As a "wanna-be" oenologist, I love reading books about wine. This one is a treat! Short, concise, easily readable, and in bite-size "sips", it would be of great benefit for anyone wanting a brief introduction into wine. The book is divided into sections, then further broken down into 50 very short articles covering a wide range of topics. The sections are the vineyard, the winery, classic grapes and wines, history, iconic regions, the business of wine, and the enjoyment of wine. This would be a wonderful book to learn the basics. You can find out the difference between different types of wines and the grapes used to make them. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, they are all covered and explained. Learn about the different regions wine comes from....Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa Valley. Learn how to taste wine. Have you ever been at a party where one of your wine "snob" friends are going on and on about a wine? By reading this book, you can offer one of these tidbits to show them that you, too, are conversant on the subject. That alone is worth the price!
An outstanding, incredible body of work! Updated now, to include lots of methods of online help to assist you in your searches. From beginner to expert, everyone interested in genealogy could benefit from this book. And you will be referring to it, over and over again.
This is a good resource for parents to use to tread the dangerous waters of dealing with teenage daughters. Very easy to read. There is a lot of good information in here. Even if you do not agree with all of it, it gives you a basis to start thinking about how you will respond when these situations come up (and they will). Be prepared!
A modern day Swiss Family Robinson. The author imagines a scenario where solar flares wipe out all the electronics in our world. He does this through telling the story of a normal, everyday family in Alaska. The main character is a (possibly slightly autistic?) 16-17 year old boy in the family. After the flares, the family, along with some friends, relocates to the wilds of Alaska, to avoid the chaos occurring in the cities.
The story progresses through the first seasons spent in the wilderness, the struggles, stumbles, and triumphs. It really takes hold in the final third of the book, when outside influences occur.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot. I enjoyed the story very much. It was not anything earth-shattering, as I said before, it was a modern day Swiss Family Robinson.
But the ending! Wow! Just when you thought you could see how it was going to wrap up, the author throws a huge wrench into the mix. I was very surprised! It enables the author to really keep the story alive, and to greatly crank up the action. I can't wait for the next installment!
This is a tough book to review. It left me feeling sad. While I was somewhat amused by the author's take of the Netherlands and the Dutch people, the main subject matter of the book is disturbing.
Several (many?) years ago, the author spent a semester of law school in Amsterdam studying International Law. At least, that was what he was supposed to be doing. His real motive in going to Amsterdam was to indulge his voyeuristic tendencies and explore the "red light" district. He wanted to discover why women chose a life of prostitution. And to write a book about it.
To do this, his methodology was to hang around the district, trying to befriend prostitutes, to get them to open up to him about their career choice. He found himself shut down, time after time. Eventually, he finds one woman who indulges him, meeting him for a few lunches.
On his last night in Amsterdam, he finally convinces her to meet with him and be interviewed. He then proceeds to drag the woman through hell, pulling out her darkest, most disturbing secrets about her upbringing and life. While this might be helpful if done by a trained psychologist, in a controlled setting, it most definitely should not be done by a untrained person, for the purposes of satisfying his own voyeurism! And, after he drains the woman of all her memories and shames, he just leaves her! Up and leaves the very next morning.
That would be a sad enough ending for the book, but the author is not done. He returns a few years later, and finds the woman again. For what purpose, I have no idea. She has turned her life around. She's out of the prostitution business, is engaged, and has a young child. But upon seeing the author again, she tells him that she will give up all she has, all she has worked for, if the author will take her. And what does he do? He leaves her again! How cruel!
So, here it is, several years later again. He finally writes his book. And ends it with the hope that the woman, who he has lost touch with, sees it. As if to torture her one more time. What a prick!
Very informative! And timely! And terrifying! The author presents an interesting, well written book on the current crisis in North Korea. He delves into the history of the Korean peninsula, in a clear and easily understood manner. Into the Korean War. It's causes, and which world leaders were involved. How, after the war, North and South Korea developed, and how they got to the state that they are in today. And the history of the current North Korean leadership, it's quirks and goals. And why China continues to support the Kim regime, and why the US and Japan support South Korea.
The author ends with his thoughts on the future of the Korean peninsula. While he does not (no one can) predict the long term future, he does identify several factors that can affect the future. In his opinion, the only way to peace is through intercession by China, and responsive negotiations by South Korea, Japan, and the US. Without which, we risk a nuclear disaster.
This is a frightening book. You will not sleep well after reading it. But it is important to know what we are up against. Let's all hope and pray that it ends well.
A highly enjoyable, fact-filled book. It is one that you can pick up and read a few entries, then set it aside until you have more time. Broken down alphabetically, it covers SO many subjects. Everything from absinthe (what it is, it's history, and how to prepare it), to wine (descriptions, history, types of wine glasses, and serving it). And much more! Ever wonder if you can get fast food in France (you can)? French perfume? This book will explain it. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. This is a really fun, easily readable book. If you have any desire to visit France, or are just curious, this is a great book for your nightstand!
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
Rarely have I found a book that I cannot find something good to say about. But, this is one. Talking in circles, never actually making a point, trying instead to mystify the reader with buzzwords and mumbo-jumbo.
For example, "now that doesn't mean you'll never experiences (!) difficulties - you will because some lessons chosen prior to birth are hard....". (Sorry, I'm not aware of lessons that I chose PRIOR to my being born!)
Another example, "as you sit there, purposefully imagine the positivity of white light moving though your frequency, your own personal vibration, the energy of all that you are". Yeah, okay. Maybe too much coffee?
I honestly could not finish this book. Maybe somewhere after the first quarter of claptrap the author settles down and makes some sense? Perhaps, but I know I won't be finding out.
