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Bonnie Shaljean

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Witches and Alchemists - Lute Music
Witches and Alchemists - Lute Music

5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling and lively, 11 Aug 2014
I can't agree with [a previous*] reviewer, whose dislike of this CD seems out of proportion. I too have a huge collection of lute records built up over the years, and used to play the lute (though not well enough for the public stage). Therefore I also have a strong basis of comparison between this and other similar works, and can't see what such negative judgment is based upon. The repertoire itself? This album contains a good representation of the periods it covers, the playing is exquisitely clean and spirited, the recording quality is clear with a "big" sound, and the instruments Kirchhof uses are obviously high-quality ones, with both resonance and brightness. I can't make the adjective "sad" compute at all, and wonder if the local 11-year-old's expectations were influenced by other more familiar types of music? Renaissance and baroque lute take some getting to know. They are not the sort of thing kids are over-exposed to, and must compete in their minds with a lot of more popular forms. In fact there is plenty of life in this beautifully played 73-minute album. Hear it and judge for yourself.

[*I originally wrote this on the American site in 2001, but can't work out how to get Amazon to link it to my reviews and change the name from "A Customer" into Me, though they know it's from my account.]

The Complete Essays of Montaigne (107 annotated essays in 1 eBook + The Life of Montaigne + The Letters of Montaigne)
The Complete Essays of Montaigne (107 annotated essays in 1 eBook + The Life of Montaigne + The Letters of Montaigne)
Price: £0.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Table of contents not clear, 11 Aug 2014
The Apology of Raimond de Sebonde is also available as a Kindle download, though at a (modest) price, not free. But: be sure and use the French form of the name - Raimond de Sebonde - or the search box will lead you to a distinctly un-cheap download of that same title.

The other caveat I would add is that the essays in this "complete" collection are not individually named in the table of contents, which just reads:

The Life of Montaigne
The Letters of Montaigne
The Author to the Reader
Book the First
Chapter 1
Chapter 2 [etc to 57]
Book the Second
Chapter 1 [to 36]
Book the Third
Chapter 1 [to 13]

So if you want to dip in and read individual pieces in random order, you won't have any way of knowing which is which without clicking through them all. Amazon appears to list the titles above (I haven't checked for accuracy) so you could tally them that way, but it may be less trouble to just scroll.

There is a note which says, "This eBook is an exact transcription of the original text." Since the editor was William Carew Hazlitt (1834-1913), you know you're not dealing with a modern publication. (Amazon tells us that the price was set by the publisher, which made me smile - 49 pence in those days certainly wasn't the bargain it is now.) Hazlitt is also responsible for the inexpensive version of the Apology of Raimond de Sebonde I cited above. Charles Cotton's dated style of translation for these volumes does not meet with universal praise, however.

How To Stay Sane: The School of Life
How To Stay Sane: The School of Life
by Philippa Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another self-help book..., 18 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
...though it is genuinely helpful, and wonderfully free of jargon or new-age fuzzy feel-good thinking. This is a scientifically-based, clear-headed and practical approach to overcoming our weaknesses which brings real results - though of course you have to do your share of the mental work: nothing comes without effort and sustained focus. But it CAN be done, with patience, good sense, and realistic discipline. Ms. Perry is well plugged into these, and her book is permanently useful, to refer to again and again. Five stars for this much-needed breath of fresh air amongst all the perfumed pastel clouds of fantasy floating around the popular psychology genre, which so often mislead those seeking help via false promises and empirically dubious factoids. I'm always suspicious of books which try to peddle magic solutions to what are often complex, deeply-ingrained and long-standing problems. But this is the real thing. Definitely one to recommend to friends.

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