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MR D MCMILLAN "author of Salt Wars" (Durrington)
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Pet Dogs Democratic Party Manifesto
Pet Dogs Democratic Party Manifesto
Price: £1.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky take on the election, 13 Mar. 2015
The 2015 general election seems to have been going on since 2010. If you want an antidote to the boring platitudes from boring platitudinarians then look no further. This book has parts which are laugh-out-loud funny. It starts with an interesting alternative to shaking hands based on the behaviour of dogs and it gets funnier.

In addition there is a sustained and persistent political satire. You will notice I avoided the adjective "dogged". It is a gentle satire but none the less effective for that.

I would not dream of suggesting Rosemary J Kind is barking (after all she publishes my short stories). I will just say that it is a good thing Alfie Dog has a level head on his shoulders.

Buy this book.


3am and Wide Awake
3am and Wide Awake
by Sarah England
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some quirky stories and some frankly terrifying, 10 Mar. 2015
This review is from: 3am and Wide Awake (Paperback)
This will frighten your socks off. If you think you have read all the horror stories there could be and nothing will shock you now, it will make you think again. It is exceptionally well-written with a clever turn of phrase. Some of the stories are quirky and some are frankly terrifying.

Do not read this book late at night. Or, on second thoughts, do read it late at night, have nightmares, write them down and turn them into horrifying short stories :)


A Wish for Christmas
A Wish for Christmas
by Kate Blackadder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Christmas, 20 Jan. 2015
This review is from: A Wish for Christmas (Paperback)
A good book is not just for Christmas and this is a good book. There is a wide variety of different stories and styles and some very different writers. If I have a favourite it is 'The Holiday Tree' by Pauline Lachman because it is a 'feel-good' story par excellence and it focusses on peace and goodwill and children. You can't really ask for more than that in a Christmas book :)


The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (Penguin Press Science)
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (Penguin Press Science)
by Steven Pinker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.24

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The gods of Mr Pinker, 9 Dec. 2014
Anything which the Telegraph describes as "magnificent and timely" ought to be a little suspect. Unfortunately in this case one's suspicions would be well-grounded.

Pinker argues that questioning whether consciousness reflects reality or might just be influenced by misinformation from the media would be "undermining democracy" and the, for him, even more sacred values of the market economy.

Ken Livingstone made an interesting point about the influence of the media. He said that if all the information he had about Ken Livingstone came from the gutter press, he certainly wouldn't vote for himself. You might call that a false consciousness if you like but to argue that recognising the influence of the media and the influence on the media of the ruling class undermines democracy does not make sense. To Telegraph readers it might.

However, democracy is not Mr Pinker's God. The market economy is. I am not keen to worship it but perhaps that's just my human nature.

As Gilbert and Sullivan put it "every child that's born alive is either a little liberal or else a little conservative." :)

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Socialist Reviews

The Death Agony of Capitalism


The Power of Tai Chi Chuan: An Introduction to the Benefits of Health, Self-Defence and Personal Development
The Power of Tai Chi Chuan: An Introduction to the Benefits of Health, Self-Defence and Personal Development
Price: £5.27

5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight, 24 Nov. 2014
Tai Chi has become popular, particularly for those who want a way to relaxation and health. However, the Tai Chi which is widely known is only a part of the story. This is a book which delves deeper into Tai Chi than is commonplace.
You and I know Tai Chi as a means of relaxation and health. We are probably aware vaguely that it is also a martial art but this book takes you much deeper into the full nature of Tai Chi Chuan which includes its philosophical significance. People have dreamt of uniting the mind and the body, has Tai Chi Chuan actually realised this dream? This book is a revelation.
What I think I liked most about the book is that it is evidence based. People talk about the health benefits of Tai Chi Chuan. This book can give you chapter and verse.
You can keep in touch with the writer because Robin Gamble writes a regular blog for his site www.WarriorStrategy.com.
Even if you eventually decide that Tai Chi Chuan is not for you, this book provides a fascinating insight which will enable you to make an informed choice.


