Browsing my Bookcase

What have I been up to lately?  I’ve been reviewing books, like a crazy person!  Some will be utilised in the newsletter I’ve mentioned previously, but mostly, I’m adding them here as a resource for other stitchers.  They are, of course, just my opinions, not a definitive guide!  But craft books, although amazing resources, are a huge expense, and I’d like to think that my humble opinions might help someone make a decision on what to invest their hard-earned cash in.  It can be difficult to find pre-purchase information, especially for older books that are now out of print.  I have to confess that in the past I have taken a lot of chances, based on a cover illustration or even just a title.  Occasionally, I have been disappointed, but I’ve also made some amazing discoveries this way.  Of course, we are all looking for different things, so I have tried to pinpoint what it is I specifically appreciate about the different books, and what I felt disappointed by – because the exact same things may elicit the opposite response from you.  Please feel free to add comments if you agree or disagree with any of my reviews.

If nothing else, it has been a very pleasant stroll across my bookshelves (by no means anywhere near complete as yet, and, of course, ever-expanding!) .  I have discovered entire books I had forgotten about, not to mention sectons of books I had skimmed over in the past but have discovered anew, as my interests have developed over the years.

The  ‘book review index’ link to the right will give you an A-Z list of all the different reviews, and link you to the page where you will find that review.  You will see the reviews are also listed by category/technique.  If a book could be filed under several categories, I have chosen a main ‘home’ for it, but also included links under other relevant categories.  The number at the side of the category link refers to the number of books currently reviewed (or linked) within it – this way you can see when a new book has been added in your favourite category.

Anything else I should include?  Let me know!  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy browsing my bookcase!

Spreading the Word & Time to Think

My ‘day job’ is working for  the biggest chain book store in the UK, which I’ve done for the last 12 or more (count ’em!) years.  Reading is that thing I do, when I’m not stitching.  One of the perks of the job is that we often get advance copies of new books (although these aren’t available for ALL titles).  I go on the local BBC radio once a month to talk about new fiction titles, I review for the company’s quarterly, national magazine, and I produce a bi-monthly local store newsletter, too.

All of these things focus on fiction, but I thought it would be nice come Autumn to do a special edition newsletter, specificaly on craft books, because there are some great books out there, but it’s not something our stores are generally very big on.  So I decided to be a bit cheeky, and contacted Search Press, asking if they would be able to supply an advance copy of one of their new titles, for review.  Before I knew it, they had contacted our head office & asked if my newsletter could have wider distribution, & head office contacted me to say that was a great idea.


So today I have a long day trip to Brentford, where amongst other things I will be able to discuss the distribution (&, I hope, growth) of the newsletter , which in turn may lead to a nationwide expansion of interesting books available in the craft section of your localbook store!  I had no idea my little email would have quite such a domino effect, but it’s all very exciting!


One of the best parts of today for me, tough, is that (despite the early start!) it means I will have literally hours on the train in which I can just create head-space & think.  What luxury!  Okay, perhaps I will do a little  stitching, too, but to be honest, it’s a luxury to have time to do that, too…


I’m very excited about the newsletter, though.  It may only be a newsletter, but it’s a way to combine my two loves in my paid work.I really can’t complain about that!