Khullar, in her journey to understand herself, has discovered the ability to embrace and appreciate the small things in life. She know she is fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit. She found that one consistency in her journeys was food. Food was a common ground that brought people together. The book is about her experiences of these people, as well as their recipes.
The recipes are great. From all over the world. And her descriptions of the interactions she has are even better. But where the book really shines is in the photographs. Beautiful, vivid photos that can make your mouth water!
Here's hoping the author does a follow-up book!
Greenside presents a familiar tale of visiting France, falling in love with it, and purchasing a home there. You know the type, the American who buys a 100+ year old house, and then shortly thereafter writes a book about his experiences. The difference in this book is that he has continued spending his summers there for around twenty five years. The book draws on much deeper details than one of someone who has only been there a year or two.
Greenside has spent enough time there that you think he should practically be a native, but, as he very capably describes, that hasn't happened. He admits the terrible time he has with the French language. The adventures in driving. The surprises he finds when needing medical attention, or dealing with banking. And the best part of all, the food. It seems the author is willing to eat anything! His descriptions make the book worth it by themselves.
Through the years, he has found a core group of friends in France who are willing to help the American. With their help, he survives, maybe even thrives. He is unflinching in his descriptions of his mistakes, as well as the successes.
In what I think makes a book a sucess, is the fact that I really think the author is someone who I could be friends with, who I can relate to, and who I would enjoy exploring with. To me, that is what I really want in a book.
Reading this is like having your own, personal meditation coach. One who understands how easily distracted a person can be, and relates to you like a friend. Who takes the time to tell you it's okay to not be the perfect Buddha. It's given me a lot to think about, and is very encouraging!
Tired of planting the same old thing in your garden? You know, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, etc. It can get boring, year after year. The author identifies 238 new things to plant to "spice up" your garden. For example, instead of tomatoes, try cape gooseberries, or ground cherries. Instead of the same old spuds, try Jerusalem artichokes. She goes on to identify alternatives for tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, snap beans, arugula, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, radishes, onions, and peppers.
The book has beautiful photographs. The writing is clear, and the descriptions can be mouth watering.
I, personally, have been gardening for 50 years, and am looking forward to attempting a good many of these this year, and in years to come.
A nice little book of hikes that one can take with young children (or even adults). The book is very simple to understand, is well laid out, and the writing is good. There are 32 hikes in Oregon, and 18 in Washington. The hikes range in distance from one mile to three and a half miles. They vary in difficulty from easy to challenging. In addition to breaking down the hikes by region (NW, Central, Coastal, etc), the author goes much further. She lists hikes by features (lakes, waterfalls, history, flora, fauna, and on and on). And then again by season, as some of the hikes are better in the winter, others in the summer. She has very good descriptions on how to select the particular hike based on the individual hikers profile. The maps are easily navigated, and the accompanying photos are helpful. All in all, this is one of the better guide books I have found. Well done!
Travels With Vamper is a wonderful travelogue of a man, newly retired, who sets off on a cross-country tour of discovery in his RV (Vamper). The author is a retired professor of law at Gonzaga University. Upon reaching retirement, Critchlow was faced with the question "what now to do?" Or as he puts it "I did not want to wake up the day after retirement lamenting the loss of my old life. I needed to put distance between that life and whatever lay in the future. And then it hit me-a road trip!" So he purchased a used RV and set off on a tour, starting in Washington and traveling cross country thru the west, southwest, south, and midwest, ticking off 15 states.
And not just a simple tour whereby one just follows the guidebooks, ticking off the mandatory sights in each state. No, this was more a "tour of discovery", or perhaps a "listening tour". The author made a point of interacting with the locals he met along the way, in an attempt to understand their lives better. And what a great time to undertake the journey, he chose the run-up to our most recent presidential election! He has a way of conversing with people to get them to open up and share their opinions. And share they did!
While Critchlow leaves absolutely no doubt about where he stands, and what he believes, he treated everyone fairly and with respect. Given some of the people's statements, I have to wonder how he did it, as I would have openly scoffed or mocked some of them. Some of the statements are hilarious, and some are down-right head scratchers. But I found them all interesting.
The book is not just about the political opinions of the people he met. No, there is some very good self-discovery along the way. For example, one paragraph that I really liked was "I have now lived long enough to return full circle to what I knew in kindergarten. It's not about your friend's clothes, or his parent's car or house, or the food they serve for lunch; it's about having fun playing marbles on the playground, and making friends with people who make you feel good. And it's about cleaning up your messes and being nice to people-habits that had to be hammered into me with coercive force, but which made a difference in how things went".
Isn't that the truth? And wouldn't we all be better off if we just lived our lives a little more based on that? I think so!
It's not often that I find a book that I want to share as much as I do this one. I wish I had read it a bit earlier, it would have made a great Christmas gift for all my friends and relatives who are currently at each other's throats over the political situation we are currently experiencing.
A quite amazing look at the privileged dining experiences of a high-society lady. The author was married to Peter Buckley, a writer, photographer, and world traveler. The Buckley's socialized with the rarified levels of society (think Ernest Hemingway), and made a habit of dining at the world's finest establishments.
As an example, I offer the following quote from the book: "It was a Monday morning in 1973 and we were at the end of The Wedding Special, Part 2. The Wedding Special was Peter's moniker for a honeymoon, a term he feld was too plebian to be used in polite company. Part 1 had been a month in the Caribbean. Part 2 entailed crossing the Atlantic on the France, a few days in London, then three weeks in France, and now another three in Morocco".
Get the idea? I found this to be a world that I could not relate to. But I did find the descriptions of the meals intriguing, and find myself daydreaming "if only I could..." . If one can dispense with the superior attitude and sense of entitlement expressed, you may enjoy this book.