books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
Christy
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents


Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 30,000 pages.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Magician's Tower: A Sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street

The Magician's Tower: A Sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street (Oona Crate Mystery)The Magician's Tower: A Sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was even more interesting than the first one. In this Oona is in a contest with the twins and one of them has an unfair advantage. This is good for kids from 10 up and interesting even for adults.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Not Just Socks

Not Just SocksNot Just Socks by Sandi Rosner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little book takes the self-striping sock yarns and turns them into other garments that benefit from the striping nature of the yarns. There are patterns for gloves, mitts, leg warmers, hats, a baby jacket. There are also some modular patterns that I am not quite as thrilled with, but the dog sweater is wonderful! There is also a vest done in panels which is very attractive.



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Monday, May 26, 2014

Son of Stitch 'n Bitch

Son of Stitch 'n BitchSon of Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good book for men's sweaters. I got it for the "mask" Balaclava. I planned to make it for TE and Evan, but it proved to be too difficult without having the boys around to fit it too. It is a very clever pattern though. There is also a pattern for a silhouette scarf which is very intriguing. All in all, it is a good book and I plan to make more patterns from it.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Magician's Tower (Oona Crate Mystery, #2)

The Magician's Tower (Oona Crate Mystery, #2)The Magician's Tower by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the series and while fairly predictable, it is just as good as the first book.  Oona Crate has entered into a contest which has been going on for 500 years.  Her prospects should be very good for winning but she is constantly being bested by Isadora Iree, a shallow conniving girl who is somehow figuring out the clues faster than any other of the contestants.  Eventually, it becomes apparent that she is cheating and getting the answer to the clues without having to figure them out. The tasks form the majority of book and they are interesting and imaginative.

The books is suitable for middle graders who like fantasy and adventure.  There are obviously more books to come out and there are enough questions dangling to fill several.


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600 Hours of Edward

600 Hours of Edward600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book! Someone compared it to Flowers for Algernon and I agree completely. I've already marked it as a “comfort read” and looking forward to reading it again. It is hard to believe that a book narrated by a 39 year old man with Asperger's Syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder would be remotely interesting, but I found it hard to put down.

Edward Stanton lives in a house his wealthy father bought him when the symptoms of his condition caused too much interruption in his parent’s household. Edward had lost his job due also to some of his symptoms so he no longer works and is free to lead the regimented and orderly life he prefers. He keeps detailed records of the times he awakens and the temperature and keeps a file of his numerous letters of complaint which he never sends anymore under the advice of his therapist. Every night at exactly 10:00 he watches Dragnet then goes to bed at exactly midnight.

Into this orderly existence comes Donna Middleton and her 9 year old son, Kyle. A victim of at least 3 disastrous and abusive relationships, she has moved across the street from Edward and is looking for a calm and supportive life for her son.

Edward compulsively paints his garage every other year and when the employee at Home Depot will not help him narrow his choice of paints, he buys 3 cans of 3 different colors and begins painting his garage completely, each color in turn. One day Kyle asks if he can help paint, and surprising himself, Edward agrees to let him. This little decision completely transforms Edward’s life. Little by little, his ordered life begins to crumble and he is forced to decide if he wants to continue in his isolated existence or confront the difficulties of friendship and all that it entails. With each step, he is also forced to confront the difficult relationship with his controlling father who often communicates with him only through letters from his lawyer.


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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic Guide

The Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic GuideThe Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic Guide by Jo Ippolito Christensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You don't exactly read a book like this in one setting, but I find myself turning to it constantly.  Some have called it the Bible of needlepoint, and I agree.  Everything you need to know about needlepoint is there, from choosing a project, design elements, basic procedures, stitching techniques, color theory, and decorative stitches to blocking and finishing. There are hundreds of stitches each with a picture and chart showing the order they are worked.  The charts are easy to read and comprehensive. They are grouped so that the reader can easily choose among similar stitches without having to flip back and forth.


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Harry Potter Knitting Pattern for 18 inch dolls

Harry Potter Knitting Pattern for 18 inch dollsHarry Potter Knitting Pattern for 18 inch dolls by Ase Bence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great 18" doll pattern for fans of Harry Potter.  There are patterns for all of the school uniforms including the robe.  The instructions are complete and easy to follow except for the pleated skirt.  I ended up doing it a different way as the way the pattern was done, the pleats didn't lie down properly


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Monday, May 19, 2014

More Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220® Sport

60 More Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220® Sport60 More Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220® Sport by Sixth&Spring Books
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the Sport Weight Cascade 220 and it is as good as the Cascade 220 worsted weight. As with the worsted edition, there are wonderful patterns and I can see myself doing most of them. I did the Basketweave Pocket Scarf once and have plans to make it again. I especially like the Nordic Tube Scarf, 2 beautiful stranded mitten patterns, a tam, a couple of lace scarves and a wonderful hooded scarf.

