Thursday, May 27, 2010


by Christopher Paolini
is a fantasy story about a 15-year-old boy named Eragon who finds a dragon egg. It hatches one day and over several months Eragon learns how to use his new powers as a dragon rider while he travels around his country trying to protect the innocent from the evil government. The book ends after a huge battle.

I found Eragon very interesting. I read it wondering if it might be appropriate for my 12-year-old son, but I don't think he's ready for it since there is quite a bit of violence. As an interesting note, the author wrote the first draft at age 15 and Eragon is the first book in a trilogy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

200 fast & easy artisan breads

no knead, one bowl by Judith M. Fertig

This cookbook is arranged in sections with a basic dough recipe and then several modification recipes, some only in the shape, following the dough recipe. The basic method is to mix the ingredients together, let the dough rise for 2 hours, and then use it and/or refrigerate up to 9 days. They take just a few minutes of hands-on time and there is no kneading involved. There were many recipes for every kind of bread from baguettes and pizza to brioche, bagels and sweetbreads.

I tried two (different) batches and they were easy and delicious. I would have tried more, but the book was due at the library. I highly recommend this book and will certainly be getting it again!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Learning at home:

a mother's guide to homeschooling by Marty Layne
This book covered things like responding to people who question your decision to homeschool, learning not to worry about children learning at different ages and benefits of children spending time outdoors. The author used very little formal curriculum when she taught her children and she explains how to teach the different subjects from everyday living.

While I didn't agree with everything in this book, I did learn a lot from it and found quite a bit of useful information. I would recommend this to homeschooling moms.

The tempest for kids

by Lois Burdett
This is a re-telling of Shapespeare's play in simpler language that children can understand. It is in rhyming couplets and illustrated by the author's grade 2 students.

I read this to my children (aged 8 and almost 12) last week and they enjoyed it very much. They were interested in the story and especially liked the pictures. Since there were many of them and all were drawn by different children, the story characters looked different in all the pictures. My kids thought that was cool.

Homeschooling for the rest of us

by Sonya Haskins

This book covered many topics related to educating your children including choosing curriculum, scheduling, avoiding burnout, field trips and much more. The author also included her website address for further help.

I enjoyed reading Homeschooling for the rest of us, and I think it is a great resource for homeschoolers.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Use what you have decorating

by Lauri Ward
This book has great advice on furniture arrangement and art placement for creating a comfortable, restful room. Each chapter covers a common decorating mistake and suggests a solution. There are many real-life before and after pictures from the author's own decorating business in clients homes.

While I liked Use what you have decorating, the edition I read is somewhat dated. She recommends painting walls white, which I find rather boring, and the furniture in the photos is from about 20 years ago. There is likely a newer edition, though, as I have seen newer-looking cover photos on the internet. I didn't have a choice since I got this from the library.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Home by design:

Transforming your house into home by Sarah Susanka. This was my second time reading this book and I read it more carefully this time. It's about home design, specifically the details that make a house interesting and homelike. It considers things like the long view through the house as you enter the front door, when the design should be symmetrical or asymmetrical, mouldings and trim and different kinds of windows.

I liked this book, but would not recommend it to most people because it is quite involved and I think all but a few would find it rather boring. It would, however, be helpful to people who want to change their house from a box-like set of rooms to something homier and would like to know what things they could change.

Sew and stow

31 fun sewing projects to carry, hold, and organize your stuff, your home, and yourself! by Betty Oppenheimer has great projects including a hammock, sun visor organizer, apron, hanging organizer, firewood tote, bags and more. The instructions are clear, well-written and easy to follow.

I think this a great book would recommend it to anyone who likes sewing projects like these. If I ever complete the things I've already started sewing, I would like to get this book from the library again to make some of these lovely things.