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Graeme Wright "book worm" (salford)
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TeckNet® New Apple iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 1st Gen Premium Folio Leather Case Cover and Flip Stand With Built-in Magnet for Auto Sleep/Wake Feature Included Screen Protector and Stylus Pen - Brown
TeckNet® New Apple iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 1st Gen Premium Folio Leather Case Cover and Flip Stand With Built-in Magnet for Auto Sleep/Wake Feature Included Screen Protector and Stylus Pen - Brown

4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal I pad mini case on a budget, 18 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was very impressed with the quality of the case when it arrived. It feels good, looks good, fits like a glove for peace of mind and didn't break the bank. The combined pen and stylus comes in very handy for people like me with fingers larger than the iPad mini's occasionally minuscule print. Excellent value for money.


Blues Highway Blues (A Crossroads Thriller)
Blues Highway Blues (A Crossroads Thriller)
by Eyre Price
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

5.0 out of 5 stars More Sharps Than Flats In Music-rich Debut Novel, 22 Jan. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Eyre Price. Remember the name because, if there is any justice in the wide world of literature, Eyre Price is going to be one of the names on the front page of every literary magazine this year. His debut novel, Blues Highway Blues is a real chameleon of a book - black comedy on one page, vivid violence on the next and a real kaleidoscope of colours and emotions on every page after.
Written by an author with an obvious and almost evangelical love of music the novel delves into the dark dealings of Daniel Erickson, a music promoter who has made a pact, if not with the devil then one of the devil's main representatives on earth, a Russian gangster who is after revenge and Erickson's money. Aided by two of modern fiction's most noteworthy hit men, Vernon "Moog" Turner and the quaintly named Rabidoso the Russian tails Erickson on an epic chase from Las Vegas into the Southern heartland of the blues and rock'n'roll.
Musical references fly off the pages like confetti and a moderate knowledge of American blues, soul and rock is certainly of assistance when reading this. Price's feel for time and place, however, will guide the musical novice safely through the darker corners of Tin Pan Alley and, in all probability, persuade many readers to explore the music further. Price's style of writing is easy and natural, his characters all too real and his dialogue alive with rhythm. The plot speeds along for the most part and rarely stutters, a rare quality for even the most established of authors. Ignore this book at your peril.

Review is from the Advanced Reader's Copy - Uncorrected Proof


200 Tagines & Moroccan Dishes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook
200 Tagines & Moroccan Dishes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook
by Hamlyn Cookbooks
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Taste of The Spices Of Life, 22 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Moroccan food, and North African food generally, is undergoing a sort of culinary renaissance through greater availability of ingredients, travel and greater prominence as a result of television coverage. How topical then that Hamlyn should wisely publish this handy and colourful book at this time. There are remarkably few books on the market which deal with this intriguing cuisine so it is even better to have a book of this quality and depth at such a reasonable price. Dealing with starters, soups, tagines, fish, kebabs, couscous, vegetables and desserts this is about as comprehensive a cookbook as one could expect and virtually every recipe featured has at least one variation. A short yet concise introduction is an ideal appetizer with sections on typical ingredients as well as instructions on how to make couscous and pastilla.
As with all the Hamlyn cookbooks in this series the photography and food styling is of a very high standard and is designed to inspire and give confidence to the novice as well as setting a challenge for the more experienced cook. Quite simply, a kitchen without this book is like a tapenade without olives.


Broken Harbour: Dublin Murder Squad:  4
Broken Harbour: Dublin Murder Squad: 4
by Tana French
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big on Characters, Short on Plot, 22 Dec. 2012
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Tana French's fourth suspense novel, like the previous three, is set in a fictional Ireland as crime-ridden and corrupt as any fictional country could be. The central character, Detective Kennedy, is investigating a multiple murder on an estate and jumps to the same easy solution as his colleagues, the media and the residents. But as details unfold Kennedy examines the evidence and digs deeper into the lives of those affected by recession, poverty and the need to make ends meet. This, then is the springboard which launches French's latest reluctant hero into a stormy journey through the seedier side of Dublin both at the present time and through childhood memories of a very different Broken Harbour.
French, as ever, is skilled at fleshing out her characters and making them as three dimensional as possible. What this book lacks, unfortunately, is a real twist of plot. Everything appears to be too straightforward and progress in the investigation seems wholly reliant on a few characters working excessive hours. I found the book a little too long as a result - is there some unspoken rule that suspense fiction has to run to 500 plus pages regardless of content or plot?
Tana French is capable of better - In The Woods is still a haunting and achingly plausible read - and will hopefully return to form in the near future.


