This book is fascinating -- I read it in three days and was sad to reach the end. The achievements of Newton, Galileo, and other 17th century scientisThis book is fascinating -- I read it in three days and was sad to reach the end. The achievements of Newton, Galileo, and other 17th century scientists are all the more remarkable when they are unveiled to you before the backdrop of the superstitious, violent, plague-ridden world in which they lived. Dolnick has achieved his goal of making the mathematical discoveries he chronicles accessible for non-mathematicians, as well. I especially enjoyed the beautiful simplicity of Pythagoras' "picture proof" of the Pythagorean Theorem. ...more
No big surprises in this book, but it is handy to have a summary of the current research on gifted underachievers in one place. This book will be helpNo big surprises in this book, but it is handy to have a summary of the current research on gifted underachievers in one place. This book will be helpful for parents who are trying to figure out why their child's academic performance doesn't match their IQ or other aptitude predicters, as well as suggesting some strategies for making learning more meaninful to the student....more
Although written specifically for teachers, I found this book helpful as a parent preparing for the IEP meeting. Unfortunately, I don't think it's reaAlthough written specifically for teachers, I found this book helpful as a parent preparing for the IEP meeting. Unfortunately, I don't think it's realistic to expect my child's teachers to read this book cover to cover when they have so many students and so many individual needs and challenges to consider in their classrooms....more
I love this quilt, but was disappointed that the book only includes line drawings and very small photographs of each block. Not only are there no instI love this quilt, but was disappointed that the book only includes line drawings and very small photographs of each block. Not only are there no instructions for constructing any of the blocks, but the author doesn't even give recommendations as to which blocks appear to have been pieced versus appliquéd in the original quilt. I know a lot of quilters have enjoyed the inclusion of the author's imaginary correspondence with the original 19th century quilt maker, but I found them to be intolerably insipid and cloying -- especially since these "Dear Jane" letters were taking up the space where most books would have had instructions or at least recommendations for each Block....more
This book, the first volume of a planned series of two, is a thorough overview of everything a beginning quilter needs to know to piece just about anyThis book, the first volume of a planned series of two, is a thorough overview of everything a beginning quilter needs to know to piece just about any quilt block. Although there are lots of beautiful quilt photos sprinkled throughout the book for eye candy, there isn't a single project in this book. I LOVE THAT! Here's why.
Quilting magazines can be a great "point of entry" into quilting, especially for those who don't know any other quilters. Barnes and Noble, Michael's craft store, and even many grocery stores sell a variety of quilting magazines these days, just waiting to catch a would-be-quilter's eye with tantalizing cover quilts running the gamut from traditional to modern, in trendy of-the-moment color schemes and seasonal themes. However, due to space limitations, the instructions in magazine projects tend to assume that readers have a basic understanding of the quiltmaking process. This can be confusing and frustrating to someone who might never have touched a sewing machine and has no idea what terms like QST, SOG or 9-Patch means. A beginning quilter's odds of successfully completing a magazine quilt project without any outside help or additional instructions is usually pretty slim -- and once that beginning quilter has wasted money on fabric and hours of his or her time just to end up with a frustrating mess, that first quilt is liable to be their last.
That's where Quiltmaking Essentials 1 comes in. This book explains everything you need to know to get started with any quilt pattern, whether it's a standalone pattern, a magazine pattern, a project from another quilt book, or an idea you came up with on your own. It's a book that will help establish good habits and techniques from the very beginning, that you'll dog-ear and highlight and refer to again and again.
There are a lot of how-to quilting books on the market, and I've read most of them. So, what makes this one a must-have?
•So many books geared towards beginners downplay the need for accuracy in cutting and piecing. How many times have you heard quilters comforting one another by saying, "there are no quilt police" or "as long as I can't see the mistakes when I'm galloping by on horseback it's fine"? Yet, as Thomas points out, tiny inaccuracies in cutting and piecing have a way of compounding into a great deal of frustration and disappointment, and quilters who never learn to cut accurately and piece with a precise seam allowance are doomed to remain beginners forever. Quilting Essentials 1 will help beginner quilters establish good skills and habits with their very first quilt, and will help many veteran quilters to correct bad habits that have may have been holding them back.
