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Gabrielle O (Oxford, UK)

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ABC Products® Replacement Nikon UC-E6 / UC-E16 / UC-E17 USB Cable Cord Lead (For Image Transfer / Battery Charger - Supports Charging in Select models) for Most Coolpix Digital Camera (Models Stated Below)
ABC Products® Replacement Nikon UC-E6 / UC-E16 / UC-E17 USB Cable Cord Lead (For Image Transfer / Battery Charger - Supports Charging in Select models) for Most Coolpix Digital Camera (Models Stated Below)
Offered by abcproducts
Price: £4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I needed - replacement USB cable for Nikon D5000, 11 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'd lost the USB cable for my Nikon D5000 DSLR and needed a new one. I wasn't entirely sure what to buy, as there didn't seem to be a Nikon-branded replacement available, so I searched and found this one. I'm delighted to say that when it arrived it was well packaged, looked high quality - and most importantly it works!


In at the Deep End
In at the Deep End
by Jake Tilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun but hard to classify..., 1 Mar 2012
This review is from: In at the Deep End (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Is is a cookbook? Is it a coffee table offering? Is it a travelogue? Do I want to read it like a novel, or cook with it like a recipe book? Combining an illustrated travelogue with recipes which centre on fish, In at the Deep End is a wonderful introduction to the world of fish.

So, what's in it for me? Well, I could certainly relate to the author's feelings about fish. This book started out as an attempt to 'overcome his last culinary taboo' and get better acquainted with cooking and eating fish. Or rather, seafood generally. I'm a lifelong vegetarian but have recently become keen to introduce fish into my diet because of all the health benefits it offers. So this seemed like a good place to start.

Did I like it? Well, yes and no. It was a good read. It's well written and beautifully illustrated. The recipes and recollections are all very international, and the book takes the reader on a tour across the world, stopping everywhere from Tokyo to Sweden to pick up fish cooking ideas. The recipes are an interesting collection, and a great way to find something that will appeal.

Visually, the book is beautiful, with colour photos and sketches throughout. For me, though, it was not quite enough of a cookbook. Not every recipe is illustrated, and when they are, it's often in a more 'aesthetically pleasing' way rather than in a way that is useful for me when trying to cook something.

I thought this was a lovely and unusual book. Its slightly quirky presentation gives it an almost bipolar feel, though, and I struggled to get to grips with it as a cookbook. Although it was a great read and there were some really interesting recipe ideas in it, I'm not sure I can see myself referring to it that often. At the end of the day, I think it's a book that I'll be leaving on my coffee table for guests to leaf through and appreciate the beautiful production and the readable travelogue.


Grace Williams Says it Loud
Grace Williams Says it Loud
by Emma Henderson
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary, difficult novel - everyone should read it, 24 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a wonderful, difficult book to read. If you want an easy read that won't challenge and disturb you, look elsewhere. I am glad I didn't.

The main character is the profoundly disabled Grace Williams. Although she can speak only in sentences of a few syllables, Henderson's beautifully written first-person narrative gives the reader a vivid insight into Grace's vibrant inner life. The clever word play, rhythm and repetition of her language is totally out of the ordinary. Through it all you get a real sense of an unusual character and extraordinarily deeply-felt emotion.

I have never read such an exceptional novel about disability. It is an unsentimental and sometimes very disturbing exploration of what it means to be disabled. To be dependent. To be, sometimes, exploited and mistreated. To be sexual, even if it makes others uncomfortable. To sit through the casual cruelty she experiences and be unable to respond or complain. The terrible reality of how disabled people are often treated is ever present and deeply personal because it is written in the first person for a character whose voice comes alive so strongly for the reader. This is not an opportunity that one often gets - to put oneself in the shoes of somebody severely disabled and dependent. And it is a sometimes horrifying experience, not primarily because of the disability itself but because of the dependence it brings and the shocking mistreatment that it leads to.

It is funny because I would actually say this is an upbeat novel - despite the heartbreaking content and the awfulness of what happens and how Grace's life evolves, the vibrant joy she takes in life shines through. She is an unapologetically vividly drawn character. You get a sense of her unique voice in every sentence. And although I cried and cried, it was not a sad novel, but one full of hope for the gorgeous spark within everyone, disabled or not, and for the respect and care with which everyone deserves to be treated.

My god, everyone should read this. It is not an easy book but it is so special and brave - both the extraordinary language of the writing and the enormous importance of the content are worth reading it for.


