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Reviews Written by
Jo Bennie (UK)
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Philosophy Bites Again
Philosophy Bites Again
by David Edmonds
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for giving the brain cells a workout without overtaxing them., 18 April 2015
This review is from: Philosophy Bites Again (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A nice set of bite size interviews from philosophers speaking about their subjects, sometimes annoying, sometimes bewildering, but mostly interesting and thought provoking. A nice sized book divided into six sections: Joy and Pain; Morality; Mind, Self and Imagination; Free Will, Responsibility and Punishment; Politics and Metaphysics, Meaning and Reason.


The Nuns of Sant' Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal
The Nuns of Sant' Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal
by Hubert Wolf
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Nuns and priests in a sober true story of power and scandal, 18 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Drier than Dan Brown but this is worth persevering with. Hubert Wolf's is a story more byzantine than fiction.

In 1858 a German princess Katharina writes a desperate missive from her seclusion in Sant'Ambrogio convent in Rome. She fears for her life at the hands of her fellow nuns. After being helped to escape. Katharina, encouraged by her family, complains directly to the Pope and an investigation is begun. What ensues is a trial alien to our current understanding of the word, of confessions to the inquisition without the structure of the modern court system. There is sexual abuse, murder, breaking of the seal of concession and abuses of power all carefully evaluated by Wolf. But underlying this story is a web of intricacies of the place of women and men within the Catholic church, the men seemingly firmly in power but vulnerable to having that power bypassed by female mystics with their apparent direct connection to God. Bewildering points of doctrine, political maneouvering by Jesuits, priests with double identities, the Holy City under threat from invasion, they are all here.

Almost as fascinating is how Wolf came by this story, finding a shelf of yellowing papers in part of an archive only recently released by a notoriously secretive Vatican. Well worth the hard work.


Ultrasport Women's Ski Jacket Mayrhofen - Black, Large
Ultrasport Women's Ski Jacket Mayrhofen - Black, Large
Price: £149.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Good ski jacket quite expensive, 25 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well fitting jacket, I'm a size 16 and anything smaller than the large would have been tight. It has all the pockets you need in a ski jacket, from large outside pockets to smaller ones on the sleeve and inside. The outside pockets are fleece lined which makes them nice and cosy. There is a waist strap secured with poppers that would stop snow getting up the inside. The hood does not detach but has plenty of toggles to tighten it well in bad weather. The jacket is lightweight but very warm, effortlessly wind and waterproof and a good length for wearing without snow trousers over jeans or a skirt. The zips move well, the jacket appears sturdily made and the extended sleeve linings act as fingerless gloves. The jacket looks good in black with white stripes. Living in the north east of Scotland this is a useful coat, breaks the cold wind well.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 30, 2015 9:48 AM BST


Sony BDPS5500 SMART 3D Wi-Fi Blu Ray Player
Sony BDPS5500 SMART 3D Wi-Fi Blu Ray Player
Price: £96.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but no HDMI cable, 25 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great product, but I do like to be able to use a product straight out of the box and this does require an HDMI cable, however, it does not need to be expensive, ours was £3 and works perfectly

The player itself is a nice compact size and quite light. On first use our HD TV sensed the player and assigned an input source to it with no issues. It connected easily to our WiFi once the password was entered and so far has maintained an excellent wireless connection.

The player can take DVDs, Blurays and 3d bluray, we have only tried the first two and it has been free of any problems

I like the extras, it comes with iPlayer, YouTube and Demand5 and has a store for lots more downloadable apps. There are also apps for Netflix and Amazon Prime preloaded, I haven't used these

A clever detail is that the player's wireless functioning means that you can use a tablet or smartphone with it. This means both screen mirroring where you can project what is on your device screen on the tv screen, and also that the YouTube app interacts with the smart device so you can, for instance, use your tablet keyboard to search rather than the slower remote control option

Would have given this 5 stars if it had come with the cable.


The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District
The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District
by James Rebanks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh perspective, 21 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is not your normal 'looking in wonder' type nature book. Rebanks is a shepherd working his fell farm in the Lake District, the same farm his father and grandfather worked before him. He knows every sheep in his flock, their lineage, temperament and character. The landscape around his farm is to him human, each farm on the fells isn't simply a picturesque set of buildings and animals. It is a working one in which the life of an individual farmer is a relatively unimportant point in a series of lineages. The seasons, the landscape and the farms are fixed points, the farmers flickering custodians passing on their knowledge and skills generation to generation.

This life is powerfully contrasted with the Romantic view of the Lakes of Wordsworth and Wainwright, of this landscape as a site of sublime beauty granting blessed relief from the dehumanising effect of the urban life, reconnecting people to a seemingly lost sense of beauty.

