Books to avoid

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Susie
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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #254787 Susie
Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:43 pm

Natural handmade soap from your kitchen by Janita Morris. Cost me £1 a few years ago, and that was £1 too much: it has nothing to do with soapmaking (in fact she says in the preface she didn't want to be messing about with lye, even though that is how you make soap, so it is all melt and pour and reformed soap: melt and pour is a skill in itself, but, don't call the book something it's not!), and all the scent combinations use about 10 essential oils with absolutely no view at all to economy.

And the worst book in the world ever is Twilight and should be avoided by everyone (yes, I am ashamed that I've read it. God! It was terrible!).
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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #254834 the.fee.fairy
Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:40 am

I think I got that soap book. I agree...it is awful!

Any book on making things that gives you the 'short cut' method should be avoided. If you want to make soap, you need fats and lye...if you want to make clothes you need material and patterns, not short cuts.

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #254936 Rosendula
Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:35 pm

Precylce by Paul Peacock. And I said so on Amazon too....

"... [I] wanted to try out some new recipes for things I haven't made before. Like chocolate spread for example. Or, following the recipe in Precycle, nut butter with crunchy grains of sugar coloured with cocoa powder. Or Granola bars - or perhaps that should be Disgusting, Dry, Bland Bars. Okay, in his defence Peacock does state that you should experiment with the recipes and adapt them to your own pallet, but the amount of adapting that needs doing to make them palletable negates the need for the book.

The book, as it says in the blurb, '...takes you on a trip down the supermarket aisles and shows you how you can make what you find on the shelves for a fraction of the cost...' .... I was irritated that Paul Peacock's idea of making your own involves buying different products to use as ingredients - the baked beans using shop-bought passata being a prime example. But hey, if you buy passata in jars you can bottle the beans in the jars afterwards.

As someone who makes my own bread, I thought I would check out Peacock's bread recipes. Dry quick yeast is listed in the ingredients. Dry quick yeast? I haven't bought a loaf of bread in over 2 years - and I haven't bought any yeast either. Surely, if you want to cut down on supermarket shopping and packaging the best recipe would be a sour-dough recipe....

Having made butter in the past I was interested to see that Peacock makes butter in a milk bottle. It takes a long time to do it this way, and makes your arms ache, but is successful and I have no nits to pick with this suggestion. However, having separated the fat from the buttermilk, we are then told, "The first salting brings out the rest of the buttermilk from the butter..." Now I know what is meant by this, but a complete novice would have to then go away and look up what is meant. It doesn't say how to do the "first salting", or how many saltings are needed.

Similarly, the recipe for scones tells us that the lemon juice is used to "acidify the milk which will sometime make it curdle slightly. This makes the scones light as it reacts with the bicarbonate of soda in the baking powder". What baking powder? The recipe calls for self-raising flour. Personally, I don't buy self-raising flour and make my own by adding baking powder to plain flour. When I don't have baking powder, I make that by combinding cream of tartar with bicarbonate of soda. But if I didn't have this knowledge, I would have wondered what baking powder Peacock was referring to. This, along with the butter-making example and others, makes me feel that this book is not suitable for someone who has no prior knowledge. If you do have prior knowledge, there is not enough in this book to make it worthwhile buying it.

Disappointed within minutes of receiving this book, I was complaining about it to my other half, and decided to read him an example. I then couldn't find what I was looking for. There is no index. NO INDEX!!! Added to the 'matey' manner the book is written in, the many, many typos, the missing information and the repetitiveness (it often says the same thing twice - word for word, and even on the same page), this book comes across as very unprofessional. If you really want to read this book, I suggest you borrow it from the library."

In hindsight, I am rather horrified by all my typos :oops:
Rosey xx

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #254939 oldjerry
Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:56 pm

All coffee - table Smallholding books.That includes the 'bible'( Complete Guide to .....well you know,and the tin hat's already out again !) Such a shame, as ' The Fat of the Land ' is truly inspirational.
But most of all,step forward........

Paul Heiney,for the truly ground breaking (something I'm sure someone else must have done for him) 'Home Farm'.Quite possibly the most derivative,cynical,moneymaking pile of crap I've ever had the misfortune to leaf through.

