Strongly contemplating giving the mandarin cake a go first, even tho it has 6 eggs, and I've been brought up never to make cakes that require numerousStrongly contemplating giving the mandarin cake a go first, even tho it has 6 eggs, and I've been brought up never to make cakes that require numerous eggs. Perhaps if I halve the recipe and make mini cakes in a muffin pan instead... The turkish delight cheesecake (on the cover) also looks a-maz-ing.
Update: Underwhelmed by the mandarin cake. Gave the rosewater chocolate cake a go, took half of it in to work on Monday and got excellent kudos. Go me!! Was contemplating trying out the upside down caramelised banana nutmeg cake this evening (for work tomorrow) but decided I couldn't be arsed. Running out of days...
Update 2. Giving the Arabian Date Cake a go today, while doing a zillion other things. Didn't look like there was enough mixture for the cake pan, and I am using the size specified in the recipe. Hmm. And it seemed cooked well before it was supposed to be, but I think that was my stupid oven running hot. I had the oven thermometer in there, and kept having to adjust the temp down and down... anyhow, I can't imagine how my cake is going to be as deep as the one pictured in the book appears. It smells pretty good tho. (note, just the one egg in this one)
Update 3. The testing team were impressed with the arabian date cake, and the super-foodie of the group asked for the recipe. Yes! Meanwhile, the final test is the Strawberry Coconut Ice cupcakes. Thumbs up from me! The mouth-feel is a bit startling to start with, as I use quite coarse coconut as a matter of course, but the flavour is good, and once I got used to the texture it was totally yummy.
Verdict. Buying the book. There are too many tantalising recipes in the book to only have the book for a month from the library, and even if I don't make loads of cakes the pictures are beautiful. ...more
Oh, very good stuff. lovely descriptive writing and a smart, spunky heroine. I think I would have adored this as a 12 year old. Will most certainly beOh, very good stuff. lovely descriptive writing and a smart, spunky heroine. I think I would have adored this as a 12 year old. Will most certainly be reading the rest of the series. ...more
Reading this on account of a) happening to spot it as available in the digital library catalogue, 2. having read the truly hilarious and scathing drunReading this on account of a) happening to spot it as available in the digital library catalogue, 2. having read the truly hilarious and scathing drunken group book review here on Goodreads and (iii)feeling the necessity for an additional audiobook given that the one I'm listening to in the car is nearly finished, and neither of my preferred next selections seem anywhere like turning up at the library soon. Sigh. So this is for entertainment and cheap thrills in the comfort of my own home all those times I might otherwise be tempted to finish off my other, actually worthy and decent, audiobook. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
And I'm giving it a very generous 3 stars, probably more like a 2.5, but I don't hold with half stars... I think what annoyed me most was the sheer repetitiveness of some ideas. I could have happily done with probably 20% fewer words. If I'd started it expecting a 4 star read, I'd have been really disappointed. ...more
Average story length = 24 pages, which seems perfect for dipping into. Will add to the review as I go, if the spirit moves me (heh).
1. If I had a HamAverage story length = 24 pages, which seems perfect for dipping into. Will add to the review as I go, if the spirit moves me (heh).
1. If I had a Hammer. I liked this Charlaine Harris well enough - perfectly inoffensive slice of Sookie, sans vamps.
2. Wizard Home security. Cute. author blurb says he's working on something longer based on these characters. Should be nicely amusing if it happens.
3. Gray. My first taste of Patricia Briggs, I'm embarrassed to admit. Gorgeous, atmospheric little story. I may have to chase down some of her longer stuff.
4. Squatters rights. Didn't do it for me. Found the Jewish angle very interesting, but really dissatisfied with the ending.
5. Blood on the Wall. Hello New Orleans! Yeah, pretty average, nothing to dislike here.
6 & 7 both failed to keep my interest. Didn't even make it onto the 3rd page on mansion of Imperatives, but I think I got over halfway with The Strength Inside before I realised I didn't really care enough to finish it.
8 & 9 both Ok - rather enjoyable, and with a few chuckles. 10 failed to interest me long enough to get off page 1.
11. Read this because it was prominently mentioned by a few of the top reviews of this book. I enjoyed it very much, and may well have a look at the series it belongs to.
12 I skipped on the grounds that I couldn't finish the first in the spellcrackers.com series, which this story belongs to.
