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Reviews Written by
Mrs. D. J. Smith "eowyngreenleaf" (Luton, England)
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Go Stationery Monochrome Kraft Magazine File
Go Stationery Monochrome Kraft Magazine File
Price: £7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid File, 7 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very sturdy magazine file that would be really good for keeping your papers together either for work, for papers relating to your home or for actual newspapers and magazines!

It's not the most attractive colour, but on the other hand it will pretty much go with any décor being the colour of a brown envelope. There's quite an attractive geometric black and white print on the inside.

Not too much more I can say about this, but if you need something along these lines to keep yourself in order, this is a really solid feeling file that I would recommend to you.


Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen: Six Tudor Queens 1
Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen: Six Tudor Queens 1
by Alison Weir
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, 6 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Weir again goes from traditionalist historian to historical novelist, but she can't seem to leave the historian bit behind. Much as I dislike wholesale abandonment of historical accuracy and the flagrant sensationalism of Phillipa Gregory and her Ilk, I really found this book over long and tedious - I could quite cheerfully have done some poisoning myself just to get the book over and done with! It feels like Weir has looked up every single historical quote she could find from people in the period and tried to squeeze them into the book. I had read biographies of the period that are more enlightening that this and do more to bring the people and period to life.

During the third quarter of the book, we get a lot of Henry coming in to visit Katherine, giving us a bit of plot exposition and then having a strop and stomping out like a child having a tantrum. After about the tenth occurrence this gets rather tedious and doesn't feel altogether likely.

I was slightly weirded by the implication that Katherine on arrival quite fancied the ten year old Henry and the bit in the Tower with the 'ghost lady' and the shivers down the spine in Peterborough cathedral seemed out of place and both only really play off if you have a knowledge of the period already, in which case you really don't need to be reading this.

Finally, for all the historical stuff Weir has stuffed in there, she really does need to pay better attention to her geography. I know Ampthill isn't that far from Dunstable, but I think I little effort would inform her that it's more like 14 miles and not the 4 she has in the book!

While the writing isn't awful, it's just not engaging and the book is far too long and becomes tedious. Does Weir really believe that Katherine believed that, after everything that he had done, Henry would meekly accept the Pope's vastly overdue ruling, put Anne and Elizabeth and the change of a male heir aside along with his leadership of the Church of England? hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I find it hard to beleive that Katherine was as stupid and naive as she comes across here. She says she still loves Henry and wouldn't do anything against him, yet writes to the Pope and the Emperor with a clear intention of inciting war! I think Weir means to make her sympathetic, but I just found her exasperating. I would recommend some good non-fiction book on the period ahead of this.


Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Extra-Gentle Cleansing Wipes
Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Extra-Gentle Cleansing Wipes
Offered by Bellaella-co-uk
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Soft Cleansing Wipes, 30 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These cleansing wipes are advertised as being for dry or sensitive skin. My skin can be a little sensitive at times, so thought it was worth giving these a try.

The wipes are a good size. They have added silk fibres so are really very soft to the touch. A lot of other wipes I have used are slightly textures and have a more exfoliating action, but these still worked OK in removing make up (I don't wear waterproof, or indeed any, mascara, so I can't help you on that score) and felt my skin feeling clean and soft. I'd usually just apply a dab of mousturiser and didn't have any dry tightness in my skin.

There are 25 wipes in a pack, so based on the current price on Amazon (£5.90) I would say they are relatively pricey. Although they felt nice with the silk content, I didn't find them noticeably better than any other branded facial wipes. Cheaper ones are really not so good, but I do look for whatever is on special offer. If you do have sensitive skin and other wipes are irritating, this may be a product worth trying though.


Luton: Photographic Memories
Luton: Photographic Memories
by Robert Cook
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Local History Collection, 29 Jan. 2016
Would have liked some of the photographs to identify where they were, not just what the buildings were. Also a fair amount of the book was taken by photos of Dunstable and surrounding villages - surely sizeable enough to deserve their own books in the series? Believe the picture on page 52 is actually of Market Hill and not Castle Street - the view of the Red Lion is an anchor point even if the other buildings have since gone. Author also consistently misspells Kimpton Road!


The Madwoman Upstairs
The Madwoman Upstairs
by Catherine Lowell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Mad About It, 17 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Madwoman Upstairs (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I thought this sounded a really interesting idea, modern day woman, descended from the Bronte family uncovers secrets from the history of her family. While I didn't dislike it, I didn't really love it either. For about the first half of the book I found it a bit of a struggle as I found the protagonist, Samantha Whipple, rather hard to like. I'm not even sure I liked her that much by the end of the book to be honest.

Samantha has had rather an odd upbringing, which would account for some of her strangeness. We see her early on arriving at a fictional Oxford college to study English Literature although she seems to hate practically all writers and seems incapable of constructing a reasonable critical argument! She is rather like a spoilt child, and as such I found her hard to like. I'm also pretty good at suspending my disbelief but it takes some stretch of the imagination to accept that someone like Samantha would have been able to gain a place on an English Literature course at an Oxford college! Or that she would be housed on the fifth floor of a tower with no windows in her room and apparently there is only a bathroom on the ground floor. Must have been a bit of an issue when she sprained her ankle, but this is glossed over.

