Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gifts for Mother's Day (Book Review)

My family knows that my perfect Mother's Day gift will always include a book. In fact, I like to get a book for almost any occasion. I favour simple pleasures over expensive gifts. Not that I would turn down diamonds, but I'm happy with a dvd, a lovely lotion, a scented candle, a sweet treat and, of course, a book.

Last year, I got the perfect Mother's Day gift. Here's what it looked like:

Not just one book, but two, and a magazine to boot. You can read more about my perfect Mother's Day here.

This year, I have already selected my own book, as well as a couple of books for my mother too, from DK Canada's "Love Mom" boutique. For a limited time, DK is offering books for Mom at 30% off the regular price. With books about fitness, crafts, sewing, cooking, baking, bird-watching and wine, there's sure to be something for every mom.

I asked my mom to pick out a book from the boutique and was surprised when she decided on "Classic Knits." Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful book. It's just that my mother doesn't knit. Having grown up with a mother who knit, sewed, quilted and baked on a full-time basis, my mom went in quite another direction. She left home for nursing school as a teen and took nursing jobs throughout Canada and the US before settling down to raise a family. Now, at the age of 78, she's thinking about taking up knitting for the first time ever.

If she's looking for a project, I would like to suggest this spiral lace sweater...for me, of course.

Or this loop-fringed poncho for my daughter. How cute is that?

I also like this felted tote bag. "Classic Knits" has over 100 gorgeous projects for men, women, children and their homes. I really want to make a throw and maybe fingerless gloves for the fall. The book includes a full-page photo of each project, along with essential information such as difficulty, size, yarn type and instructions. It also covers equipment, techniques and stitch patterns.

With some difficulty, I narrowed down the options and chose "Step-by-Step Home Design & Decorating" for myself. This book has close to 400 pages of practical ideas for redecorating your home. It is a great reference tool for the home decor enthusiast, with colour schemes, layouts and tips for choosing flooring and lighting.

The book covers major projects such as kitchen renovations in step-by-step detail. It also offers suggestions for many smaller projects, including installing wall shelves, choosing window treatments, making blackout curtains and making a headboard cover. I'll be keeping this one around as a handy reference book.

While "The Diabetes Cookbook" isn't in the Mother's Day boutique, I really wanted to get this book for my mom. She has type 2 diabetes, but she doesn't always have the energy to cook healthy meals. This book has more than 220 recipes and a simple points system that enables users to track glucose and saturated fat intake. It also includes a 4-week balanced daily eating plan, a weight loss plan and lists of alternatives to foods that shouldn't be eaten regularly. While my mom is a meat eater, I went right to the chapter on simple vegetarian dinners.

I was drawn to this linguine with spiced eggplant recipe, because it looks delicious and the ingredients are quite simple. Many of the recipes in the book require few ingredients and can be prepared in under 15 minutes (not including cooking time).

There's a chapter on light lunches and salads, as well as a dessert section, including recipes such as summer pudding and apricot crumble. You can find "The Diabetes Cookbook" here. Visit DK's website for more wonderful book choices.

How about you? Would you be happy with a book for Mother's Day?

*I was provided with books for review purposes. All opinions are my own.


  1. I've been to the Covered Bridge headquarters in New Brunswick, we purchased from the shop but didn't take the potato chip tour!!

    I love books too! Always!

  2. I always love books, any day! I tried to teach myself knitting, and did successfully knit a...thing? I can only do one stitch though...maybe I'll pick it up again this winter. Let us know how your mom does! And can't wait to see how you are inspired by your decorating book too!

    1. I have done three knitting projects in about two years Taby, so I get it. It remains to be seen whether I will do any decorating too. ;)

  3. Books are the best sorts of gifts, and especially craft books because the projects keep on giving! I come from a long line of book lovers (publishers, writers, and librarians) so any of these options would surely be appreciated. Thanks for the great ideas.

    1. So true, Hannah. I love craft books...I even do the occasional craft from them. ;) I'm not surprised you come from a line of writers and book lovers, because your writing is so beautiful.

  4. These look really great! Im such a book lover too. That knitting book looks really nice, I find it hard to find a good knitting book with a lot of selection in patterns for things Id actually like to make. Haha.

    1. I saw many things in this book I would like to make. I suspect my mom will be giving the book back to me one day. ;)

  5. Happy Mother's Day, Jo!!!