Currently Taking Residence in the Freebie Box:
Craft and How-To
Creepy Cute Crochet
If you've ever fallen in love with some of the adorably goulish amigurumi patterns on Etsy, chances are that they come from Christen Haden, better known as NeedleNoodles. Haden specializes in stunningly cute creeping horrors, mythic figures, and little warriors. This collection of 19 projects covers ninjas, amazons, vampires, zombies, and everything in between. Creepy Cute Crochet assumes you are comfortable with some crochet basics like slip stitch and single crochet, but steps you through techniques that are used in amigurumi. She also gives instructions on how to create accessories for your creations out of felt or polymer clay. International crocheters will want to note that she gives a conversion chart for hook sizes from US to metric, but does not include a stitch name conversion chart for U.K. stitch names. The presentation is still a bit perky, but amigurumi can't NOT be perky, and it's at least tempered with fez-wearing monkeys. Overall, Creepy Cute Crochet is a fantastic first foray into crochet amigurumi.
Simply Sublime Bags: 30 No-Sew, Low-Sew Projects
If you've not heard me say it before, let me restate it now: The sewing machine scares the bejesus out of me. The only thing I can think of when looking at one is "multiple puncture wounds". The sewing machine does not beckon me closer with stories of a quick and efficient job well done; instead it leers smugly and offers me the chance to hurt myself faster and harder than I've ever done it before. It's partially a threat, partially a dare, and partially a promise. For a girl who triple-pierced her ears and added holes in her nose and tongue, not to mention has two tattoos, that is saying a lot.
Dark Thirst (The Brethren Series, Book 1)
I saw Dark Thirst while sitting at our booth at the Bluegrass Festival of Books in May. Vampire romance novel from a local author - how could I resist? I was not disappointed. Let me break the plot down for you. Vampire: Dashing, deaf, Caucasian boy from a Kentucky family obsessed with keeping the blood "pure." Love Interest: Courageous, African-American cop. Can you say bi-racial vampire babies? Yes you can!
Open Grave: The Book of Horror
Open Grave is a collection of short stories and novellas purporting to be in the horror genre, as indicated by its subtitle, The Book of Horror. The first tidbit in the collection, "Cat's Eye," involves a scene of animal mutilation, which is certainly shocking. The stories following this grim opening have horror as their subject matter, but a rather tepid sort of horror. They're the kind of stories you could feel comfortable reading to your tweens on Halloween night, if you enjoy that sort of thing. They demand, on the whole, a suspension of disbelief of which only a child is capable. For instance, the novella, "Ghoul," opens on a session between a psychiatrist (the narrator) and patient. I've graced the couches, chairs, and tissue boxes of many a shrink, and the improbabilities presented in that opening scene were simply too much for me to swallow. The remainder of the stories are quite a bit shorter, and would pass the time in a dentist's waiting room quite handily. This collection is presented through PublishAmerica, and for a self-published book, is admirably free from typographical and grammatical errors.
The Tenth Gift
When The Tenth Gift arrived in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The AntiCraft had been given an opportunity to review fiction. I enjoy craft books as much as the next person (assuming the next person really enjoys craft books) but sometimes I like to curl up with a big glass of rum and a good book and read until my vision blurs and I pass out, falling out of the bed, knocking my eye against the nightstand, and waking up thinking my husband has begun beating me in my sleep. That tangent aside, I was excited, especially to learn that the main character of the book was an embroiderer! Oh happy day!