A Peachy Books graphic showing a thorn crown and a diagram of the planets revolving around the sun, on a sand coloured background, that says What Did Jesus and Galileo Have in Common? in brown lettering.
Blog Roll, book reviews, Kids Books, Middle Grade, non-fiction, Sciences

What Did Jesus and Galileo Have In Common?

One might think that the Father of modern science would bear no commonality with the Father of Christianity (son when in the flesh), but there were similarities. 

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a city in Galilee, and Galileo’s last name was Galilei. Ok, maybe that one is a coincidence. More to the point, both were courageous enough to challenge previously held beliefs about the universe, and both were (at best) misunderstood and punished for their messages. Galileo lived the last of his days under house arrest, and Jesus perished on the cross.

Whether a Christian, a follower of science, or a believer in both, one must admit that history shows how people have rejected change and are unwilling to accept new ideas, beliefs, or innovations.

How is it that we remain unaccepting with thousands of years of separation and drastically different lives? Fear of the unknown is a timeless contributing factor, to be sure, yet I am inclined to believe it is the voices at the top that lead the charge who have the most influence over what is allowed as truth. 

No matter what point in history, there has always been a narrative elicited by those in the power positions, who seek to keep things as they are and as they can control. The proletariat, continually the victims of the prevailing propaganda du jour via politicians and other governmental authorities. By design, the controlling force directs the thoughts of the masses, inert in their apathy, as they are either too comfortable or too afraid to ask questions, myself included.

A people divided are a people easily controlled. Polarisation being the continually viable schtick used by the puppet masters to obfuscate what they benefit from behind, and off, the backs of the citizenry.

The time to question everything is now, like never before. The mechanisms to assist those at the top when manipulating our minds are perfectly manifest in the modern technologies of AI, social media, and the internet at large.

I do not expect change, as this has been the way since time immemorial, but I also cannot help but feel that given the current technologies mentioned, we have the power to turn some of this on its face.

It feels like we are at a fork in the road. If we could only band the people together, we could use the technology that they are so skillfully using against us, to unify and defend against their divide and conquer. 

Am I a dreamer? Probably. But I prefer dreaming big over accepting a scripted nightmare designed to keep me hating my fellow man. I have never been one to roll over and play dead, no matter how impossible things seem, so with something as important as our children’s future as a driving force, I sure as hell am not going to start now. 

There is always common ground to be found, even when belief systems and world views appear to be opposed. You must, however, be willing to look.

Below you will find my reviews for the two Who HQ series volumes detailing the very different, yet sometimes similar, Jesus and Galileo. 

Book cover for Who Was Galileo? by Patricia Brennan Demuth showing a bobble-headed Galileo holding on to a telescope on top of a roof, with a globe sitting beside him.

Who Was Galileo? was the Who HQ book that sparked my, and my son’s, love of this informative and fun series. We were so excited to try out one of these slim, non-fiction paperbacks with the amusing bobblehead covers when searching the library’s website.

We highly enjoyed the rudimentary summary of Galileo’s experiments and discoveries and were deeply frustrated by all that he had to deal with when battling the Inquisition in Rome.

Galileo’s defence of the belief originally put forth by the mathematician Copernicus – that the planets, including Earth, orbited around the sun – was contradictory to the teachings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe and everything else orbited it. 

The Catholic Church, at that time, saw the denial of Aristotle’s beliefs to be heresy, and as such Galileo became disgraced and was banished to house arrest for the last eight years of his life. 

Eventually, in 1992, Pope John Paul II proclaimed his despair over the church having persecuted Galileo and his later proven scientific assertions. Too little too late, as they say, but a nod to science and truth, nonetheless.

After enjoying its concise information and the black and white sketches adorned throughout, I decided to take a peek and see if there were any more books in the series available at my favourite discount bookstore. As it turned out, there was a whole slew of these little historical gems just waiting for me, and we now have a big pile to draw from, so stay tuned for our thoughts. 

Book cover for Who Was Jesus? from the Who HQ series, written by Ellen Morgan showing an illustration of Jesus standing by the waters edge with a basket of fish, and fisherman on a boat out in the water.