•The section of this book on pressing is worth its weight in gold. Those who were born in the 1970s or later grew up with permanent press fabrics and missed out on the home economics classes of earlier generations, and we don't know how to use an iron. I have read so many quilting books that warn me to "press, not iron" and that I should "be careful not to distort the bias," but I had no idea what that actually meant. I thought "press" and "iron" were synonyms, and naturally I'm not going to distort the bias on purpose! Thomas explains how to press seams open properly with handy little diagrams showing which way the iron should be pointing in relation to your half-square triangle seam, and it was NOT the way I had been doing it. When I pointed my iron like the iron in the book illustration, lo and behold -- my half square triangle unit looked much more like a square after I pressed it open. This book is also very thorough in explaining the hows and whys of creating a pressing plan for your block up front. That's another issue I've struggled with in the past as I followed another book's admonition to "always press to the Dark Side" and ended up with lumps and distortions in my blocks where several seams come together. Seriously, this chapter alone could have saved me so much frustration and tears if I'd read it 10 years ago. As it is, I'm planning to go back to my bear paw blocks and press some of the seam allowances in the opposite direction to eliminate the bumps and bulges I created with my "press to the Dark Side" mentality. I don't think I've ever seen another beginning quilting book that teaches you the logic behind how to create a pressing plan for your quilt.
•Directions on how to wash your quilts with quilt soap so the dyes don't fade prematurely -- IN A FRONT-LOAD, HIGH EFFICIENCY washing machine. THANK YOU!! ...more
**spoiler alert** I agree with other reviewers who loved the series, but hated the ending. I felt there were too many loose ends and the ending seemed**spoiler alert** I agree with other reviewers who loved the series, but hated the ending. I felt there were too many loose ends and the ending seemed just slapped on and ill-conceived. What happened to Dr. Piretti? How do we know the anti-gravity machine won't be rebuilt and that Kate or someone else won't stumble upon it again? Most annoyingly, how were those journal entries from Gideon written in Book One if none of this ever happened, after all? I should also mention that my 10 year old son was upset by the violent deaths of sympathetic characters in books 2 and 3, since this series is intended for that audience. Despite these shortcomings, my son and I enjoyed the complexity of the characters and their relationships with one another, and the vivid detail with which the author brought 18th century England and France to life for us. Vicariously "witnessing" Washington's Christmas Eve crossing of the Delaware River was my favorite part of this third book in the series (although again, my son freaked out when the bad guy assassinated George Washington)....more
I wish I had found the link to the online resource for the music discussed in each chapter prior to teaching the end of the book! The irony is that I'I wish I had found the link to the online resource for the music discussed in each chapter prior to teaching the end of the book! The irony is that I'm reading an eBook in Kindle format about cutting edge music that pushes the boundaries of technological sound. How cool (and convenient!) would it have been if each piece of music discussed in the book had a hyperlink to take me straight to an online sound file in the same way I can instantly pull up dictionary or Wikipedia entries? The technology is there waiting to be harnessed. Anyway, this is an interesting read from a cultural history perspective as much as it is about music, and I love the author's writing style -- lots of my favorite words that I don't often see anymore....more
I was delighted to stumble across this book as I was reshelving books in our school library yesterday! I read the first two Anastasia Krupnik books maI was delighted to stumble across this book as I was reshelving books in our school library yesterday! I read the first two Anastasia Krupnik books many years ago, and I had no idea that Lois Lowry wrote additional books featuring this heroine. It was like running into an old friend on Facebook after many years and discovering that she's STILL A SEVENTH GRADER all these years later -- and what's more, I got to be a seventh grader again, too, while I read the book in the carpool line.
Nostalgia aside, the world is a bit different in 2014 than it was in 1991, when this book was published. Today, instead of sending a snail-mail letter to her SWM, Anastasia would likely be chatting with him via an online dating service, and anyone who watches Dateline NBC knows how dangerous it can be when 13-year-old girls start looking for romance online. As a parent, I was uncomfortable with the way Anastasia was deliberately deceiving her parents about her "pen pal" -- and VERY uncomfortable with the way it all turned out fine in the end. For that reason, I can't recommend this particular Anastasia novel for young girls, who are the book's intended audience. However, I really love the characters and the way this author writes fiction for young readers. The other Anastasia books are fantastic....more