with a brief review of the early presidents of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, but focuses on the presidential pets beginning with the Kennedy administration. A nice book for dog lovers and history buffs. Filled with great photos, both staged and informal. And it was nice to be reminded that even presidents I didn't vote for and disagreed with vehemently have a humane streak, and if they love animals, they can't be all bad, right? I just wish there had been more on the earlier presidents; Pickens has tracked down some interesting trivia, like Jefferson's parrot, so there must be other stories and information out there. 
  • Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson Nice re-release of small knitted projects that would be nice for holiday presents. Patterns range from a scarf and mitts to a tea cosy, even a blanket. The section at the back on presentation and wrapping is nice, since the perfect gift needs the perfect package. Nice photos give good views of the projects from different angles.

No comments:

Post a Comment