Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book Review #588
No Dogs Allowed! by Sonia Manzano, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was pretty entertaining, I liked the mexican nuances that were littered throughout the book.  The illustrations were pretty humorous as well.  There was one major flaw I found while reading this book.  There was a line that said something about the mother having time to "crochet" and the picture that accompanied that line was of the mother Knitting.  And not only was she Knitting, but she was knitting the Wrong Way.  She was knitting upside down (which is impossible, the stitches would fall off).  Now, most people probably would not catch this flaw, but to a knitter, it is entirely one thing to be called a crocheter and then not even get the knitting part right.  Aside from that flaw, the book was okay and I might recommend.

Book Review #587
Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book had a sweet message.  I liked how the story captured a short moment in time and illustrated friendship and learning.  The illustrations were nice as well, I'm fond of Jon J. Muth's watercolors.  I'd probably recommend.

Book Review #586
Old Turtle And The Broken Truth by Douglas Wood, illustrated by on J. Muth
Rating: one star (out of four)

I liked the watercolor illustrations of this book, and that was actually why I checked it out, because I saw that Jon J. Muth was the illustrator.  I didn't care much for the story though, it was a little too new-age for me.  I probably wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #585
Psychology by Carole Wade and Carol Tavris
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book was actually fairly interesting.  Sure, there were always some concepts that I wasn't quite sure that I got, but after reading the chapter and their examples, I felt like I was starting to get a hang of things.  I also thought that a second reading over the vocabulary helped as well.  Some of the pictures were a little weird/disturbing/sad/totally random, but I appreciated how they threw in humor along with the lesson.  There were various comic strips littered throughout the chapters to illuminate a point or example.  I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend even if you didn't have to take a general psych class, but just wanted to do some independent studying.

Book Review #584
Laboratory Manual To Accompany Puntos de partida
Rating: three stars (out of four)

A useful tool in my learning experience.  I would get the general overview in class, do exercises, and have homework to practice on as well.  But I thought the labs in this book did a good job of providing an overview of all that we had learned in the chapter, as well as quizzing us on it.  This isn't saying that I was exactly thrilled doing the labs before each exam, just that I thought it was helpful.  I would recommend if you were studying spanish.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Book Review #583
Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a decent novel with an interesting main character, but I felt like something was missing that would have made the book more remarkable. Some parts of this book were humorous and made me laugh, but other parts were over the top and shouldn't have gone as far. While the book had a nice message about self-esteem and not caring what other people think of you, I didn't see it as an outstanding book or anything. I might recommend.

Book Review #582
A Mid-Semester Night's Dream by Margaret Meacham
Rating: one star (out of four)

This book had a really funny/interesting premise, but it just didn't follow through in the novel itself. I found myself overwhelmingly bored when reading this and only finished because it was so short and I thought it might get better. The characters were underdeveloped and I didn't care for their misfortunes or antics. All in all, a rather dull book that should be avoided.

Book Review #581
Undone by Brooke Taylor
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I was really not impressed with this book. The characters fell flat on many occasions and I couldn't figure out why this girl would want to follow in Kori's footsteps. I didn't like the content of this book, they portrayed teenagers as stereotypical and troublesome, which is annoying because not all teenagers act like that. The story didn't seem to have much point and I got tired of the main character and how she reacted to all the situations. I would not recommend this book.

Book Review #580
Workbook To Accompany Puntos de partida
Rating: three stars (out of four)

So this was my Spanish workbook that I completed for all my homework. There was a diverse amount of reading, writing, and listening exercises that covered a general overview of what the previous chapter had been about. I would recommend.

Book Review #579
Puntos de partida
Rating: four stars (out of four)

This Spanish book was my companion for two semesters of college Spanish. I like the approach this textbook uses and the color illustrations are also a handy tool. There were many exercises and charts to help the student along and I thought they had the words and phrases you had to learn in a logical order. I would recommend.

Book Review #578
Backpack Literature by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was a handy anthology of assorted literature. For my Comm III class we only ended up reading a small sampling of them, but I enjoyed most of the pieces. It's a nice book with essays and short stories from a variety of authors and I would probably recommend as a good college textbook.

Book Review #577
MLA Handbook For Writers Of Research Papers by Joseph Gibaldi
Rating: three stars (out of four)

What this book lacks in entertainment purposes it more then makes up for it in the educational aspects. There is not one element of MLA style that they have not covered in this book. If you are trying to cite something you can look it up in this book and they will have dozens of different examples for every possibility. I used this book a lot for my Comm III class and it helped me understand why I needed to do certain things while writing a paper. Also, if you are a organizational freak like me, this book will make you happy because they have a place for everything. I'd definitely recommend this book.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book Review #576
Mason Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne
Rating: four stars (out of four)

I had loved the first book and so I was pretty stoked when I saw that these two authors had written another.  I love the format of this book, the colors are spectacular and the patterns are simply amazing.  I get inspired everytime I look through this book.  They always do an excellent job of covering every possible thing you could ever want to knit.  I would definitely recommend this book.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Book Review #575
Hand Knits For The Home by Caroline Birkett
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book had a lot of interesting designs and concepts.  I also enjoyed looking at the photographs of the knitting.  There were some neat ideas in here that I might want to knit.  All in all, this was a very pleasant book to look through and I would recommend.

Book Review #574
Picture Perfect Knits by Laura Birek
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The format for this book is quite picturesque and pleasing.  I liked the beginning couple pages that gave you all the basic information.  And the patterns in this book were pretty cool and fun.  I also thought it was cool how they had a whole bunch of graph patterns in the back of the book, leaving your mind wide open to imagination and inspiration.  I'd recommend this book.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Book Review #573
Carver: A Life In Poems by Marilyn Nelson
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a good educational book and I felt like the poems were historical and interesting at the same time. While I learned some things about the life of George Washington Carver from this book, I wouldn't label it one of my favorites because it didn't completely capture my attention. I would still recommend though.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book Review #572
26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie dePaola
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I just love Tomie dePaola's illustrations, they are so sweet and endearing. I liked the perspective of this book and thought it was a nice story. It didn't have a lot of depth to it, but it is only a juvenile book so I can't really expect a whole lot. I would recommend.

Book Review #571
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book was a different than what I expected, but I kind of liked the strangeness. It was an intriguing concept and I kept reading the book to see what would happen at the end. I'm not sure why this won the Newbery Medal, I thought it was a unique premise and all, but I'm not quite convinced it was worthy of that high honor. The ending was kind of random, but I felt it suited the book. For a while after reading, I couldn't figure out where I stood on my opinion of this book and it took a little while for my thoughts to sink in. But overall, I found it an entertaining read and would probably recommend to others.