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Thinker "Grace" (UK)

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Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions
Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions
by Nancy Bush
Edition: Paperback

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Practical, Inspirational, 6 May 2009
This has to be one of the most beautiful books featuring knitted lace that has ever been published. I love it.

The first chapter describes the history of the remarkable Estonian lace knitters covering 14 pages. Following this there are 14 lace patterns for scarves and stoles which use some amazingly lovely lace stitches. Estonian lace is unique in that the patterns are not found in English knitted lace, but are complex,fragile, feminine and very up-to-date. There are stunning designs and borders. Also included are hints for designing your own lacy items.

There are plenty of superb fine yarns in the shops and on the web, and these come in a huge variety of colours and yarn types. They have become very popular indeed since the book 'Victorian Lace for Today' hit the bookshops a couple of years ago. Fine yarn and large needles create beautiful flowing projects which can be made by any knitter with some experience.

The photography is excellent and the instructions are given in abundance. These are not written, but are given in chart form which many people favour. The more 'difficult' stitches are shown in diagram form and although a challenge are clearly represented.

I can find no faults with this book and being a lace knitter myself highly recommend it to anyone wanting something different and challenging. If I had to sum up the book in a few words they would be BEAUTIFUL BOOK - BUY IT AND TRY IT -You will not be disappointed.

by David L. Lindsey
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANIMOSITY, 29 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Animosity (Hardcover)
David Lindsey is a very under-rated writer and often I have felt that people do not do his books justice. I have read this thriller by him several times. I know how it ends and I am familiar with all the content, yet it is a book that continually pulls me back for another read. Not many books have the ability to do this, especially in the suspense/thriller genre.

The story is both simple and complex, which is one reason why it works so well. It has a variety of pace from ultra relaxed to shockingly violent. It both draws one in to the main characters and also repels.

The story is most unusual and concerns a gentle, sensitive artistic sculptor who lives alone in an old Mexican house and coutyard. He is invited by a beautiful woman to sculpt her sister. But, all is not what it seems. From beauty and love, come evil and destruction. Can one love two women? One of them has a murderous heart, but which one? There are scenes of love, longing and lust, but where will it all lead?

Through many twists and turns the book takes the reader through warm nights, heady perfumes, the open air beer graden with parrots where the sculptor meets with his only man friend. The sculptor's feelings of loneliness, confusion and emotion are extremely well portrayed, and the description of his dwelling and surroundings so vivid and realistic that one could almost be there.

Lindsey holds the reader's interest right up to the end - which is ... no, I am tempted to tell you. Read 'Animosity' and enjoy every word. It is both hauntingly fearful and hauntingly beautiful. After 'Mercy', this has to be David's best book - unbeatable - unforgettable.

Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel
Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel
by Eric Boman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £28.00

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DARE TO BE DIFFERENT, 29 Jan. 2009
This has to be the fashion and accessory book of the year 2007. Iris Apfel did what many of us want to do, but daren't. Why look drab? Why look neutral? Do you want to stand out in a crowd, and be the person you always dreamed of? Iris Apfel has the answers, and as the title suggests she is certainly irreverent.
It is safe to say, that after reading this highly illustrated, beautifully photographed book showing Iris's daring, mind-blowing creations, the got-together-with-anything look, the hang it all I'll wear what I feel like -- you will be a changed person.

The ethic of Iris goes something like this: Why wear one bracelet when you can wear a dozen? She is herself with 'mix and match', plastic and metal, dresses covered in roses or plastic necklaces slopped around a fur dress. Everything about Iris style is 'mega', ultra, vast. Nothing matches, yet everything feels right. She's hot, yet she's not. She could walk into a charity shop and come out looking stunningly eye-catching. Huge sunglasses, large beads, way out dresses and so on. Iris loves to play and whatever her look - ethnic, retro, 60's she was born to be different. She lives in her own skin, albeit strange to conservative eyes, and it says "notice me, envy me, hate me because I have dared to wear my heart on the outside - and you have not." From the top of her head, to the tips of her toes, she includes the strangest of materials, textures, colours, plus the accessories we all have stuffed away in carrier bags hidden in our cupboards. Why not use your imagination and create your own 'voila - here I come -style'.

I love this book; I would never want to part with it. Each day it is a reminder that whoever we are, there is no need to be a plain Jane. I can step out into the world in whatever I choose and I'll still be me. As Iris Apfel said, when people say 'Take one off, I say 'Add one on'.

Healing Path
Healing Path
by Dan B. Allender
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HEALING PATH, 4 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Healing Path (Paperback)
The healing path is a tremendously comforting book. Its theme is that of ambivelence, of dissatisfaction in that for which we have longed, and the healing moments of past memories redeemed.
It talks of the hope in God that ever drwas us onwards to anticipate with joy that final day when Jesus will return. It holds out God's riches like seeds that are still hidden beneath the gentle earth, and will one day break the surface. God's prescence is there, but is as yet unseen - but we know it will come.
Allender writes a passionately complex book, yet the style is easy and readable. He draws beauty out of the barren places of our hearts, and causes hope to rise from desert places. Like King David, Allender wears his heart on his sleeve and his tears often mingle with ours wetting the pages.
Allender usually writes with his friend and co-author Tremper, yet this book stands alone as a monumnet of wisdom for people who have been deeply hurt. Through experiences such as the smile on a stanger's face, the wisdom of godly men and women, the Scriptures and the healing power of God we can be changed. It is a struggle that will last as long as we are in our mortal bodies, but healing in the spirit is already an accomplished fact. As with previous books by Allender (and Tremper), I have underlined many paragraphs that were very special. I have all things in Christ, yet I do not experience all of them them now. I have, and I have not. This is the theme of Allender's book and it is not only powerful and thought provoking - it is also reassuring.
This is a life-changing work that rips the stones from our hearts and turns them into jewels of love. Are you hurting, or do you want to help the hurting? Read 'The Healing Path' and you will not be disappointed. It is a wonderful book and one I will treasure alongside 'Bold Love' and 'The Cry of the Heart' by both Allender and Tremper.

