Saturday, November 3, 2012

[Product Review] Liberty Avenue Bags Small Project Bag, KnitPicks Yarn Scale

Product Reviews
• Small Project Bag by Liberty Avenue Bags - this bag is very ideal for sock knitting or any small
projects or for any one skein/ball project. It has 2 yarn guides (perfect for 2-colors colorwork projects), a crochet hook pocket and a notions pocket on the inside. It has a wrist strap to easily carry the bag and knit on the go. If you are one to tote around a really large purse, this bag can definitely fit in there. It is made of sturdy, durable fabric and the closure is secured by snap buttons and I just love the design on the front. Overall, I highly recommend this project bag. I love it and it is awesome!



• Knit Picks Yarn Scale - this item is exclusively sold by KnitPicks, battery operated, lightweight, has
 a handy conversion chart at the back for different types of yarn weights, unit of measurement is either in ounces (oz) or in grams (g). This is a very handy tool for yarn crafters as it helps in determining the yardage of a finished project and left over yarns and if you need to divide a skein of yarn in half (like when you're knitting two at a time socks). I am very pleased with having this handy tool.



Saturday, September 29, 2012

[Product Review] Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hook, The Knook


Product Reviews
Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hook


  • Simply the best crochet hooks out there
  • Very comfortable to use especially for extended periods

The Knook by Leisure Arts


  • Fun to learn
  • The book has instructions for right-handed & left-handed knookers
  • Very fidly especially if the stitches are too tight
  • A great way to transition from crochet to knitting and vice versa



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

[Book Review] Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Part 1: From The Book Cover

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.
 


Part 2: Recommendation

Everyone in my office is raving about how good and funny this book is... To be honest, I am not an erotica genre fan but I thought I'd give it a try... I am not liking this book as much as my officemates do but at least I am not hating it as much as I hated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This book is more annoying than enjoyable and as much as I would like to just put this down and never finish it like I did with ELIC, I'm a couple pages away from the end so I'll just suffer through this and I won't even bother reading the next 2 books in this series.

Thank God I am finally done with this stupid book! I can honestly say that I am appalled that there are actually women out there who think and feel that Christian Grey is the ultimate romantic hero. I don't think so! Who in their right minds would want to be controlled like a puppet on strings at all times, have no say at what to eat, drink, wear, where to work, what music to listen to, among other things? Who in their right minds would want to be physically and mentally abused, stalked and raped? Christian Grey seriously needs to be locked up.

As for Ana Steele, she's a stupid, annoying, spineless idiot. A perfect example of what women should not be. I was a virgin when I got married 3 years ago when I was 28 and thank God, I was not like Ana with all of her "Oh my", "Holy craps", "Subconscious" and "Inner Goddess" shit. No sane, mature woman above the age of 18 with or without sexual experience have thoughts as immature as Ana does. Virgin or not, if you don't like to do something, you don't feel confused about it. If you don't like it, you don't. End of discussion. And when you say no, it means no and and if Grey still forces himself on you (like he always does to Ana), you either slap them hard, or knee them and walk away, not go with the bastard complacently and then try to bear the abuse. And how on earth does a college graduate go through college without having a computer (even a beat up old desktop) especially in the 21st century? Or use the library's computers? Ana is probably just as delusional as Grey himself and needs help.

As for E.L.James, she needs to read more high quality romances (since she is claiming to be a romance writer) and learn from great romance authors, she needs to expand her vocabulary (hence the read more advice), her characters need to have more depth to them and the plot line could do better.

Not to judge the author by her first crappy book, but I really and seriously hope her other works after the Fifty Shades trilogy will be a better and much, much more improved version of her current writing skills.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

[Book Review] Ryan's Return by Barbara Freethy

Ryan's ReturnRyan's Return by Barbara Freethy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Part 1: From The Book Cover

Famous photojournalist Ryan Hunter has come back to a family torn apart by mistrust and resentment -- to the father who disowned him, to the brother who betrayed him, to the little boy who shares his features. Ryan, the charismatic "bad boy" son, has returned -- stirring up past conflicts and throwing Kara Delaney's fragile heart into turmoil.

