Book Review: The Knitter's Dictionary

Title: The Knitter's Dictionary
Author: Kate Atherley

Source/Format: *BookistFirst; Hardcover
More Details: Knitting; nonfiction
Publisher/ Release date:  Interweave, Oct 30 2018

Goodreads     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From "alt" to "yrn," knitting patterns have a unique language of abbreviations and knitting techniques. The Knitter's Dictionary is your comprehensive resource for understanding the language of knitting in a quick-reference guide that no knitting bag should be without. For beginner and skilled knitters alike, there's always something new to discover in your next handknit project. The Knitter's Dictionary puts an expert knitting instructor in the palm of your hands to help you navigate any pattern.

My Thoughts:

I often find myself scratching my head at the various knitting terminology –that’s why I was excited to read The Knitter’s Dictionary by Kate Atherley. It explains a lot of the terminology clearly and gives tutorials with images for others.

As a casual and beginner knitter, I found this book to be an enjoyable and helpful read. With this book, I discovered techniques that I’ve never dreamed of being possible. Take bobbles (p.20) for example, it requires knitting multiple short rows with a group of increase stitches. I never heard of working rows before finishing the actual row. Additionally there are quite a few charts and extra tips throughout the book.

Overall, it’s nice to have so much information (if not all of it) in one place. The Knitter’s Dictionary is a neat, little book that I totally recommend, especially if you’re into knitting.

*I received this book from BookishFirst and Interweave for this review.

Book Review: A Guide to Fashion Sewing 6th Edition

Title: A Guide to Fashion Sewing 6th Edition
Authors: Connie Amaden-Crawford
Source/Format: Library/Borrowed; Paperback
More Details: Fashion Design; Sewing; *copy did not include studio accesses
Publisher/ Release date: Fairchild Books; March 12, 2015

Synopsis from Fairchild Books:
A Guide to Fashion Sewing, 6th Edition, provides a comprehensive fashion sewing resource for beginning and advanced sewers alike. Readers will learn how to assemble and construct designs of various styles using proven industry methods for more than 100 sewing applications. Chapters cover everything from sewing equipment, measurements, and fabric selection to actual garment assembly. Filled with easy to follow, step-by-step instructions and large, clear illustrations, this book is an indispensable resource for constructing quality garments. Accompanying video demonstrations help readers learn at their own pace basic sewing skills and techniques such a seams, darts, bias binding, zipper, and garment assembly.
The new edition features an updated design, new industrial sewing machine information and photographs, and expanded information on tailoring. Amaden-Crawford has added convenient metric measurement equivalents to the text, helpful project checklists to aid self-assessment of completed project, and 1/2 scale patterns to make sample garment assembly easier than ever before.

My Thoughts:

A Guide to Fashion Sewing 6th Edition by Connie Amaden-Crawford details the basics of creating fashion for all levels. I became interested in reading this book after reading the author’s other book, The Art of Fashion Draping 2nd Edition. Despite its length it was a smooth, easy read, making it pleasant to follow along.

I already know a bit about sewing, but this book was still helpful. The decent size illustrations make the steps easier to follow. Steps are clearly illustrated identifying what goes where, and where to place the pins, seams, etc. There’s even an appendix with practice patterns for things like welt pockets, button plackets, and darts!

I don’t know what else to say about A Guide to Fashion Sewing except it’s one of the best in-depth sewing books I’ve recently read. I totally recommend checking it out.

Thanks for reading.

Book Reveiw: Couture Confessions

Title: Couture Confessions: Fashion Legends in Their own Words
Authors: Pamela Golbin, with introduction featuring Hamish Bowles
Illustrator: Yann Legendre

Source/Format: Library/Borrowed; Hardcover
More Details: Fashion Design
Publisher/ Release date: Rizzoli Ex Libris; June 7, 2016

Rizzoli         Goodreads     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Rizzoli:
Late legendary couturiers of modern fashion speaking eloquently about life, design, and inspiration. Vionnet, Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, McQueen—these names define haute couture, and long after the designers have passed away, their influence on fashion continues to be profound. In an exceptional compilation of the original words of these couturiers, Couture Confessions provides a unique and in-depth look at the lives and work of these fashion icons. In this engaging, beautifully designed book, Pamela Golbin, acclaimed chief curator of twentieth-century fashion and textiles at Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs, has ingeniously constructed conversations in the designers’ own words that highlight their compelling personal stories as well as essential fashion "moments"—from designers Paul Poiret, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Madame Grès, Alexander McQueen, Madeleine Vionnet, and Gabrielle Chanel to Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Jeanne Lanvin, Pierre Balmain, and Christian Dior. Featuring striking illustrations by internationally recognized illustrator Yann Legendre, each "interview" asks the questions every fashion lover has always wanted to ask, making these legends approachable, human, and ever more inspiring.

