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garry

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Here's Looking At You
Here's Looking At You
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love this!, 6 May 2014
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This is one of the best writers on the planet. Unputdownable. Just read a couple of pages and see how she writes and you'll be hooked.


Divided Scotland: Ethnic Friction & Christian Crisis
Divided Scotland: Ethnic Friction & Christian Crisis
by Tom Gallagher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worthy of a so-called academic, 6 May 2014
With so much to say about secularism you have to ask if this so-called academic has actually spoken to a secularist. Has he engaged with the Scottish Secular Society? Has he shared his opinions on Facebook or Twitter's Secular Scotland. The simple answer...? No. If you are going to make such strident comments in a desperate attempt to sell books, check your facts first.

Nobody is murdering the Catholic Church. It is has committed suicide.


Annika - The Complete Series [DVD] [1982]
Annika - The Complete Series [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Jessie Birdsall
Price: £13.11

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best love story. Ever!, 2 Sept. 2012
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This has to be the most romantic film I've ever seen. The cultural nuances of an ordinary London lad (a young Jesse Birdsall) desperate to impress Annika (Christiana Rigner) and her parents in Sweden had me on the edge of my seat and there won't be a dry eye in the house by the finish, trust me! The film had me doing searches across the globe for other Nutley films.


The Broom-Squire
The Broom-Squire
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Victorian gothic, 28 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: The Broom-Squire (Kindle Edition)
You're going to love it. A word of warning though... As good as this gothic novel is, it was written in Victorian times (1896), so you'll have to forgive the occasional jaw-dropping references to women being like cows; their heaving bosoms; guitar-playing `niggers' and the author's opportunistic rants on his objections to the demise of `Dame schools'; elementary schools run by an unskilled woman. If you can get past this, you're in for a treat. It's a light and easy read, I promise.
I wonder why I'm such a fan of Sabine Baring-Gould! The author churned out some 1,240 publications, mostly written standing up. He was the writer of such tiresome school-assembly anthems as `Onward Christian Soldiers' and `Now the Day is Over'. Goodness knows how he ever found time to help his wife bring up 15 kids. Given the times, I daresay he didn't!
I got hooked on Baring-Gould after reading the Cornish romantic novel, `In the Roar of the Sea' and then soon tracked down a copy of his Norfolk Broads classic `Mehalah'. I have to give it to the ol' boy: He can write! `The Broom-Squire' should captivate you from beginning to end. The novel is set around the Punch Bowl near Guildford and opens in a small tavern with the nasty Jonas Kink sat around the log fire blowing the froth off a tankard of ale. Despite the book being full of lovely Dickensian characters, one of my favourites is Jonas Kink's long-suffering carthorse, old Clutch! Here's an extract: -

As Jonas Kink entered the solicitor's office, Mr Barelegs looked up from a deed he was reading, turned his head, and contemplated his client.
There was something in his manner that angered Jonas, already excited and inclined to be annoyed at trifles, and he said irritably,-
"You look at me, Mister Barelegs, just as does old Clutch when I come into the stable, expectin' a feed of corn, he does."
"And no doubt deserves it'"
"He thinks he does, but he don't."
"And no doubt he gets his feed."
"There is no doubt about it. He gets it when I choose to give it, not when he glowers at me - that way, he's wonderful artificial is old Clutch."
"I dare be sworn, Mr. Kink, if he has served you well, he expects to be paid for it."
"He's an owdacious old Radical," observed Jonas. "Just now he's shamming lame, becos I rode him into Guildford, and he likes the inn here. There's an old broken-winded, galled grey mare, I reckon he's set his fancy on in the same yard, and I'm pretty sure this lameness means nothing' more nor less that that he wants to be a-courtin'. To see them two hosses, when they meet, rubbin' heads, is enough to make a fellow sick. And Clutch, at his age too - when he ort to be thinkin' of his latter end!"
Enjoy it!