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Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220

60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220�60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220� by Sixth&Spring Books
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another of my favorite knitting books. I have both of the Cascade 220. This is the one for the worsted weight and I've made several of the projects. I especially like the pattern for Mock Cabled Wristers. There are a lot of great patterns here for mitts, hats and scarves and all of them are great patterns. Of the 60 patterns there are only few that I can't see myself doing. Highly recommended.

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HatHeads: 1 Man + 2 Knitting Needles = 50 Fun Hat Designs

HatHeads: 1 Man + 2 Knitting Needles = 50 Fun Hat DesignsHatHeads: 1 Man + 2 Knitting Needles = 50 Fun Hat Designs by Trond Anfinnsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great hat book! I've made several of the hats multiple times. One of the thing I like about this book is that the author took a picture of himself in the same setting wearing each hat. It makes it wonderful to get an idea of how each hat fits. For each of the hats, the author tells about the person it was made for and has a picture of the wearer.

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Sock-Yarn Shawls: 15 Lacy Knitted Shawl Patterns

Sock-Yarn Shawls: 15 Lacy Knitted Shawl PatternsSock-Yarn Shawls: 15 Lacy Knitted Shawl Patterns by Jen Lucas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is absolutely the best. I think I could make every pattern! There are allover patterns that take a lot of time and attention and other patterns that are garter stitch for the first 2/3 and then a nice lace on the bottom. I'm almost finished with the first one and I found the directions easy to follow and very complete.

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The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns

The Knitter's Handy Book of PatternsThe Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great book for every knitter to have. You can start with any of the various patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens and socks in several weights of yarn and then use your own stitch patterns to personalize the project. There are guidelines for each type of pattern and suggestions for modifications. You can see some wonderful yarn and know that you can make something using this very handy book. There are plenty of fitting suggestions also, so you can always get a perfect fit.

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Knit Fix

Knit FixKnit Fix by Lisa Kartus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one the best books out there for fixing knitting problems. Lisa Kartus goes over the most common mistakes and how to fix them and then goes on to more complicated mistakes and what to do to fix them, or at least less noticeable. The directions are easy to understand and given with humor. Part of hating a mistake is the idea that if we were better knitters, we wouldn't make mistakes and Lisa puts that little philosophy to rest immediately. She does have sections that describe how to do some techniques the right way so that a few potential mistakes are nipped in the bud, but mistakes are a part of knitting and sometimes the best thing is to just leave the mistake and admit that you are part of the club of imperfect knitters.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hostage to the Devil - Reissue: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans

Hostage to the Devil - Reissue: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary AmericansHostage to the Devil - Reissue: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans by Malachi Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've finished reading this for the third or fourth time. It isn't the kind of book that you enjoy, but it is fascinating. Each time I have read it, I felt like I have peeled back a layer in the study of spirituality. Because of an incident in my life, I can say that the book is an accurate description of the way evil beings act. It also reflects the same reality that C. S. Lewis portrays in Screwtape, and, of course, reflects what we know of evil from the Bible.

This time I paid more attention to the the way evil spirits attempt to possess people...what windows of opportunity people provide them with and how they go about deceiving humans. The author deals with that question, but he also says it is hard to understand just why some people are chooses and others flirt with evil and recover.

In their comments several people seem negative about the Roman Catholic Church and the rituals established to deal with possession, but they seem to be the only denomination with a consistent and established ritual for defending and rescuing people who are possessed. C. S. Lewis said that the devil uses different ways of tempting people based on their culture. One of its best attacks is to describe him as a horned being in his red pajamas with a trident and ask how anyone can believe in him. Other generations have been encouraged to see him around every corner. Either way works. Most people have no idea whom to contact when someone they love is in trouble and they have tried counseling, psychiatry, and approached various pastors and ministers. They end up being referred to the Catholic Church which does recognize possession and has exorcist who are willing to offer themselves as a hostage to the devil.

If you are looking for wild scenes and descriptions of non stop horrors, this won't be the right book for you. If you would like to understand this complicated and dangerous subject and understand it in ways that relate to your own life, this book is tremendously important. While it is about possession, it also helps to understand the way the devil works in day to day temptations.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Theodore Boone: The Accused (Theodore Boone, #3)

Theodore Boone: The Accused (Theodore Boone, #3)Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great book by John Grisham. This time Theo realizes how little stands between a person's good character and a ruined reputation. Someone is setting Theo up and he doesn't know how to prove he is innocent. He is beginning to understand that finding the guilty party in a crime is just as necessary to the remove suspicion from innocent as to punish bring the guilty to justice. This time it takes some tricky legal work to find out who is guilty and why.