The 12th Victim (Karin Schaeffer 3)
The 12th Victim (Karin Schaeffer 3)
by Katia Lief
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Third In Series - Still Impressive, 23 Oct. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Katia Lief's third book in the Karin Schaeffer series picks up neatly from where Hide and Seek finished. Billy Staples, friend and fellow detective, is recovering from the injury and trauma suffered at the hands of his girl friend but is trying to keep himself together. A mysterious telephone call from Billy summons Karin to the scene of both a hit and run accident involving a young girl, Abby and the murder of a prostitute, the eleventh such murder in both Brooklyn and Manhattan during the previous two years. Abby, a potential witness to the latest killing, emerges from an induced coma but cannot - or will not - speak. It is left to Karin, still recovering from her own trauma, to both help Billy to catch the killer and coax Abby to tell her what has happened.
Lief has the gift of creating central characters who are both believable as police men and women and as ordinary people with private lives, families and homes. Her attention to detail, at times a little too involved it has to be said, can help the reader to understand what is happening to the character and why that character is acting in a particular way. The plot is steadily paced with very few sudden jolts and the whole book is very easy and credible to read. Ms Lief will never win any crime writers' awards with this gentle pace of detection but she makes up for this by making her characters both plausible and likeable.


200 Barbecue Recipes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: 200 BBQ Recipes
200 Barbecue Recipes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: 200 BBQ Recipes
by Louise Pickford
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Summer All Year Long, 23 Oct. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Seasonal cookery books can't be a publisher's greatest asset. Christmas, admittedly, starts round about mid August but spare a thought for culinary volumes devoted to that most elusive of native creatures, the Great British Barbecue. With meteorologists gushingly informing us that we have just had the wettest summer for a hundred years it is a brave publisher indeed who will bring out a book devoted to all things al fresco.
A toast then to Hamlyn for doing just that and filling it with some new, exciting recipes to try on the charcoal next time the sun shines for long enough. Divided into seven self explanatory chapters everything is in here for a truly successful barbecue from skewers, bruschetta and wings through more ornate steak and fish dishes to salads, sauces and marinades before a welcome section on the delights of barbecued desserts. The chapter dealing with vegetarian dishes is a little thin and somewhat lacklustre but this is my only major criticism in what is otherwise a wisely chosen and beautifully photographed collection. At the time of writing this review the clocks are on the point of going back to herald the end of British Summer Time; these 200 recipes are guaranteed to be read and re read during the dark Winter months in the hope that the opportunity to fire up the barbecue will both be early and as rewarding as this colourful collection.


You Aren't What You Eat: Fed Up with Gastroculture
You Aren't What You Eat: Fed Up with Gastroculture
by Steven Poole
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gastronomy Under The Microscope, 14 Oct. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In a world where food has become a commercial commodity rather than the staff of life, where celebrity chefs are more famous than footballers and where product endorsement has become a by-word for multifarious shady dealings this book voices a refreshing argument for common sense and maturity. Steven Poole unearths some of the more unsavoury practises within the food industry from self qualified 'nutritionists' dictating their generally crackpot theories on television and in other media through the mystical dragon fighting of 'molecular gastronomy' to a DIY Christmas cake which, because it is endorsed by a celebrity cook, is more expensive to buy than its ready made equivalent.
Reading a little like some culinary Alice In Wonderland this book is both knowledgeably written and entertaining - at no point does its subject matter become dry and over scholarly. From food as art to the moral maze of 'convenience' food Poole conducts his readers through a complex and often misunderstood menu of pretension, psychology and profit maximization with both authority and style. While offering no solutions Poole is as balanced a referee as one could hope for in the seemingly unending struggle between food for art's sake and food for - well - food's sake. The extensive notes and 'bibliophagy' at the end provide ample evidence of the research that Poole has undertaken in preparing his argument. In short, everybody who gains some pleasure from growing, preparing or eating food - be they fastidious foodie or junk food junkie - will discover some morsels here to their taste.


