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Reviews Written by
L. A. Ellett Iolite "Lois Ellett Pawson" (Brighton UK)

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An Education: Inspiration for the film, scripted by Nick Hornby
An Education: Inspiration for the film, scripted by Nick Hornby
by Lynn Barber
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Read, 18 Jan. 2010
A fast paced and unputdownable and interesting read - I enjoyed the self-depreciating writing style and the humour and it got me thinking about my own life in contrast. Highly recommended.

Litterlocker Refill For LitterLocker 1
Litterlocker Refill For LitterLocker 1

5.0 out of 5 stars Effective Litter Solution, 29 Dec. 2009
I wouldnt be without my litter locker and refills - as an odour-free and tidy toilet solution for indoor cats these are excellent. Highly recommended.

Valvona & Crolla: A Year at an Italian Table
Valvona & Crolla: A Year at an Italian Table
by Mary Contini
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Delicious, 29 Dec. 2009
A delightful and pretty book with authentic and delicious Italian recipes - using ingredients that are easy to source in the UK. The recipes I've tried from the book so far have come-out restaurant quality and impressed my guests - so the quantities, temperatures and timings are reliable. Highly recommended.

Easy Tasty Italian
Easy Tasty Italian
by Laura Santtini
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Twists, 29 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Easy Tasty Italian (Hardcover)
As a collector of Italian cookery books, this book does not seem as authentic as some of my treasured regional cookery publications with gimmicky additions to recipes that dont seem very Italian. What it does offer are fun twists and flourishes to add to traditional recipes - and some inspired ideas for dinner parties and special occasions. I tried several ideas out on my guests over Christmas - which they loved. Frozen grapes proved a big hit in particular - and Sophia Loren's ricotta desert is also a quickly prepared delight. A light hearted, pretty book with some clever ideas.

The Clatter of Forks and Spoons: Honest, Happy Food
The Clatter of Forks and Spoons: Honest, Happy Food
by Richard Corrigan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £29.89

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restaurant Quality Recipes, 26 Nov. 2008
This is a really splendid book and the recipes tried so far have been great. The recipes are straightforward to follow, with interesting and well-judged flavour combinations turning out restaurant quality food that's hearty and deeply delicious. I prefer books by cooks instead of TV chefs generally - the latter don't often create anything I would want to cook and I feel let down by some books where there is style above substance. Richard Corrigan's book is quite different - this is the stylish fare of oyster bars and gentlemans clubs - but with an Irish twist and some unexpected pairings of flavours, seemingly simple but sooo clever. As an amateur cook & slow cooking fan - the book has inspired me to try new ingredients and techniques - which is proving a fun exploration - trying new cuts of meat, varieties of fish etc. We especially enjoyed the pork chops with apricot sage & honey, the oyster stout rarebit, colcannon soup and the awesome heritage apple pudding. I notice from his restaurant website that recipes in the book appear on the menu - I look forward to visiting his restaurant soon to compare my attempts with the real thing.

Keep Your Silver Shined
Keep Your Silver Shined
Price: £10.47

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 5 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Keep Your Silver Shined (Audio CD)
Great music, beautifully played with evocative lyrics that could be from today or from days long ago. Devon Sproule borrows from music of the past and different genres - yet she is a real original. Naturally gifted and entertaining in live performance - she has a sassy style and witty repartee that reminds me of young Judy Garland or Deanna Derbin (although not similar in voice). This CD lives in my kitchen, where it's played constantly and sung along to (even ocasionally danced to).

The Leopard [1963] [DVD]
The Leopard [1963] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Burt Lancaster
Price: £7.27

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film - but do read the book, 8 July 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Leopard [1963] [DVD] (DVD)
Lovely film - an epic well-worth seeing - fabulous settings and well played. Do read the book though - it has a darker mood and stronger ending than the film and gives more insight to the characters and their motivations.

