15 April 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Wants All The Things

While I totally buying books, I also adore buying bookish things and, if I had limitless funds, you can bet my house would be wall to wall with book nerd bling. Obviously, I was pleased that we're talking about "Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own" for this week's Top Ten Tuesday!

Banned books scarf gives bibliophiles a certain je ne sais quoi.
Pretty and practical phone charger.
Full of sparkling wine, but who would want to uncork it?
"I cannot live without books"
Brewed from pages of Moby Dick. Really.
Smells like absinthe and mystery!
I really want to collect teapots, but no-one needs more than two.
Fully Booked by Field Notes. Yes, a tent shaped like a book.
Flutter Notes -- paper-thin, translucent sticky notes for marking all the passages I want to return to. Someday.
Verilux Heritage Natural Spectrum Floor Lamp for just the right level of illumination.

13 April 2014

Gods Behaving Badly

Then the tree said, "I'm Kate. I work in mergers and acquisitions for Goldman Sachs."
"Do you know what happened to you, Kate?" said Artemis.
The longest silence of all. Artemis was just about to repeat the question when the tree replied.
"I think I've turned into a tree," it said.
"Yes," said Artemis. "You have."
In a world dominated by Christianity (but surely Islam is also statistically significant?) the Twelve Olympians are alive and living in Hampstead. With no-one believing in them anymore, their power and glory has faded over the years and they have been reduced to living like mortals. And not rich, powerful mortals. No, indeed. Aphrodite works as a phone sex operator. Artemis, a dog walker. And Apollo is sure his star is on the rise when he becomes a TV psychic ... only to shoot the worst pilot ever. And then he falls in love (with help from Eros) with Alice (played in my head by Shirley Henderson), a cleaner. And everything goes from bad to worse.

Gods Behaving Badly was a fairly amusing and quick read well-suited to an afternoon spent in various waiting rooms as I found it easy to put down and then take up again. Some books are hard to read in fragments -- I need to gobble the whole thing up in one big gulp -- or hard to take up again after being put down, as there's no strong pull or connection. With Gods Behaving Badly, while I needed to know what would happen the Alice and the gods, I wasn't breathless with need. That makes it sound as if I didn't enjoy the novel ... I did enjoy it, but many of gods were (unsurprisingly, if you've read any Greek mythology) a tad insufferable and best absorbed in small doses.

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips (Little, Brown, and Company, 2007)

11 April 2014

Mexican Food: Hot and Delicious

Earlier this month, I was excited to receive free copy of the e-cookbook Mexican Food: Hot and Delicious from Something Else Publishing as part of LibraryThing's Member Giveaways. My household enjoys eating Tex-Mex and Mexican food and I have been meaning to try my hand at "real" Mexican cooking.

I read Mexican Food: Hot and Delicious cover to cover before I sat down to write this, because it's not every day someone gives me a free cookbook and I wanted to be as thorough as possible. I even picked out five recipes to test, but I never made them because OMFGBBQ.

I absolutely cannot recommend Mexican Food: Hot and Delicious as a Kindle purchase as it is rife with editing/formatting issues and two recipes appear to have been lifted from BHG and Sunset. It's possible there are more than two, but I don't actually want to know. Two is more than enough.

Examples of "borrowed" recipes:
Just. Ugh. I know it's the Internet and "everyone" "borrows" recipes, but you still can't sell recipes that aren't yours to begin with.

But maybe paying for stolen content doesn't phase you? Maybe all the recipe errors and editing/formatting issues will?

Some recipe errors (possibly from a poor cutting and pasting job):
  • Mexican Muffins calls for "3 package" corn muffin mix. (Having made other versions of this recipe, I think it's safe to say the author really meant a single 7.5-8.5 oz package).
  • Mexican Rice calls for grated orange peel, but not how much and it is not mentioned in the directions.
  • Mexican Cheesecake comes with a tip clearly meant to go with a cookie recipe.
  • Speaking of cookies, the ingredients list for Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce calls for "1 package store bought sugar cookie or chocolate cookie mix!"
Some editing and formatting issues:
  • Missing periods.
  • Lack of spaces between the endings and beginnings of some sentences.
  • Use of I for 1.
  • Table of contents link in Kindle for Mac is grayed out, but the table is clearly there.
  • Book is not enabled for searching.
I am so extremely disappointed.

Mexican Food: Hot and Delicious. Something Else Publishing, 2014. Kindle AZW file.