After being absorbed by the book Who Was Galileo? a couple of weeks ago, my son and I immediately placed an order for a tonne more of the series. I may have gone a little crazy, but they were a good deal, so… Each book offers an escape into the life of a fascinating figure, but after sifting halfway through the pile the lad selected Who Was Jesus? as our first.

My husband and son are of Greek descent, and all of us are baptised Greek Orthodox, so stories about Jesus are not new to our reading rotation. Although not extensive, the timeline gave an appropriate and complete picture of Jesus’ story for my 8-year-olds intellect.

We learned about: Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, his disciples, the miracles he administered, his enemies, his Crucifixion, the Gospels, and symbols of the Christian faith. We also enjoyed the section that detailed how Jesus was represented in Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.

Again, I was impressed by the breadth of information provided in such a slim book. The sketches add a richness to the narrative that will keep readers riveted. I am sure most of you have read these already, and I am just late, but if you have not yet, get into them, you won’t be disappointed!


Today’s post is bought to you by the Beatles! Please stop and enjoy this musical interlude to brighten up your busy day. 😉

Peachy Books' graphic for September in Review showing the following books as being read this month: What is the Stanley Cup? by Gail Herman, Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, Come Closer by Sara Gran, The Twits by Roald Dahl, At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Blog Roll, Monthly Reading Recall

A Dark, Spooky, and Sombre Month

Peachy Books’ September in Review

Happy October! September has proven to be exceptionally emotional. We celebrated our wedding anniversary and my birthday, and my son made me a carrot cake, so there were some great times.

Image of a carrot cake with shredded carrot and chopped walnuts on top.

But with yesterday being the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation here in Canada, the month is passing with me feeling sombre and contemplative. 

We remember Canada’s monstrous treatment of the Indigenous peoples, the horrors of the government’s Catholic Residential School system, and that Every Child Matters, today and every day. 🧡

With getting my son back into his school routine, making special celebratory meals, and doing some fall organising, things have been a little hectic around here. I was hoping to make a bigger dent in my suffocating TBR pile, but, no dice. Maybe next month.

Most of the titles that I did read were super dark and required reflection and processing. I’ve been reading selections from the Booker International Longlist for 2021, over the last couple of months, so you can expect to see a post detailing my thoughts on those affecting stories sooner than later.


It took me an entire week to push my way through the disturbing imagery, manipulation, and slow lead-up to the depressing conclusions of My Dark Vanessa.

Vanessa is a grown woman lost in the darkness of her memories of a teenage life coopted by her sexually abusive high school English teacher. Years after he abused her, when another victim speaks out publicly, she has no choice but to face what happened to her and what role she might have played in her destruction.


What a kooky story this was! Mr. & Mrs. Twit are a highly unlikeable pair who spend their days playing disgusting pranks on each othe

What a kooky story this was! Mr. and Mrs. Twit are a highly unlikeable pair who spend their days playing disgusting pranks on each other when not holding animals captive in their backyard.

With their yard essentially a prison for the family of monkeys they keep locked up in a cage, and the endless amount of birds they trap each week to make a special bird pie, they are enemy number one to these innocent creatures.

How will the mistreated exact their revenge on the wicked duo?

To listen to my dramatic reading of Chapters 1 – 6, click here.


The cover for At Night All Blood is Black is very striking. I love the optical effect and what the hand means to the story, which I will refrain from revealing for spoiler’s sake.

This psychological novella is as much about the horrors of war as it is about the fragility of a mind trapped in helpless combat.

David Diop had me riveted from the outset as we follow a Sengalese man turned soldier, fighting for the French army on the front lines of World War I.


I’ve been attempting to step outside of my comfort zone and read a few scary stories this fall. Well, I did it! I picked up Come Closer by Sara Gran and didn’t need to stop before the end.

The big question for me at the end of this quick story is, am I truly the bitch I’ve always thought myself to be, or have I simply been possessed?

I’d rate this spooky tale a bit better than average, as it swirls together the evils of possession with the lunacy of insanity.


