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Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.09

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a Laugh out Loud book, 24 Jun 2012
Quirky cover, appealing to the younger audience of female readers that maybe would put off the older reader. Do not be put off, give it a go!
Set in Seattle this book follows the rollercoaster lives of Bernadette, Elgie and Bee.
It was simply addictive and easy to read from the start.
Part one, Mum verses The Gnats opens with a copy of Bee Branch's Grade 8 school report which in a very easy way gives an almost perfect description of our first character. The story unfolds about the disappearance of Bernadette, 2 days before Christmas through a series of cleverly constructed emails between Bernadette and Manjula Kapoor, assistant from The Delhi World Assistants Group.
Written in such a way that it is very easy to pick up and put down, even whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, no more needing to read to the end of the chapter.
Side splitting funny in places, maybe not a book to read on the bus as you could find yourself laughing out loud.


The Icecreamists: Boutique ice creams and other guilty pleasures to make and enjoy at home
The Icecreamists: Boutique ice creams and other guilty pleasures to make and enjoy at home
by Matt O'connor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.79

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars for all ice cream lovers, 24 Jun 2012
A beautifully presented book with lots of beautiful photographs and quirky names for each recipe.
Opening with the most brilliant introduction from Matt O'Connor and his early memories of ice cream and how very quickly it became a passion. Matt describes that his 'Mission is to liberate the world - one lick at a time!' And as long as you have an ice cream maker he will start to change your way of eating ice cream.
Quite fortunately Amazon recommend an ice cream maker as something else you may like to buy when purchasing this book because without it most of the recipes would be very difficult to make by hand.
The book reads more like a book of useless information that all ice cream fans NEED to know before you get to any of the recipes.
Mr O'Connor describes his book as part ice cream bible and part confessional and tells you to arm yourself with an ice cream maker and choose your poison!
A dark chocolate and orange, aptly named A chockwork orange proved a favourite with the older generation of my family whilst the Taking the Pistacchio made the teenagers smirk. He also includes one or two alcoholic based recipes. Looking forward to trying his ice lolly section if and when our summer arrives with the homemade lemonade 'John Lemon' first on the agenda.
The book contains a section on which type of ice cream maker to buy and even has a super trouble shooting section at the back.
A book for anyone who loves Ice cream, entertaining and a bit of read all in one little measure, as these recipes are made to share.


Tart it Up!: Sweet and Savoury Tarts and Pies
Tart it Up!: Sweet and Savoury Tarts and Pies
by Eric Lanlard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.72

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dish cooking pies and tarts., 24 Jun 2012
A lovely, easy to follow well presented book with the odd photograph of the very easy on the eye, Eric Lanlard, just to spicen the book up a little more.
The book opens with a few paragraphs from Mr Lanlard about how he came to have a passion for pasrty and his humble beginnings as a pastry chef. From sweet to savoury Eric seems to have covered the lot.
The introduction leads into a Pastry basics section that covers everything from the most basic shortcrust pastry to the more experimental Brioche and Puff pastry. This section comes with the odd handy little hints and tips sections and easy to follow instructions on how to line a baking tin and Blind Binding, which having read the section discovered that this was a name for a method I was familiar with but didn't know it's name.
Most recipes have end product photographs which I always find very helpful and little tips on what to serve the dish with.
I tried the Calzone recipe first as this was really well photographed and even had individual, step by step photographs. The result - a success proclaimed by the other half!
My only criticism would be that I prefer an end result photograph with every recipe. I am more likely to try a new recipe if I like the look of the end product and a few of these recipes may go untried by me because of that.


Weber's Barbecue Anytime: Over 150 delicious barbecue recipes to suit any occasion
Weber's Barbecue Anytime: Over 150 delicious barbecue recipes to suit any occasion
by Jamie Purviance
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just need the weather, 22 May 2012
A beautifully bound and photographed book. The book opens with handy and helpful hints on stocking your cupboard in anticipation of hitting the BBQ. The grilling basics section at the front of the book is great for the amateur griller and also contains useful BBQ-ing snippets for the more 'seasoned griller.' This book is not just a recipe book but also quite a good informative read full of useless bits of information.
I got this book in March, completely out of season and just couldn't wait to try it out.
Toasted chicken panini with rocket proved a fabulous sunday lunch which after months of having the BBQ closed down for the winter was a great first recipe to do out of the book.
The resources section at the back of the book is like the icing on the cake as far as this super recipe books goes.Jammed full of meat and vegetable grilling guides and grill maintenance plans.
If you are finding your BBQ's a little monotonous then this is the book to spice up your alfresco eating.


American Dervish
American Dervish
by Ayad Akhtar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good beginning and ending, 19 Feb 2012
This review is from: American Dervish (Hardcover)
Akhtar, a Muslim who grew up in America, tells us that he was very aware as he was growing up that his peers all throughout his childhood and later into adulthood had no concept of Islam. The book was written hoping to give his reader an insight into what it was like to be a Muslim growing up in modern day America.

