Tag Archives: Books

Books and their covers

I was very happy to receive a number of books for Christmas, specfically cookbooks.  To be fair I am an easy person to buy for.  I like books and horses.  Cookbooks are easier to wrap.



I haven’t decided which to dive into yet.  I did flick through Allegra’s “Big Table, Busy Kitchen”.  I was delighted to meet her the the Lit Fest 2015 (by the way the tickets are on sale for LitFest16– buy some- you won’t regret it.)

Her style is very easy to read and I look forward to trying out some of the recipes.

This year I would like to try cookery courses in other countries, maybe the Italian cookery course will give me a head start!  I’m heading to Bath in March to do the “intensive” 5 day bread course with the esteemed Richard Bertinet.  Nigel did this course 5 years ago and it completely revolutionised our bread making.  Even when I was in Ballymaloe the teachers raved about his techniques.  I am just dying to get there and get started.  And of course will have to make time for coffee and prunes- a staple of any cooking course.

Since we got a loan of a kindle at home I change between reading on it, and reading an actual book.  Unfortunately the cookbooks are a little too heavy read in bed last thing at night, so hopefully when the aftermath of December has died down I’ll get to sit down with a cup of coffee and devour them.

Wednesday 13 January 020

I’m a big Lee Child fan.  Have always enjoyed the Jack Reacher series, and really loved the film with Tom Cruise, although I reluctantly agree with my better half, he was FAR too short to play the lead.    This one was a little disappointing.. which breaks my heart as I really do tick off the days until the next release.  Not that he’s the only one. I love all the Karen Rose books. I must remember to check if she has any new ones out.  These days I very rarely visit shops- even bookshops so don’t get to see the new releases. I also love looking at travel books.  I’ve one for touring America, but that’s slightly wistful thinking so I think that I’ll re-visit this in the near future.

Wednesday 13 January 021

And like when I’m choosing food, the covers on the books appeal to me first.  But often with cookbooks, especially the more generic- 1000 best cakes- and the like, the pictures can be deceiving.  And often, a little like entering a cake shop, the eyes are drawn to colours and patterns.

One of the books I got this year, which I just know will be my favourite, is simply called Patisserie.  Nothing fancy, not even one picture inside.  But the recipes- wowsers.  I nearly had to go for a run to combat the calories I put on looking at the recipes!

So books will be in my future for a while- and hopefully I will garner some new ones this year.  Am thinking the Back roads of Italy might be nice…..to go with my cooking courses of course.

As a very important addendum- this piece from the New Yorker, puts beautifully into prose about reading cookbooks that I just cannot.  So please take the time to read it (and don’t, then, berate me for my appalling style next to his!!!)


Book v’s Screen

There’s always a case for technology.  And I like nothing better then to catch up on news at the end of the day on my phone, but I usually then read a book.  If I’m in book reading mode, I read about 2 to 3 a week, depends on the book, and also how tired I am.


But I also read my first book on a Kindle, a Harlen Coben, “The Woods”.  I read it in about 4 hours. Not continously mind you- but close enough! So I decided to investigate if this was common.

A study was done in a Norwegian University to investigate the possibility if wonder if the experience a reader gets from reading using an electronic device (e.g. kindle) is different from that experienced by those reading words printed on paper—or more specifically, if the experience is better or worse.  The results were interesting.

The two groups recorded equal empathy with the characters involved in the story, and both groups were equally immersed aswell, where the differed was the retention of details from the book, for example plot lines.  They suggest the tactile experience that goes hand in hand with reading an actual book might be more conducive to data retention, or perhaps the fact that a reader is constantly aware of their degree of progress with a paperback book somehow has an impact on what their mind holds onto.

And for the moment, I’m back to books, just finishing “Empire” by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard, the second book in the Chronicles of the Invaders series. Very enjoyable, as always.  Though I’d love a cameo from Charlie Parker!

Our Kindle

Our Kindle

Next on the list? Unsure. Suggestions on a postcard please!

Dr Seuss- The lessons I’ve Learned

Both my kids, and all the cousins have grown up reading Dr Seuss.

I spent an “enjoyable” car ride with the eldest reciting poor Mr Bix

“And poor Mr. Bix! Every morning at six, poor Mr. Bix has his Borfin to fix!  It doesn’t seem fair. It just doesn’t seem right, but his Borfin just seems to go shlump every night.  It shlumps in a heap, sadly needing repair.  Bix figures it’s due to the local night air.  It takes him all day to un-shlump it.  And then…the night air comes back and it shlumps once again! So don’t you feel blue. Don’t get down in the dumps.  You’re lucky you don’t have a Borfin that shlumps.”

And I remembered all the times we looked at the drawings, and all the different characters.

Dr Seuss' Characters

Dr Seuss’ Characters

And I got to thinking about their other favourites- the little yellow digger (I can still recite it word for word), and the Tiger who came to tea, who had the cheek, don’t you know- to drink ALL daddy’s beer!!

But the constant read in our house for about 2 years was Slinky Malinki and all his friends,

And now they are reading everything, from the Hunger Games to Philosophy for dummies!

The Gift of Books

The Gift of Books

Next stop is to try a kindle…….