You know you are fully immersed in a story when you find yourself holding your breath. Minor Detail presents us with a horrific crime committed against a captive woman in 1948 in the Negev desert, as Israeli soldiers worked to dispossess the Palestinian population and claim Israeli independence.

In the second part of the book, we are in the passenger seat as a woman from across boundary lines in Ramallah attempts to find out what happened to that woman in the Negev 25 years before.

In life, she struggles to maintain within the boundaries imposed upon her. This is evidenced by her mission, driving in restricted areas with a rental car and a coworker’s ID, obsessed with finding out the truth.


We are hockey fans in this house – I know, big shocker, a family of Canadian hockey fans – GO LEAFS GO!

In What Is the Stanley Cup? Gail Herman takes us down a historic path to the game’s and its treasured trophy’s beginnings. Packed with fascinating information and accompanying sketches, this little book is sure to wow any hockey fan, rookie or veteran.

Have you read any of these? What was your top read for September?

Coming Soon to Peachy Books…

Graphic for the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud of Chapters 1 -6 of The Twits by Roald Dahl, read by Peachy TO, showing the book cover with the Twits upside down
Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Storytime

Storytime Sunday: The Twits by Roald Dahl ~ Chapters 1 – 6

Book Cover for The Twits by Roald Dahl in moss green with teal lettering, showing the Twits upside down with birds from the story flying around them

Please enjoy this week’s Storytime Sunday edition where I’ll be reading Chapters 1 – 6 of The Twits by Roald Dahl.

Mr. & Mrs. Twit are a brutish pair, who enjoy entertaining each other with disgusting pranks.

Who will get the last laugh, in this hilarious classic tale?

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


If you enjoy this reading and use YouTube, please ‘like’ my video and subscribe! It is really helpful for my channel to grow, and lets me know that I should keep going. Thanks for listening!

To hear the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud of George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, click here.

Follow me on Facebook for off-blog content and fun discussions.

Join me on Instagram, home of all my quotes and memes.

Take a peek at my Read-a-Loud collection on YouTube if you prefer to listen.

Graphic for the 5 Colourful Autumn Reads That You'll Fall For, Today On Peachy Books, in yellow letters in a burnt orange box with yellow letters, and a wooden fence and a fanned pile of leaves in red, yellow, and orange.
Blog Roll, Lists

5 Colourful Autumn Reads You’ll Fall for!

Slide into your squishy slippers, drape yourself in that oversized sweater grandma made you, and become immersed in our third season’s offerings of harvest and balance this equinox, as you melt into that cosy fall feeling.

In Ontario this week, ‘melt’ was the keyword since yesterday we had a humidex of almost 30 Celsius instead of the more seasonal 21 of previous years. I am not complaining, though, because if the alternative is shovelling my driveway, I am not into it and will appreciate basking in the heat.

For many years September was when I would jump back into reading after taking a summer hiatus. The chilly air pulled me towards hibernation, the cocoon of a blanket, and the comfort of an autumn-themed tale. A recharged passion for the pastime would overcome, and I would tear through the books as fast as the leaves would fall.

Not to worry, I’ll get into the spirit of my favourite season by relying on the taste of pumpkin, the smell of cinnamon, and the stories from this list. I can think of worse things!


Book Cover for Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte published by Signature Editions, showing a background of a clouding sky with a setting sun and trees barren of their leaves

Ever since learning that Eclipse, the third book in the Twilight Series, was loosely based on it, I have avoided reading Wuthering Heights. The neediness of the characters and the contrived desperation of the ‘plot’ in Meyer’s first book, repulsed me and I struggled to finish it, never mind reading the rest. 

On the other hand, some trusted readers have said they adored this atmospheric mid-1800s classic about the forbidden yet eternal love of Catherine and Heathcliffe. They praise this gothic tale that they insist will leave you breathless with its backdrop of dark imagery in the fall on the Yorkshire Moors.

Have you read this romantic classic; what did you think?


