Linda R. (fibrogal) - , - Reviews

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5 Years Without Food: The Food Allergy Survival Guide : How to Overcome Your Food Allergies and Recover Good Health
Review Date: 10/15/2008


I have found this book to be very helpful. It has the best list of foods by botanical classification that I have ever seen (maybe the only one), with an alphabetical index. For instance, if you are allergic to all grains, maybe you should avoid bamboo shoots (bamboo is in the grain family). If anyone in this country is eating it, it is probably in the food classification list in this book. There were a lot of foods that I had never heard of. If you have a weak stomach and see a food name that you are not familiar with, don't look it up...you probably don't want to know.

This is an earlier edition of The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide, so don't get both. The changes do not justify the name change.


Advanced Quilting
Advanced Quilting
Author: Lena Fleming (Translator), Richard Fleming (Translator), Elsie Svennas
Book Type: Unknown Binding
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 10/3/2008


So many ideas packed into one slim volume!

The author encourages you to use your own imagination, and gives examples that can be used directly or for inspiration.

Quilting is adapted to such diverse uses as clothing, lampshades, bags, potholders, tablecloths, unusual wallhangings, egg cozies, soft sculpture, and toys.

Ideas for clothing include using quilting techniques to repair clothing, and reusing the clothing in other ways. Ideas are borrowed from many cultures--one example is the simplified necklines of American Indians. No cloth is cut from the neckline--it is just folded back to make a collar. This can be done without a pattern.

Much use is made of transparent and translucent fabrics for special effects.

One technique I especially liked was the beautiful ribbon stars. I also liked the applique with crazy-quilt type created fabric used in a mola style.

It is unfortunate that most of the photographs are in black and white, although there are color plates scattered throughout.

There are some very interesting old quilts used to illustrate her points.


Aiden's Charity (Breeds, Bk 12)
Aiden's Charity (Breeds, Bk 12)
Author: Lora Leigh
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 164
Review Date: 3/26/2009


This book in the series is even more thick with sex scenes than the others. I didn't think it was possible. It even got to be annoying and I found myself skipping ahead to see what was going to happen besides sex.


Angels Don't Cry (Silhouette Desire, No 758)
Angels Don't Cry (Silhouette Desire, No 758)
Author: Amanda Stevens
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 5/22/2007


I really enjoyed this story. It's a bit darker than usual for the Desire series; a twin betrays her sister with the man she loves. Ten years later, when the story begins, everyone is still wallowing in the past. A town stalled in the past is a metaphor for lovers still stalled in the past, hung on the betrayal of so long ago.


Another Time, Another Place (Man of the Month) (Silhouette Desire, No 823)
Review Date: 7/25/2007


This was the most deeply moving book that I have read in a long time. It's the story of a couple overcoming their estrangement and a terrible tragedy.


Anything's Possible! (Spellbound) (Silhouette Desire, No 911)
Anything's Possible! (Spellbound) (Silhouette Desire, No 911)
Author: Judith McWilliams
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 8/1/2008


This is a cute story of an irascible ghost who has to do one good deed to get into heaven. He's rather contrary, so he's waited 150 years to get it done because he doesn't like being told what to do. He's just in time to help Dan and Cassie out of a jam and to bring them together.


Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, Bk 6)
Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, Bk 6)
Author: Ngaio Marsh
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 4/8/2009


Marsh is always good for an intriguing story, and it doesn't matter that it was written a while back--it's very good writing.


Baby Gifts: Simple Heirlooms to Make and Give
Baby Gifts: Simple Heirlooms to Make and Give
Author: Ethel Brennan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The top of the front of the book reads "simple heirlooms to make and give"--I don't know about the heirlooms part, but simple does seem to be the theme here. If you can sew a little, you can make the sewn and embroidered items. If you can't, there is enough information on sewing that you can learn, or you can assemble the gift basket, decoupage a chair or stamp a wood block.

The projects are divided into these four groups: Wardrobe Classics; Nursery Trimmings; Pretty Practicalities; Toys and Things. Here is a selection of the projects offered: baby bloomers (diaper cover); snow hat and socks (made from a cashmere sweater, SO practical); cashmere sweater (like I said); felt cap and booties; fancy pants (applique on purchased clothes); one-of-a-kind onesies (embroidery, paint and lace on purchased clothes); snuggle suit; hanger covers; silk quilt (again with the dry clean or hand wash); laundry bag; pillow; basket liners; hooded towel; and stuffed alphabet letters, blocks and bear head on a blanket.

