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K. Prygodzicz (London, England)
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Personal (Jack Reacher 19)
Personal (Jack Reacher 19)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay, but earlier ones are better., 7 Oct 2014
Lee Child' is an excellent thriller writer and I have enjoyed reading all the previous Jack Reacher novels up to this one.
For some reason, this one did not work for me, and was not as involving. I read it in several short stints. The storyline/plot could have been better., judging from previous stories (Echo Burning being my favourite). Reacher is in a new environment and there seem to be fewer fights and less excitement. The writing style feels less tight, and I feel that there was less description of Reacher's inner thought processes when dealing with a problem or in a fight. Overall, I would recommend trying the earlier ones first.


The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 16 April 2014
I bought this when it first came out. It is a long record, and is uneven in quality with some weak songs, and a bit of a weird story. However, it holds together well and Gabriel sings well. One of my favourite records, though not as good as The Who's Quadrophenia.


Wind And Wuthering
Wind And Wuthering
Price: £5.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, 16 April 2014
This review is from: Wind And Wuthering (MP3 Download)
This record was the last I bought by Genesis. The band were not the same without Gabriel. The stories in the songs were not as interesting. The melodies did not seem as good. The worst to my ear was that this record and the previous 'Trick of The Tail' seemed to have an excess of jangly treble sounds which were torture to listen to, and I preferred Gabriel's voice.


Law And Order (BBC, 1978) [DVD]
Law And Order (BBC, 1978) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Derek Martin
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice one, 24 Jan 2014
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A series of its time and nothing wrong with that. I am used to the filmed look of this series, and like seeing the old bits of London now changed or gone.
In this story a detective policeman decides to fit up a career armed robber for a robbery he did not commit because it is his "turn" to go to prison ie the policeman knows he is a criminal and decides to put him inside, even for something he did not do. The policeman fabricates evidence, forces another criminal to give false evidence and manipulates the system so a strict judge will hear the case.
The robber is defended by his solicitor, a shady character used to offering the police bribes, in a lovely performance by Ken Campbell. The robber is found guilty and goes to prison, where he rebels against the regime, and is savagely beaten by the guards. His appeal fails and his spirit is broken and the series ends.
An eye-opening account of how police can manipulate the justice system and act corruptly, and of how the police, justice and prison systems can fail due to the weaknesses of individuals.


The Best of Dennis Wheatley
The Best of Dennis Wheatley
by Dennis Wheatley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable reading, 31 May 2013
These books contain probably my favourite Wheatley character, the Duc De Richleau, hero of 11 books, and some of Wheatley's best writing. They are exciting and I enjoyed reading them, although that was over forty years ago.

As I remember it, the Duc is a Russian nobleman, with I think French noble connections, who has to flee from Russia during the Russian Revolution. He acquires knowledge of the occult, and in some books he has to fight against satanists on the astral plane. In other books about his adventures there is no occult, eg 'The Golden Spaniard' which involves him in the Spanish Civil War. He is a decent, brave, sympathetic and very likeable character who sometimes has a great romance with a lovely woman.

I have read 27 of Wheatley's 54 fiction books, being both the complete Duc De Richleau and Roger Brook series, and a few others. The ones I haven't read were mostly his one-off books from the 1930's, which my library did not have.

Another great character was Roger Brook, hero of 12 books, who is involved as an English spy in France during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. This character is again brave, decent etc, and often engaged in romantic encounters. The Roger Brook series is generally well written, exciting, and one in which you can learn a lot of background history of the period.

Gregory Sallust was his other main character, a 1930's/40's adventurer in 11 books, but generally this series did not work for me, as I found it impossible to sympathise with the hero.

Overall I found Wheatley's writing variable. In his middle age, I think the quality was excellent. However, often I found his books from the 1930's as feeling old fashioned in structure and tone. Also, I think the quality of his writing declined in his final books.

To get a feel for Wheatley you do have to try reading several different ones, as some feel dated and not all that good.

All I can say is I enjoyed reading every Duc De Richleau book, and looked forward eagerly to getting the next one.


Hero And Heroine
Hero And Heroine
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely melodic album with evocative lyrics, 24 Mar 2013
This review is from: Hero And Heroine (Audio CD)
I am a casual Strawbs fan, having heard most of their albums up to about 1980. Of those, this one is my favourite, to me it is a great and lovely album. The mood of the songs run well into each other so there is a sense of continuity and there is a masterful use of synthesizers, and some lovely melodies and evocative choruses. To me a lovely and memorable record.


Deadline Busting: How to be a Star Performer in Your Organization
Deadline Busting: How to be a Star Performer in Your Organization
by Jeffrey Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Contains very useful advice on meeting deadlines, 18 Jan 2013
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I was initially disappointed in receiving this book; its cover design is basic, it seems a little expensive (around 9 gbp) for its 150 pages, it is a little old (dating from 2005), and more than half the content seems to be made up of one page tips.