Book Cover for Squashed by Joan Bauer showing a pumpkin and the remains of a red lipstick kiss on the pumpkin

This YA gem comes highly recommended as a feel-good novel to keep one bright and energised for the transition into darker months.

Squashed is an early-90s novel about sixteen-year-old Ellie Morgan’s attempt to grow the heaviest pumpkin for a weigh-in competition in rural Iowa, whilst simultaneously trying to shrink herself to impress a boy she likes. 

The premise could be both relatable and validating for some modern teens and offensive and triggering to others. I am curious to see if the author will address weight control without pathologising Ellie and her choices, and I wonder how the story will translate in the current climate. 


Book Cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with a red cover and an owl on a branch with an envelope being held by its beak

I am a fangirl of J.K. Rowling’s without ever having read Harry Potter. The Casual Vacancy was outstanding, and I have completed and tremendously enjoyed the first half of the CB Strike series under her pen name, but have not read a word of her uber-popular children’s books. 

HP was on the list of books that I had saved to read for the first time with my children. It turns out I was living a fairytale, as fast-forward to 2021, and my eight-year-old wants nothing to do with them. He says he doesn’t like magic. I think he is being contrary because he knows how long I have been excitedly awaiting the series. I made the mistake of talking them up too much, which had Mr. Independence saying ‘no way.’ 

Ah well, I will have to read this mega-hit about a wizarding orphan and his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, all by my lonesome. 


Book Cover for The Cider House Rules by John Irving showing some trees in an apple orchard with bushels of filled apples and fallen apples at their bases

Although I recall tepidly enjoying the movie with Tobey Maguire many years ago, I have never read The Cider House Rules. A decade ago I read The World According to Garp, which I highly recommend, so I am aware of John Irving’s talent. I have had a hankering to take on another from his catalogue for too long.

It appears to be a salient time to dive into this autumn-set piece of American historical fiction. Irving manages to address the polarising issue of abortion, and adoption, sensitively. Dr. Wilbur Larch delivers unwanted babies and performs illegal abortions at an orphanage in rural Maine. We follow one orphan as he grows up to assist the doctor in delivering those babies. 

Having not read the book in full yet, I cannot be sure what my end take will be, but I have heard others assert that Irving’s story is not interested in having you pick a side, so much as it asks you to practice the lost art of looking at an issue from another’s perspective. 


Book Cover for Autumn by Ali Smith showing some trees with leaves in fall colours, and a peach coloured cloudy sky

Ali Smith’s first book in her Seasonal series: Autumn, takes high praise for its beautiful writing. We observe the friendship between an art history lecturer and her one-time neighbour as she visits him in a nursing home, with the politics surrounding the Brexit vote serving as a backdrop.   

This short yet thought-provoking work of contemporary British fiction confronts immigration, racism, and other prevailing themes. The complexity of this layered tale should be the perfect distraction from my countries local politics of the day, and I will be sure to line up the three remaining titles to see the series through. 


Do you have a fall-themed read that you reach for at this time of year? What are some seasonal books that you have enjoyed, I’d love to add them to my list for 2022.

Graphic for the Klara and the Sun Book Review Read-a-Loud at peachybooks today, with the red book cover showing a hand holding a sun, with a forest of trees in the background and rays of sunshine emitting through the trunks
Blog Roll, Saturday in Stereo, science fiction, Sciences

Is AI An Answer To The Loneliness Epidemic?

Where will this technology take us? This week on Saturday in Stereo listen to the Peachy Books review for Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, written and read aloud by PeachyTO.

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube channel or click on the video below to check it out. If you enjoy the reading, I’d be thrilled if you would ‘like,’ subscribe, and hit the notification bell; it will help my channel to grow, and you’ll be the first to know when the latest Read-a-Louds are available. Thank you so much for your support!

To find the written review for Klara and the Sun and see the Sunshine bookmark I was inspired to make, please click here.

Graphic for Peachy Books Book Review Read-a-Loud for The One by John Marrs with a graphic of a red and blue dna strand with a heart overtop that shows the cover of the book and has the text saying to listen today at peachybooks.ca
Blog Roll, Contemporary Fiction, Saturday in Stereo, Sciences

Get DNA matched with your soulmate for the guarantee of true love?

