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McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
by Harold Mcgee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Known unknowns and unknown unknowns - Fanstastic, 31 Jan 2012
I have recently received and already love this book.

Buyers should be aware that the title is accurate ("Encyclopedia"). If you aren't the sort of person who would want to dip into an exhaustive reference book; if you want recipes rather than facts; if you can't lift 2kg - then this book isn't for you.

I've just been diving into the book at random so far. But it has already made me rethink where I keep my eggs in the fridge and how I freeze my meat.

They key thing for me is the book is well written. There is plenty of science here, but it is never dry. If you're not in the mood for the deep science then I think it is easy to skim through to the practical implications.

Like any cook book, you will need to put in some effort to get the most out of this. But unlike other cookbooks this has no real competition at present.


Microsoft Excel 2007 (PC)
Microsoft Excel 2007 (PC)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adjustment, but a good one, 2 Mar 2010
This review is from: Microsoft Excel 2007 (PC) (CD-ROM)
I use Excel at work for at least a few hours a day, and I would class myself as an advanced user. I moved to Excel 2007 about 3 working days ago.

I do not enjoy the new layout. The logical reasons for the restructure are certainly sound, however suddenly things are not where one expects them. If, like me, you make use of lots of keyboard shortcuts then you will no doubt suffer at first. However, this is analogous to `texting' using a new phone and finding that the full-stop and space have been swapped. You learn quickly, especially if you are using the application a lot. In addition, Excel 2007 will interpret legacy alphabetical short-cuts in most cases.

The short term pain is small when weighed against the increased features in the new version. For me this is most notable in the presentation of data. Formatting options, especially conditional formatting, are much improved.

There are some _great_ ways to automatically represent cell values visually (without producing graphs). For example automated cell shading based on value.

Pivot-tables have changed a bit, and will probably give transition users some frustration. But again I think this will be short lived for any advanced users, who will quickly familiarise themselves.

Filtering too is changed, allowing filtering by colour. However, I find that it is harder to shortcut through the expanded options.

There are also a few handy time savers (eg 'remove duplicates') which will be appreciated by many users who might not create macros for automate tasks.

Compatibility with non-2007 users is the only caveat I would add. File formats have fundamentally changed - for the improvement of security and size (and maybe to encourage upgrades). If sharing and collaborate are important, then you will need to get everyone onboard to benefit.

Overall I think for any proficient and regular user the upgrade is worthwhile (pain vs payoff). For those who are not advanced users, pain of change may not be worth it for the new features. For completely new users I would definitely go for 2007.


Mountmap Three Valleys (Les Trois Vallees) Winter 2006 (3D Navigator)
Mountmap Three Valleys (Les Trois Vallees) Winter 2006 (3D Navigator)

5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend, 9 Jan 2008
I bought one of these before my first trip to the 3-valleys. Really useful for all the reasons you would expect. Easier to find where you are, where you want to go etc. Much tougher than a paper map, but you would expect at least that given the extra cost.

If you've been to the resort before, then I don't really think this will be that useful, but for first-timers it made navigation much less of a drag.


All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing
All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing
by R. Mark Elling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.39

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ski book. For anyone except total beginners., 21 Jan 2004
Some people will never be able to get any benefit from reading a book on a sport. Not everyone can take the knowledge of _how_ something should be done and the advice on how it should look/feel, and be thinking about it when they are trying to perform the action later. For them, all such books are wasted efforts.
Luckily for me I get real benefits from these sorts of books if they are done well. Especially in sports that are technical and often counter-intuitive, which skiing certain is.
This book is superb example of a sports manual and it does all that one could hope for in a book.
For me the most useful aspects of the book are:
- the author explaining to you in detail what is happening when you ski, how it works, what your body does and what the skis do
- how it should _feel_ to do something right. This allows you to have a goal to work towards and goes some way to addressing the disadvantages of not having an instructor.
- the drills
The overall structure of the book is also a strong point. The author breaks down 'skiing' into stance, steering, edging, body movement etc and goes into great detail on each. This helps you to target areas more specifically and find where lies the weakness that seems to be holding you back.
There is also a great section on choosing your equipment, and perhaps more importantly, having it set up correctly.
Later on in the book the chapters move away from this 'toolbox' approach and onto how a skier should use their tools ski in a certain manner and to deal with different terrain and conditions (steeps, crud, trees, bumps).
This sections of the book feels like getting the best advice your instructor/friends ever gave you. Certainly you then have to get out there and do it in order to learn, but at least you know what you should be doing, how it should feel, what your problems may be etc.
I have already gone on long enough, but in closing I would remind anyone reading how much even 1 hour of tuition costs. Even if you don't get as much out of this book as I did it is a bargain, and the _only_ book I would recommend.
I would defy anyone to read it and not feel that they have learned something which they can use to improve their skiing.


French Grammar and Usage, 2Ed (Hrg)
French Grammar and Usage, 2Ed (Hrg)
by Roger Hawkins
Edition: Paperback

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant: Thorough, well structured, clear and readable., 7 Jan 2004
As an intermediate French student I have found this book to be invaluable as a reference.
Although I don't think it is meant to be used as a main textbook I find it possible to read it as such.
I have never looked for something and not found it and the examples are well laid out and pretty exhaustive.
In short I have never been happier with any language purchase.


Vino: Great Wine for Everyday Life
Vino: Great Wine for Everyday Life
by Hamish Anderson
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well presented, broad but lacks specifics, 2 Jan 2004
I am far from a wine aficionado, so this well designed book served as a good introduction. I don't think I will ever be a wine buff, what I wanted was to be able to find wines that I would like.
The book assumes no real knowledge of wine and gives plenty of explanation of the various sometimes cryptic information contained on (especially old-world) labels.
One thing I particularly like about the book is how it stresses how the way to think about different wines from the same region will vary depending on the nature of the producers of that area.
Another great wine book is Sothebys Wine Encyclopedia and the detail on individual wines is the only area where Vino is lacking. But this is reasonable given the nature of the book.


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