I adore books. There was a time when I would read just about anything. These days, I am much more selective. the books I read and keep around tend to be non-fiction books and children’s story books.
The following books are ones I enthusiastically recommend. I’ve read them, used them, reviewed them and posted the book reviews online for your consideration:
Important Note: Almost all my book recommendations are impartial and unbiased ones. However, THIS ONE IS NOT — because I contributed 2 crochet patterns to this particular book. So I am guessing you will not be shocked when I tell you I think this book is just great!
The two patterns I contributed are two of the nicest ones I have ever designed — which says a lot, because I have been crocheting since I was a small child and designing patterns for public consumption since 2009. My contributions to Delicate Crochet were a lace and ribbon-trimmed pair of ruffled fingerless gloves, and a sophisticated beaded necklace.
The other contributors to the book really came up with some spectacular pattern designs, too — gorgeous shawls and wraps, tops, scarves, a remarkable lace skirt and more. These designs are elegant, feminine and wearable.
So of course, I am proud that my name is on this book. I think it’s fabulous. I invite you to check out my book preview of this title — click here to see the projects included in Delicate Crochet.
It would be hard for me to choose a favorite knitting book. I especially enjoy the knitting classics by Kaffe Fasset, Barbara Walker, Elizabeth Zimmerman and Alice Starmore. Many of those would rank high on my favorites list. However, this new knitting book called Knitting for the Fun of It! has really captured my imagination — and this lovely, colorful book deserves a top spot on my favorites list, too.
I think the most appealing thing about this book is, it has a large number of easy patterns, yet the patterns are colorful, appealing and wearable. In contrast, most of the other colorful, wearable knitting patterns I’m aware of tend to be ones for experienced knitters.
I’m not afraid to take on super challenging knitting patterns. But, having said that, I adore easy, mindless knitting that I don’t have to think too much about. And this book actually provides plenty of both types of patterns — some easy ones, and some that are more complex.
Get more insights in my detailed book review of Knitting for the Fun of It!
Do you want to learn how to make your own candles — including scented candles, beeswax candles, pillar candles, and other easy, basic candles that aren’t too complicated? If so, this book is exactly the instruction manual you need to get started with candle making.
Learn more about the projects and other info you’ll find in this book in my detailed book review of Candle Making Basics: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started.
Are you concerned about the health of your gut? Do you crave spicy foods? Would you enjoy learning how to prepare your own kimchi, pickles and probiotic-rich, fermented vegetable dishes?
Whether you savor the taste of Korean food, or you’re simply interested in increasing the numbers of beneficial flora in your gut, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this book to find recipes that can help you accomplish those objectives.
Check out my detailed book review of The Korean Kimchi Cookbooh for more information.
It might surprise you to realize that the combinations of foods you eat can dramatically affect how you feel every day. If you ever feel anxious, irritable or unwell for no apparent reason, it is possible that perhaps this book could help you understand why. Not only that, it could possibly help you figure out how to improve the situation.
I thought this book was simply great — easy to understand, easy to use and implement. It actually helped me with some congestion issues I was having the first day I started using it. So I’m a fan!
My husband Mike, who does most of the cooking for our family, isn’t so enthusiastic about the book — for starters, because he thinks it oversimplifies a lot of important things. But he isn’t afraid to dig into detailed, in-depth books on complex topics like Ayurvedic medicine. Not everyone shares that particular quirk of his. If you do, this probably isn’t the book for you; but if you prefer super simple to overly complicated, and you’re interested in Ayurvedic cooking, this book is likely to appeal to you.
The books in this section could all help you clean, organize, declutter and / or beautify your home or enhance your lifestyle in some way. This is kind of an eclectic mix of titles, but they are all focused around the central idea of improving your life at home.
Homesteaders are the intended audience for this book — but if you aren’t a homesteader, don’t let that stop you from grabbing a copy. I’m not a homesteader, and I think this is one of the most useful books I own.
There is no easy way to categorize this book. Overall, it is a beginner’s herbalism manual — but it’s also part cook book, part gardening book, part history book and more.
Herbs have countless possible uses, and this book gives you information about, and recipes for, the most crucial uses you should know about — cooking with herbs, home cleaning with herbs, self-care with herbs and veterinary care with herbs.
This is a practical, hands-on, easy to understand book. It gives you the basics of herbalism without over-complicating anything.
Get more insights in my detailed book review of The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion.
The Modern Organic Home: 100+ DIY Cleaning Products, Organization Tips, and Household Hacks by Natalie Wise
If you want to clean, organize and declutter your home, without using any toxic chemical cleaners to do so, this is a book you’ll want to consider owning. The book gives you bunches of practical recipes and insights for cleaning every surface in your home. I use the recipes in this book on an ongoing basis — and usually several times a week. They are truly useful.
Related: I interviewed Natalie Wise, the author of this book. The interview is full of interesting insights on improving your health plus getting your home clean, organized and decluttered — without using toxic chemical cleaners. Click here to see the interview.
If you want to get a cluttered home under control, this is the best book I’m aware of that could help you accomplish that goal.
Yes, I know about Marie Kondo, and I think her methods are helpful too, but I’m not convinced that Kondo’s methods are necessarily the best. That’s because I need things like, for example, safety pins. Kondo is a firm believer that you should only hang onto things that bring you joy. My safety pins don’t bring me joy, so Marie Kondo would tell me to get rid of them.
I need safety pins for purposes like holding my pants up (because I just dropped a bunch of weight, but my clothes stayed the same size) and pinning my crochet projects together when I finish them. Doing the pinning, seaming and finishing on a crochet project doesn’t necessarily bring me joy either, but having a lovely finished crochet project does.
Do you want to declutter your home without having to stress out about whether a particular object gives you enough joy that you can justify keeping it? (On the one hand, I get the idea; it’s dumb to keep things that make you unhappy; but, on the other hand, there is a point of ridiculousness.) If so, take a look at Decluttering at the Speed of Life. It’s a practical, common-sense book that will help you declutter on your own terms, without feeling judged or guilted into getting rid of stuff you absolutely want to keep.
So there you have it: That’s a (partial) list of the books I’ve reviewed. I hope you found the list helpful and informative — and that you found some lovely new books you’ll want to add to your library.
About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.
This page was last updated on 7-20-2019.