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pitmillie (Scotland, UK.)

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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
by Alan Garner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't worry, this book is green not white!, 23 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I nearly didn't order this from here because the Amazon photo shows a weird white cover with green lettering. But it arrived today and it is the handsome dark green 50th Anniversary edition I was hoping to get. Somehow Amazon must have got their colours reversed.

I already have an older copy of this book but, as an Alan Garner fan, I'm very pleased with this anniversary edition that includes an introduction by the author and an afterword from the publishers.

I don't think I need to add much to the reviews of the story itself - I've just reread it and it's still one of my favourites. I mainly wanted to clarify the appearance of this edition as the Amazon picture is so misleading.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Great tee - not too tight but just right!, 14 Oct 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I nearly didn't buy this because of a bad review on Amazon of another Solid Gold Bomb T-shirt. I'm glad I wasn't put off, however, as I'm really pleased with it. I'm a size 12 and the medium T-shirt fits me fine. It's fairly close-fitting, but it's meant to be - that is the style. In fact, I have a size 12 T-shirt from Marks & Spencer that is slightly narrower than this this one. If you want a baggy tee, then order a bigger size. The neckline is not tight at all, it is slightly lowered and a nice shape. (I have been known to deliberately pull and stretch the necks of T-shirts but there was no need with this one.) I really like the quality of the cotton, it is soft and neither too heavy or too thin. It washes well. I also love the olive colour and the dragon design.

Either Solid Gold Bomb have vastly improved the shape and quality of their tees or I am just totally different from the previous reviewer!

South Country (Everyman)
South Country (Everyman)
by Edward Thomas
Edition: Paperback

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a review but a comment on Amazon's Product Description!, 21 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is not a review of the book itself, so I apologise for that, but there seems to be no other place to comment on the content of the Amazon page itself for this book. (The "Update Product Info" section gives no scope to do this.)

This book is "South Country" by Edward Thomas. Obvious,you might think... Yet Amazon's Product Description is as follows:

"Written in 1951,two years before Thomas's death at the age of 39,Under Milk Woodis the writers's dramatic masterpiece."

Not only are there two typos: "Woodis" and "writers's" instead of "writer's" (Amazon's mistakes, not mine) BUT THIS IS THE WRONG BOOK!!!

Dear Amazon - Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas is not the same book as South Country by Edward Thomas. Different book, different author!

Who do they get to write these Product Descriptions? Was someone actually paid for that?

Is anyone from Amazon reading this who can correct the error, please?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2014 10:33 AM BST

London in 3-D: A Look Back in Time: With Built-in Stereoscopic Viewer - Your Glasses to the Past (Stereoscope)
London in 3-D: A Look Back in Time: With Built-in Stereoscopic Viewer - Your Glasses to the Past (Stereoscope)
by Greg Dinkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.67

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attractive - but a frustrating lack of information., 3 Feb 2010
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I can see that this book would be fascinating for someone who is not already familiar with Victorian and Edwardian stereo photography. The stereo views are excellent and it is good to see a whole collection on one theme - in this case, London - brought together, especially as there are very few books on British stereo photography. But as a collector of old stereo views, I was disappointed that there are no details given at all about any of the original photographs. Who were the photographers? Who were the original publishers and producers of the views? Are they all from one sequence or from various different series? What are the approximate dates of the photographs?

Anyone who is seriously interested in the history of photography or in early stereoviews in particular will want to know the answers to these questions - but none are given. It was not even clear whether the captions to each photo were taken from the backs of the original stereoview cards or had been written for this book. There is a two-page introduction, giving a brief overview of the history of stereo photography, but that's all.

In comparison, I would cite "3D Expo 1862" by Michael Tongue, which is a book of a comparable size and format, also with a built-in viewer, but which includes an excellent and informative introduction, details of the history of the photographs and has a text which takes you around the International Exhibition of 1862 as though you were a visitor at the time. Or indeed, the wonderful "A Village Lost and Found" by Brian May.

If you are new to early stereo photography, then you will probably enjoy this book. The photos are beautiful and the fold-out viewer works efficiently - you may well be enchanted by the experience of 3D viewing and want to find out more. But you won't find it out from this book!

