Posts Tagged ‘Books’


Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Penguin is one of the largest publishers in the world.  It has offices in fifteen countries – from Penguin US (formed in 1939) to Penguin Ireland (opened in 2003) – and keeps more than 5,000 different titles in print at any one time. In the twenty-first century the Penguin Group can cater for every stage of a reader’s lifetime, with books from Dorling Kindersley, Frederick Warne, Ladybird, Penguin, Puffin and Rough Guides, making Penguin the home of reading.

To celebrate its 75th birthday in 2010, Penguin published “Penguin Decades”. Ranging across some of the great books published in Britain throughout ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, these paperbacks come complete with original designs by four of today’s most-renowned designers such as Peter Blake, Zandra Rhodes, Alan Aldridge and John Squires. These beautiful editions celebrate Penguin’s extraordinary design heritage as well as following Allen Lane’s ethos of making great writing affordable and available to everybody.

Please visit Penguin Bookstore, by visiting the following URL:

Berlin Shops & More book

Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Berlin Shops & More
Go traipsing through Berlin and be sure to catch all the most trendy, original, and traditional shops with this guide to the best the city’s shops have to offer. Whether you’re a fan of avant-garde fashion or old-fashioned handmade items – or both – we’ve got all your bases covered. As always, we also suggest perfect places to grab a bite or relax with a refreshing drink while on your shopping spree. Highlights include: Adidas Originals Store; DIM, 130-year-old, wickerwork and brush shop where products are made by physically and mentally handicapped people; Steiff famous German teddy bears, company founded in 1877; Original Erzgebirgskunst, decorative wooden items from a famous German region of traditional crafts; KPM (Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur) German Royal Porcelain founded in 1763 where you can buy vases designed by famous architect Karl-Friedrich Schinkel; Junemanns Pantoffel-Eck, handmade felt slippers; Ausberlin, souvenirs made in and about Berlin such as books or candles shaped like the Brandenburger Tor; Andreas Murkudis, avant-garde fashion, impressive selection of cutting-edge labels and young Berlin brands; Chocolatier Erich Hamann, scrumptious chocolate made in Berlin in a shop designed by Bauhaus icon Johannes Itten in 1928; and, KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), opened in 1907, it is Europe’s largest department store with an outrageous delicatessen department. Special features include: exclusive hand-illustrated cover; exclusive hand-illustrated map for each area; information such as opening hours, history, and signature dishes; hand-illustrated tear-out postcard; and, softcover with a study PVC jacket.

About the Author

The editor and author: Angelika Taschen studied art history and German literature in Heidelberg, gaining her doctorate in 1986. Working for TASCHEN since 1987, she has published numerous titles on the themes of architecture, photography, design, contemporary art, interiors, and travel. The photographer: Berlin-based photographer Thorsten Klapsch has published his works in various magazines, among them wallpaper*, DIE ZEIT, and quest. He has collaborated on different book projects and works for architects, designers and advertising campaigns.

books in sports hobbies games

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Playing sports or even just watching sports is one of UK’s all time favorite pass times. Of course there are many different sports that seem to catch people’s attention and some of these would include football, animal sports such as horses, cycling, and even fishing. There are many different books that you can read in order to learn how to improve your game such as Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics or The Sea Angler’s Step-by-Step Guide to Bait and Rigs. If you prefer other outdoor activities such as bird watching, hunting or even camping, you are going to be able to find information on that as well that you can read up on.

But what if you are a beginner at a particular sport or you are interested in the past about your sport? There may be many different questions that you need answers to about your interest. You could be asking:

  • How long does it take to train a horse to jump?
  • How is the score kept in football?
  • Who has had the best game ever in your sport of choice?
  • What is the best way to tie a knot when fishing?

The answers to these questions and many more are right at your fingertips. Motorsports is another popular category for many. Racing a car gives the adrenaline rush that some are looking for but of course, there are also dangers to this sport. Some great things to ask questions on would be what protective gear should I wear during a race and is there any special way that I should design my car. These could be very important questions that you should ask in order to be able to save your life.

The History and Biography
With all of the different sports that hold an interest for some, it is possible that you may just want to learn about the history of a sport or about someone who has made great lengths in their profession. Mary King: The Autobiography by Mary King is just one example of this type of book and it is about her great success in the equestrian world. But what if your idea of a sport is not keeping your feet on the ground and being able to look down upon the entire world and everything that happens in it? Air sports are a great way to be able to leave the world behind and see new and exciting things. You could even be a part of a team such as Red Arrows: The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team in Action. You will be able to see what it is like to all of the flips, turns and dives that lend thrill and excitement to Air Sports.

The World Indoors
It may be possible that you are more of the indoor type of person but still want to participate in a good sport. This is when you may want to look into gaming. There are many different types of indoor games that you can participate in such as board games, card games, puzzles and quizzes, billiards, and even video and electronic games. Board and card games can give the whole family a chance to spend some time together or for a group of friends to gather for a fame of poker. If you are interested in board games, you may have a few questions such as:

  • What are the most popular board games available?
  • Can you play any of them online?
  • How do I learn how to play?
  • Can I get tips and hints for any of the games?

