Time To Think About Books As Gifts? Ideas From Me.

I haven’t blogged any books for a while. As it is coming up to Christmas I thought I would post a review on 3 books that could be handy as gifts. I read for Hachette NZ and love downloading a book and not really knowing what I am getting. I have read some excellent books this year that I probably wouldn’t have chosen off a shelf but have enjoyed.

 

Wish You Were Here?  By Sheridan Jobbins

 

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Could be for your Sister In Law, your friend who needs a kick in the butt to go on that big adventure or even your heart broken friend?

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book but I loved it. Reading it you can tell that she is in show business as she has a way with words and enjoys a bit of drama. The adventures are crazy, the stories as she travels are amusing and then in the emotional stuff adds to the package. All up, a great read and would make an excellent gift. The kind of book that could be read in a couple of days over the festive season.

 

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Club

By Sophie Green

 

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Could be for someone heading off on summer holidays, a book worm who like the odd easy read to devour over the festive season, I think it could appeal to many.

I read this because I saw something that said it was like a modern Thornbirds. I loved Thornbirds and the hype around it. I can’t remember enough about the Thornbirds to compare the two but I enjoyed both!

This is a tale of what it is like to be isolated in the Northern Territories in the late 1970’s and how friendships form. There is a cross section of age groups and it is one of those books where you feel like you got to know the characters. A great easy read with a bit of drama thrown in.

 

The Little Breton Bistro

by Nina George

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Another relaxing read and dive into some one else’s life story. I would say more suitable for the forty plus in your life.

I enjoyed the life adventure the main character found herself on and the various twist and turns in her story. There were a couple of parts that caused me to stay up way later than I should have done to see what happened and a few audible gasps escaped me. This was a well-told story and I enjoyed reading it. I have been to many of the places mentioned in France but as a child, reading this makes me want to return as an adult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hummingbird Bakery Books – You Need Them All.

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I have just discovered that I am missing a Hummingbird Bakery cookbook from my collection. Don’t worry, I have fixed things and ordered Home Sweet Home.

These books are the most amazing, mine are full of bookmarks. Everything I cook comes out fabulous and they are an enjoyment just to look at when you need to feel happy. My one regret from my last trip back to the UK was that I didn’t go to the actual bakery when I was in London. Next time I will make it top of my list.

My most recent bakes have been very successful, if I do say so myself.

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Yesterday, I made the Brooklyn Blackout Cake from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (p 54) and it saw off my grumps and was a bit of a challenge. I enjoyed every moment of making it and eating it. It is the kind of cake I would be happy to pay too much for a slice of.

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A couple of weeks ago I also made the Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake from Cake Days (p174). I did reduce the cheese layer and did 2/3 of the original recipe. I kept the amount of base, nuts and delicious butterscotch layer the same. It was so very good and my friends were all impressed.

So, off you go…… buy them all. I am not going to blog the recipes because you need these beauties in your life.

 

Calling Major Tom- Read It!

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I was lucky enough to review this book, thanks to Hachette NZ, Hachette Aus and via NetGalley. It is due to be released at the end of January.

Calling Major Tom by David M. Barnett

This book made me laugh, cry, giggle and gasp.
It isn’t in my nature to write spoilers but I will say if a book about family separation, life on Mars, lighting farts, mad old ninja women and unusual friendships appeals, this book is for you .
I loved it, I would preach to people that they had to read it. I may go and stand by it in a bookshop and recommend it to strangers.

Holding By Graham Norton, Marvellous.

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I love books. I was one of those kids who spent hours looking at my parents book about anything, birds and food were two favourites. A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely evening listening to the wonderful people from Hachette New Zealand talk about the latest book releases.At the end of the evening I got to take a bag with books in it home. One of these books was Holding by Graham Norton.

I have to be honest, I didn’t expect to like this book. I thought I would read it, put it on the shelf and not think much more about it. I was wrong.

I am not a fast reader but I finished this in one week. I spent that week thinking about the people who live in the village the book is based in, Duneen. My thoughts drifted to what was going to happen.

I am not going to go into the tale that unfolds, it wouldn’t sound that interesting. A few paragraphs doesn’t do it justice. It is interesting, the characters are marvellous and the story that unfolds does so gently but with twists and turns.

