Tuesday, July 13, 2010

non-fiction for the grown-ups.

Cake Wrecks: when professional cakes go hilariously wrong by Jen Yates

We’ve all seen them. Professionally decorated cakes that look wrong. It might be due to questionable talent decorating the cake, or to misspelled words. Perhaps it wasn’t the decorators fault, but rather something that was actually ordered to look that way. Whatever the reason, there is now a term for this condition. Cake Wrecks. Just like the inability to look away from a train or car wreck, we can’t help but stare (in humorous horror) at the wrecks in all their frosted glory.

Blogger Jen Yates started her blog about cake decorating gone wrong after seeing a well circulated email of a cake picture. Now, due to a strong following, she has written a book about the cakey disasters. You can’t help but laugh out loud when reading and viewing this book. Be warned, though. You might want to have cake on hand to satisfy your craving. I finished this book last week and finally broke down and bought cake slices from the grocery store last night.

Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage from Warm Socks to High Art by Susan M. Strawn

A history of knitting in the United States, starting with early settlers and ending with today’s modern knitters, this book contains much information about the trends, innovations, and cultural significance of knitting over the past few centuries. Also included: several historical knitting patterns and hundreds of illustrations and photographs.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical examination of knitting. The illustrations were fascinating. It was interesting to see a picture that I have seen many times over the years – that of Sojourner Truth – and truly notice for the first time that she is holding a knitted work in progress on her lap.

Towards the end of the book, however, I found that I was getting a bit bored with the text. I think that it was not so much due to the information as due to the repeated pattern of each chapter. At times it almost seemed that I was reading the same thing over and over, even though the information was far from it.

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