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Reviews Written by
Stuart C. Palmer "Malawi Man" (Blantyre, Malawi)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Useful and Very Nicely Designed, 30 Jun. 2012
I have owned a pair of these for the last year or so. I use them when travelling if I fancy listening to music from my iPhone. They work well but can be a bit fiddly on the connections sometimes. In other words, you set them up but one speaker doesn't work and you have to carefully disconnect them and re-connect. They have never failed so far. I like the fact that they are re-chargeable, the cables rewind inside the base of each speaker and they stick together in a neat travel pack inside a pouch. The USB recharging system is also tidy. I am advising my daughter to buy a pair as well. Mine are black. I am guessing she will buy a more funky colour. Good value.


The Strategy Book (1st Edition)
The Strategy Book (1st Edition)
by Max Mckeown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.46

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts the CR*P & demystifies strategy - what else do you want?, 26 Feb. 2012
Max saw my review of another strategy book and sent me a proof of this one. I am a coal face executive based in a developing country, Malawi, where I run a hospital and this book is gold dust. Managers have a reputation for not reading books and if they do, not using what they learn. This book makes it hard to do that. It is well laid out, builds up the ideas simply, but with strong intellectual underpinnings, good stories and practical implementation ideas. Sometimes even the very word "strategic" becomes so shrouded in mystique that you dare not approach it. Max says it like it is, "great strategy is the quickest route from means to ends to shape your future". Your quickest route is to buy this book. And no, I am not on commission!


GraceNotes - 365 Daily Devotionals
GraceNotes - 365 Daily Devotionals
Price: £7.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digestible daily wisdom from a name you should watch out for in future, 3 Oct. 2011
When it comes to daily devotionals there is meat and there is milk, there are platitudes and there is hard-won wisdom. What Jim consistently delivers in GraceNotes is wisdom and the application of spiritual truths brought to life by a self-searching humility that speaks to the heart and mind. He truly brings God's word alive in fresh ways that you can use today as you see how he applies fresh revelation to his own life.

I have been reading GraceNotes for a number of years before they were published in this form. You will not be disappointed. These daily notes provide high quality nourishment for your soul. Do not be put off that it is from an author you have never heard of. I can assure you that whilst he may not yet be a big name, he is still big on wisdom picked up over many years of service to God and his work of pushing forward the kingdom around the world.


Love Wins: At the Heart of Life's Big Questions
Love Wins: At the Heart of Life's Big Questions
by Rob Bell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Hell is our refusal to trust God's retelling of our story.", 13 Aug. 2011
After spending a week at a New Wine Christian conference looking through 1 Corinthians 13, with a guy named Richard Bentley preaching through it, I thought I had love covered. Next thing I know, someone recommends this book and I race through it in a couple of days. It is a gripping read.

Malawi where I live has seen recent riots. England where I am currently staying has just seen riots. The media ponders. Groups of people are stirred up. Questions are asked about society, policing, exclusion, civil society, family, the church, etc.

What shines through in this thought provoking book is a pastor's heart, God's heart even. A heart that burns with love for you and for me. My world view consists of heaven overlapping earth, NOW. That is why I do the work I do, seeking to bring "His kingdom" here to earth today. Take the parable of the sons and the Father - you know the one - the prodigal sons. Both cut off. One feels his badness is his problem, the other believes his goodness is to his credit. Both are distanced from their father. Which one are you?

The Father's love just is.

Can I "trust" that I am really loved by God? Really, all of me, honestly? I have seen God's love made manifest in many different ways this side of death, touching and changing lives for the better. I want to see much more of this. This book reminds me of the battle we are all in and shows the only sure fire strategy I know of changing the world one heart at a time. It rekindles a joy in me as I remember what I have already seen him do in lives around me that the world considered lost and for whom there was no other solution other than to use asymmetrical warfare to break in through the masks and rebuild the story of that damaged individual one flower petal at a time until they could function again as God originally intended them to.

Read this book and like a sailboat looking for wind, you will find yourself buoyed along, uplifted and inspired to move people into the arms of the Father. Of course you cannot do this unless you can accept a Father's love yourself.

Oh, and Richard Bentley - 16 years serving on a tough council estate - 60 people in his church. That is "love winning" for me and the people whose lives he is reaching into with an alternative message that they are loved and respected and precious.


Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters
by Richard Rumelt
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to do that job you hate - plan and execute a great strategy..., 8 Aug. 2011
You know you have to do it, but just how do you do it? This book gives you a simple jargon free tool kit and shows you how to use it plus tells you what not to do. How cool is that? Very, actually. You can read through this book in a couple of days and you will not regret it. This is suitable if you are a manager or leader tasked with putting together something that is a bit more than just planning to do more of what you did this year. It is a very helpful book, not patronising, just well thought through with the distilled wisdom of many years and lots of mistakes as made by other people. Great. Saves me making them and allows me to go make some fresh ones. I don't like wasting time reading sappy books. This was definitely a worthwhile read and I am already thinking how to approach the next year differently. Buy it and do what it says.


