Book Reviews February 2016
BEAUTY ON THE INSIDE
Upgrade your home’s charm factor with this comprehensive one-stop guide to creating custom-made soft furnishings. Hand-made Interiors shows stitch by stitch how to make beautiful pieces – from blinds, curtains, and cushion covers to bedding and simple upholstery. Learn to choose the right materials, measure, create and install each project. Clear photos and basic sewing techniques show you how to make each piece, and suggested variations help tailor each project to your own unique space and budget. Great ideas and trade secrets ensure a professional finish.
In Grow Your Own Natural Garden, Carol Klein explains how to get the most from your garden by taking inspiration from what works in the wild. She encourages readers to identify the conditions in the outdoor space – for example, the shady corner of an urban garden mimics the conditions of woodland – and to pick the plants that flourish in these conditions. Each of the six chapters features case studies that Klein admires for the way the owners have worked with the natural habitat and each chapter ends with 30 plants for that habitat. Well-written and a visual treat.
IS THAT WINE IN YOUR POCKET?
Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2016 is the 39th edition of this iconic, best-selling gem. Fully updated and expanded with the aid of Johnson’s many trusted global contributors, this year’s color supplement focuses on Riesling, the world’s greatest white grape. It also provides current news on more than 6,000 wines, as well as regions, vintages, and growers around the world. It offers maps, grape varieties, tips on food and wine pairings, and champagne growers to look out for in 2016. The book also features tips on what to cellar and what to drink. It is quick, concise and packed solid with useful information.
Continuing in the tradition of her popular craft book Vintage Made Modern, Jennifer Casa’s Handmade Heirlooms: Crafting with Intention, Making Things That Matter, and Connecting to Family and Tradition emphasizes the significance of handmade pieces in our personal histories. The projects within celebrate the role heirlooms play in our lives and in those of loved ones. Whether sewn, knitted or crafted, these special items are more than just a hobby – they are meant to be gifted, enjoyed and handed down to future generations.
Pastries can be intimidating for home cooks and baking newbies, but once you understand the science behind the dough, the rest is easy as pie! Russell van Kraayenburg, founder of the award-winning blog Chasing Delicious, has harnessed the formula for perfect pastry in Making Dough: Recipes and Ratios for Perfect Pastries. This cookbook reveals the secret to mastering the 12 essential pastry doughs. It’s all about the relationship between the amounts of five ingredients – flour, butter, water, sugar and eggs. These ratios distinguish one dough from another, and understanding these is the first step toward perfect pastries every time.
Ubiquitous at boutiques and cafés, on Etsy and Pinterest, in stationery and home decor, chalk lettering is hotter than ever. In The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering, Valerie McKeehan teaches readers how to create hand-drawn chalk designs. The book is also a practice space, with three foldout “chalkboards.” More than 60 lessons explain the ABCs of lettering and basic styles – serif, sans serif, and script; how to lay out a design, combine various style and add shadows and dimension; how to master more advanced letter styles and use banners, borders, flourishes; and 12 projects to show off your new skills.
Book Reviews February 2016