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #254959 applegirl
Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:51 am

I bought Home Farm by Paul Heiney when it first came out in 1998 and also the John Seymour guide to self-sufficiency. Perhaps these days they do seem derivative but at the time they were quite unique and probably set a fair number people on the path towards a more self-sufficient way of life. I know that for me personally they were inspirational. These days there are so many books on the market saying the same thing that I wonder if the editors actually realise it has been said before.
(I live in Wellington in New Zealand and my library is full of all these new books, straight from the UK. Fascinating, I am sure but the relevance of self-sufficiency in the Britain countryside must be minimal! I never read them as I would get too home-sick!)

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #254966 oldjerry
Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:58 am

Well ,each to his own,I suppose.By '98 the Seymour guide had been around over a quarter of a century,and a myriad of imitations already published.Idyllic photos of harvesting veg and cultivating with a horse on fertile land with perpetually sunny days,just drove up smallholding prices and some of us who knew the reality of trying to make a living on a small acreage ended up with new neighbours with smart Landies who soon realised that pigs smell a bit and converted their barns into elegant bijou residences,then sold up and buggered off back to Surrey.

( Sorry, the Black Dog's in town,and I've got to sell this holding through ill health, and the same shower from Surrey are trying to take us to the cleaners.)

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #255004 JuzaMum
Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:39 pm

I bought the Alan Carr smoking book and haven't smoked for nearly 10 years now so I personally found it very useful (but a bit annoying and American too)

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258576 Wombat
Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:56 pm

the.fee.fairy wrote:I think I got that soap book. I agree...it is awful!

Any book on making things that gives you the 'short cut' method should be avoided. If you want to make soap, you need fats and lye...if you want to make clothes you need material and patterns, not short cuts.


I can't help but agree, Fee! Melt and pour "soapmaking" ain't soapmaking. I have a number of soapmaking books but have not bought any of the M&P genre. I may be biased but the best one I have (I reckon) is an aussie one called Soap Naturally by Garzena and Tadiello.

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258580 demi
Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:37 pm

i bought the book 'soap making self sufficiency' by Sarah Ade.
and from the name i expected it to be full of recipes on how to make your own soap from your own sustainable ingredients ie. fat and lye from wood ashes. ( i have yet to find a book on this so if anyone can recommend one i would be very grateful )
i was disappointed that all the recipes call for a big list of ingredients that you need to buy and nothing that you can produce yourself :( and the amount of essential oils they use would cost me a small fortune, something which i am not prepared to fork out for, i like things for free :lol:

i havent tried any of the recipes but im sure they are probably fine, just the name of the book is misleading, it is not self-sufficient soap making.
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'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258583 Arbor
Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:01 pm

The Spend Less Handbook: 365 Tips for a Better Quality of Life While Actually Spending Less by Rebecca Ash

I bought this and it was a pile of pants! If you are rich and wasteful it is probably a useful start but if you are a time hardened tight wad it is just irritating.

I learned that:
1) If you shop around you can get a Savile Row Suit at a third of its normal price and that turns out to be 'a mere £750'.
2)You can enjoy free accomodation by squatting!
3) Instead of paying for expensive French antiques you could consider driving to France to buy some chandeliers at a fraction of the price!
4) Having sex once a week is 'equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by getting an extra £20,000 or £30,000 income!'
The last tip, I do intend to put into practise but it might have to wait until summer as our house is so draughty 'We ne'er cast a clout' 'til May be out'!

I am a bit of a sucker for 'Saving Money/Saving the planet/Living Alternate Lifestyles' books - the sad old Hippy that I am!

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demi
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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258587 demi
Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:42 pm

Arbor wrote:4) Having sex once a week is 'equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by getting an extra £20,000 or £30,000 income!'




:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: i must be as happy as a millionaire then as we're at it every other day! :iconbiggrin:
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258600 oldjerry
Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:57 pm

Well at least you don't want it banned..

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258619 trinder
Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:33 pm

oldjerry wrote:Well at least you don't want it banned..

Steady :lol:
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demi
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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258628 demi
Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:56 am

who on earth would ban something that makes you happy as a millionaire?? :lol:
plus its a well know fact that its good for your health. it is a form of exercise after all :rabbit:
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: Books to avoid

Post: #258679 Zech
Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:49 pm

Susie wrote:And the worst book in the world ever is Twilight and should be avoided by everyone (yes, I am ashamed that I've read it. God! It was terrible!).

I saw this and thought of you :lol: (only because I happened to read this thread this afternoon - I don't memorize your every post, that would be quite creepy).
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