55/100 Your Organized Home by Jessica Marks

If you have never read a decluttering book then this is a good start. Short, pithy, and full of basic advice. For a brief overview of how to declutter, and potentially some minor steps you can take to organize things this is a decent book. There are other, longer, books that I have previously reviewed that I would recommend before this one. If you just want a super short jumping off point, then check this book out.

54/100 Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

I am so glad that I finally made myself listen to this book. Lately I have been in a non-fiction and fanfiction place in my reading, however this was an amazing departure. I love the characters as well as the world building. While some aspects, as well as the machinations, are irritating..well they are meant to be. The “failure” of the family is actually amazing at being a dragon, and now that he has a chance to get to know his family on a different level (without his mother hovering) he discovers different aspects to each of them. I loved joining them on this journey. For a dystopian story about dragons, magic, and humans read this book. From mafia-esque groups to family squabbles and dramatic showdowns this book has it all.  (There is even a human that is more dragon like than the main dragon character, too funny).

53/100 Born in Death by J. D. Robb

I saw so many quotes from this book on Instagram in August I had to listen to this book again.  Below is my previous review:

This is a great book. Eve is trying to figure out what a pair of accountants stumbled upon and got killed for. During that investigation she has to throw a baby shower for her Best Pal Mavis. One of Mavis’s other gal pals doesn’t show, causing Mavis to have Eve check on Tandy (the other Gal Pal). Well Tandy is missing, presumed kidnapped, and Mavis asked Eve to head the investigation to figure out what happened to Tandy. So for the entire book Eve has to balance a double homicide and a kidnapping. The end will shock you senseless.

52/100 Celtic Mythology by Phillip Freeman

These stories were not what I expected at all.  One of the main themes running through them is that women are duplicitous.  Another is that women, daughters, wives, are like cattle meant to be sold and bought for a bride price. There was a lot of war, pillaging, raping, adultery, and other themes along those lines.  If you are looking for tales of the Wild Hunt, Leprechauns, Fey, and the like skip this book.  These are tales, not exactly handed down by the Celtic People, but those written by their conquerors.  The distinct line between pre-Christian tales (raping, pillaging, and the like) and post-Christian tales, tells a story of its own.  I understand that Freeman was working solely from existing documentation that he could find.  These are the tales that have survived in writing, from a historical point of view it is interesting.  From a cultural standpoint it is disheartening.  Either way, an interesting read.

51/100 Immortal in Death by J. D. Robb

Re-Read:

Getting married is a messy business.  If you try getting married while your best friend, and maid of honor, is on the hook for murder it gets a bit messier.  Try being the primary investigator for the murder charges and things are almost impossible.  It is always a true pleasure to watch Eve wriggle around trying to solve murder while a bunch of stuff is going on in her personal life.  Murders, Drugs, Models, Designers, and a horn-dog illegals cop (drugs) combine to make a memorable wedding.  The Bridal shower is just killer!  For a complex, interesting mystery combined with a tough cop trying to find her way around emotions that she has suppressed for years check out this fast paced futuristic novel. This is definitely worth a read, or five.

50/100 Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas

If you are looking for a book that explains some of the problems that arise from the fast fashion industry then this is a good book.  Thomas explains how fast fashion as arisen due to several factors from off shoring, trying to keep up with fashions, and the great amounts of waste that have arisen from this.  Thomas also explores several solutions, as well as actions that are being actively taken.  This is an interesting start to exploring solutions to fast fashion.

Podcasts I Listen To

Okay, so I am supposed to be writing about the books I have been reading.  Well, I have not been reading that many books.  There is hope however, I am working on two at present and hope to re-read several J.D. Robb novels soon.  Until then, I am listening to Podcasts.  From crafting, to history, touching on some library related ones here and there, I am keeping myself busy learning.  Actually while I’m at it I might as well let you know about the YouTube video channels I’m sort of stalking right now.

Podcasts:

  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – I love almost all of the information I learn about.  Some of it is tragic, history is full of untold tragedies, however some can be quite uplifting and I always learn something or gain a new perspective when listening to this podcast.
  • BookClub for Masochists – This is a podcast I wish I loved.  Honestly I am not sure why I cannot listen to this all the way through an episode.  These librarians from all different walks of life, spanning the US and Canada, get together and read books.  Some that they like and are in their wheelhouse, others they read because that is the topic for the week. They are honest, “I started three books in this genre and didn’t finish any.” etc.  It looks really good, the tangents are interesting…but yeah.
  • Love to Sew – I do not sew very well at all.  However I love listening to people debating fabrics, explaining patterns, talking about thread, dyeing cloth, etc.  This podcast gives me hope that one day I will sew.  I love the hosts and their relationships, they make no bones about their businesses (one owns an online fabric store) and I find them very entertaining
  • Knit Picks Podcast & We Crochet Podcast – These podcasts are sponsored by the same parent company that owns…well Knitpicks and Crochet.com.  These episodes focus on what is going on with the company as well as the individuals involved in the companies.  You hear about their new yarns, patterns, what each person is working on (Promotions manager, sales coordinator, etc.).  These podcasts unashamedly promote their businesses while allowing the listener a chance to get to know the people behind the brands.  I love it.
  • The Long Thread Podcast – This is a new podcast sponsored by Long Thread Media, the company that branched off of Interweave Press.  This company now publishes Handwoven, Spin-Off, and Piecework magazines.  (I’m subscribed to all three, I love them).  The podcast takes us in depth on various issues and tales surrounding the crafting community.  So far the subjects have jumped quite drastically from a party traveling across country by wagon to present day farming.  I love listening to this podcast and cannot wait to see what they come up with in the future!
  • The Very Serious Crafters – This podcast makes me laugh every single time.  The ladies that produce this, are business women professionally making and some publish books.  However when they get together it is a laugh a minute, between hamsters sweaters, and crafting in public you will fall a little bit in love with them like I have.
  • The  Bones and Bobbins – If you enjoy your crafting a little bit darker, and do not mind the occasional mention of witchcraft (okay frequent mention), then this is the podcast for you.  I love listening about the ancient mummies and how they relate to crafting, spooky dolls, and so much more.  They are just

