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Persia102 "Persia" (Harrogate, UK)

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The Thing About December
The Thing About December
by Donal Ryan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional! Beautifully Written., 31 Aug 2014
A beautifully written, honest and book about the harshness of life.

Perfect Too: 92 More Essential Recipes for Every Cook's Repertoire
Perfect Too: 92 More Essential Recipes for Every Cook's Repertoire
by Felicity Cloake
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.91

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great idea for a book but very poorly executed., 29 Aug 2014
As an enthusiastic cook, I am meticulous when I follow a recipe, always measuring out the ingredients, following all the steps precisely and buying the exact ingredients stated. This means that when I follow recipes I usually have a very good success rate. I thought this recipe book seemed like a wonderful idea which is why I bought it. I thought it would mean recipes were tried and tested and the results would be excellent, however, this was not the case.
I have just wasted the last 3 hours making Chicken Soup from this recipe book. I am very disappointed indeed. The recipe appears to be written by someone who doesn't cook regularly, doesn't understand how to write recipes or indeed has a particularly good palate. I love making chicken soup and have made some amazing ones, but this is so appalling I am tempted to throw it out.
The problems are many, but here are few specific ones:
- The recipe states that after cooking the chicken for a couple (a number would have been preferred) of hours the chicken may be chewy - really? The chicken should fall off the bone, it certainly won't be chewy. This in inaccurate and a very odd thing to write in a recipe.
- The recipe requires cooked barley, which takes at least 45 minutes. This really ought to have been mentioned at the beginning of the instructions rather than relying on picking this information up within the list of ingredients.
- There is only one carrot for a massive pan of soup (containing 1kg of chicken), so you'll get half a carrot per serving if you're lucky.
- Not enough onion in the recipe, which may have contributed to the tastlessness. 1 onion per 500g of chicken is inadequate.
- The soup was tasteless ... I know it said to season it, which is what I did, but still doesn't taste of much.
My book is now off to the charity shop.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 9, 2014 3:14 PM BST

Fornarina Beauty Stretch Women's Jeans Blue 27/34
Fornarina Beauty Stretch Women's Jeans Blue 27/34
Price: £95.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice cut but fabric too thin, 21 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have had many pairs of Fornarina jeans before, and in the Beauty cut too, so I was surprised that the denim for these were so thin.

Le Parfait 0.5 Litre Preserving Jar
Le Parfait 0.5 Litre Preserving Jar
Offered by Colanders
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic jar which is very durable, 21 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These jars look amazing and are very durable. I have various sizes of them in my kitchen.

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book
by Johanna Basford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book, 21 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A beautiful book, it's almost a shame to ruin it by colouring the pages in. I agree with other reviewers, the pages are too thin and colour bleeds through to the back of the page.

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike)
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike)
by Robert Galbraith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars A page turner which I'm glad is now over., 21 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book started off really well, a few unbelievable story-lines threw me off balance, but I carried on as I wanted to know who the murderer was. I loved the relationship between the detective (Cormoran Strike) and his new receptionist (Robin) and how it developed. The murder mystery itself was compelling and interesting and a real page turner. I enjoyed the fact the person who had been murdered was a famous model and liked learning about the life she'd inhabited on the day of her death.
I found the Latin bits at the beginning of each section, distractingly pretentious and unnecessary. Some of the sentences were confusingly structured and could have done with being edited more competently. At times, I felt like I was reading a chick-lit and not a crime novel, perhaps this was because the person who'd been murdered was a famous model. I found the graphic detail about Cormoran's vulgar appearance unpleasant. The story-line about how he somehow managed to attract unbelievably beautiful women, quite ridiculous and reminiscent of Nordic crime dramas; which I suspect are produced by men who engage in that very fantasy.
It's unlikely I would ever read another crime novel by this author.

