Friday, 26 June 2015

Review: 'Knit Your Own Dog: The Second Litter' by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne

Knit Your Own Dog: The Second Litter by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, 2012, Black Dog and Leventhal, $14.95, softbound, 176 pages. Cover: good. Category/Genre: How-to, Crafts. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks-A-Million

The follow-up to Muir and Osborne's Knit Your Own Dog and Knit Your Own Cat, this book includes the knitting patterns for 25 more pedigree dogs. 

The authors suggest a number of uses for these crafted canines: you can stage your own miniature dog show; comfort someone who's lost a beloved pet; give one to someone who's longing for a dog of their own; or pay tribute to an old furry pal. 

The authors also include helpful hints and tips on how to make your creation unique. Categories include toy, utility, terriers, sporting, and working dogs.

If you like this one, try: Knit Your Own Pet, by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne (for knitters of all levels). 

You may find the authors on Facebook and Twitter, or buy their knitwear, books, and stationery at Muir and Osborne

Friday, 19 June 2015

Review: 'The Weird World of Words' by Mitchell Symons

The Weird World of Words: A Guided Tour by Mitchell Symons, 2015, Zest books, $11.99, softbound, 192 pages. Cover: like it. Category/Genre: Trivia, Reference. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks-A-Million

For wordsmiths and trivia fans, The Weird World of Worlds opens up all manner of peculiarities and quirks in the English language. From palindromes to oxymorons and pangrams, acronyms, mnemonics, and the origins of words, this book has it all. There's a list of the most beautiful words in the English language (according to a poll of 7,000 people in 2004), Scrabble facts, the meaning behind the days of the week, words invented by Shakespeare, a note on proper word use (valuable for any sort of writer), and 'kangaroo' and 'anti-kangaroo' words. (Kangaroo words contain synonyms for that word; for instance, the word masculine has in it the words male and man. Anti-kangaroo words contain antonyms.)

If you like this one, try: Suggestions?

Mitchell Symons can be found at TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads

Friday, 12 June 2015

Review: 'Mind F**k' by Manna Francis

Mind F**k by Manna Francis, 2007, Casperian Books, softbound, 261 pages. Cover: all right. Category/Genre: Mystery, Erotica. Where we got it: bought it. Where you can get it: AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks-A-Million

This book, the start of a series, follows torturer Val Toreth as he struggles to discover the murderer in a series of deaths involving fully immersive computer simulations. 

The simulations, owned by SimTech, are the baby of Dr Keir Warrick, Toreth's new lover. Since Warrick is a suspect, Toreth shouldn't be seeing him; but keeping his hands off Warrick is something that's growing harder and harder for Toreth to do. 

Those offended by graphic sex and language shouldn't open this book. There's plenty of BDSM as well as oral sex. The main characters are bisexual, but the sex scenes are always between men; so if that offends you, don't buy this book.

If you're looking for clean-cut characters, that's another reason not to buy this book. Toreth is a reprehensible sort surrounded by other morally-challenged people. But if 'grey' characters are something you're interested in, this book has them in spades. 

If you like this one, try: Quid Pro Quo, by Manna Francis.

Manna Francis can be found at Mannazone (where you'll also find an original story not related to the Administration series) and Goodreads

Friday, 5 June 2015

Review: 'Fox Tracks' by Rita Mae Brown

Fox Tracks by Rita Mae Brown, 2013, Ballantine Books, $15.00, softbound, 293 pages. Cover: good. Category/Genre: Mystery. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks-A-Million

'Sister' Jane Arnold becomes embroiled in another murder mystery when she befriends a man who is later shot; the man, a tobacco shop owner, is found by Sister and her friend Tootie, with a pack of American Smokes on his chest. The shooting repeats itself in Boston, sparking Sister's curiosity and causing her to investigate the matter. 

Meanwhile, Sister's nemesis, Crawford, is making even more of a nuisance of himself than usual. He's luring landowners to his side by offering them much-needed services they could not otherwise pay for. If this keeps up, Sister and the rest of the Jefferson Hunt foxhunters will have nowhere they are allowed to hunt. 

An intriguing mystery with well-loved characters and a surprising ending. Fans of Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown's Mrs Murphy mysteries will enjoy the dialogue among the animals in this series.

If you like this one, try: Outfoxed, by Rita Mae Brown; and Wish You Were Here, by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

Rita Mae Brown can be found at Rita Mae Brown BooksFacebook, and in this Time article.