Personally, I wasn't that impressed. I don't think that there was anything here that I hadn't seen before except the idea of having a new mother deal with silk and cashmere for the baby. The only item that I was even tempted to try was the booties, and as I said, I've seen them elsewhere. The pattern for the bib is one that does not fit well and the recommended materials for it are ones that are not known for lasting after multiple washings. The bear blanket could be cute. It seems like it would have been easy to show the booties in multiple sizes, but there is only one size given. It would have fit my daughter at about 7-8 months, but she had small feet, so perhaps it would be appropriate. They are a "Mary Jane" type, so if they are too big, the toes would pop out.

I just didn't see any heirlooms here. There are a few gifts that would be much appreciated by new parents.


Bead Crochet : A Beadwork How-To Book (Beadwork How-To series)
Bead Crochet : A Beadwork How-To Book (Beadwork How-To series)
Author: Bethany Barry
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.6/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 6/22/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This author seems to subscribe to the "more is better" philosophy except when it comes to instructions. In the "Techniques" section at the front of the book, she will say something like, "work 1 sc with beads", although the instructions in the projects are somewhat better. There are good explanations for the basic crochet stitches that are used in the projects, but when it comes to where and when to add the beads, she is less clear. The projects look as though they would appeal to those who like the new "freeform" crochet--there are masses of beads of every size, shape and color. Not at all to my taste.


Best Laid Plans (Jack's Story, Bk 2) (Silhouette Special Edition, No 511)
Review Date: 11/8/2007


I am a woman engineer, and have worked in situations similar to that of the heroine during the time period depicted, and know the background. Both the hero and heroine would have been risking being fired with ruined reputations within the first few pages, or at least should have been terminally embarrassed by their behavior. Sorry, but if you have been there, the depiction is laughable.

I started this book and then threw it down in disgust because it was ridiculous. I picked it up again later to give it another chance. After I got past the first chapter or so, it got better.

Hey, Nora: 12 gauge wire is heavier than14, there's a difference between equipment and materials, and there would be more than one person doing Abra's job. There are several other things that I could mention, but I would have to include spoilers, so I won't.

BUT: If you don't know the background to compare it to what is depicted, this really is a pretty good story.


Betrayal by the Brain: The Neurologic Basis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Related Neural Network Disorders
Review Date: 5/27/2012


I tried and failed to read this book; it (and the other books by this author) was just too heavily interspersed with biochemistry. I gave it and the other books to my doctor to see if she could get anything out of it. She's a bit out there herself (she's a physician who includes acupuncture, yoga, and other "alternative therapies" in her practice), but after going through the books and researching the author, she told me that he's considered a "crackpot". His premise sounds good, but then I got lost, and I think she did too. Not that it's definitive, but the fact that he is a lone voice without any noticible followers (he retired several years ago) would seem to indicate that this is a dead end in my search for someone who knows what fibromyalgia is and what to do about it.


Bras: A Private View
Bras: A Private View
Author: Rosemary Hawthorne, Mary Want. (Illustrator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/26/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This is a fun book, even if it (or maybe especially because) sometimes feels a bit like going through the author's lingerie drawer. It starts with a short history of breast support and display from ancient history to the 1900's, including a devilishly uncomfortable-looking corset of metal, hinged, riveted, with beautiful scrollwork and two holes for the breasts to stick through. It looks as though it was made by an armor maker.

Since the corset was popular for centuries up into the 1900's, the bulk of the book starts here, with the claim of the invention of the bra in 1913 by a debutante. From there, she covers the history of the industry, the effect of world events on the bra, and the ups, downs, ins and outs of its design. There is no other part of the anatomy so available to designers to change its shape, so they take advantage of the malleability of the breast.

There are short excursions into the history of lycra, girdles and related apparel and to children's underwear, but the author comes quickly back to the book's main subject.
If you have ever felt like designing a bra, this would be a very good resource, but you don't have to be serious to read this book.


The Catch of Texas (Silhouette Desire, No 1246)
The Catch of Texas (Silhouette Desire, No 1246)
Author: Lass Small
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 1/25/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I love Lass Small, but this is not one of her better books. There isn't much of a plot, not that she is a master at plotting, and things don't seem to follow naturally in the sequence of events. However, there is the usual quirkiness, and the usual likable characters are there.

