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Reviews Written by
William Cohen (Bournemouth)
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Microphone for Smartphone, Blusmart Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone for iPhone & Android Smartphone, Laptop Macbook, iPad, iPod Touch with Lapel Clip
Microphone for Smartphone, Blusmart Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone for iPhone & Android Smartphone, Laptop Macbook, iPad, iPod Touch with Lapel Clip
Offered by efsuk
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Thing that Adds A Lot of Value, 21 July 2016
I work as a speechwriter so I give speeches on a regular basis. I also record speeches for clients. I've always used the iPhone to record stuff, but the problem is that if I'm in a big room and it's in my pocket, the recording isn't going to be very clear.

This microphone means I can cut that out by attaching it to my jacket lapel. If you want to improve your public speaking, it's a useful tool to help you evaluate your performance after the event.

I can also use it to dictate into my iPad - the texts comes up rapidly and fairly accurately.

It comes with a small black pouch which means it won't clutter up your desk draw.


K - Shop [DVD]
K - Shop [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dan Pringle
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! A film that poses difficult social questions with humour and horror, 21 July 2016
This review is from: K - Shop [DVD] (DVD)
Gruesome, amusing, morally challenging - K-Shop is all these things. I attended the second showing of the film in Bournemouth. Credit to the makers who discovered the micro-world of the kebab shop - which I don't think has featured in cinema before. All the worst of human life is there - but there's money to be made if you can put up with the disgusting behaviour of some of the customers.

The lead character is very charismatic and he holds the whole film together. I've lived in Bournemouth for 12 years. The film documents the town's sleazy nightlife culture. I found the little details the most amusing - like the solicitor's advice to make a few bucks and then burn the place down. It's dark, but it's humorous, too. There's even a hint of romance with the lady who works as a local hotel manager.

The film raises topical issues: the experience of the immigrant, the problem of binge drinking and the degrading aspects of our 'Big Brother' culture. It works as satire - the viewer is made to feel revulsion at the depravity of the customers, but retains some sympathy for a serial killer. At two hours, it's not light entertainment, but these guys have made a film that's fresh and thought-provoking. Should our towns and cities tolerate such depravity on the streets?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2016 8:07 PM BST


Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules
Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules
by L. David Marquet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but a bit dry, 18 July 2016
I got through this. It was more of a textbook than a narrative. I enjoyed looking up David Marquet's TED talk when I'd finished, and saw that it summarises his ideas. I agree with most of it. We need to give people responsibility. I try to use these principles in my affairs. Suggestions like letting people think out loud are good ones.


The Book of the People: How to Read the Bible
The Book of the People: How to Read the Bible
by A. N. Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Enriching insights from a very accessible writer, 4 July 2016
A N Wilson is an engaging writer and I found his musings on the Bible thought-provoking. It's definitely not written as a text book, more a commentary on how his view of the Bible has changed over his life. It's like a very long feature article in a Sunday newspaper. I read it in a few days and I feel its enriched my knowledge and inspired me to keep reading the Psalms, Job and the Gospels.


The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics
The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics
by Barton Swaim
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and heartbreaking, 10 Jun. 2016
I run the UK Speechwriters' Guild and I picked up this book with a little scepticism. But it turned out to be a joy to read from start to finish. It's not a book that will offer any explicit lessons in speechwriting, but it does offer a great look at the way we lose our illusions in our 20s. In fact it describes exactly the frustrations and disappointments of the political speechwriter - and probably most corporate speechwriters, too.

Barton is a well-meaning smart young man and he runs up against an insensitive and vain boss. The way he characterises the governor is sublime. The fact that he has a list of all his clichés and meaningless turns of phrase ready to hand. The anxiety he has that these will toxify his writing for evermore. The sadness of reading the governor's private love letters and realising he could have written them himself. It's heartbreaking and hilarious.

Swaim's struggle to hold on to his idealism is poignant. The descriptions of his colleagues are warm and amusing. The bitter end - when it comes - is surprising, and gold-dust in the hands of an accomplished writer of humour.

I've now booked Mr Swaim to speak at our autumn conference in Edinburgh!