These questions and many more will probably come up when you decide to start playing board games. There are books that can help you with many of your questions such as Texas Hold’em Poker: Win Online, The Mathematics of Poker and even Chess for Children. There is an abundance of information that can be readily available at the tips of your fingers with just a click of your mouse. What if you want to do magic tricks with your cards? The Royal Road to Card Magic could be just the answer.

The World Online
Online video gaming is not just for kids anymore. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Strategy Guide is testimonial to that. You can also find info on Far Cry 2 as well which seems to be a popular online game for teens and adults alike. But what if you are a “newbie” to the world of online gaming? It can be so confusing and you could be wondering:

  • Will I be able to understand how to play the game?
  • How do I even get started with creating a character?
  • Will I be playing by myself or with other people?

There are so many questions that it may take time to figure out where or how to even get going. There are many different strategy guides and books that can help you regardless of what you are trying to learn or accomplish. You can learn the basic of golf, where to go for bird watching, how to master the game of darts or even the best place to gamble.

Don’t forget that if you are into a special hobby, such as building model airplanes or cars, there is something for you as well. Learn about the past history of a particular car or who flew the first airplane. There are games that you and your family can play while you are on the road traveling for vacation and even sports that you can do in the water. The list just goes on and on when it comes to Sports, Hobbies and Games. The main question you need to ask yourself is what am I interested in and how can I join in on the fun. The answers to these questions and many more can be found with just a few clicks and maybe in a group discussion to learn how others become great at there true love.

Mind, Body & Spirit Books Review

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Complementary Medicine
Complementary medicine, although often used in conjunction with traditional Western medicine nowadays, is not actually taught alongside Western medicine. A practitioner of complementary medicine will focus on treating their patient holistically: this can take the form of acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, herbalism or a range of other alternative practices that are defined by the various complementary and alternative medicine bodies. One of the more definitive guides is Bartram’s Encyclopaedia of Herbal Medicine, originally written by Thomas Bartram. In this definitive guide to the herbal remedies that can be used to alleviate any symptoms and information about many illnesses, you will find just the information you require to decide whether to obtain treatment for yourself through traditional or complementary medicine.

What’s more, Bartram’s Encyclopaedia of Herbal Medicine has been organised in alphabetical sections that makes it easy to locate whatever you are looking for. You will actually find this book on our website, amongst the Mind Body and Spirit section, in stock and available for you to order today. Bartram’s Encyclopaedia of Herbal Medicine is, in fact, such a well-thought-of book that even Members of the International Register of Consultant Herbalists use it to thumb through as a useful reference book. There is certain criticism levelled at this encyclopaedia – mainly due to its allopathic approach – but, over and above all, this encyclopaedia is an interesting and well-written treatise that uses the best in complementary medicine to recognise and treat various symptoms of illness.

Despite divination being described as an abomination in the Quran [Surah IV, The Table], with equal hostility to divination being shown by Bible, there are still many thousands of people around the globe who turn to divination to foretell future events. This may be in a social context just as much as in a religious context, although divination is more ritualistic than the practice of fortune telling is. Gregg Braden is an author who has written a number of books on ancient cultures, their prophecies and what the future may hold. Amongst our pages in the Mind Body and Spirit section you will find one of Gregg Braden’s newest contributions: ‘Fractal Time: the Secrets of 2012 and the New World Age’ which focuses on events that are predicted to occur during the winter solstice period of 2012: events which could see the eradication of the human race and herald in a new period of enlightenment.

In this latest book Braden draws on geological records and quantum physics and interweaves teachings from the Bible, the Torah and from the Mayan and Hopi to come up with events that are predicted to occur during the latter months of 2012. According to divination, time has a cyclic pattern, with a pattern occurring within a pattern – hence the title for this latest book. The Earth is based on a 5,125 year cycle whereby this being the time it takes to cross the ‘galactic equator of the Milky Way’ – together with a cycle of 25,625 years signifying the evolution of the equinoxes. I would hate to give away the secret punch-line of the book – but you need to read what happens at the culmination of these cycles. Gregg Braden tells all in his latest book on divination.

Earth Based Religions
Any religion that revolves around care and love for nature and the land around us could well be described as an earth based religion. In fact, although not represented in so many words, there is a correlation between Gregg Braden’s description of fractal time and the Gaia hypothesis. The Gaia hypothesis suggests an amalgamation between the different physical components of the Earth which, taken together, interrelate in a multifaceted and integrated manner that assimilates climatic conditions and the biochemical environment on Earth, ensuring they are sustained within a pre-arranged homeostasis.

Amongst our section on earth based religions, there is a book written by Drunvalo Melchizedek that relates the story of the indigenous peoples’ ceremonies relating to the relocation of the Kundalini serpent. The book is called ‘The Serpent of Light: The Movement of the Earth’s Kundalini and the Rise of the Female Light, 1949 – 2013’. This book does relate to various earth based religions – the book is highly recommended as a good read, whether you believe in earth based religions or not.

