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John Baird

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RSPB Birds of Britain and Europe (DK)
RSPB Birds of Britain and Europe (DK)
by Rob Hume
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will fire your enthusiasm, 2 Oct 2012
This book is a delight to read. It is beautifully illustrated, informative without being dry, and accessible to someone who, like me, is newly interested in the subject. The quality of the photos and drawings is exceptional. The best reference guide I have seen. As much a European as a British guide.


I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan
I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan
by Steve Coogan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves the accolades, 22 Sep 2012
If you get Alan Partridge, you will certainly enjoy this. This book is funny throughout, the comic writing being of a consistently high standard. While some of the book is a narrative to the Partridge we know, recounting in more detail his escapades as a chat show host and DJ, it is at its best when covering new ground, filling in the gaps. I was often in tears of laughter reading this.

One of those rare items - a book that merits the huge number of 5 star reviews it has received.


Coaching Junior Football Teams For Dummies
Coaching Junior Football Teams For Dummies
by James G. Heller
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very basic - a book for managers, not coaches, 8 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is aimed at someone who is about to take over a kids' football/soccer team, who (1) has never played or seen football (2) has never been around children or the parents of children (3) is a newcomer to Planet Earth.

Ok, it is not that bad, and clearly a lot of thought has gone into it. There is some useful guidance. It is not unhelpful, by any means. My quibble with the book is that it is really a book for managers rather than for coaches. There are few drills, and the focus of the book is not on coaching at all. It is not a book that will help you to plan a season of training sessions. It tells you little about how you can try to improve and develop players. If I had browsed through this in a shop, I doubt I would have bought it.


Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler's Mightiest Warship
Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler's Mightiest Warship
by Patrick Bishop
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awe inspiring, 27 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The author's achievement is to do justice to the bravery, and ingenuity, of the extraordinary British, Commonwealth and Norweigian men whose efforts culminated in the sinking of the Tirpitz. It is also compassionate towards the German sailors. The reader never loses sight of the wider context of the war at sea, nor of the strategic dilemmas that the Tirpitz caused on both sides. A history book that reads like a thriller.


The Man Within My Head: Graham Greene, My Father and Me
The Man Within My Head: Graham Greene, My Father and Me
by Pico Iyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.65

4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Graham Greene, you'll like this, 21 Aug 2012
This is an engaging meditation on the life and principal works of Graham Greene, seen by the author in light of his own experiences living in England, traveling widely and writing. While deeply personal, it also enjoyable and not too heavy.


Shanghai Policeman
Shanghai Policeman
by E. W. Peter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.78

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique contemporaneous account, 21 Aug 2012
This review is from: Shanghai Policeman (Paperback)
This book would be of interest to anyone who wants to read about 'old Shanghai' or about a unique police force, the Shanghai Municipal Police. It is apparently the only book to have been published by a Shanghai policemen during the lifetime of the SMP. It is written in two parts: first, a summary of life in the SMP, and second, the events concerned with Peters's trial for the murder of a beggar.

I cannot rate this higher than 3 stars as it is not well written, and has the appearance of a rush job, demanded by Peters's straitened circumstances on returning from Shanghai. It succeeds in giving a flavour of Shanghai, and what it was to be a policeman there in the 1930s, and, here and there, there are interesting descriptions of day-to-day police life, but it is limited.

What jars the modern reader is Peters's lack of insight into the world he was policing; the over-mannered writing style of the ghost writer; the absence of maps and any meaningful structure to the first part of the book; and the lack of detail concerning all the incidents that Peters recounts - names, places, anything that might make these more vivid (or credible).

Readers of the excellent 'Empire Made Me' should be clear that this is not a Robert Bickers book. Bickers has written a short and informative introduction to the book, but that is it. Otherwise, the book is as published in 1937.


Night Train: A Biography of Sonny Liston
Night Train: A Biography of Sonny Liston
by Nick Tosches
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful rubbish, 20 July 2012
This is an utterly awful book. The author writes like an immature teenager trying to impress by talking tough and throwing in the odd expletive for effect. One reviewer refers to this as 'grit-lit'. I don't know what grit-lit is - perhaps it is a euphemism for dire journalism enlivened only by swear words. It fails both as a book about sport and as a biography. It does not do justice to Liston, or to anyone else. After a while, one ceases to care what the author thinks.

If you want to read about the Patterson-Liston-Ali rivalry, try David Remnick's 'King of the World', which is everything that this book is not.


York Notes Advanced on "Dr.Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe
York Notes Advanced on "Dr.Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe
by Christopher Marlowe
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

2.0 out of 5 stars Printing errors, 8 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The content is ok, but my confidence in it is somewhat undermined by the glaring printing errors. Random sections of the book are printed upside down and appear in reverse order - a failure of quality control by the printers.


How to be a Bad Birdwatcher
How to be a Bad Birdwatcher
by Simon Barnes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough, 25 Jun 2012
Simon Barnes is a talented sports journalist who I have been reading for many years. This book does a nice job of describing the enjoyment of becoming a bird watcher, and is interesting and engaging, to a point. It is pretty light fare. Some interesting stories and observations, but no laugh-out-loud moments, and nothing hugely memorable. Not for the first time, I find myself puzzled at the number of 5 star reviews that a book has received.


Some Old Bullshit
Some Old Bullshit
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: 3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A punk rock gem from the pre-hip hop Beastie Boys, 11 Jun 2012
This review is from: Some Old Bullshit (Audio CD)
Other reviewers are mistaken in thinking this to be a collection of B-sides. This album represents a compilation of the Beastie Boys' punk rock recordings, such as they were, in the early 1980s, before they became a hip hop band. Their output was as slight as their punk career was shortlived. This is punk in the 'hardcore' style prevalent at the time in the US: short, repetitive, intense songs which lasted not much more than a minute each track.

What shines through is the humour, vitality and wit of the Beastie Boys, which would later find a much more lasting expression as they became a major hip hop act. So much hardcore was unlistenable, instantly forgettable garbage produced by bands arriving long after the party had ended, but this collection from the Beastie Boys is about as good as hardcore ever got. 'Egg raid on Mojo' and 'Holy Snappers' are catchy and funny. They never took themselves seriously - judge this one by the cover.


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