User Reviews

Reviews by Ultra Violet

Luscious, rich desserts that are easy to make, all natural and free of animal products!
I made three recipes from this book, Curry Truffles, Black Bottom Cupcakes and the Opera Cake, and they were all fabulous. The pictures are so enticing and the instructions are very easy to follow. Fran Costigan is pretty much the leading vegan baker in the universe, so all of the recipes are well-tested. She opens with an informative section about vegan sweeteners, dairy substitutes and different kinds of flours, which is helpful to anyone new to baking or new to veganism. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially to people who are thinking about cutting back on the animal products in their diets. Even the most die-hard dairy lover will fall in love this these treats.
Homage to the raven
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William Bellman has always lived a charmed life. He is handsome, intelligent, strong and energetic.Even though he didn't know his father, who left William and his mother when he was small, he isn't resentful. He shares a close relationship with his sweet mother and is close with his cousin. He seems to get whatever he wants with minimal effort, every task is easy to him, he makes friends quickly with people from all social spheres and he has no problem attracting the attentions of beautiful women. He isn't spoiled by all of this good fortune. He works hard and loves accomplishing things.

The only blemish on his gilded life is an incident in his childhood. He and his friends were playing with their sling-shots and through a seemingly-miraculous shot, William strikes and kills a raven. The boys are amazed by the feat and go to see the gorgeous bird. Their awe is soon replaced with the macabre playfulness of young boys as they flap the lifeless wings and taunt each other. Will is unsettled. However, he quickly forgets the entire affair. He forgets it so completely that he barely notices how black birds haunt his dreams, and crows and ravens seem to appear out of nowhere whenever he loses someone dear.

William Bellman's perfect life starts to unravel as his begins to be visited by the mysterious Mr. Black. But Black may be just what Bellman needs.

A mysterious and beautifully descriptive homage to the spirit of the raven, told through a suitable moody Victorian tale.

This 2000 year history of paper is told through personal stories of paper-makers, fascinating historical tidbits, and the author's near-obsession with paper, books and the written word. It's not a perfectly linear history. Basbanes writes about a trip to China, and the amazing families of paper-makers he met there, and tells a bit of the paper-making history in that region, before going on to talking about Japan and the spiritual connection the Japanese people have with paper. He tells a story about how paper was a key component in the only deaths on American soil incurred during WWII because of an attack by the Japanese. I don't want to say too much about it, because it was quite a surprising story. Then it's on to France and the first manned hot air balloon flight, and a bit about how paper influenced the development of Islam.

On Paper is not just a dry history book, but a collection of stories about people from all over the world, and throughout the last 2000 years, who's lives have been changed by, or dedicated to, the art and craft of paper-making. From toilet tissue, to sticky notes, to handmade art paper, to ornate wrapping paper, we all use mass quantities of paper every day without a second thought. Knowing a bit about how it all came about and how all of the various types of paper are produced makes this a great book for readers who are interested in art or books, but also for people who are just interested in history in general. Nicholas Basbanes' conversational, story-telling style makes this book very readable for most people who enjoy nonfiction.


 
Childhood of Jesus
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In this allegorical novel by Nobel Prize Winner, J.M. Coetzee, a six-year-old boy called, David, and a man of nondescript age called, Simon, are brought together as refugees on a ship sailing to a new life. They are greeted with bland "goodwill" from just about everyone they meet. They are assigned their new names and given an allowance and an apartment. Simon finds work as a stevedore even though he is much older than the other workers. He feels inadequate to the task, at first, but the others accept him and his slowness and frailty with "goodwill". Simon is frequently frustrated with the lack of passion in everyone around him.

Simon feels compelled to find David's "real mother" by which he means, not the woman who gave birth to him, but the woman who is destined to nurture him. He picks Ines, a thirtyish, spoiled woman who spends her days playing tennis and lounging. Surprisingly, Ines accepts David as her son. She and Simon go through many difficult times trying to deal with each other but they both always put David above all else.
The childhood of Jesus is a complex examination of such a wide varieties of issues we all face, but it never seems ponderous or plodding. The story of the man and child is enough to keep the interest while the deeper topics are slipped in the narrative as discussions between the characters. It is a thoughtful book for a time of uncertainty.

 
Breathtaking
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Florence has matured and delivers a powerful, more focused collection in this album. It reminded me a lot of The Eurythmics. Super recommended!!