An entertaining review of the first half of the first season of TNG (and *total* snarkfest). As Wil's synopses show, many of the episodes have not stoAn entertaining review of the first half of the first season of TNG (and *total* snarkfest). As Wil's synopses show, many of the episodes have not stood the test of time even when the writing wasn't decidedly ropey to begin with... Relive: Wesley's sweaters! Troi not doing much! ("Pain! Pain!") Annoyingly precocious Wesley! 80s hair! Annoyingly precocious Wesley! Wearing sweaters! Wil's love for the series is clear and the fact that he doesn't approach it from a perspective of everyone involved being infallible is quite refreshing....more
A fantastic and fascinating book chronicling the history of the HeLa line of cells, the story of the woman from whom the original cells were taken, anA fantastic and fascinating book chronicling the history of the HeLa line of cells, the story of the woman from whom the original cells were taken, and that of her family now and of the pesky reporter who wanted to learn about their mother to write this book. Complex ideas are explained clearly and the different strands of the book are deftly entwined. Skloot's warm and caring portrait of the Lacks family puts a name and a face to the science and to the ethical issues surrounding human tissue research. Highly recommended....more
I picked this up pretty much at random from the library - I'm not a big fan of autobiography and, since I don't watch a lot of TV, I actually know @DeI picked this up pretty much at random from the library - I'm not a big fan of autobiography and, since I don't watch a lot of TV, I actually know @DerrenBrown more from twitter (waiting to see how quickly that dates this...)
Far from the usual "One glorious day, the world was immeasurably improved by my birth, little suspecting at the time that I would achieve world domination [or not] for 5 minutes [if that]", followed by lots of baby photos of a teenage X-Factor runner up who can't really tell you much more than that they went to school and now sing a bit*, Brown completely eschews a chronological approach to autobiography. He entwines personal anecdotes, psychological insights and instructions for preparing a perfect poached egg within a dissection of the anatomy of a card trick in the retelling of a particular performance and combined with discussion of magic in general.
Fascinating, wide-ranging and amusing (commuters who suffer from embarrassing giggle-outbursts on buses and trains, beware!) - I really enjoyed this.
* Admittedly, I perhaps falsely malign a genre don't read much of based mainly on shiny 'celebrity' biographies on display in supermarkets....more
I'm rather a late-comer to the charms of Anna Del Conte but I absolutely loved this book. Whether describing her rather privileged childhood, her fami
I'm rather a late-comer to the charms of Anna Del Conte but I absolutely loved this book. Whether describing her rather privileged childhood, her family's life during the Second World War in Italy, life in post-war Britain, her career or just family holidays, Del Conte writes beautifully and evocatively about the places she has lived in and loved, and naturally about the food she has cooked or eaten along the way.
Each chapter ends with a small selection of recipes related to the foods, place or period described within it, be it the celebratory feast at the end of the war in Italy or just the polenta biscuits favoured by the children. The recipes are easy to follow and those that I have already tried have been very successful and delicious - and I intend to try many more. My plans include the Baked Tagliatelle with Mushrooms (putting my newly-learned pasta-making skills to good use), Risotto al Limone and the Polentine biscuits - and that may just be for this week!
I highly recommend this book, even for those who, like me, don't already have a collection of Anna's recipe books. Her food is enticing, but her life has certainly been eventful and she writes about her fascinating experiences brilliantly in an account that is sometimes moving, sometimes humorous and self-effacing (e.g. her self-confessed 'failures') but always frank and honest.