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Rebecca Brown "rebeccasreads" (Clallam Bay, WA United States)

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100 Vegetables and Where They Came from
100 Vegetables and Where They Came from
by William Woys Weaver
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back from extinction!, 5 July 2001
A Tour Through Our Extraordinary Culinary Heritage. A fascinating history of vegetables from around the world & onto our platters for supper.
You will find sidebars extolling the virtues of efficiency & flavor of just about every plant W3 hunts down, together with hints for gardeners about spicing up beverages & other mildly improper culinary secrets.
From the Aji Dulce Pepper (Capsicum chinense) from Venezuela - smoky flavored without the "hot pepper overkill and the sensation of fiery lava flowing through the body" ... to the Zwollsche Krul Celery (Apium graveolens) found in the salt marshes of the Netherlands - a curly leaf celery that falls under the general English category of smallage - parsley & such - used boiling or stewing.
Part of the history of the plants we've cultivated for hundreds of years(What was the Lumper Potato?) is also part of the history of our language of cooking. You will find terms such as landrace or smallage.
The plants which W3 pursues are noncommercial or "backyard" varieties that have been under cultivation for a very long time. They are the real ingredients of peasant cookery & often provide regional cookeries with their distinctive flavors.
Which vegetable delicacy did the Third US President set upon his table for his guests? Would you know what Cardoon is? W3 knows & now so do I!
Enough already! Talk about digging for the roots of our roots! A garden book for cooks or a cook's guide to ancient gardens - either way - if you like veggies, you're going to want your own copy of W3's latest!

The Story of Islamic Architecture
The Story of Islamic Architecture
by Richard Yeomans
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual meditations & a thoughtful story, 5 July 2001
Interweaving history with detailed descriptions of the monuments & mosques, Richard Yeomans studies the flowering of Islamic architecture from Spain to India.
Introducing us to The Mosque, The Ministry, the Sectarianism, The Five Pillars of Islam, Sacred Scripture, The Sharia & Sufism, this large book of maps & a multitude of bright photographs traces the spread & cultural influences of the Muslim Faith from its origins through the Medieval ages. Here we discover that mosques are far more than mere houses of worship occasionally visited.
In The Religious Basis of Form & Function in Islamic Architecture we learn the hows & the whys of this unique & elegant style of building. In the beginning, naturally, was the Umayyad Architecture, in that melting pot we now call the Middle East where three religions built upon each other over centuries of surges in populations, wars & economics.
From Spain to India, Islamic architecture is represented by both the exotic & the simple. From the encrusted Topkapi Palace in Istanbul to the plain stone Palace of the Winds in Jaipur the full rhythmic designs of this religious expression of beauty is explored & explained.
A reverential encyclopedia of a spiritual path that has broadened my appreciation of what stirs the Muslim sense of the sublime, the majestic & the beautiful.
A prime example of one man's pursuit of his bliss. A joy of a book!

Parallel Lies
Parallel Lies
by Ridley Pearson
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pearson is right on track!, 5 July 2001
This review is from: Parallel Lies (Hardcover)
Every time a train derails, images fill the TVs with sound-bytes from the railroad companies offering reasons behind these accidents: "Driver error," "mechanical failure," & "a failed signal." Are they are hiding the truth?
Umberto Alvarez lost his wife & twins in a fatal railroad accident. The lights & barriers where the family van was stuck didn't work. Alvarez blames Northern Union Railroad for the crossing-guard collision - he believes there's been a massive cover-up.
Northern Union Railroad claims everything was working fine & Alvarez's wife was negligent. With the disappearance of the 911 tape of Alvarez's call things were not looking good, then his attorney turns up murdered & now Alvarez is on the run & out for revenge.
Peter Tyler, an ex-homicide detective with a debilitating dislike for confined spaces, is an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, where he uses his cop's intuition to investigate a bloody boxcar mystery.
How is that boxcar, Alvarez, Northern Union Railroad & Tyler all connected? Grab this one & follow the bloody tracks! Pearson keeps the pages turning with the adrenaline rush of the chase. He keeps you guessing as to who are the good guys & who are the bad. I couldn't put it down!

Tuesday (Caldecott Medal Book)
Tuesday (Caldecott Medal Book)
by David Weisner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tuesday is no ordinary day!, 5 July 2001
One Tuesday evening by the light of the rising moon, a turtle on a log watches the sky because the frog are going to fly!
See the fish gaping out from the water, the lilies in the swamp & the big fat frogs on their magic lily pads as the moon lightens the nighttime world.
Behold the birds of the air fly squawking away as the frogs dive & swoop; behold the sleeping homes of humans way down below; see the lone midnight snacker in his kitchen not daring to look out his window.
See, see - do you see dawn's early light & the frogs hurrying home, dropping their magic carpets on the highway where policemen, police dogs & detectives will ponder on a strange litter of lily pads. Do you know who's going to fly next Tuesday?
I love a David Wiesner book - his pictures are filled with dramatic perspectives & improbabe, hilariously exciting, speculations! If you have not seen Tuesday I urge you to go find it.