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Friday, May 16, 2014

George Silverman's Explanation

George Silverman's ExplanationGeorge Silverman's Explanation by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first read the story, I thought if it had been written about a woman, self-sacrificing her whole life, putting others before herself it wouldn’t have been written. Women were supposed to be self-sacrificing. Literature is full of them. In fact, women, as main characters with a strong sense of self worth, were usually the main characters just because of that trait. Most women in literature were in “supporting roles.”

What we have here, I think, is a story about a very introverted young man with absolutely no self-esteem being mistreated and misunderstood his whole life. The thing that is novel about George is that he didn’t become a twisted, evil tutor and minister. He was actually a very nice person who was beloved by the countless young men he tutored and very much loved by Adelina and Mr. Granville.

At first, I was a little upset about this story. It seemed to me to have a horrible ending with poor George being not only left off Santa Claus’ list but God’s list as well. Then I started writing my thoughts and I realized that he probably was much happier than I thought.

Spoiler Alert: [ Of course, he still had to go and find another situation which, in his life, would probably have been tainted by Lady Fareway’s vituperation and made exceedingly difficult, but since Dickens didn’t go there, I prefer to believe that one of those young men he tutored would have found out about his situation and given him a nice little parish with about 100 sweet gentle people. He could live out his life there and Mr. & Mrs. Granville would bring all their little kiddies to visit regularly and his old students would call on him from time to time.]

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Wizard of Dark Street (Oona Crate #1)

The Wizard of Dark Street  (Oona Crate #1) AudiobookThe Wizard of Dark Street (Oona Crate #1) Audiobook by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a delightful new series with a fascinating main character named Oona Crate. Oona is a rare natural magician, but she does not want to be the apprentice to her uncle, the Wizard of Dark Street. She wants to be a detective like her father was before he was killed. It seems a pity because it is so rare to be born a natural magician, but Oona is adamant, and her uncle advertises for an apprentice in the New York Times.

The problem is that Dark Street exist between two worlds and is only open to New York at 12 midnight for exactly 1 minute. Eventually, there are 5 candidates and they are to interview for the job, however, the wizard mysteriously disappears with his clothes and a knife in his back left behind. The bumbling policeman doesn't have a clue and Oona has her first case.

There are all sorts of interesting characters in the book as imaginative as those found in Harry Potter. I look forward to more books in this series.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lion Brand's New Fall Collection: 15 Free Crochet Scarf Patterns, Afghan Patterns, and More

Lion Brand's New Fall Collection: 15 Free Crochet Scarf Patterns, Afghan Patterns, and MoreLion Brand's New Fall Collection: 15 Free Crochet Scarf Patterns, Afghan Patterns, and More by AllFreeKnitting
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a free electronic leaflet with some nice projects in it.  I love the Zodiac scarf made with short rows and I'm sure I will make it.  I also like the Sunset Shrug which would  be nice for Florida evenings and a lot of fun to make.  There is also a slant afghan which would be easy to turn into a scarf and could be done in lots of scraps.

Lion Brand has come out with a lot of new designer yarns that are very nice and less expensive than some of the Knitting shop variety.  There will always be a place for the beautiful knit shop yarns, but if the scarf is going to a 13 year old that may hate it when she is 14, they are a great choice.


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The Big Book of Knitted Monsters: Mischievous, Lovable Toys

The Big Book of Knitted Monsters: Mischievous, Lovable ToysThe Big Book of Knitted Monsters: Mischievous, Lovable Toys by Rebecca Danger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great book by a designer who knows how to have fun.  One of the things that makes her monsters so appealing to kids, and even adults, is their simplicity.  It is easy to confer a personality on these lovable and winsome characters and find solace in their squishable friendliness.

I made 3 of the monsters for my grandchildren, including the one who has baby monsters in her pockets and they all are as cute as can be.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  The only change I made was to turn the mouths up just slightly.  It made them seem much more alive than the straight mouth.


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Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing - Revised + Expanded Edition: 1200 Full-Color How-To Photos

Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing - Revised + Expanded Edition: 1200 Full-Color How-To PhotosSinger Complete Photo Guide to Sewing - Revised + Expanded Edition: 1200 Full-Color How-To Photos by Creative Publishing International
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is excellent.  It covers just about any sewing technique a person would want to use from simple sewing, fitting and alterations, and styling details.  There is also section on home sewing with window treatments and furnishings.

It says it is complete and I think that is a good description.


