Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BOOK PEEK: Modernist Cuisine

Breathtaking photography, scientifically-refined cooking tips, and a compilation of the best plated dishes make up the five hefty volumes of Modernist Cuisine. Hailed as the most important cookbook of its contemporaries, this 2,500 page masterpiece is a work of art in itself, having been written and researched on with the utmost care, much like a scientist with his inventions. Rightly so, as its principal author, Dr. Nathan Myhrvold is the former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer and founder of Intellectual Ventures.

Unsatisfied with the information he needed to find about “sous vide,” a French cooking technique, Myhrvold took it upon himself to research and contribute the steps in making his desired meal. In his retirement, he took a serious interest in culinary arts and participated in online cooking forums. Soon, upon suggestion and prodding from his readers, he decided to make his contribution to the culinary world official by penning a cookbook himself. 

Dr. Myhrvold literally cuts to the core of every meal he teaches us to prepare, by showing us exactly how to lay out ingredients, and portraying all the ingredients in such a vivid manner. The photography is undeniably one of the highlights of the book, while his background as a scientist molded the very unique approach he took in compiling cooking tips and techniques to share. With its images and content at top quality, Modernist Cuisine is a cookbook that both professional chefs and home-cooking mavens will appreciate and learn from. 

Modernist Cuisine is available in Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street and Rockwell in very limited quantities. Please call 8587046 (BHS) or 8980968 (RW) to inquire. Price is available upon request.

Learn more about Modernist Cuisine by visiting their blog: http://modernistcuisine.com/, and their YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ModernistCuisine. Photos in this entry are from the official book blog and the blog of Dr. Myrhvold's old colleagues, Bill Gates: TheGatesNotes.com.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Different Skine

They are finally here! :-) 

Moleskine ventures into new projects with classic labels, this time with one of my all-time favorite franchises, Star Wars.  Now, they've released collections with Peanuts and Pac-Man designs as well, leaving fans everywhere looking for this notebook, with its style both sleek and youthful at the same time. I want to buy everything! Haha!

I also spotted some cute Moleskine planners in earth tones. A bit of a difference from the usual red and black. :-)

Star Wars Moleskine notebooks are available in all Fully Booked branches nationwide (Davao will receive their shipment SOON!). The Pac-Man collection is available in the Fort, Greenhills, Rockwell and Katipunan, while the Peanuts collection can be found in the Fort, Greenhills, Katipunan, Rockwell, Cebu, Eastwood and Greenbelt 5.

Friday, October 14, 2011

BOOK PICK + GIVEAWAY: Some Thoughts on The Son of Neptune

I will try to write the first part of this entry without any spoilers for The Son of Neptune.

When I first read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, I read all five books in one week. It wasn’t because I was so hooked; I just felt I had to catch up with the rest of the world, especially with the release of The Lost Hero, and just recently, The Son of Neptune.

Reading a series that fast doesn’t allow a reader to become a fan right away. Don’t get me wrong, I love the series now, having read until The Son of Neptune. But upon a first reading, I looked at facts and events rather than characters and motives. It was only when I reached The Last Olympian, when the final battle and ultimate conflict was about to be faced, that I actually stopped and thought about Percy having grown up so much since first meeting him, Luke having become so desperate since my first impression of him, and Kronos having built a real physical presence around himself since his haunting shadow in The Lightning Thief. The flashbacks in that book also helped in growing emotionally close to the characters, especially to Luke, Thalia and Annabeth. I’m such a sucker for flashbacks, I really am.

It’s funny; just as in Harry Potter we find a huge chunk of the story is about Dumbledore, here we find that in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, much of the events had transpired because of Luke Castellan.

By the end of the series, I didn’t know whether or not to believe Luke was still a hero inside (though the series does angle it towards his redemption), but I was left wishing I had read a little more slowly and perhaps gotten to know him a little more.

Thankfully, with the Heroes of Olympus series, we don’t have to say good-bye to everyone we grew to love before. And to continue the story with fans of the series, I am giving away:
  1. One hardbound copy of The Son of Neptune 
  2. One hardbound copy of The Son of Neptune with a Rick Riordan signed Percy Jackson and the Olympians book plate
  3. One hardbound copy of The Son of Neptune with a Rick Riordan signed Heroes of Olympus book plate 

Simply e-mail your full name, and contact number to lucyscontests@fullybookedonline.com, with the subject I CAN'T WAIT TO READ SON OF NEPTUNE! You have until 12:00 nn on Monday, October 17, 2011 to e-mail your entries, and the winners will be chosen via Random.org. Only one entry per person will be counted. :-)

This giveaway is open to Metro Manila, Philippines residents only, as all winning books and book plates will be claimed at the Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street branch. Entries with incomplete or wrong information indicated will not be qualified for the contest, and requests for pick up in other branches will not be entertained. Please be patient with me as this is one of my first giveaways in a long time, and I would like to see how it goes before opening more giveaways to other areas there are Fully Booked branches in! Hope you guys understand!!

