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Andante Chesed

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Easy Rugs to Crochet
Easy Rugs to Crochet
by Anne Halliday
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 18 Jun 2012
This review is from: Easy Rugs to Crochet (Paperback)
I was very disappointed when I received this as I was expecting a book in British English. Instead it is using American crochet terms. Nowhere does it say this before you buy it. Be warned!

The Fossil Girl
The Fossil Girl
by Catherine Brighton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for young and old, but flawed, 2 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Fossil Girl (Paperback)
My children and I enjoyed reading this book together. They were intrigued by the fact that here was a little girl not much older than themselves. My daughter decided to take her collection of fossils to school the next day!

There was one thing that I found irritating, however, and that was the depiction on one page of a man lifting a wooden cross in the air, yelling at the young girl, "If God wanted you to find curiosities, Mary Anning, why did he bury them?" when in reality, the majority of fossil collecting was done by Anglican clergy.

Also, on the final page the author writes "... a new idea - that the world was much older than they had always thought. This shocked some people, as it seemed to contradict what was written in the Bible." It then points out that her work contributed to Darwin's Origin of Species which "sparked off a revolution in religious and scientific thought, and its effects are still felt to this day". While this may be true, it neglects to say that it never affected Mary's own very deep faith, neither does it say that she herself was already thinking along the lines of Darwin and obviously didn't see any contradiction whatsoever between the new discoveries and her beliefs. And by all accounts she was a very intelligent, indeed remarkable, woman.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Maybe. It just bothers me that a children's book is used to promote the notion that anyone who has a faith is unscientific, and that the theory of evolution is anti-Christian, when it cannot be because science is not a philosophy; it is a way of interpreting the physical universe.

Don't get me wrong, the text does not say this explicitly, yet the idea is there (unnecessarily), which is why I give this book, which is otherwise excellent, 4 stars and not 5.

The Duchess [DVD] [2008]
The Duchess [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Keira Knightley
Price: 2.71

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Codswallop, 1 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Duchess [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I was interested, having read a little of the real duchess, to see the film. Wish I hadn't bothered. What's the point of making a film about historical figures and making the whole thing up? And even if you do, don't put Keira Knightley in a woman's role when she still looks and behaves like a child. Maybe that's too harsh. I don't dislike her, but she just seemed too immature for the role. It was as if she was trying too hard, all the way through. Totally unconvincing as a mother!

Despicable Me [DVD] [2010]
Despicable Me [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Steve Carell
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: 14.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Love wins, 12 Jan 2012
This review is from: Despicable Me [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
A quirky, original tale of bad guy turned good, the storyline follows an idea rarely seen nowadays: that the best thing a father can do is love his kids. I only wish there were more films that promote masculinity, responsibility and fatherhood as one and the same. The whole family laughed all the way through. Brilliant!

by William Boyd
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff! Highly entertaining audiobook., 23 Nov 2011
This review is from: Restless (Audio CD)
The fact that I did not want to stop listening until the book reached its final denouement is the biggest recommendation! I did, however, feel that the pace of the book sometimes overrode character development in places, and development of sub-plots, which were ignored. However, perhaps Boyd did not pursue the development of the sub-plots because he felt this would affect the thrust and pace of the main storyline (which it probably would). The pace really was thrilling!

The negatives, and there are enough to note, include the anachronism of a desktop computer in 1976 (?) and occasionally wooden characterisation. The central character, Eva/Sally, seems to breeze through difficult situations with little reaction. Towards the end of the novel she experiences desolation, desperation and is utterly alone in the world, with her life under threat every moment of every day, yet she seems virtually unaffected and able to continue blithely along in that unrealistic James Bond kinda way.

Boyd doesn't make much of a job of placing a female as the lead role. Why oh why can't male writers stop perpetuating the age-old stereotypes and let women just be moderately attractive or quite clever, without them having to be either stunningly beautiful or a gnat's whisker short of genius? It was as if Boyd was going to write a story about a 007 male and then decided to change the name and the gender - which is actually what he admits to doing in the brief interview at the end! These criticisms, however, when weighed against the whole, are only enough to change this from a 5 star review to a 4 star.

Overall it was great fun and had me utterly hooked like some junkie, right to the last gasp of Rosamund Pike's wonderful narration.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2013 11:15 AM BST

St. Agnes' Stand
St. Agnes' Stand
by Thomas Eidson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Page turner, 11 Jun 2011
This review is from: St. Agnes' Stand (Paperback)
I must have enjoyed this book because I read it so quickly, but felt it lacked depth. The characterisation was simplistic and I would like to have seen a more balanced approach to the historical accuracy. Overall, a page-turner and an easy read but not a particularly memorable book.

Making Sense of Sex: A Forthright Guide to Puberty, Sex and Relationships for People with Asperger's Syndrome
Making Sense of Sex: A Forthright Guide to Puberty, Sex and Relationships for People with Asperger's Syndrome
by Sarah Attwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Autism, 25 May 2011
I was hoping that my son, who has high-functioning autism, would benefit from this book. He is approaching 12 and puberty has started. Unfortunately there are just too many words and not enough very simple language. The child who could read and understand this would have to have *at least* an average ability, but it is way too much for a child with moderate learning difficulties. I am disappointed because there are no books available for lower ability children with ASD (and the majority with ASD do have learning difficulties), but I will use what pictures there are because they are very good. I just wish that alongside the huge chunks of text there were a few sentences in summary that lower ability children could comprehend. Maybe I'll just end up writing a simpler book myself.

On a positive note, I think that for my other children, who are 'normal', this will be a useful book to have around in a few years time as they go through puberty themselves and want to learn certain sensitive things without having to go through the horror of asking their parents. The language is very forthright, very direct, and this is of benefit to 'normal' children, not just those with Asperger's. I wish I had had a book like this when I was growing up.

Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 26 Feb 2011
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Hardcover)
This book works on so many levels, though I'm not sure I like it. As a story, it leaves me feeling unsatisfied, incomplete, because it does not resolve in the way that we perhaps expect stories to. Yet it works because it doesn't answer questions. In a sense, it doesn't even pose any questions. It leaves the reader with many, many questions and from there one begins to wonder why the writer is *not* posing or attempting to answer questions when there are potentially so many!

This book speaks about how we view other human beings and their experiences as less than human, how we justify to ourselves the reasons why one person is worthy of being treated as a human being, but for another, well, they are not worth the same. After all, they're poor, dark-skinned, young, old, foreign, etc., or in this case a 'clone'. This book makes you question what makes us human without ever overtly doing so. And here lies its genius. Ishiguro has earned my (grudging) respect. I had all but given up after 'The Unconsoled'.

Jesus, the Man Who Loved Women
Jesus, the Man Who Loved Women
by Bruce Marchiano
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.27

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 29 April 2009
I sat and wept while reading this book - to think that Jesus understood,that he loved and esteemed all women, is something which the church has not only overlooked, but deliberately ignored. Women had a special place in Jesus' life, as this book explains, and this book should have a special place on your bookshelf because it is a wonderful, even life-changing book. Bruce Marchiano's words are blessed and filled with the love of Jesus.

My Brother is Different: A Book for Young Children Who Have a Brother or Sister with Autism
My Brother is Different: A Book for Young Children Who Have a Brother or Sister with Autism
by Louise Gorrod
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 Feb 2009
Brilliant book for helping young children to understand their sibling's autism and "different" behaviour. Wish I had bought it sooner!

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