Book Reviews: August 2019

August Book Recommendations

East by Meera Sodha
Penguin £20

Meera Sodha is my favourite cookery writer – I turn to her previous books Made in India, and Fresh India more than any others for her authentic and accessible recipes. Although I’m not vegan, or vegetarian, I will definitely be adding this latest title to my collection, as Sodha’s New Vegan column in the Guardian has proved to be a great source of inspiration.
While Sodha’s previous titles focussed purely on Indian cooking, East takes us further afield,on a journey from India to Indonesia, Singapore to Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, with recipes such as Chard Potato and Coconut Curry, Kimchi Pancakes, delicious Dairy Free Black Dal, Salted Miso Brownies and a no-churn Vietnamese Coffee Ice-cream. Highly recommended. Alice.

The Garden Jungle: Or Gardening to Save the Planet by Dave Goulson
Jonathon Cape £16.99

Dave Goulson, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex, and author of A Buzz in the Meadow and A Sting in the Tale has written an urgent, fascinating and lively account of the creatures that surround us.
From worms and woodlice to beetles, mice and shrews, small creatures that we rarely consider, but that have intricate often bizarre lives and form vital parts of the ecosystems that support us. From the routine drenching of American suburbs with a cocktail of pesticides to the flea treatments on our pets and spraying the aphids on roses, our domestic lives can have a great impact on the insects around us, but our gardens, instead of being battlegrounds, can easily become a huge network of tiny nature reserves. Goulson has lots of ideas and tips for making your garden more attractive to wildlife. Excellent - essential reading for anyone with a garden.

The Suffering of Strangers by Caro Ramsay
Canongate Books 8.99

This novel is the 9th in a series of Scottish detective stories featuring DI’s Costello and Anderson. It is easy to read this well put together thriller without being familiar with earlier books, although I will now be interested in the back story of these two detectives.
A mysterious child abduction and a disturbing cold case brings the two former colleagues together and we are kept guessing as we follow the multiple story lines in this gritty and intriguing tale.

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell
Bloomsbury Children’s Books  £12.99

Katherine Rundell is one of the UK’s most versatile children’s writers, and a new book by her is always  cause for celebration. Her previous novels have featured a dazzling array of locations and historical settings: from the Amazonian jungle to pre-Revolutionary Russia, the African Savannah, and the rooftops of Paris.
‘The Good Thieves’ is a thoroughly entertaining heist story, set against the sparkle and sawdust of 1920’s New York. Plucky heroine Vita is fresh off the boat from England – to see her beloved American grandfather, but she discovers that he has been cheated of his home and possessions by a wily, wealthy con man with mafia connections. With the help of a young pickpocket and two circus boys, she devises a dangerous, death-defying plan to recover her grandfather’s possessions and restore justice.
The story rattles along at breakneck pace, studded with colourful details and shady characters, and shot through with righteous revolutionary spirit, as the children will stop at nothing to right a wrong and expose the rotten heart of New York high society! A perfect summer read for any 8-12 year old!
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