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T. J. Turner "Northerner" (Manchester)
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Photo Jigsaw Puzzle of Gerard Depardieu in a submarine
Photo Jigsaw Puzzle of Gerard Depardieu in a submarine
Offered by Media Storehouse
Price: £19.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The only way to piece together the enigma that is Gerard, 19 Dec. 2013
In order to appreciate fully the beauty of Depardieu's unique physicality, it is necessary for you to drink four bottles of red wine, strip completely naked, and put the jigsaw together with your teeth. Only then will you become one with Gerard. You will not simply be assembling him. As he becomes complete, so you will become him.

Not entirely waterproof.


Austerity Business: 39 Tips for Doing More with Less
Austerity Business: 39 Tips for Doing More with Less
by Alex Pratt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Buy it and keep reading it, 28 April 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As someone who has just quit the 9 to 5 for the life of a freelance at what is probably a terrible time, I need all of the inspiration I can get. And this is what Pratt's admirable little book does. I've read a lot of blah blah business books, and this one is much more sharp and to the point. Pratt doesn't try to weave together his disparate pieces of advice into some grand unifying (and unconvincing) theme, and he avoids the flannel. Instead, he delivers his 39 tips in a series of snappy, engaging short essays, grouped by general theme. The idea is to get through and exploit austerity.

Some of the tips I could have guessed (yes, it's a bad idea to waste during the good times, and even worse to do it when times are hard, I know that one). However, there is generally very convincing advice on marketing, managing time, hiring and firing, training and much else.

Now, I have no idea if this book is going to work for me - I'm only just getting started. However, this is the most waffle-free, direct business book I've read, and I'm convinced it will help. I keep going back to it, and I feel better when I do. Very highly recommended.


Memorex EMI47103PWHT Dual Alarm Clock Radio with Stereo speakers and Digital FM Radio- White
Memorex EMI47103PWHT Dual Alarm Clock Radio with Stereo speakers and Digital FM Radio- White

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plastic and unattractive, 28 April 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I didn't like the look and feel of this at all. The signal is fine, and the speakers give a perfectly reasonable sound quality both for the FM radio and a docked iPod. However, as an object it looks really cheap and poor quality. Given the number of manufacturers producing iPod docks - Sony, Pure, B&W - this is where it falls down. Admittedly, this might sound like a superficial point, but the average iPod owner is probably quite interested in how equipment looks and feels (I know I do). So docking your lovely Apple item into a cheapo white box just doesn't work. So I'd rate it low purely because it's such an unattractive piece of work.


South Park Headless Satan White Mens T-Shirt
South Park Headless Satan White Mens T-Shirt

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, you will look like an idiot if you buy this t-shirt, 31 Aug. 2010
I didn't expect to look like anything but an idiot when I bought this t-shirt, and so it has come to pass. I look like an idiot. It's a relatively cheap cotton shirt, and it lends the wearer a unique "looking like a tool" quality that few other garments I own achieve. Even the bright red Bender from Futurama t-shirt which employs a similar visual trick of putting your head on the character's body has a kind of awkward cool about it. This one? No. I look daft in it, and you will too.

I love it.


Escape from Corporate Hell: Unlock your potential and love your work
Escape from Corporate Hell: Unlock your potential and love your work
by Pamela Slim
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No, what do YOU think?, 31 Aug. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I blame Paul McKenna. This is a reasonable approach to any problem in life because he has a face made for blame, but in this situation, I blame Paul McKenna for the style of writing that makes this book so irksome and difficult to read. McKenna bases much of his advice on other people, and rather than plagiarising, he clearly credits the people whose ideas he is using. McKenna's books are packaging for his CDs so this doesn't really matter - you buy them for the hypnotism stuff. However, Slim hasn't done a CD where she counts backward from 100 in order to mesmerise you into being an entrepreneur. And despite the fact that she has an engaging writing style and some interesting things to say, "Escape from Corporate Hell" quickly becomes really irritating because the text is full of abrupt fits and starts. It's all 'as this person you've never heard of says', or 'as an article I read observed', or 'as one of my blog commenters recently told me'. I just wanted her to get to the point rather than give me an abstract of every book, magazine article and website she's ever read. I didn't finish it.


