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Angel Jem "Angel Jem" (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom)
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Two Serious Ladies
Two Serious Ladies
by Jane Bowles
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK but..., 29 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Two Serious Ladies (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Perhaps I have been spoilt by Persephone books whose reissued novels of 1940's ladies have got me into a provincial mentality, but I didn't enjoy this book. It's not the book, it's me. I love the domestic and the banal, the shopping and the tea making, the little details of house and home.... and this novel so isn't like that.
It would suit readers of Truman Capote and Graham Greene, it has a plot that rests on the two serious ladies of the title; the eccentric throwing off of contemporary acceptable behaviour and the living of lives that for the title characters become increasingly frantic. It is daring, it is original.... and thereby lies my problem. Perhaps I'm just too moralistic; I recognise the good writing but judge the plot by morals that just can't be used here. If you like Breakfast at Tiffany's: WITH House of Flowers (Penguin Modern Classics) or The Quiet American: Centenary Celebration 2004 you will like this. If you like Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics) then find the next Persephone novel; this is so different. You have been warned.


The Private Patient: Radio Drama (Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries)
The Private Patient: Radio Drama (Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries)
by P D James
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Well adapted and very enjoyable version, 29 Nov. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
P D James writes very good, very literate stories. Her novels are a delight to read and this adaptation by the BBC has made this one into a very enjoyable and satisfactory audio version.
Although it was originally broadcast as a series of 15 minute episodes, the cut offs are virtually seamless; no clunky cliffhangers, just a smooth narrative flow. The book has been well-adapted and the story is clear and succinct. A death in a private plastic surgery clinic leads to Adam Dalgliesh being summoned to Dorset and to an investigation to discover family secrets and betrayals along the way. Within the 2 and a bit hour format, all the plot threads are introduced, explored and completed without seeming to race too quickly. A thoroughly good listen.
We found that the first few minutes we spent listening to Adam Dalgliesh were strange, but only because we're used to Roy Marsden in the role. But you soon become accustomed to the voices. It's part-narrated and part-dramatised so that you get the best of both worlds, really; an interesting array of voices and emotions portraying the people but also the narration to explain place and inner thoughts that can be hard to get across on radio when the visual cues of acting are removed. All in all a thoroughly recommendable audio production.


Doctor Who: The Runaway Train (BBC Audio)
Doctor Who: The Runaway Train (BBC Audio)
by Oli Smith
Edition: Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic audiobook for Dr Who, 29 Nov. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Car journeys pass quicker with a decent audio book and this one took us to Leicester with no complaints.
The Doctor and Amy (Pond; like her a lot) land in Civil War America and have to save the world from an exploding Terra forming bomb. How they do it displays the usual level of inventiveness that Dr Who writers have to have. I'd love to know how they do their shopping, since thinking of alternative ways of doing things is so usual to them. Probably online, actually.
The scrapes, friends and resolution of the story will keep avid fans aged 8 to 14 happy listening. The funniest part was when Pond came out and they described her outfit... when my husband and I looked at each other with a disappointed gleam. Wouldn't a saloon bar dress have given the Dads something to think of on acold winter's night? But, thank Goodness, Pond kept her modesty blazing in a decent skirt and no worrying age-unsuitable material.


Philips O'Neill SHO9551/10 Specked In-Ear Headphones
Philips O'Neill SHO9551/10 Specked In-Ear Headphones

4.0 out of 5 stars Bring a little colour to your listening., 29 Nov. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I usually stick to basic black for anything technical. Like Henry Ford, I think it just is a good colour to use, but these earphones caught my attention and on a whim I got them.
For the price they are a good bit of kit. The just over 1m cord isn't plastic and is called 'tangle free'. For a few minutes one day I thought I'd knitted a new scarf with it when I got it tangled and was faced with untying it, but it did indeed slide free very easily and was straight and kink free almost at once. And the pink colour I have definitely makes them more visible at the bottom of my bag. No more frantic grasping at anything black to find I've got the string off my coat and am now walking like a geisha girl as I mince along. These are almost fluorescent.
The ear buds come in 3 diffrent sizes and colours, which is a shame. The medium sized are yellow, the small size a bright turquoise. I would have liked to have all the sizes in all the colours and, thus, be able to coordinate my ears and outfits, but I expect that cost means that isn't an option.
And, yes, I know all you music techies are saying 'enough about the looks and colours, what about the performance?' Well, for its price that is very good. The in ear aspect really produces a good clarity of sound and blocks out most external noise, not too good if you're crossing the road but ideal if you sit to listen to music in the same room as a boisterous family. And they can't hear what you're listening to, either. I tested it with my superlistener 10 year old who couldn't hear a peep, not even an annoying drum beat even as my ear drums suffered the consequences of Muse blasting full power at me. The sound was good, but if you need a super techie review then others on the site are better qualified. As a layman who needs it to work and wear, these are a good set and I'm pleased with them.


