Saturday, May 26, 2012

Knit Red For Heart Health

Gorgeous knitwear--that does good, too! The knitting community has always come together to support a great cause, and Knit Red once again attests to knitters' generous, giving spirit. These 30 beautiful red-themed projects help raise awareness of the number-one killer of women today: heart disease. The patterns are all donated by top designers, including Debbie Stoller, Nicky Epstein, Debbie Bliss, Norah Gaughan, Deborah Newton, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, Iris Schreier, Jared Flood, and Ysolda Teague. In addition, the book offers important medical information, a Heart Healthy Resources and Action Plan, and powerful stories from survivors of this deadly ailment.


This collection of projects is a treasure trove. A knitter's paradise! From the first second I set my eyes on the cover, I knew it was going to be good. The inside fulfilled my expectations. There are sweaters, scarves, a spa kit, cowls, capes and a shopping bag that had me drooling. (Even the fear of multiple needle knitting still will not daunt me from trying this project!)

The instructions are clear, with photos that show each project to the fullest. Some of the top designers in the world have gathered together on this quest for heart health. I for one am buying it and adding it to my collection. Check out the recipes and health tips from each designer. Having a glimpse into their healthy habits was inspirational.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. 

The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. 

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.



This book was brought to my attention by a wonderful friend who is always telling me great books to read. He did, in fact loan me his copy until mine arrived from the publisher for review. I had to struggle not to cry all over it. 

This book, at first glance, looks very much like a monster in the closet, creeping up the dark and hollow places kind of book. In some ways it is, but not like you think. 

First, there are monsters. Yes. Of course. What kind of story would it be without one? Patrick Ness has created a story that is a tribute to those dealing with bullying, grief and death. Heavy prospect. But this book does it and with a grace to its pages that left me breathless and openly sobbing as I turned the last page. I can't remember the last time a book did that for me. 

Without telling everything in the story (but oh, I really, really want to this time!) I can tell you that it is wonderful for anyone dealing with hardships in life. Grief, death, bullying, anger issues, discontent at name it, it's in there, complete with some pretty amazing artwork to boot. 

And finally, the biggest monsters may not even be the ones in the closet, or staring in through the window...they may be in the darkest recesses of our soul.