Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1)
This is a story about a book.

Not just any book, mind you, but the ultimate book initially designed for dudes and dudettes who suddenly place it into their heads to live on just a towel, plus rides with random strangers. And no, I'm not talking about See The Universe On Less Than 30 Altairian Dollars A Day.

Interestingly enough, this is exactly the kind of book that a hitchhiker newbie, such as Arthur Dent, would need, if he'd like to check out what the universe has in store for him. (Funnily enough, I suddenly remember this quote for Arthur: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.")

The book by Douglas Adams chronicles the (unfortunate?) events in the life of Arthur, who wakes up to find that his world is about to expand... Literally. He's forced to come to terms with the fact that he's suddenly roommates with an alien from space, that he cannot quite come back to his beloved Earth (nor can he have a McDonald's burger again!), that he has to be friends with the guy who snagged his to-be date during this party a few months ago, and that he has no idea what he's to do nor where he's heading. He hasn't even had his cup of tea yet! Thank goodness for the existence of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, indeed.

The story is presented to us in a classic, no-holds-barred way. It's funny, in a witty, dry and sarcastic way (that is almost always lost to Ford Prefect, sadly). It's got some traces of math and science, and lots of random mumbo jumbo, just to make you feel like you're not hoopy enough to hang out with the "in" crowd. Almost each character in here has their own unique personality - from manic-depressive to (appearing to be) simply clueless. (Yes, even a bowl of petunias has its own voice here.) It's wacky, random, and if you're not paying attention, you might just end up listening to the worse poetry in your life.

There are a LOT of crazy ideas in here, but that's all right. As long as you remember that the Improbability Drive's in motion, you've got nothing to fear. So relax, and take another sip of that Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Things are about to get really interesting.


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sweet!: From Agave to Turbinado, Home Baking with Every Kind of Natural Sugar and Sweetener by Mani Niall

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Sweet!: From Agave to Turbinado, Home Baking with Every Kind of Natural Sugar and Sweetener
Sweet! is half an informative guide on the different kinds of existing sweeteners (sugar, honey, syrups, etc.), and half a recipe book. What I really like about this book is the fact that it tackles scientific aspects, historical trivia and wide range of the substance that makes our desserts sweet.

The book, in effect, made me change my perspective so that baking, to me, will never be the same again - all because I now look more carefully at the kinds of sweeteners (and other ingredients too, since this book gives some info on flours, eggs and other useful & necessary ingredients) that are commercially available in the market. Very nice to chew on.

I do have a problem with the actual recipe portion, though. Besides the fact that there are very few pictures here (8 pages of glossy paper in the middle of the book is sadly not enough space for the products of the 100+ mentioned recipes), I am having some trouble getting the ingredients Niall requires for his recipes (e.g. fine sea salt, unbleached organic all purpose flour). This is, of course, probably due to the fact that I live in a far off country, and therefore have some difficulties obtaining so and so ingredients xD

Otherwise, a really informative read!


Sweet!: From Agave to Turbinado, Home Baking with Every Kind of Natural Sugar and Sweetener by Mani Niall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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The Hunters by Zayden Ramos

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The Hunters
Too cute for words! Ahahahaha :D

Simple storyline, simple words (although I was rather surprised reading of "exhaust beams"), simple humor, nice and clean illustrations. Overall a very quick read.

I think the real threat I acknowledge here would be underestimating the capability of 4-year-olds.


The Hunters
 by Zayden Ramos

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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