Friday, October 17, 2008

Adventures Through Reading

Do many of you use Amazon to find and/or order books? I've ordered some field guides and an occasional pattern book from them, but a few weeks ago, I finally clicked on the tab that said they had some "recommendations" for me (based on previous orders, I guess). Holy cow in a canoe! They had almost 200 books (and even some birdhouses) on their recommendation list! It took me a while to go through it and I even added some to my wish list and then I had a brainstorm......why not see if I could get any of these books through my local public library and read them to see if I like them before spending $$ to purchase a book I might not really like.

Our public library participates in a SE Minnesota cooperative, so I can go to their on-line link and search based on title and/or author (which I can easily find from my Amazon recommendations). This is such a cool thing! So in the last 3 weeks, I've gotten the chance to check out and read the 4 books shown below:

Woodswoman by Anne LaBastille This is a pretty cool story and I was amazed by what Anne accomplished and how she survived on her own in the Adirondack Mountains of New York back in the early 1970's (especially without a cell phone, computer or any of our current "modern" conveniences).

Going Alone - a collection of essays by women adventurersEven though I'm more of an "armchair adventurer" I'm really enjoying this book. These women are brave, smart, some young and some older (like me), and it's neat to share their adventures through the pages of this book.

Arctic Homestead by Norma Cobb Norma Cobb was the last women to file for a pioneer homestead in the United States and she did it in Alaska. I could not put this book down. It's an amazing story about how she and her family (husband and 5 children) built their own log cabin and learned to survive north of Fairbanks, near the Arctic Circle.

Arctic Lace by Donna Druchunuas
This is a knitting book featuring "projects and stories inspired by Alaska's Native Knitters." I don't like to buy pattern books unless I look at them first--they're pretty expensive and sometimes there's only one or two patterns I like and I end up never using the book at all. However that's not the case with this Arctic Lace book and I know I will be purchasing this book soon to add to my pattern collection. There's lots of information--especially about Alaska history and native peoples and also the musk oxen who provide the qiviut fiber that these patterns call for. Are you starting to see an adventure/Alaska theme here? Me too!

I'm really thankful for my local public library and the resources and help they provide for me--all free of charge! I don't even pay a fee for my library card. I have donated some of the knitting pattern books I don't use anymore to the library and also those books I get from the book club that everyone always wants to read and I don't want to wait for them (like the latest Janet Evanovich or Mary Higgins Clark). I figure that's the least I can do for all the library has done for me.


Lynne said...

I've emailed these titles to myself so I can put them on reserve at the library too. I love the library too.

Mary said...

Browsing in a public library is one of my favorite things to do. I should post about it one day! It a great idea to "preview" your books before buying!

Ruth said...

Great post. Thanks for the recommendations. I also use the library as much as possible and try to curb my book buying. (difficult!)

jan m said...

You have to love the library! That's an excellent idea to check the books out first before buying. Your selections sound interesting.

Debbie said...

Ruthie, being homeschoolers, we use our local library a lot. It saves us so much money. We also have a terrific library system that lets me search online and then order them to our library.

I've actually read the one about Norma Cobb, quite interesting. I'll have to look for the others, especially Woodswoman...that is in my neck of the woods.

Alaska is beautiful and I would highly recommend anyone visiting at least once.

Richard said...

The favorite place to shop.

Red said...

hmmmm none of those showed up in my amazon recommendations list! i'm sure glad it did in yours though!

i'm adding Going Alone and Arctic Homestead to my wish list right now.

KGMom said...

Amazon is really on top of using the data they gather from our shopping habits.
I usually have such a weird mix of tastes that when they recommend something to me, it may or may not fit.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lynne,
I think you will enjoy these books as much as I did.

Hi Mary,
I usually visit the little Stewarville library because it's more convenient, but the public library in Rochester is really awesome--two floors of books and nice soft chairs to relax in.

Hi Ruth,
I have a hard time not buying books too, so this chance to preview books through the library makes it a little easier to decide which books I truly want to invest in.

Hi Jan,
I hope you get a chance to check out some of these titles yourself.

Hi Debbie,
I sometimes forget about all the resources the library has to offer.
Alaska is on my dream vacation list!

I knew you were a smart guy Richard!

Hi Red,
I was amazed at all the recommended books on my list. I had no idea many of the titles even existed.
I hope you enjoy reading those two you mentioned.

Hi Donna,
I like the fact that Amazon also includes comments from people who have read the book. As with Netflix, I'm inclined to choose titles I'm unfamiliar with based on what others have to say and I'm usually not disappointed.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I like your theme of reading Ruthie. I enjoy reading about living in the north country. I have seen the results of the quiviert knitting. It is very expensive. I love the feel of the musk ox yarn. I just couldn't justify paying so much for it since some winters I don't even wear a wool jacket. Of course some winters I wish I had thrown out my $$ and had something so warm to wear.

Julie said...

Did you know, I was born in Anchorage. Yep!
We have a really great library too. They'll even ship us the books we've reserved free of charge. Everything else is free too. Oh and we have a once a year book sale (I donate to them too) and its incredible! My aunt came for it this year and loved it.
Thank you for the information on the books you checked out. Mom and I will have to read some of them. Keep the reviews coming!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lisa,
I checked out some of the qiviut yarn on-line--one place had it for $90 for 218 yards--YIKES! Too bad I'm not a spinner because I could buy the fleece from the Co-op in Anchorage and spin it myself. For now I'm going to try some of the patterns with some of the lace weight yarn I have on hand (and dream about qiviut....)

Hi Julie,
So you're a native Alaskan..... Have you ever visited there as an adult?
I think I need to figure out some other ways to try and support my local library financially, just to show them how much I appreciate it. (I'll keep you posted on any other good books I discover.)

Meggie said...

Thanks for the recommended reading list, Ruthie. I think I would like three out of the four...I'm not a knitter, you know. Congrats to Mr. J for getting a deer.

Julie said...

Ruthie, just wanted to share, take up stock in Barnes and Noble book store. Mom bought all but your last book! :-) We're looking forwaard to future book reviews!

Heather said...

Wow, thanks for sharing these titles. I will have to see if my library has them on hand.