Earn More, Stress Less: How to Attract Wealth Using the Secret Science of Getting Rich - Your Practical Guide to Living the Law of Attraction
Earn More, Stress Less: How to Attract Wealth Using the Secret Science of Getting Rich - Your Practical Guide to Living the Law of Attraction
by Fergus O'Connell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

2.0 out of 5 stars Oh, another one of these, 31 Aug. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another one for people pondering tedious jobs, precarious finances and a general sense of disatisfaction with their lot, this is a self-help guide with one crucial difference. It's not about creating a sense of inner well-being from being at one with the universe (or whatever) - it's about coining it in (and getting the sense of inner well-being from that). Basically, O'Connell's book is more of a business start-up book than a self-help guide, and on that level it works quite well if you follow O'Connell's approach. The best test for whether you can get past the first series of tasks, which require you to list in great detail all of the things you want in terms of money, lifestyle and working. I felt like an idiot doing it, and as the book went on, I became more and more disenchanted with what I thought was a capitalist fantasy. Other people, who buy into the approach, may well end up rich beyond the dreams of avarice. It requires a lot of commitment, and I didn't have it.


Life's Too Short to Drink Bad Wine: 100 wines for the discerning drinker
Life's Too Short to Drink Bad Wine: 100 wines for the discerning drinker
by Simon Hoggart
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depends on what you fancy, 26 Aug. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was hoping that Simon Hoggart's sharp, quip-laden style, so familiar to readers of his Guardian Parliamentary sketches, would leap immediately across to skewer the pretensions and posturing the wine world. Though this book doesn't do that, it would be churlish to criticise it for that because Hoggart's intention is clearly not to satirise. This is a well-written, humourous and entertaining expression of his love of wine and wine-drinking. I didn't feel inspired to rush out and buy many of the wines immediately, but I did enjoy reading about wine by someone who appreciates it as a pleasure rather than something to pose about. More of an idle read than a shopping guide, but none the worse for that.


Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2010: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys and Experiences for the Upcoming Year (Lonely Planet General Reference)
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2010: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys and Experiences for the Upcoming Year (Lonely Planet General Reference)
by Lonely Planet Publications Ltd
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit like a more expensive version of a travel mag, 21 Jan. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not entirely convinced about the efficacy of this as a practical travel guide -after all, who has the money and the time to go flicking through the pages and manage any more than a handful of trips? Nevertheless, the photography is gorgeous, and the pages of top-tens and in-depth features make for entertaining coffee table reading. The sheer range of choices becomes meaningless after a while - the top ten regions veer from the Lake District to Bali to Fernando de Noronha in Brazil. To be honest, I was even more bewildered about where to travel in 2010 now than I was before. Nevertheless, with the rain and snow bearing down on us, it did at least encourage me in my intentions to go somewhere.


Resilience: Bounce back from whatever life throws at you
Resilience: Bounce back from whatever life throws at you
by Jane Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First-rate advice, 22 Dec. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a natural in-built resistence to "self-help" books and techniques, which is probably why I am such a bag of neuroses. Anyway, this book may not be enough to entirely cure me of my wariness, but it is nevertheless a superb guide to dealing with difficulties and stress. To be impossibly reductive, the book seems to designed to make you more analytical, to unpack difficult situations and analyse how to deal with them, even if they go wrong. There is some of the positivity stuff in here (an entire chapter is convincingly devoted to the merits of being optimistic), but this is not a book obsessed with journeys and goals and having a tooth-whitened Hollywood smile. It's a dispassionate, objective text book. It explains what might be going on in your head, and provides simple, measurable strategies to deal with them. It does exactly what it promises, and lays on the self-help with just the right measure of sincerity. It's very impressive - and worked on me.


The Infinities
The Infinities
by John Banville
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One for the bookshelf, 22 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Infinities (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I didn't get it. I tried to get into this book several times, and I attacked in a variety of different moods and settings. I read half-a-dozen books because of Banville's book, mainly as exercises in denial. I think I understand slightly more what the author is up to with the breathless dreamy prose and the prissy present tense narrative of the dying genius's demise narrated by gods now, purely because I have read other reviews. This is LITERATURE disappearing so far up it's own fundament it seems to come out of the other end. Tedious, pretentious, endless despite not physically being very long and being in big type, I didn't enjoy this, I didn't connect with it on any level.

It's dreadful.


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