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Amazon Customer "emeraldmystery" (UK)

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Jerusalem
Jerusalem
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.60

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ticks all my cookbook boxes., 9 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
This book arrived yesterday and I have taken every opportunity to feast my eyes on it ever since. I have been to Jerusalem and am a big fan of the authors' previous cookbook Ottolengh. This cookbook does not disappoint in terms of recipes or photography. The recipes are all crying out to be cooked and I'm having trouble deciding where to start. I have no doubt that they will all turn out well as the recipes are so clear and the ingredients so perfect together. The photographs of Jerusalem take me right back there - I can almost smell the fresh herbs and the frying falafel just looking at them. It is also a very interesting book as it talks about the different cultures and food traditions. Once I have made a few I'll update this review -but really can't see me down-grading due to the recipes.

An up-date: I've now made the roasted sweet potatoes and fresh figs, the pearl barley risotto with marinated feta and the cod fish cakes and all have been gorgeous. The flavours of the sweet potato recipe were sublime together - zingy fresh and earthy at the same time; the risotto was unctuous and creamy in texture and oh so very conforting with the tanginess of the feta really contrasting and complimenting the dish;the fish cakes were delicate but flavoursome with a lovely sauce. All three recipes were so straigtforward and had easily accessible ingredients. A delight without a doubt.


Home Cooking Made Easy
Home Cooking Made Easy
by Lorraine Pascale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.95

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracker of an everyday cookbook., 16 May 2012
This review is from: Home Cooking Made Easy (Hardcover)
I've had this cookbook for about a week and can't stop cooking from it. This is my first review of a cook book and it deserves it's 5 stars. As a mum of 3 hard to please children, I've been delighted with the positive responses from all the family. So far I've made the Quick brown sugar and spring onion chicken teriaki, the Creamy pancetta pasta, the Paprika baked fish, the Mini beef Wellingtons (for hubby and me), the Not-so-slow lamb, and the Caramelised banana bread and butter pudding. They have all been a success. I don't think I've ever bought a cookbook (I have over 100) and wanted to cook so many things from it. The recipes are straight forward and easy to put together and cook,with lots of flavour and are also easily adaptable for fussy or more adventurous eaters - I can't wait to make more from it.


The Electric Michelangelo
The Electric Michelangelo
by Sarah Hall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessarily descriptive and wordy., 6 April 2012
It was very difficult to wade through this book and keep focused. The story-line was sparse but the descriptions certainly were not.In the middle of the book there were pages and pages of description without anything happening - it was a case of why use one word when you can use 10. The main characters were however so overlooked that it was difficult to know them at all, so it felt that all that description was there to pad out a weak story line and even weaker characters. This was a dissappointment after Hawswater by the same author.


Stories Jesus Told: Favourite Stories from the Bible
Stories Jesus Told: Favourite Stories from the Bible
by Nick Butterworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book., 19 Sept. 2011
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This is such a lovely book. My children are now 13, 12 and 9 and they still remember this book with such fondness. When they were little they'd ask for this book almost every evening. The illustrations are lovely and the stories are told in a way which makes them memorable. I am about to buy it for a friend's daughter and it prompted me to write a review as it is a great introduction to the Bible for small children.


The Gargoyle
The Gargoyle
by Andrew Davidson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Page skipper, 29 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Gargoyle (Paperback)
I hovered over giving this a two or a one star and settled for a one as if you get so bored that you skip thirty pages and feel you haven't missed a thing then it doesn't warrant 2 stars. The novel consisted of 3 parts, broken up:- one being in the present day, another in 14th century Germany and another consisting of individual love stories set throughout time. The idea presumably was to link them all together. The novel started well but then very quickly the demise started to happen. The relationship between the burn patient and those around him was portrayed woodenly and without emotion. The big love theme which centred around the burn victim and Marrianne Engle was so lacking in any real emotion or passion. The love stories interspersing the story were cliched. The best part of the novel was the part set in Germany which did hold my interest. At about page 420 I started to get seriously bored, the writing was so tedious. I can't go into detail as it will give away some of the plot, if you can call it that, but this part went on and on and at that point I skipped about 30 pages without, I think, having any detriment to the rest of the book. Bearing in mind that this was meant to be an amazing love story, the main character at the end could only seem to talk about practical things rather than how much he loved Marrianne or how this love affected him. The ending, considering how overwritten the rest of the book tended to be was almost clinical in it's coldness. I did learn quite a lot about the details of Bible and Dante's Inferno translations of which the author wrote at length and in great detail. He had certainly done his research but an author's research is usually peripheral to the story and used to ensure accuracy of history etc not to be quoted almost it seemed verbatim from source. I have never skipped pages in a novel before. I have given upon novels in the past but this began well enough that I kept going only to wish I hadn't bothered.