Black n Red Book Casebound 90gsm Plain Sketch Book 192 Pages A4 Ref H64068
Black n Red Book Casebound 90gsm Plain Sketch Book 192 Pages A4 Ref H64068

5.0 out of 5 stars A Rolls Royce amongst notebooks, 6 July 2011
If you remain living in the UK and have a wide choice of quality stationery you may never appreciate the quality of this product 'til the day you die. But, if like me you move abroad to central Africa and have to make do with imported flimsy locally sourced notebooks you will come to love and treasure this well made notebook. Since I started office work some 20 years ago I have worked a system using an A4 diary and A4 notebooks. I then archive the notebooks and diaries. I can always go back, check a diary for a meeting date and the notebook for any notes I scribbled at the time. These notebooks just work. Yes a simple product, but well made.


Too busy not to pray - 20th anniversary edition: Slowing Down to Be with God
Too busy not to pray - 20th anniversary edition: Slowing Down to Be with God
by Bill Hybels
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Sex but for Prayer..., 23 May 2011
Does for your prayer life what "The Joy of Sex" did for for another area of life all those years ago, or what Nike tries to do for the casual athlete with "Just Do It". Hybels has a lot of personal spiritual experience, has researched it well and makes it about the most practical book on prayer you will ever read. If you actually do want to pray more, not just read about other people doing it, then this is the book for you. Some simple things in here have really made a difference to me - write down your prayers (then you can look back and see what happened plus it stills your mind a bit) and use ACTS as a plan - adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication (yes, simple things, but he brings it all alive and they do work well). Buy it, then just do it.Too busy not to pray - 20th anniversary edition: Slowing Down to Be with God


The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn't Working
The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn't Working
by Robert Calderisi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and provocative on a complex subject, 23 May 2011
I have lived in central Africa for six years and the longer I stick around the more complex I realize things are. Finding anyone who can write in an illuminating straight forward matter on what are often shared problems across countries is very hard. You either end up with weighty tomes packed full of data that are tough to wade through and very shy about putting forward any positive ideas for change. Or, you get pessimistic travelogues that generally tell you how everything seems much worse than when the author was last around. If you are living in Africa, alongside the people, feeling the pains and frustrations, watching loved ones die, people struggling on little money and reading in the daily papers about what the President has recently spent on travel, or private jets, or the like, it is hard to keep it all together. What Calderisi has done is to provide a way into this complex web in a very readable and entertaining way. Sure, it is referenced so you can pick up on his sources, but it is also deeply personal. This makes it accessible and readable. For me it has been the most compelling and readable book on the continent I have read for a long time - many of the others I start and struggle to complete. Yes, there is lots to disagree with, but that is the whole point of the book. Finally, there is someone prepared to put down in black and white some concrete, sensible, understandable suggestions for improving things. When you live on the continent you tend to bounce between an expatriate world, filled with know-it-all do-gooders with complex ideas, often bound up in the latest development fashion and fads, hardened business people cynical that anything will ever change, or peace loving, gentle optimistic locals who just want to get on with life. Calderisi blends the two worlds together and offers some hope and, for me at least, some fresh thinking. A great introduction to a complex topic. Brave and positive. That makes it a rare book on Africa. The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn't Working


Land Between The HB
Land Between The HB
by Manion Jeff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keeping your faith in tough times, 5 May 2011
This review is from: Land Between The HB (Hardcover)
I have been reading this book in response to watching a video that the author produced that came out as part of "The Global Leadership Summit" material from Willow Creek in 2010. The book explains why we need to hang on tight during tough times which can either shape our character into something more godly or which can produce a rich fruit of bitterness and resentment in us. The book is an easy read and focuses on the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. It draws out some good points and reminds us that direct personal experience of the goodness of God is important to document and hang on to during times when we are stressed and unsure of what is happening around us. It is a good antidote to some of the wrong theology that is taught that somehow God owes us and that once we follow him all our problems disappear. It is a strong reminder that whilst we cannot choose our circumstances we can always choose our response to them and our attitude can make a big difference. In particular it reminds us not to curse God, no matter what is happening in our lives.


Merlyn the Magician and the Pacific Coast Highway
Merlyn the Magician and the Pacific Coast Highway
by Tom Davies
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Travelogue - stil relevant today, 5 May 2011
I had wanted to read this book for a long time after hearing it recommended by a friend. It is a very strange book to read as it jumps between genres - part travel book and part spiritual journey. I am a Christian and I was interested in how Tom arrived at describing the modern media as the whore of Babylon in Revelation. His vast experience in the media world is used by the author to expose what he feels lies at its heart. I found this analysis to be quite compelling. What was harder to cope with, for me at least, was the travel writing which didn't capture my imagination in the way that his spiritual asides did. I was expecting the situation to be reversed as I normally enjoy travel writing. It is not a hard read, a chapter at night at bed time slips down nicely. However, if you are not a fan of cycling you may find Tom's fixation with his various bicycles and his sometimes laboured linking of this to a transcendent spiritual experience somewhat hard to swallow. Reading it for the first time some 30 years after it was first published, much of the deeper observations of society and the fragmentation and loss of community that Tom rues, particularly on the California section of his journey, resonate strongly even now. I feel I want to know the author more (if he is still alive) and see where he went next on his spiritual journey in particular. Always a good sign to finish a book feeling you want more.


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