What could possibly go wrong? This week on Saturday in Stereo listen to the Peachy Books review for The One by John Marrs, read aloud by PeachyTO.

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube channel or click on the video below to check it out. If you enjoy the reading, I’d be thrilled if you would ‘like,’ subscribe, and hit the notification bell; it will help my channel to grow, and you’ll be the first to know when the latest read-a-louds are available. Thank you so much for your support!

To find the written review for The One and see the DNA Strand bookmark I was inspired to make, please click here.

Graphic showing the front cover of Mindful Crochet by Emma Leith, and some coasters and a desk organiser that Peachy TO made from the patterns within the book, that says: Head to The Gallery at peachybooks.ca to see how crochet can help you stay grounded.
Blog Roll

Ground the Anxiety Out of Your Day With Colourful Crochet

Cover of Mindful Crochet by Emma Leith showing a pink, white, green, and lilac crochet dream catcher in a wooden ring.

Book Review: Mindful Crochet by Emma Leith


Mindfulness is something I lack, and if it were not for crochet, it is unlikely that I would ever practice it. Reading aloud to my son is the next closest thing that has me focusing in the moment.

Now, if we were talking about hyper-vigilance, mindfulness’ evil twin, I would say I’ve got that in abundance, thanks to Complex PTSD. It scarcely leaves me any time to be mindful, which may be why I struggle with meditation.

That is where books like this come in handy. Colour is a splendid tool for grounding, or at least it is for me. Seeing the vibrant hues mix and match together helps slow down my chaotic mind as I try to process the vividness of the image before me, occupying my senses and keeping them from becoming hijacked by unregulated emotion.

When having to endure an anxiety attack, colour can play a critical role in gaining control again. Spotting the brightest colour in the room, naming it, then spelling it out; repeat. Find another and start again.

Tricks like these can be a real saviour, especially if you aren’t with others when it happens. Emma Leith has included many thoughtful suggestions and helpful ideas from her life as she shares with the reader the health struggles that have led her to be more mindful.

‘Draw your attention toward what is happening in the present moment by gently tuning into the different sensations in your body. Notice without judgement and without trying to change anything, simply observing.’

Sage advice such as this accompanies each project as you work your way through the bright yarn and turn your troubled thoughts into beautiful treasures that will lift your spirits and clear your mind.

I started with these gorgeous mandala coasters and am ridiculously smitten with the colour combination I chose. The mix of rust, red, brown, yellow, and coral give a warm and cosy feel to my dining room and match perfectly with the dark wood decor. I plan to use the same colours and come up with some matching placemats or a table runner, to finish the look. 

5 Crochet Mandala coasters in rust colours, on a dark brown wood table with a brown and yellow flame tinged candle holder burning in the background.

My son liked the coasters and wanted me to make him one in the colours he preferred. I like his choices and enjoy the beach feel his combo gives off. I decided to match his coaster with the desk organiser pattern in the book, which he will use this week when school starts. 🥳

He uses his coaster every morning with his cup of herbal tea and has requested a matching cup cosy. The never-ending list of crochet projects continues alongside my bottomless TBR list!

Crochet pencil holder and matching coaster in sea colours of blue and coral, photographed on white sherpa fabric.

The tea cosy pattern in Mindful Crochet is super adorable, so I just had to make one to fit my French press. I am not particularly fond of how the colours turned out. I rotated a variegated yarn with solid pink and white and though it’s not terrible, I expected more. It might be the pom that’s irking me. Anyway, it fits, it’s cute, and it will keep my coffee warm longer, so nothing else matters.

Multicoloured crochet puff stitch french press cosy with a pom pom photographed on a brown wooden table

The cosy in the book is shown below, incase you are curious if the pattern will match your tea pot. I added stitches and used buttons to fasten one side in order to make one that fit my coffee pot. I love the bright and fun yarn Emma Leith uses here, very bold and stimulating.