Cutting For Stone
Cutting For Stone
by Abraham Verghese
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphic medical details, 10 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Cutting For Stone (Paperback)
If you are of a squeemish nature then do not read this book. The medical details are very graphic indeed. Some of the long winded explanations of operations are, although graphic,tedious and others are potentially alarming. I'm not quite sure of the intention of the author here. If you understand medicine then it is tedious and I should imagine that if you don't it is equally tedious. The medical language used would be incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't work in a medical field. Much of the medical stuff reminded me of being around medical students revising and remembering all the acronyms. It is almost as if the author couldn't separate himself enough from his profession to think of his readers. Take out half of all the medical terminology and this is a very readable book with a strong story. Much of the medical history is quite interesting, the characters are strong and the story itself holds your interest if you skip the long,intricate descriptions of operations.


The Road
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the most devastating but beautiful book I've read., 3 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
I started this book at about 8pm and finished it at 2am the following morning, so compelling was the narrative. The bleakness and devastation is incredibly described which conjures up the setting in your mind very well indeed. The relationship between the man and boy is minimally described however and the dialogue between them sparse but this allows the reader to really feel the emotions between them in a very raw form. I found that I was so desperate to find out what happened that I could not think for a moment of putting it down as picking it up the next day would have interrupted the intense feelings that had built up from the first sentence. It takes a lot to make me cry at a non-fiction book but even more to make me sob which this did both during and after. This book will live with me for a very long time and will not be donated to a charity shop.


The Book of Human Skin
The Book of Human Skin
by Michelle Lovric
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful tapistry of a tale., 28 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Book of Human Skin (Paperback)
I really really loved this book. Once I had got to grips with who was who in terms of the different narrators (which didn't take long),I loved the interlacing of everyone's narration. I loved the charaters even though one of them was the incarnation of evil itself,they all made the book so enjoyable. One of the narrators is a servant at the great house and is partly literate so his narration was told with all the spelling errors you'd expect which I thougt would make it harder to read, which it did in a way but not to detract from the tale. In fact it added to it as struggling a bit made it more realistic and sometimes his mistakes were pretty funny. The book keeps you guessing right to the end and lures you back to it when there are more urgent things to be done. The story is clever, horrifying, funny, and very touching and keeps you in suspense throughout. One of the more enjoyable books I have read in a while. Added to that the feel of the cover and the black edge to the pages make you feel that there is something different to this book.


The Legacy
The Legacy
by Katherine Webb
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read., 13 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Legacy (Paperback)
I read the reviews of this book and for once was not swayed by the negative comments as it is usually those I take most notice of, and decided to buy it. I really enjoyed it. The way Katherine Webb describes things is spot on - I rarely read a book where you can actually read about an emotion or pain or feeling where you think 'that's it - that is exactly how it feels'. The way she describes sounds and views is the same. The story is very well written and although the two threads connect in some way the connection is not enough to be uncredible. I shall not describe the plot as it has been done before in other reviews but this book was unputdownable and prevented many hours of productive housework. This is not the sort of fiction I usually read but I am very glad I read this book.


The Rehearsal
The Rehearsal
by Eleanor Catton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Confused and incomprehensible, 21 Jun. 2010
This review is from: The Rehearsal (Paperback)
I read this book and could not work out what on earth was going on. It was very confusing indeed. I understood that there were two different settings - one in a drama school and one a play but within these two settings it was very confusing and only got more so towards the end and the ending was a mystery to me. I may be labling myself as a bit thick here by confessing this but that is a risk I am prepared to take. I suspect that those reviewers who think the author was trying to be clever were right but it is either too clever for me or itjust didn't work. The characters are mainly teenagers or young adults and they are portrayed as having insight that wouldn't be typical of that age. The portrayal of these characters and the issues they are faced with, reflecting what many of this age face, can at times be true to life and cleaverly described but when spoken by the characters was just not realistic. I also found it wordy and pretentious.


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