Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The One on Non Fiction

Even though I've read a lot of non fiction, I rarely post my reviews here. The reason is that most of them are too short to include, and it just feels weird putting up a whole new post for, like, a hundred words. So here is a collective post on plenty of non fiction titles! I wrote most of these a long time ago, so their style may be...different (any other reviewers get self conscious when they read their old reviews?)

Storyworld First: Creating a Unique Fantasy World for Your NovelStoryworld First: Creating a Unique Fantasy World for Your Novel by Jill Williamson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love it! I'm about to start editing a fantasy novel, and I think this will really help me. Storyworld First is pretty short, but there's plenty of information to take in. A few parts of the book were copy and pasted from Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published Book and Jill's blog, so I had read that content before. But if you don't stalk Jill like I do, this should be a perfect read!

So, You Want to Be a Dancer?: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Dance IndustrySo, You Want to Be a Dancer?: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Dance Industry by Laurel Van Der Linde
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Thank you, Netgalley and Beyond Words Publishing, for this free book to review!

Now, I haven't done ballet since I was about seven years old. But I once read a different book in the Be Who You Want series (So, You Want to Be a Writer?: How to Write, Get Published, and Maybe Even Make It Big!), so when I saw this on Netgalley I requested it. I don't know what exactly I expected this book to be, but it turned out to be more of the history of different dancers and their forms. This may be helpful to dancers who are looking into what might work best for them, but if you're a writer looking for research help (like me), this is probably not the book for you. Plus, almost every interview felt forced and unenthusiastic, especially the ones by kids. I had an ARC of this though, so maybe that will be edited and the format will be fixed. My e-copy was not the highest quality.

But that's just the opinion of a reviewer, not a dancer. Since I'm not the intended audience, other people will probably enjoy this much more than I did.

So, You Want to Work in Fashion?: How to Break into the World of Fashion and DesignSo, You Want to Work in Fashion?: How to Break into the World of Fashion and Design by Patricia Wooster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not intending on working in the fashion industry, but I've read a different book in this series (So, You Want to Be a Writer?: How to Write, Get Published, and Maybe Even Make It Big!) and enjoyed it, so I requested this on NetGalley (plus, I like clothes).

Thank you, NetGalley and Beyond Words Publishing, for this free book to review!

I'll admit it, a lot of this book went over my head. If you're interested in the fashion industry though, you'd probably like this book. It shows a realistic way to follow your dreams, and it teaches you a ton about the industry. Who knew there were so many different paths that all have to do with clothing?

One thing I wished the book addressed was body image, especially in the modeling section. Just a paragraph or two would have been nice, since anorexia can be a huge issue for models.

Would I suggest this book to people who want to join the fashion industry? Absolutely. It's frank but supportive, offering lots of tips on how to get started, even if you're still a kid.

Finish This BookFinish This Book by Keri Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To enjoy this book's potential, you should probably be a kid who lives by a forest. Not me. This was still fun though, and I did enjoy some of the training.

Knitting in the Nordic TraditionKnitting in the Nordic Tradition by Vibeke Lind
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No wonder this is so old fashioned: The first edition was written about thirty years ago.

Thank you, NetGalley and Dover Publications, for this free book to review!

What I liked:

1. All of the fair isle. There were tons of great ideas that I'll turn into blankets or scarves.

2. The suggestions that showed knitting in a new way. Who knew you could use a sewing pattern for knitting?

What was meh:

1. Everything looked so...old. That might be because of the blank and white pictures, but still. I doubt many modern people will be wearing those sweaters.

Great Little Gifts to Knit: 30 Quick and Colorful PatternsGreat Little Gifts to Knit: 30 Quick and Colorful Patterns by Jean Moss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am currently knitting a blanket, and wow, does it take a long time. This book has some great ideas for shorter project to do when I'm done!

Thank you, NetGalley and The Taunton Press, for this free book to review!

There are some really great projects in here, such as socks, mittens, and hats. Most of the patterns I'd never use though. I don't wear shawls or fingerless gloves. Also, I wish there were more ideas in the His section. I doubt I'll ever make a guitar strap.

Would I read more books from Jean Moss? Probably not. I might have liked this book more if I was closer to her age.

The Babysitter's Backpack: Everything You Need to Be a Safe, Smart, and Skilled BabysitterThe Babysitter's Backpack: Everything You Need to Be a Safe, Smart, and Skilled Babysitter by Melissa Higgins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm a babysitter who wants to expand her business. When I saw this book on NetGalley, I immediately clicked "Request". So thank you, NetGalley and Capstone, for this free title to review!

Man. This book is serious about babysitting. Resumes? Safety classes? Those are good things, of course, but they certainly aren't necessary. I've babysat at least five families without those.

The game ideas are wonderful. There are lots of toys at the house, but the kids get used to those. There are a bunch of easy to put together game ideas in this book.

Unfortunately, this book does not go into detail for what to do in unavoidable emergencies such as tornadoes or fires. I'm sure most people already know what to do about those, but considering how often it talked about child safety, maybe these issues could have been addressed as well.

Also, not everything is a choking hazard. According to this book, children shouldn't go to sleep with a stuffed animal or blankets, and they certainly should never sleep on their stomachs! First of all, my little brother has slept on his stomach for over a year now. And I babysit a little girl who always sleeps with a stuffed monkey. Does that raise their chances of suffocation? Possibly. Could they suffocate without those things? Possibly.

Would I recommend this book to other babysitters? Sure. While it sometimes goes over the top, there are also some great ideas in it.


  1. Very good post, thank you for your opinions!

  2. 1. from a firsthand fashion school perspective, yes there are lots of ways to make clothes and it's cool to see books actually showing more than one side of the industry!
    2. old school knitting books: I just die every time I see a sweater so ugly and out of date that must have taken ages to make. I admire the people who made them greatly. Personally, fair isle is my favorite kind of knitting.
    3. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T LIKE FINGERLESS GLOVES?! every knitter likes fingerless gloves! lol. If you want a book with quick gift knits I have the perfect one you can borrow sometime (by now you probably know who this is haha.--Katie

    1. Hey Katie. ;) Whenever I wear fingerless gloves I feel like my fingers are all unprotected and they'll fall off or something. But I do LOVE some fair isle. Most of the time I pull the yarn too tightly though. :P Does the book you have contain any easy fair isle patterns?