Category Archives: Non Fiction

Luku Makes a Didgeridoo – Kyle Maplesden

A nice view into how a traditional didgeridoo is made and crafted, explained in language that i would probably reckon about 7 years upward. But as a Kindle has it’s own look up dictionary it’s always a good thing to push a few new words – like “pigment” – onto young minds.

Illustrated throughout with some lovely pictures which unfortunately don’t get full justice on the black and white Kindle.

Nice first book, Kyle.

Kyle’s page.

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Spice Alchemy – Neil Cowling

If you like food with flavour then this is a great book.

If you have high blood pressure and want to get rid of salt out of your diet, then use spices and herbs to replace it — this is the book to show you how.

No, i’ve no idea how authentic the spice mixes and recipes are, but to be honest, they’re all really nice so i don’t actually care if my cajun spiced high carb salad dressing is authentic or not, it’s delicious and that’s all i wanted from this book.

The book has lists of various spice recipes from around the world, and also complete recipes in which to use those mixes, if you chose to. Personally, i just take the spice mixes and make my own things with them as i’m vegan.

My only complaint is that the spice mixes are listed in tsp and tbsp, some ingredients are listed as pre-ground, others are whole, so it all gets confusing in that regard. I found i had to go to ‘Cronometer’ and use their ‘Add food’ thing with what was stated in the spice mix ingredients and then change the output to grams to get the exact weight. That way i could use whole coriander seeds by weight to the same amount of ground coriander by tsp that was listed in the recipe. But if you’re happy using the pre-ground spices then all that won’t be a problem.

But, if you’re going to all this trouble of making your own spice mixes then do yourself a favour and buy whole spices with as far away a ‘sell by’ date on them as you can find in the shops to make sure they’re as fresh as possible – you can even splash out and get organic ones. You’ll notice a huge difference. Pre-ground spices are stale by nature as once you grind a spice it starts to degrade rapidly, with fats oxidising and going rancid and essential oils evapourated away. Most whole spices, that you grind fresh each time to the exact amount you need, are living seeds that you should be able to plant and grow – they’re very fresh!!! If you do want to get into the weighing whole spice thing then you’ll also need a micro scale (ebay) that weighs to 0.1 grams or finer — well worth a few pounds if you want to make some seriously consistent spice mixes that are repeatable.

That all said, even if you do just want to use tsp and tbsp with pre-ground spices, this book is very much worth the 99p to begin your journey into mixing spices and having some real flavour and health in your food instead of just salt and high blood pressure.

Neil’s page.

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More 2018 Braggin’

Yeah, more literary braggin’ from 2018. This one shows the total pages i read as well as the total books.

While it would be nice to beat the book total in 2019, my actual goal is to beat the pages read total – because, as you can see, the books can vary in page length by a huge amount. Anyone can read 300 books in a year if they’re all shorts of about 14 pages, and likewise, anyone would struggle to read 20 books if they were all around 1,498 pages.

So i’m thinking 25,000 pages has to be the goal — we shall see how it goes at the end of 2019.

Not surprised at ‘The Night Circus’ being so popular. If Erin never writes another book she’ll always be deservedly famous for that one, and can probably retire off the funds too. But instead of retiring, Erin’s new book is out in November 2019, and we’re all looking forward to that, aren’t we?

What i am surprised about is ‘A Child at Heart’ being the least popular. It’s a great book and really is worth a read by everyone — especially parents. No wonder the world’s going to shit in a u-bend if people won’t read stuff like this. #nohope

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #steampunk #fantasy #kindleworm

Ikigai – Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

It looks interesting.

I’ve always found Japan and its history a fascinating subject for reading about. I’ve never been, if life ever throws the opportunity my way i’ll definitely go.

Francesc Miralles’ page.
Héctor García’s page.

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #japan #hectorgarcia #francescmiralles #kindleworm

goodreads: 2018 Reading Challenge

For 2018 i joined in the reading challenge at goodreads, and i think i did rather well.

A few of those books that only counted as one were far more than one book.

‘Magnificent Devices’ was 4 books. So that’s plus 3 on the total.

‘Big Sigma’ was 3 books and 3 shorts, but i’d already done ‘Bypass Gemini’. So counting the 3 shorts as 1 book, that’s plus 2 on the total.

‘Free Wrench’ was 3 books. So that’s plus 2 on the total.

So add those 8 and i get a grand total of 70 books in one year – which looks a little better than 62.

Plus there were a few random shorts that never made it to goodreads, but i won’t be too pedantic about it and leave them out.

Or, maybe i am already being too pedantic about it?  But hey, in my defence, if i’d added and reviewed each of those books seperately that’s where it would have been. So think me a pedant if you like, i don’t care, so there!

Anyways, while you’re here, why not have a quick look at my page about ‘goodreads’ for my thoughts about them and maybe sign up yourself for the 2019 challenge.

As for myself, for 2019 i’m gonna go with this years revised total of 70 and make sure i review any collections independently.

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #steampunk #fantasy #viclit #kindleworm

The Pants Of Perspective – Anna McNuff

I read this some time ago before i started writing reviews – so its not exactly fresh in my mind. But i thought it would be a bit of a crime not to mention it on the website while i’m sorting through all my books, past and present.

From what i remember… it’s a true tale about this half baked, mad scheme, with not very much planning, to run the whole length of New Zealand by a (perhaps completely mad) woman who’s not really physically up to the task. But, completely undeterred, Anna sets off from the very bottom of the South island and heads North on a crazy adventure in some leggings she really likes.