The world of mythology tends to be interpreted somewhat differently according to whether it relates to Greek mythology or whether it refers to comparative mythology or whether it simply relates to stories from antiquity, upon which many traditions come to be based. Geraldine McCaughrean tends to be of the persuasion that focuses on Greek mythology and her book ‘The Orchard Book of Greek Myths’, found in our Mind Body and Spirit section of our website, features 16 popular Greek myths. All are retold by McCaughrean in a unique and interesting manner, with each story delightfully illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark who studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art and who, in 1988, won the Mother Goose Award as ‘the most exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration’.

Most readers who have reviewed her book on Greek mythology describe her writing with dynamism and profundity, depicting the activities of the characters she includes with colour and excitement. There are other, more erudite readers who recognise that McCaughrean has confused various Roman and Greek gods – such as the story of Pluto and Persephone, if completely accurate, should be entitled ‘Hades and Persephone’. Personally, I think this is a minor offense: it may be an error between Roman and Greek gods but I am sure that most of her readers will forgive her once they become enthralled in the activities of Icarus and the Sun, and the story about Pandora’s Box. 

There are many other sub-sections amongst the Mind Body and Spirit division of our website. There are books on occultism [read about Yehudda Berg’s ‘The Power of the Kabbalah’]; paranormal and unexplained phenomena such as that represented by William Cooper in ‘Behold a Pale Horse’. This book is an absolute must – regardless of your own personal beliefs: read it with an open mind and you are bound to thoroughly enjoy this book. We have another section with a wide range of books dealing with parapsychology, such as Ted Andrews’ ‘How to Uncover Your Past Lives’. ‘Practising the Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle can be found in our section of spirituality whilst the section on thought and practice may well give you food for thought: have a read of the Urantia Foundation’s ‘The Urantia Book’. I am sure you will find this a stimulating subject of conversation.

History Books Review

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Learning about history can be extremely rewarding. It can, however, be a somewhat intimidating subject to start studying. When you are faced with the totality of human history, it can be hard to decide where to begin. The easiest way to start is by exploring a historical time period which interests you. You can pick a specific time period, such as World War I or II, or you can chose to explore the history of a certain area of the world. At the beginning of your studies, you will probably have many general questions, such as:

  • How did Europe come to dominate so much of modern history?
  • Was North America destined to become a super power?
  • Does the past have any bearing on the world today?
  • Does history have any bearing on an individual person’s life?

Many people enjoy easing into history and historical questions by reading historical fiction. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is a popular choice and can lead people to further study Renaissance art, culture, and history.

History of War 
Many people begin studying history by looking at the history of warfare. Military History and Maritime History can be fascinating subjects. You can study the wars themselves or the political figures who orchestrated the events.

Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-45 by Sir Max Hastings is a detailed portrait of Winston Churchill. It is a fascinating introduction to England during the modern wars. Learning about the war periods can be disturbing. You might have many questions about the very nature of war.  

Some questions might be: 

  • Does war define human history?
  • Should you define historical time periods by the wars that were fought?
  • If history is written by the victors, can we ever have a truly accurate account of a war?
  • Can lessons from history help us prevent future militarized conflicts?

Whispers from the Ancient World 
Once you explore modern military history, you might want to learn more about Ancient History and Civilization. Understanding the roots of civilization is key to a broad historical education. For thousands of years, a liberal arts education was based around ancient history and ancient languages such as Latin and Greek. In the modern era, our knowledge of the ancient world has been enhanced by Archaeology. Books that explore the ruins of ancient buildings and villages offer a fascinating glimpse inside the daily life of the ancients.

Another way to see ancient civilization through the eyes of those who lived at that time is by reading accounts recorded by ancient historians. Both The Histories (Oxford World’s Classics) by Herodotus and The Peloponnesian War (Classics) by Thucydides are respected accounts of the ancient world. These accounts, however, are not entirely accurate. Historians in the ancient world were not as concerned with making sure every detail of their histories was factually accurate. They wanted to tell stories; they wanted to flatter the people in power. This former inclination to change history troubles some people. They see remnants of this in modern life and it raises many questions:  

  • Have people changed since ancient times?
  • Were ancient governmental systems better or worse than today’s governments?
  • Is it possibly to find an unbiased ancient historian? What does this say about our own modern historians?
  • Has the discipline of history improved since the days of Herodotus and Thucydides?
  • Do any groups or individuals still try to change history to suit their purposes?

Politics as Usual 
The political machinations of the ancient world are just as exciting as the today’s Political History. The history of each political system in the world is a long history. Thousands of small cultural movements contributed to the adoption of each governmental system. It is impossible to study political history without exploring Social & Economic History as well. Academic history studies have only been interested in political history for a short period of time. Of all historical studies, it is the youngest. Political history intersects with Cultural History. The questions you will have will be related to culture as well as politics.  

  • Will the two party system in America last indefinitely?
  • Is democracy the best form of government?
  • Is an economically successful communist country possible?

An Entire World of History  
Too many people focus exclusively on western history in their studies. There is an entire world of history, be sure you do not focus exclusively on western cultures, such as Britain & Ireland. Make sure that you dedicate at least some of your study time to eastern cultures. There are many excellent World History Texts available. Russia and China are fascinating countries. It is quite easy to get lost in their engrossing histories. Russia and the USSR, 1855-1991: Autocracy and Dictatorship by Stephen J. Lee is a great text to transition your political studies to Eastern cultural studies. You should also investigate some of the faiths of people in the Eastern world. Texts on Buddhism and Hinduism can help you better understand the historical story of people. Religious History Essays are often a source of insight. When you study, you should make note of any questions you might have.

