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TheMelster (Edinburgh, UK)

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Smart Organizing: Simple Strategies for Bringing Order to Your Home
Smart Organizing: Simple Strategies for Bringing Order to Your Home
by Sandra Felton
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saved my life and sanity, 21 Dec 2006
As one of those for whom Felton's previous bestseller "The New Messies Manual" was too advanced, this little book has made a massive difference in my life and in my home. As a person with a disability I have a good excuse for living in a bomb site but that hasn't made it any easier to bear. The simple Smart Organising solution of having four regular tasks in the morning and four in the evening has really turned my home around to the stage where I have now been able to allow a cleaner in to help once a week. Between the two of us (or the three of us including author Sandra Felton) I now live in a normal home seven days a week - a quality of life I haven't achieved for years. This is the ultimate entry level book into home organising suitable even for those whom the FLY lady 'babysteps' seem like Everest. Now when I read HOME COMFORTS [the ultimate home care manual] it feels less like self flagellation and more like honest ambition. Only loses a star as it may be TOO basic for those who don't feel like a hopeless case.


You and Your Money: Creating a Prosperous Relationship: How to Have a Prosperous Relationship
You and Your Money: Creating a Prosperous Relationship: How to Have a Prosperous Relationship
by Alvin Hall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.16

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 11 Dec 2006
Alvin Hall beings his book by retelling the story of Robinson Crusoe. Newly marooned, Crusoe manages to salvage several useful items from the wreck of his ship but one find is completely useless - a stash of money. Hall's point is that our money is only given value by our relationship with others and each chapter explores how these different relationships between you and your parents, siblings, peers, work, retirement and death effect your behaviour with money. Each chapter is prefaced by a revealing quiz that exposes your financial thinking and goes into considerable detail with case studies from the author's personal life and television programs. The book is worth it for the chapter on Work alone which includes a quiz on whether entrepreneurship is right for you and what emotional and financial needs are or are not being met by your current job (and how to find a new one). This is a far more in-depth treatment than is given in the other Alvin Hall books I have read or his "Your Money or Your Life" television series and unlike the series, he includes advice for single people as well as couples and families. Hall is charming in person (we met at an Edinburgh book signing) and very inspirational. I only wish the book was published in hardback as I am wearing it out!


Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Your Home for Any Natural or Unnatural Disaster
Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Your Home for Any Natural or Unnatural Disaster
by Judith Kolberg
Edition: Paperback

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the UK government SHOULD have sent out..., 3 July 2005
If you found the British government's "Preparing for Emergencies" booklet about as useful as a chocolate teapot, this American paperback is the answer. Instead of providing vague assurances and information most suitable for organisations, this book goes into the detailed planning and preparation required for an ordinary family who have to take into account 'unimportant' details like pets and children. I was amazed (and reassured) to discover there is actually online information from the red cross specifically to help disabled people make preparations for example.
It will not send you into a panic. This easy to read book realistically goes into the general preparations you can make for ordinary emergencies like fires, extreme weather or the sudden loss of electrical power, as well as the more unlikely acts of terrorism. The most important lesson seems to be putting plans into place before an emergency occurs so you wont have to think about what you are doing when the crunch comes and you are probably too frightened to think clearly. It also includes the basics on emergency storage so you can 'hunker down' at home, making your home secure (both financially in terms of insurance and physically in terms of turning off gas, water or electrical supplies) and what to think about if you are asked to evacuate (having important financial and identity information to hand, for example).
Some of the information, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radios and FEMA contacts are US exclusive but 80-90% of the book I'd still class as useful to a British citizen. It even has hints at the end of each chapter on what you can do to involve children in the preparedness process. This is the book I have been looking for since September 11th. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


Your Best Year Yet: Make the next 12 months your best ever!: How to Make the Next 12 Months Your Most Successful Ever!
Your Best Year Yet: Make the next 12 months your best ever!: How to Make the Next 12 Months Your Most Successful Ever!
by Jinny Ditzler
Edition: Paperback

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will need more than good intentions..., 23 Dec 2004
The author suggests it is possible to complete the goal setting program over a continuous three hour period. If you've done it before then certainly, but this first time reader spent 1-2 hours every day, doing a chapter a day to get the damn thing finished. And I'm not a particularly slow study.
As a way of separating your real priorities from you 'shoulds', it is an excellent and very fine filter. But regardless of whether you have actually got your primary role and top 10 goals set for the year ahead, it's still up to you to DO something about them, and that's always where the big challenge has been for 'self help' readers.


