Archive For The “Culture” Category

Designed in the USSR: 1950-1989

Designed in the USSR: 1950-1989

Designed in the USSR: 1950-1989 is another book from Phaidon. Not a cookbook this time but a rather topical design book which does indeed offer an insightful overview of iconic images from behind the Iron Curtain. There are some flag-waving posters, as one would expect, but even these have influenced graphic art far beyond the…

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The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker – review

The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker – review

An in-depth exploration spanning 800 years of the art, essence, and enduring impact of the Japanese Garden. The most comprehensive exploration of the art and concept of the Japanese garden published to date, this book covers more than eight centuries of the history of this iconic horticultural genre. One might think of a Japanese garden…

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Côte d’Or: The Heart of Burgundy – review

Côte d’Or: The Heart of Burgundy – review

The Wines and Winemakers of the Heart of Burgundy The name Côte d’Or might not be well known but it is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution. It was formed from part of the former province of Burgundy. This is not only a beautiful part of France but a celebrated…

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Calamity and Courage – review

Calamity and Courage – review

Calamity and Courage – A Heroine of the Raj is another in my collection of fascinating books about India and all things Indian that I love so much. It also gave me a surprise as the setting for the aforementioned heroism is in fact the very part of India that my father knew so well…

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An Organic Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright – review

An Organic Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright – review

We might not all major in architecture but we are all touched by it, and it’s argued that Frank Lloyd Wright has had more impact than most on buildings in both the 20th and 21st centuries. Frank Lloyd Wright introduced the word ‘organic’ into his vision of building, and indeed he did this as far…

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Domon Ken: The Master of Japanese Realism – art book review

Domon Ken: The Master of Japanese Realism – art book review

Domon Ken is one of the most renowned Japanese photographers of the 20th century. One might not recognise his name but one will likely have seen some of his work, which is iconic and which spanned decades. This is an excellent book which strives to offer the reader a comprehensive overview of Ken’s photographs. The…

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Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries – book review

Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries – book review

I was told to expect a book. I was told to expect a big book. I was told to expect a coffee-table book. What I got was a book the size of a coffee table but one which will hold my attention long after the furniture would have lost its purely functional appeal. Sake: The…

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Umami: THE FIFTH TASTE – guidebook review

Umami: THE FIFTH TASTE – guidebook review

It’s a buzz-word these days: Umami. It’s a very familiar taste, flavour, sensation on the taste buds but we have only relatively recently put a name to this savouriness, this deliciousness. But how do we view it with regard to sake? This was originally a Japanese word and it’s all about a particular taste: of…

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Food Sake Tokyo by Yukari Sakamoto – travel guide review

Food Sake Tokyo by Yukari Sakamoto – travel guide review

Tokyo is a vibrant modern city but tradition is still evident. We might be looking for the latest technology in Akihabara or fashion and pop culture in Takeshitadori; but we all need food and many of us need sake. You’ll find that all around this sprawling town if you know where to look for it….

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Rajasthan – Lonely Planet – travel review

Rajasthan – Lonely Planet – travel review

This might be your first big trip and the success of that adventure might well lay in preparation and planning. You’ll want to be informed of things to avoid and others not to be missed. Rajasthan – Lonely Planet is an ideal tool to supply some travel needs. You’ll want to get the most from…

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Travels with Frank Lloyd Wright by Gwyn Lloyd Jones – review

Travels with Frank Lloyd Wright by Gwyn Lloyd Jones – review

This is a volume for any student of architecture who is interested in that phrase ‘form follows function’ with regard to the inspiring and revolutionary architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Gwyn Lloyd Jones retraced Frank Lloyd Wright’s steps on journeys he made outside the USA. This volume considers the man along with his buildings. It’s…

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Singapore with Marco Polo – travel review

Singapore with Marco Polo – travel review

Not sure if Marco Polo, that celebrated explorer of the East, ever got to the area we now know as Singapore; however, he has given his name to a series of guidebooks to aid a distant generation of travellers. It’s true that there are many guide books and all of them, I feel sure, have…

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The Saké Handbook by John Gauntner – review

The Saké Handbook by John Gauntner – review

Saké has become more popular than ever in both restaurants and bars. One can find good quality saké by the bottle and made into cocktails, but there are surprisingly few books in English on the subject of saké and its production. John Gauntner is considered an authority and has penned The Saké Handbook which is…

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Four Emperors and an Architect – history review

Four Emperors and an Architect – history review

This book is bound to appeal to anyone with a love of what they assume to be, and indeed what has become, classic English architecture. We’re talking about Robert Adam’s buildings so they couldn’t be anything other than quintessentially English, could they? Well, yes and no. Four Emperors and an Architect has the story. Four…

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Train2e@t Local Foodbook – Kuala Lumpur by Danny Chen – review

Train2e@t Local Foodbook – Kuala Lumpur by Danny Chen – review

Danny Chen is the author of Train2e@t, this small yet deliciously stuffed book. He is the complete modern man, being a lover not only of Malaysian cuisine but of music and travel too, and well placed to pen a volume that considers one of the best things in life: Food. Danny isn’t a full-time food…

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Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée by Thomas J. Craughwell – review

Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée by Thomas J. Craughwell – review

We all know the name and his impeccable political credentials (he was an American Founding Father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence; he was the third President of the United States). But Thomas Jefferson lived a full life of controversy outside the political arena. Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris…

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The Last Concubine by Lesley Downer – review

The Last Concubine by Lesley Downer – review

There will be many UK readers who will remember Lesley Downer not for her books, although there have been many, but for her enlightening and absorbing TV series in which she introduced Japan to British viewers. It was the first programme of its kind and I don’t think it has been rivalled since for its…

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Tasting India by Christine Manfield – review

Tasting India by Christine Manfield – review

I enjoy almost every book that crosses my desk (now a uni-leg computer stand from a Swedish lifestyle emporium). Some are simple but informative volumes, others are attractive and what I would describe as gift quality. Tasting India is in the second category but has raised the bar on that little phrase. It truly is…

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Singapore Top Ten – Eyewitness Travel – guidebook review

Singapore Top Ten – Eyewitness Travel – guidebook review

It might sound like a very narrow perspective – Singapore Top Ten. Is that a list of the ten most exciting attractions? Or is it a collection of ten interesting restaurants, perhaps? In fact Singapore Top Ten from Eyewitness Travel has a list of lists. I love Singapore. It seems to offer so much for…

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1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz – review

1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz – review

Travel – it’s like a drug. If you have never travelled then perhaps you can’t understand why anybody would. Home is cosy, safe and you speak the language. But many of us have had the pleasure of taking a trip, and that sparks something within. And there are 1000 Places to See Before You Die!…

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