No Title Available

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Would you like to see my Kindle?" has to be one of the best chat-up lines ever., 16 Oct. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My baby Kris Kindle was born 4 days early on 28th September this year. It took me a little while to get around to posting this review because new babies can be incredibly demanding; they need constant attention, they cost a great deal more than you bargained for initially, they call out at inconvenient times, they need regular feeding and they leave a great big mess all over the house (especially when you sit and read instead of doing the house-work)But I have managed to put him down for a couple of minutes to knock out a message to anybody wondering if a Kindle is the right adoption for them;

Yes!!!!! I love the Kindle. It was so easy to unwrap, just open and play with, plug and charge as you play and download thousands of books in minutes. I already had Kindle for PC so once my wifi was set up the Kindle and PC were off. I still have some on my archives that I haven't transferred across, more to give me something to do in the depths of the night when I can't afford to buy another book.
I found the page forward/back buttons well placed for two and one handed reading, and the fact that both were on both sides was effective for me.The bottom buttons, especially the letters, are small and quite fiddly, but the flat end of a pencil makes a handy cursor and easier ordering is available via your computer, where any book is a click away.
Navigating through the books in your collection is easy, the collection feature that allows you to group books is my best fun ever, since it lets me organise all my books by interest, subject, readability or even length and I can have one book in any or every single category without having to lift amd move a single thing, except my first finger and thumb.
Underlining and notetaking means that margins stay clean, and the notes are digitally transferred to all your Kindle apps. Were I a student I know that having all my text books on one slim (good grief, is it slim!) item rather than taking up shelves of my bedsit would delight me, whilst the note and highlight functions are so useful to refer to.
Buying books is a dream, too. Either on the Kindle or via the 'puter, the one click ordering is too easy. One click and another book appears. The sample before you buy is brilliant, and means I have about 50 books that I think I'll buy in future; I have to set limits and make sure I stick to them.
That may be the one fly in the Kindle cream. My son (aged 12)is desperate for a Kindle, but I am loathe to get one if he is going to be free to rack up a debt he can't afford. I'd love a password locked facility that meant I had control over when he gets a book, but failing that I believe I can register a second kindle, download the books for him and deregister it from my account (fiddly but workable) which may have to do.
As for actually reading on the thing; I know that a lot of people insist that they would miss the look and feel of a book, and it is true that you don't get the musty smell of books kept next to a leaking lavatory in some dingy second hand bookshop anymore, but you don't miss the paper. Seriously, you don't. The screen is as deceptive as everyone else has said. You really do look at it at first and think it must be a sticker. When I understand how e-ink works I will be impressed. At the moment it is sheer magic. The page is the size of a small paperback, and the adjustable print size and even text adjustment means that anything can be adjusted to suit taste or need. Read in bed, on the bus, at school (not during lessons, obviously) effortlessly change from book to book, read anything without having a soul question why you would want to read Jilly Cooper/Chick lit/ Charlotte Bronte. Wherever you would want to read a book, you can read a Kindle. I've had little screen glare, and I read in any weather. I'm waiting for the website on extreme Kindling. My most unusual place is the top of a Cathedral, but that may only be because nobody has got me out anywhere exciting for a while.
The weight, width and holding pleasure are amazing, the Kindle lives in a space as small as an A5 notebook, and it travels everywhere with me. Do buy a cover; I loved the idea of Kindle Leather Cover, Burgundy Red (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle) or the more expensive lit version, but decided against them on weight and bulk grounds and went for BUILT Neoprene Kindle Sleeve (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle), Vine because I loved the colours (or lack of) and the convenience of a sleeping bag. Kris fits in my handbag and sleeps there during the day. He waits for me to be available at night and sleeps on the pillow next to me. He's a real Frog Prince and I love him (not as much as the husband and kids, though!)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2010 11:16 PM BST


The Ring of Solomon (The Bartimaeus Sequence)
The Ring of Solomon (The Bartimaeus Sequence)
by Jonathan Stroud
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel to the Bartimaeus Trilogy, 30 Sept. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I passed this on to my 12 year old, a Bartimaeus fan, who had this to say;
"This book is good because you don't have to have read the first three books of the Bartimaeus Trilogy (The Golem's EyeThe Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Trilogy) and Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus Trilogy)) to read and appreciate it.
Bartimaeus has ended up in the service of King Solomon and so far he's
Insulted Solomon's wife by turning into a dress-wearing Hippo in front of her
Killed one of Solomon's best magicians, and
Ended up in the service of an assassin who's determined to kill King Solomon for his ring.
The book is full of adventure and quite a few jokes... good for young teenagers. I can't wait for another sequel."
I read Bartimaeus books over the holiday and I really enjoyed them. This one didn't disappoint, and the fact that it could be read alone is a big benefit. Good for teenagers from 12+, our 18 year old cousin is desperate to borrow it. If you're already a fan, go for it, if you're a fantasy fan, go for it. If you don't like fantasy, genies and magic.... well, give it a go. You never know!


