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markr
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Charlotte Gray
Charlotte Gray
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a dark depiction of an appalling time, 13 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Charlotte Gray (Hardcover)
This is a harrowing tale which depicts a dark past in Vichy France during World War II. The treatment of Jewish people was appalling - I knew about Germany and Poland - but France - i didn't know. The story is set around the story of a young British girl parachuted into France to help the resistance, who also has her own agenda in trying to find her lost RAF pilot lover.

The writing brilliantly depicts an era - dark and shameful - and is much stronger in that depiction than in the narrative of the story. I can't say I enjoyed it much - it is far too dark for that, and the story seems to be a vehicle for the portrayal of a time and place.

I have enjoyed many of Sebastian Faulks' books - this is different. Darker and less plot driven, it does not always make for pleasant reading.


The President's Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity
The President's Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity
by Michael Duffy
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating account of the relationships between Presidents and their predecessors, 7 Aug 2014
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This is an interesting and well reasearched account of the relationships between each president since Truman with their predecessors right through to Obama and his relationships with Clinton and Bush.

In telling the story of these relationships this book covers pretty much all of the major points of US history since WII in a very readable way. I thouroughly enjoyed this book and learned a great deal - some of which - for example the warm relationships between Bill Clinton and both Bush father and son surprised me a liitle.

Intersting and informative - a very human account of the pressures of very high office and what it is like to move on from the summit of power


Tulipomania
Tulipomania
by Mike Dash
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tulips worth more than a house, 29 July 2014
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This review is from: Tulipomania (Hardcover)
Everything you ever wanted to know about tulips is here - where they came from, why there was a mania for them in Holland in the 17th century, and later in the Ottoman court, and how the bursting of the bubble in tulip prices was handled by the Dutch authourities.

17th century tulips, which are beautifully illustrated in these pages, were much more beautiful than those we see today. Their beauty came from flame like streaks of colour - caused by a disease which has now been eradicated. At the peak a single bulb could sell for more than the cost of 2 grand Amsterdam houses - but within weeks of the peak they had almost no value at all.

The madness of speculatory booms is clear from this account. However I found some of it a little dry - perhaps because i found this account to be a little over long in the telling


Mr Mercedes
Mr Mercedes
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an enjoyable thriller - if a bit routine at times, 26 July 2014
This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Hardcover)
This is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller about a retired detective's efforts to track down a killer before he strikes again. There is no mystery to the reader about the killer's identity - that is revealed early in the story - so the supense comes from the chase. The characters are well filled out, and generally credible, and i found myself lost in the pages for a happy couple of days - as you would expect with any Stephen King story.

Though very enjoyable, this is maybe not quite one of his greatest books. It's more a routine detective story, albeit enhanced by Stephen King's expert characterisation, rather than a tale which lingers in the mind when you have closed the last page
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2014 8:57 PM BST


The Accidental Apprentice
The Accidental Apprentice
by Vikas Swarup
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable - though fantastical, 23 July 2014
I enjoyed this story which is about a 23 year old girl who works in an electrical store who is apparently randomly chosen to be the next CEO of a giant Indian corporation. But she has to pass 7 tests first. In attempting to do she she faces many of the issues in modern Indian society.

This all makes for enjoyable reading, with lots of twists and turns. The only downside is that the story is completely unbelievable and becomes more and more incredible as it progresses until the fantastical nature of the plot becomes inescapable.

All very enjoyable though


Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
by Dee Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sad and terrible, but brilliantly written, 17 July 2014
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This is a superbly written, compelling, but utterly tragic account of the destruction of the native American way of life and the swindling, racism and greed which led to the deaths by disease, conflict and outright murder of so many of the native population from 1860 to 1890.

Using the words of native American leaders including Geronimo, Sitting Bull, and Red Cloud this book traces over 30 years the continual squeezing of territory held for generations by native American tribes by land hungry immigrants, and of the lies, bullying and cheating to which the native Americanswere subjected

Utterly horrifying but essential knowledge for anyone who wishes to undertand what rascism and greed can do, even in country which held that all men are created equal.

The maps and photographs are very helpful and the writing is excellent. A terrible tale told brilliantly


Sputnik Sweetheart
Sputnik Sweetheart
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars unrequited love with cats, the moon and music, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Sputnik Sweetheart (Paperback)
An excellent, though quite short story of just over 200 ages, about the love of a young man for a young woman who is in turn wildly in love with a much older woman.

Set partly in Japan, partly on a Greek island, this is a slighly sad, rather fragile tale of unrequited love. Full of Marakami regulars - cats, earlobes, music, brand names, and the moon all appear, this still has a fresh feel, and is a fascinating mixture of the slightly surreal, and page turning compulsive reading. I loved reading this and was sad when it was finished - especially as so much remains unresolved at the final page


Hard Choices
Hard Choices
by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting - though hard going at times, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Hard Choices (Hardcover)
This is an interesting, though long, book which covers the 4 years of Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State. Whilst this is clearly intended to set out Hillary's philosophy of government, and to explain her vision for the United States role around the world in advance of running for President, it is also an interesting account of the demands of high office.

Clinton's belief in the need to compromise to achieve progress is recounted again and again, as is the importance of engagement with all kinds of countries and leaders to seek peace and the development of prosperity through incremental steps.

This does not all make for easy or entertaining reading - it is too much a careful and calculated book for that. On occasion Clinton addresses areas which may be used by her opponents to undermine her probable campaign. For example she uses anecdotes of dealing with a journalist's questions about her husband's opinion, and with keeping the location of Bin Laden totally secret even from Bill, to demonstrate her independance and professionalism. There is not much here, though, that makes for revelation about the inside working of the Obama administration or about Hillary's personal life.

Clinton's dedication to human rights, and in particular to women's rights and the rights of LGBT people, is made clear throughout, and is her belief in the value of the use of American influence through aid, cultural and educational exchange, and of the need to use what she calls 'smart power' to achieve objectives.

It is all a bit dry though, and it look me an unusually long time to read, even although i found the subject matter interesting, and her philosophy of government to be intelligent and persuasive


Nicorette Nicotine Micro Tab
Nicorette Nicotine Micro Tab
Offered by Pharmacy Link
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars they work - but don't taste great, 9 July 2014
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This does do the job - not of curing nocotine addiction - i still have that, but at least you don't have to smoke as these stop the cravings. They do taste a bit like chalk though.

They are good for long journeys though as a substitute for smoking and they are much cheaper than buying cigarettes


Toshiba SD1015KB DVD Player (New for 2013)
Toshiba SD1015KB DVD Player (New for 2013)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars easy to use - great value, 7 Jun 2014
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I ma very happy with this easy to use DVD player, which is very easy and quite intuitive to set up (i needed to use a spare SCART lead as one is not supplied)

It looks fine and plays movies perfectly and is easy to use with the remote. Not much else i could have asked for for the money


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