13. It's all in the rendering - was really enjoying this, and then suddenly it was over. disappointed by how abruptly it ended
14. In Brightest Day. Loved it!! quirky and fun
Overall not a bad anthology :-) And to think I'd sworn off them 6 months ago. ...more
Utterly charming. I love the way the author speaks directly to the reader as if he is telling the story. I was also very impressed with the audiobookUtterly charming. I love the way the author speaks directly to the reader as if he is telling the story. I was also very impressed with the audiobook reader - great accents, and a wide range of distinctive voices for the various characters. ...more
This review is of an audio edition, although I did get the paperback out of the library as well so I could re-look at some of the equations and diagraThis review is of an audio edition, although I did get the paperback out of the library as well so I could re-look at some of the equations and diagrams if need be. I'm really pleased I did this, as it became apparent that in adapting the book for audio some stuff had to be omitted; most notably the 'master equation' in the chapter on the origin of mass. It seemed very odd the way they kept banging on about the master equation on the audiobook without ever giving even a hint of what it looked like. When I saw the equations - 4 lines of fractions, powers, upper and lower case letters and just about every Greek letter I've ever met - I understood why it was excluded, but I felt some better way of explaining its absence than just skipping over it would have been preferable. To be honest, I struggled with the particle physics section. I can say, however, that my understanding of space-time, and Einstein's famous theories has greatly improved. I know some reviewers felt patronised by the tone of the book at times, possibly they weren't really the target market. I chuckled a bit at being advised to skip over the maths if I found it difficult, but appreciate that maths is a big mental block for some. The analogies given to help us understand the concepts where clear, imaginative and at times highly amusing. Co-author Jeff Forshaw was a great narrator, and I loved the Mancunian accent. ...more
Really thrilled to have won this in a First Reads giveaway, as it probably would have never got off the to-be-read list otherwise, and it would have bReally thrilled to have won this in a First Reads giveaway, as it probably would have never got off the to-be-read list otherwise, and it would have been a shame to have missed reading this book. It's a great yarn. As I mentioned in a status update I really enjoyed reading about familiar places, and thought the dialogue rang true to kiwi-speak. I thought aspects of the narrative were a bit clunky, however, and I found myself wanting to tell Matt to get a grip every time we heard his inner thoughts about his feelings. I can only think he went to a boys school... The only other thing I found slightly annoying was what seemed like irrelevant references to NZ culture and life - e.g. a passing reference to Aramoana, and the film "Out of the Blue." It had the feel of product placement in a movie. On the positive, I found the story - both stories, in fact - hugely interesting, and the twists completely took my by surprise. I look forward to Greg Scowan's next book....more
A very light read. Droll enough for me to want to read bits out to my long-suffering family, but I can't understand why anyone would spend actual moneA very light read. Droll enough for me to want to read bits out to my long-suffering family, but I can't understand why anyone would spend actual money on something with such a short shelf-life. ...more
Irked not to be able to find the correct cover for this edition online anywhere.
Enjoyed this a lot, and given that I'd vowed not to read another AlexIrked not to be able to find the correct cover for this edition online anywhere.
Enjoyed this a lot, and given that I'd vowed not to read another Alexander McCall Smith after The Sunday Philosophy Club, I'm happy to now recant. He does like to show off the size of his vocabulary though. ...more
Probably more like 3.5 stars, but I don't do half stars... Only picked this up because I've 'met' one of the authors online, and was feeling stalkerisProbably more like 3.5 stars, but I don't do half stars... Only picked this up because I've 'met' one of the authors online, and was feeling stalkerish curious. And of course I was a big TNG fan back in the day. It was really pleasant to reacquaint myself with what felt like a bunch of old friends. I didn't read all the stories in the anthology, skipping any that didn't engage my interest sufficiently within the first page or 2. I think in the end I read all but about 3 of them. A most enjoyable little collection. ...more
A great yarn - I particularly appreciated the inclusion of an Author's note, detailing a couple of deviations from known history. Gives me confidenceA great yarn - I particularly appreciated the inclusion of an Author's note, detailing a couple of deviations from known history. Gives me confidence that even tho this is a bit of fiction, the author has taken a deal of care to make sure details are right and true. ...more
Great stuff. Now I understand why my friends say the name "Harry Bosch" with such veneration. Great story beautifully written. I really enjoyed the waGreat stuff. Now I understand why my friends say the name "Harry Bosch" with such veneration. Great story beautifully written. I really enjoyed the way Connelly bent the language to his will, giving us clear, vivid descriptions both of the story's present and of Harry's memories from Vietnam. I also thought the narration of this audiobook was excellent, once I got used to it. I really appreciated how Dick Hill breathed life into the dialogue, putting in the hesitation, sighs, and other non-verbal sounds that natural conversation has. I'll be looking out for his name when choosing audiobooks in future. ...more