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Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel
Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel
by Eric Boman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $49.73
22 used & new from $49.73

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential guide to style, May 31, 2010
This is the sort of book that does not do well with online bookstores. It is the sort of book you need to flick through rather than just see a cover picture and read a blurb before buying. If you are familiar with Iris Apfel you will know exactly what to expect. But for anyone else this book needs to be browsed in a bookshop to discover the delights within it. The book is almost all photographs. They are excellent clear records of Iris Apfel's wardrobe and jewellery.
Any aspiring fashion or jewellery designer will learn a lot from the photographs. The clothes are styled on mannequins and put together how Iris would have worn them. This makes it an excellent reference book for anyone who wants to learn about fashion styling. This book is also an essential reference guide for anyone who wants to stand out from the pack and make a statement with their fashion. All the outfits are truly timeless, and it is the way that they are put together which makes them stand out rather than the cost or designer label. This means that this book is truly democratic; anyone can take away something from these photos to add style to their own wardrobe.


How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures From Your Digital Camera
How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures From Your Digital Camera
by Tom Ang
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.35
85 used & new from $2.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says on the tin., May 27, 2010
I love photography but find discovering really inspirational books that are worth buying difficult. Photography books tend to be either very technical, aimed at the amateur or full of the type of photos you have seen a hundred times. I know my way around a camera and am looking for ideas that are different and not bogged down with apertures, f stops and fancy lenses. This book does exactly what it says - it shows you how to photograph absolutely everything, without all the boring bits. The book is full of pictures, over 380 pages full of pictures. It gives advice and tips for improving just about any type of photo, both before it is taken and after. There is so much to inspire you in this book that taking your child to the park, wandering around your garden, a night out with friends or a shopping trip could all turn into a perfect photo opportunity, with some fresh original photos to show for it. Only the most jaded photographer will not find new ideas in this book.


Tropical Garden Design
Tropical Garden Design
by Made Wijaya
Edition: Paperback
22 used & new from $0.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, May 25, 2010
This review is from: Tropical Garden Design (Paperback)
I use this book a lot more than I ever thought I would. I garden in England, and knew when I bought this book that none of the plants would survive an English winter. However, this book is full of wonderful inspirational pictures and ideas. I wanted the feeling of the lush tropics in my garden, and I refer to this book all the time, I take inspiration from this book, and then find plants to use that are frost hardy, but look similar. It's not difficult, but you need to do a bit more work yourself in the planning stages looking for similar plants. This book is perfect for anyone who wants a touch of the tropics in the garden, wherever you garden, however it will not lead you by the hand through the process.


Tequila Oil: Getting Lost in Mexico
Tequila Oil: Getting Lost in Mexico
by Hugh Thomson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.09
61 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class travel writing., May 22, 2010
Twenty years ago I read my first travel writing. This was by Paul Theroux. He made travel writing seem so effortless. Amusing, entertaining, informative and lucrative. I have read a lot since and found out just how rare good travel writing is. Very few people can turn their anecdotes into a "good read". Hugh Thompson is an experienced writer and has managed to turn an account of a trip he took in his youth into travel writing gold. This book is enjoyable, hair raising, informative as well as being a great coming of age account. The Mexico that Thompson writes about with true affection still exists and can still easily be found. This book is a very welcome change from all the scare stories and bad press Mexico seems to attract these days. A really entertaining read.


Brixton Beach
Brixton Beach
by Roma Tearne
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from $0.77

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting., May 22, 2010
This review is from: Brixton Beach (Hardcover)
The first half of this book is set in Sri Lanka and is beautiful and evocative, full of colour, laughter and joy. The second half is heart wrenchingly sad. I read the second half with a permanent lump in my throat. It is the vitality of the first half that makes the second half so tragic. But for me none of this is what makes the book so memorable and kept me thinking about it for weeks after I had read it. The greatest achievement of this book is to give a name and a face and a story to what have become just numbers in the news these days. The book starts with a terrorist attack in central London, it then goes back to tell the story of one of the faceless "numbers" caught up in the attack. It is this life story that still haunts me, long after reading this beautiful book.


Corelli's Mandolin: A Novel
Corelli's Mandolin: A Novel
by Louis De Bernieres
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.30
838 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't give up!, May 22, 2010
I bought this book because of all the excellent reviews it has had and because everybody raves and raves about it. However despite trying four or five times to read it I just couldn't get in to it. I had decided to give up on it and pass the book on to a charity shop, when a friend let me into a secret, a secret that is apparently common knowledge - though I had never heard of it. DON'T GIVE UP UNTIL YOU REACH PAGE 50. Apparently everyone struggles at the beginning of this book, but everyone who perseveres loves it. I read to page 50 hating every page, but discovered round about page 48 I stopped checking which page I was on. From then on I absolutely loved this book. Don't skip the first 50 pages - you need them, but your perseverance will be rewarded.

Apparently this book tops the list of books bought but not read, I'm sure if everyone knew about persevering through the first 50 pages this book would not even feature on that list.