The Leopard
The Leopard
by Archibald Colquhoun
Edition: Paperback

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful, Devastating, Amazing Book, 8 July 2007
This review is from: The Leopard (Paperback)
Beautifully written, this book kept me hooked with a moving story of the fading powers and fortunes of Sicilian aristocracy amid the fast-changing powers and politics of Italy in the late 1800's.

I found it a deeply reflective book with many metaphors for our changing world today - and the impact of changing old regimes for new - class systems, ruling powers, business politics, different generations of people.

The characters feel real and timeless, and the book helps in understanding Sicilian culture and history and why the once-beautiful palaces were left to crumble.

The writing often appears to ramble-off in different directions with the abstract thinking of the characters - which at first I found a weakness of the book - but now I think this is its' strength - as you get inside the heads of the characters and realise their weaknesses, hang-ups and sources of despair.

The book has tremendous balance of light and dark - 'light' with flashes of beauty describing a garden, joy at dogs playing, decriptions of rooms, furnishings and food (described so well I could taste), situations or characters that made me laugh out loud - 'dark' with brooding passion, doom and depression, empty rooms in fading palaces with dark pasts, forgotten gardens, rotting corpses, death and decline. Many of the words and themes from the book remain with me post-reading - the book is meaningful and affected me at a deeper level.

The film of the book, however visually lavish, I found disappointing in comparison with the book itself. The film makes the main character too letcherous, does not give enough insight to the motivations and concerns of the characters (as you don't get the self-talk passages that carry the book along) and sadly it misses out the last two chapters (which I found the most moving and insightful - as these show what happens to the generations of characters by 1910).

I'm sad that Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa did not write more books - however this one book is more powerful and memorable to me than lifetime works of most other writers put together.

Very highly recommended.

Seasons of Sicily
Seasons of Sicily
by Natalia Ravidà
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Sicilian Recipes, 5 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Seasons of Sicily (Hardcover)
I adore this book. I collect southern-Italian cookery books and this is a real gem - lovely homely recipes and a pretty book (with a wipe-clean cover).

Most of the ingredients are easy to source in the UK, with help from 'Seeds of Italy' I'm growing some of the more unusual vegetables on my balcony (courgette flowers etc), although I'm still searching for a mold for making marzipan sheep (a traditional easter treat) which I can't find in the UK.

The photos and text give an insight to life at the beautiful faded elegance of Villa Ravida (the writer's ancestral home - where the delicious olive oil comes from - spotted in Waitrose and worth the investment). Interesting that the author was a journalist in the UK. The recipes are rustic and rely on a few good quality ingredients - nothing too fussy - all easy and fun to make, delicious, and (mostly) healthy. Favourites - Lamb & Potato Roast, Watermelon Pudding, Sardine Pasta, Courgette Flower Frittata.

My other favourite books on Sicilian food are 'Cucina Sicilliana' (Christina Hyman) and 'Salute, Food Wine and Travel in Southern Italy' (Donovan, Donovan and Castellani) - the latter includes a chapter describing Villa Ravida along with atmospheric photos. For historical background to the evolvement of Sicilian food alongwith ancient recipes 'Sicilian Food, Recipes from Italy's Abundant Isle' (Mary Taylor-Simeti) is also an fascinating read.

What makes the Ravida book stand out is that it feels less 'cheffy' and more about day-to-day food in the region. I've recommended the book to friends who in turn have bought it for others as gifts. My sister has been inspired to the point of booking a Sicilian holiday (charged with the quest for a much-wanted marzipan sheep mold).

Beloved One
Beloved One

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical Lyrics, 20 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Beloved One (Audio CD)
Lovely and delicious album - Lou Rhodes' music crosses several genres - chillout/folk/jazz - and the lyrics stand out as well-crafted and thoughtful. I saw a review that likened Lou Rhodes to Kate Bush - but I don't hear this - she is quite different and has her own style, but reminds me more of 'Suzanne Vega meets Melanie Safka meets Tori Amos'. 'A Wise Man Said to Me' is a stunning and inspirational track.

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