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Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.89

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensation!, 24 Feb. 2009
I am already on my third copy of this excellent book. This is not by choice, but because friends and relations have vied with each other to beg, borrow or steal it.

Other reviewers have noted that Ottolenghi and Tamini are very skilled at producing unusual flavour combinations from relatively everyday ingredients. Their signature griddling and marinating techniques have much to teach both the home cook and the professional.

However what I find particularly impressive about this book is how well balanced the recipes are as a group. While the vegetable dishes are probably the star turns - cauliflower and cumin fritters, green beans with hazelnuts and orange zest - the puddings and the meat dishes are equally good. Try the meringues, or the pork with plum and rhubarb relish, to see what I mean.

My advice is to buy this book. Then write your name in it in large letters.


The Kiss Murder: A Hop-ciki-yaya Thriller
The Kiss Murder: A Hop-ciki-yaya Thriller
by Mehmet Murat Somer
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pucker up!, 16 Feb. 2009
"The Kiss Murder" is the second of Mehmet Murad Somer's Hop-Çiki-Ya-Ya series of crime novels to be published in the UK. However, this book actually precedes the excellent "Prophet Murders" in the series' chronology.

Our heroine - an unnamed transvestite club-owner, Audrey Hepburn fan and aikido expert - gets in over her head when her friend Buse confides in her about a previous relationship. Who was this important lover? Who wants the photographic evidence of this liaison badly enough to kill? To find the answers, our heroine must deal with underworld types and shady politicians, not to mention importunate taxi drivers, nosy neighbours, exploitative journalists and the machinations of the glamorous older drag-queen Sofya.

"The Kiss Murder" is an enjoyable, well-written book. The reader will recognize many of the features developed in "The Prophet Murders". The heroine is intelligent, resourceful and talented. The world of transvestite "girls" she moves in is flamboyant and memorable. The Istanbul setting adds flair to the mix and the mystery is satisfyingly murky.

Anyone who has already enjoyed "The Prophet Murders" will make a beeline for "The Kiss Murder". For those who haven't yet had the pleasure, a treat is in store for you.


The Cole Porter Mix
The Cole Porter Mix
Price: £12.51

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from bog-standard., 22 Oct. 2008
This review is from: The Cole Porter Mix (Audio CD)
Why not match the songs of Cole Porter with Patricia Barber, one of the most thoughtful and powerful jazz vocalists working today? What a great idea!

As a longtime fan of Barber's, I am delighted to see her varying her darker, more experimental work with this album.

Her outstanding technical talent and understated delivery work miracles on 'standards' such as 'Miss Otis Regrets' and 'I Get a Kick out of You'.

The band are in great shape too.

Perfect listening as the nights start to draw in. At least that's my excuse.


Dexter: Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Dexter: Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael C. Hall
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £14.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly dreaming..., 29 May 2008
This series is every bit as good as previous reviewers say.

Hero or anti-hero, Dexter is a wonderfully compelling, complex character. And good as Michael Hall is as Dexter, his supporting cast are magnificent too.

What keeps the viewer's interest from Episode 1 right through to Episode 12 is that this isn't just a regular crime 'puzzle' with body parts thrown in for cheap thrills. Dexter's evolving psychology is always centre-stage.

My only quibble about this box set are the extras - or rather the lack of. In contrast to the US set, the only extras included here are audio commentaries on Episodes 6 and 12.

We can only hope that the makers are less mean-spirited when it comes to the Series 2 set.


The Iron Hand of Mars
The Iron Hand of Mars
by Lindsey Davis
Edition: Audio CD

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Falco completes his most difficult mission yet - with flying colours, 3 Feb. 2008
This review is from: The Iron Hand of Mars (Audio CD)
In this, the fourth Falco to get the BBC dramatization treatment, the series is really starting to gel.

The Emperor Vespasian sends Falco to Germany to solve several seemingly impossible problems.

Rebellious legions, missing legates, murderous warriors and a beautiful priestess all have their parts to play in the story.