My Thoughts:
Couture Confessions by Pamela Golbin is formatted in an interesting way.  The author poses questions and uses quotes from  late designers such as Lanvin, Chanel, and Vionnet  to answer them. This was definitely an interesting take on some of the greatest fashion designer's thoughts; making it an interesting read.

I have to admit, I went into the book blind. I didn’t even look at the synopsis. At first I couldn’t get into the book; however, I kept reading as I was curious. Eventually it captured my attention. As the synopsis explains, the questions Goblin posed were ones I would have asked. From it, my appreciation grew for the designers, their life, their creative process, and the teams working behind the scenes. Also featured in the book are illustrations from Yann Legendre, which were beautiful.

As I said above, I like Couture Confessions and found it to be an interesting read.

Thanks for reading.

Book Review: The CEO Next Door

Title: The CEO Next Doot
Authors: Elena L. Botelho, Kim R. Powell, Tahl Raz

Source/Format: Blogging for Books; hardcover
More Details: Management
Publisher/ Release date: Currency, March 26 2018

Goodreads     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository (Paperback)

Synopsis from Penguin Random House:
Based on an in-depth analysis of over 2,600 leaders drawn from a database of more than 17,000 CEOs and C-suite executives, as well 13,000 hours of interviews, and two decades of experience advising CEOs and executive boards, Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell overturn the myths about what it takes to get to the top and succeed. 
My Thoughts:

What if the path to being a CEO wasn’t as complicated as you once thought? Well The CEO Next Door almost entirely proves just that. It’s not just an inspirational book; it’s also a rational one, proving that you don’t have to be perfect to be a CEO and that hard work and smart decisions can get you to the top as well.
Most proof for the ideas the authors’ present came from interviews of current and former CEOs as well as some board members and previous counseling experiences. Their quotes and experiences proved that nothing overly fancy is required. Besides that, I like the fact that every experience wasn’t presented as being peachy-keen. The authors readily provided examples of pitfalls from not handling mistakes well to negative attitudes and actions that can totally obliterate a career.

Small details presented in a book can make the biggest difference for me. As such, the details and layout in The CEO Next Door made it an engaging read. First, I loved the text boxes that included additional information and never interrupted a sentence. They were usually placed strategically after a paragraph was completed. Secondly, except for chapter one, each chapter contained a small section called Key Takeaways. So, instead of skimming through pages to refer back to information I’d already read, I simply had to go to the end of each chapter to locate the information.

Overall, the CEO Next Door was a highly inspiring book. I recommend giving it a read especially if you’re an aspiring CEO.

Thanks for reading.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Movie Review: Ready Player One

Title: Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Executive Producers:Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris DeFaria, Bruce Berman
Producers: Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, Dan Farah
Release Date: March 29, 2018 (other dates)
More Details: Based off novel by Ernest Cline
*I attended an advance screening
Official Movie Website     


My Thoughts:

I admit –I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Ready Player One, but I did have high hopes for it. My sister read the book, and every ten seconds she was coming to me with excited revelations. I could only hope I liked it. However, I loved it. If you like retro/classic things, video games, and virtual reality, you’ll love Ready Player One.

One of the first things I noticed was the balance of story and action. The time between fighting and action allowed the story to progress at a nice pace while letting the viewer get to know the characters. The latter I appreciated, because when something happened to a character, I actually cared for once. When a character acted out in a certain way, I understood the motive. Lastly, I don’t usually comment on this, but the CG scenes (especially within the oasis) weren’t too dizzying. Which I enjoyed since a lot of the movie takes place there.

I absolutely adored Ready Player One and I’d definitely recommend watching it.

Thank for reading.

Book Review: Texture Tresses: The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining and Styling Natural Hair

Title: Texture Tresses: The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining and Styling Natural Hair
Author: Diane Da Costa
Source/Format: Library Borrowed, Paperback
More Details: Natural Hair, Hair care
Publisher/ Release date: Touchstone; June 8 2004
Goodreads     Barnes & Noble     Amazon

My Thoughts: 

I was really excited to read Texture Tresses, but at a certain point I didn’t finish it. Eventually I discovered that the book wasn’t what I was looking for. However, if you frequently visit salons to have your hair professionally styled then this might be the book you’re looking for.
Thanks for reading.

