Book Reviews | Craft x Stew | Page 5
Category name:Book Reviews

Book Buying Spree

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10893926256_9285470011_zsource: Hung Thai

During a previous post, I mentioned that I went on a book buying spree back in June.

Since that time, I’ve read through many of the books I bought, and I’ve written up a two-second review of each volume I’ve gone through. I’ve also included links to Amazon in case you want to make a purchase, though a couple of the books are quite old or out-of-print and are only of interest to me.

Disclosure: I will earn an affiliate fee if you purchase a book through this site.

Business Books

Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business

Why I bought it: Lots of good web reviews.

Quickie Review: Good book, but the print is smallish and in light blue and light brown. It wasn’t fun for my eyes.

Craft Books

The Art of Resin Jewelry

Why I bought it: I love resin jewelry and there are not a lot of tutorials available on the internet.

Quickie Review: Good solid tutorials, not a lot of projects (which is just fine by me). I’m very happy with my purchase.

Beyond The Bead: Making Jewelry With Unexpected Finds

Why I bought it: I love the website this book is based on, and figured the book would be more in the same vein.

Quickie Review: Cute projects and easy techniques. A couple of the projects are starting to become slightly dated. Still, excellent book.

Rubber Stamped Jewelry

Why I bought it: I fell in love with the sample projects on the Amazon site.

Quickie Review: Lots of fun projects. This book did not disappoint!

Vegetarian Cookbooks

Horn of the Moon Cookbook

Why I bought it: I have a thing for restaurant cookbooks.

Quickie Review: Good book, and I’m sure I will enjoy it for years to come. I just wish it had a couple more bean recipes.

1000 Vegetarian Recipes From Around the World

Why I bought it: I almost didn’t buy this book because several Amazon reviews mentioned it was underspiced. However, who can resist 1000 recipes, all in color?

Quickie Review: I’m glad I went ahead with purchase. This is a book full of imaginative recipe ideas.

Passionate Vegetarian

Why I bought it: I used to own this book, but I sold it because the recipes were too sophisticated for me. Since I’m a more adventurous cook now, I decided to try the book again.

Quickie Review: Good choice. Food combinations that used to seem to exotic for my taste, now are fine.

Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers

Why I bought it: I have a bunch of the other Moosewood books and I wanted to add on to my collection. Plus, I can never resist a cookbook with the word “simple” in its title.

Quickie Review: I haven’t made anything yet, but several recipes look very appealing.

1,000 Vegan Recipes

Why I bought it: I have several of Robin Robertson’s vegetarian cookbooks so I thought I would try her vegan cookbook.

Quickie Review: Yes, I know the book is vegan, but there are still way too many tofu recipes for my taste.

Jewish Cookbooks

The Art of Jewish Cooking

Why I bought it: I have a brittle and brown version and I wanted a fresh and new copy.

Quickie Review: The content is exactly the same as in my old book, but with clean pages, so I’m happy.

The Jewish-American Kitchen

Why I bought it: I once gave my copy away to a new cook, in a moment of generosity. I’ve regretted it ever since.

Quickie Review: Yay! My old favorite is back in its happy home.

Adventures in Bubby Irma’s Kitchen

Why I bought it: I saw this book in my local library and fell in love with it.

Quickie Review: Lots of very delicious, but easy, traditional Jewish recipes… a very homey book.

Personal Finance Books

The Wealthy Barber

Why I bought it: I borrowed this book from the library a zillion years ago, and have yet to find a simpler way to understand personal finance.

Quickie Review: I haven’t reread it yet, but I’m sure I will enjoy it now as much as I did before.

10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget

Why I bought it: I’m a frequent visitor to the Wise Bread site, so I figured I’d enjoy their book. Plus, it got great ratings.

Quickie Review: The print was difficult for me to read, and I like the site better. Not a bad book at all, just not as fabulous as I was hoping for.

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BrilliantI live in the Middle East, and many of my favorite foods from the “old country” are no longer  available to me.  Old Bay Seasoning, wasabi sauce, and  powdered cream of tartar are considered exotic ingredients in my current community.  Even Cheddar cheese is almost im­pos­sible to find.

Because of this, I purchased the most complete book of food substitutions I could find. The book is called Brilliant, and is written by David Joachim.

Brilliant is virtually an encyclopedia of anything food and cooking related.

Not only does Brilliant have a zillion substitution ideas, it is also packed with tons of  quick cooking hints, hundreds of tips for perking up food and over 900 delicious recipes. Wow!

The 5,000 entries in Brilliant are written alphabetically, so information is always easy to locate.  In addition, the book is generously illustrated and is dotted with frequent sidebars.

If you are in the market for a all-in-one cooking reference, I can’t recommend Brilliant highly enough.

Amazon Affiliate Link: Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks

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Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions

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amazing-leonardo-da-vinci-inventionsI’m a big fan of technology books written for kids. I first discovered them when I homeschooled my son for 7 years. Even though those days are now long past, I still read and use this genre of books constantly.

These books have been the source for some of my most innovative projects. Books from these books have inspired me to make  a pantograph (a type of drawing tool),  a flower press, cardboard furniture, sprouts, flicker books, a bird feeder and homemade cheese.  I loved all these endeavors,  but I would never have tried them without the  “push” that children’s books gave me.

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions is the newest addition to my book collection. The book starts off with a history of the Renaissance and then goes on to a biography of da Vinci. After that, the project section begins.

The project section is divided into five parts: art, machines, water, flight and war. There are anywhere from 2-6 projects in each category.

For me, the projects are the “meat” of the book. Each project has very easy-to-follow directions, accompanied an abundance of illustrations. In addition, each of the projects is put into historical context, with an accompanying photograph of Leonardo’s work.

As I flipped through the projects,  I mentally made a note of those I would enjoy trying on my own, and those that would be fun to do with the kids.  The projects for me to try include building a perspectograph,  learning two-point perspective, plastic making and paint making.  Projects for the children are a camera obscura, a hygrometer and trebuchet.

If, like me, you’re a crafter who enjoys bringing a bit of technology into her projects, take a look at Amazing Leonard da Vinci Inventions. It’s available inexpensively on Amazon, or at most public libraries.

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