Tea cosy on a white tea pot from the Mindful Crochet Pattern book, in bright colours with a bright pink pom pom on top

Mindful Crochet is a great book to get for an advanced beginner and up, but with the basic techniques shared in the book an eager student could learn from a novice position. Add a few YouTube tutorials, and you’re off to the races!

Gorgeous Mandala table toppers, curtains, and cushions will have you turning your outdoor patio into a crochet paradise, wowing your guests with the explosions of colour.

These are some pretty stressful times we are living in, and picking up a creative habit can be a way to ease an overactive mind. If you are just starting and don’t have any supplies, try heading to your local thrift store to see if they have any yarn and hooks that you can use to practice with. You might even get lucky and find a set of hooks or some pretty yarn. Given how inventory can change from week to week, do not give up after your first mission.

Yarn is expensive in Canada, especially the higher quality brands that are only sold at local yarn shops and not offered at big box stores or Amazon. As much as I love to support local businesses, sometimes there is no option when needing to buy many balls of yarn, or multiple colours.

If you are in the market to buy some affordable yet better quality yarn online, I recommend the US company Knit Picks. There are no unexpected duty fees or customs charges when it arrives here in Canada, unlike when ordering from Europe. I am unaware if this would be the case for your country, though, so be sure to check out the details on their site. From affordable luxury yarns to basic acrylics, they have every colour and fibre you need, with a top-quality seal of approval, even offering some organic options. Knit Picks was my go-to site for natural fibres when running my Etsy shop a few years back, and it’s the first place I look when in need of some cotton for my bookmarks. 

If you do choose to get this book and make some of the projects within it, please come back and show me what you create!

Do you have any hobbies or techniques that you use to help with mindfulness? I’d love to know; as it has been a lifelong struggle for me, I’m always looking for new ideas.

Graphic for the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud for Chapters 1 and 2 of George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl showing the book cover with George mixing up his bubbling brown medicine.
Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Middle Grade, Storytime

Storytime Sunday: George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl ~ Chapters 1 & 2

Book Cover for Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine, showing George mixing up his bubbling brown concoction.

Please enjoy this week’s Storytime Sunday edition where I’ll be reading Chapters 1 & 2 of George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl.

George has the misfortune of being charged with caring for his beastly Grandma while his Mother is out at the shops.

Will the intimated George find his revenge for her wicked ways when it’s time to dose out her daily medicine?

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


If you enjoy this reading and use YouTube, please ‘like’ my video and subscribe! It is really helpful for my channel to grow, and lets me know that I should keep going. Thanks for listening!

To hear the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, click here.

Follow me on Facebook for off-blog content and fun discussions.

Join me on Instagram, home of all my quotes and memes.

Take a peek at my Read-a-Loud collection on YouTube if you prefer to listen.

Graphic for the Peachy Books blog post 5 Creative Crochet Books with a background of yarn balls in assorted colours
Blog Roll, Lists, non-fiction, The Gallery

Friday Favourites: 5 Creative Crochet Books

I just did the math, and I have been crocheting now for 35 years. That explains why my wrists groan under the worsted weight of cotton, an 11-gram hook, and a moderately tight stitch.

I try to limit myself to small timespans: two hours or breaks every 45 minutes. Instead, I get tangled up creating something and don’t want to stop until I see my vision through. Art is like that for me, all-encompassing and urgent.

With the majority of my time spent typing, playing with my yarn, and sometimes my Ukulele, I may need to get some repair work on these wrists in a few years. At least that should buy me some more time.

I’ve heard loads of people claim how they wish they had learned to crochet, or how it has always been a goal to do so. To all of them and you who may feel the same way, I say do it!

There are plenty of avenues for learning the craft these days, and with all the spare time people may continue to find themselves with, given our current pandemic situation, this is the time.

Get a beginner’s book, watch a YouTube channel, search for tutorials on blogs. There is no reason everyone can’t learn to do this with the will and a heavy dose of patience. Practice and time produce stellar results, and it won’t take 35 years!

