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Prince Barry (North of England)

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American Shaolin: One Man's Quest to Become a Kungfu Master
American Shaolin: One Man's Quest to Become a Kungfu Master
by Matthew Polly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare insight into Shaolin, 20 Jan 2008
I enjoyed this book immensely. I am a fan of Chinese and Japanese culture and this book didn't disapoint. It's nice to read a book about the Shaolin Temple and it's methods of training from a Westerner with a sense of humour.

As has already been pointed out, most of the action took place in the early 1990s, so the information is out of date, even the updated information about when he went back in 2003 is probably out of date now.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.


Fried Eggs With Chopsticks
Fried Eggs With Chopsticks
by Polly Evans
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to go, 20 Jan 2008
A really enjoyable book written by Polly Evans.

I notice in other reviews, her humour is mentioned, I loved it. The references to the toilet facilities made me squirm and some of the descriptions of the bus journeys had me holding my hand over my mouth. Her writing is so good, I could smell and sense the things that were going on around her.

The historical background writing was just enough to give one an insight into what had happened in the various places.

I couldn't put the book down and managed to read it in just a day.


The Lady and The Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto
The Lady and The Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto
by Iyer Pico
Edition: Paperback

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OK, if you want to read about ex-pats, 20 Jan 2008
I bought this book because I love reading about Japan and China and the reviews on the book sounded excellent.

I haven't been able to read further than the first few chapters. I was expecting something quite magical with the mention of 'Four Seasons in Kyoto'. It should be more like 'Go to Kyoto and meet ex-pats'.

Sorry, but this is not my idea of travel writing. There may be hidden gems in the text, but I can't face wading through the numerous references to California, New York and San Francisco.

Even though it's written by a man who was born in Oxford, he spent a lot of his early years in America, so we have the annoying American phrases and spellings for certain words.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2008 1:32 PM BST


Last Seen in Lhasa: The story of an extraordinary friendship in modern Tibet
Last Seen in Lhasa: The story of an extraordinary friendship in modern Tibet
by Claire Scobie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.27

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, read., 13 Jan 2008
I bought this book yesterday and finished it today. I was gripped from start to finish.

I thought that I knew a bit about Tibet, now that I have finished the book, I know a lot more and have a yearning to read books of this calibre that are about Tibet and her people.

It would be nice if Claire had a blog to keep us up to date with the characters from the book because I feel that I know them all as friends now.

On a side note, I kept listening to Tai Chi Too by Oliver Shanti and Friends whilst reading this book and it proved to be the ideal soundtrack.


Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders (Oscar Wilde Mystery)
Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders (Oscar Wilde Mystery)
by Gyles Brandreth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read, 6 Jan 2008
Having read the reviews for the hardback edition of this book, I just had to buy it. I much prefer the paperback versions of books for ease of handling etc.

Anyway, not sure what else I can add to the superb reviews that I mentioned above.

Mr Brandreth has written this book with a rare style that is utterly convincing, that you would have thought that dear Oscar had contacted him from beyond the grave. He captures the master's speech wonderfully.

The plot is very well executed with various twists and turns that make the reader wonder what is going to happen next. I partly guessed the outcome three quarters of the way through the book but then dismissed it as my silly imagination.

The book was so gripping that I have read it within a day, I couldn't put it down.


Better to Travel Hopefully
Better to Travel Hopefully
by David Hope
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.54

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful read., 4 Nov 2007
What is there to be added to the 2 marvelous reviews that have already been posted about this book? It was those reviews that prompted me to buy this book, and I certainly wasn't disapointed.

David Hope proves himself to be very spiritual with a keen sense of humour which comes out in his observations of everyday happenings at St Margarets.

It isn't very often that I am affected by something that I read in a book, but after I read the mini-sermon read out by a young girl from Le Mans about smiling, I had a distinct lump in my throat.

I cannot praise this book highly enough. After reading it, I feel like going out and finding David Hope and asking him to bless me.


The Quest for the Green Man
The Quest for the Green Man
by John Matthews
Edition: Paperback

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Green Man books, 26 Oct 2007
This book is much better than the previous Green Man book that I reviewed. The photos and illustrations are excellent as is most of the writing.

2 complaints really about this book. Mr Matthews repeats the statement that I found annoying in the other book. He says that Kirklees is near to Peterborough, it might have stated that in the old rhymes of Robin Hood, but Kirklees is in West Yorkshire. If the author had bothered to check out the facts, it would have helped. The other part that I didn't like were the guided pathworkings. I found them to be quite 'sterile; and not really needed.


Walking With the Green Man: Father of the Forest, Spirit of Nature
Walking With the Green Man: Father of the Forest, Spirit of Nature
by Dr. Bob Curran
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.93

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing, 15 Oct 2007
Having an interest in the Green Man, I thought that this book would make a worthwhile addition to my collection of books. Needless to say, I was disapointed.

The book has a number errors which should not have got into the published work. On the section dealing with the death of Robin Hood, he mentions Kirklees Priory which he says is near Peterborough. I live in Kirklees and it is in West Yorkshire, nowhere near Peterborough. Another error is where he mentions the era after 1066 being 'Mormon' and not Norman. Another error is where he mentions Iris Murdoch's book The Green Knight, he calls her Irish Murdoch. Where were the proof readers for this publication? Other errors include him saying that the Green Man is not seen on baptismal fonts and in stained glass windows. I have another book about the Green Man and a photo is shown of a Green Man carved on a baptismal font and another photo shows a Green Man on a stained glass window of a church in Switzerland.

The saving grace for this book which stopped me from giving it 1 star, are the fantasy illustrations. Talking of illustrations, there isn't a single photograph of the many Green Men that he describes in the prose. he goes into great detail about the Green Man in Rosslyn Chapel, but it would have been nice to see an actual photo of him.


The Père-Lachaise Mystery: The Victor Legris Mysteries 2: A Victor Legris Mystery
The Père-Lachaise Mystery: The Victor Legris Mysteries 2: A Victor Legris Mystery
by Claude Izner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.54

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit for Claude Izner, 12 Oct 2007
Having enjoyed Claude Izner's first book published by Gallic Books, Murder on the Eiffel Tower, I couldn't wait for this one to be published.

I was not disapointed at all. Victor Legris, bookseller turned detective has really got into the swing of solving mysteries, but not without him almost getting killed in the process. The book keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, with not a single wasted paragraph.

Bravo to the 2 sisters who write under the pen name of Claude Izner and bravo to Gallic Books for making these novels available to the English speaking world.


The Chatelet Apprentice: The Nicolas Le Floch Investigations 1: A Nicolas Le Floch Mystery
The Chatelet Apprentice: The Nicolas Le Floch Investigations 1: A Nicolas Le Floch Mystery
by Jean-François Parot
Edition: Paperback

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicolas Le Floch rules!, 13 Aug 2007
This was the 2nd book that I read from Gallic Books.

Nicolas moves to 18th century Paris and becomes a young policeman with a mission to accomplish from his superior. The novel has more twists and turns than a maze and keeps you guessing as to who the murderer is. Whilst I was reading the book, I virtually accused every character of being the murderer, apart from Nicolas.

I couldn't wait to get home from the office so that I could continue reading this book.


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