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Gary Nicklin (Kent, UK)
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Paradiso Seasons
Paradiso Seasons
by Denis Cotter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Food, 28 Dec 2006
This review is from: Paradiso Seasons (Hardcover)
The secret, I think, of good vegetarian food is to produce a dish where there is no place for meat and, if it was there, it would be out of place.

Denis Cotter does just this. In both this and his previous book he produces superb, complete dishes that really show what can be done with vegetables. Of the two books, I prefer his previous one (Cafe Paradiso Cookbook) but the difference between the two is pretty marginal. The recipes are imaginative, colourful and above all, tasty. Some of them are a bit fiddly, but the effort is rewarded when you tuck into the finished dish.

I've been lucky enough to eat at his restaurant, and it is well worth a visit. And while you're there, stock up on the various local ingredients to use in the recipes when you get home.


Delia's Vegetarian Collection
Delia's Vegetarian Collection
by Delia Smith
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Delia!, 28 Dec 2006
I'm lucky, I guess that I don't own any other Delia books, other than her "Puddings" as this seems to be a collection of the various meat free recipes that are dotted through other books. However, it's nice that such a mainstream author deems us veggies worthy of having a book of our own!

Some of the recipes in the books are excellent, others are more standard "run-of-the-mill" ones, but that's not to detract from them.

This book is always one that I turn to when I can't find something in one of my other books and more often than not, I find some inspiration in here. The twice baked souffles must be the easiest souffles to make - and are guaranteed to impress and the parsnip roulade graced my Christmas dinner table a few years back. I wouldn't have this as my only cookbook, but its definitely worth having it in your collection.

On a final note Delia's Pears in Red Wine Galettes helped me pass my Cordon Vert Diploma. Thanks Delia!


The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book., 2 Jun 2006
This review is from: The Lovely Bones (Paperback)
What an interesting take on what could have easily been a really depressing subject - that of a young girl sexually assualted and murdered - as she sits in heaven and watches the outcome of her death on her family over the coming years. This twist gives the whole story a real sense of uplift and optimism and works incredibly well.

There is a chapter near the end of the book that really doesn't need to be there, but apart from that I thoroughly enjoyed it.


A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
by Marina Lewycka
Edition: Paperback

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, but in the end enjoyable., 2 Jun 2006
It took me a while to work out whether I liked this book or not. In the end, I think I did. The cover is misleading, as has been mentioned in other reviews - I did not find it at all humourous. Many of the subjects broached - the abuse aimed towards the father, for example, is at times quite shocking.

The writing style is at times a bit odd, but it works. I loved the way some of the dialogue was written - I could almost hear them speaking to each other in broken English.

Overall, it was an eeasy book to read and, as a bit of a bonus (I guess) you really do find out a little of the history of tractors...


The Midnight Eye Files: The Amulet
The Midnight Eye Files: The Amulet
by William Meikle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.22

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Rebus?, 3 May 2006
I'm a big fan of Willie Meikle's previous books and I was looking forward to this one. I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed.

The book builds on a short story available in one of his earlier works and tells the story of a Glaswegian detective, one Derek Adams who is engaged on a case to find some missing jewellery by a beautiful woman. Pretty standard detective fare you might think. That is, until Meikle spins his own dark spell over it leaving you wondering This is apparently the first in a series of books featuring the Scottish private eye and I'm looking forward to his next adventure.


Pure Vegetarian
Pure Vegetarian
by Paul Gayler
Edition: Paperback

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gourmet Vegetarian, 3 May 2006
This review is from: Pure Vegetarian (Paperback)
This book is a nice change from the healthy veggie cookbooks that seem to pervade the marketplace. Not that these recipes aren't healthy - I'm sure they are - but they don't shrink away from using higher fat ingredients if the end resulting taste requires it.

The recipes are great and reasonably easy to follow and the ones that I have made have been really tasty too. Just the kind of thing to impress your friends with at a dinner party.


Complete Mushroom Book: The Quiet Hunt
Complete Mushroom Book: The Quiet Hunt
by Antonio Carluccio
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.74

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Funghi, 13 Feb 2006
I'm a huge mushroom fan when it comes to food, so when I received this book as a present I was over the moon. The book is split into two sections, the first deals with identifying wild mushrooms and which are the best for eating, and the second part contains the recipes.
The recipes are great and very accessible. I haven't been on a mushroom hunt yet, but my local greengrocer regularly stocks wild mushrooms, so I've had the chance to try a few of the recipes, and very good they are too.


Leith's Vegetarian Bible
Leith's Vegetarian Bible
by Polly Tyrer
Edition: Hardcover

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to any cookbook collection, 22 Sep 2005
At the moment, this book is almost permanently open in my kitchen, such are the variety of the recipes. Some of the recipes are very simple, others more complex. Mnay of the more simple ones I've found are a great base to then improvise and add a few more ingredients to.
What I particularly like are the introductions to the chapters, this hints and tips about techniques and the organisation of the recipes into sections relevent to each kind of ingredient.
I'm sure that this will end up a well thumbed and sauce-stained book in my kitchen from constant use.


Cafe Paradiso (Atrium Press)
Cafe Paradiso (Atrium Press)
by Denis Cotter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £23.35

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Food, 11 Sep 2005
Wow! What can I say. This book has to have some of the most inspirational vegetarian recipes I have ever seen. I've just had great reactions at a dinner party to the Oyster Mushrooms in Ginger Butter that I cooked from a recipe in this book, and I have to agree with them. The recipes are not necessarily the quickest to prepare, but if they all taste as good as the mushrooms, then the extra time taken to put them together will be worth it. Since buying this book, my plans for this year now include a trip to Cork to sample the delights of this restaurant.


Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Children's Edition (Harry Potter 6)
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: Children's Edition (Harry Potter 6)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely set for the finale, 18 July 2005
I wasn't sure what to expect with this installment of the series. I've enjoyed them all, but thought that the last one could have doen with some serious editing to make it shorter and more punchy. When I got this latest version I thought that judging by the size (just over 600 pages) it could probably do with the same.
My reading started badly. There is a spelling/grammar mistake on the second page. In something that has this kind of machine behind it, I find this unforgivable.
Anyway, I soldiered on, and very soon was unable to put it down. After recent events in London, it seemed that the start of the book could have been written in the last week or so, so well did it mirror (albeit in a different context) terrorist activity.
This volume of the story is somewhat different from the others. It is a lot more sombre, and I was 400 pages or so in by the time I came across any of the humour that is scattered throughout the other books. It seemed to me to be specifically setting the scene for the final volume of the series and, by the end, there is virtually no doubt of how the next book is going to proceed.
Apart from a few "set pieces" there is none of the adventure of the other books, it is mostly the interaction between the main players that dominates proceedings. It must be remembered that Harry and his friends are now sixteen plus so that some of the book may not be as easily accessible (I don't want to say unsuitable) to the same younger readers that enjoy the first book. However, for those that grow up with Harry Potter, reading the books over time, then it works well. The story now concentrates more on the political side of the goings on of the magical world, how the muggle world is affected and how the ministry and the government interact. Some of this is well thought out, and underlying it all is a sense of paranoia that keeps you reading. When the climax came, I cuoldn't quite believe it happened so quickly and the book finishes with everything hanging in the air, just waiting from the next one to start. This is the first book in the series that, I feel, is not a complete story - it is mainly a scene setter for the last book. But, that doesn't mean that it isn't enjoyable. It is extremely easy to read, and I finished it in two days, and didn't feel that I'd pushed myself to do it - it was just that I wanted to find out what happened. Now, I'm waiting, with everyone else I guess, for the final book to be written.


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