Lessons in Leadership: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible
Lessons in Leadership: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible
by Jonathan Sacks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing the Rabbi's 'Steven Covey' Side, 30 May 2016
Rabbi Sacks is a strange mixture. He's a Cambridge philosopher steeped in academic knowledge, but he's got a 'Stephen Covey' streak. What I mean by that is he seems to be equally at ease browsing the self-help bookshelves. One minute he's talking about an obscure rabbinical interpretation, the next minute he's quoting Jim Collins or Viktor Frankl.

I really like this 'Covenant and Conversation' series - I've got the one for Genesis and Exodus already - the books are beautifully produced, expensive and the chapters are slim - meaning you achieve something every time you sit down to read and treasure the quality of the prose.

One of my favourite chapters is 'Celebrate' - the story of how he met the headmistress of a failing school and suggested a way to deal with the disappointments. Since one of my businesses is about recognising achievement, I found it clarified my thought and inspired me to redouble my efforts.

Central to this book is the leadership lessons we can get from Moses' life story. All the details of the Exodus can have modern interpretations to guide us today. I enjoy the tiny observations like how a shalshelet illustrates an existential crisis in the Hebrew Bible. Or the meaning of lashon hara, and how it affected Miriam when she indulged in it.

There are some startling revelations in this book about Rabbi Sacks' leadership methods. As the Chief Rabbi, he would sit down with his team and before they undertook a project they would ask, 'how will this affect they Jewish community twenty-five years from now?'. Simple metaphors, like the way when Moses was overwhelmed with his difficulties, chose to look upwards - are so easy to remember and put into action.

This is a rich book, written in a straightforward style, blending personal insight with worldly and religious wisdom. I recommend it.


The Big Short [DVD]
The Big Short [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by Rikdev Media
Price: £9.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a patch on the book, 27 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Big Short [DVD] (DVD)
I read the book, which was riveting, so I was looking forward to how this would be executed. I watched it with my wife who tried to follow it, but I could sympathise with her when she couldn't get certain bits. It's over two hours and struggles to create a compelling story structure. I didn't like the bits where they used actresses to explain financial instruments, it was just tacky. The ending was quite bleak, too. They tried to dramatise things that don't lend themselves to cinema. A brave effort but quite unsatisfying.


Remembering Denny
Remembering Denny
by Calvin Trillin
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A sad story of thwarted promise, 9 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Remembering Denny (Hardcover)
As a graduate of a UK 'ivy league' institution, I found this tale to be quite haunting. It's fun to think who is going to be the big successes when you're at university, but real life is a lot harder than we imagine. Especially if things don't unfold quickly or easily. As a tale it shows how important it is to keep up with family and perhaps also to hang on to a few friendships to keep perspective. Life can be so simple for some people, and terribly complex for others. It would make a good subject for a commencement speech.


Knights Of The Cross
Knights Of The Cross
by Piers Paul Read
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A virgin in peril, a fraudulent priest and a cynical newspaper editor, 1 April 2016
This review is from: Knights Of The Cross (Paperback)
I was delighted to find this was one PPR novel I'd missed over the past 24 years. I first heard of PPR when St Mary's Church in Oxford in 1992 did a series of talks on three 'religious' authors: Susan Howatch, PPR and John le Carre. The first two I've cherished ever since.

Given that we're heading for a European referendum I was pleased to see that it had a Eurosceptic conspiracy embedded in the plot. Read is good at doing evil in high places. The central tenet that Michael Latham manages to impersonate a Russian priest as an undercover reporter seeking to investigate a suspicious accident in Germany, is ludicrous. However, because we know that the author loves to write about Catholics, and this is his vehicle, we forgive him. There is insight into British identity, German culture and, as always, sexual psychology.

I demolished the novel in a matter of days and enjoyed it immensely. And I agree that Euroscepticism is a bogey that the British press likes to pick because it sells papers.


One Small Step Can Change Your Life
One Small Step Can Change Your Life
by Robert Maurer
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Read, 26 Mar. 2016
This is a simple idea, but a very useful one. Kaizen is the principle of introducing change into your life by infinitesmal steps. Think small, if you want to change your life. I approve of all the sentiments - the writing style is a bit flabby and preachy, and some of the anecdotes I've read in other books. Still,it makes me want to start some new things and try out the strategies, and that's an achievement.


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