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Ms. J. Francis "Chamee" (London)

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NYX Goddess of the Night Mega Shine Lipgloss Beige
NYX Goddess of the Night Mega Shine Lipgloss Beige
Offered by Beauty Fragrances UK
Price: 7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the price lovely colour, 23 Jan 2013
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Bought this based on a youtube make up tips video, it really is THE perfect lip colour, very kissable, lovely pink, natural looking. Recommended

20 Pairs of Howard Leight Laser Lite Ear Plugs
20 Pairs of Howard Leight Laser Lite Ear Plugs
Offered by Breathe and Sleep Ltd
Price: 2.78

5.0 out of 5 stars saw me through 11 months of backpacking, 6 Nov 2012
These have saved me hours and hours of good quality sleep. I have just come back from a year of backpacking staying in some of the noisiest hostels known to the human race across more than a handful of continents in the world, ridden on rickety loud buses crossing the Bolivian outback with chickens riding next to me and screaming children behind, slept in the amazon jungle where the insects are louder than an noise a human being can make and managed a good nights sleep whenever I used them (maybe not on the buses actually, but that's due to total discomfort rather than noise!).

I am not a heavy sleeper, but equally I am not a light sleeper either but when you have people coming drunk in shouting and roaring at 3am after a night out or waking up at 6am to move on I either slept through it or stirred, tossed over and went back to sleep. They mould perfectly to your ear, squishing and then expanding softly and comfortably. Took absolutely loads of them and came back with none, often just gave them away to people at their wits end too. If you are after earplugs... Buy Buy Buy these!!!

Crying with Cockroaches: Argentina to New York with Two Horses
Crying with Cockroaches: Argentina to New York with Two Horses
by Marianne Du Toit
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing and heart warming tale of adventure, 27 Jun 2011
I loved this book so much. I originally bought it because I am going travelling in South America for 3 months and I wanted to know how others had found it, what better way to be engrossed in a country than to traverse it by horseback!

It was very much a diary recount of the events Marianne experienced on her trip, the people she came across in their delightful diversity, uniqueness and kindness. Although tempered with a few difficult people, on the whole it really does restore your faith in the kindness and generosity of human beings, irrespective of their background, ethnic origin, religious views or economic status in life. It really did touch me. It's clear the author is also a good person too; she is of course prone to upset and grumpiness as any person would be on a trip of such magnitude, but she describes her relationship with her horses, friends and the people along the way with a lot of gratitude and humility I really had to hold back the tears as I read.

As with any real life story, events don't pan out as you expect and turmoil veers from what you might see in a typical novel with a beginning middle and end, which gives this book a great organic and unexpected quality. I now feel very confident in my approach to my travelling adventure this summer, relaxed that I needn't plan every step and that sometimes you have to just go with the flow and, as long as you have your wits about you, fear should not stop you from setting out to achieve your goals and following your heart. Good going Marianne!!

High Heels and a Head Torch: The Essential Guide For Girls Who Backpack
High Heels and a Head Torch: The Essential Guide For Girls Who Backpack
by Chelsea Duke
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.23

5.0 out of 5 stars ha-larious, 25 Jun 2011
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This book was so funny. The stories of where the author had been, embarrassing moments and irritations that could easily be avoided by following the advice in this book. I'm off travelling for 10 months soon, so I'm not entirely sure how useful much of the advice will be as I'm not yet out there, but it all make logical sense and I don't think I would have necessarily thought about some of it until I was already gone, like packing some PG Tips (for those homesick, warm my cockles moments), and that rubber soled flip flops would be a life send!

It really is geared for the female traveller, which is ace. A lot of the packing lists I've looked at for RTW trips are aimed at men, or very generic and don't take into account the fact that it would be nice to dress up and feel a bit special and co-ordinated while around lots of people in hostels. It's not all about practicality although that's what they'd have you think, sometimes a girls gotta feel like a girl! This book do strike the balance between the two well and I would highly recommend it if you want to pack and travel savvy.

Building Wealth in the Stock Market: A Proven Investment Plan for Finding the Best Stocks and Managing Risk
Building Wealth in the Stock Market: A Proven Investment Plan for Finding the Best Stocks and Managing Risk
by Alexander Elder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 38.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for forming a capital enhancing and protecting investment plan, 15 Feb 2011
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Why why why does this book not have any reviews on Amazon UK yet?? It's such an essential investment book that my heart sinks! I've read so many books that present you with annoyingly vague concepts about the 'sorts of things' you should be 'looking out for' when investing in the stock market without giving any indication of where to look, how to start, and what exactly it should relate to in the grand scheme of strategy and tactics.