The story follows the life of Hyat, a young Muslim-American, growing up in a non practising Muslim family were Dad is prone to let his eye wander over young non-Muslim American girls and also enjoys a drink or two. Family life appears normal to Hyat until Mina Ali appears on the scene. Mina moves into the Shah family home and introduces Hyat to the Quran which in the beginning appears to transform him and will finally humiliate him.

I fell into this book really easily, getting a feel for the characters. Something happened around the middle of the book that really slowed me down and made me loose interest, the pace of the book and events just somehow lost me. The final few chapters with the arrival of Sunil, Mina's future husband, brought renewed interest to the book and got me reading with enthusiam again.

This book doesn't push the Muslim faith down your thoat but gives you a gentle insight into life in these modern times surrounded by non-believers, believers and other faiths.


More from the Accidental Vegetarian
More from the Accidental Vegetarian
by Simon Rimmer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for vegetarians, 19 Feb 2012
Beautifully presented and written by TV famous chef Simon Rimmer, from 'Something for the Weekend,' this book has it all...apart from photographs accompanying a few of the recipes. Which I hasten to add is my only gripe. I do love to see what the end result is supposed to look like. In a lot of cases the photograph actually encourages me to choose a recipe over one without a photograph.

Rimmer is a 'self-confessed' carnivore who has a passion for producing 'meat free' dishes as he likes to call them.

The book includes one or two local dishes with the 'meat free' twist on things, two of our favourites were the Scouse eggs, which incidentally do need to be eaten warm as Simon recommends and Vegan Lancashire Hot Pot which unless you had made it yourself I'm not sure you would even notice it was lacking in the meat department.

He has included an extrelmely good pudding section at the back of the book which will provide something sweet for everyone, but sadly again a few of the recipes are minus photographs.

A must buy book for anyone who enjoys being in the kitchen and producing something a little different for dinner.


The Biggest Loser Cookbook: Your personal programme for nutritious & delicious guilt-free food
The Biggest Loser Cookbook: Your personal programme for nutritious & delicious guilt-free food
by Hamlyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 16 Jan 2012
A lovely book with lots of handy hits, setting targets and Top Tips from trainers. Great for having in the kitchen with it's wipe clean cover.

I got this book in the New Year and found the Soups and Stews section very appropriate. Each recipe comes witha little foreword that I found interesting reading and it's own calorie count.

Beautifully photographed with very clear and easy to follow step by step instructions some recipes even contained variations.

Each recipe does produce slighlty smaller portions than you expect but that is mainly the key to loosing weight so, tuck in and enjoy, dieting can be interesting and tasty.

After loosing 3 stone in the year before I found this book I am now going to use this book to help me keep the weight off.


Hamlyn All Colour Gardening: 200 Great Containers
Hamlyn All Colour Gardening: 200 Great Containers
by Joanna Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy little book, 16 Jan 2012
A great sized handy little book to add to my ever growing collection of hamlyn books.

As with all Hamlyn books you get exactly what it says on the tin. After a super introduction on how to plant a container and different composts and drainage you hit the 'recipes.'

Each page comes with it's own key on where to plant and caring tips. Great help for new gardeners who may not have the all round general plant knowledge just yet.

Wonderfully photographed and described with easy step by step instructions and even a diagram on how to plant your container this book just leaves you wanting or Spring to come.

A wonderful buy or gift for the new gardener not so taxing for the more accomplished gardener.


Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: 200 Make Ahead Dishes (Hamlyn All Colour Cookbooks)
Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: 200 Make Ahead Dishes (Hamlyn All Colour Cookbooks)
by Sara Lewis
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars handy sized book, 16 Jan 2012
A lovely handy sized book that does seem to cover every eventuality.

Starting with the introduction you can can tell this little book is going to be worth it's weight in gold. Split into sections like hints and tips and food hygiene this book seems from the offset as though it's aimed at every cook right from the very beginner.

The recipes are then broken down into section from Starters down to my favourite section, food for friends. Not because I like entertaining, I just like the recipes out of this section particularly Baked Salmon with Pernod! Who would ever have thought to mix salmon with Pernod but the outcome was good.

Beautifully illustrated with easy to follow step by step instructions and a little section at the end of each recipe for an alternative version of the recipe means you just can't go wrong.

The books in this collection take up hardly any room in your cupboard and you soon find yourself gathering more and more of them.


The Diamond Chariot: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin
The Diamond Chariot: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin
by Boris Akunin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tad too long, 16 Jan 2012
This was my first encounter of Boris Akunin and what a pleasant surprise.

The cover didn't really grip me when I first saw it but now see it through different eyes.

The book is split mainly into thirds with the first third showing Fandorin in the modern day whilst the remaining two thirds visit the younger Fandorin.

Set in the late 1800's Russian born writer Akunin sets Fandorin off on a trial of adventure visiting settings, beautifully described, as far a field as opium dens and gambling houses. The characters throughout the book are well described and you seem to get to know them quite well.

A book with an immense amount of twists and turns that kept you going right up until the very end without being able to predict the outcome.

My only regret... that I hadn't read the earlier books in the saga and gotten to know the character a little better.


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