  • Why is most history curriculum focused exclusively on Western culture?
  • Should you study the history of other cultures or just focus on your own?
  • Is it possible to relate to a history about a people from a different cultural background?
  • Should people study different religions to better understand the faith and culture of a nation?

The Basics of History Study
It is important to amass a collection of Reference material. Depending on what area of study you want to focus on, there are a few books you should have. If you are studying the British Empire, you should get a copy of The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire (Penguin Reference) by Nigel Dalziel. You should augment your studies with as many Journals, Letters & True Accounts, as possible. Reading texts such as Her Own Life: Autobiographical Writings by Seventeenth Century Englishwomen provide a valuable insight into the real lives of people in history. In the end, that is the true value of history. Getting insight into those from the past, from all Countries & Regions, and learning how their struggles can relate to ours is a valuable lesson from history.

Health, Family & Lifestyle Books Review

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Health, family and lifestyle cover an enormous variety of subjects, including everything from pregnancy to childcare; health problems specific to men, how to lose weight and even medical issues and how to find your perfect family doctor. Included under this heading is beauty and fashion; complementary medicine; diet and nutrition; family and parents; fitness and exercise; health issues; medical and healthcare practitioners; men’s health and lifestyle; pregnancy and childcare; relationships; sex; women’s health and lifestyle and self-help books. A book you may find of particular interest is ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. This book relates how the Laws of Attraction can have a major effect on your life and well-being. A film of the same name has also been made – I would suggest you read the book prior to watching the film.

Beauty and Fashion
When it comes to beauty and fashion, helpful books abound. Books such as James Wong’s book entitled ‘Grow Your Own Drugs: Easy Recipes for Natural Remedies and Beauty Treats’. James Wong has a MSc in Ethnobotany from the University of Kent so he knows his subject. Basically, the book covers all the various natural remedies that you can grow and distill in your own garden to use as complementary therapies and to produce many natural beauty products. It is certainly an interesting book and pops a lot of questions into your mind – read it to find out what I mean!

Complementary Medicine
James Wong’s book naturally drifts over into the sector on complementary medicine and, I would reiterate – this book is certainly worthy of more than a cursory glance. Another interesting and useful book on complementary medicine is Louisa L. Hay’s book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’, a book that has been a bestseller for a number of years. Apart from the interesting and useful information contained within the pages of her book, you will find exquisite illustrations by Joan Perrin Falquet on each page. Apart from highly recommending this book, I would suggest you read this book in conjunction with Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ – each book complements the other and offers very closely similar messages.

Diet and Nutrition
There have probably been more books written on dieting than practically any other subject – fad diets, celebrity diets, dietician-recommended diets: in fact, you name it and it has probably been written about. Then we have the Harcombe Diet and the Holcombe Diet – and, of course, Paul McKenna ‘I Can Make You Thin’ which comes complete with a CD as well. The book by Zoe Harcombe ‘The Harcombe Diet – Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight’ is actually a book based on very sound nutritional principles. The concept behind this book is easy to follow and makes sensible nutritional sense.

With regards to the Holcombe Diet, that is more of a lifestyle nutritional book that advises on cooking in a nutritional way. Holcombe’s book is entitled ‘How to Feed Your Whole Family a Healthy Balanced Diet, with Very Little Money and Hardly Any Time, Even if You Have a Tiny Kitchen, Only Three Saucepans (one with an ill-fitting lid) and no fancy gadgets – unless you count the garlic crusher’. The title is a bit of a mouthful (sorry about the pun!) but it does reflect the fun nature contained within the book. This is sound nutritional information, presented in a light-hearted, fun way that gets the message of healthy eating for the whole family across.

Family and Parents
Continuing with the theme of healthy eating for the family, Annabel Karmel has written a book about meal planning for the baby and toddler that continues to be a bestseller on the nutrition of babies and toddlers. The ‘Essential Guide to Feeding Babies and Young Children’ was first published in 1991 and hasn’t been out of print since. Annabel Karmel has now published the ‘New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner’ which features home-cooked meals based on fresh, natural ingredients and integrates menu charts to make it easy to plan your shopping trips in advance.

Fitness and Exercise
Moving away from the theme of nutrition and dietetics, the fitness and exercise section features a pretty diverse collection of books from ‘Strength Training Anatomy’ by Frederic Delavier to ‘The Anatomy of Stretching’ by Brad Walker. A book that I have found in the Fitness and Exercise section is ‘Born to Run: the Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen: The Rise of Ultra-Running and the Super-Athlete Tribe’. This title is another mouthful, this time written by Christopher McDougall. It is a tale of endurance, of adventure – with that odd quirk that makes an ordinary book special. It should be way up there with the best sellers.  Basically, it’s a story of Christopher McDougall running across the planet where no man should have gone before – but, there is much, much more to this book – and I am not about to spoil it for you by telling you any more about it.  Read it for yourself – you will be very glad you did! 

