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A History of English Food
A History of English Food
by Clarissa Dickson Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 8 Sep 2014
I loved this book. It is very readable, without a hint of academic dryness, liberally sprinkled as it is with amusing and informative anecdotes, not all of which are strictly to do with food (but that doesn't seem to matter!) It is a comprehensive survey of our culinary history, at least from the 12th century, and is well informed and researched, bringing together the actual detail what people ate, the new additions to our diet introduced at various periods of history and the socio-economic context of the times. There are some great recipes at the end, too.
As for the (one star) review from Mrs Mary Richards describing the work as plagiaristic a) I don't care, as it's such a good read and (more importantly) b) it is considered quite normal to draw on and quote from others' works in such a book, especially when they are included in the bibliography at the end.


Sergeant Pilot
Sergeant Pilot
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 24 July 2014
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This review is from: Sergeant Pilot (Kindle Edition)
This is a cracking yarn, fast paced and all action, dealing with life of a fighter pilot from before training to being shot down in 1941, and the hero's eventual return to England. Although well researched and written, it is at times a little too good to be true, with Sergeant Steed a virtually perfect human being in every respect. For this reason and for the hundreds of needless typos which litter the book, I have given it a 4 and not a 5.


Gershwin - for Guitar (The Guitar Songs Series)
Gershwin - for Guitar (The Guitar Songs Series)
by Jerry Silverman
Edition: Sheet music

4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book from a great series, 24 July 2014
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This is a good book from a great series. All the volumes give melody, chords and words of the truly great songs from the jazz age and beyond, as well as very playable (but no less idiomatic) arrangements for solo guitar. It is ideal for those who are not experienced jazz guitarists, but enjoy the music.
This edition is full of the great Gershwin songs: I got Rhythm, Summertime, Someone to Watch over Me, as well as a selection from Porgy and Bess. The arrangements are good, some better than others, but not IMHO as good as the ones in the companion volume "Great Standards" for guitar, which incidentally has (better?) arrangements of some of the same songs.


Until the Night
Until the Night
Price: £1.53

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and accurate, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Until the Night (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which deals not only with the stresses and losses of the battle for Berlin, but also the effects on the personnel and their loved ones. The flying scenes are really good, the pace excellent and the dialogue has a wonderfully authentic ring. The only (then) very common phrase Phillip doesn't use is "Now look here, old chap, I really..."
The plot is good and it doesn't work out for everyone in the end, so true-to-life as well.
One minor quibble is a number of typo's which should have been spotted, e.g. Snowden for SnowdOn (as in the mountain). If this kind of thing distracts or irritates you, then be warned. It is a great read though. I'll be looking for more of his stuff.


Books of Hours (Miniature Editions)
Books of Hours (Miniature Editions)
by Phaidon Press
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A tiny masterpiece, 28 May 2014
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I read the many reviews of this book before buying, and I'm glad I ignored the bad ones. The reproductions are at or near the original size, and are absolutely beautiful (and I'm a professional print buyer, having worked in the world of fine art). They are not (at least in my copy) "fuzzy" at all. I should point out that they are not meant to be viewed through a magnifying glass, as the printing screen pattern (the coloured dots) is necessarily relatively large compared to the overall size of the images.
As a small selection of some of the most beautiful manuscripts from the middle ages, or as a devotional object, I cannot recommend this tiny book too highly.


Dresden: A Survivor's Story (Kindle Single)
Dresden: A Survivor's Story (Kindle Single)
Price: £1.19

5.0 out of 5 stars True eye-witness account, 28 May 2014
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This is an extraordinary story of an escaped POW, sentenced to death for sabotage, who escaped because of (and into) the catastrophically effective raid on Dresden. This man helped in the rescue operation, and his account pulls no punches as to the horror of what he found. As convincing an argument against war as I have ever read. Read it and weep.


The Ukuleles (Book & DVD)
The Ukuleles (Book & DVD)
by Various
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good tab for a great album, 2 May 2014
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This is a great little book (sized for a uke gigbag) with some good tabs for the intros and the chords and chord boxes for all the dongs on this great album. The reason I've only given it 4 stars, is because I could have done with the music for thew melodies too, but that's a minor gripe.


Kala MK-S Makala Soprano Ukulele
Kala MK-S Makala Soprano Ukulele
Offered by Normans Musical Instruments
Price: £33.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, great value, 24 Mar 2014
I think this is a great little uke, especially for the price. I would endorse the suggestion that Aquila strings make a huge difference too. What none of the reviews mention though is that the body is deeper than most, which gives the instrument a more ringing tone. Mine (at least) is well made and finished and is a joy to play. All round a really good instrument.


Ukulele For Dummies
Ukulele For Dummies
by Alistair Wood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Ukulele For Dummies (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book, and will continue to dip into it. If you have bought, or been given, a uke and don't know what to do with it, this is the book for you. It gives a good overview of technique, a wealth of songs and pieces and a good run down of the various different genres of music you can play on the instrument, with examples of each (including classical!) There is also helpful advice on choosing your uke, which is great if you start with the book, but equally valid if you get a cheap instrument to start with and want to go on to something better.
You could spend a lot of money on a tutor and a song book etc., but you get pretty much all you want here, and a CD to boot.


Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943
Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943
Price: £3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, 14 Feb 2014
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OK - I admit it: I love Holland's work. Every book I read is full of things I didn't know on subjects I thought I knew about. His style is clear and absorbing, and he is not afraid to express his opinion, positive or negative, on people or strategies. In this one he writes of the incredible technical and political machinations which went on before this amazing weapon was approve and built, racking up the tension before going on to the raid itself. He ends with the usual lucid and searching analysis of what the raid achieved and why it is so important in the history of the Second World War. Fabulous!


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