Eccentric Wealth: The Bulloughs of Rum
Eccentric Wealth: The Bulloughs of Rum
by Alastair Scott
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rum goings on, 10 Aug. 2011
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Alastair Scott's "Eccentric Wealth: The Bulloughs of Rum" is a fascinating and well researched book. Like the author, I would concede there is a great deal of fiction that has built up around Sir George whose inherited wealth came from his father, John, a wealthy industrialist who manufactured looms in Accrington, but not enough that would comfortably rule out, as the author does, any suggestion he might not have not enjoyed sex with men. Alastair Scott writes with some indignation: "Can anything of George's sexuality be extracted from a Christmas card, for goodness' sake?" I would refer to "gay George" more in the context of a post First World War polysexual decadence rather than in any strictly libertarian sense, or even a more modern implication which could justifiably be used to describe George in a postcard showing him dancing in a mini-kilt supported by two men or squeezing his six-foot-five frame into pink cerise jockey vests. Alastair Scott positions himself as a confirmed and unrepentant heterosexual male, with which, I'm sure, given the penalties; George Bullough would've happily colluded. Of George's wife, society belle, Monica Charrington he writes: "Her beauty was such that it would have been nigh on impossible for her to have avoided the countless affairs she is said to have had." However many affairs she might've had, and there is evidence of an affair during her first marriage, the separate sleeping arrangements hardly point to a robustly heterosexual affair between her and George, although they did have one daughter, Hermione.
Sir George's father, John, an arch-Conservative, was a violent bully. Of the many letters he would write to newspapers, this one just about sums him up: "I hate strong-minded women. I think they are enemies of their sex. They are the products of, and the associates of, weak-minded men. I don't like to see my ideal destroyed and transformed into a repulsive creature `half-Margaret and half-Henry'". His marriage lasted 10 years before his wife, Bertha, citing his appalling violence, divorced him and fled the country. Always immaculately dressed, six-foot-five, handsome and with what the author admits to a "narcissistic habit of combing his hair", George later travelled the world, sharing hotel rooms with his `personal secretary' and constant companion for over a decade, Robert Mitchell. Robert was 13 years older than George and organised his `coming of age' party where his 2,000 factory workers were given 2/6d and the day off in Blackpool. Was George really gay? Who knows? But as critical as Alastair Scott is about the myths, he's not beyond contributing to them himself. It was rumoured George had an affair with his father's wife Alexander who was only five years older than him. Scott writes: "The opportunities and incentives for them becoming clandestine lovers were undoubtedly there. That there was such an intimate bond between George and Alexandra may have been based on nothing but gossip but I suspect there was fire beyond the smoke." All the same, the author should be congratulated on his efforts to unmask the truth behind the stories of what really went on at Kinloch Castle. Despite some of my own reservations, he has does a fine job which makes for some compelling reading.


Testament Of Youth: An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925 (Virago classic non-fiction)
Testament Of Youth: An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925 (Virago classic non-fiction)
by Vera Brittain
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vera's legacy to us all, 17 July 2011
It is extremely difficult to get through this book without splashing the pages with your tears. I mentally clasped the author's hand throughout this tormented autobiography. I like strong women. People like me frequently do. Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth didn't disappoint. Brittain was a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) - a sort of auxiliary nurse - who were often middle or upper class civilian women with little or no experience of hardship or hospital discipline filling in for a lack of trained nurses in the wars. She coped as best she could, on one occasion finding herself in charge of a ward of 40 badly wounded men. While the men (rightly so) earned medals and distinctions, she was refused permission to return to the Front and help because she had broken her contract to look after her sick mother. Brittain writes with an insight into the First World War in a way that most men can't. Emotional, passionate and with a welcome frankness about sex and relationships.
"The ward was reserved for gassed classes, and I had once again the task of attending to the blinded eyes and scorched throats and blistered bodies which made the struggle for life such a half-hearted affair. One of the dying men had his wife beside him for two or three days; she didn't much enjoy her vigil, and had already began to flirt with the orderly sergeant before he came to superintend the removal of her husband's body. I wondered whether she knew that the dead man had been syphilitic as well as gassed."
The sub-text is rich. Her brother Edward's love of music, his dislike of women and his close friends: the beautiful Roland who Vera falls in love, the strong Victor, rendered totally blind by his injuries and the sensitive Geoffrey whose engagement in this brutal and futile war is reflected in a marching song of the time sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne: "We're here because, we're here because, we're here because, we're here....". Their loss brings you close to a woman who lost everything in life. Yet, long after her death, Vera Brittain continues to humble anyone privileged enough to read her book. Light a candle and with the strains of Elgar's requiem For the Fallen playing quietly in the background, why not let Vera Brittain lead you into the trenches to the very heart of the fighting and question what it was all for?
Compulsory reading. (Please click on the Amazon link on the National Secular Society website to help their work if purchasing. I'm sure she'd like that).


Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church
Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church
by David Ranan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to need counselling after reading this!, 24 Jun. 2011
I've never given the Catholic Church much credit, but I had absolutely NO idea what a thoroughly vile institution it really was until political scientist, David Ranan, booted open its unholy doors for me with his book "Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church". This is not a book, it's an incendiary device!
You can just hear the Catholic Taliban now, can't you...? `Oh, but you mustn't let it blind you to all the good the Church does'. Put it this way... With almost 500 pages of bad stuff - and I mean BAD - it would have to be very good! I should think the new blasphemy law prohibiting "publication or utterance of blasphemous matter" in Ireland and the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill might be coming about in just the nick of time to help save this Church's sorry arse from the sort of criticism this book could unleash! Even the Catholic Herald described the book as `salutary' after the reviewer checked the references and had to admit, rather drily, that "they proved satisfactory".
Ranan digs deep. Very deep. Reminding us the Catholic Church's own rule about all the Pope's - the `successors of Peter' - being culpable, he reveals the ones guilty of nepotism, murder, sexual debauchery and general depravity, none of whom the Church has officially condemned. There are the ones who took lovers, mistresses, girls or boys, married, had illegitimate children and housed and promoted their, er... `nephews' (many of them had children). Pope Julius III hardly made much of a secret about the teenage boy he picked up in the street. First he was his `monkey keeper' and then he was made a Cardinal).
My goodness, I was only into the first chapters, and had no idea Ranan was just warming up! He then goes on to expose the gun-running, the financial wheeling and dealing, the laundering of illegal funds, the deals with the Mafia and the administration of the Nazi rat-runs. Oh, yes... You didn't even need to be a Catholic to get Vatican help here: Just a Nazi. Twenty Catholic agencies helped spirit away the likes of the commander of Treblinka, Franz Strangl who murdered 900,000 people; deputy commander of Sobibor, Gustav Wagner who murdered 250,000 Jews and Adolf Eichmann amongst many, many others. All that before you're reading another chapter about some of the endless cases of child abuse the Catholic Church tried to cover up, often blackmailing its victims into silence.
It comes as no surprise to find this Church's copybook blotted by an historical hatred of Jews, passing laws that closed professions to them, locking them up in ghettos and forcing them to wear yellow identification. Add to that the inquisitions, enforced conversions, slave trading and operations of torture and you are left - by the time you've read the last page - either needing counselling or wondering what kind of twisted mind would ever want to associate itself with such a poisonous institution. Of course, I'm reminded that `Catholics' are born into this religion, often forced into their schools and don't have much choice. This is why I salute every one of them that finds the courage to speak out against the Vatican.


Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh
Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh
by Bryan Niblett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book!, 24 Feb. 2011
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This book will invite you into a Victorian England you have never before imagined. One that is far more progressive and liberal than those sepia-tinted photographs would have you believe. This is the story of a courageous man, years ahead of his time. I can't recommend this book more highly. An utter joy!


Unreliable Sources: How the Twentieth Century Was Reported
Unreliable Sources: How the Twentieth Century Was Reported
by John E. Simpson
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 8 Dec. 2010
If I was wanting to recommend a book about modern British history - this would be it. Absolutely fascinating! From the Boer War through the First and Second World War, this book demonstrates the manipulative power of the Fourth Estate. That the worst of them have been and are run by morally conservative religionists might explain the power held by the established Church in the UK.


Alex   Jorge Y Lena
Alex Jorge Y Lena
Price: £5.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Alex Ubago, 23 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Alex Jorge Y Lena (Audio CD)
Alex Ubago is a fantastic recording artist. This collaborative album demonstrates a maturity that won't disappoint. Excellent.


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