This book, on the other hand, is investment strategy nakedness at its best. The author totally bares his investment plan from the market timing indicators (Coppock and Dow Theory) and exactly what he was looking for and when and where he finds it and the importance of using these indicators. Then you will be walked through how he picks his stocks in the simplest format: the patterns he looks out for on technical charts for growth vs. value stocks, where exactly on the chart he times entry, how he calculates the number of stocks he purchases and the risk he is willing to put on the line as a percentage of his overall capital the importance of stops and where he puts them and why. The kinds of value indicators he uses, where he finds them, what they mean in the context of his investment plan and what he is trying to achieve.The author discusses the importance of managing your investments once you have them, timing exits and calculating profit and meeting personal targets. Then finally after giving you theory and several examples, the author walks you through actual case studies of investments he picked, the logic process he went through at the time to guide his decisions, with supporting labled charts.

There is often this unspoken tension between the advocates in the two different camps of technical analysis vs. fundamental analysis. This book promotes the importance of of both, and being open minded in using both. It is using technical analysis to filter stocks to a manageable number for further investigation and to time entry into the market. He then uses fundamental analysis to ensure a sound business, with good prospects of growth, but sometimes trusting the technical chart to reveal aspects of the shape of the business that perhaps may be missing/overlooked from the fundamentals. The author sees merits in both methods and shows how you can successfully employ both in an investment plan.

What I love is his investment plan is so simple. There seems to be idea that that the more complicated your investment methodology is, the more likely it is to succeed as you have some kind of 'magic formula' that has somehow evaded every other person in the market. So you end up reading book after book after book in the hope that one day you will stumble across the 'holy grail' of investing. Not so. The author carefully deconstructs the simplicity of his investment plan, detailing the ways he has carefully honed it over the years based on both good an bad experiences, hard work and deliberate scrutiny of his actions and thought process, and guaging the a plan that suits his personality, and doing his best to manage risk and preserve and build capital.

I can tell he has had some strong influences by Dr Alex Elder, who has written the foreword to this book and another essential book (in my opinion) Come Into my Trading Room. With these two books together you will really be on your way to feeling confident and autonomous as a individual investor in the stock market.

Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 - eBook reader - 5" monochrome E Ink ( 800 x 600 ) - silver
Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 - eBook reader - 5" monochrome E Ink ( 800 x 600 ) - silver

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pocket sized dandy little device, several gripes..., 8 Feb 2011
I do find it exciting when this kind of technology comes out. It reminds me of when I used to sit at an IBM computer looking at the block cursor flashing on the black screen and luminous green words appear in front of me. Like magic! Who would've thought that would be possible! But now, we are in the era of smart phones and ipads, and being spoilt for colours and features and flashy tid-bits is expected. So when you are presented with a grey screen at best, and touch sensitivity that whirs a bit before registering, you can't help feeling that somehow you've been shortchange, or you've missed a trick - hang on, isn't the ereader a techonological advancement? I feel like I'm actually back in the 90's?

Such is how I feel about this little piece of equipment. I think it's actually a problem with all these kinds of ebook readers, not just the PRS 350 - they just somehow lack that little bit of intuitiveness, ergonomics and efficiency that we are so used to these days. Maybe not enough people use them yet for large sums of money to be put into their development, or not enough books are available in the e-format for prospective buyers to invest in one etc. Frustrating, because the concept of an e-reader is spot on.

Anyway enough of my blathering, things that I like:

- It really does fit in your pocket, it's true. I did feel a bit smug when I saw some dude on the train whip out Stephen King's The Stand - a 1300 page monster cuboid book... All the while I had my copy neatly stored in my pocket.
- Holds a stupid amount of books, probably more books than I have read in my lifetime, and it's easy to load them onto the device (just like copying a file to a usb stick for example). Compatible with Microsoft and Macs.
- You don't get eye strain in GOOD lighting (e.g desk lamp shining on the device), have had a few sessions now of a couple of hours a pop and no problems there. It is readable and after a while you don't even think about the fact you're using a piece of equipment.
- Can view pdfs. Although can only reflow (i.e. term of making the wording on the document fit the screen in a readable way) the best quality pdfs. If you can't do this you end up having to zoom in, pan left and right, refocus to change to the next page. It takes ages and you'd wish you had a computer in front of you instead.
- Can organise your books into collections, e.g. fiction, non-fiction etc. Neat.

Things I find myself thinking, `wow, how annoying you can't do that...'

