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enthusiast (West Wales)

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Heath Robinson: Wonderful Contraptions & Extraordinary Inventions
Heath Robinson: Wonderful Contraptions & Extraordinary Inventions
by William Heath Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful indeed, 10 Mar. 2015
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What a joy this book is - it has been enjoyed by everyone in the family from the five year old grandson up. Its gentle humour, its ingenuity is very special. Well produced and great value for money in every respect.


Karrimor Bodmin Low IV Weathertite, Men Low Rise Hiking Shoes
Karrimor Bodmin Low IV Weathertite, Men Low Rise Hiking Shoes
Price: £21.00 - £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain shoes in the best of senses, 5 Mar. 2015
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Incredibly good value - remarkably well made for the price. I would not agree that in the words of some reviewers they are 'totally waterproof' - I live in West Wales where it knows how to be seriously wet! - but for most purposes they do keep feet dry. I wouldn't commend them for heavy duty use - although I went up Pen y Fan in a pair - but for gardening, walking, going to a match etc they are excellent. Don't seem to need wearing in and despite having wide feet with high instep I have none of the usual problems with shoes bought online. Hardly style leaders but that is not what they are about!


The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
by Daniel J. Levitin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Information Overload indeed!, 4 Feb. 2015
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I bought this after hearing Mr Levitin on Start the Week. The puff suggested that it was exquisitely written. Sadly not - it is long winded and if we live in age of Information Overload, this is indeed a contributor to that problem. There are flashes of interest and insight but there are too many platitudes and statements of the obvious to add much to our understanding of the human condition. I was hoping for better. I am at p 212 and close to losing the will to go further.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 26, 2015 8:12 AM GMT


Tiny Stations
Tiny Stations
by Dixe Wills
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical without becoming too contrived., 19 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Tiny Stations (Hardcover)
Whimsical without becoming too contrived. Wills uses his stations in some ways as an excuse to write about things other than the stations itself. It's not a guidebook and there are some wonderful moments eg as he describes the problem of standing on an empty platform trying not to 'loiter' since this is forbidden by statute. Strangely the least good section is right at the end - but in no way does it lessen the quality of the book. It will come as a pleasant surprise for those who do not see themselves as 'railway enthusiasts' - indeed some of them might like more 'railway stuff'. Gentle, inspiring in little ways. A Christmas gift which has given unexpectedly significant pleasure.


Magna Carta: The Making and Legacy of the Great Charter
Magna Carta: The Making and Legacy of the Great Charter
by Dan Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Model in every respect, 19 Jan. 2015
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Model in every respect. Beautifully produced in terms of illustration, binding and general feel. Clearly written with quite a lot of detail where appropriate. No doubt many such books will appear this year but they will have to be very good indeed to better it. I read it in one session - a combination of length ie not too long! - and engaging style and approach.


Britannia Obscura: Mapping Hidden Britain
Britannia Obscura: Mapping Hidden Britain
by Joanne Parker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointed by the book - it somehow didn't engage me ..., 6 Jan. 2015
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Rather disappointed by the book - it somehow didn't engage me for reasons I'm not sure about. As a geographer I was hoping that mapping would be just that and the book would have benefitted greatly from more maps. The map of canals is strange since it includes the Tiverton Canal (not its normal name and of no great interest) while excluding the Exeter Canal to which she makes reference. Other canals such as the Brecon Canal are not marked. She talks of Merthyr Tydfil as a city (p64) - it never was and sadly never will be. The Map of Britain's Skies is actually about Britain's Lower Airspace (as she indicates on her map). So a sort of OK book but I'm not sure who I would give it to.


The Highlights: The Best of Frank Keating
The Highlights: The Best of Frank Keating
by Frank Keating
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Happy memories of a great sports writer, 7 Aug. 2014
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takes you back; pieces about a wide range of sporting events over a long period in that inimitable Keating style - why use one word when two will do!!?? I'm sure that there must be another collection or two lurking and hope that Matthew Engel is on the case - his editorial contributions were well judged.


Portrait Gallery
Portrait Gallery
by Edward Greenfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a disappointment, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Portrait Gallery (Hardcover)
I owe a great deal to Edward Greenfield for the development of my musical taste and my musical collection. I had hopes of this book but have been very disappointed. The literary style is pretty flat, the anecdotes mundane, and I'm afraid I was pretty bored by what came across as bit of a pot-boiler. I nearly gave it a two star rating but out of respect for Greenfield came up to a three.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2014 9:25 AM BST


Verdi - The Great Operas
Verdi - The Great Operas
Price: £31.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a bargain., 1 May 2014
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for the price this is great value with some splendid recordings of great artists from over the years. The sound is always pretty good and for listening in the car on long journeys - my frequent opportunity to listen to whole operas! - these are highly commendable. And if you are new to Verdi, or opera, these will be a great starting point. One or two annoying things eg the names of the artists are not given on the individual card sleeves but listed in the notes. But at this price who is complaining?!


Henri Matisse: A Second Life
Henri Matisse: A Second Life
Price: £3.59

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks vibrancy, 1 May 2014
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Sooke is a good communicator and I greatly enjoy his TV programmes. But this book is disappointing. If ever a book needed colour then this is it; the four greyscale photos inside the front cover may be all that can be afforded in a cheap production like this but they contributed nothing, and merely annoyed. But what an opportunity wasted to use the possibilities of the internet to complement the text - either a dedicated website or at the very least internet references to reproductions of the works discussed. So while I fully understand that this a short guide there was a serious lack of imagination on the part of Sooke and his editor in terms of access to appropriate illustration. If you are not familiar with Matisse's late work this will not inspire - an opportunity missed. I give it three stars, just.


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