Profile for Roman Clodia > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Roman Clodia
Top Reviewer Ranking: 61
Helpful Votes: 12665

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Roman Clodia (London)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Leopards of Normandy: Devil (Leopards of Normandy 1)
The Leopards of Normandy: Devil (Leopards of Normandy 1)
by David Churchill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.71

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 stars) Easy-reading story of William the Conqueror, 29 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is one of those easy-reading historical novels that recreates the past as a romp of a soap opera, and erases historical difference: like the TV versions of The Borgias or The Tudors, the Normans become a cross between Eastenders and Dallas. In that sense, this is good if you want the story of William the Conqueror without the inconvenience of ‘history’: everyone speaks, thinks and acts like we do, there’s no alien mind-sets, no state politics other than personal ambition, and broad brush characters who we’ve all met before. My proof copy even pigeon-holes them: ‘The Duke: arrogant and fearless’, ‘The Lover: beautiful but exiled’, ‘The Count: cruel and violent’.

Despite a certain lack of sophistication, this works as a kind of fictional primer of a little-known period. Churchill states upfront that he’s making a decision not to use dark ages language which is fair enough, but he also uses modern concepts: so someone is a ‘burglar’ rather than a robber or a thief, a servant is sending dirty clothes to the ‘laundry’ rather than to the wash-house.

There’s also some fairly purple prose: ‘Her heart was racing, her lips were burning hot and she seemed to be melting inside. No man had ever had that effect on her before... Nothing had prepared her for the breathless ecstasy of being held in the arms of a man she adored, feeling so tiny and insubstantial in the face of his size and power’.

So this is a fun read rather than a literary one: by the end William is still a child – and there are two further volumes to come in the trilogy. 3.5 stars.


Salmagundi: salads from the middle east and beyond
Salmagundi: salads from the middle east and beyond
Price: £6.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring recipes that are easy and healthy, 28 Nov 2014
This is an excellent book that puts an end to the idea that salad isn’t ‘proper’ food. Ranging through recipes from around the world, this offers everything from dips (the Marmite dip is fabulous), through main meal salads, to fruit salads and salad desserts (peach salad with gingered cream, cake croutons).

One of the things I love about the book is that the recipes tend not to require hours of shopping, preparation and cooking time: this is time-, purse- and body-friendly stuff that is also convivial and delicious. Vegetarians are catered for and not made to feel awkward, though there is plenty here, too, for the dedicated meat eater.

This is personal preference but I get a little impatient with the cutesy stories, anecdotes and histories: I prefer my cook-books not to also masquerade as travelogues and coffee-table tome... but I appreciate that others might love this.

(I received a review copy via Netgalley)


Philips SpeedCare Compact Steam Generator Iron GC6631/30 with 170 g Steam Boost and 1.2 Litre Water Tank, 2400 Watt, 4.5 Bar, Purple
Philips SpeedCare Compact Steam Generator Iron GC6631/30 with 170 g Steam Boost and 1.2 Litre Water Tank, 2400 Watt, 4.5 Bar, Purple
Price: £200.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Compact, effective, cuts ironing time significantly, 26 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've only ever used a standard steam iron before this and am hugely impressed by the difference. This really is so effective that it cuts ironing time significantly.

The separate compartment for the water makes the iron itself smaller and lighter than my current steam iron, which also helps speed up ironing time.

The lead which connects the iron to the water base is long enough to allow the base to stand on the floor beneath the ironing board, and the base can be filled directly from the tap and takes up to 1.2 litres. It's large but not huge, and is easily stored.

I like that there's a manual temperature gauge, and that this allows vertical steaming: I'm often lazy and this allows me to freshen up and de-crease garments on the hanger rather than ironing properly.

This is expensive, but if you can afford it it really does cut ironing time efficiently and effectively.


OZ Naturals Facial Moisturizer - This Sea Infused Face Moisturizer Is Not To Be Underestimated - Contains Powerful Vitamin C & Algae Keratin Extract For Superior Moisturizing & Antioxidant Benefits. The Vitamin C Infused Seaweed Proteins Act As Powerful Collagen Building Blocks For Your Skin.
OZ Naturals Facial Moisturizer - This Sea Infused Face Moisturizer Is Not To Be Underestimated - Contains Powerful Vitamin C & Algae Keratin Extract For Superior Moisturizing & Antioxidant Benefits. The Vitamin C Infused Seaweed Proteins Act As Powerful Collagen Building Blocks For Your Skin.
Offered by OZ Naturals EU
Price: £17.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Silky, shine-free moisturiser, 25 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is another fabulous product from OZ Naturals, and works particularly well with their vitamin C serum. The moisturiser is quite thick out of the tube but melts into my skin and leaves it silky and smooth.

I especially like that there's no residue or shine so this is perfect for bare-faced days and works equally well under make-up. It's so good that I've even been using it as a night cream and it leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh and comfortable.

With 72% organic ingredients, this is more effective than products at double this price.

(I received a free sample for review purposes)


Roger & Gallet Gentle Shower Cream Relaxing Fleur de Figuier 200ml
Roger & Gallet Gentle Shower Cream Relaxing Fleur de Figuier 200ml
Offered by AMMandG Ltd
Price: £8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 25 Nov 2014
I've become addicted to these gorgeous shower gels: they're soap-free so gentle on your skin but smell divine. This one has a rich fragrance that is gently sweet but far more sophisticated than the average fruit-based product.