 

YouTube Channels

  • Sorted Foods – This is an amazing channel produced in Britain.  It really is just a bunch of friends to get together two Chef‘s and three normal people exploring food.  They go on adventures to other countries, they’ve been to the US a few times, test recipes, recommend restaurants, test gadgets, test pretentious foods, and so much more.  If you love a good British accent, need a few laughs, then this is the YouTube channel for you.
  • Bernadette Banner – Remember earlier when I said that I don’t sew very well?  Well Bernadette makes me wish that I did.  Everything from re-creating the Masque of the Red Death gender bent, making a chemise, sewing a corset, and so much more this is certainly a channel for crafting enthusiasts as well as history enthusiasts.
  • Royalty Soaps – remember I’ve been talking about crafts that I don’t do?  Royalty soaps creates cold pressed soaps from a combination of oils and lye.  Adding colors, scents, and so much glitter this is a very addictive channel to watch.  And also the reason why I’ve purchased melt and pour soap…soap molds, cutters, some fragrance, and coloring….fortunately if you’re not messing round with oil or lye this is not a dangerous craft nor a very expensive one.
  • Adam Savage’s Tested – Speaking of making, I loved watching myth busters when I was younger when I found out that Adam savage had a channel based around making and tools I was amazed.  He creates everything from his own storage systems, to cos play costumes, to his very own tools.  Seriously if you’re into any kind of making and want to watch somebody who keeps it very real, then this is the channel for you.

OK I am almost done with the current book that I’m reading/listening to, so I should have a proper book update for you soon.  Until then I hope you enjoy one or more of the choices that I’ve given you, hopefully something new has shown up in your feed.
Happy reading.

 

 

I’m Back

I am sorry that I have gone over a month without updating this blog.  I have also gone that month without reading/listening to any new books.  The time off began with my ligament repair surgery, this surgery was successful however it did take almost a week for me to get back to normal.  Immediately after that my public library began to open back up to the public, changing my work environment radically.  I have been working on/exploring several learning experiences.

Knit Stars is offering two classes for free until July 17th.  One is Diane Ivey “Building More Inclusive Communities”.  This course is taking the movement of inclusive community building within the crafting world and making it into a personal conversation.  Instead of a bunch of posts by white owned businesses that support the BIPOC Community, this is a conversation initiated by a BIPOC creator speaking with other BIPOC individuals and allowing the viewers to sit in on this conversation.  This is a valuable resource that I feel many individuals will learn quite a bit about the conversations going on in the world today.

Caitlin Hunter “Traditional Colorwork,” is the other course that is being offered for free until the 17th.  This is a great course that takes the viewers through the creation of her colorwork sweater.  The sweater is amazing, and created in a very loose gauge.  We not only learn the methods, but are shown explicitly how to perform the techniques beautifully.

Both teachers are knowledgeable, friendly, approachable, and make me eager to learn more.

49/100 The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

This is a fascinating book that I am very happy to have listened to.  I do not believe that this would have been effective had I read it in a physical or digital form, at least I would have had many more pronunciation problems.  This is a fascinating look into the theory of Tao, as well as certain philosophies.  I enjoyed listening to the author describe how Pooh and philosophers came to the same conclusions through different means.  I personally, in my western mindset, find the entire thing a little too coincidental too be realistic in my life.  I also see how some of my interactions with individuals reflect the Pooh Tao, oftentimes I look at a simple solution while my colleagues are trying to find elaborate solutions.  I understand that this causes individuals to look at me and think me simplistic because I choose to not over complicate things.  Maybe this is a mindset I should think about more.  Until then, Happy reading.

48/100 The Life and Times of Prince Albert by Patrick Allitt

This is a fascinating look on how a German prince married into the British royal family and began to reform the monarchy into something very close to what we see today. This author helps the reader come to understand how influential Prince Albert was on his wife Queen Victoria as well as how the British monarchy cemented their position in the political world. This is a fascinating look on not only policies but their private lives. I am certain that this is much more of a brief overview than a comprehensive examination of their lives, however it is interesting and rich in details. If you have an interest in the British Monarchy, politics, or even simply the Victorian era this is not a book to be missed.