Men’s Health and Lifestyle
One book I would encourage every man and his partner to read is the book by Professor Jane Plant: ‘Prostate Cancer: Understand, Prevent and Overcome Prostate Cancer’. Many men are only vaguely aware of their prostate until it starts causing problems with the ‘waterworks’. However, what men need to be made aware of is that prostate cancer really can be the silent killer – unless it is caught early enough. Prostate cancer rarely gives any obvious symptoms until it is too late but, if you are fortunate enough for it to be caught early enough, prostate cancer is completely curable.  

At present there are no routine tests to check for prostate cancer as the only real indication is the Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood. In a man of around 50 years old, his PSA level should never be above 3 –  and, if it is above that level, he needs to see his doctor. Get it checked out – it may be nothing but, if this indicator gives you an idea that all may not be well, at least you have been given a chance of treatment before it’s too late. If there is one book out of the whole of our book-site that I would recommend, it would be this one – it could save your life!

Food & Drink Books Review

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

The decision to learn how to cook and plan Meals & Menus can be an intimidating one. There are so many dishes and there is just so much to know. Plus, Food Writers make it seem so difficult. The important thing is to not feel overwhelmed. Focus on one category of cooking at a time. You can master specific dishes and build your confidence. At the beginning of your cooking studies, you will have many questions about food, cooking, and health in general. You can consult old cookbooks, Bestsellers, family, friends, and of course, the internet resources available to you.

•Is flavor more important than health concerns?
•Should organic foods be purchased, even if they cost more?
•What foods will please an entire family?
•Do I need to take a class or can I learn by trial and error?
•Is there a career for me in the culinary arts?
•How can Fish & Seafood be prepared safely?
The Basics of Cooking: Knowledge and Cooking Equipment
Before you even begin learning how to cook, you will have to make sure your kitchen is properly outfitted. Once you have the basic cooking equipment you can start collecting cookbooks that will increase your cooking knowledge. Eventually you will want to amass a large collection of Reference & Gastronomy cookbooks and Restaurant Cookbooks. Food & Travel Writing books are great reads. There are even cookbooks available that focus on a specific piece of kitchen equipment. When you purchase a cookbook that specific, like Slow Cooker (Pyramid Paperbacks) by Sara Lewis, you can be sure to make the most out of your kitchen device. A piece of kitchen equipment that sits unused in the back of the cupboard is just a waste of space.

•What are the basic kitchen tools needed to make most meals?
•If one is just starting out and trying to save money, what tools can he hold off on purchasing?
•Are fancy blenders and mixers really necessary?
Baking Delicious Treats
Few things are more delicious than a loaf of fresh bread pulled out of the oven. The smell of freshly-baked bread will bring your entire family into the kitchen, their mouths watering. Bread-making is not hard. There is some work involved, certainly, but if you follow the instructions and tips carefully you can certainly do it. When you master a few basic cooking skills, there will be no stopping you in the kitchen. You will, of course, need a basic manual to help you. Bake by Rachel Allen is an excellent text that can help you master some baking skills. Rachel Allen has some excellent cupcake recipes, especially. Baking is an almost entirely separate science from cooking and will raise its own queries.

•How do baking and cooking differ?
•Can I make substitutions in a recipe?
•Why do I need to mix wet and dry ingredients separately?
•What is the difference between cake flour, all purpose flour, and bread flour?
Baking can be a challenge but the treats you will learn to bake are worth the effort.

Barbecue: The Perfect Foods for Entertaining & Special Occasions
If you love to entertain, you should make mastering barbecue recipes a high priority. Everyone loves a backyard party in the summer. A plate of ribs, a few Drinks & Beverages, and a warm summer evening make for great memories. You will need some special equipment to barbecue successfully. A grill is a definite must have and a smoker is wonderful for imparting flavor into your cuts of meat. You will also want a set of basic grill tools, such as a grill spatula, brush, and tongs. For a complete list of barbecue tools, see Weber’s Way to Grill: The Step-By-Step Guide to Expert Grilling (Sunset Books) byJamie Purviance. This cookbook is sponsored by a grilling company that has been around for generations. It will certainly help answer your general grilling questions such as:

•Are cheap grills suitable for casual barbecuing?
•How do I control the temperature on a grill?
•What foods grill well?
•Are there any Puddings & Desserts that can be grilled?
Books are not the only place to get answers about barbecuing or cooking in general. Ask your friends and neighbors for their advice as well. One of the great things about cooking is that it brings people together. Barbecue specifically appeals to individuals of both genders. Even people who do not grill out personally have favorite dishes they would love to share with you. Grilling can bring together an entire neighborhood for food and fun.

Making Quick & Easy Meals For You and Your Family
Cooking every night when you get home from work can be exhausting. Eating out for dinner every night, however, is both expensive and unhealthful. What you need to master then, are quick, healthy meals that you can throw together on a weekday night. Ainsley Harriott’s Low Fat Meals in Minutes by Ainsley Harriott is a great combination of quick and healthy. Diets & Healthy Eating do not have to suck up all your free time. You can also learn how to prepare healthy foods for baby quickly. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby.

