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Lars Porsena (of Clusium)

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The Sense of an Ending
The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cluedo meets "Where's Wally", 20 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Sense of an Ending (Paperback)
This is a very cleverly written book. Tony - our protaganist - is the ultimate unreliable narrator. He's not very bright, he's very ego-centric and doesn't have much character-appeal. He keeps reminding us that he doesn't even trust his own memory/version of events. I was constantly wondering whether each plot development was misremembered truth, misdirection, lack of perception by the narrator. It is made clear that he doesn't read other people very well. The book is a why-dunnit mystery, and the text is littered with clues. It's impossible to work out the why of the why-dunnit as you go along (it's like looking for Wally but you don't know what he looks like). There is no great reveal at the end - just a few subtle hints. Some commentators have found this frustrating, but I rather liked it because it really made me think.

If you really want to know the answers then you have to re-read it. Then you can find the clues - if you look hard enough - and an extremely disturbing story emerges.

Well worth reading - both times.

Buddhism Plain and Simple (Arkana)
Buddhism Plain and Simple (Arkana)
by Steve Hagen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Desert Island Book, 8 Jun 2012
This would be my "Desert Island" book - the one book I would keep above all others - I must have read it a dozen times and each reading produces something fresh and relevant to where I find myself. It is something of a 'marmite' book though, and I can see why some people don't get on with it. Steve Hagan is attempting the impossible, to describe in words things that which can only be grasped by direct experience. It's a bit like trying to explain what colour is to a colour-blind person, being told that a clear sky is blue is not the same a seeing it yourself. That said, he does his best to enable you to see things as they really are.

The Vintage/Modern Home
The Vintage/Modern Home
by Katherine Sorrell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.96

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can judge this book by its cover, 22 May 2012
The cover illustration of Katherine Sorrell's 'The Vintage Modern Home' perfectly demonstrates the objectives of her book; an interior that marries a modern table, funky plastic chairs, a charming period painted chest and a re-covered antique wing-back chair. The introduction sets the tone, 'Real-life homes: messy, mismatching, not quite finished, and definitely not like the pictures you see in glossy magazines'.

This book offers a wealth of practical suggestions for how to find/restore/up-cycle furniture and style interiors to create a coherent marriage between furnishings from different eras. Katherine gives you the confidence to try out creative ideas and offers lots of useful tips and advice, eg use off-cuts of vintage wallpaper framed as individual art.

You can use this book in two ways. Browse through the beautiful pictures for a wealth of brilliant ideas or use it as a work book giving step-by-step 'how to' instructions. A perfect addition to your personal library or an inspirational gift.

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