Part 2: Recommendation

Ryan's Return by Barbara Freethy is actually our book club selection for April 2012 and I was surprised at why I haven't read any of her books before now.

Famous photojournalist Ryan Hunter has come back to a family torn apart by mistrust and resentment, to the father who disowned him, to the brother who betrayed him, to the little boy who shares his features. Ryan, the charismatic "bad boy" son, has returned'stirring up past conflicts like a whirlwind . . . and throwing Kara Delaney's fragile, passionate heart into turmoil.

. . . and love is Waiting

Kara has struggled back from a disastrous marriage to build a new life for herself and her little girl—a peaceful existence now jeopardized by vicious, smalltown politics, by her daughter's fanciful ghost stories... and by Ryan's return. Now nature's impending fury threatens to expose long-buried secrets. And Kara must join with the enigmatic, misunderstood Ryan-to discover the truth that will save their families ... and to explore a dangerous, irresistible love as mighty and enduring as the onrushing river.

Like any small town, Serenity Springs is shall we say, on the brink of progress or stagnation and it could go either way depending on its residents. Of course, one group embraces progress in order to rebuild their town and to boost local businesses. And there are those who firmly believe that keeping the town as small as it is would help save the town from becoming a ghost town in the near future. Kara Delaney believes that the two opposing groups can compromise if only they would let go of what happened in the past and look to the future with an open mind.

On top of the issue of progress or stagnation, Ryan's Return also deals with the question: What makes a parent - nature or nurture? Is being emotionally unavailable to your child enough to be called father or does being loving and caring to someone else's child makes someone more of a father?

And the ultimate question that Ryan's Return poses for Ryan, Kara, Jonas, and Andrew is this: Are you willing to give up your life, your home, your lifestyle to be with someone you love?

To conclude this review, I truly enjoyed reading this book as Barbara Freethy in Ryan's Return effectively captures the beauty of a quiet, peaceful little town that is Serenity Springs. Ms. Freethy also has successfully managed to bring to life memorable characters that continue to live on the pain of their past, not fully realizing what they are missing in the present, coming to terms with their loss, and finally finding redemption, forgiveness, happiness, love and a family of their own in the arms of the one they truly love.

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[Book Review] The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Part 1: From The Book Cover

WHAT IS LOST...
WILL BE FOUND

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling - a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths...all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, DC., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object - artfully encoded with five symbols - is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation...one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon's beloved mentor, Peter Solomon - a prominent Mason and philanthropist - is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations - all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown's novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown's fans have been waiting for...his most thrilling novel yet.

Part 2: Recommendation

I first got drawn to the world of Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code and was eagerly looking forward to reading The Lost Symbol but sad to say, it's been so long since I added this title to my mental to-read list that I actually forgot about it. I'm being more organized now as I have updated my goodreads.com bookshelves to better track all the books I've read and to-read.

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling--a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object --artfully encoded with five symbols--is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon's beloved mentor, Peter Solomon--a prominent Mason and philanthropist --is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations--all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown's novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown's fans have been waiting for . . . his most thrilling novel yet.

The opening line, "The secret is how to die" already grabs your attention, pulls you into the story with the question "Who is going to die and why is he chanting the phrase over and over?"; making you want to read more.

Following the tradition of the other two books, The Lost Symbol is ripe with mysticism, symbols, ancient Masonic secrets and baffling codes delivered in a very graphic, fast paced prose.

To conclude this review, I highly enjoyed it as much as all of Dan Brown's other works and The Lost Symbol, with many references to the Bible, makes me want to re-read and do an in-depth study of the Bible and understand the secrets to a bountiful life contained in its pages.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

[Book Review] Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Part 1: From The Book Cover

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

Part 2: Recommendation

This book was selected for our first office book club meeting and sad to say... I give up on trying to finish this book. It doesn't make any sense to me and it is forever confusing me as to who is speaking. I can't get into the story and the story line doesn't flow as smoothly as I had originally thought. Another issue I had with this book is how depressing and disturbing the characters are. If this is a normal first person point of view book, where the chapters are clearly labeled as to who's point of view that chapter is about, I might probably try to finish this book despite its depressing and disturbing characters and their story.

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