However, having skimmed most of the book and read what I thought the most important bits in detail, my opinion of it is now positive, as it does contain valuable information of use to those who work towards deadlines, and which I think justifies me buying the book. Some of the tips may be available on line, but the book gives the big picture and puts things in overall context. The writing style is clear, with generally short sentences, which makes the book easy to read. (The authors are two Phd's so they must know what they are writing about.)

I myself am an accountant and auditor, and sometimes work on several companies at once towards one group deadline, so the information in this book is particularly useful to me.

Without going into detail, what impressed me was the following;

1. The need to have a written deadline schedule or plan.
2. The need to be clear in detail about what is required.
2. To avoid changing the schedule as far as possible.
3. To agree the schedule at the top level (with directors/partners etc).
4. To have agreements in place about how to contact people and to communicate regularly with everyone affected.
5. To ask for help if falling behind schedule.

In summary, the authors describe why people fail to meet deadlines and then provide 85 wide-ranging tips towards achieving them. A lot of the tips relate to communicating with other people involved in the deadline and also taking account of their feelings.

As the authors note, one of the most important aspects to your personal reputation and success in life and career is that you meet your deadlines and promises. If you follow the tips in this book, you can become a deadline-busting star and achieve more success. On that basis I think this book is a good and useful buy. (I regret that I have felt the need to deduct a star from my rating of this book due to my initial reactions noted above).


Flashman and the Redskins (The Flashman Papers, Book 6)
Flashman and the Redskins (The Flashman Papers, Book 6)
by George MacDonald Fraser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.79

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Flashman books are wonderful, 30 Nov 2012
I have read all the Flashman books. They are all beautifully written, exciting, and a joy and pleasure to read. This one is one of my favourites. You feel as if you are really there living and breathing the old American West.


Spark!: The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain
Spark!: The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain
by John J. Ratey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.65

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exercise to improve your brain, 9 Nov 2012
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An excellent book, well written and thoroughly backed up with details of recent scientific research, this work by John Ratey describes the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain.

It explains how regular vigorous exercise, such as short, hard, stints on an exercise bike will actually create new brain cells: this is very useful if you are past your peak, as it will help you stay young mentally and physically. For the young, exercise has measureable educational benefits, helping children to learn much better.(As a personal aside from me, exercise has been shown to delay the onset of dementia, although lots of social contact is apparently best for delaying dementia).

I rate this book very highly due to its important message for those interested in staying at their best mentally, definitely in my top 10 most important self-improvement books.


So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
by Cal Newport
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice for finding an enjoyable work life and career, 9 Nov 2012
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This book does clarify how one finds and develops an enjoyable worklife and career, and I would even go as far as to say it appears to offer a valuable new point of view as to how you should plan your working life.

Cal Newport says that people rarely have an initial passion for a particular type of work, and shows that work happiness only comes after following a particular sequence: In short he sets out four rules;

1. Do NOT 'follow your passion' unless you have all the skills needed and people are willing to pay enough for the results of your passion. Trying to do this without the necessary expertise and financial viability will only end in failure.

2. Develop your 'career capital'. This should be a rare and valuable skill which people are willing to pay for. You have to have a craftsman mindset, patiently toiling away and improving. This will often take years of hard work, but will allow you to exchange your skill to gain more control.

3. Once you have enough career capital and are at the cutting edge in the use of your skill, you can use this to gain more control of your working life: Cal warns of two 'control traps' - firstly leaving a job when you don't have enough career capital, and secondly staying in a job instead of leaving because your employer doesn't want you to go.

4. After you have control, you can find and develop your life's mission. To do this you have to look at the 'adjacent possible', that area beyond the cutting edge of your rare skill where your skill can be brought to innovative use. You have to 'think big and act small': This is done by shortlisting possible big innovative things to do with your skill, but then only making small initial gambles by trying each of them first in a relatively small way to see which one comes up best.
(It appears to me that in the 'adjacent possible' is the area in which new discovery and invention is possible through the use of the mastered skill, and the area in which most career satisfaction is to be obtained.)

Cal does use real life examples, and shows how he has used these rules in planning his worklife and career.

This book does appear to provide a new and valuable point of view about how to find an enjoyable form of work to fill your life and how to progress in that work.

The book is an easy read and can be read in a day. I wish I had read it 45 years ago when I was 11 years old.

An indispensable book for advisers/mentors (e.g. parents, teachers, professional career advisers), anyone at a turning point in their academic life (e.g. teenagers deciding what subjects to study for 'O' level, degree, PHD, MBA), anyone who needs advice on developing their worklife, and anyone thinking of giving up their day job to follow their passion.


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