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Hominid (Here, There and Everywhere)

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The Unfolding Of Language
The Unfolding Of Language
by Guy Deutscher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Pedants Beware, 11 Jun 2014
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This book is informative, interesting and superbly written. The author's depth of knowledge is astounding and he manages to convey the sometimes difficult, and dry, concepts in an engrossing way.

That in itself would be sufficient recommendation to buy it, but it also delivers a message. I can see the average buyer of this book being someone who considers themselves a language purist to a greater or lesser extent - I did. But after reading it I now appreciate just how dynamic language is, always has been and must always be. So no longer will I complain about incorrect use of words, poor grammar or even made up words - it's all good, it's all necessary.

One of the best books I have ever read.


International Snooker PC [Download]
International Snooker PC [Download]
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but let down by not knowing the rules, 3 May 2014
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Can't complain too much given the price, overall pretty good and if the glitches were cleared up it would get a 5.

Rules it doesn't know or doesn't apply:

> No way to nominate colours - if you miss a colour altogether you're always penalised 4
> it sometimes gives 4 point fouls when 5, 6 or 7 should be given
> when down to last 7 colours it doesn't re-spot the one you pot if you foul during the process (e.g. in-off)
> allows you to score more than once when only black left on table - e.g. missing black entirely doesn't end frame
> no way to make opponent continue after they play a foul shot; you can only put them back where they were
> no free movement round the table so you can't see if a ball is pottable other than the one you're aiming at.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2014 7:58 AM BST


Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town
Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town
by Mary Beard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 5 Mar 2014
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I love Mary Beard's stuff - books or TV (including Question Time!) she's a cut above. I only wish I'd read this book before I'd visited Pompeii.

I don't understand the criticism in the reviews, especially the ones suggesting it's too academic for goodness sake.

Mary's style is informative and factual; she offers compelling insights where the facts are missing but makes it clear that they are "just" her informed opinion. The book is engaging and evocative, it will satisfy anyone with an open mind and more than a superficial interest ancient history.


The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood
The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood
by Irving Finkel
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 5 Mar 2014
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Fascinating stuff, written with wit, enthusiasm and authority. I did get confused now and again about which tablet version was from where and when, but that's my fault not the author's. If you have an interest in the history of the middle eastern flood myths then this book is for you. I know he's been doing this all his working life, but the knowledge and insight of Irving Finkel is mind blowing - it's difficult to imagine that another non-academic book on the subject could surpass it.

And it has a surprising link to the kids TV show The Double Deckers!

Great man. Great book.


After the Ice: A Global Human History, 20,000 - 5000 BC
After the Ice: A Global Human History, 20,000 - 5000 BC
by Prof Steven Mithen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books, 5 Mar 2014
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This book is engaging, engrossing, informative and evocative. If I was 30 years younger I'm sure it would have inspired me to pursue a degree in archaeology.


Knock 'em Cold, Kid
Knock 'em Cold, Kid
by Elaine Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 9 Feb 2014
This review is from: Knock 'em Cold, Kid (Paperback)
This may well be the 1st biography I've read. I only did so because I recently re-read one of the kind of books I normally read; The Aquatic Ape and felt inclined to find out more about its unconventional author, Elaine Morgan.

I'm so glad I did. For one thing I discovered that Elaine grew up near my home town with a childhood that must have been very similar to my grandparents. For another, it presents Elaine as an honest, talented, sincere and genuine person and the world could do with more people like her. It made me wish that I could have met her and had the opportunity to spend an afternoon talking about her life and work.

There are many appropriate quotes from this book, but I think the one that sums her up best for me is her description of why she thought her future husband had asked her out for a coffee;

"I assumed his intention was to point out the errors of my thinking, and I'm always game to let anyone have a go at that if they're feeling lucky. Sometimes I'm wrong and they're right and then I've learned something"

A lovely book about the life of a great human being.


The Mayan Prophecies: Unlocking the Secrets of a Lost Civilisation
The Mayan Prophecies: Unlocking the Secrets of a Lost Civilisation
by Adrian G. Gilbert
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear, 23 Sep 2013
The 1st part of the book dealing with the Mayan number systems and dates is fine and interesting. The wild speculations that follow, dressed up as "theory" are terrible. I felt dirty after reading them.

"Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time" by Michael Shermer could have been written with this book in mind.


Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy & Money in a Post Peak Oil World
Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy & Money in a Post Peak Oil World
by Michael C. Ruppert
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously though, 27 Dec 2012
I know self-denial is a powerful thing and control of information by corporate media is all but complete, but if the picture is as bleak and alarming as it is portrayed in this book why aren't there hundreds or thousands of people in the know out on the streets demonstrating and flooding the news with awareness of the issue? This is Armageddon stuff.

The book makes a disturbing case for imminent social collapse which we will essentially just wake up to one day - thanks to the inaction of governments and torpor of the population. But what I don't get from the book is what the people in the know (governments and oil corps for example) are planning for the day when it all goes off - do they have bunkers ready? Will we wake up one day to a recorded news broadcast saying the oil is gone and that the government is in hiding waiting for it all to settle down?

It's obvious that oil cannot last for ever, nobody should need a book like this to realise that and it's equally obvious that there is no viable alternative to it and that there won't be for a very long time, if ever, but the immediate threat hinges on a massive collusion to hide the truth from all 7 billion of us.

Ruppert's stats and analysis if true (or even close to being true) mean that during our lifetime we will be facing at the very best a massive and uncontrolled reduction in worldwide population in the billions, with unavoidable suffering - and at worst extinction as a species.

Ultimately this book will scare the pants off you, despite the author's 25 point plan at the end of the book to avoid the worst of the social upheaval. The big question is why is the TV news filled with inconsequential tosh when subjects like this need to be confronted.


A Brief History of the Druids (Brief Histories)
A Brief History of the Druids (Brief Histories)
by Peter Berresford Ellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and enlightening, 14 Aug 2012
This book covers a lot more ground than I expected, and is all the more fascinating for it. The depth and breadth of the author's knowledge is astounding and he gives great insight into not only the Celtic world of the Druids but also the linguistic, geographical and cultural links between the various peoples living in Europe and beyond. The references to Irish myths are hard work sometimes, but I was left with a very strong sense of how the people of modern European countries share a common heritage reflected in the names of towns, cities and rivers. It is so much more than just a book about Druids, for example it also does a great job of exposing the propaganda of classical accounts which demonised the Druids and the Celts in general to justify the Roman treatment of them. And 2,000 years later that helps you see through the same tactics adopted by modern politicians.


Great Apes
Great Apes
by Will Self
Edition: Paperback

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go to the zoo, read this book, then go to the zoo again, 28 May 2002
This review is from: Great Apes (Paperback)
The 1st 2 chapters seem hard work as you're reading them, I almost gave up too, but their importance becomes clear as you read on.
The book brilliantly challenges many notions of human superiority and morality. Things we accept as absolutes are superbly diminished in the chimp context. For example Sarah is undergoing therapy for the sexual abuse she suffered by her father, except in the chimp world she was abused because he didn't have sex with her. It sounds bizarre and shocking but that's the nature of challenging stuff like this and it is completely relevant in context. The chimps believe themselves to be as moral and superior as humans do in our world, the fact that their behaviour is contrary to much of what we consider moral and proper just illustrates the hyprocrisy of our world. The book made me consider how very few moral absolutes there are, and that most of our morals and standards are forced on us by politicians and other dubious characters, with equally dubious motives.
If nothing else the book will make you think, stop you taking yourself so seriously, humble you a little and make it very difficult to ever go to the zoo again.


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