The Longest Book Tag

The other day I was tagged by my sister in her post The Longest Book Tag. So, I decided to take part. The Tag was created by Ditsha on her blog Bewitchingly Paranoid, and this is her post.

  • Make a list of the 5 longest books you’ve ever read
  • Select 2 of the longest books on your tbr
  • Discuss
  • Tag Others
Longest books I’ve read besides textbooks:

  1. Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker; 409 pages 
  2. The Battle for Wondla; 480 pages 
  3. Chanel and her World: Friends, Fashion and Fame; 384 pages 
  4. Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design; 566 pages 
  5. Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style: 480 
Longest books on my TBR:

  1. William Shakespeare: Complete Plays; 1,194 pages 
  2. Sociology: your Compass for a new Word 3rd Edition; 432 pages
Some thoughts:
Although pages can make a book long, so can height, width, and formatting. For example, the Battle for Wondla and Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style have the same number of pages; however, the later book is bigger, and has smaller text. Many fashion books such as those contain many pictures, but they become long reads because I take the time to read every quote and anecdote.

I don’t have anyone specific to tag so… I tag you! Yes, you, the person reading this post.

Thanks for reading.

Game Review: Horizon: Zero Dawn

Title: Horizon: Zero Dawn
Developer/Publisher: Guerrilla Games; Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: Febuary 28 2017
Platform: PS4
Source/ format: Purchased (Christmas Gift), Disc
Other: Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Addition, Frozen Wilds DLC

My Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to playing Horizon: Zero Dawn, I had expectations, and they were delivered. The combination of characters, storytelling, side missions, and open world made Zero Dawn a worthwhile game to play.
The majority of the story is presented the same way from when you start the game with Aloy as a child: walking through a dilapidated structure, listening to audio files and reading documents. That being said, a lot of the missions had action too. Actually, I found it to be a nice balance between fighting and reading/listening. Besides, there were quite a few side missions, and other things like Cauldrons, Tallnecks, Corruption Zones, Bandit Camps and Hunting Grounds that I couldn’t get enough of. This doesn’t even take into consideration the Frozen Wilds DLC (part of the complete addition), which I have yet to get my hands on. Overall, there was plenty of action to go around.

The next positive aspect of this game is the open world. You can pretty much revisit all the ground you previously covered. You can even climb Tallnecks again, but you can’t override them (enjoy the views though). The only places you can’t set foot on again are the cauldrons and some mission areas, which are cleverly placed on the edge of the map.

My only problem was the distance between some of the missions, which led to me using fast travel. However, I can’t say I was too annoyed since you can acquire a Golden Fast Travel. But my laziness did lead me to missing some settlements and side missions.

Finally, I liked the various levels of difficulty. I haven’t played above easy since I love story, but it’s very tempting. I finished playing the game on story mode where combat is eased to a minimum. The final boss wasn’t overly easy, but it was easy enough (with Shield-Weaver that is).

Overall I really enjoyed Horizon Zero Dawn, I enjoyed the ability to stealth (or not), the open world, the story, and practically everything. Highly recommend playing it.

*Photo Mode is awesome!
Thanks for reading.

Book Review: The Startup Way

Title: The Startup Way
Author: Eric Ries (Website)
Source/Format: Blogging for Books; Hardcover
More Details: Nonfiction, Managment
Publisher/ Release date: Currency; October 17, 2017

Goodreads     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Penguin Random House:
Entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Lean Startup, Eric Ries reveals how entrepreneurial principles can be used by businesses of all kinds, ranging from established companies to early-stage startups, to grow revenues, drive innovation, and transform themselves into truly modern organizations, poised to take advantage of the enormous opportunities of the twenty-first century...

My Thoughts
As described by the synopsis and title, The Startup Way by Eric Reis is an overview of management technique(s). In it, he suggests possible ways that businesses, especially larger corporations, can modernize by run efficiently and smarter.

Reis presents a different view of businesses, by encouraging focus on customers. The author discusses how to apply entrepreneurial ideas with in organizations and how it can benefit the company as a whole. I enjoyed the fact that this book wasn’t filled with fancy business terminology, which was easy to understand. Most terms/ phrases were explained clear enough when first introduced. Another is that the ideas were presented as suggestions rather than a “you must do step a-z to see results”. Actually the driving force behind taking such techniques into consideration was the stories Reis included about the companies that took his advice –which included a discussion of their previous successes and failures.

I had no strife with The Startup Way. The writing flowed making it an enjoyable read. As such, I recommend checking it out.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
Thanks for reading.