Two wildly different schemas of ownership therefore come into conflict, the idea of the lakes and fells as a site for leisure, open to all, and of it as a working landscape, a complex system of ecosystems each with its own role to play in the raising of sheep. Leisure is a largely middle class indulgence, but Rebanks' is an egalitarianism world in which neighbour depends on neighbour, good relations within the community of farmers is vital, and skill with dog and sheep prized most highly of all.


Interlude
Interlude
by Rupert Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start but worth persevering with, 21 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Interlude (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Helen is bored, her husband is often working away and her children at school. She decides to watch The Interlude: a 1959 film starring Laurence Olivier and Jayne Mansfield based on the book of the same name written by her grandfather Edward.

Helen is inspired to pick up the book itself for the first time. The lead is a boy called Derek who escapes a provincial life to attend University College London. He drops out after an appalling production of Ibsen's Ghosts brings him into collision with the actors; the larger than life husband and wife Terence and Leonie. Leonie takes Derek to her bed, his first lover, and he gets a thorough education from the school of life. Derek becomes an active part of the couple's company and bohemian lifestyle.

Helen is curious, she knows that Edward is estranged from her parents and wants to know just how autobiographical his book is.

As Helen begins a predictable sordid affair with her writing tutor she manages to get Edward's address from her cold distant parents and goes to visit him, a frail old man in a crumbling stone house. She gets some answers, and a lot more than she has bargained for when he dies and leaves almost everything to her, including a request to be his literary executor. Helen's lover helps her heave boxes of paper out of the attic, among the decades of hoarded ephemera are Edward's diaries.

From here on we alternate between a rather lucklustre present day and a wartime London packed with colourful characters backed by an end of days atmosphere as the Blitz rips the city apart.

I must admit, I nearly gave up on this book because Helen felt like such a sad unlikeable character, but the book really improves when it is interspersed and contrasted with Edward's narrative and the twists and turns of an extraordinary life. The Interlude surprises right until the end.


Braun Face SE80 Replacement Cleansing Brushes 2 Pack
Braun Face SE80 Replacement Cleansing Brushes 2 Pack
Price: £11.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably priced refills, 11 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Good price for two refills for the Braun Cleansing Brush head part of the Braun Epilator set as each lasts for at least 3 months


Braun SE830 Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush Premium Edition
Braun SE830 Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush Premium Edition
Price: £59.84

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, effective if sore, 11 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a brilliant product but yes it does hurt, as is to be expected for a gadget that is pulling your facial hairs out by the roots! I have never tweezered and was trepidant but the pain was bearable, my face has remained hair free and I only had an adverse reaction on the one follicle. Each hair was neatky cught and yanked out by the tiny rotating tweezers. Immediately after using my skin was a little red but settled after putting inert moisturiser on. As I have both sensitive skin and psoriasis I was braced for problema but there were none. The facial cleansing brush felt nice and did break up areas of rough skin.

The pouch and lighted magnifying mirror are really useful additions, the former keeps all the bits together in an inoffensive purple and the mirror is really helpful


Aussie Shower Gel Body Wash Mega Watt 250 ml - Pack of 6
Aussie Shower Gel Body Wash Mega Watt 250 ml - Pack of 6
Offered by Your247Chemist
Price: £12.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the texture, smell not so much, 20 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was a difficult one to rate as me and my daughter differed in opinion. There is no doubt that the foam generated is luxuriant and leaves the skin smelling gorgeous without any residue. But I found the smell nauseating, although my daughter who is hypersensitive to smell did not. So kind of divided


Oral-B Pro 2000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush - Pink
Oral-B Pro 2000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush - Pink
Price: £34.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good powerful cleaning, 20 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A good electric toothbrush for use by my 11 year old. It charges off a shaver point and the first full charge does take quite a long time. The toothbrush handle sits in the charger point base with no issues. The head fits securely into the handle. You do need to start the toothbrush up inside your mouth once you've put toothpaste on or it will fly everywhere. The brush is quite noisy but not offensively so, the sensation of the brush moving is not unpleasant. On this model there are two modes, you turn the brush on by holding down the power button, raised so easy to find by touch alone, and press again to engage the second mode. The brush stops briefly periodically to remind you to move to a different set of teeth then there is a more extended buzz to signal the 2 minutes recommended brushing time is up. A red light on the handle that is easily visible when the head is in your mouth lights up if you are pressing too hard, I thought this was a really useful feature. A good addition for cleaner teeth, if you don't mind pink!


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