This book is a perfect Christmas buy, holiday read or something to read when you have a good bit of me time. I will be passing it onto Mr to read.

 

 

 

 

Richard Hammond – A Short History Of The Motorcycle Review And Lunch At Grill Meats Beer.

The sun has arrived in Wellington and it feel like Christmas is on its way. This weekend is a long one in NZ and what a beauty it is turning out to be. Today we have taken the dog to Petone beach, dropped her home and popped out for a very decent burger lunch at Grill Meats Beer. You can see more about that below.

A Short History Of The Motorcycle By Richard Hammond.

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Mr Muffin is a fan of the Motorcycle and has a purple one, when I saw this book available for review I thought it was time to let him has a go at reading and reviewing. With Christmas coming up this may be a good idea for a gift for someone you know?

The book is published in NZ by Hachette NZ.

Mr Muffin says –

A very enjoyable read.
It was like Richard Hammond was on my shoulder reading to me, so if you like the hamster then you will enjoy this.
Amusing, informative and engaging with short chapters making it easy to pickup and just read, i.e. A good toilet book but its really far to nice for that.
Many interesting photos and illustrations
Good for anyone with an interest in motorcycles or even just automotive history.
A great Christmas gift.
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Today I decided we needed burgers, good burgers. We had been to GMB once before and it was time to return and we left very happy we did. The food was damn fine, the service was excellent and we left full of food and smiles.
To start we had the Japanese Fried Chicken with Sriracha Mayonnaise. Me and Mr enjoyed the chicken, Miss was not so sure. I hung onto the mayo like it was my baby, there was no way I was giving that up when I knew fries would soon be arriving.
A good burger is subjective, some like real fancy with all the things, others like the plain and GMB caters for all of these needs without having one of those huge menus. Miss Muffin and I opted for the Classic Beef, she added bacon and I added Cheese. Mr M went for the special of the week as it contained crumbed jalapeños. We were all happy with our choices and I was impressed with the buns. The portion of fries didn’t look like much but was plenty, they were perfectly crisp too.I also added a rather lovely fluffy fried ball of goodness in the form of a Manchego &   Jalapeños Hush Puppy. To keep up with the specials have a look on their Facebook page, it is listed on Tuesdays.
All up, we really enjoyed our lunch and even though we have now used our Entertainment Book Voucher, we will be returning. When the burger urge hits we will be back.

Edmonds Cookery Book Has Been Revamped.

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In New Zealand the Edmonds Cookery Book is the first cook book that many people own. When my parents moved to NZ we met them off the plane with a welcome copy, sadly they have since gone back to the UK ,but they have their book with them.

This version of the book has been modernised and has some new fancy editions. Don’t worry, your favourites are still there. When I got this new copy (thank you Hachette) I said goodbye to my old copy as it was covered in sugary blobs from fudge and coconut ice making. I am pleased to say, my two favourite Edmonds recipes are still there.

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Miss Muffin used the book just this week to cook the Impossible Quiche (p121) and it was very nice. We are trying to get her back into cooking and thinking, not always easy to do with a 13 year old.

So, if your copy is looking a bit over loved or your loved ones are leaving home, get yourself a new and improved copy of the old classic. You can now even learn how to make Bliss Balls!

 

Sweet Enough Less Sugar, More Taste- A Great New NZ Baking Book.

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A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this lovely book. If you enlarge the photo you will see that it mentions my birthday buddy, Lucy Mutch from Wellington Foodies. She got to take all the wonderful photos as The Isherwood Sisters who wrote the book live in Wellington. You can find out all about the sisters and the books aim, to reduce sugar here.

Sunday afternoon Miss was baking for her week and I decided to help fill the oven and put a Monday smile on my colleagues faces by baking from the book. I chose the Wholemeal Ginger Crunch. The base has little sugar in and the icing is delicious. To top it all, it was very easy. I do enjoy a good one pot recipe. My colleagues enjoyed the slice.

You can arrange to sell the book for fundraising, I think that is a pretty nifty fundraising idea. So, order yourself the book and have a look and see for yourself.