Falco even inadvertently stumbles across the site of the infamous massacre in the Teutoberger Forest, when three entire Roman legions were lost during the reign of Augustus. These scenes are memorably creepy and capture the atmosphere of Tacitus' historical account of the disaster.

`The Iron Hand of Mars' introduces some intriguing characters, such as Xanthus, a flamboyant barber and Dubnus, a peddler whose wares are even more dubious than their seller. Fortunately for Falco, some old friends from earlier in the series turn up to extricate him from the tight corners he gets himself into.

Anton Lesser (as Falco) and Anna Madeley (as Helena) make an excellent leading pair. The supporting cast, including the regulars like Titus, Vespasian, Petro and Justinus, contribute admirably to the drama.

The exotic setting is well exploited by the producers. They should also be praised for helping the listener to differentiate easily between characters from various parts of the Roman Empire - and the hostile areas on its borders.

One can only hope that the next in the series, `Poseidon's Gold', is not too long in the making.


Gay from China at the Chalet School
Gay from China at the Chalet School
by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping, 5 Oct. 2007
This is one of the most interesting Chalet School titles.

The school is exile in Wales for the duration of the War. When four teachers (including Miss Annersley) are involved in a serious accident, Madge Russell has to find a temporary Head.

Miss Bubb's views on the nature and purpose of education are very different from those she finds at the Chalet School. Both girls and staff are forced to think about why their traditions and values are important, and how they are to be preserved in new circumstances. Gay Lambert and new girl Jacynth Hardy become friends, and help each other through many difficulties and scrapes.

Of course, the novel also contains other exciting adventures and the obligatory outbreak of German measles. The period slang is, as ever, a delight.


Mawrdew Czgowchwz (NYRB Classics)
Mawrdew Czgowchwz (NYRB Classics)
by James McCourt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cult classic, 1 Oct. 2007
This is one of the most original and inventive books I have ever read.

McCourt's prose is highly wrought, and his send up of the hysteria of the opera world is hilarious.

Mawrdew Czgowchwz won't be to everybody's taste - it's distinctive maximalism can be hard to get to grips with. However, perseverance will be richly rewarded.


Tokyo Look Book: Stylish to Spectacular, Goth to Gyaru, Sidewalk to Catwalk
Tokyo Look Book: Stylish to Spectacular, Goth to Gyaru, Sidewalk to Catwalk
by Philomena Keet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and original: a technicolour odyssey through the spectrum of Tokyo style, 20 Sept. 2007
This is an excellent book on Japanese fashion as a whole.

Many different groups are lovingly described and photographed, from the most theatrical goths to the smartest office girls. The sheer variety of looks and genres will come as a surprise to many.

Philomena Keet's background in anthropology gives her descriptions and interviews real substance, while the photographs by Yuri Manabe are a delight.

Highly recommended.


The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions
The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions
Price: £6.28

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top marks, 8 Aug. 2006
Seu Jorge's versions of Bowie staples deserve to be classics in their own right The spare production creates an intimate atmosphere while Seu Jorge's vocals are deceptively simple. Some would be intimidated by the material, but his lyricism uncovers emotion in the songs which comes as an unexpected pleasure. For me, 'Rebel Rebel', 'Changes' and 'Five Years' are standout tracks, but the whole album has a wonderful off-beat charm. Perfect listening for long summer evenings. Or just about any other time.


Royal Flash (Flashman Papers)
Royal Flash (Flashman Papers)
by George MacDonald Fraser
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plunge with the best!, 27 Jan. 2006
Rupert Penry-Jones proves to be an inspired choice as the voice of the arch-cad and yellow-livered 'hero' Flashman. In this second instalment, Flashman is trapped by Lola Montez and Otto Bismarck into another hare-brained scheme, impersonating royalty with the peace of Europe in the balance. Penry-Jones attacks the bountiful variety of Fraser's book with relish - the fiendish plotting, the craven cries for mercy, the calculating covetousness and (of course) the animal lust. Highly recommended. Bring on the next chapter!


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