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Reviews Written by
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK)
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Britain's Cold War Fighters
Britain's Cold War Fighters
by Tim McLelland
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant sequel to the Cold War Bombers, 7 Dec 2013
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I loved the previous book: Britain's Cold War Bombers - and this is just as good.

The same excellent quality paper, great photographs and knowledgeable text.

The book covers the range of weird and wonderful aircraft that the UK's boffins managed to dream up in the 1950s, once they had got the hang of the jet engine.

From the early days of the (sadly) nameless Gloster prototype struggling into the air, followed by the amazing Meteor - we then follow the Venoms and Vampires, the Scimitars and Swifts, the Hunters and Javelins, the utterly wonderful Lightnings and then through the world of the Phantom to todays less heroic and somehow less wonderful Typhoons.

Along the way we meet the designers, the test pilots and the flyers.

Great nostalgia - for someone who grew up in the 1960s watching these amazing flying machines out of the school window - so much more fun than Latin!


Absorption (Ragnarok 1)
Absorption (Ragnarok 1)
by John Meaney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable set of parallel stories, 7 Dec 2013
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Set in 700 AD, the 1940s, and various times in the future, this story intrigues and amuses.

A little like Stephen Baxter's wonderful Times Tapestry sequence - although this is all happening in parallel, in both time and (probably) hyperspace - or perhaps (?) hypertime... anyway - some great individual stories, with likeable and well drawn characters, and then the overarching main theme - which you need to read ALL the books to fully understand.


Pocket Beer Book 2014
Pocket Beer Book 2014
by Stephen Beaumont
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for the Real Ale fan - but no depth, 7 Dec 2013
This review is from: Pocket Beer Book 2014 (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a SMALL book - and as such is rather a rush through the world of Ale.

Having just read the World Atlas of Wine - this little tome is not of the same depth or quality - and is perhaps aimed at the Christmas Stocking market for that "difficult" man in your life!

I was disappointed at the small size of the UK section - with only a few of the more popular brewers mentioned.

Anyway - good fun, useful for the traveller to get an idea of what beers to look out for (and not look a fool for ordering the wrong thing!)


Complete Motorcycle Theory and Hazard Perception Tests 2013/14 Edition (PC)
Complete Motorcycle Theory and Hazard Perception Tests 2013/14 Edition (PC)
Offered by A5Technology
Price: £11.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful additional material for learning biker, 7 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Does what it says on the tin (well, DVD cover), this is well thought out and provides a range of customisation.

Worked straight from the DVD onto my Windows 7 PC - no problems with installation.

Recommended for that extra edge when learning how to pass your test - and functions like being able to review your scores to see where your weaknesses are add to the value


Philips Master LED GU10 Spot 4W (35W replacement) Dimmable, Warm White
Philips Master LED GU10 Spot 4W (35W replacement) Dimmable, Warm White
Price: £17.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bright lights - not cheap!, 7 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Excellent bulbs - which start quickly (none of that annoying wait!), and the light is crisp and clear

They do appear expensive, but I am hoping that they will last longer than the current "eco" ones - that seem to survive about 6 months!


Philips MASTER LED 5.5W GU10 Spot Light Bulb, Very Warm White, Dimmable (50W Halogen Replacement)
Philips MASTER LED 5.5W GU10 Spot Light Bulb, Very Warm White, Dimmable (50W Halogen Replacement)
Price: £16.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bright lights, low power, quick start, 7 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Excellent bulbs - which start quickly (none of that annoying wait!), and the light is crisp and clear

They do appear expensive, but I am hoping that they will last longer than the current "eco" ones - that seem to survive about 6 months!


How to Read an Impressionist Painting
How to Read an Impressionist Painting
by James H. Rubin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.97

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book with useful commentary, 28 Nov 2013
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Having spent a happy day in the Thyssen gallery in Madrid gazing in delight at the Impressionists, I thought it might be useful to understand how and why they made these wonderful art-works.

This book has been very useful - bringing together a large number of pictures by all the main artists (Monet, Pissarro, Manet, Renoir, Sisley etc), and providing a double page spread for each picture.

The text covers the history and social times of the artist, description of the picture itself (location, people) and then a discussion of the actual technique - brush strokes, palette knife etc.

In a book of this size with so many paintings, space is limited so there are no long essays - but the information provided is enough to equip me with a more critical and informed view for my next visit.

Highly recommended for the art browser who needs a decent understanding of these terrific artists - but perhaps not enough detail for a full-on art student (although I suspect it will make an excellent introduction)


The Kramski Case (Tales of MI7 Book 1)
The Kramski Case (Tales of MI7 Book 1)
Price: £1.86

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun thriller with lots of unexpected twists, 20 Nov 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller. It reminds me a lot of the (wonderful) Modesty Blaise (see Modesty Blaise) - with a lightness of touch, lots of action, the occasional (mostly) funny jokes - and an intriguing plot that kept me reading.

The story is the main thing - don't look for too much philosophy or well-rounded characters, or pages of detailed description of the inner workings of MI7 (which is, by the way, a Good Thing!) - but the plot zooms along.

A great book for reading on the train, and is a welcome light relief in these dark and gloomy days!


Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook: The Red One
Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook: The Red One
by Ella's Kitchen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What fun, 17 Nov 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book sets out (and succeeds) in helping Mums (and Dads) and their Offspring to eat well.

Children need to be introduced to a wide range of tastes and textures (otherwise they will end up just eating spaghetti and chips), early on - and the fun and amusing recipes in this book should spur on all concerned.

Mums and Dads can choose fun things for the young ones, and when they get a bit older - they may even be inspired to cook stuff for themselves!


The Goldilocks Planet: The 4 billion year story of Earth's climate
The Goldilocks Planet: The 4 billion year story of Earth's climate
by Jan Zalasiewicz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.11

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good history of the Earth's climate, 17 Nov 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have always thought that we should pay more attention to the Geologists when we want to learn about Climate Change, rather than the somewhat less authoritative outpourings of Railway Engineers.

The Geologist takes a long, calm look at the changes over millions (if not billions) of years, and (from this book) we can see a splendid chart (page 16 of the paperback) that shows that for the past 4 billion years or so, the average temperature of the planet has been dropping, but that there are also periods of increase as well as periods of decrease in temperature.
We appear to currently be in a period of (relative) increase, although overall we are in a colder era than much of pre-history.

The causes of climate change are reviewed at various times in the dim and distant past - and these can be seen to be due to changes in the Sun, outpourings of microbial methane, positive feedback effect of glaciers etc etc.

Essentially the book shows that historically the climate changes. The change is due to a wide variety of factors, and any specific focus, such as on the past few years, or on specific gases (e.g. CO2) ignores the long (and well documented) history of the climate on a huge scale.


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