What is the difference between a write-up and a review?

A review is an in-depth critique at a book's plot, characters, writing, and pacing, and my reactions to it.

A write-up is me telling you about the book, what it's like, and why you should read it, even though I didn't.

These books I didn't finish. It wasn't because they were bad, it was just because they

a) weren't for me
b) I didn't have time (for instance, if it just showed up, and I didn't request it, I'm not going to put it above the ones I did commit to reading)
c) I took a break for some reason, tried to read the rest, and had forgotten what had happened in the first half.

Without further adieu, my 3 Write-ups of the day.

The Watch that Ends The Night: Voices from the Titanic
by Allan Wolf

This novel was a collection of poems all written by Wolf. The "Voices" are all the characters in the novel. The poetry is beautiful, artistic, and varying. Each character has their own style of poetry: some write rhymes, some write free-verse, some just dialogue. There is some Morse code thrown in there too!

(I read a bit of it, but this book just showed up in my mailbox one day, and I don't even know who sent it to me.)

9780763637033 October 11th 2011 by Candlewick Press

The Whisperer
Donato Carrisi

I read a good portion of this book when I picked it up for the first time, and it was extremely intriguing. I liked the protagonist a lot, and I wanted to know more about her and her abilities and her story. But I had to set it down for school, and I wasn't able to get back into it after I stopped for a few weeks.

9780316194723 Published January 5th 2012 by Mulholland Books

The Rook
Daniel O'Malley

This book is so my kind of book. I'm writing about it now, but I'm going to finish it later. In fact I may just start over at the beginning after school is over, and re-read it. It starts off by throwing you into a situation that makes perfect sense, but is still un-understandable. There are clues hidden in the first page that are brought up later, and mysteries, and confusion, and stress, and adventure… I really wanted to be this character.

9780316098793  Published January 11th 2012 by Little Brown & Co

Nerdfighters rejoice!


First thing I see when I log into Audible is THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. It is on the front page of their Teens section.

This brought me great joy.


totally random inanimate flying objects today

First: Emma Woodhouse is a wretched creature, barely redeemable by the end of the novel, and I respect Mr. Knightly for his patience with her, but pity that he will be stuck with her for the rest of his literary existence and hope that for his sake she becomes a more redeemable character. He is, however, so totally on my list of literary crushes.

Second, here's a funny article by Cracked about 8 unexpected downsides to e-books.

Third: take a bag of chocolate chips and melt it into a container of cream cheese frosting, pour it into a pan, stick it in the freezer for an hour, and you have yourself the easiest most amazing fudge you'll ever taste. call it college-student freezer-fudge. I used paper bowls to freeze it. I got weird round-shaped fudge, but it tastes great.

Fourth: Something I've noticed about to-do lists: making them is great, but if you loose them, they're worthless.

Fifth: Etsy shop: mittens, Pokémon, hats, etc. Check it out! (see the sidebar for a widget)

Sixth: Brainstorming a new header. I want something that isn't so dark… but it should still be fun and "life and lies of an inanimate flying object"-ish.

Seventh: writing a new novel about a teen prostitute. Need to do research without becoming a prostitute. Ideas? Other novel recommendations? Documentaries?

Eight: Charles Dickens was amazing, and Bleak House is amazing. It's really hard to read when you're dyslexic, though.

Ninth: Now I'm just coming up with stuff so that the last thing on my list is an even number.

Tenth (and finally), I'm posting some reviews this weekend, I promise. I'm shooting for Every Other Day, The Rook, and another one whose title I can't remember. Yeah, it's one of those days.

Thanks guys.

Review: Acrylic Fusion

Acrylic Fusion by Dan Tranberg
Genre: Art
ISBN: 9781592537525
Published: January 1st 2012 by Quarry Books
Rating: 5

Summary (from Goodreads)
This unique reference book is designed to excite and motivate you to push beyond traditional techniques and to explore new approaches to painting. Acrylic Fusion frees you from traditional approaches to painting by exposing you to a diverse range of alternative techniques, unconventional processes, and the integration of unique materials that stimulate creativity and encourage experimentation. It's a must-have resource aimed at artists who make paintings, but it is also a great reference for any crafters, makers, and DIYers who use paint in their work, whether they make art journals, design greeting cards, or refinish furniture because the techniques can easily be adapted for many different kinds of projects and applications.

This book is so wild. It's full of simple exciting techniques with step-by-step instructions and photos. The techniques are interesting and inspiring, and hold a lot of potential for those with a slightly more trained eye in acrylic painting.

