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markr
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The Buried Giant
The Buried Giant
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamlike reflection on life, death, and the power of memories, 7 April 2015
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This review is from: The Buried Giant (Hardcover)
This is an extraordinary book, which I find rather difficult to review, as it unlike almost anything I have read before. Based in post Arthurian Britain, peopled by Saxons and Britons who share the landscape with ogres, pixies, and a she dragon, this is a reflection on true love, life, death, and the power of memories (or the absence of them) .

With a strangely haunting, ambiguous ending, this is a book which will, I think, return to me in dreams. It certainly has a dreamlike quality, where nothing - and yet everything - makes complete sense

Hard to describe - but well worth reading


Galileo's Daughter: A Drama of Science, Faith and Love
Galileo's Daughter: A Drama of Science, Faith and Love
by Dava Sobel
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Galileo - his life, work, and daughter, 5 April 2015
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Far more a biography of Galileo, than of his daughter, this book makes clear the professional and personal tragedy which arose from Galileo's trial for heresy, and the consequences to him and his family and friends during his old age.

The love of Galileo's daughter, Maria-Celeste, is clear from her writings to him which are a key feature of the book, and which rather wonderfully depict late 16th, early 17th, century convent life. But it is the life of Galileo, his genius in seeing and interpreting what others could not, and his enduring scientific legacy which are main features of this well written and interesting book.


The Two Faces Of January [DVD]
The Two Faces Of January [DVD]
Dvd ~ Viggo Mortensen
Price: £5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 3 April 2015
This is billed as a tense psychological thriller. Centred around an American couple in Greece, and their evolving relationship with a younger tour guide, it soon becomes clear that not all is at seems. Things soon go from bad to worse as the story unfolds. However for me at least the tale never became gripping, and I never found myself engaged with the characters or what would become of them. It isn't tense, despite the dramatic music at times, and I was really disappointed by the ending, which I found unbelievable

There is some beautiful scenery shown in Athens, Crete, and Istanbul, but to be honest I was glad when the film was over. I would recommend watching something, just about anything, else


Please, Mister Postman
Please, Mister Postman
by Alan Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars pleasant reading of the life a postman and union official, 29 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Please, Mister Postman (Hardcover)
This second part of Alan Johnson's memoirs covers the sixties, seventies and eighties, during which time he rose through the ranks of post office union life to the national executive. This is a very personal memoir - full of accounts of people in Johnson's life who are unknown to the reader, as well as some rather more famous ones. It is well written, full of charm, a degree of self deprecation, humour and at times real sadness. It is also a rather charming account of life as a postman in the heyday of the post office.

However it is the story of an ordinary life - great deeds are not done, and much of the work described is around arcane union disputes and resolutions, which I found rather disinteresting. If it were not written by an ex-cabinet minister I wonder what interest it would hold, or what sales it would have achieved. As it is it makes for pleasant reading - not particularly stimulating, just pleasant


Runaway
Runaway
by Peter May
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great writer - but this one is disappointing, 27 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Runaway (Hardcover)
This is not one of Peter May's best novels. I loved the Lewis trilogy and Entry Island and pre-ordered this book with some anticipation of another great read. This story revolves around a group 17 year olds who ran away from Glasgow to London in the 1960's, who 50 years later do it again. It is in many ways a coming of age story - both young and old

This is a very plot driven book , but with for the most part pretty thin characters who failed to completely engage me. There is some good writing, and the plot (s) are pacey, but I never really believed in the characters or liked them very much. And yet strangely I enjoyed the read and completed the book in a few sittings...so 3 stars, and I'll look forward to the next one in the hope of a return to top form


Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
by Walter Isaacson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells a fascinating story, 24 Mar. 2015
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I loved this - one of the most enjoyable biographys i have ever read. At almost 600 pages this is a big book, but I enjoyed every page. Telling the story, sometimes in his own words, of the man who created Apple and led it to being the most valuable tech company in the world, this combines his professional and personal lives, to ably show Job's genius and style. But this is a balanced account which also relates the way in which he treated people - everything was perfect or 'sucked' - including people - he was demanding and pushed people to extremes of hard work and creativity, and often upset or neglected people terrribly. This then is story of the man who brought us the macintosh, the iphone, the ipad, and the macbook pro. This is the story of the development of the i cloud, i tunes, and of his inspiration at Pixar for the Toy Story movies and much else, as well as with his long running, and very sad, battle with cancer .

A great book, which tells a fascinating story superbly


The Leadership of Muhammad
The Leadership of Muhammad
by John Adair
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting - though very brief, 7 Mar. 2015
This is an interesting, though very brief, look at the lessons to be learned from the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad. The author, who is a leading thinker and writer on leadership, lived for a year with a Bedouin regiment and his affection and respect for the values of the Bedouin is apparent in these pages. There are useful quotes throughout from Arab, Greek and Chinese philosophy. It all makes for interesting reading, which contains the clear message - on a journey a leader of a people is their servant


Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room [DVD]
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alex Gibney
Price: £7.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fraud on a gigantic scale, 7 Mar. 2015
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Very enjoyable and informative documentary covering one of the largest frauds in corporate history. Enron were an energy company with big ideas - as they failed to meet their ambitions they employed numerous artifices and frauds to hide the truth until it all imploded in spectacular fashion. The DVD features footage of all the main characters this drama, and makes clear that even the smartest of people are happy to fool themselves ( and everyone else) at times - and it is all the rest of us who take the pain for their arrogance and hubris


The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant psychological suspense - i couldn't put it down, 7 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Girl on the Train (Hardcover)
What a great novel, which I bought on impulse and then coudn't put it down. There are some similarities with the Gone Girl, in that the story is told through the eyes of first person narratives from a number of perspectives, which at first are out of time sequence but gradually become closer and closer together as the truth is revealed in a series of twists and shocks.

Almost nothing is what it seems, and deceit, self justification, and at times utter darkness run through these pages until the well written and very believable final twists bring it all together. This is psychological suspense of the highest order, and i found it very hard to put down indeed, turning pages late into the night to find out what would happen.

Brilliant


The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914
The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914
by Robert Bickers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars China in your hands, 3 Mar. 2015
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This an interesting account of the conflicts which arose from colonisation in China during the 19th and early 20th century.Covering the broad sweep of Chinese and British policy and their mutual incompatibility, this book also looks at some of the detail of life in the trading ports during the period from 1832 onwards.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which at 400 densely packed pages took me some considerable time to read. It is pity though that the impacts of imperialism by the European powers and Japan on China today is not explored in more detail - as it is this is covered only in the very last few pages.


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