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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Brave New World

Brave New WorldBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read this several times, but I get something new from it each time.  I am amazed at how many of the things Huxley wrote about have developed.   In 1932 he could haven't have imagined cable television, iPods, computers, tablets and other constant entertainment devices and yet that was one of the cornerstones of his book.  More and more I see the kind of society he described.

The drugging with Soma has come true, although not quite in the form he predicted.  The controlled dosing of soma by the government is more efficient than the illegal drugs or pills popping we have today, but the result is the same in terms of coming to grips with a difficult or unfulfilled life.

Obviously, the real comparison is in life goals.  As people in this dystopia are genetically engineered to fit the the role that government gives them and then entertained to repress any discontent there seems to be no point to life.  There is no struggle, no emotional development, no reaching beyond oneself for the betterment of society...no point for existence.

As our society loses the ties to religion and a relationship with God,  there is a great vacuum.  All the stages of personal growth in Maslow's hierarchy of needs are striving for a better person and a better society that can only be achieved by struggle.  Today we are bombarded by even more advertisements that are meant to make us believe that things can fulfill us just like the placebos from Huxley's Brave New World.


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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

New Favorites from Lion Brand: 15 Free Knitting Patterns for Scarves, Afghans and More

New Favorites from Lion Brand: 15 Free Knitting Patterns for Scarves, Afghans and MoreNew Favorites from Lion Brand: 15 Free Knitting Patterns for Scarves, Afghans and More by AllFreeKnitting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a nice little free ebook from Lion Brand featuring some of their new yarn.  I found a number of patterns I would like to make.  I love a little Hoodie for babies out of their new Unique yarn which would be fun to make.  I also like the Slip Stitch afghan made with Wool-ease which would be great for men.  I fell in love with the Simple Lace Shawl made with Unique also which I am sure to make.  There are also a couple of hat patterns which will make good gifts and charity items.


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The Knitting Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You'll Ever AskThe Knitting Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask by Margaret Radcliffe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has just about every answer you need...not all, but it does a good job. I find myself turning to it over and over again. I have other books which contain most of what is in this book, but not all in one place.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Circular Knitting Workshop: Essential Techniques to Master Knitting in the Round

Circular Knitting Workshop: Essential Techniques to Master Knitting in the RoundCircular Knitting Workshop: Essential Techniques to Master Knitting in the Round by Margaret Radcliffe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that belongs on every knitter's shelf. As several others said, I passed this one by because I had been using circular needles for years. Then I got the ebook from my library and checked it out. There are all sorts of things that I didn't know. I have never used Helix knitting and thought it was very interesting.

Most important to me were the chapters that dealt with changing a flat knit pattern to a circular. It's pretty easy if your flat knitting has the same gauge and look as your circular, but that is not true for a lot of us. Figuring out how to change the upper body to a yoke or some other technique to correct that problem is something I'd like to know more about. It raised a question I never thought of. If you want pick up sleeves from the top and knit them down to the cuff you have to make sure that the stitch pattern you choose looks the same when viewed top to bottom.

(I have been distracted from this review by a big eagle who deigned to sit and rest on a tree branch about 50 yards away from me. Whatever more I wanted to write has been blown away by the majesty of this bird! Suffice it to say it is a good book.)

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Monday, May 05, 2014

Exercises in Knitting

Exercises in KnittingExercises in Knitting by Cornelia Mee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a hard time figuring out how many stars to put on this book.  For knitters in the 1800's, it was probably a 5 star book, but I wouldn't like to deceive the modern reader.  On the other hand, it is great reading and a window into the past.

Much of the detailed instructions for gauge, type of yarn, neeedles today's knitter's expect is missing.  A half-cap for wearing under a bonnet only gives us Pins #14. The pattern for a "Raised Knitting, a kind of bell pattern, for a Counterpane starts out with, "Cast on any number that will divide by 4."

In my reading of Victorian novels, I have come across the term "Muffatees" before and had no idea what it was.  I find it is the same thing we call fingerless mitts, but they were designed to be worn inside the home where chores had to be done and there was no central heating.

Some of the interesting pattern names I found were, Corkscrew muffatees, Gentlemen's Cuffs: an Excellent Pattern, an under Spencer, Children's gaiters, a Fish Serviette, a knitted penwiper, and directions for the Sugar Plum stitch.

None of the patterns use abbreviation and many call for s "seamed stitch" which I can't figure out.  Often it is the first group of stitches after the cast on.  Since none of the patterns have purled stitches, I am assuming that a "seamed" stitch is a purled stitch.

At any rate, it was a fun book to read and I even think I might try one of the edgings or even the "half cap" to wear under my bonnet...which I don't have.


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