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The Dancer and the Dom
The Dancer and the Dom
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Short but steamy!, 5 Aug. 2013
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Wish this had been longer - I'd love to know more about the main characters and what "lessons" come next. Good solo entertainment and a fabulous ending.


The Great American Cookbook: 500 Recipes: Favorite Foods from Every State
The Great American Cookbook: 500 Recipes: Favorite Foods from Every State
by Clementine Paddleford
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one for the gourmets, but fascinating - simple, hearty food, 14 April 2013
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I own rather too many cookbooks but don't often cook from them - quite a large number are ones from many years ago, different cuisines, etc and are fascinating to me in a curio way rather than as ones to actually use when looking for something to eat for lunch (hell, that's what Google's for these days). This is definitely one of the curio books. The food is basic and there are some really odd combinations used, but the recipes are sound. I've cooked the cornbreads and biscuits for a southern BBQ party I held and they went down very quickly. The baked beans were a bit bland and I did end up quadrupling the spices used. This is not diet food at all - half cups of maple syrup here and sticks of butter here - which means it couldn't be part of my daily repertoire but it's fun to play with.

In response to the previous reviewer, I can only wonder whether there have been different prints. My copy has an index, though the state by state layout isn't the most intuitive for browsing.


Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job
Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job
Price: £0.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Happy clappy self help nonsense, 6 Mar. 2013
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I finished this book in two hours and that's two hours I won't ever get back. The advice is focused heavily on tips such as repeatedly, insistently advising that you stop drinking caffeinated drinks (it's apparently not natural and compared to unleashing wrecking balls in your system... he's clearly been drinking better stuff than I), eating nuts, exercising, thinking really really positively, buying a LOT of self help tapes and books, abandoning your friends and family and getting just 6 hours sleep a night. The latter would kill me off far more thoroughly than surrendering my java. My favourite bit of all, once he'd finished rehashing "The Secret", was the part when he started saying something about how you ought to drink lots of water, particularly the water affected by happy emotions (it remembers, you know) which is far healthier than the water affected by unhappy emotions. I'd have laughed but by this point I was just too depressed. You'll be glad to know I wasn't near a tap.

Not entirely sure what I expected from a book which could only tell me I needed to make more time for my writing and that something else would have to go, but most definitely, I did not expect this.


The Art of Fermentation: An In-depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World
The Art of Fermentation: An In-depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World
by Sandor Ellix Katz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.71

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and motivational - a manual for experimentation, 6 Jun. 2012
I have to start this review by confessing that I haven't yet got close to finishing reading this book, despite receiving it for my birthday on release day (my parents know my passion for sourdough and weird homebrew experiments and made the next logical step - clever mum and dad!). This is no fault of the author's writing - rather, it is mine for wanting to try out so much of the book as I go along. I have already made my first batch of sauerkraut, four bottles of ginger beer, a kilner jar of fruit kimchi and a tub of rice beer. I have only been limited by my progress in reading and my husband's tolerance for jars of fizzy things taking up kitchen space (sorry Sweetie).

Sandor Katz has a very easy way of writing and it's very easy to lose oneself for an hour or two without realising. Please be aware that Sandor does not often provide very precise instructions and I view this as very much a good thing - to paraphrase a tired film quote, life finds a way with the basics taken care of. In my opinion, you shouldn't approach fermentation with the same perspective you might for baking where precision matters so much more. I have been impressed at the breadth of inspiration taken from across the world, particularly so by the solid representation of African dishes and beverages, an area I find usually very under-represented.

In terms of the book itself, it is a thing of loveliness. I was a very early adopter of ebooks and this is the first book in a long time that made me wonder if something is lost in translation.

For those comfortable with experimentation, this is highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2013 8:17 PM BST


India - Cookbook
India - Cookbook
by Pushpesh Pant
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.99

136 of 146 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did anyone actually copy proof this?, 10 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: India - Cookbook (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully presented book, as all the Phaidon ones tend to be and the recipes are really enticing. Unfortunately I have tried three recipes so far and each and none can be followed as described as key ingredients are missing (yeast, I would assume, in the naan breads where it asks you to leave the dough for two hours to rise in a warm place) or it asks you to prepare ingredients for pastes which it then never refers to again (Imperial Chicken) or where it imagines you can make 12 portions of lentil filled puffed bread with only 1 tablespoon of self raising flour (which is going to form a dough to encircle 120g of lentils).

Beautiful but utterly worthless. I will be writing to Phaidon to complain and ask them to send me a corrected edition.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2014 5:48 AM BST


The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry (Hospitality)
The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry (Hospitality)
by Bo Friberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £181.99

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite, quite wonderful, 12 April 2009
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This is a substantial book, a full 1000 A4 pages of probably a good 900 recipes - it's more like a dessert bible rather than a Jamie/ Gordon/ Hugo cookbook. I am a not particularly able amateur and so far I have tried around 5 recipes and each has been wonderful (flourless spice cake, danish pastries, shoehorn pastries, almond macaroons and chocolate gugelhupfs). The instructions are clear and easy to follow, there are plenty of photographs littered through so you can compare your efforts to Bo's and (what was my favourite bit) a marvellous little introductory to each recipe, detailing some of the history of the cake, some personal anecdotes, descriptions of the end result, etc. I have frequently sat down and just skimmed through the book reading these.

Obviously this has been written primarily with the professional in mind and so each recipe is generally for 90 pastries or some other such huge number but all it takes is a calculator and digital scales and this is easily overcome. Another thing to bear in mind is that some recipes can take a while, especially yeast based ones as (no shortcuts) Bo will have you leavig them to prove three times for around an hour each. This isn't true for all of them, the macaroons in fact being turned out in less than half an hour, cooking time included.

Overall, this is a brilliant book and one of my most treasured cookery reference books. I only wish it came on Sony Ebook reader.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Power Yoga
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Power Yoga
by Geo Takoma
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not without flaws, but it works for me, 11 Feb. 2005
Well I've had this book for about a month now (bought after the shock and horror of discovering just how much lard I'd gained after Christmas) and in terms of goals, I'm achieving them. I'm practicing happily every night (or thereabouts) for about 50 mins and am over half a stone lighter and an awful lot bendier. There are loads of exercises in this book, ranging from marine/ mountain pose (yes I noticed that too and thought "How silly" - ah well, same principles) through to really scary/ impressive looking ones like Scorpion for advanced people. They also have 20 min routines planned which I find helpful. It's also really helped with my stress levels after a crazy period at work. So far, so good.
The structure of the book is shocking. You're trying to get along with your practice, turn the page and there's a chapter on chakras, or colour healing, or "13 steps to a healthier life". It's a little disruptive, and why I prefer the routines so I can avoid this.
It is very personal and there are more than a few moments where cod science is promoted as fact as a result of anecdotal evidence. I don't find this as much of a problem as the previous reviewer but I imagine it'd annoy some people hugely. Geo does come across as likeable and human (if a touch egotistical) and it's nice to hear how his practice has evolved.
I'm also not so sure that enough precautions were mentioned. I've managed to pull something in my thighs which rather hurts. Problems of using books rather than classes I guess but I can't help thinking that I couldn't have messed up such a simple move as spear thrower.... hohum.
Overall, I would say flawed but good enough that I can comfortably overlook them.


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