- The screen is always grey - annoying. It's black `ink' on a grey background. Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit of stupid idea? If you are in less than optimum lighting conditions it's a pain as you do have to strain to get clarity. Yes you can change the contrast and boldness of the words, but it's still not the same as black ink on white paper.
- Touch screen is responsive but about 2 seconds slower than I'm used to on touch-technology.
- When you zoom into a pdf, there is no way to remove the pan cursors and zoom icon, so effectively the screen becomes even smaller as it obstructs your view. Defeats the point of being able to zoom in.
- There's no denying that it is so amazing to look upon your real-life book shelf and see brightly coloured volumes and pretty covers, probably why many people are still anti-ereaders. Why then have they made the interface on these devices so unappealing? Grey and drab all the way.
- You have a choice of font size xs, s, m, l, xl. I find on some books small is too small, and medium is too large. Be nice if it was just a sliding scale font size?

Well most of those `negatives', I should probably send to Sony to use in developing the next generation e-readers. But I think it's worth being aware of the drawbacks so you can compare to other e-readers to see if these are also a problem with them, or just generally across the board ereader gripes.

I gave this ereader 3*, but honestly based on the choice out there on the market, it's actually in my opinion still one of the best! I can't wait to see how ereaders look in 2020, hopefully drastically improved.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2011 12:19 PM GMT

by Paul Gallico
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars <3 Jennie <3, 26 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Jennie (Mass Market Paperback)
Most of the 5* reviews on this book seem to stem from the warmth and comfort of nostalgia. I only just finished this book for the first time at 26, I did really enjoy the adventures that Peter and Jennie embark upon, and how their relationship is expressed and changes over time and with certain events. It's also a bit of a tear-jerker at times. Overall a good book, I think I probably would have given it 5* had I read it for the first time as a young-adult, or perhaps to children of my own.

Villette (Wordsworth Classics)
Villette (Wordsworth Classics)
by Charlotte Bronte
Edition: Paperback
Price: 1.89

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lucy Snowe, queen of boohoo, 12 Aug 2010
I read somewhere that the difference between this book and Jane Eyre is that Jane Eyre actually liked the reader. Lucy Snowe, the narrator and protagonist in this book, well... she hates you. It's like reading Winnie the Pooh but having Eeyore tell the story, she's just the most miserable, sullen person you'll ever come across. She has insight though, she observes other characters in the book with finite precision, gradually peeling back every particularity of their personality and the events that unfold around them. It really is quite superior the way Charlotte Bronte portrays this, and so skillfully! Lucy Snowe is also a tease, and never just says what you want her to say, so you do want to keep persevering and find out if she will reveal her true feelings instead of cloaking them in oblique description. I give it 3* partly because the overall melancholy started to grate, partly because the story and setting didn't thrill me beyond reason, and partly because my impatience with wanting the narrator to just spit it out became overwhelming by the 400th page.

The Help
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great first novel by Ms Stockett, 4 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Help (Paperback)
The book really is the epitome of a good old fashioned 'novel'. It tells a story. It's nice. Three characters set the scene: Minny, Aibleen and Skeeter. Essentially it follows these three characters through the ups and downs of racial segragation in the 1960's of Jackson Mississipi, focusing on the relationship between white employees and black maids.

It carefully explores and poses critique on those invisible societal lines between black and white people; lines that people couldn't bring themselves to cross and what happens when some choose to challenge the status quo and make their voice heard, and the consequences. The characters are wonderfully developed, funny, interesting and individual in their ways. The author writes in the speech and intonation of the black maids, to great comic effect at times. Each chapter leads cleanly into the next, picking up different perspectives on the same event. You always know where you are, and you get a varying opinion on things that are happening.

I think I had only one problem with this book that left me cold, sometimes it was a bit too 'bitchy' and convoluted like a soap opera to get its point out - requiring too many people and mini-events to build up to the climaxes. I think that's why I wouldn't put it on par with say, To Kill A Mockingbird. I guess it required too many frills to get the point across, and lacked a certain cutting subtlety, if that makes sense.

I think it was a good first novel though by this author and would recommend it nonetheless.

To the Lighthouse (Wordsworth Classics)
To the Lighthouse (Wordsworth Classics)
by Virginia Woolf
Edition: Paperback
Price: 1.89

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally impressive, for the deep thinker anyway, 26 July 2010
I think you have to be a particular kind of person to like this book. I guess someone quite similar to Virginia Woolf herself, a bit of an observer, introvert and probably a bit neurotic.

I say this because really, in terms of eventful things, basically nothing happens... there are family and friends, they talk a bit here and there, time goes by, then some of them go "to the lighthouse". The rest of the book is dedicated to just manically pointed description of subtle behavioural interactions, observation of human nature and the kinds of thoughts that go through your head when you are just observing the world and 'living'.

If you have an appreciation and understanding of these nuances in your day to day life you'll feel like you've met your soul mate in this book. You've got to stick with it though, and have a quiet room, as it's hard going. It's worth it as Virginia Woolf has this amazing way of taking away any 'lonely' or 'detached' feeling in the reader, and presenting the richness and vastness of life even in the smallest of things. I loved it.

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