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Looking for reviews on some of the latest books about home, gardens, cooking, and more? Here are my reviews on some books that arrived in my mailbox during the month of February.
February Book Reviews
If you are looking for something new to read, here are my quick reviews of some new release books related to home, gardening, cooking, simplifying, or anything else that I found interesting! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to enter to win a giveaway for some of these titles!
Fascinated by weaving? Now you can do it yourself! This one covers all the basics of how to get started and how to become a super weaver! Designed for modern makers looking for a book that will continue to inspire them as their skill grows. Lindsey Campbell, the weaver behind the popular blog and brand HelloHydrangea, teaches more than 50 techniques plus 20 stylish projects for weavers of all skill levels. With 700 detailed photos, Campbell offers just the right blend of learning, encouragement, and great weaving results. An easy tutorial helps you to make your own loom that can be used to complete each project. Learn basic terms and skills for beginner weavers, such as warp and weft, and how to keep your sides straight.
Merissa’s Thoughts —This full-color book actually helps me to not only understand weaving but how to do different patterns. My favorite thing about it is the step by step picture instructions and the illustrated guides to the patterns. I’ve watched some videos of weaving in the past but this book makes it look so much more simple than I imagined it to be.
Too often the world speaks words of harm, and too often we believe them–and so we live stories God never intended for us. Yet God longs to rewrite and redeem your story.
Tiffini Kilgore, founder of the lifestyle and design boutique House of Belonging, grew up in a broken home before marrying at the tender age of sixteen. Years later, divorced and with three small children, she remarried. The seasons that followed brought two more children, another broken marriage, chronic disease, major surgeries, and cycles of abuse–leaving Tiffini feeling alone and unloved.
Merissa’s Thoughts —If you are a fan of a good memoir, you will probably enjoy this book. You can follow Tiffani through her struggles of brokenness and feeling like she doesn’t belong, to a place where she finds healing through speaking to God. The story could be found to be encouraging for someone who is dealing with similar struggles in their life. The one thing that I didn’t particularly enjoy was the “words from Papa” that were not from the Bible. Overall, I found it to be a little too “spiritual” and not solidly Biblical for my tastes.
With 100+ Keto recipes, you will never run out of delicious recipes, that are also healthy for you! Not only are these recipes delicious, but this diet also helps with so many illnesses! In The Keto All Day Cookbook, best-selling author and creator of the KetoDiet blog Martina Slajerova compiles her best recipes for every meal of the day (even snacks)—plus 17 new ones, accompanied by nearly 40 gorgeous new photos—to help you stay the keto course, deliciously!
Merissa’s Thoughts — Lately, I’ve enjoyed looking at some Keto cookbooks. While we don’t follow a Keto diet, many of the recipes can fit our allergy needs. I found the cookbook to be nice and normal, with recipes that should please a family. The ingredients might be a little hard to find for a few of the recipes but that’s only because they fit the Keto diet. If you stay away from the recipes that call for fancy flours and things of that nature, most of the recipes contain ingredients you should easily be able to find at your local grocery store. I particularly enjoyed the last section in the book, the Condiment recipes. I found them to be nice and simple. Good basic recipes to have in any kitchen.
If you are ready to dabble in herbs, but tired of buying them all at those expensive prices, this is the book for you! It covers how to grow and harvest herbs on a small scale, that is perfect for any homestead!
When you’re a homesteader, you face many challenges: from a simple cold to an earache in your child, fleas on the dog, or worms in your goat. Medicines and treatments are never cheap and are often vague. Wouldn’t it be great to grow, forage, and create natural remedies yourself? Look no further than The Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders!
Merissa’s thoughts —This was one of my favorite books that I had the chance to review this month. The book was not only filled with how to grow and dry herbs but also with a lot of recipes to use them in. It talks about how to forage herbs from your lawn and then how to use them in everyday recipes, from teas to side dishes. I’m definitely going to try some of the salves first! My other favorite aspect of this book was the full-color pictures. Those of you that forage know how important it is to find the specific plants you are looking for and this book will help. This is one book I will be keeping on my shelf for a long time.
Are you artistic?! This book shows how you can paint with tea, coffee, embroidery and more. It’s truly amazing! Bored with the same old paints? The Organic Painter introduces innovative techniques for using non-traditional “paint” derived from materials like coffee, tea, and alcohol, to encourage freedom and expression!
Merissa’s thoughts — Do you like to create art from unusual and creative sources? You will enjoy this book! The book shows how to make your own watercolor paints with tea. It also shows you how to integrate natural things into your watercolor paintings to give it more dimension. Things like boiling water, salt, flames, gravity, leaves, and more. I’m not a watercolor painter but it’s something that my husband enjoys and he found the book to be intruging. If you are looking to create lovely works of art and want ot use organic materials to create them with, I would recommend this book.