Lepel Iris White Padded Plunge Bra 128002 32D
Lepel Iris White Padded Plunge Bra 128002 32D
Offered by Mio Destino Lingerie
Price: £25.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the bra, 22 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I just wish it had fit me.
I have another Lepel bra in the same size but a different brand that did fit.
The bra itself is excellent quality and a lovely style.

Levels of Life
Levels of Life
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional book of love and loss; like no other, 22 April 2014
This review is from: Levels of Life (Paperback)
This book is heart-warming and heartbreaking at the same time.

It's non fiction and autobiographical and is 118 pages long.

It weaves the history of hot air ballooning and the loss of author Julian Barnes' wife.

This combination may seem implausible, but somehow it works to great success.

The book is split into three sections:

1. The Sin of Height - the history of hot air ballooning. This section is very factual and unemotional. In fact I struggled to get into the book on three separate occassions because the beginning was so dry. It was worth persevering of course, as the book is exceptional and very different to anything I've ever read before.

2. On The Level - describes the personal relationship between two of the hot air balloonists from the first section.

3. The Loss of Depth - is written in the first person and solely about Julian Barnes' grief at losing his wife four years previously. It is beautifully written, very honest and in places sad, but mostly it is a testament to how much he loved her. I have never read a more accurate portrayal of bereavement, in either non fiction or fiction before. Whilst reading the last chapter, I found myself rationing the pages left to read, as I didn't want the book to end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well written, intelligent and deeply moving literature about what it is to be human.

Facing into the West Wind
Facing into the West Wind
by Lara Clough
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Softly engaging, beautiful Welsh coast scenery, great story and characters, 12 Oct 2012
I think this book is like nothing I've ever read before which in itself is a great accomplishment.
The writing style, slow pace of suspense, character build up and subjects covered are all to be commended.
It's been a while since I finished a book and wanted to discuss it with someone or at least read other people's reviews of the book; sadly I can't find any.
The subjects covered are varied and complex and very interestingly handled ... the characters are very plausible too. Relationships are beautifully developed ... especially the unlikely ones between young people and older ones.
I'm unsure about whether I like any of them though, which is unusual. They are all very humanly fallible and fickle, in their own ways.
The story revolves around Haz and Nel, who are brother and sister and Haz's new friend Jason, who goes to stay with the family in their holiday home in Wales. Jason has a "face people confess to" and manages to open up each family member.
I could list the themes the book explores, but I wouldn't want to spoil the book for someone else. I didn't know what was going to happen to any of the characters, from page one, until the end, which was a really enjoyable. I guess the book mirrored real life very well indeed ... life cannot be neatly packaged up to create a good story; it's unpredictable, pointless and large swathes of time can elapse before anything can happen.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and getting to know all the characters.
I would recommend it to anyone, who wants to enjoy the Welsh coast, read a book with a difference and think about a wide variety of issues.

The Finishing School
The Finishing School
by Muriel Spark
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, but lacking good editing and more content, 18 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Finishing School (Paperback)
I found this book entertaining but lacking in vital areas and padded out with unnecessary text.
I would have liked more content on the simmering relationship between the protagonists and more details on the other characters. Instead, it was padded out with a whole poem from Thomas Hardy, a stanza by Byron and a long list of what each pupil wore at a fashion show; none of which were necessary to the story. I also found the dialog about Chris's book very boring and unnecessary at times, but then maybe it's because I don't have an interest in historic novels or indeed history.
However, the relationship between the two main protagonists was excellent and it had me hooked! Rowland, the teacher, is very jealous of Chris his talented pupil, who is writing a novel. Rowland has always wanted to write a novel and the more success Chris has with his novel, the more it upsets Rowland. Chris goes out of his way to taunt Rowland, which is amusing.
The setting of the book is very interesting too, a finishing school which moves between European towns each year, with only 9 pupils, who are taught a variety of ad-hoc topics.
I have mixed feelings about the book, however, I think the unsatisfactory and very rushed ending tipped the scales for me in the wrong direction. So to summarise, great characters, great setting but let down by a poor ending and poor editing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 22, 2014 1:13 PM BST

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