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isabel b (uk)

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Berlin: Imagine a City
Berlin: Imagine a City
by Rory MacLean
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, compelling, utterly brilliant, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Berlin: Imagine a City (Hardcover)
This book had me enthralled from the first pages, spellbound by its insights into a city of which I previously had such one dimensional knowledge. It felt as though Maclean were shining light through a prism at Berlin's long story, some aspects coming startlingly close, others darkly receding. Going way beyond a standard 'history', it gives such a sense of life, of character and how events long past continue to influence the present and its future. It has stayed with me in the weeks since reading it in a way that very few books do. I can't recommend highly enough.


Pollard
Pollard
by Laura Beatty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, 13 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Pollard (Paperback)
I haven't quite finished reading this book, but it is so wonderful I can't wait to tell the world about it. It is profound, lyrical, enthralling, and makes all the other books I've read lately seem scratchy and clamorous.

The story slowly unfurls in the depths of a wood, following the turn of the seasons. The plot seems to put down roots into the reader and one is caught up in the life of a young outsider, Anne, as she finds ways to survive outside of, but still connected to, the norms of society. She is one of the most sensitive, engaging and thought-provoking characters I've met, and, like other reviewers, I continue to think of her when I'm going about my daily life.

This book raises so many questions - on a general level, but also forcing one to challenge ones own perceptions and ways of being. For me, those concerning homelessness and abnormality in particular.

It is astonishing to realise that this book has such a small profile, and sad to think that so many people are denied its insights and poetry. I count myself so lucky to have found it and consider it immediately to be in the list of my top 5 books.


Song for Dd (In Loving Memory of David Langton-Gilks.)
Song for Dd (In Loving Memory of David Langton-Gilks.)
Price: £0.69

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tribute to an amazing boy and his family., 6 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Out of a desperately sad situation rises this great song that will help other children and other families with their chances to survive what DD did not. Well done everybody who inspired and made this track. Good luck. Truly inspirational.


Food From Plenty: Good food made from the plentiful, the seasonal and the leftover.  With over 300 recipes, none of them extravagant
Food From Plenty: Good food made from the plentiful, the seasonal and the leftover. With over 300 recipes, none of them extravagant
by Diana Henry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars when you need no more cookery books - buy this one, 30 Oct. 2011
I already own and love Diana Henry's previous books but have sworn that I must stop adding to the groaning shelves of my kitchen library. This one, however, sounded worth making an exception for, and how right I was. My children thought I was mad when we embarked on a 4 hour car journey with my new book opened on my lap, but by the time we reached home I was itching to get cooking as these recipes sounded so vibrant, simple and delicious. No hard to find ingredients, no special equipment required - a one stop shop enabled me to get to work with a chicken roasted with preserved lemon, garlic and bay, and a fantastic pilaf based around carrot, orange, pistachios and coriander. The only sadness was these provoked such greed there are no leftovers! The book is joyously written, the photos are enticing and chimes with my own beliefs about food without sacrificing anything to frugality. I know it's about to join my list of favourites (along with Simon Hopkinson, Madhur Jaffrey,Ottolenghi, Nigel Slater and the Greens Cookbook amongst others). So, when you need no more cook books - buy this one. Seriously.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 8, 2011 9:37 PM GMT


Cooking with Coco: Family Recipes to Cook Together
Cooking with Coco: Family Recipes to Cook Together
by Anna Del Conte
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspire your junior chef, 31 Aug. 2011
If you have children and are bored of being the only one standing at the stove, this book is a must. It caters (excuse the pun) to every age and aptitude, and does not assume that all children will want to make toffee crispies and banana splits. Many of the recipes make great family meals - some I wouldn't hesitate to use for dinner parties. A greater or lesser degree of help is required from your young sous chef, depending on age and experience, but I find that just being involved in the preparation of meals makes children more keen to try and enjoy new things. Many of the processes are highly tactile and wonderfully messy - filling brandy snaps, rolling meatballs or chocolate, breadcrumbing chicken. A delightful sense of humour and personality pervade every page - a good example being Anna's recognition that every child loves meringues, and every english child loves tomato ketchup. "Pity they can't be combined" she wrily states.

So for any of you looking to inspire your child and yourself in the kitchen, this really is a winner. In my opinion, far and away the best cookery book aimed at children that I've found. Thank you Anna.


Pollyhester
Pollyhester
by Verity Louise
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so mad it must be sane, 27 May 2010
This review is from: Pollyhester (Hardcover)
This story is so "now" that even Iverna, the spoilt fashion victim of the tale would appreciate it. The illustrations are truly marvellous, shouting out colour and movement, giving energy and power to the narrative and carrying the reader from one page to the next in a rush to see each new crazy view. The message of the book is clear and pertinent although thankfully not preachy. The author is truly a genius and children and adults alike will find this a book to treasure.


Jams, Preserves and  Edible Gifts
Jams, Preserves and Edible Gifts
by Sara Paston-Williams
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars inspiring, 5 May 2010
I was recommended this book several years ago but it was out of print. I have used one of the recipes for florentines for years and every time I produce it am asked to follow up with the recipe. So it's worth buying this book for that alone - every year I make a huge batch to thank my children's teachers at Christmas time and it seems to be much appreciated. (Or the teachers are just very polite).

I have hoped the book would be reissued, and, having at last just got my own copy, am not disappointed. There are so many things here that I want to make. It is beautifully researched and covers many topics including flavoured oils, drinks, jams and chutneys and sweets and biscuits. I love it that so many historical english recipes are included and that often the ingredients can be found in our hedgerows. But don't for a minute imagine that this is a "hair shirt and sandals" type of book. It is bright and fresh and many of the recipes would make great store cupboard ingredients and there are wonderful ideas for presents too.

I have never bothered to review any book before despite being an enthusiasic cook and avid reader. This book just deserves more attention than it appears to receive.


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