The Truth
The Truth
by Peter James
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 5.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as an Inspector Grace novel., 2 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Truth (Mass Market Paperback)
I do not normally read occult novels (if that's the right term) but as a fan of the Inspector Grace series I thought I'd give this one a try. I was gripped by the book for about the first 400 pages and could hardly put it down. James certainly has the knack of making you want to keep on turning the page.

Many of the trademarks of an Inspector Grace novel are here, such as the creepy character who is stalking and spying on the innocent couple and his even more chilling and evil master. The house that John and Susan fall in love with but can't really afford is described so well you feel you want to live there too. John, the husband is very believable, with his tendencies to weakness under pressure - but you like him all the more because he is human and not a cardboard hero.

The occult aspect of the plot is something you are quite prepared to believe as you read, partly because a lot of it can be explained by psychological factors and also because of the sheer skill of the writing. There are some violent and bloody episodes but the book does not wallow unnecessarily in blood, guts and horror - not being familiar with this sort of novel, I was slightly nervous about this! The suspense and excitement comes mostly from plot and situation, rather than from making you recoil in disgust.

I have given four stars instead of five because while I was gripped by the first four-fifths of the book, I found the pace slackened off somewhat for the final part - which is the opposite of what one would expect in a suspense novel. It felt as though Peter James had raced along for 400 pages and then had to sit back and mechanically work out how to bring it all to a conclusion, making the last part seem a bit contrived. However, the short epilogue brings it all together very cleverly and makes an ending that is neat and satisfying yet still leaves you wondering what happens next.

The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
by Charlene Phillips
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.99

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Try out those fearsome objects and have fun!, 14 Oct 2009
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While it is perhaps true that owners and collectors of vintage sewing machines will get the most out of this book, many of these attachments are still available to buy new and I gather they can be used on many modern machines, so the previous one star review seems to be rather unfair. I would say he has simply bought the wrong book and is blaming the author for his own mistake. However, I don't own a modern machine myself, so perhaps I'm not qualified to judge.

What I can say is that if, like me, you love vintage sewing machines and have always been mystified by those boxes of mysterious and ferocious-looking implements that tend to come with them, then this is the book for you! I have been having great fun hunting out the attachments that accompanied my three vintage Singer machines and can now identify a ruffler or a multi-slotted binder on sight! I'm looking forward to the next stage: actually learning to use them by following the guidance in the book.

Twenty-seven attachments are covered, including: seam guide, bias-cutting gauge, binder, tucker, ruffler, foot hemmer, felling foot, embroidery foot, edge stitcher, zigzagger, walking foot, buttonholer and others. One or two, such as the fusible-tape maker, are presumably relatively modern inventions. So you should be able to identify and learn to use the main ones you are likely to find in those green Singer boxes that came with the old machines.

I am emphasizing Singer machines because that is what I happen to own but the book is not necessarily specific to Singer - Greist hemmers are included, there are pictures of a Wilcox and Gibbs chain-stitcher and an introductory section advises on buying a sewing machine, determining shank type and how to clamp attachments on different types of machine.

I possess some of the older Singer books which include the use of attachments, but I confess I have never previously delved into them, being somewhat daunted by the old, slightly murky black and white photographs and old-fashioned style. This book, with its colour photos, attractive layout and clear instructions has given me the confidence to investigate both the attachments themselves and the older instruction books further.

I love this book and can highly recommend it for fans of vintage sewing machines.

The Blackpool Highflyer (Jim Stringer Mystery)
The Blackpool Highflyer (Jim Stringer Mystery)
by Andrew Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every page a pleasure!, 19 Feb 2009
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I'm amazed that no-one else has given this 5 stars yet. For me, it is that rare thing, a book in which every single page was a pleasure to read.

Jim Stringer is a wonderful, likeable character - not a "dull old plod" as someone said. He's young, not old, for a start, and an intelligent, working-class railwayman with a vividly described life of his own. Through his eyes, we see his relationships: with his wife - a great, sassy character - with the engine driver, Clive, he of the natty suits and well-polished boots - with his plump and slightly mysterious lodger - with the sinister long-haired anarchist Paul etc.