Start slowly and give yourself the space to make mistakes; that’s how you learn best. I know I spent the first two years making scarves with only one or two stitches repeated. Accept your mistakes gracefully instead of getting frustrated. I’ve seen people get really discouraged when they have to rip back their work to fix an error, some even giving up in shame, which is silly, in my view. Repetition produces a better result, that is simply what practice looks like.

Get comfortable holding the yarn, maintaining consistent tension, and keeping a proper stitch count in place of rushing into making something you are not skilled enough for yet. That will only produce annoyance and disappointment. 

Before you run off to find some yarn and a hook – I love Clover hooks (in case you were looking for an opinion) – I hope you’ll be able to draw some fibre art inspiration from these 5 Creative Crochet Books.


Crochet 101 by Deborah Burger is the right place to begin. Starting with a proper foundation gives you the knowledge and the confidence to be better faster, and in our world of instant gratification, that is the best you can hope for when learning something new.  

Detailed chapters explaining all the necessary techniques needed to become competent in the art of Crochet are here, along with clear tutorial photos showing the appropriate placement of hands and yarn.

I really cannot say enough about this book, with its thoroughness, organised layout, and cute practice projects. I have bought it for two of my nieces and recommend it as an excellent place to start a journey into a beautiful and time-honoured hobby and skill.


Crochet One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman has 101 projects! Woo hoothat’s what I’m talking about! If you are going to buy a book, you might as well get one stacked with practical patterns, and in this case, you would need no more than a skein’s worth of yarn to boot. 

With all of the free instruction online these days, as heavily doused in advertising as most patterns are, you may wonder why one would even get a book? For me, I hate to be a slave to technology, so I like the feeling that if I am ever without power, I could be just a candle away from crocheting as my ancestral grandmothers did. Between my books and my yarn, I’ll never be bored. 

These small and creative options are the perfect handmade inclusion to elevate a gift to the next level and are sure to be well-received treasures. 


Mindful Crochet provides you with an explosion of colour, a feeling of lightness, and a sense of grounding. Calming patterns using bright and cheery hues give you a sense of joy and peace whilst creating something beautiful.

Emma Leith has put together a thoughtful book that includes tips and wise words about the importance of being mindful and how you can achieve it. With today’s ever chaotic world this book makes the perfect crochet companion on a search for health and wellness.

Read the full review, including some delightful projects I made from this soothing collection, in The Gallery.


Granny squares are some of the most satisfying projects to make in crochet. Finishing a section in one session gives you an accomplished feeling that you miss when sitting down for hours with the endlessly repeating stitch of a simple blanket or scarf.

Use a basic stitch pattern leaving colours combinations to shine, or choose something more detailed to tell a story, as the options in this 3D Granny Squares book do. Adding one of these special themed squares to a simple granny square baby blanket would be just the thing to take it to the next level.

The hardest thing for me will be choosing which one to make first!


One of the biggest booms for the hobby of crochet has come via the popularity of the Japanese art called Amigurumi.

Mainly consisting of a single stitch repeated in a spiral, these creative toys can be a great tool to get people interested in learning the craft.

I love this book for its sea creatures and their actual likeness to the real deal! Kerry Lord is an amazing talent, and you can’t go wrong with any of her fascinating and fun menagerie patterns.


Do you crochet, knit, or enjoy any other fibre arts? Have you ever received a handmade item from someone, that you treasure? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Peachy Books' August in Review graphic showing the titles read this month, in backwards order of how they were read: Who Was Mister Rogers? by Diane Bailey, George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, Summer Brother by Jaap Robben, The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket, The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Blog Roll, Monthly Reading Recall

Peachy Books’ August in Review

August has been a rough month. With the kiddos heading off to school next Thursday, or in our case, booting up for another round of virtual learning, I was feeling the pressure of our summer vacation’s end and took a blog-free timeout for a week to focus my attention on my son. I’m not sure what the blogging etiquette is for this sort of thing, so I left the explanation of my absence to this monthly review post for ease and brevity.

Because of this impromptu break, I ended up reading four books with my son and only two on my own. No matter, though, at least I totaled at six to completion, in keeping with the pattern of the last three months.