Annabel Karmel is a great baby food manual for a new parent. Once you master some basic cooking techniques such as blanching and steaming vegetables, you can make healthy pureed dishes for your baby while you cook for yourself and the rest of your family. Healthy cooking, especially healthy Cooking for Babies & Children, raises a lot of questions.

•Does introducing an infant to a diverse array of foods prevent him from being a picky eater?
•What are easy, healthy meals that I can feed to an infant?
•Can I afford the fresh fruits and vegetables needed to be healthy?
•Are there healthy lunch options for taking to work?
•Are Vegetarian & Vegan meals more time consuming?
Cooking As a Way to Enjoy Life More Fully
Cooking is more than just a way to fill your belly. It is a way to enhance your enjoyment of life. The basics of cooking are really just the beginning. Soon you will be on your way to National & International Cookery, Wine & Winemaking and a world of culinary delight.

Fiction books reviews

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Where there used to be a strict and clear delineation between fiction and non-fiction, nowadays this demarcation appears to be less distinct. Invariably, authors write about history from the perspective of fiction whilst imaginary plots are written from the point of view of real, rather than imaginary events. Within the world of fiction, however, the genre covers a wide range of reading matter that is likely to appeal across a wide variety of parameters, survive and remain popular across the generations. Some sub-genres within the realm of fiction tend to be anthologies; biography; contemporary fiction; 20th century classics; 1970 onwards; film tie-ins; historical; short stories; women writers; and more global fiction loosely referred to as the ‘world’.

Women Writers and Fiction
It is widely acknowledged that the largest sector of book purchasing is done by women and, to engage women’s attention and maintain their interest, women’s fiction needs to capture their emotions in a way that impacts on their place in society today, their secret fantasies and the images women dream of in their perfect relationship. Novels that have more appeal for women than men invariably tend to be written by women and cover romantic fiction, historical fiction and women’s fiction whose taxonomy tends to be within the mainstream of the novel category. Romantic fiction is often regarded as being fundamental to women’s fiction.

Chick-Lit and Romance
It is a huge market and brings with it equally large revenue, much of it written within the genre of serious, meaty fiction rather than focusing on the more light-hearted, flighty ‘chick-lit’ market as it has come to be known. Since Chick-lit made its entrance onto the UK market in 1996 with the appearance of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ it seems to have carved out a sub-genre all of its own – and people tend to either love it or hate it, with equal passion! Those who profess to hate it dismiss this sub-genre as frivolous, despite the fact that it is read by a huge market of women whose own place within the professional world requires them to find effective ways to ‘switch-off’ during their few leisure hours: a good read with this much-maligned chick-lit offers these women a chance to throw off their responsibilities for a short while and lose themselves within the pages of a book that makes no demands on their intellect.

20th Century Classics
Rather topical at the moment following the release of the film ‘A Picture of Dorian Gray’, the book originally written by Oscar Wilde has been described as ‘one of the modern classics of Western literature’ – even though it probably led to his social downfall! Oscar Wilde was one of the celebrities of the Victorian era. He was born in 1854 in Dublin and became a successful playwright and writer of short stories. He also wrote one book which was used extensively during his trial on the grounds of homosexuality for which he was imprisoned.

During his trial his book ‘A Picture of Dorian Gray’ was drawn on time after time to ‘prove’ Oscar Wilde’s dubious sexuality. Following his period of imprisonment he spent the rest of his life in Europe where he died in November 1900. Despite the notoriety surrounding the life of Oscar Wilde, he was a brilliant wit in his lifetime, leaving us with a plethora of quotes, plays and short stories that are as applicable today as they were when he wrote them.

Pure Literature
Meanwhile, Margaret Atwood is a prolific poet, author and critic – as well as social campaigner and renowned feminist. On one occasion she was recipient of the Booker Prize and has been nominated for it a further 4 times; and has won the Governer General’s Award twice and been nominated a further 5 times. She has also been awarded the Prince of Asturias award for Literature as well as winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Margaret Atwood is best known as a novelist although she has also had 15 books of poetry, many based on fairy tales and myths, published as well.

She was born in Canada in 1939 – Ottawa, Ontario and later studied English, Philosophy and French at Victoria University, part of the University of Toronto. Margaret Atwood published her first book privately in 1961 – this was a book of poetry for which she was awarded the EJ Pratt medal. However, before her writing career began in earnest, Margaret Atwood enrolled at Radcliffe College on a Woodrow Wilson fellowship, graduating with a master’s degree in 1962. For the next few years she followed a teaching career as a university lecturer, alternating teaching with writing and culminating at New York University as Berg Professor of English.

Sex in Literature
So, who better qualified to write some of the 20th century classics than Margaret Atwood? Amongst her many books, the Handmaid’s Tale has been described by The Daily Telegraph as being ‘compulsively readable’. This book is about S-E-X! The story is set in a theocratic state run along totalitarian lines, called the Republic of Gilead. This Republic is the future of what was previously the USA. Dangerously low reproduction rates have necessitated the need for handmaids to bear children. This story revolves around restrictions on the movements of the handmaids – and you will have to read the rest to find out what happens: I would hate to spoil it for you!