200 Super Salads: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook
200 Super Salads: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook
by Alice Storey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not Just A Bunch Of Boring Leaves, 10 Sept. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Forty years or so ago I wouldn't have even got past the cover of this book - back then 'salad' was one of those words like 'golf', 'politics' and 'algebra' which would ensure that my attention span, a sensitive and finely calibrated instrument, would barely register. The very idea that somebody could spend time researching and assembling salad recipes for a book was almost as incredulous as the idea of people buying, reading and following said recipes in that book.
Thankfully the intervening years have improved my sense of taste and objectivity and, rather than be repelled by salad recipes I find myself instead drawn to them like some culinary moth to a flame. It's all to do with food combining, the true yin and yang of food preparation which attracts me to salads and the adventure of discovering new combinations of smell, taste, appearance and texture. Hamlyn's handy 200 Super Salads book certainly continues the adventure and reveals surprises and shocks along the way. After an introduction which includes recipes and tips for dressings the book is divided into "side", "light", "big", "warm" and "fruit" chapters with an extra chapter devoted to rice, beans, grains and pasta. Among the many surprises are the combination of watermelon and feta cheese, sashimi salmon served with beetroot, carrot and rocket and curried couscous salad with smoked mackerel. The photography, as seems to be the case with all of Hamlyn's 200 series is both high quality and tasteful. My one gripe is that rather than divide such a huge subject by size chapters according to the seasons would make individual recipes a little easier to find but that said this is still a great book for every salad afficianado and may even create a few converts!


200 Curries: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Ideas
200 Curries: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Ideas
by Sunil Vijayakar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot (and not too hot) Stuff!, 8 Sept. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Curry recipe books have little in common with buses - possibly the only shared ground is their propensity at appearing in gangs after a long period of non appearance. Many will question whether the market really needs another addition to the book mountain but in the case of Hamlyn's keenly priced collection of both tradititional and contemporary recipes then it appears it does.
The old school of Indian cookery is ably represented by the likes of vegetable samosas, pork vindaloo and creamy lamb korma while the new kitchen offers such delights as crispy spiced egg salad, Swahili chicken, pomfret in banana leaf and coconut clam curry. Starters and side dishes thoughtfully get their own chapters while mains are chaptered according to dominant ingredient. Most of the recipes are tastefully illustrated, ingredient lists, generally, don't stretch the length of the page and the instructions are designed to be followed by even the most amateur of cooks. One criticism - I would have liked to have seen more recipes based on pulses as well as the standard tarka dhal. This aside though, even the most choosy of curry buffs will find something here to please them thus making it an essential addition to anyone's cookery library.


The Rough Guide to Tuscany & Umbria
The Rough Guide to Tuscany & Umbria
by Jonathan Buckley
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Chiantishire and Beyond!, 9 Aug. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Central Italy has, for many years, become synonymous with a certain breed of Englishness. Just as Provence in the fifties and sixties became the middle class Englishman's other castle so has Tuscany developed into the wealthy middle class Italian equivalent of rural Surrey - Chianti shire was not just a class laden pun but also geographically inaccurate when it was coined as a term for the playground of too many English people from the Home Counties. Thankfully there is far more to Tuscany and neighbouring Umbria than that - it was after all the cradle of the Renaissance and one of the most powerful kingdoms within pre-Garibaldi Italy.
Tim Jepson, Jonathan Buckley and Mark Ellingham, Rough Guide veterans to a man, have written what is possibly the most in depth and easily readable guide to these complex and fascinating regions. It is only when one considers the hoard of riches within Tuscany alone - Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Sienna - that the complexity of such a guide is realised. No other region of Italy possesses such a wealth of distinct, history filled towns and cities - a Rough Guide to Florence alone would be a sizeable enough project. It is to the writers' and editing team's credit that they have managed to cram so much information, maps, plans and photographs into this book's near six hundred pages and still make it portable enough to survive a week or two of intensive sight seeing. Sensibly the introduction deals not only with where to visit but when to visit, what not to miss and even details itineraries for those with limited time. The second chapter, Basics deals with travelling to and within the regions, accommodation, food and drink, festivals and travel essentials before the main part of the book guides the reader through a five hundred page journey of discovery and delight. As seems to be Rough Guide's style the closing section, Context deals with the more specialised areas such as history, art and further reading. Personally I find this of great assistance; I enjoy reading about the history of a certain place but not always when I am trying to find my way from a Palazzo to a Museo through a maze of narrow back streets. To be able to read about a town in its historical context in the relaxed atmosphere of a cafe is much more my thing.
Just reading through this fascinating book made me realise two things. It is many years since I visited both Tuscany and Umbria and the evocative prose and sumptuous photography in the book brought back some truly wonderful memories. It also made me decide that it is high time I revisited this truly wondrous part of Italy.


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