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Roman Clodia (London)
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The Ice Twins
The Ice Twins
by S. K. Tremayne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly eerie story which drip-feeds unease and increasing menace, 29 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Ice Twins (Hardcover)
This is a brilliantly eerie and unsettling read that exploits the uncanny possibilities and creepy mysteries of child twins. A year ago one of Sarah’s daughters died – but which one?

I loved this book! Tremayne has concocted a heady story that drip-feeds unease but it is so beautifully paced that it never turns into gothic melodrama. Shifting anxiously between psychological thriller, mystery and something more supernatural, this is filled with a palpable sense of agitation and apprehension.

There are a few tiny points where Sarah is a little slow to catch onto something that feels quite obvious (the basis of Kirstie’s dream, for example) but these are minor niggles.

Overall this is a tremendous read: intelligently and smoothly written with a subtle but menacing sense of dread throughout – fantastic!

(I received a review copy via Netgalley)


The Date Night Manifesto: A booster shot for relationships
The Date Night Manifesto: A booster shot for relationships
Price: £3.87

3.0 out of 5 stars Best for those couples who've been together for a long time, 29 Jan. 2015
This is a fun read, if rather obvious. Aimed at those in long-term relationships, it focuses on how to recapture the excitement and romance of pre-kids, pre-marriage, pre-living together etc.

I guess I expected something a bit wittier or more real-life stories. Instead this explains that you need to dress up, do your hair and put on make-up for date night; to focus on your partner, stop moaning, listen to him, flatter him, and generally have fun. Well yes, I agree - but did we really need to be told that?

Perhaps when I'm ten years older this might come into its own...


AquaAudio™ Cubo - Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with Strong Suction Cup for Showers, Bathroom, Pool, Boat, Car, Beach, Outdoor etc. / Optimized Buttons for Easy Control / Amazingly Powerful & Crystal Clear Sound / Compatible with All Devices with Bluetooth Capability + Siri Compatible - 10 hours Playtime Rechargeable Battery / with Built-in Mic for use as a Powerful Hands-free Speakerphone [100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - WE GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOVE IT!] (Silver)
AquaAudio™ Cubo - Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with Strong Suction Cup for Showers, Bathroom, Pool, Boat, Car, Beach, Outdoor etc. / Optimized Buttons for Easy Control / Amazingly Powerful & Crystal Clear Sound / Compatible with All Devices with Bluetooth Capability + Siri Compatible - 10 hours Playtime Rechargeable Battery / with Built-in Mic for use as a Powerful Hands-free Speakerphone [100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - WE GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOVE IT!] (Silver)
Offered by F&W Trading
Price: £29.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound for this price, 29 Jan. 2015
A waterproof bluetooth speaker handy for use in the bathroom or kitchen without fear of water splashes. It's not the most stylish of devices but the sound quality is amazingly crisp and clear for this price point, even when listening to classical music.

Bluetooth pairing was quick and easy for me, and you can control the volume/back/forward either from your device or direct from the speaker, handy if you want to listen in the bath, for example.

My only niggles are minor ones: the suction cup doesn't stick to my bathroom tiles (nothing does) but the speaker sits happily on a flat surface with the cup as a prop. The auto voice which tells you when the speaker is connected, turned on or off is pretty loud, a bit of a pain if you're listening at night and then turn the speaker off: it's a bit like being shouted at!

That apart, though, this performs well above its price - recommended as a very good kitchen/bathroom (or anywhere else) speaker.

(I received a free product for review)


The Changeling
The Changeling
by Thomas Middleton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and sometimes perverse, 25 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Changeling (Paperback)
This is one of my favourite Jacobean tragedies with a fascinating woman at its heart in Beatrice-Joanna. Full of lust, desire, murder and blackmail, it feels very modern with its themes of sexual coercion and guilty conscience.

Middleton, who has only recently emerged as one of the most interesting dramatists of the period (some of his works were wrongfully attributed away from him), uses the play to reflect back on the revenge genre and twists some of its tropes in a strikingly self-conscious way. All the same, this still makes much use of stage conventions such as the ghost of a murdered man, 'bed tricks', and gory props such as a severed finger.

So this is dark and sometimes almost perverse - but in a good way!


