Book Review / Knitting Block by Block

I'm a big knitter in my off-library hours, and was excited to check out this book by Nicky Epstein, Knitting Block by Block:

Knitting Block by Block is a testament to the author's creativity and love of experimentation with knitting.  The concept of knitting small blocks of different patterns and textures is a fun one, but as a knitter I'm looking for projects and patterns that give you a useful and wearable finished product.  I didn't feel this book delivered that, and if you're on the same page I would not recommend this title.

However, Epstein's work is presented in a beautifully photographed coffee table format and if knitting adventurous textures and stitches is your thing, definitely give this title a try!

Review copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


Book Review / Make Up Your Life by Michelle Phan

A new nonfiction review this week for Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success Online and Off by Michelle Phan:

Michelle Phan, a well-known makeup guru thanks to her online presence, presents a girl's guide to a well rounded life online and off. I didn't know what to expect when I picked this up.  I think the ideal audience for this title are younger (late teen-early 20's) fans of Michelle's work.  I was unfamiliar with the author before opening this book and felt the content was ok, but mostly applicable to younger women looking for their first job or just starting out on their own.

If you're a fan of Michelle's videos and tutorials, I definitely recommend checking out this book.

Review copy provided via Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Family Program / Boxcar Children

A couple of my fall family programs this semester were new programs for me, and this book party based on The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner was one of them:

It was surprisingly challenging to find activities to go along with the Boxcar Children for a library setting.  In the end I went with:

In the end, I think everyone enjoyed themselves and maybe this program will give you some ideas to celebrate the Boxcar Children with your own patrons!


Book Review / Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson

This is a perfect read coming up to the holiday season - I've got a long list of recipes to try for gatherings with family and friends thanks to this lovely read from Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker:

A beautiful book that will have your mouth watering after the first few pages, Homemade Decadence is a must-have cookbook for anyone who enjoys baking.  After reading the first few recipes, I wanted to put this book under my pillow so I could dream of these desserts, then wake up and bake them all.  And then eat them.
My favorite part of the book are the sections like the ones on pie or cake that start with a great basic recipe for yellow cake or a traditional cheesecake and then give ideas and recipes for variations - like an apple pie with brie baked into the crust.  On top of the delicious (but not ridiculously hard) recipes, the whole book is beautifully styled and photographed.  This is a perfect choice to give as a gift or keep for yourself if your kitchen needs a little sweetening up.  Be sure to check out Joy's blog Joy the Baker for more recipes!

Review copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


Book Review / DIY Type by Dana Tanamachi

Here's a book that is both beautiful and useful!  I've been a fan of Dana Tanamachi's work for several years, and I was so excited to find out about this book:

DIY Type is filled with two sets of sturdy alphabet stencils in the artist's signature serif lettering style as well as ideas and inspiration about how to use these stencils.  Suggestions include personalized notebooks, t-shirts, a monogrammed birthday cake, and even a chalk lettering photo backdrop like the ones that Dana would create for her friends.
After reading through DIY Type, I'm dreaming up some monogrammed artwork for my niece and nephew with these handy stencils.  This book would make a perfect gift for a crafty friend or family member!  The only thing I would have liked to see is a script alphabet as well as the serif alphabets included in the book, but overall, I highly recommend this title!

Find out more about Dana's work and portfolio here.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for a review copy of DIY Type in exchange for my honest review.


Book Review / Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin

Today's post is a change of pace from my usual kid/teen book reviews.  I recently joined Blogging for Books in the hope that I can share some adult and nonfiction reading suggestions with you all as well!  If you are a knitter, you should definitely take the time to pick up Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin.  And if you're not a knitter, this book might convince you to become one!

Knockout Knits is the perfect book for adventurous knitters looking for unique and luxurious yet wearable knits.  Split into three sections, this book features beautiful small scale projects that let knitters try out new techniques like wrapped stitches, adding beads, and unique lace patterns.

Laura Nelkin's passion for unique, creative design is obvious with each project.  Nelkin shares her design process in the introduction for each pattern and provides a thorough explanation of the techniques showcased in each section of the book.  The projects are beautifully photographed and have a vintage-inspired feel to them that will attract a young, fresh audience.

The projects showcased here are best suited for advanced beginners, intermediate and advanced knitters.  Knitters who cast on with this book will end up with a one-of-a-kind piece for wearing or gifting.  I'm already itching to cast on the Bootsy Boot Toppers for the fall season!

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a review copy of Knockout Knits in exchange for my honest review.