Retrospective Fiction
This book is written in ‘flashback’ style that reconstructs the events that led up to the Republic of Gilead: it refers to women’s rights, military coups, pornography, prostitution – even an assassinated president and members of Congress are woven into the fabric of the story. As the story evolves an underground resistance organisation comes to light: in fact, there are more threads to unravel than in an old jersey! The story closes in 2195 with an epilogue in the form of a lecture given by a Professor. That is all I am saying about the book – if you want to know more, I suggest you contact our web page and buy the book which is available in the Fiction section, under 20th Century Classics. It’s an amazing book that you will find difficult to put down – so, get your chores out of the way before you start reading!

This book is a good read – in fact, it is immensely readable. In fact, if you delve into the Fiction section of our website, you will be amazed and delighted at the enormous range of fiction we have available – enough to keep you reading for many years to come!

Crime, Thrillers & Mystery books

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

There is a wide range of book genres, the broadest of which is fiction and non-fiction. Focusing on fiction, these are events that have not occurred in reality, although their plots can be based on things that may have happened in the near or far past. Meanwhile non-fiction involves topics that are based on fact and cover a huge range of information that is disseminated to the reader: from study text books to the ubiquitous DIY manual. Genre is an ideal way for books to be organized in bookshops so that customers can more easily find what they are looking for. Book genre is also ideal for libraries to catalogue their books, following the Dewey Decimal cataloguing system. Each individual genre is not exclusive and, in many cases, books may span a range of genre such as Crime, Thrillers and Mystery.

To make the matter of fitting into a genre more complicated, there is often disagreement amongst the book buffs as to where some books fit – and in which sub-genre to slot them into. This is often the case with Police Procedurals such as the various kinds of detective novels found on the bookshelves. If you are looking at the three genres of Crime, Thrillers and Mystery for instance, you could have a book that fits into each one of those three genres – and into many of the sub-genre attached to those three genres. In cases such as this it is often best to adhere to certain criteria that have been commonly agreed amongst the powers-that-be: if a book fulfils a certain number of criteria for a specific sub-genre then that will be where it will be catalogued: this is particularly true of the Police Procedurals.

Crime, Thriller and Mystery
A particularly wide-ranging fiction genre is the Crime, Thriller and Mystery category which can be sub-divided in a number of lesser groups such as the popular Police Procedurals that features popular detectives such as Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, Taggart and Monk to name just a few that immediately spring to mind. Crime as a genre appeared around 1900 although there were books written in the previous century that could be described as conforming to the Crime genre. The above mentioned detectives all fit snugly into the Crime genre which belongs to the Fiction category covering crimes, the detection of those crimes, the activity of criminals and how the story builds up around their motives. The first recognized crime writer was Steen Steensen Blicher whose novel, ‘The Rector of Veilbye’ was published in 1829. Edgar Allan Poe was also fairly prolific in producing novels that fit into this genre. Paul Feval slightly preceded Arthur Conan Doyle in featuring Scotland Yard and conspiracies surrounding criminals and the detectives in pursuit.

Crime Genre
The Crime genre doesn’t stand alone, however – sub-genre includes the popular Whodunnit, Detective fiction, Police Procedurals, Courtroom Drama novels, Legal thrillers, plus other categories such as that referred to as ‘hard-boiled’ fiction made popular by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and, later on, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Ross Macdonald plus many other popular writers. This kind of crime novel involves Police Procedurals and detective fiction whose style relates crime and violence in an unsentimental manner. Hikayat al-sabiyya ‘l-muqtula is the earliest known crime story, cleverly blurring the edges across genre as it covers detective, suspense, thriller and murder mystery. This story, translated as ‘The Three Apples’ appears in the tales of ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ told by Scheherazade.

Thrillers and Mysteries
The Thriller genre is not a stand-alone genre, but overlaps an array of sub-genre. This category is fast-paced with plenty of action and tends to feature ingenious heroes who overcome remarkable odds to succeed against iniquitous adversaries. As the plot unfolds, the reader is caught up in a maelstrom of political tensions, social iniquities, familial feuds, and psychological suspense which are woven together in exotic locations so the reader becomes engrossed in the activity of their hero/heroine, identifying and empathizing with them in such a way that the reader finds it difficult to put the book down under they reach the end of the story. There is often considerable overlap between thrillers and mystery novels, although there are some distinct differences.

More recently, thrillers have incorporated psychological horror or included sci-fi type monsters that need to be overcome; serial killers, the supernatural, aliens and biological or chemical agents all fit into the genre of the thriller. F. Paul Wilson is an author who is known to incorporate quite a few of these themes throughout his novels. Many authors become known for the specific genre they write in: Alistair MacLean and Hammond Innes are both well-known for their exciting and intriguing series of thrillers. James Patterson, on the subject of thrillers, quite correctly comments that ‘…if a thriller doesn’t thrill, it’s not doing its job’. He wrote in June 2006 that ‘one of the genre’s most enduring characteristics is its openness to expansion’. Basically, the sub-genres amongst the thriller category include thrillers classified according to all and every vagary of the human psyche and social condition which, when woven into a fiction drama can enthrall the reader and keep their nose to the book to the very end.