BENEFIT COSMETICS Benetint Rose-tinted lip & cheek stain FULL SIZE 12.5 ml 0.40 US fl. oz. BOXED
BENEFIT COSMETICS Benetint Rose-tinted lip & cheek stain FULL SIZE 12.5 ml 0.40 US fl. oz. BOXED
Offered by London International Perfumes & Cosmetics
Price: £31.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Deservedly a cult classic, 25 Jan. 2015
Deservedly a cult classic, this is a sheer see-through stain for cheeks and lips. Because it's translucent it works with different complexion tones and looks natural rather than overly made-up. I love it on my lips: simply brush on or apply with fingertips and it gives a kind of berry/red wine stain that lasts for hours. It can be a little drying so use a clear lip balm/gloss or just Vaseline (the rosy pink one is perfect) over the top to give a polished yet natural look.


Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat - Star Burst
Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat - Star Burst
Offered by OooP!
Price: £6.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun yet sophisticated, 25 Jan. 2015
This is a fun and funky overcoat that gives an antique cracked effect over any other polish or just bare nails: the effect on the bottle cap is a fair approximation though you can vary the effects yourself according to how much polish you use.

This works brilliantly over a dark colour like maroon or plum for a gothic effect, but is equally effective over a nude. It's also a quick way of jazzing up bare nails. The overcoat is matt but with slight embedded glitter particles: if you want a glossy effect then add a shiny overcoat. It's a great way of doing something young and fun with your nails that also looks sophisticated.


Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream - 2 x 75ml
Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream - 2 x 75ml
Offered by Bargainland UK
Price: £18.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Silky smooth and beautifully fragranced, 25 Jan. 2015
There are certainly cheaper hand creams around but this is deeply moisturising and leaves hands silky smooth even in the recent cold weather. It's worth massaging this into your cuticles, too, and it leaves my nails gently glossy. Plus, like the other Sanctuary products, this smells gorgeous and the fragrance lingers for a while. Definitely worth spending a little more money on this - and it makes a good small present.


Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg
Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg
Offered by Golden Wheel
Price: £13.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy way to keep your whites white, 24 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a huge tub and you only need a small scoop so is an economical way of keeping your whites white. It's flexible so can be used as a pre-soak for serious stains, or can simply be added to your machine for an everyday whitening action.

I tried it on some white towels which have become less than bright over time, and while they don't look new again there's certainly a noticeable difference. I expect this will work best on new white fabrics like cotton t-shirts preventing them from fading and greying in the first place.


Three Jacobean Tragedies: "The Revenger's Tragedy","The White Devil","The Changeling" (English Library)
Three Jacobean Tragedies: "The Revenger's Tragedy","The White Devil","The Changeling" (English Library)
by Thomas Middleton
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars 'So shall you hear of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts', 24 Jan. 2015
This is an old Penguin edition of three representative revenge tragedies: The Revenger's Tragedy is now known to have been written by Thomas Middleton rather than Cyril Tourneur, and the editorial apparatus in terms of introduction, notes and annotations is minimal. All the same, I like to recommend this edition to undergraduates since it offers them the opportunity to engage firstly with the plays themselves without the intervention of critical readings (which can come later).

All three plays are outstanding in their own right but also for the ways in which they reflect self-consciously back on the genre, from Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy to the anti-revenge of Hamlet. Middleton's Revenger's Tragedy with its main character Vindice (Revenge) is especially self-reflexive and has a macabre sense of humour in its 'prison tricks', its death by poisoned skull, and the final, doubled, revengers' masque.

If you need more help with the language and literary context then the Revel individual play editions are good: but for a collection of seminal revenge plays this is excellent.


The Martian
The Martian
Price: £3.66

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars, 24 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
Hm, this is a difficult one to review: great plot-line as space-botanist Mark Watney gets left behind when his astronaut colleagues depart from Mars, but the story itself is full of mind-numbingly boring geeky details of precisely how many litres of water Mark needs to water the XXX number of potatoes he needs to grown to provide himself with 1500 calories per day to wait out the time until he can be rescued... Every technical challenge, mishap and solution is worked through in excruciating detail ('I'm willing to dedicate all but an emergency 50 litres to the cause. That means I can feed 62.5 metres at a depth of 10 centimetres. About two-thirds of the the HAB's floor. It'll have to do. That's the long-term plan. For today my goal was 5 square metres').

Interspersed with the nerdy stuff are high-school exclamations: 'the HAB was intact (yay!) and the MAV was gone (boo!)' or 'Hell yeah I'm a botanist! Fear my botany powers!' Clearly many, many readers have loved this: if you enjoy the kind of minute details illustrated here then this book may well work for you.


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