This new essential guide to entertaining is divided by occasion, offering a fresh lineup of menus and ideas from Oxford, Mississippi’s go-to caterer for every celebratory scenario life serves up. In this update to the best-selling book of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ era, Elizabeth’s tell-it-like-it-is voice provides a twist to the classic Southern advice that is a refresher for entertainers of any age or experience.
Merissa’s thoughts —This is a fun, very large full-color cookbook that will help you to host any kind of party you could imagine. Each recipe is not divided into normal chapters such as “breads, mains, desserts” etc, but rather into specific party ideas such as “Gospel Brunch”, “Welcome Tea”, and “Fish Fry”. Each section shows a certain amount of people that the menu will serve along with a few details and ideas for the gathering. It’s then followed by 3 to 5 recipes, usually a beverage, an appetizer, and then some kind of featured dish. Some sections feature a few kinds of appetizers or add in a sweet treat as well. If you enjoy having gatherings at your home and entertaining others, this would be a fun book to keep on your shelf.
To country music icon Martina McBride, cooking and singing aren’t all that different. When she makes something delicious, she wants to share it, which is a lot like sharing her music with an audience. When she’s not on stage or in the studio, Martina is most likely experimenting in the kitchen and cooking with family and friends. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Martina began helping her mother in the kitchen at an early age, preparing fresh-from-the-field ingredients. Meals and stories were shared daily around the table. It’s a tradition she continues with her own family as often as she can because real life is what’s worth celebrating. In this gorgeously photographed cookbook, readers will find more than 100 simple and satisfying recipes filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients and downhome flavor.
Merissa’s thoughts —This is another southern style cookbook featuring all of your favorite regular recipe categories from appetizers to desserts. I found the recipes to contain normal, everyday ingredients that I could get at my local grocery store but in general, most were a little too “involved” for my style of cooking. That’s not to say that some of the recipes weren’t tempting (like the Oatmeal Cookies!) and ones that we wouldn’t enjoy (I loved some of the ideas in the vegetable section!). One thing to note with this book is that it featured quite a few pictures of alcohol and quite a few recipes that also featured various types of alcoholic beverages. Most of the recipes could easily be skipped (the beverages) if that’s something you do not use in your home and there were only a few that used those products in actual food recipes. That being said, there are plenty of other good looking recipes in this book if you are looking for a new southern style recipe book.
Following the success of Welcome to the Farm, Shaye Elliott shares how she celebrates family and farm traditions year-round in Seasons at the Farm. With her engaging storytelling and gorgeous full-color photos, Shaye brings to life how to entertain simply yet beautifully without mortgaging the farm. Simple recipes, decorating advice, and projects make this an inspirational and aspirational sequel to her beloved previous books.
Merissa’s thoughts —This book follows the seasons of the year to share all kinds of information that anyone living a simple life should enjoy. Each season features a few seasonal recipes, stories, and ideas and inspiration to enjoy each of the varying times of the year. I found it to be an enjoyable book to read through and I felt like if you enjoy reading Little House Living, you would enjoy reading this book as well. It’s always interesting to look into a snapshot of someone else’s life and get ideas from them and also to see how like or unlike your own life. I particularly enjoyed reading through this book in the winter as it reminded me of all the promise in the seasons to come.
Thrill to these 60 patterns for adorable knitted clothing designs from KlompeLOMPE. Designed by friends Hanne and Torunn, mothers from Norway, this blog and webshop’s patterns have quickly stormed the world. Brimming with nature-inspired and sweetly casual appeal, these patterns are mostly for boys and girls aged one to six, but there are some charming pieces for adults, and for babies too. Choose from comfortable creations like cowls, shorts, Rough and Tumble Pants, jackets, mittens, a ballet skirt, and of course several of the perfectly-crafted caps and hats that led to KlompeLOMPE’s fame
Merissa’s thoughts —As someone who crochets and hasn’t always had much of an interest in knitting, I have to say that I enjoyed looking through this book and it made me want to get a pair of knitting needles again and make cute things for my little ones! There are so many patterns and ideas included in this book so if you love to knit and have little ones in your life, you definitely need to check this book out. My favorite pattern was one of the more simple ones…the mittens for mother and child. How sweet to have a matching set of mittens! That would make such a sweet and unique gift idea.
Want to win these books? I’m giving away a copy of
- Knitting for Little Sweethearts
- Seasons at the Farm
- The Organic Painter
- The Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders
- Welcome to Weaving
- The Southern Living Party Cookbook
to one winner! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win all of these books to add to your personal collection. Good luck!
Have you read any of these books? Which one do you think interests you?
Are you an author or publishing house that wants me to review your book? Send an email with the information to [email protected].