The two of us enjoyed The Secret Garden immensely. We were lucky enough to find a book at the library that contained recipes for the food mentioned within, so watch for a review in The Gallery over the coming weeks for this fun cookbook, and see some photos of our delicious makes. 


Who Was Mister Rogers by Diane Bailey

My boy picked a great one this time: Who Was Mister Rogers? He was only my favourite children’s entertainer of all time – that’s who he was and that’s who he shall remain. 

Addressing sensitive issues with children, validating their feelings, and encouraging them to love themselves for who they are whilst taking the time to love their neighbour; was there ever a more beautiful or necessary message than that? 

I’m excited to do a full review on this Who HQ title along with a companion post on some of his more momentous episodes, so stay tuned. 😉


George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

George has had enough of his wicked grandmother’s surly and selfish nature, so when she regales herself by frightening him with tales of eating bugs and practicing Wizardry, he thinks it’s time he had a little fun of his own.

Roald Dahl has tapped into every child’s wish to mix up a witch’s brew in this wild and wacky tale. As he seeks revenge on his nasty grandmother by concocting a medicine that is sure to either set her straight or send her flying to the moon, either option is all right by George.

My son requested that I make a Read-a-Loud of this book, as he found the grandmother very entertaining. Watch for that on Storytime Sunday later this week.

To listen to the dramatic reading of Chapters 1 & 2, click here.


Summer Brother by Jaap Robben

Summer Brother was the first to arrive of the long-listed 2021 International Booker Prize titles that I had put on hold at the library in the spring. 

This Dutch offering by Jaap Robben was sad, pathetic, enraging, and touching. The heavy scenes playing out were made lighter by the naivety of the thirteen-year-old narrator, but the main takeaway for me here is how terrible at parenting people can be, no matter where they reside. 

This story makes you uncomfortable, disgusted, and dreadfully sorrow-filled for the many innocents taken out along the way. 


The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

The Baudelaire children lose their parents in a fatal fire and, sadly, must bounce between various family guardians until their bequeathed estate is awarded to Violet, the eldest, on her 18th birthday. With such a hefty sum of money tied to them, the children have a target on their back as their distant relative, Count Olaf, attempts to gain access to them and their fortune. 

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a fun collection, no doubt, but at times it lingers as repetitive and formulaic. The key is to take sufficient lapses between each volume, so I figured out, as a four-month break from the predictable antics of Count Olaf proved enough to make this fourth volume exciting for us again. 

This time the Baudelaire children must live out their orphaned days at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill, where they are forced into manual labour and near starvation. There are some sour types they must contend with, but at least no Count Olaf. But is he ever really far away?  


The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Wow, a lot is going on here, given it mainly took place in one block of brownstones! Doctor Fox is a shut-in, unable to fight her fears and leave the safety of her four walls. With a glass of Merlot in one hand and a Nikon focusing in the other, this depressed and lonely woman passes her time by spying on the surrounding families on her wealthy street.  

Admittedly, I found the storytelling a little sluggish here and there, but that might have more to do with my ignorance of the Silver Screen references invoked throughout. Otherwise, this was a clever tale that explored the psychology of damaged people, which I LOVE in a story; see my review of In The Woods by Tana French here. Even though I was sure I had it figured out more than once, I was duped and unawares upon the unveiling. 


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Having only a vague recollection of its contents, I was pleasantly surprised by how much my 8-year-old son loved this book!

Relished by countless children across the world for over a century, this legendary classic is timeless in its characters, their struggles, and its overlying messages. That said, some scenes provide teachable moments about racism and the effects of colonialism, which make reading this aloud with a child ideal.

Well, almost ideal. I struggled to read the Yorkshire dialect sprinkled throughout in a sensical way for the first few paragraphs. In exasperation, I stopped trying so hard and instead read it with an accent, albeit a poor one, and it went much smoother, haha. I fared better in getting the words out, and they went by faster.


Have you read any of these titles? What was your favourite read from August?

Coming Soon To Peachy Books!