books

estimated 5 min read

I’m back! I doubt you missed me. As I’ve been overwhelmed by unread RSS posts, I understand why few probably want to read what is frequently scribbled here. I have a several ideas on how to rearrange the verbiage, but as I often move with the speed of a leaf-clogged stream, I’m not sure how quickly change will happen.

In other blabberings, I’ve almost caught up on recent issues of The Economist and The New Yorker. I started Pesach with a January issue of The New Yorker, before the start of our current Administration. (I’m not kidding.) I’m now in mid-March.

Be warned, after the jump, there’s quite a bit of text, but only a few books are reviewed in any great detail. I hope to update and complete them eventually, however I wanted to get them out of my queue.

The Pleasure of the Text Little Brother Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present Elom Eon: Dragoneye Reborn Devices and Desires Daemon Rowan Crochet Workshop Conducting Online Surveys



The Pleasure of the TextThe Pleasure of the Text
by Roland Barthes, Translated by Richard Miller
© 1973 Hill and Wang, New York
67pp, paper
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewhalf star for book review

I do not remember what caused me to take this slender volume from the University stacks. In general, I am not fond of philosophy for casual reading. I’m not even sure what lead me to discover this text exists. But I enjoyed reading the translated poetry of Barthes writing as the masses around me swirl with discussion on the death of reading and the rise of the electronic book and what that means for the future of humanity. He explains why I read and hope that the joy will never depart.

Little BrotherLittle Brother
by Cory Doctorow
© 2008, Tor Books
382 pages, Hardcover
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review
Also available at craphound.com

Overclocked: Stories of the Future PresentOverclocked
by Cory Doctorow
© 2007
Read via dailylit.com
Also available at craphound.com
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewno star for book reviewno star for book review

ElomElom
by William H. Drinkard
© 2008, Tor Books
544 pages, book proof
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewno star for book reviewno star for book review

Eon: Dragoneye RebornEon: Dragoneye Reborn
by Alison Goodman
© 2008, Viking Juvenile
Hardcover, 536 pages
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewhalf star for book review

Devices and DesiresDevices and Desires (The Engineer Trilogy)
by K.J. Parker
© 2006, Orbit Books
720 pages, Paperback
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewno star for book reviewno star for book review

DaemonDaemon
by Daniel Suarez
© 2009, Dutton Adult
432 pages, Hardcover
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewhalf star for book reviewno star for book review

Rowan Crochet WorkshopRowan Crochet Workshop (Spiral-bound)
by Emma Seddon & Sharon Brant
Technical editor: Sally Harding
Photography: John Heseltine
© 2008, Rowan
192 pages, Hardcover, Spiral Bound
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review

I was prepared to be disappointed by this book, even with the promise that the name Rowan brings to the design. I’m pleased to say I’m not disappointed in the least and think that this is a beautiful and accessible course book to lead the crocheter from the basics and along the way acquire some pretty intermediate skills. This hard-cover spiral-bound (double bonus points in my book) volume begins by listing both the Technical editor AND the Photographer and I want to commend Harding and Heseltine on their assistance in putting together a beautiful book.

The book is laid out in six workshops from the basics though introductory garment making and other advanced techniques such as beading and felting. The Hook conversion chart on page 11 is very nicely done as is the UK-US terminology converter. It was these first fifteen pages that impressed me the most. The introductory materials look as modern as any current knitting book and I knew that there was promise of hooking beyond the granny square.

Honestly I’m a bit at a loss how next to review this book.

I’ve crocheted since I was about six or seven and there was nothing like this then. I want a time machine to go back and give it to me. Why? This book includes the basics of how the different stitches look in different yarns and colours. For the simple lesson on “here’s a chart of written instructions for how to do turning rows”. (my mom just taught me granny squares). Every single instructional photo knocked my socks off. The yarn choice, hook placement, and lightness contrast highlight what you need to see to go through this book on your own and learn crochet. I’d want this book for six year old me to learn that there’s more than just single, double, and treble (US) crochet stitches. Maybe then I wouldn’t have had such knitting envy.

This Workshop even teaches you short rows (fan shaping)!

This is a book that I believe every crocheter should have on their bookshelf for easy access. It is a nice reference to pull out when helping a beginner work out a problem. I often find inspiration in returning to the basics and can see myself flipping often though the pages. The Workshop covers a range of techniques, includes attractive projects, and has quite a few stitches and edgings in its library. The only complaint I have is that there is not a separate photo index of the stitch patterns, but I’ll overlook that flaw as in every other way this appears to me to be a perfect crochet book.

Conducting Online SurveysConducting Online Surveys
by Valerie M. Sue
© 2007, Sage Publications, Inc.
208 pages, Paperback
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book reviewhalf star for book reviewno star for book review

This slender volume contains a basic introduction to survey creation in general and more specifically leads the reader through the differences found during online survey creation. Sue includes sections on planning, writing, ethics, and evaluation of findings. She does so with simple and clear charts outlining the main ideas and includes many examples. There are bullet points throughout the text which help summarize and focus the content for the reader.

While this volume is geared toward college students, it could be useful for those individuals, the “accidental survey creator”, who need to survey customers/clients and do so quickly. This book provides the reader with the vocabulary to then interface with vendors or specialists to assist in the survey process and have some idea what everyone is talking about. I recommend it as a introductory reference guide, but believe it’s shelf space is better served in a library setting than something you personally need to purchase as one can (in my opinion) quickly outgrow the material.

Reader interactions

One Reply to “books”

  1. I have missed your blog posts! I’m glad to see that you are back!

Comments are closed.