The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno
The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno
by Ellen Bryson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Curiouser and curiouser... but somehow not engaging, 24 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Barnum and his museum of curios provide a fascinating setting for the main action: our narrator, Bartholomew Fortuno, is billed as the World's Thinnest Man. In this strangely hierarchical world, he's snobbish and acutely aware of his standing. When a new curiosity joins the museum, Bartholomew finds himself becoming obsessed with finding out more about the enigmatic bearded lady...

I loved the whole concept behind this novel, and I felt as if I should like it a lot more than I did. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into it, and the historical research made the setting seem atmospheric and realistic. But for me, the writing style did not draw me in and I felt little sympathy with any of the characters.

With that said, some aspects of the book were fascinating, and I was particularly interested to be made to think about the idea of self as a performance. Enjoyable, but not the best thing I've ever read.


BT Inspire 1500 Trio Digital Cordless Phone with Answer Machine - Black
BT Inspire 1500 Trio Digital Cordless Phone with Answer Machine - Black
Offered by liGo
Price: £59.99

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, does the job, good sound quality, 24 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A brilliant set of cordless phones - head and shoulders above the ones I've had up until now. I've used a BT cordless phone before but this set appears to have a much higher build quality and feels more solid and less 'plasticky'. The keys are more ergonomic and easy to dial and the buttons are on the larger size (though not as large as the phone specifically for those with poor eyesight - but equally not as tiny as some phone buttons these days). The phones are a pleasing weight and easy to hold.

Setting up the trio of phones was easy and required no real effort. You are meant to let them charge for 24 hours to start with. Full instructions are provided and they are written in clear English, make sense and are easy to follow (yes, this should be standard! But so often it isn't the case, so it's worth mentioning...). I haven't programmed the ringtone or the voicemail in any way but have just stuck with the default. However, I can see from the instructions that there are lots of options, should I care enough about my phone to spend time changing them.

Using the phone is a pleasure. The sound quality is significantly higher than my previous BT cordless phone. I'm not sure what makes the difference, but handsets seem to vary wildly, and this is definitely at the good end of the bunch. The sound is crystal clear and the volume is easy to adjust. At the end of the day, this is what is most important to me in a phone: I don't care about the gimmicks, want it to be as easy as possible to set up, and just want to be able to hear the other person on the other end and have them hear me clearly too. On this front, the phone trio delivers.

All in all - highly recommended.


The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 (Adrian Mole 1)
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 (Adrian Mole 1)
by Sue Townsend
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic comedy classic, 24 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Oh, Adrian. How we laughed at your spots, your horrified view of your parents and your unrequited love of the beauteous Pandora. Looking back over this book at the grand old age of 29 years old, it is all very easy to laugh at the painful earnestness of adolescence. That is basically the point of this charmingly funny book.

Adrian Mole is 13 and 3/4 years old and he starts to keep a diary, which he continues for two years. It tracks the progress of his sometimes messy family life, his unrequited love (Pandora!) and generally everything else that comes up in his adolescence.

It's a hilarious book, and one that should be required reading for anyone who's in danger of forgetting how it feels to be a teenager. Really lovely - just as funny, touching and side-splittingly hilarious as I remember from when I read it as a teenager and didn't quite 'get it' in the same way I do now!


Pregnancy for Dummies (UK Edition)
Pregnancy for Dummies (UK Edition)
by Dr. Sarah Jarvis GP
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Great content in a low-key package, 24 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered this for a friend but read through it out of interest myself.

The quality of information is excellent and it is easy to read and down to earth. This includes everything a pregnant woman would need to know, written in a reassuring and practical style. As well as the biological details it includes details about statutory maternity benefits, emotions and much more. It really is very comprehensive.

A thick book, Pregnancy for Dummies is (like the rest of the For Dummies series) printed in black and white. There are some black and white line illustrations but there are no photos and it isn't really a highly illustrated book.

This would be a wonderful resource in pregnancy, but probably not the only book you'd want to buy. Still - what a great starting point. Despite the lack of photos, the quality of information and the accessible writing style make it much better than some of the more colourful and lavishly produced pregnancy books out there.


Bill's Everyday Asian
Bill's Everyday Asian
by Bill Granger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning to look at, easy to use, great tasting recipes, 23 Feb 2012
This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's so much more fun to write a review of something that you really, really love or really, really hate... well, which is it to be? Hm. Ok, I'll come out with it and say - I LOVE this book. I have never tried any of Bill Granger's other cook books, but I adore Asian food and liked the idea of a book that would make it simple and easy to cook. This really does fit the bill.