The techniques are things like adding an acrylic material to the paint so it holds a texture; using masking tape to make sharp edges; putting rubbing alcohol on solid paint; and other things to get unique looks. Think abstract, or contemporary.

They're not hard techniques. But a lot of them, you'll need the specific materials, and they aren't things you can grab a Walmart. You'll either have to have a local art store around, or order the supplies online. I won't say this book is for experienced artists, but it's certainly not for beginners, unless you've got an opportunity to get the materials (and buying all that can be pricey).

This is an excellent book for art teachers, school teachers, and acrylic painters who want to find something new and different in their work.

Review: Art Lab for Kids

Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake
Genre: Art
ISBN: 9781592537655
Published: February 1st 2012 by Quarry Books
Rating: 3

I have mixed feelings about this book. I can't say it's bad, because I've taught 95% of the projects before. they're great projects! But as an artist and art instructor, I've seen kids do more than what is in this book (for some of the projects). Some of the projects are very simple things you could find over the internet. Some are things you do in elementary school. It's got a broad mix of really cool projects with a lot of potential, and really dull projects that I know kids don't really respond to very well.

However, I did find three or four projects that are pretty cool, that I'm definitely implementing aspects of in my extended camp this summer!

That being said, this book is great for students who want to do art but don't have any kind of local art class institution, teachers who are looking for a good collection to fit a wide age range, and maybe homeschool parents who want their kids to have art but don't know where to start.

Kids art class teacher? not so much. You probably already know them.

Review: Knitting with the Color Guys

Knitting with the Color Guys: Inspiration, Ideas, and Projects from the Kaffe Fassett Studio
by Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably
Genre: Knitting
ISBN: 9781936096374
Published: February 7th 2012 by Sixth&Spring
Rating: 4

This book made me really happy! I've never found a blanket pattern that I liked so much that I just had to knit it. I've found a few in here. (although I'll have to wait until I finish all my knit Pokemon.)

The book is organized by color sets: soft colors, brights, moody and earthy, bright and vibrant, etc. The patterns themselves are simple and straightforward, and the graphs are very good. My only complaint is that some of the patterns are duplicated, but they call it something else because the color set is different. Also, they have a Zig Zag throw, and a Zig Zag cushion. A shadow-box throw, and a shadow-box cushion. I feel like they could have just put them together, but instead they re-printed the graph on each pattern. they're little things, but they distracted me from the overall picture. I was like "hey, that scarf is in there twice, but two different colors. Why not just call one a "color variation" or something?"

The patterns were mostly pillows and throws. There was a shawl or two, some scarves, leg warmers, a hat, fingerless gloves etc. But mostly it was larger things. I feel like this book could be a great inspiration to people who like to knit and design accessories and sweaters, but if you're looking for those kinds of patterns, you won't find them.

All in all, I love the yarn they used, the color sets, the patterns themselves, and the photographs (which were fantastic).

The blessings and curses of being an English major.

I'm a professional writing major. Professional Writing is WCU's version of a combo English major that consists of literature, technical and workplace writing, and creative writing.

This semester, I am taking 2 literature courses: African Literature, and 19th Century British Literature. In these two classes, we have already read several novels, including Emma, Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart, and a lot of Wordsworth and Coleridge poetry.

Point is, I don't have a whole lot of time left for reading stuff I really want to read, like Under the Never Sky, or Possession, or Every Other Day, and especially The Fault in Our Stars. I have like 15 review books I'm behind on, and more coming in! gah!

On top of it all… I have started the second draft of Accidental Girlfriend. I'm moving forward. I really want to publish this novel!

And today I found out that I have a weird eye condition where I can't really see much of anything, so I need bifocals. So yeah. That doesn't make reading any easier.

So what I'm trying to say is, I'm still alive, I promise, I'm just struggling to balance my time between reading Bleak House (next week's book!), teaching pre-pointe ballet, keeping my cardio levels reasonable, studying my French homework, knitting pokemon (which has become my main source of income) and getting enough sleep.

The Yarn Cat

My shop is up and running! Soon I'll be adding some Pokémon and some monsters.


yarncatmonstermittens2BLUE RINGED OCTOPUSgch1hat0206121925-01

Critters, Creatures, and Characters

I'm starting an Etsy store.


Thus far, here are some thing-a-majigs I'm working on or have made.

Each critter is made of soft durable worsted wool. I can knit you almost anything: Pokemon, Animals, Jedi knights, etc.
Email me with a picture and I will let you know if I can make it.
(I can knit almost anything… even a brain.)

Blue Ringed Octopus


Over-the-bed (not under the bed) Monster






Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.