The gel itself is rich enough to only need a blob on a body puff, and works equally well squeezed into the bath.

This is more expensive that an everyday shower gel, but is a lovely treat on a horrible dark morning or to wind down before bed.


Henry VIII (Penguin Monarchs): The Quest for Fame
Henry VIII (Penguin Monarchs): The Quest for Fame
by John Guy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nuanced look at Henry VIII in 100 pages, 23 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This neat little hardback with half-page dust cover would be ideal for the popular reader who wants an engaging but academically-reliable look at Henry VIII. John Guy, who is a Fellow at Cambridge, has been working on the Tudors and Stuarts all his scholarly life and has that enviable ability to cross over between an academic and popular audience.

This is a compressed (c.100 pages) but nonetheless rich look at Henry VIII and, in particular, his conscious striving to establish his own lasting fame via his actions, thoughts and the magnificent courtly culture he helped create. It's a relief that Guy doesn't simply re-hash the familiar tales of the six wives, Anne Boleyn, the 'great matter' of his divorce etc. and offers a more nuanced portrait of Henry within the contexts of his times.

There are no footnotes in the text itself to distract popular readers, but all the sources are noted at the end with Guy's usual scholarly rigour so that students and academics can follow up as necessary.There are 8-pages of colour plates in the centre giving a sumptuous feel to the volume.

So this probably doesn't tell us anything new about Henry VIII but is a wonderfully engaging read for both the amateur and the more informed reader. I'm impressed with this new series from Allen Lane/Penguin, and will certainly be looking at some of the others - recommended.


Philips GC4522/00 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 200 g Steam Boost and Safety Auto Off, 300 ml, 2600 Watt, Black
Philips GC4522/00 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 200 g Steam Boost and Safety Auto Off, 300 ml, 2600 Watt, Black
Price: £64.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heats fast, glides smoothly, steams effectively, 23 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a top of the range steam iron with a cool, urban feel to it. It's lighter than it looks, heats up fast, and glides very smoothly. I like that you can set the heat control manually rather than having an auto sensor, and the steam is powerful without any of the water drop leakage I was getting from my admittedly very old iron. This also steams vertically so is ideal for de-creasing clothes on a hanger, and freshens up silk tops, for example, in an instant.

If you do big loads of ironing then this may not be ideal as the volume of steam uses up the water fairly fast - for smaller, every day amounts and for freshening up and keeping your clothes crease-free this is invaluable.


Verbatim 52612 LED Classic A B22 9 Watt Light Bulb
Verbatim 52612 LED Classic A B22 9 Watt Light Bulb
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Bright LED with a standard bayonet fitting, 21 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a bright, crisp LED with a standard bayonet fitting. Although billed as equivalent to 60w, it is actually brighter than that, probably closer to 100w - for me a main room light rather than a lamp.

If it lasts as long as is being advertised it'll be worth the price.


Do-Ahead Christmas: Stress-Free Cooking for the Festive Season
Do-Ahead Christmas: Stress-Free Cooking for the Festive Season
by James Ramsden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the full-on start-cooking-in-November Christmas, 21 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This will work best for anyone planning a full-on, traditional, largish family Christmas with everything being prepared from scratch. Those of us who are a bit more last-minute, spontaneous and who are cooking cheats (isn't that why Waitrose exists?) may get less out of the book.

The cocktails (Prosecco, elderflower, orange and rosemary is delicious), party nibbles (prawn and mango salad in lettuce leaves) and starters suit my tastes best but I really can't imagine making mulled wine a week ahead and storing it until needed... or baking up a batch of rye crispbreads rather than nipping into the supermarket.

The main recipes are fairly heavy and meaty (venison wellington, Guinness and marmalade ham) with a few fish dishes and veggie alternatives (spiced aubergine stew, the ubiquitous nut roast). Tangerine granita is easy and light in the desserts but most of the others are heavyish traditional cakes, mince pies, figgy pudding etc.

So this is the sort of book that will suit someone doing a lot of traditional Christmas catering, who wants to bake and make everything themselves from scratch, and who wants to start Christmas preparations from now - if Christmas is a project-planning occasion for you, this may make the whole thing more manageable.


Sanctuary
Sanctuary
Price: £6.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A melancholy tale of disappointment and self-delusion, 20 Nov 2014
This review is from: Sanctuary (Kindle Edition)
Branwell Brontė, the shadowy brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne, here tells the story of the final months of his disappointed life. Full of melancholy, self-delusion and a kind of passive self-destruction, this re-opens the story of the Brontės but refuses to see it as a romantic tale of solitary genius. Instead we witness Patrick Brontės’ favouritism along with his commitment to the people in his parish, and get oblique but always telling views of the Brontė sisters, especially Charlotte trying to hold the family together.

Edric always writes with a quiet power, and refuses to follow trends or to compromise his literary vision for populism. So readers looking for the romantic side of the Brontės’ story may not find this particularly sympathetic, but it gives a powerful portrait of a man dejected, despondent and ultimately defeated by life.

(I received an ARC via Netgalley)


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20