We get a picture of Halifax in 1905, of holiday Blackpool, of the music hall, of the great weaving mills, of the local pubs, and of course, of the steam railway. I found it all fascinating and beautifully written. The images he uses are unusual and compelling. For instance, he describes the sound of a barrel-organ as like someone kicking bottles along a street and somehow managing to make a tune. That just does it for me - I can hear that barrel-organ play!

I found the description of the first trip on the Highflyer steam-engine utterly thrilling and compelling - the way he details the landmarks flashing by, the heat and sweat of stoking the firebox, even the way that particular engine rolls so that it is like dancing on the footplate to keep their balance - I felt I was there with Jim and the driver.

I'm not a railway buff or a steam fanatic but I enjoyed the railway element very much. OK, I might not have exactly understood every single reference to things like vacuum brakes or the spectacle glass - but the gist of the action is always quite clear. And, hey, this is the internet - I'm sure there are explanations of the technical aspects if anyone wants to look them up! Do we have to be spoon-fed?

If you want your fiction crammed full of violence, horror and nightmarish images, as so much modern writing is, then you probably won't like this book. Personally, I'm sick of nightmares. I want to enjoy my reading and with this book I did. I shall be seeking out Jim Stringer again.

Lewis - Series Two [DVD] [2007]
Lewis - Series Two [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Kevin Whately
Offered by Discs4all
Price: 9.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing very well so far..., 4 Aug 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is mainly in answer to the previous review by Joe Smith "NM" made in March 2008. And yes, Joe, I have watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) all of the episodes of Lewis!

1. Lewis has not developed into a "clone of Morse" - he has aged, he is now a widower - and he has gained in seniority and experience. He has developed as a character, which is exactly what one expects - and hopes - a well-delineated fictional character will do. And how could he possibly remain the same lovable family man when his wife is dead and his children are grown up and living abroad?

2. To say that Morse and Lewis had a "buddy relationship" is merely to use a simplistic, jargon phrase that means nothing. They started out as a testy superior and his somewhat resentful and under-appreciated sergeant. Over the course of the series they developed a good working relationship and a mutual respect and affection. The progress of that interaction, as portrayed by Thaw and Whately, was one of the great delights of the series. To watch the interaction between Lewis and Hathaway is bound to be one of the fascinations of the new Lewis series. How could it not be?

3. If the earlier reviewer does not like shots of Oxford, scenes containing students, beautiful landscapes, detectives solving crimes, Barrington Pheloung's music etc - then why did he ever watch either Inspector Morse or Lewis in the first place? He was never going to like them was he?

Not all episodes of Lewis are perfect - but neither were all early episodes of Morse. The series - and the characters - have to develop and grow. So far, I think they're doing pretty well.

Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker
Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker
by Debbie Stoller
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.39

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teaching this knitter to crochet at last!, 24 May 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have always been a knitter rather than a crocheter and I bought this book originally because I had enjoyed Debbie Stoller's other books - but as this one was crochet, I only glanced at it and it sat on the shelf unread for a long time. Just recently, I found a crochet item that I really wanted to make and The Happy Hooker came down off the shelf at last!

When I read her knitting books, I already knew how to knit but nevertheless I very much enjoyed them - and still managed to learn a lot from her clear and amusing style of writing. So it was interesting to approach this book from the point of view of a beginner to the craft. I'm currently working through the book and not only am I actually learning how to crochet but I'm enjoying every minute of it! Like another reviewer, I've also looked at Crochet for Dummies, which is quite useful but dreary - Stoller's book makes learning a pleasure! I find her instructions and diagrams extremely clear and easy to follow and she seems to explain things that other publications don't.

As a UK reader, I like the fact that she has tables giving the alternate UK and US equivalents for hook sizes, yarn types and stitch names. I'm pencilling in the UK names of the stitches as I get to them. (The Dummies book, by contrast, just briefly mentions the fact that the UK stitch names are different but doesn't tell you what they are! What sort of use is that?)

The book is very witty and sparky, and attractively produced, so the reading is a pleasure in itself, besides the fun of learning a new craft. I've never persevered with crochet before but Debbie Stoller's combination of humour and clarity are carrying me through this time. I've not got as far as making any of the patterns yet but there are quite a few I'd like to try - and I'm an oldie!

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