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markr
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Buddhism Plain and Simple (Arkana)
Buddhism Plain and Simple (Arkana)
by Steve Hagen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and full of wisdom, 29 Aug. 2015
I have a developing interest in Buddhism and the philosophy of life taught by the Bhudda. Sometimes it can seem very complicated, and for someone brought up in a world where striving, desire, winning and losing, beginning and ending, are all very much of part of expectation and day to day life it can be hard for the mind to accept. But loss is hard to accept too, and the anticipation of loss creates angst and worry

After reading this book I am finding mental peace that little bit easier to keep, and finding the concepts a lot easier to absorb.

This is a wonderful introduction to Buddhist thinking and practice. It is easy to read, written to communicate with Westerners who might find the concepts difficult to grasp otherwise, and is full of wisdom.

If you are interested in Buddhism, this would be a very good place to start


Finders Keepers
Finders Keepers
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

3.0 out of 5 stars sequel to Mr Mercedes, 23 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: Finders Keepers (Hardcover)
I am a huge fan of Stephen King and count some of his novels amongst the best I have ever read. This, a kind of sequel to Mr Mercedes, was for me a disappointment. Like Mr Mercedes i found the characterisation to be thin, and worse in this case the plot to be very hard to believe in. Usually I can't put a new Stephen King book down, but i managed to leave this unfinished for 3 weeks with just 60 pages left to read.

it is entertaining enough of course, it just failed to grip me, and for me this is very far from Stephen King's best work


Buddhism Explained
Buddhism Explained
by Laurence-Khantipalo Mills
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars a good introduction to Buddhist philosophy and practice, 22 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Buddhism Explained (Paperback)
I have a growing and developing interest in Buddhism and the teachings of the Bhudda. This book is fairly easy to read and to understand, covering the main elements of Buddhist philosophy and practice, including an introduction to meditation.

There is also a good explanation of the life of monks and of Buddhist practice in Thailand. For me it was not always clear what the differences are between the practice of monks and of lay people - i would have like a clearer understanding of what lay people practice in day to day Buddhist life . The explanations of Nibbana, and of gods was difficult to absorb - but with thought and attempts to practice the principles outlined here i beginning to find a better understanding of the teachings


A Wild Sheep Chase
A Wild Sheep Chase
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

5.0 out of 5 stars one of Murakami's best - stage yet oddly believable, 22 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: A Wild Sheep Chase (Paperback)
This is a wonderful tale, with all the Murakami touch points; cats, ears, music, and a touch of the supernatural. The main character is a very likeable young man working in advertising and the strange events which lead to his pursuit of a specific sheep to be found somewhere in Japan, is believable and captivating.

His relationship with his unusual girlfriend is touching though a little strange and his encounters with some very odd people indeed are so strongly written I found I was seeing it all in my minds eye

One of Murakami's earlier books - and definitely one of his very best


River Of Time
River Of Time
by Jon Swain
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars very moving - brilliantly written, 22 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: River Of Time (Paperback)
This is a very moving account of the author's time in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during the 1970s and of the devastation wrought on those countries by war and revolution. This is often a very personal account of the author's journalistic and personal life during the years. I found this to be a hugely engaging book, in which Jon Swain's love of South East Asia and its people, and his sorrow at the losses they suffered shines through.

A wonderful, sad, moving, and wonderful written account of a time of turmoil and loss


Whitefurze 10L Watering Can - Green
Whitefurze 10L Watering Can - Green
Offered by MMP Living
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars very good value - but heavy when full, 19 July 2015
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We bought this to water our hanging baskets and pots - it does the job perfectly of course, but when full its pretty heavy to lift up to water over your head - still, you don't have to fill of course


Autoglym Bird Dropping Wipes
Autoglym Bird Dropping Wipes
Price: £3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars works brilliantly, 19 July 2015
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These are great - they clear great dollops of bird poo with ease and next to no mess - we also tried them on clearing green from the metal on our gate - and it worked brilliantly for that too


Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power 1799-1815 (Napoleon Vol 2)
Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power 1799-1815 (Napoleon Vol 2)
by Philip Dwyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £26.95

4.0 out of 5 stars superbly researched and great reading - but clearly on the side of the detractors, 19 July 2015
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This the second volume in Philip Dwyer's superbly researched and very readable biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, covering the period from 1999-1815, and therefore Napoleon's rise to power, the disaster that was the invasion of Russia, and the subsequent collapse of the French Empire.

The book has been meticulously researched with over 200 pages of references and bibliography, and reads at times like a pace novel. Despite all this, the book left me a little dissatisfied. Dwyer is on the side of the detractors, and tends to attribute all of Napoleon's actions and motivations to a cynical self interest. There are of course entirely different interpretations, and it would be well worth the reader with an interest in Napoleon also reading, for example, 'Napoleon the Great' by Andrew Roberts.


The Secret History
The Secret History
by Donna Tartt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Good - but not for me as good as the Goldfinch, 20 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Secret History (Paperback)
I bought this having read and loved the Goldfinch. I did enjoy this too but not as much. The story revolves around a small class of students of Ancient Greek at an elite private college in New England. The main character has come from a fairly humble background, and finds himself mixing with much more affluent group of young people. Their explorations of Ancient Greek myth lead them ever further into darkness as the book goes on, fuelled by a hedonistic lifestyle, and their hero worship of their tutor.

It is all beautifully written, and fairly enjoyable - but if you read and loved the Goldfinch you may be disappointed by this book. It never engages in the same way, and the main character is rather less sympathetic. Not that this is a bad book at all - just not as good as the Goldfinch


The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by de Waal, Edmund (2011)
The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by de Waal, Edmund (2011)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art history - but more than that a human tragedy which should be read, 10 Jun. 2015
This is a fascinating account of the Ephrussi family, to whom the author is related, and their accumulation over time of art works including 267 Japanese carvings,(Netsuke) one of which is the 'hare with amber eyes', and of numerous paintings by, amongst others, Monet, Manet, and Renoir. It is also a tale of tragedy - the evil effects of anti semitism are made clear with subtly and grace - culminating in the utter disaster of the rise of Hitler and the dispersal and death caused by the war and Hitler's policies.

This is very moving book - an art history to an extent - but a human history above all, and is very well worth reading


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