The absolutely beautiful photos are what make the book for me. I was so taken with them that I had to go and google the photographer's name and look at their other work. The images really are visually stunning and inspiring. It makes me want to cook the recipes and try to make them as beautifully presented. Some people might think there are too many photos in this book, I suppose. 'Some people' definitely isn't me, though - I love a well illustrated cookbook and find it adds to the experience of using it as it gives me something to aim for with my finished product.

Of course, I should really be talking about the star attraction here - the recipes. This really is a very comprehensive collection. There are the usual suspects (thai green curry, pad thai etc) but there are also many quirkier options such as meatballs with tamarind glaze. The recipes cover a range of different cuisines including Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Malaysian and more. Though probably not very authentic, these are adapted to use easy-to-find ingredients (for example lime and normal sugar rather than kaffir leaves and palm sugar). This makes the book much easier to cook with here in the UK. It also comes with suggested 'store cupboard ingredients' at the start of the book, including suggestions for types of oils. I found it easy to buy everything I wanted to.

I will come out and admit it: I am a vegetarian. I buy cookbooks of all descriptions, but then like to adapt them to be vegetarian (for instance, I'll make the same thing but using tofu instead of chicken). There are some dedicated vegetarian recipes in the book - for example the cubed silken tofu with chilli sauce - and equally many other recipes are relatively easy to adapt.

All in all - I love this book. My mum covets it. Everything I've made from it has been delicious. It's also a fantastic source of inspiration, because it's so beautiful to look at (apart from all those photos of Bill on holiday. Sorry, Bill.)


Secrets of the Tides
Secrets of the Tides
by Hannah Richell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.17

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Secrets and lies, 23 Feb 2012
This review is from: Secrets of the Tides (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Dora is in a loving relationship with her boyfriend and they are expecting their first child. Dan is thrilled by the pregnancy - but, for some reason, Dora is torn between delight and a residual feeling of terror at the prospect of being responsible for a child, and unsure as to whether to go ahead with the pregnancy.

After an enigmatic excerpt about a young woman jumping off a bridge (and it's not clear who she is, or why she is jumping) the novel starts properly with Dora deciding to go home to see her estranged mother and confront the truth of her traumatic childhood head on. What happened to make Dora so horrified about the prospect of motherhood, and will she be able to revisit the past and solve the mystery of what happened in the tragedy she half-remembers? And when she does, will it help her come to terms with her impending motherhood and make a decision about whether to continue with the pregnancy?

Most of the book is set in the past, tracking the narrative of the tragedy that changed Dora's life when she was a child. I'm not going to go into any more detail here, but in order to understand what happened you learn more about the lives of Dora's mother, father and sister to make sense of what happened.

A good read, though probably not one that I'll evangelically recommend to friends. I felt somewhat as if all the right components of a bestseller were there, but the end result lacked some 'je ne sais quoi' to make it truly unique and gripping. When the mystery of what happenened is finally resolved, it was satisfying to have it wrapped up and discover what had happened, but I still didn't feel I understood much about the motivations or feelings of the characters involved and it was a bit too superficial to be really satisfying, for me anyway. Still - I will look forward to seeing what the author writes next.


The Book of Summers
The Book of Summers
by Emylia Hall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.53

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving novel about memory, growing up, and regret, 23 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Book of Summers (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When the main character, Beth Lowe, receives a mysterious package delivered by her father, it takes her back to the summers that she spent in Hungary as a child.

The package turns out to contain a book made up of photos that her mother, Marika, took of Beth during the summer holidays in Hungary. Each photograph draws Beth in, reawakening the memories that she has suppressed for so long. As we journey back in time with her, through the recollections that come back as she looks at the photos taken each summer, we begin to learn some of the history that explains why the memories are bittersweet and sometimes painful to revisit.

An evocative portrait of growing up, from dealing with a broken family to falling in love for the first time, and wondering about the culture shock of being torn between two countries and identities. This is a really beautifully written book - at times perhaps slightly over-written, but gorgeous. The author conjures up a wonderfully evocative sense of place and you can picture vividly the change of scenery between sleepy rural England and the wild Hungarian countryside that Beth visits in the sumers. The mystery that lies at the heart of the novel (what is it that has made Beth suppress her memories of summers spent in Hungary?) is only revealed through Beth's reading, so there is a faint sense of menace permeating the summer bliss as we wait for something awful to happen. When it does, life will never be the same again. And, as Beth revisits her past through the 'book of summers', she is forced to confront her own feelings and behaviour.

This really is a wonderful first novel. It isn't perfect, and the slightly overblown style may not be for everyone, but it is written with care, wisdom, and a lot more depth than most first novels can ever must. Not many books make me cry, but this one did. And think - and laugh - and think some more again.


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