Desertion: In the Time of Vietnam
Desertion: In the Time of Vietnam
by Jack Todd
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A profound American Story!, 26 Jun 2001
Jack Todd had always assumed he would have to fight in the Vietnam War - all the men in his family had fought in WWII or Korea - except that he was getting more & more troubled by America's role in this one.
When Jack's oldest school friend returns from the jungle & urges him to dodge the draft, Jack stuffs down his disquiet & enters the army. He almost completes basic training when the love of his life does a long-distant rejection that sends him into a tailspin out of which he makes a fateful decision.
It has taken this writer 30 years to come to terms with the guilt & shame of his desertion, to break his silence & tell his controversial, important & profoundly American story. Perhaps becoming one of Canada's most successful journalists & remarkable writers has given him the perspective & strength to tell this most difficult of tales.
If you are at all interested in how a deserter made his decision & then went along with it - read this book!
If, on the other hand, you have an aversion to anyone who deserted during the Viet Nam War - you had better avoid it!
Not an "easy" read although this author does have a way with words & scoops you along for the ride of a lifetime. It's like seeing inside of a man's mind - how he saw the world then & what he did about it.
If you want to read a master storyteller - then grab a copy - it is one disturbingly powerful memoir of a strange & dangerous time.

From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden
From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden
by Amy Stewart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.84

5.0 out of 5 stars How a gardener is born!, 26 Jun 2001
Amy Stewart tells the story of how she got to Santa Cruz & took over a patch of seaside earth on which a couple of fruit trees, a handful of shrubs & a host of weeds fought for life.
Each chapter includes helpful tips on neighborly propagation, composting, worm juice, rose pruning techniques, how to make a bug love you & concocting a gardener's bath. They are not what you think - some of this novice's results are hilarious while others are downright commonsensical. One of the first tips she gives us is on Making a Sun Map - do give it a go - I haven't looked at my garden the same since I discovered this clue.
Alongside the story of this young woman's determination to create a garden in which the plants will live up to her vision, she remembers family moments from her childhood while facing down obstinate natives more wily than her. Talk about turf wars!
A fine companion for anyone contemplating becoming addicted to gardening! Amy Stewart has since moved to northern California where she is hard at work on her second garden &, I hope, her second book.

Jacqueline Kennedy: White House Years: Selections from the J. F. Kennedy Library & Museum: The White House Years - Selections from the J.F.Kennedy Library and Museum
Jacqueline Kennedy: White House Years: Selections from the J. F. Kennedy Library & Museum: The White House Years - Selections from the J.F.Kennedy Library and Museum
by Metropolitan Museum of Art
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegant blast from the past!, 26 Jun 2001
When I took this tome out of its mailer & began to turn its pages, I suddenly remembered my own set of formal white cotton gloves - long since discarded - so reverential was the aura emanating from this glossy artbook.
Jacqueline Kennedy kept it simple - most of her clothes were in solid colors with only huge buttons, cockades or discreet stylized bows, scarves, shawls or frogs for detail. In the Travel Chapter we see the simplicity of her wardrobe & her passion for colors.
Combining original & new photographs, this volume presents images we have rarely seen, as well as photos that have become a part of our national consciouness. The final one of the President & First Lady together in the open touring auto needs no words - we all know what happened next.
Certainly a treasure of memories - where we were, what we wore, what we wished we could wear. I never realized how Mrs. Kennedy acquired her wardrobe assuming, incorrectly, that she always wore top-of-the-line haute couture - when in actuality she wore "knock-offs", sometimes chosen by her mother-in-law.
For anyone who cannot make the pilgrimage to the 40th Anniversary Exhibition at the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York & who craves visions of those much-mimicked fashions of yesteryear.

On the Track With...Jeff Gordon (Matt Christopher Sports Bio Bookshelf (Paperback))
On the Track With...Jeff Gordon (Matt Christopher Sports Bio Bookshelf (Paperback))
by Glenn Stout
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A fast biography of a speedster!, 26 Jun 2001
Jeff Gordon is one of the lucky ones who found his passion at an early age - took to it & never looked back.
From BMX bicycles to 2.85-horsepower midgets to go-carts to open sprint cars with 650-horsepower engines pushing these little cars beyond 140 miles per hour, Jeff Gordon ate it all up & kept racing & winning. With black & white photographs, graphs of statistics, Career Highlights, technical data about all sorts of auto-racing & short, engaging histories of the various forms of auto-racing, the rest of the book, as they say, is history.
By the age of 21 he had become NASCAR's Rookie of the Year, breaking records, driving safely, losing some & winning most.
A plainly written autobiography of one of today's great drivers & heroes.

Time Future
Time Future
by Maxine McArthur
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.26

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time Future is a tense present!, 24 Jun 2001
This review is from: Time Future (Paperback)
The commander of the deep space station Jocasta is blockaded by hostile creatures, communications & key systems are failing; rations are low & tensions between humans & aliens are at a flashpoint.
What a good start for Maxine McArthur! Seldom do I find in an author's first work the kind of character control that this one brings. She has really captured the cultural shock of first contact & its impact in a near future.
From one end of this book to the other, the human characters are able to see their situations' changing advantages & disadvantages. I really like her confrontations of realities. Insofar as what you see is not always what you get & what you get is not always what you think it is. I liked that McArthur allows her characters to think, question & grow.
This reader is looking forward to more from this intriguing author.

Extreme Challenger (I Spy (Scholastic Hardcover))
Extreme Challenger (I Spy (Scholastic Hardcover))
by Jean Marzollo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.47

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extreme I Spy!, 24 Jun 2001
In which we find hidden objects & rhyming riddles in this extremely challenging collection of far-out photos of every imaginable object from hair clips to teething rings, from spiders to masks, from dinosaurs to baseball games.
Some pages have trays from old, old toy boxes & some pages are pure plastic paradises. There's a page of weird & toothy monsters made from pipe cleaners, corks & jelly beans & another of old seed packets, school books, chalk slate boards, ink pens & an abacus.
Boy, these sure are harder than I ever remember the game to be & a lot more fun! For one thing, they don't disappear around a corner with our car! Great for those long waits in airports or rainy summer days!

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