Now for the real reason for this entry: some thoughts on The Son of Neptune. (Spoilers after this cut, so don't read the rest if you haven't finished the book!)

Friday, October 7, 2011

BOOK PEEK: George Harrison: Living in a Material World

I don't think anyone can ever say they are too young for The Beatles. Even for someone like me, who didn't live during the pinnacle of their fame, The Beatles will always be a monument of rock music, a quartet of musicians that meshed so well musically.

Just a few days ago, Martin Scorsese's documentary on the life of the late George Harrison, Living in a Material World debuted on HBO in the UK and the US, and that was just about the time I spotted two books about the band, on the fourth floor of our Fort branch: John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me by Tony Barrow, and George Harrison: Living in a Material World.

The first title, penned by the band's former Press Officer, is a retelling of how the author knew the Beatles the best, and how the four boys from Liverpool lived during their most famous days.  I haven't been able to browse through it so much yet, but I've already taken so much time today just looking through the second book! Edited and curated by Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, George Harrison: Living in a Material World compiles the quiet Beatle's most reflective quotes, most personal moments and most memorable relationships as told by the people who knew him best. Here is a book peek into the 400-page coffee table book that I can't seem to stop looking through over and over again:

A stolen shot, a golden moment, one with Bob Dylan!

 A billboard for one of his solo albums with the same title as the book and documentary. 

 A memory written on a folded napkin: With many old letters and scanned tickets from his concerts, Living in a Material World documents Harrison's life in such poignant detail. 

Lastly, the most interesting part of the book: that it contains Harrison's personal photographs, those that he took to record his life, those that others took with his camera. Here, he is with Eric Clapton in a garden, in what looks to be a legendary moment lost in time. 

I leave you now with the trailer for the documentary, and wait and pray that HBO Philippines shows it as well!

George Harrison: Living in a Material World by Olivia Harrison, is available at P1899 in select Fully Booked branches.  John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me by Tony Barrow is also available at P1099.  Check www.fullybookedonline.com for more details.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Severus Snape, a Great Teacher

Disclaimer: Though I can't imagine this as a real warning to anyone, I must mention that you should not read the following entry if you have not yet finished the entire Harry Potter series, or if you care about important and life-changing plot points in the series being spoiled for you.  :-)

To remember World Teachers' Day on Facebook and Twitter, I asked "Who is your favorite literary student-mentor duo?" Though I came across many characters from young adult literature (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, etc.), what intrigued me most was a response with the tandem of Harry Potter and Professor Snape. The pairing was most unlikely to me, due to the fact that they disdained each other almost until the very end of Snape's life, and they had no real student-mentor interaction that proved to be productive for Harry (except the failed stint when Snape was to teach Occlumency).  However, upon reflection, Harry must have learned lessons from Snape that he had not encountered from any of the many mentors he had growing up.

Though Snape did not directly teach Harry what a hero wanted to know and learn in his teenage years, Snape did protect him and in the end, save his life.  Despite the complicated past Snape had with Harry's parents, he knew that Lily Potter, whom he loved and cherished was more important a memory to uphold than all the pride he wanted to keep.  Harry would never forget Snape, and we know that through his children, how he named one of them, and what he told them about Snape. Harry will always carry Snape's memory, and how he was saved by the man he would have never pegged to even care about him. That is, undoubtedly, a sign of a great teacher: one that leaves students with an impression that they will never forget, no matter how painful the road going there must have been, and no matter how deep the battle scars are from that fight.  A great teacher is one who knows that sometimes, a student must learn lessons on his own.  Though it may be easy to dictate what values to uphold or how to make the right choices, the real lessons taken to heart are from the mistakes one commits himself.  The real way one grows is through experience.

Severus Snape by Sally Avernier, on DeviantArt.com. World Teachers' Day is celebrated every October 5th of the year.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What's on Sale?

I was able to take a peek into what Fully Booked is putting on sale in their Fort branch this week! I love book sales. I love the random books I find in them that always, for some reason, come in handy for future use. Whether I pick up a travel book that I use for a future trip, or a popular classics title that takes me weeks to finish, I always feel like I get more than my money's worth!

 Some travel books are on sale for P50! Though they're not updated, I'm sure some tourist spots will always remain a must-see in big cities like London, Boston and New York.

 Another long table of P50 books! 

 Hardbound copies go for P100 only! 
That's almost just 10% of what I would usually spend on a nice, hardbound book. 

 This table got me really excited! Cookbooks and some design books for 60%-90% off!!

 Calendars are going for 90% off as well. I feel like buying them all and making a huge collage! I spotted an Edward Hopper 2010 one... Might just get it so I can imagine I own one of his paintings!!

The Fully Booked sale in the Fort branch is for Discount Card holders only from today until tomorrow. It will be open to the public on Thursday and runs until next week! See you at the Forum! :-)

For more details, visit www.fullybookedonline.com.