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Customer Comments

Elaine has commented on (53) products.

Contemporary Irish Knits by Carol Feller
Contemporary Irish Knits

Elaine, August 28, 2012

This is the rare knitting book for which you come for the patterns, which are terrific, and wind up staying for the read. While this book is full of patterns you'll want to knit with excellent instructions and lovely detail, and techniques explained, the real surprise to me was the interesting information about the different Irish wool mills and the different types of wool produced. The book also has lovely photography including models who look like real people wearing the sweaters in normal poses. I really love this book!
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Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
Digital Fortress

Elaine, January 22, 2012

I honestly could not decide what to rate this book. The story is utterly preposterous. When it is not, it is easy to guess what is going to happen. I knew what the final secret code was pages before the "expert" characters. So why did I rate it a 5? Because I still wanted to keep reading. Is it great literature - no. Did I learn something new - no. Is this a book I would reread - no. But it was a pure escapist thriller, and perfect for sitting in a jacuzzi or on a plane to while away the time. I just passed it on to my husband to read on his next trip. So the bottom line is that it is a very good book for what it is. Pure escapism.

If you have not read a summary of the book, it is about cryptography, unbreakable codes, diabolical plots and threats, and you are probably better off and will find it more enjoyable if you do NOT have any technical expertise in these areas.



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In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

Elaine, January 1, 2012

This was one of the most fascinating and chilling books I've ever read. While based on historical documents, it reads like a fast-paced novel. William E. Dodd, the American ambassador to Germany, was initially charmed by the "cultured" Nazi hierarchy and he and his daughter socialized willingly with them. As time went on, he began to understand how depraved the Nazi regime was and tried to warn the US government, but since he wasn't part of the rich, clubby, diplomatic establishment, his warnings were ignored and he was eventually recalled home. A very sad situation. One wonders whether lives might have been saved had he woken up to reality earlier, or if the US government had taken his warnings more seriously.
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Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family's Untold Story by Rebecca Boehling
Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family's Untold Story

Elaine, September 1, 2011

This book provides a very interesting view of life in pre-holocaust Germany through a series of letters among different members of a German Jewish family living in Germany, Palestine, and the US. A remarkable cache of recently discovered letters show the strains and growing repressive realities as expressed in real time (as opposed to reconstructed views of what happened). These were ordinary educated German Jews. The family had lived in Germany for many generations and considered themselves thoroughly German. They owned a business and the three children were just completing their studies as a doctor, a dentist and a lawyer when the repressive anti-Jewish laws were being enacted which prevented Jews from working in many professions. One of the things that makes this narrative especially interesting is the fact that while those left behind in Germany were ultimately killed in concentration camps, both sides of the "conversation" remain. Often we have letters in one direction, but not the other leading to a confusing monologue. In this case there is a true dialogue. Of course we all know the end of the story, but these letters tell the story from the point of view of ordinary Jews both within and outside Germany as it was happening.

I have just finished reading Eric Larson's "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" which is a very different view of what was going on in pre-holocaust Germany, through the diary and letters of an American (non-Jewish) diplomat and his family living in Berlin.

Read as a pair, these two books provide a fascinating and contrasting picture of what people understood, from very different perspectives.
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Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks! by Judith Durant
Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks!

Elaine, December 6, 2010

This book is new. This book is hot - and well it should be! This is the eagerly-awaited sock yarn version of the One Skein Wonder books. Many knitters love to buy skeins of sock yarn because you can get something beautiful for relatively little money, and there are so many gorgeous hand dyed and hand painted sock yarns out there, it is easy to become an addict. But how many pair of hand knit socks does one need? Often, the nicest sock yarns are made of cashmere, merino, alpaca, silk and similar luxury yarns or blends which don't necessarily wear well as socks even though they are visually beautiful. It also sometimes feels like I waste to put something that beautiful inside a shoe or boot that no one will see.

This book provides the answer for what to do with those individual skeins of sock yarn. There are patterns for hats, caps, mitts, gloves and cuffs. For scarves, neckwarmers, shawls and shrugs, bags and purses, things for the home. Patterns for kids and dolls. And, of course, sock patterns since we can never have our fill of them.

I didn't love the (original) One Skein Wonders book nearly as much as I love this one. Lots of knitters will be getting this one in their (hand knit) stockings this year, I'll bet, and will be thrilled with it!
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