The Mystery genre tends to feature characters, such as those famous detectives above, who solve puzzles and/or investigate crimes. Meanwhile, the Thriller category can also feature the above mentioned detectives but with the story weaving through a theme that has spies who investigate certain events, often at a political level on a global scale. However, because the detectives are featured across genre boundaries, they tend to be slotted straight into a sub-genre categorized as Detective stories. The important thing to remember when attempting to categorize more difficult plots is that groups are often loosely defined, with the categories’ parameters often quite flexible – it may even be necessary to refer to literary technique, content and tone, as well as the length of each novel in order to place books into the most appropriate category.

Computing & Internet

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

A personal computer can be a laptop, desktop, palmtop or a tablet computer but, what they all have in common is that they are operated by individual end-users. A personal computer has the capabilities to undertake word processing and spreadsheets amongst a host of other functions, depending on the operating system and the software that has been included – either as an integral function, or which has been uploaded to the computer at a later stage. When it comes to internet facilities, personal computers are able to operate email clients, and Web browsers giving access to the World Wide Web and the innumerable resources available while online. It is possible to connect your pc to the internet either wirelessly, via cable or local area network – also known as LAN.

CCENT is an acronym for ‘Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician’ and it is the first stage of the professional IT certification grade that leads up to Associate level. Other certification qualifications needed to attain Associate level are the CCNA together with the CCDA certifications. Studying for the CCENT brings you up to speed on basic networking skills such as network security and enabling you to install, configure and troubleshoot small branch networks and switched networks. During your CCNA study you will also learn how to implement and verify connections to remote sites via a WAN. Once you have got this certification under your belt there is the Cisco routing, switching and network design course to study for. To ensure you obtain your CCENT certification you will need to learn and understand a variety of protocols, such as:

•Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol [EIGRP]
•Serial Line Interface Protocol Frame Relay
•Routing Information Protocol Version 2 [RIPv2]
•Access control lists [ACLs].
There is a good range of books on certification courses in our Computing and Internet category on our website. You might like to take a look at ‘Networking Fundamentals, CCNA Exploration Companion Guide’ by Mark Dye. This book is an accredited and accepted by the Cisco Networking Academy Program and is the official supplemental textbook for the Network Fundamentals Course in the CCNA Exploration Curriculum Version 4. You might also take a look at ‘CCENT/CCNA ICND1 Official Exam Certification Guide’ written by Wendell Odom. This book is invaluable in preparing you for the exam and certification that follows.

Computer Science
Computer science is another branch of the diversity found amongst the computing and internet-based courses of study. It actually involves the more theoretical aspects of computation and how to apply practical techniques into the necessary algorithms to be processed by a computer. Obviously, computer science involves far more than that, but that is what computer science is about when taken down to its most basic element. As with any other field in the world of computing and internet, there is a wide variety of associated fields such as computer graphics, programming language theory, and human-computer interaction to name just a few.

Taking a look at our computer science section amongst the computing and internet category you will find a good range of books on the subject, such as ‘Search Engine Optimization: an Hour a Day’ written by Jennifer Grappone. A book that you might enjoy, amongst the computer science books because that is loosely the subject it covers is ‘The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable’. It is written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and has been described as ‘provocative’ by the Economist; ‘idiosyncratically brilliant’ by the Sunday Telegraph and ‘a fascinating study of how we are regularly taken for suckers by the unexpected’ by The Guardian newspaper. You will just have to read it to find out whether you agree with the critics or not!

Databases are records or files which are integral to the computer and which have been collected into a logically filed system, centrally filed where it can be easily located for one or more uses. Databases of this type are classified according to their content – i.e. full-text, numeric, image, bibliographic etc. There are different models that can be applied to how data are stored within a database. The model that is used most often is the relational model: others include the hierarchical model and the network model.

The structure of a database is what is described as a database model, described above. The database has to be used in conjunction with a database management system. The database model will be stored in a data dictionary. As mentioned above, the database model is used more often than any other model is the relational model. Key terminology that defines the relational model are:

•Relations – this is a table characterised by columns and rows. Each row is referred to as a tuples.
•Attributes – these are columns from the above table. Each column is named – and this is an attribute.
•Domains – each attribute is enabled to take a set of values. Each set of attributes is a domain.
In other words, a relational database refers to the table that is made up of columns and rows. Each column is named with an attribute [such as a phone number]. Each row is a specific instance of that entity [the name of a place that the phone number relates to]. Together, the whole forms a matrix and, within that matrix, is a series of information given about one single person or thing [the entity].

Computing and internet, as a subject, can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. However, within our computing and internet section you will find a wide range of books that relate to computing and internet from Larry Ullman’s ‘PHP6 and MySQL5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide’ to Paula Moreira’s ‘ACE the IT Resume: Resumes and Cover Letters to Get You Hired’. Within our computing and internet category you will find a range of sub-sections such as Digital Lifestyle; Digital Music; Digital Photography; Digital Video; Hardware; Mac OS; Microsoft Windows; Networking and Security; New to Computing; PC and Video Games; Professionals; Programming; Software and Graphics; UNIX and Linux; and Web Development. Each of these categories have an enormous range of books of their own, but the best way to see what we have in our web site pages is to delve in and spend an hour or so browsing – you never know, you could strike gold!