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Pen pal "Topaz" (Kent, England)
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Small Adventures in Cooking (New Voices in Food)
Small Adventures in Cooking (New Voices in Food)
by James Ramsden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as the title says, 24 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This cookery book has got some good recipes in it, but it is not a family cook book. It does not profess to be one either. As the inside cover of the book clearly states, it is aimed at 20 to 30 years with a sophisticated palate. That said, he does do some nice recipes. There are recipes for one, two or four and he then goes into 'formal forays' and 'feeding the flockss'. It would be a welcome addition on any shelf where somebody has an interest in being a little more adventurous than Shepherd's Pie or Lasagne. Things on offer - Pork Belly with Cider and Lentils, Goat Curry, Lamb Kebabs, A Cheese and Ale Fondue, Pork Wellington. Spice Roasted Leg of Lamb with Cumin Potatoes. He does, however, also go into roasting a chicken, making pastry, nice recipes for drop scones, bakewell tart, cheese on toast. So quite a nice mix here of simple with a twist to the more exotic. For the market it is aimed at it is well placed, and even for an experienced cook with a family there would be something to please.


The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
by The Dalai Lama
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and timeless and eternally true, 4 Nov 2011
There is so much wisdom within these pages. The Dalai Lama is a truly exceptional man. Howard Cutler does a commendable job of asking pertinent questions and also analysing how the Dalai Lama's responses tie in with his own observations as a Western Psychiatrist. I liked the way he actually went away and thought about what the Dalai Lama was saying although at times he was sceptical, but then realised that in fact what the Dalai Lama was saying was incredibly applicable and viable. The section which deals with how to handle anger towards others by practising patience and tolerance was really valuable. So much of the anguish we go through as humans can be brought on by our perceptions of our treatment by others and our feelings of anger when we feel we have been unfairly treated or disregarded. If you can be patient and tolerant then forgiveness follows. All his thoughts on so many issues that can detract from our feelings of happiness are so entirely relevant. I have great admiration for Buddhist thought and find myself drawn to reading about it and meditating. But it does not matter what your particular viewpoint, or indeed what your religion might be, this is a book for everybody. If we could all learn to handle our negative emotions and seek for the well-being of ourselves and our fellow man what a wonderful world this would be, free from strife and war and hatred and wrong-doing. However, no one should ever lose sight of what a beautiful world we live in and our own capacity for change for the better. To know this is to have ultimate hope and faith in order to bring about change. To help change the world without, we have to first change the world within.


Power Through Constructive Thinking (Plus)
Power Through Constructive Thinking (Plus)
by Emmet Fox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful, 4 Nov 2011
This is something quite special, this book. Emmet Fox starts off by analysing 'The Lord's Prayer'. Wow, I do not think anybody who reads this will ever see it in the same light again. He then goes on to analyse various psalms from the bible, but explaining them in an entirely new way. When the bible talks of battling your enemies, it is not talking about enemies without, it is talking about our enemies within - our fears and negative thinking. The little gremlins sitting on our shoulders. The message simply stated again and again is that the Truth is within reaach of us all. It resides within us. Our world is a realm within that we have to conquer. We have to remain ever vigilant to keep out all thoughts that are non productive and indeed detrimental to our lives. We have to have complete faith in God consciousness. I will state for the record that you do not have to be religious to read this book, you just have to be a seeker of Truth and have a desire for spirituality and the Truth that lies therein. Man is truly master of his own destiny if he would only realise it. By becoming the watchman and keeper of his thoughts he can transcend the mundane and realise his full potential. This book deserves to be read and reread over and over until every word and concept has been fully understood. There is so much wisdom within its pages that it just needs to be absorbed over and over. Incredibly powerful.


Easy Meals
Easy Meals
by Rachel Allen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 1 Nov 2011
This review is from: Easy Meals (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really delightful recipe book with lots of Easy Meals just like the title says. It is laid out in sections - Store Cupboard, Fast and Fabulous, Five Ingredients or Less, One Pot, No Cook and Fuss-free Extras and Sices. She has some wonderful no-cook desserts in there such as Amaretto Tiramisu, Little Banoffee Pots and Strawberries with Amaretti. Other recipes to look out for are Chicken and Chorizo with Rice, Chicken Open-Pot Roast, Garam Masala Pork with Yoghurt, Pork Chops with Sage and Apple, Fusilli with Courgettes and Lemon, Roasted Vegetable Couscous, Fatoush, Spiced Lamb Pittas, Baked Mushroom Risotto, Rasberry Coconut Pudding, Quick Blueberry Trifles. These are just a few of the temptations on offer. It really is a delightful and user-friendly book.