If you like large print, this one is almost large print. I guess that there weren't enough words to fill the approximately 190 pages that are standard for the Desire series, so they made the margins bigger, the print bigger and put bigger spaces between the lines, the way a school kid would if his book report was too short. I would guess that this book is about half as long on word count as the average Desire series book.


Cautious Lover (Silhouette Desire, No 253)
Cautious Lover (Silhouette Desire, No 253)
Author: Stephanie James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 8/25/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Jess is a bit of a bulldozer, and Elly has been going along with his plans because they are taking her where she wants to go. Jess thinks that she is comfortable and compliant. Then his plans don't agree with hers and Jess is shocked to find that Elly is not so compliant...

There are evil villains thrown into the story to help keep it interesting and the first half to two thirds of the book is so much fun that you can almost forgive the contrived plot twist and a very sappy ending.


Chances Are (Silhouette Desire, No 482)
Chances Are (Silhouette Desire, No 482)
Author: Erica Spindler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 10/25/2007


A romance with a bit more plotting than usual, even if the coincidences do stretch things too much. The relationship between the protagonists is lively and entertaining, but the disparity between the internal and external dialogue of the heroine is too much.


Changing Habits
Changing Habits
Author: Debbie Macomber
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 204
Review Date: 10/16/2007
Helpful Score: 3


Three stories that are told piece by piece in alternating style. Only occasionally does more than one of the characters appear in each story segment. It was almost as if I was reading three different books at once and alternating among them, which I found disconcerting. Sometimes I had to stop and try to remember which character was the focus of the current segment, because their similarities seemed more significant than their differences. Parts of the book were very moving, but other parts just fell flat. The book kind of trails off toward the end.


Cheap and Easy! Clothes Dryer Repair (Cheap and Easy)
Cheap and Easy! Clothes Dryer Repair (Cheap and Easy)
Author: Douglas Emley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/14/2007


I have a dryer that I bought used 30 years ago. It had started making a noise that sounded like it was tumbling large rocks. With this book and about $40 worth of parts, it's running like new. The book detailed every step. I never could have even gotten the dryer apart without it.

This series of books is THE BEST!!!


Cheap and Easy! Whirlpool/Kenmore Dryer Repair (Cheap and Easy! Appliance Repair Series) (Cheap and Easy)
Review Date: 11/6/2007


I can't say anything about this book's usefullness if you have a newer dryer, but if you have an older drying that is acting up, there is a very good chance that with a little time, effort and perhaps a few parts that you could have a dryer that is almost as good as new. One of the best things about this series of books is that it will tell you how to quickly and simply take apart the dryer (or other appliance), and when the problem is beyond the scope of the book (not often). With the help of this book, I've been using the same dryer for 30 years (that I bought used at an estate sale). For those of you with a bit of a handyman in you and who don't want to spend money you don't have to, these books are right up your alley!


Cheap and Easy! Whirlpool Washer Repair (Cheap and Easy)
Cheap and Easy! Whirlpool Washer Repair (Cheap and Easy)
Author: Douglas Emley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/7/2007


This series of books is the BEST! My husband and I spent weeks putting up with a problem with our washer while he intermittently tried to fix it. He consulted the owner's manual, the parts list, a local appliance parts & repair center and the internet. No luck. He was so frustrated that he was talking about buying a new washer. I found this book at the library. We had the washer fixed in five minutes plus the time it took to take it apart and put it back together (the book made that easier, too!) It works great now.


Cheyenne Princess (Panorama of the Old West, Bk 2)
Cheyenne Princess (Panorama of the Old West, Bk 2)
Author: Georgina Gentry
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 1/28/2008


Warning for the faint-hearted: there is a rape near the beginning of the book, in addition to several attempted rapes and graphic discussions of torture throughout the book. If you find it hard to believe that someone could love a man that does little more than argue, issue orders and force himself on her, then you will have a problem with the premise. The plot has gaping holes in addition to being convoluted, with a forced nod to the Cinderella tale. In addition, it is difficult to like very many of the characters. The author has an annoying habit in this book of repeating pivotal scenes; I think I read one three times.

Although I came to this book from others in this series by the author, I would not recommend this book. Get someone to tell you what happened to Cimarron if you must know, but don't waste your time reading this book.


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