It’s a really good story, and one well worth a read whether you’re into running and/or endurance sports or not. Because it’s not about running or endurance sports, it’s about a journey, the people, the places, the ups and the downs, and it’s a wonderful journey to read about.

So, if you like unicorns, and you like leggings, and who doesn’t like unicorns and leggings, and even if you don’t like unicorns and leggings, give it a read sometime.

Click here for unicorn leggings over at Amazon, and go on your own adventure somewhere.

I refuse to make any comments about people who don’t like unicorns and leggings, i’m trying my best to keep the website nice, positive and happy.  xx

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Margaret Ogilvy – J.M.Barrie

Having just read ‘The Little White Bird’ and ‘Peter Pan’, it struck me that there may have been a little more to the characters than at first appears.

The character of Peter Pan was based on James’ brother, David, who died aged 13 (so never grew up), leaving the 6 year old James having to try and fill his shoes for his mother. So it made me wonder who Hook was based on. At first i thought Hook represented the parents but having read this book i’ve totally had a change of mind.

So my thoughts on the matter are thus… I suppose the clue is in Hook’s first name, also James. The hand that gets cut off by Peter, a metaphor for the part of James’ childhood, and life, that was taken from him the day his brother died. The hand is then fed to the ticking crocodile that follows Hook around wanting to consume the rest of him because it likes the taste – so is this another metaphor concerning the inevitable ticking clock of life, and that James felt the loss of his brother was continuously haunting and wanting to consume more of him and his family?

Then there’s Wendy, which having read this book cannot be based upon anyone other than Margaret Ogilvy herself. He mentions in the book how after his brother died, other local women who lost children would come to her to talk. Again, Wendy and the lost boys – the lost boys representing the children of the other women who went to join his brother David in heaven (Neverland).

But all that aside, this book was a heartfelt view into James’ home life and very much his relationship with his mother – who he obviously cared about immensely – and is an absolute must read for all fans of J.M. Barrie’s writing. The book also covers James’ early literary career and what made him want to become a writer. So a very worth while read.

So what’s next? After 3 books in a row, i’ll be taking a literary break away from Peter Pan, Neverland and J.M. Barrie as i’ve got a big ‘to read’ folder on my Kindle that’s continuously nagging to get read. But i’ll definitely be coming back to these three topics in my reading in the not too distant future.

Here be some more books from J.M. Barrie.

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A Child at Heart – Christopher Phillips

Or to give it its full title… ‘A Child at Heart: Unlocking Your Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason at Every Age and Stage of Life’.

Those of us interested in longevity and remaining young, fit and healthy as long as possible, realise early on that it all begins in the mind. If the mind is not on board for an extended lifespan then the brain and body simply isn’t going to go there.

While this book doesn’t look specifically into the longevity benefits of a youthful mind it still has plenty to teach us. This book is a wonderfully detailed look at the minds of all stages and ages of life and how we interact with each other – and Christopher isn’t shy of giving plenty of thoughts on what is wrong with our current view and treatment of young people and how that is impacting on adults and society as a whole. As Christopher is a parent himself this book does give a few thoughts on parenting without being preachy about anything and i would definitely recommend it for parents or aspiring parents.

But Christopher is also very clearly a Socratic philosopher, and this book, i feel, continues the ideas of Socrates in how society, not just parents, should relate to and listen to young people. I do find it incredibly disheartening that after more than 2000 years since Socrates execution for simply doing what Christopher prescribes in this book that adults still aren’t engaging with young people and giving them their rightful place within society. And then adult society has the audacity to blame young people for causing the problems.

Whether you’re a parent, a philosopher, a youth worker, or someone simply interested in creating a better world, this book is a very good read and well worth getting a copy.

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #christopherphillips #kindleworm

Meadowland: the private life of an English field – John Lewis-Stempel

A beautiful book from a wonderful writer.

The reader is transported to a working Herefordshire farm where they journey through the life of a real, English meadow from Jan 1st to Dec 31st, wonderfully detailing what most wouldn’t notice but what, to a meadow, are crucially important aspects of its eco system.

Sadly, and i mean extremely so, farmers like John are being driven out and intensive farming is systematically destroying not only the countryside fauna and flora, but also England as a sustainable island. But it is heartening to know that the real countryside and those that care for it are still out there and keeping these isolated islands of Nature alive so that hopefully, one day, if its not too late, we can wake up and stop the intensive farming and remake our countryside – fingers crossed.

I will certainly be reading more of John’s books in the future and totally recommend this one to anyone with even the slightest interest in the Nature of rural England.

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #reading #bookreviews #johnlewisstempel #kindleworm

The Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy – Miyamoto Musashi

Another book that’s sat on my Kindle for years unread. But having just finished David Kirks’ books it really felt like the right time to read this.

It’s hard to judge this book in any real contemporary terms because it simply has no place in the contemporary world. It’s an anachronism from a time and place that is no more and will never be again.

It is aimed solely at the samurai warrior, but maybe there are those who are ultra competitive who do contact sports, and also military personnel, that could still gain a lot from reading it – which doesn’t apply to me.

It is, however, an incredible view into the mind of one of the greatest strategists (swordsmen) from Japanese history, and it really gives you the genuine thoughts and attitude of a Samurai in regards to fighting and killing with swords. It’s probably the most amoral thing i’ve ever read, and in that aspect alone it’s quite wonderful because it is so genuine and fascinating.

Musashi’s page.

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