Thrice Upon a Time
Thrice Upon a Time
Price: £2.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new twist on some old favourites, 11 Nov. 2014
For many people the idea of reinterpreting fairy stories for a new audience began with Shrek. However it has been going on for a long time. This book gives a variety of examples of how the old tales can be invigorated and turned into new and unexpected directions.
The advantage of the short story format is that this is a very easy book to pick up at odd moments in a busy schedule. You will not feel that any of your time has been wasted.
I thought the fact this was available on Kindle was very useful and the Author Biographies were a really good idea.


A. B. C. of Chairmanship
A. B. C. of Chairmanship
by Lord Citrine
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The confidence to chair a meeting, 21 Oct. 2014
Three generations of McMillans have used this book now. I gave my father's copy to my daughter when she in her turn became chairperson of a Socialist organisation.

Anyone who is given the job of chairing a committee would do well to read this book. It is a cast-iron certainty that the awkward "point of order" merchant in the corner has read it from cover to cover.

It tells you how to deal with virtually anything which will come up on an agenda. It is written is a highly readable and straightforward style. It inspires you with the confidence you are definitely going to need if you end up becoming a chairperson or president These things are not always a matter of choice after all but if you are lumbered with the role, this book will help you make a good job of it.

You do not have to endorse all of Citrine's opinions (what kind of left-winger gets a knighthood?) to find this book very useful.

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Socialist Reviews
The Death Agony of Capitalism


A. B. C. of Chairmanship
A. B. C. of Chairmanship
by Walter MacLennan Citrine
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The confidence to chair a meeting, 21 Oct. 2014
Three generations of McMillans have used this book now. I gave my father's copy to my daughter when she in her turn became chairperson of a Socialist organisation.

Anyone who is given the job of chairing a committee would do well to read this book. It is a cast-iron certainty that the awkward "point of order" merchant in the corner has read it from cover to cover.

It tells you how to deal with virtually anything which will come up on an agenda. It is written is a highly readable and straightforward style. It inspires you with the confidence you are definitely going to need if you end up becoming a chairperson or president These things are not always a matter of choice after all but if you are lumbered with the role, this book will help you make a good job of it.

You do not have to endorse all of Citrine's opinions (what kind of left-winger gets a knighthood?) to find this book very useful.

#socialistreviews

Socialist Reviews
The Death Agony of Capitalism


Holy Terror in the Hebrides (A Dorothy Martin Mystery)
Holy Terror in the Hebrides (A Dorothy Martin Mystery)
Price: £6.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Good detective fiction in the classic style, 14 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a highly enjoyable detective story written in a very readable style. It is a classic "whodunnit" as it is called this side of the Atlantic. Alongside the traditional linear narrative there is also a vivid description of the island and the characterisation is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which I read on Kindle. I would recommend it to anyone.

Five Stars.

Salt Wars


How to Build a Girl
How to Build a Girl
by Caitlin Moran
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be hooked after the first few pages, 31 Aug. 2014
This review is from: How to Build a Girl (Hardcover)
Caitlin Moran was brought up on a council estate in Wolverhampton. She
became a journalist on the Times, probably the poshest newspaper in the
world, at the age of 18. Consequently she works alongside a fair
sprinkling of the upper class public school boys who have all the
positions of power in the country. She is unique in thinking Michael
Gove is not a waste of space. Her reason for this, however, was that he
knew the name of the hamster Freddie Starr was alleged to have eaten!
(Teachers believe it is a pity he didn't know anything about education).

The title is a postmodern reference to the idea of constructing and
reconstructing the personality. What is different about this book is
that the idea is for the first time rooted in the realities of class
society. It is indicative of Caitlin Moran's style that the difficulties
of masturbating while sharing a bed with a sibling feature as an example.

A book which deals with the effects of poverty while growing up in
Wolverhampton and the cruelty of the benefits system sounds like a
"worthy" book which socialists would read out of a sense of duty rather
than an expectation that they will enjoy it. *This is not that book!*

The narrative veers between pathos and hilarity. You will recognise the
bitter anger against the treatment of the poor one minute and be
laughing your socks off the next.

It is an "adult" book. This means that teenagers will love it and some
adults will think it is totally unsuitable for teenagers to read.

I leave that judgement to you. Just read this book. You will be hooked
after the first few pages.

Socialist Reviews


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