A Novel; The Lacuna Unabridged 16 CDs by B Kingsolver [AUDIOBOOK] [UNABRIDGED] (Audio CD)
A Novel; The Lacuna Unabridged 16 CDs by B Kingsolver [AUDIOBOOK] [UNABRIDGED] (Audio CD)
by Barbara Kingsolver
Edition: Audio CD
33 used & new from $20.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, May 20, 2010
I originally ordered this book because I love Mexico and find Freda Kahlo fascinating. The book is very well researched, but carries the research lightly. It captures the sense of time and place accurately without trying too hard. It is also beautifully written. Having visited the two houses of Kahlo's that feature in the book I loved all the domestic details, and learned more about the houses than I learned on the tours. This book is a must have to accompany any visit to the Mexican capital.

However the book is about much more than Frida and Diego's domestic arrangements. It is also a detailed account of what was quite a shocking time in history. McCarthyism has been written about many times before, but never, I think, in the context of such an interesting story. It is also a very funny book, with an intricately woven multi layered plot.

The best bit about having this book in audio form is that you get the authors voice. If you want to hear the nuance and emphasis that may not come out on the printed page, audio books read by the author are a must. Interpretations by an actor may be more polished, but for me, no one can read a book as well as the author.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 31, 2010 4:00 PM PDT


Don't Sweat the Aubergine: What Works in the Kitchen and Why
Don't Sweat the Aubergine: What Works in the Kitchen and Why
by Nicholas Clee
Edition: Paperback
11 used & new from $1.65

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, May 20, 2010
I am surprised that this book is not constantly in the cookery bestseller charts. It is a kitchen essential for everyone from a young person in their first kitchen, to an experienced cook. It covers just about everything and tells you how to cook it, but more importantly why. For instance it gives you 3 tried and tested methods for cooking rice, but then breaks each down into WHY you do each step and what happens if you don't follow them. Nicholas Clee is very honest about the things about cooking that frighten him, and then gives advice on how not to be frightened yourself. The book covers the basics; rice, eggs etc but there is also enough for even the most experienced home cooks to find this book invaluable. For instance; under the heading MAYONNAISE, Clee writes:

"This classic sauce" Raymond Blanc claims "is very simple to make" That is an example of the Annoying Things That Chefs Write. Vinaigrette is simple; it cannot go wrong. Mayonnaise, as every cook of experience knows, can go wrong: unless you're careful, it will split.

Clee then goes on to explain; Don't start cold, and why, What oil to use and why; What to add when and why, and why Drop by Drop is so important.
The book is also full of recipes. From effortless recipes for entertaining a large group informally around the kitchen table to recipes for delicious lunches when dining solo.


Bulb
Bulb
by Anna Pavord
Edition: Hardcover
72 used & new from $2.16

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, May 20, 2010
This review is from: Bulb (Hardcover)
I bought this book thinking it would be an encyclopaedia with pictures of a good number of presently available bulbs featured - a bit like the wonderful books by Roger Phillips. And was initially disappointed. The book is stuffed full of photos, but not as many as I had anticipated.

However where this book comes into its own is with the extent of its very detailed information. I sat down with this book for half an hour with a cup of coffee and learned more in those thirty minutes about bulbs than in all my years gardening, and that was just with skimming through. Anyone who grows bulbs will learn an enormous amount from Anna Pavord's deep and detailed subject knowledge. It covers everything from history to cultivation, propagation, storage, and most importantly positioning - which I had never realised was so important. This book will pay for itself quite quickly with the money it saves me when buying and growing bulbs.


Thai Cookery Secrets: How to Cook Delicious Curries and Pad Thai
Thai Cookery Secrets: How to Cook Delicious Curries and Pad Thai
by Kris Dhillon
Edition: Paperback
45 used & new from $0.16

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A kitchen workhorse., May 16, 2010
This reasonably priced paperback is what I call a kitchen workhorse. One of those books you go back to time and time again for basic techniques and information. It is not a glossy coffee table book with photos to die for - it has no photos at all.

Instead this book talks you through the basic ingredients of Thai cooking - what does what, why you use it and what to substitute if you can't get it. It has a section on growing your own herbs for authentic flavour. It has a chapter on equipment, and cooking techniques. It explains how to get the right balances in flavour. There is a chapter on Thai curry pastes, describing and explaining them all, and even tells you how to jazz up store bought curry pastes. It then takes you to the step by step recipes. These go from a step by step guide to perfect steamed jasmine rice, which not only tells you what to do, but more importantly why, to recipes for perfect pad thai, with tips and important points to remember for instance;

"Cook your pad thai in one or two serves only: too much food in the wok will stew rather than stir-fry and you won't get that lovely `wok' flavour."

This book is almost the Thai cooking version of Nicholas Clee's "Don't Sweat the Aubergine: What Works in the Kitchen and Why"
The reason to buy this book is that it cost's no more than a one meal readymade fancy pack of Thai spices, and you will never need to buy a ready meal again.


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