Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reviews

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reviews

Article excerpt

BOOK OF THE WEEK GONE: A GIRL, A VIOLIN, A LIFE UNSTRUNG by Min Kym (Viking, PS14.99, ebook PS9.99) HHHH H THE theft of a PS1.2m Stradivarius violin from Pret a Manger at Euston Station threw its owner, Korean-born child prodigy and violin genius Min Kym, into the spotlight in 2010. But her suffering continued long after the headlines had died down.

In this heartfelt memoir, the acclaimed international classical violinist recalls her years as a child prodigy from a traditional Korean family growing up in the UK, whose incredible talent was discovered at the age of six. But it's the description of the intense, loving relationship she has with her beloved Strad which makes this story come alive, how it fitted her body, how she felt like she was putting on Cinderella's slipper, how it bore marks of vulnerability, rather like its owner.

Only then can the reader realise that the theft of that violin was so much more than a physical, financial matter.

It was recovered nearly three years later, but they were to be only briefly reunited. This fascinating true story is one from the heart - have the tissues ready.

NON-FICTION NOTES ON BLINDNESS: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE DARK by John Hull (Profile Books, PS8.99, ebook PS2.84) HHHH H IF YOU are a sighted person and wonder what it might be like to lose the visual world, the gripping Notes On Blindness will challenge your preconceptions about the condition and leave you reeling at the complexities of a life deprived of sight.

Writing movingly of how he finally came to identify as a blind person and relinquish those things every sighted person takes for granted, the academic Hull - who died in 2015 - has a flair for evoking the sensations, ironies and even moral quandaries of the blind (how to escape tedious conversations at parties when you can't see a friend to head for?).

First published in 1990 under the title Touching The Rock, this edition ties in with its BAFTA-nominated cinematic namesake, and contains an introduction by Cathy Rentzenbrink.

As an account of dealing with disability, it remains as visceral and lucid as it did when first published.

GASTROPHYSICS: THE NEW SCIENCE OF EATING by Charles Spence (Viking, PS16.99, ebook PS9.99) HHHH H PROFESSOR Charles Spence once won the Ig Nobel prize for his work on the crunch sound crisps make and how this gives clues about how stale they are.

The Ig Nobel honours achievements that make people laugh and then think. This book is packed with new ways of thinking about food and eating. Spence shows how we eat with our minds as well as our mouth.

He reveals the impact that smell, sound, sight and touch, as well as taste, have on our perception of what we are eating. You'll discover why certain shades of food or plate will make food taste sweeter, how the arrangement of salad on the plate affects the price customers are willing to pay for it and why upmarket restaurants are Googling their customers before they arrive. …

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