James Martin by Wahl ZX768 Table Blender with DVD, White/Black
James Martin by Wahl ZX768 Table Blender with DVD, White/Black

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well built and impressive machine, 30 Sept. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really enjoyed using this machine; it pulses and has as many speeds as you need to blend, crush ice and to make smooth soups, frappucinos and other delights. The accompanying booklet is, perhaps, a little short of recipes but the free DVD has the delectable James Martin on to explain usage, provide ideas and generally give me something to sigh at. I may prefer The Hairy Bikers' 12 Days of Christmas: Fabulous Festive Recipes to Feed Your Family and Friendsas my bedtime reading, but I have to admit they're not as good looking.
The blender is an impressive piece of kit. Very solid and heavy, it would be hard for the cook to lift in and out of a cupboard every time it was needed, and yet it takes up an impressive amount of surface area and measures a good 30+ cm in height. In my kitchen it doesn't fit under the wall cupboards, so it has to live next to the sink. Of course, the flip side of this criticism is that its glass jug is solid enough to crush ice, so needs must if the Frappucino Fairy is to work her magic.
I'm happy with it as a machine; a good, solid investment piece of Kitchen Kit.


The Xmas Factor
The Xmas Factor
Price: £4.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebecca meets The Devil Wears Primark, 30 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Xmas Factor (Kindle Edition)
I love this book, but I'm a bit of an Annie Sanders fan. (Honest confession)
The basic premise is a lot of characters who get into a lot of festive japes and tight holes, a bit of romance and will they-won't they thrown in, a celebrity revealing her darkest secrets and a little lad with a broken leg. It is all written in an easy to read style that has just a hint of aga saga about it.
But the main reason I like the book is its shameless use of Rebecca (Virago modern classics) as a plot line. Beth is the second wife finding it hard to live up to her predecessor's reputation; immaculate, well-organised, dog-commanding and able to plan the Best Party Ever, her nemesis has left a hard act to follow, which Beth struggles along to do. Don't laugh at the story of her Christmas file of ideas, there are plenty of us with one just like it (aren't there? Or is it just me?) or the tale of her (very) wonky garland. Anybody who finds themselves swept away in noellitus after reading Holidays: The Best of Martha Stewart Living or trying to live up to Kirstie's Homemade Home needs to read this book just to remember what Christmas really is about. The story of how the dirty old cottage is transformed is a real fairytale and the way the snow makes everybody act had me grinning from ear to ear. It's a cup of hot chocolate with a good slug of cointreau, too sweet for some, perhaps, but still a good thing to have on a cold winter's day in December.


On The Third Day
On The Third Day
by Rhys Thomas
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Zombie plague? Made my brain numb., 25 Sept. 2010
This review is from: On The Third Day (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not the hardest read ever, but a difficult one to like. The cover describes it as a meeting of 28 days later and survivors, you know zombie plague meets zombie plague, and it is. You get ill, 3 days later you die. there's something religious going on, but don't think you'll get the chance to find out what.
I suspect my initial gripe on starting the novel would be a bonus for some people; there was no set up, no build up of compassion or empathy for the characters. It was wallop straight away with a sick husband soon to be dead and off to Cornwall. And then the plot lost its credibility. The writing was clunky, the action that was intended to shock just didn't go far enough to touch me and the style had heavy passages with too few contractions and too much repetition. How many times can a protagonist be called 'the naked man' in a fight lasting a page without it getting boring? And how I wish the details of their post-apocalyptic life had set out how they lived and what they did clearly. At least then I could justify another star as a self-help guide. Alas, the whole thing lacks heart. I so wanted to care, and just couldn't. I'm going to read The Road and become depressed reading about characters I care for.


The People's Queen
The People's Queen
by Vanora Bennett
Edition: Paperback

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pale in comparison, 25 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The People's Queen (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I know comparisons are odious, but when a medieval novel falls into your lap, comparisons inevitable get made with C J Sansom'sSovereign (Shardlake) and Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen (Cousins War Trilogy 2).
Set at and after the death of Edward III it tells the story of the relationship between the King and his mistress, Alice Perrers, what her role is during his life and how her role suffers from mission creep after his illness and death. I can usually read anything, but I had to force myself to read this. Sorry, but I'm sticking to Henry VIII. Roll onHeartstone (Matthew Shardlake 5)


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