Chariots Of Fire [1981] [DVD]
Chariots Of Fire [1981] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Cross
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £4.02

39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Atrocious - what a letdown., 3 Nov 2004
This DVD is awful. I watch on a portable player with headphones and the sound was so bad it made the movie unwatchable. A pity as the film itself is one of the greatest made in britain post sixties (the academy award winning soundtrack it's centrepiece) and certainly a favourite of mine. The picture was a little better but the dark tones are extremely grainy (would definitely benefit from an anamorphic release) and the picture at the start of the film is full of scratches and marks. Is this supposed to replicate a cinema going experience? I have serious doubts about some of the colour values too. This is just laziness by 20th century fox. Other films of this era have been successfully transferred to 5.1 sound and if this was an example of the best film negative they could find to transfer onto DVD then a full digital restoration is urgently called for. Until then, you'll enjoy this movie more on VHS.


Forbidden Planet [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Forbidden Planet [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Walter Pidgeon
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Monsters, John! Monsters from the Id...., 22 Sep 2004
This is such a classic it really deserves thorough restoration and release in original widescreen format (preferably in region 2 DVD).
A military earth space cruiser on routine deep space mission arrives on distant Planet Altair 4 to check on the progress of the human colonists. After a mysterious warning they land to discover only two survivors of the expedition - enigmatic Dr Morbius and his dishy daughter. Tensions emerge between the Dr and the visitors (a ship full of space wolves arrives on the planet, how would any father feel?) who begin to be murdered in increasingly violent yet mysterious attacks. Is it Morbius himself? Super-strong Robbie the Robot? Or some remnant of the Krell, the long dead natives of Altair 4?
Leslie Nielsons original breakthrough movie - a LONG way from the Naked Gun series - with Anne Francis as his love interest Altaira, is a clever play on The Tempest seasoned with a good dose of Freudianism for good measure (but don't let THAT put you off). Movie itself is worth 4 to 5 stars.


The Good Carb Cookbook: Secrets of Eating Low on the Glycemic Index
The Good Carb Cookbook: Secrets of Eating Low on the Glycemic Index
by Sandra Woodruff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.92

309 of 310 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate but uninspiring.., 23 May 2003
To be fair, I'm not much of a cook anyway (hence the need for a cookbook) but wanted a quick solution to incorporating low glycemic index meals into my day to day life. The first disappointment was the printing job. There are plenty of recipes but as they are printed on cheap newsprint you couldn't risk storing the book in the kitchen, let alone using it as you are cooking unless you are happy to keep buying replacement copies a couple of times a year. The first quarter of the text is an explanation of how GI works and how to incorporate it into your life ... which is a task probably better left to the experts who have done this in The Glucose Revolution (US) and GI Factor (Australia/UK). If you've read either, the first part of the GoodCarb Cookbook can be safely skipped as it doesn't improve on the originals.
The second disappointment was that this is an entirely American cookbook. There is no attempt to provide conversion information for those outside the US (UK measures are slightly different, and this could have disastrous results on some recipes) and to my immense irritation, the author is hugely reliant on fat free egg substitute which may be widely available in America but doesn't seem to exist in the UK. She generously gives permission to use real eggs if you choose but offers no information to make this possible. Stateside readers may know automatically how many real eggs replace a quarter of a cup of egg subsitute but I certainly don't. Also, what the heck is Canola oil?
Most of the recipes seemed fussy and fiddly (as a less experienced cook I find that is true of most cookbooks) but the hearty home-style entrees section was much better and I look forward to starting there with some straightforward family dishes. (Entree must mean something different in the US as these are main course options.)
After this disappointment, I shall be ordering "The Glucose Revolution Life Plan" (US) or "GI Plus" (UK/Aust.) which includes recipes and lifestyle tips from the real authorities on the Glycemic Index.


The Holocaust and Collective Memory
The Holocaust and Collective Memory
by Peter Novick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware alternative title, 21 May 2003
An excellent book also available as "The Holocaust in American Life". Different title but same text.


Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich: How to Get Rich Quickly and Stay Rich Forever!
Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich: How to Get Rich Quickly and Stay Rich Forever!
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Edition: Paperback

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Follow the principles, not the author, 5 Nov 2002
Okay, so it looks like Robert Kiyosaki isn't exactly what he claims to be, but frankly I don't think that in any way detracts from the approach to money taken by this book. If you've ever felt that you're just not the kind of person that gets rich, this book will blow you out of the water. In VERY clear and extremely basic terms it shows readers a different way of evaluating financial value that even escapes the so called professionals in finance and investing. If you are worried about providing for yourself or your family but don't know where to begin I'd say this, together with "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clason, is the best foundation for financial education you could hope to find.


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