July 2013 books

There hasn't been much time to read this month. We have houseguests for the summer, my eldest sister and her husband. And summer finally arrived, and I'm spending more time in the yard and flower gardens (finally). And then there are the road trips, and the Oregon Brewer's Festival, and our lake cabin, and fly fishing, and... well, you get my drift.

I have been working my way through a couple of photography books, and a handful of beaded jewelry making books (but spending more time actually making jewelry than just reading about it, which is a good thing).

Edward Parker | Photographing Trees. I love to photograph trees, and there's a massive, beautifully formed maple tree near my house that I visit regularly. I had high hopes for this book. But in truth it was most interesting for another project the author was involved in: photographing ancient trees around the world, including 1000-year old trees in his native England. Most of the book covered basic digital photography skills, and one slim chapter got down to the nitty-gritty of tree photography.

Lisa Niven Kelly | Stamped Metal Jewelry. I mostly make beaded wire jewelry, but am intrigued by this technique. I have my dad's jewelry making tools and materials, including a few sheets of silver, and just ordered a set of stamps (for an entirely different craft). So I just might give it a try.

Dylon Whyte | Beaded Chain Mail Jewelry. We have a friend who makes chain mail jewelry and key fobs, beautiful stuff. When I saw this book, I brought it home to browse through. I generally make my own jump rings, and I like that chain mail can be made simply with just the rings. While watching a movie, I made a graduated strand of links with a beaded end, to use as a zipper pull. This could be fun!

Chris Orwig | Visual Poetry. It sounded interesting, so it also came home in my book bag. The unique ways that other photographers approach the challenge of finding and shooting the world around them is endlessly fascinating to me. And it reminds me that there's never one right way to do anything, and you can learn a lot if you just open yourself up to the opportunity.

David Lebowitz | The Sweet Life in Paris. This book was a bit of a sideways find. I offered to make a German chocolate cake for my mother-in-law's 81st birthday party, and set out to find the perfect recipe. This isn't one of my favorite cakes, and I wanted to jazz it up a bit, make the flavors richer. I found a recipe online, which gave credit to Lebowitz, and when I looked up his website, found this book. It's an account of the author's experiences when he visited Paris for the first time, with the added bonus of lots of recipes. (Oh and by the way, the cake was a smash hit with the family.)

Paul Doiron | The Poacher's Son. Another book I stumbled across while looking for something else, and it was a really good read. I'll be searching out his other books soon.

And I'm re-reading my favorite Dick Francis books, starting with  Decider, To the Hilt, Proof, and Come to Grief.

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