Samantha's tutor is a young, handsome (naturally!) Englishman with the unlikely name of Dr James Timothy Orville III. For most of the book he is referred to simply as 'Orville'. If you are of my generation you might understand why this seemed a bit off-putting and why I've had 'I Wish I Could Fly....' in my head for the past few days!

In conclusion, it wasn't a bad book, the writing was OK (a few Americanisms slipping into the mouths of supposedly British characters....) but it just didn't work for me - there were too many things that were rather improbable and the protagonist was, at times, idiotic.


The Ashes of London
The Ashes of London
by Andrew Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Ashes to Ashes..., 15 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Ashes of London (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Historical mystery (with some slightly gruesome murders, but it's more about the story than the killings if you follow me) set in Restoration London during and in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666.

I've not read or even hear of Andrew Taylor before this, so this may be his first foray into this particular area. I do read a lot of historical fiction and historical mysteries and this one I did enjoy very much - once you pick it up it is difficult to put down again!

The main protagonist, who has the majority of the narrative in the fist person, is James Marwood, son of a Regicide and fifth Monarchist who is still haunted by seeing the execution of Charles I as a child and is still trying to shield his father, who has gone a bit loopy after five years on The Tower. He is working for the Government and has the unenviable task of investigating the murders of two men found stabbed in the back of the head and with their thumbs tied together.

The second part of the narrative is in the third person and follows Catherine 'Cat' Lovett, who is also the daughter of a Regicide. Her story is very interesting and not at all black and white and of course is all tied up within the main plot line.

I felt that the book gave a real feel for a destroyed London, particularly the description around the destruction of St Paul's. It felt like the first part of a series around Marwood and if this is so I would certainly look out for the sequel.


L'Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise Triple Active Light Moisturiser Dry/ Sensitive 50ml
L'Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise Triple Active Light Moisturiser Dry/ Sensitive 50ml
Offered by Runakoh
Price: £5.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mousturiser for the price, 12 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This day cream by L'Oreal is targeted at dry or sensitive skin. Now, my skin is generally combination oily/normal but can be sensitive and I've been told that it is also often dehydrated, so I thought this product would at least be worth a go!

The cream comes in a tube with large screw lid. The cream is just the right sort of texture - not too runny and not too thick. It applies easily and has a light but pleasant smell. My skin felt smooth and moisturised after application and this lasted all day! My skin didn't feel greasy at any point nor did it feel too dry. This also has inbuilt SPF, so I would say that this is a pretty good product for the price!

If your skin type is compatible with this cream, I would say it's worth giving it a go as skin care is a really personal thing, but I found this one to be very good. After several days of using regularly, my skin is nice and soft.


The Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses
by John Ashdown-Hill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Book from John Ashdown-Hill, 10 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wars of the Roses (Hardcover)
Another excellent book from John Ashdown-Hill who has to be the pre-eminent scholar on this period. He is someone who actually does a lot of new and exciting research and doesn't just rehash old theories. This is a clearly written account of the period that has come to be known as 'The Wars of the Roses' (and there's much discussion on that point!) which explains the origins on the conflict and the major action.

If you are new to this period, this is an excellent guide and if you are well versed, this definitely still offers much that is new and I would highly recommend it. there are a few off typos and extra letters, but I'm sure a sharp eyed editor will make sure that these don't make it into future editions.


Teach Yourself Visually Office 2016 (Teach Yourself VISUALLY (Tech))
Teach Yourself Visually Office 2016 (Teach Yourself VISUALLY (Tech))
by Elaine Marmel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful visual reference, 10 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a guide to the new Office 2016 suite with an introduction to new features and then chapters for each application showing you how to do many things. This I would say is aimed at a beginner to intermediate level.

There are lots of screenshots, making it easy to see what you need to do. Even if you are familiar with the software, if someone tells you to go to a particular menu I know that many times you can't seem to see it even when it's right in-front of you and you've used it dozens of times before without thinking!

Although I think this is a good reference book, I do think that anyone who is fairly familiar with Office would probably not need this as if you know what you want to do but not necessarily how, it is very easy to search on the Internet and there are many sites to guide you through this which also include screenshots and worked examples (I've done this myself for VLookups and Picklists in Excel).


Garnier Pure Matte Control
Garnier Pure Matte Control
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matte Mousturising, 5 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is designed to moisturise while eliminating shine for those of us with oily areas of facial skin.

The product is a gel rather than a cream and I did have concerns that this would eliminate the shine in my T-zone but leave the rest of my skin feeling a little tight and dry as I have found with other products with similar aims. I am pleased to say that this left me skin feeling matte and soft and not thirsty at all, so I can definitely recommend for oily or combination skin.

The only think that it doesn't include (hence only 4 stars!) is an SFP. Not too bad in winter perhaps or if you have an SPF foundation on top, but something to be aware of.


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