Victorian Lace Today
Victorian Lace Today
by Jane Sowerby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VICTORIAN LACE TODAY, 21 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Victorian Lace Today (Paperback)
'Victorian Lace Today' is a superb lace knitting book - enticing, imaginative, and inspirational in every way.

The last two years have seen a return to the 'feminine', gentle and beautiful, especially in the areas of crochet and knitting. Gone are many of the stiff, boring and unimaginative garments that deterred many from taking up the needles again. Not so with this book.

It is, as the title says, based on patterns found in the knitting books of the Victorian era. However, these are transformed by the author Jane Sowerby, with the use of modern yarns, designer yarns, cottons, finest kid mohair, gorgeous colours and the adaptation of the patterns for the woman of the moment.

Lace is often thought of as doillies, chair back covers and old-fashioned items that grandma used on her tea tray. In 'Victorian Lace Today' you will not find anything like that, but chapters filled with wonderful shawls in many styles, simple lacy scarves, lace edged scarves, shawls with curving corners, throws, swirls, swinging items and everything that one could wish for to be a lacy up-to-date woman.

The colours used are often vibrant. Imagine a lacey rectangular shawl in fine lime green mohair or bright raspberry; or for lighter shades a soft gentle apple green, and a primrose so pale and fragile it is stunning. Also there are romantic black and mulberry coloured wraps to entice and capture the heart, plus a host of other lacy styles and colours.

The diagrams and intructions are very clear, as is the history of the women long ago who wrote these patterns for us. They are discussed in a way that brings the Victorian era to life.

The photographer must receive an accolation for his superb pictures. Alexis Xenakis has chosen the exteriors of stately homes for his locations, adding a mysterious past/present feel to the book. The models also echo this sense of timelessness in a way that is frankly beautiful.

If I had to chose only one knitting book this year, this would be the one.
It is exceptionally lovely.

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart
Breaking the Idols of Your Heart
by Dan B Allender & Tremper Longman 111
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BREAKING THE IDOLS OF YOUR HEART, 28 Nov. 2007
I was looking forward to reading 'Breaking the Idols of Your Heart' by Allender and Tremper Longman, yet I was so very disappointed. The book does not compare with the deeply spiritual standard of their earlier books such as 'The Cry of the Soul', 'Bold Love' and 'The Healing Path, all of which I own. These three books were wonderful - deep, thought provoking and soul searching. They offered the reader comfort, yet didn't gloss over the problems that Christians face in this life. Rather they explored them in such a way that one could open the book in any place and find riches and blessings on every page.
Not so with 'Breaking the Idols of Your Heart'. Every book must have an audience, yet I am baffled who Allender and Tremper had in mind when they wrote this book.
The jacket, gives the reader no clue that the book is partially written as fiction ( 70 pages out of the 189 pages)and centres around a character called Noah, his wife and buddies. The writing is almost childish and hardly relates to life in the real world. It is as though the authors have lost touch with the deeper problems we encounter, and the way the world and our response to it is changing so rapidly. Neither is there any mention before you purchase the book that you are buying a make-believe Bible study about the Book Ecclesiastes.
The main heading on the front of the jacket says: 'How to Navigate the Temptations of Life' - great thought I - this is going to be another book packed with the same help and spiritual insight as in previous books.
If you are looking for the 'wells of wisdom' with which the authors wrote their earlier books, then you will be disappointed. Most Christians already know the answers to the age-old questions about the temptations the authors raise - money, pleasure, knowledge, long life and can I control my world?
There are few answers here, and suffice it to say, it may be more beneficial to open your Bible and read Ecclesiastes for yourself. 'Breaking the Idols of Your Heart' is a very sad book, in that the authors are capable of much greater work than this, for it only answers the questions which are obvious to Christians and unbelievers alike.
If you are looking for depth, then you won't find it here. Don't lose it Allender and Tremper - you have so much to give, but when I went to the book's proverbial food basket looking for spiritual bread 'Breaking the Idols of Your Heart' was almost empty.

Cry of the Soul
Cry of the Soul
by Allender
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CRY OF THE SOUL - TREMPER AND ALLENDER, 26 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Cry of the Soul (Hardcover)
I only keep a few Christian books as well as the Bible, and of the few I keep, 'The Cry of the Soul' is one of them. It is one of the most intensely beautiful and thought-revealing books which explores our emotions through the inspiration of the Psalms.
It is refreshing, in that there is no theology here, but rather jewels of inspiration which reveal the hidden depths of our selves. Not only is it thought provoking, but it is a life-changing book. It is a mirror through which we can see ourselves in honest and open ways. There is nothing trite or simplistic in the book; neither is it hard going or intellectual. Nevertheless, it is a volume of wonderment and exploration. It thrilled me that the writers are so open emotionally, and through their own experiences also throw light onto our sometimes fragile and hurting souls. It is a book of immense comfort, insight and healing. It doesn't 'waffle' or repeat itself to fill in space as some books do, but each page is packed with wisdom and Godly advice.
If I could only own three books besides the Bible - this would be one of them. The authors have written a masterpiece of beautiful thoughts and words, touched I believe, with the hand of God in its caring nature. It answers the cry of the soul in each one of us leaving no emotion untouched, which in turn draws us nearer to the God who hears our cries for wholeness.

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