Spices
Spices
by Sophie Grigson
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spicy!!!!!, 1 Nov 2011
This review is from: Spices (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is such an elegant and enjoyable book. For each spice that Sophie Grigson writes about she gives an history of it, and then goes on to give several recipes using that spice. She also gives the know how on blending your own spices and storing them efficiently so that they retain their flavour. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and there are some wonderful recipes such as Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Vanilla Chicken with Peppers and White Wine, Jerk Pork, Lamb Dopiaza, Stifado, Old Fashioned Seed Cake, Sticky Gingerbread. So many wonderful recipes for main courses, desserts, wonderful ways with vegetables. This would make a lovely coffee table book in its own right just for the history of the spices. Uniquely different.


Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
by Joshua Foer
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now I know how they do it, 25 Sep 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is actually very informative and interesting. For all those who have wondered how people retain long lists to memory, it comes up with an assortment of techniques to show how anybody is capable of honing this particular skill to become an expert on remembering. It is almost like a travelogue through the mind of memory. He has all sorts of ineresting anecdotes about the history of mankind and its initial emphasis on memory as initially that was how all information was passed down. A really informative and stimulating read.


The 52 Seductions
The 52 Seductions
by Betty Herbert
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, 25 Sep 2011
This review is from: The 52 Seductions (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an unusual book, although clearly the title in itself alludes to the fact that this is a particular kind of book. I was not sure how I was going to get on with it, but interestingly, as one continues to read one becomes quite involved with the ups and downs of the regeneration of desire in Betty and Herbert. I imagine that for some couples who have been together for over 10 years and who want to inject some more dynamic into their flagging desire, this could be a timely and inspiring read. Another reviewer pointed out and I have to say that I concur, that the emphasis on Betty's health issues did not really seem relevant to the general proceedings, however, perhaps it was to encourage others who also have an issue of some nature not to let that deter them. I would probably give it 3 and a half stars if that was available.


The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development)
The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development)
by Erich Fromm
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 21 Sep 2011
I picked this book up quite by chance. Am I glad I did! Erich Fromm analyses love in all its forms. His observations on how people's capacity to love can become dysfunctional are so interesting. His analysis of Capitalism and how it actually goes against the principles of love as man becomes so wrapped up in ego and the trap of materialism is illuminating and obvious as it becomes pointed out. He goes into religious love from the aspects of the love of mother to the love of father. Mother's love is unconditional, father's love is conditional. Again, any deviation from this norm can result in all kinds of psychoses to varying degrees. These may range from how a man relates and views women to the very essence of being able to love. It all comes down in many ways to the Eastern philosophy on life being a far better one. To live each moment fully and with focus, to let go of ego, to begin to notice and question, to appreciate nature, and ultimately to be able to give unconditionally. Only then are we really ready to receive. A wonderful book.


Hand in the Fire
Hand in the Fire
by Hugo Hamilton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little slow, 14 May 2011
This review is from: Hand in the Fire (Paperback)
This author is very observant and descriptive, so that is a good thing, but the storyline I felt did become a little tedious. Vid is Serbian and has come over to Ireland and is feeling like an outsider. He meets a rather charming Irishman who commits an act that will have severe repercussions on Vid. To begin with Vid feels included and gains a sense of belonging; he feels honoured to have made such a good friend with a native Irishman, but things are not always as they seem, and he begins to realise that he has become sucked in to something that he does not quite understand. He starts to question his loyalty to this man, and sees things that make him realise that there is a darker side. However, with the guile of a gifted womaniser and all-round charmer Kevin manages to somehow bring Vid around. Slowy but surely, the scales begin to fall from Vid's eyes. He has been used and he is dispensible, or is he? This is not a long book, but probably could have been shorter still. There is just something not quite connecting it into becoming a really good read.


Farundell
Farundell
by L R Fredericks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.33

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully descriptive, 8 May 2011
This review is from: Farundell (Paperback)
If you are somebody who is in to astral travelling, esoterics, ancient Egyptian thoughts on the gods and goddesses, ancient (and present for those that are left) tribal spirit guides etc. you are going to love this book. The author is obviously deeply interested in all these things and has written a book incorporating this philosophy of life into a rather unusual story. Paul is a casualty of war who winds up quite by chance (or is it?) in a beautiful country estate with a fairly eccentric family just after the First World War. It depicts life in those times rather beautifully, and you can almost imagine being there in a wonderful big house with grounds and gardens and lakes at your disposal. You immediately realise that quite a few members of this family, past and present, have the ability to see the world in a totally different way and from the point of view of many dimensions. Thus the story unfolds. It is a love story, a ghost story, a story of the spirit realm, life after death and remembering what most have forgotten. Beautifully descriptive.


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