Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Book reviews for Christmas ideas

Do you want to impress your family and friends with a beautiful coffee table book? Or maybe you want to treat yourself with one of those hardbacks that are a pleasure just to hold in your hands? Quadrille Publishing has something perfect for you!

The recently published Wallpaper: The Ultimate Guide, written by Charlotte Abrahams, is a source of inspiration for whoever is interested in the history and development of interior design. In 256 pages divided into three sections – namely Architectural Illusions, Fabulous Florals and Pasted Pictures – the author answers all the questions you might have. What are the origins of each particular style? In what way can I use wallpaper to create a specific effect? Who are the leading designers and manufacturers? Where can I buy the wallpaper featured in the book? Ranging from contemporary to classic designs, the overall 250 full-colour photographs are truly spectacular and the 150 full-page reproductions of wallpapers printed in Hexachrome® for the best chromatic accuracy are the jewel in the crown of this guide.

Another recent release by Quadrille is Simon Hopkinson’s first new book in eight years: The Vegetarian Option.
Despite the title, this is not a vegetarian cookbook in the strictest sense. A self-professed carnivore, Hopkinson addresses food lovers who enjoy eating vegetables without an accompaniment of meat or fish but who are not necessarily vegetarian. Hence the choice of writing a recipe both for vegetable and chicken stock which left many perplexed! Elegantly and simply designed, the book introduces vegetables, herbs, pasta, pulses and grains, rice, eggs, fruit, nuts and nibbles and, last but not least, cocktails. In addition to the clear instructions, the introduction to each section and the comments to each recipe are particularly enjoyable. The anecdotes and tips make you feel like you are talking with a friend about food rather than reading a cookbook!

And after all the decorating and cooking, there is nothing better than sitting comfortably on the sofa to enjoy a modern Christmas tale! Published by Picador, Mrs Scrooge: A Christmas Tale, written by Carol Ann Duffy and beautifully illustrated by Posy Simmonds, is the perfect way to add some magic to the day. With a few touches of her pen, the Poet Laureate cleverly portrays the widow of Ebenezer Scrooge as a warm and human figure, who is impossible not to love. And just how much she is loved by her friends and family will become clear as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come guide her though a cold Christmas Eve night... Page after page, this delightful tale will fascinate children and grown-ups alike!