Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning

Green Smoke is a book that I first read as a young girl.  It’s a story about a girl called Susan who goes on holiday to Cornwall.  Constantine Bay to be precise.

Whilst on holiday there one year, she meets a dragon.  R. Dragon.  He is 1500 years old and despite being a dragon, he doesn’t eat people!  Susan and the dragon have all sorts of exciting adventures whilst she is on holiday.

It’s a beautiful read and I remember absolutely loving it when I was younger.  I’m not sure what happened to my original copy but I recently bought a new copy which has illustrations,  which only adds to the story and the charm of the book.  This book is the first in a set of four, and although I haven’t read the others, I suspect they are just as good.  I’m glad it’s back in my collection.

Have you read Green Smoke – did you enjoy it?  Let me know what you think in the comments.

James Wong – How To Eat Better

Whilst browsing for healthy eating books on Amazon, I came across James Wong – How To Eat Better – How to Shop, Store & Cook to Make Any Food a Superfood and after reading the reviews, I decided to buy it.

I’m quite a fussy eater and do not like a lot of the foods that are meant to be good for you which means most recipe books are useless, so I was looking for a book that told me which foods I should be eating and how best to eat them.  This book does that.

James explains that to improve the nutritional benefits of food it’s about how you choose to select, store and cook it.  In each of the chapters he describes how to get the most out of the food in question.

The chapters include:

  • How to make any food a ‘superfood’
  • Supercharging Nutrition
  • But What Do Scientists Know
  • ‘Good’ vs ‘Bad’ food
  • Decoding Geek Speak
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Store Cupboard

Each page is clearly laid out with detailed information including the nutritional benefits, and as I said earlier – how to select, store and cook the food in question.  For example, did you know that to increase the amount of lycopene (the carotene pigment responsible for the red colour) in tomatoes, you shouldn’t store them in the fridge?  Keeping them on the counter can double the lycopene amount – the potential health benefits of this have had scientists all over the world showing a keen interest.

There are a few recipes in the book, nothing too complicated but all are examples of how to get the best out of your food.  His recipe for Carrot Cake Granola slashes the calorie content by half compared to normal Granola.

I haven’t finished reading it yet, but on first impressions a really useful book which would certainly start you on your healthy eating journey.

Sali Hughes – Pretty Iconic

Nothing beats receiving a book for Christmas, and whilst the younger me loved the Beano and Dandy annuals, the older me is gravitating more towards beauty books and last year I received a copy of Sali Hughes’ new book Pretty Iconic.  Sali is a journalist, broadcaster and writer.  She has her own beauty website salihughesbeauty.com/ and also a YouTube channel – there you can watch her brilliant series called “In the Bathroom with….” where she interviews people in their bathroom and has a good old nosy at their beauty products.

“Pretty Iconic” is a classic coffee table book in which Sali takes a look at the beauty products that have changed the world and whilst some of them are not necessarily her favourites, all of the products mentioned are iconic. The book is split into 5 chapters:- The Icons, The Nostaligics, The Gamechangers, The Rites of Passage and the The Future Icons and there are over 200 products mentioned.  Sali gives a reason for each product as to why it is iconic and why she does or doesn’t love it.  The photographs of the products themselves are fantastic – very clear and retro looking, and the book itself smells bloomin’ fantastic (you don’t get that with a Kindle!).

Below are a few of the products that bought back memories for me and I wanted to share them with you.

Old Spice – both my dad and granddad use to wear this aftershave, so it will always remind me of them.

CK One – I love wearing this – a very uplifting and summery perfume with a citrusy fragrance.

Dior Poison – I used to love this perfume and would literally bathe in it.  Nowadays, I find it a bit strong and it will leave me with a migraine.

Girls’ World – I never had a Girls’ World and now I know why.  Sali described in hilarious detail what I suspect most girls did to their own Girls’ World.

Mr Matey – the overriding memory I have with Mr Matey is that it didn’t dance at the end of my bath.  The advert showed the bottle singing and dancing whilst the children were having fun in the bath.  I was so upset that my bottle of Mr Matey didn’t dance, I started to cry.  Of course my mum and dad found this hilarious which made it worse.  It still hurts!

It’s very interesting how some products have stood the test of time, and how some have fallen out of favour.  If you love all things beauty then this is a book you should have in your collection.

What’s your favourite beauty product and why?  Let me know in the comments.