Wednesday, November 26, 2014

50 Books in 2014: 46-50

I did it!! I am so excited to be able to say that I have completed my goal of reading 50 books this year, with over an entire month to spare! Of course, I am going to keep reading and reviewing books, both here and on GoodReads (
Here are the reviews for the last five books I have read.

1. The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature, by David George Haskell
GoodReads says: "In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life.Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home."
Average Rating: 4.25/5

I said: 4/5 stars, "This book is an incredible reflection on nature. Each chapter/entry focuses on a new ecological concept that is brought up in the author's meditative focus while studying the same area of forest over the course of a year. It is very in-depth and focused on each topic covered."

2. Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists, by Danielle Krysa
GoodReads says: "Creative block presents the most crippling—and unfortunately universal—challenge for artists. No longer! This chunky blockbuster of a book is chock-full of solutions for overcoming all manner of artistic impediment. The blogger behind The Jealous Curator interviews 50 successful international artists working in different mediums and mines their insights on how to conquer self-doubt, stay motivated, and get new ideas to flow. Each artist offers a tried-and-true exercise—from road trips to 30-day challenges to cataloging the medicine cabinet— that will kick-start the creative process. Abundantly visual with more than 300 images showcasing these artists' resulting work, Creative Block is a vital ally to students, artists, and creative professionals."
Average Rating: 4.29/5 stars

I said: 5/5 stars, "I really loved this book - the author interviewed fifty artists of varied craft and mediums about their creative processes, included their original artwork, and then each artist can up with an 'unblocking' project to help the reader work on their own creative process. I found it fascinating and incredibly inspiring."

3. Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods: The Best Way to Eat for Maximum Health, Energy, and Weight Loss, by Lauri Boone
GoodReads says: "Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods features 50 top superfoods and discusses their unique benefits and how they can be integrated into your diet for incredible health and amazing taste.  From local superfoods—like greens, berries, and garlic—to more exotic superfoods—like maca, cacao, and yacon—Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods also includes 50 nutrient-rich recipes that are all naturally vegan and gluten free."
Average Rating: 3.67/5

I said: 4/5 stars, "This book was split into sections based on type of foods, and then each superfood in these sections was described. Each superfood also included a recipe. All the superfoods were plant-based and the recipes were all vegan. This is a great resource, and it introduced me to several foods I have not heard of."

4. The Last Animal, by Abby Geni
GoodReads says: "The Last Animal by Abby Geni is that rare literary find — a remarkable series of stories unified around one theme: people who use the interface between the human and the natural world to contend with their modern challenges in love, loss, and family life. These are vibrant, weighty stories that herald the arrival of a young writer of surprising feeling and depth."
Average Rating: 3.79/5

I said: 4/5 stars, "Although a few of the short stories in this book did not contain as much as a link to animals and nature as I had hoped, they were all incredibly well-written and intersting. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories. I can't even pick a favorite because I loved so many of them. I couldn't put this book down."

5. Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book, by Jason Thompson
GoodReads says: "In these pages, Jason Thompson has curated an extensive and artistic range of both achievable upcycled crafts made from books and book pages and an amazing gallery that contains thought-provoking and beautiful works that transform books into art. The content encompasses a wide range of techniques and step-by-step projects that deconstruct and rebuild books and their parts into unique, upcycled objects. The book combines in equal measure bookbinding, woodworking, paper crafting, origami, and textile and decorative arts techniques, along with a healthy dose of experimentation and fun.The beautiful high-end presentation and stunning photography make this book a delightful, must-have volume for any book-loving artist or art-loving book collector."
Average Rating: 3.98-5

I said: 3/5 stars, "This book contained some great information about paper crafts, including techniques and tools to use. It also included some family-friendly craft ideas, as well as information about artists that use books as their medium."


  1. Creative Block??? Sounds like perfect position for me :D I hate this feeling, when sometimes I sit in front of my PC and I have so many things in my mind but nothing to be written....
    thx for sharing!

  2. I love this idea for a feautre! I might steal this for 2015...Although then I would have to share with my readers that I never meet my reading challenge goal :(



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