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Reviews Written by
P. M. Ryans "Historian71" (Scotland)
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QuickBooks Pro 2016 (PC)
QuickBooks Pro 2016 (PC)
Price: £229.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended For Newbies, 13 Oct. 2015
This review is from: QuickBooks Pro 2016 (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a new-start small business, choosing the right accounting software is one of the biggest headaches. Anything that can make a tedious job easier is to be welcomed, especially for a first time user. When starting up the last thing you need is to become bogged down in complicated programmes.

Bonus, an accountant friend has two software recommendations and QuickBooks is one of them. It is somewhat of a relief to hear this as using the same software as your accountant is, to say the least, helpful!


Hallmark Forever Friends Christmas Gift Bag 'Christmas Magic' - Medium Bag
Hallmark Forever Friends Christmas Gift Bag 'Christmas Magic' - Medium Bag
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Will Look Great Under The Christmas Tree, 13 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Would add a lovely touch to presenting a gift, whether you can wrap or not! This is a medium size, good quality bag (I'm guessing that's the size, height wise it's the size of a hardback book and you could certainly fit a couple in there) with the cheery Forever Friends bear illustrated on the side.

If you're the Secret Santa at work then I'd imagine whatever you bought would look better presented in this.


Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin in the Middle Taiga
Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin in the Middle Taiga
by Sylvain Tesson
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An Insight to Siberia, 30 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Perhaps it has to do with the nationality of the author but unlike the middle-class musings of British and American travellers this is highly entertaining without once patronising the area or the people living there. Indeed within the first few pages Tesson admits that this may be a touch self-absorbed and this attitude makes for refreshing reading. He also doesn't pretend you can move to Siberia without a pretty extensive survival list and a lot of books.

With a camaraderie for his Russian neighbours and visitors, an philosophical appreciation for his surroundings, the author shares his experiences with them rather than view them from a (falsely) superior viewpoint - again a hurdle where many Brit and American writers fall.

Lake Baikal becomes a fascinating location, painted admirably with Tesson's descriptions of the land as it turns from deep, downy snow to summer. He is remarkably honest rather than deceptively romantic about the reality of living in such stark accommodation, alone despite the occasional Russian popping in for a vodka. For once the reader closes the book feeling as though they have left behind a beloved place and friends (albeit ones a long trek from home).


The Company of Animals Foobler Interactive Electronic Treat Toy
The Company of Animals Foobler Interactive Electronic Treat Toy
Price: £16.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pavlov Couldn't Have Imagined..., 11 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well the dog seemed to like it although being a lazy lab I can't be sure he's not patiently waiting until the next "deposit" of treats without bothering whether or not it's "interactive"! I can't be 100% sure that the cats haven't clicked on to this magical dispenser and are stealing poor dog's treats either.

It's a good idea though, I'd imagine more active breeds, such as border collies, would absolutely love it. It was a bit larger than I had presumed and of quite tough plastic (and not in a Kong way), it's not something you would toss to your dog to play with, it would knock him out. If you have wooden flooring it does make a racket if the dog decides to chase it around. I've also not yet tested the "Pavlov" style bell to see if the dog starts salivating at the mere prospect of kibble.


Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food All Sizes Adult Light Or Sterilised With Optiweight Rich In Chicken - 3 Kg
Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food All Sizes Adult Light Or Sterilised With Optiweight Rich In Chicken - 3 Kg
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Labrador Approved, 24 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our dog is a bit on the lazy side and as he is a Labrador (canine dustbin/vacuum cleaner of food) his weight does need watched.

He was most interested in the opening of this pack, kibble is also used as treats when needed. There is only really one way to know if a dog is receiving good nutrition and on the evidence everything seems fine. He looks forward to his meal time and eats with gusto. They even work in disguising his worming tablet, the only thing he won't wolf down immediately.


AmazonBasics Everyday Fitted Sheet, Double - Dark Purple
AmazonBasics Everyday Fitted Sheet, Double - Dark Purple

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Value, 24 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For a basics item this sheet is surprisingly good quality for the price. The purple is a lovely deep colour, the sheet is cool to the touch and fits comfortably over a mattress and topper. Having washed this to get rid of the packaging smell, it washes well and dries (on the line) without needing much ironing, if any at all to be honest.


Little Black Lies
Little Black Lies
by Sharon Bolton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

5.0 out of 5 stars A New Southern Noir Genre?, 24 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Little Black Lies (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The term "a gripping read" is overused but entirely appropriate for Little Black Lies.

The story centres around three characters; Catrin, Callum and Rachel, with the remote Falkland islands (in the early 90s) as almost a fourth.

Catrin: three years on from the tragic loss of her sons, killed in an accident brought about by her former best friend Rachel, calmly and methodically considers her revenge. The plan to inflict as great a pain on Rachel as she has suffered.

Callum: a former para, veteran of the war a decade earlier, battles with his subsequent PTSD from that conflict and his feelings for Catrin.

Rachel: her seemingly perfect life, unaffected by the tragedy she caused, yet underneath the surface all is not what it seems.

As Catrin's plan hinges on the third anniversary of her children's deaths a small boy, a visitor to the islands with his family, goes missing. The third child in as many years. As the small community gathers together to search prejudices and suspicions begin.

This story, with it's wild, unfamiliar setting and uncompromising characters sets off at a pace and while the third part does slip a little, it is a most worthwhile read and the ending comes all too soon.


Rexel JOY 2 Hole Punch - Perfect Purple
Rexel JOY 2 Hole Punch - Perfect Purple
Price: £11.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy for the Home Office, 19 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Neat and tidy for the desk yet light enough to go in a school bag/briefcase, this does exactly what is needed. Copes perfectly with the amount of paper it claims to, up to 10 pages at once.


James Martin by Wahl Grind and Chop, 200 W
James Martin by Wahl Grind and Chop, 200 W
Price: £29.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Piece of Kitchen Kit, 19 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Used this first time for making some breadcrumbs from some leftover tiger bread mixed with herbs and spices (see dazzling photo). The chopping bowl won't hold as large an amount as a food processor obviously however within seconds the mix was fine, with no lumps or pieces of crust. The amount covered two chicken breasts cut into goujons so it's handy when you've run out or need to make just enough for a few.

The machine is activated by press down on the lid and for that reason I would suggest not letting children or extremely clumsy people near this.

Once finished it is easy to clean and neat enough to fit in a cupboard or on the countertop without taking up too much room.
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Hamilton Beach Electric Breakfast Sandwich Maker - Silver
Hamilton Beach Electric Breakfast Sandwich Maker - Silver
Price: £26.70

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Homemade McMuffins - Almost, 7 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A neat, compact piece of kitchen kit, this is possibly one of those things bought that end up living permanently in the cupboard, which would be a shame. If you don't have a particularly patient family who are happy to wait for everyone's sandwich to be cooked then it works best for a breakfast or lunch on your own or to rustle up a snack for a hungry teen.

Interestingly the only thing this makes is the egg component of the sandwich, the remainding ingredients have to be precooked before assembling in the machine. English muffins fit perfectly, it's a bit of a tight squeeze for ordinary sized, shop bought bagels although croissants can be squished into shape if they're a little generous sized. Unless you are prepared to spend extra time making Lorne sausage or bacon use a good ham, especially if it's sliced thickly. The whole egg cooking part may seem to be a faff but it does work without leaving those horrible glutinous eggy bits. Really it's up to yourself to invent fillings, it does come with recipes but you could really try anything you fancy.


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