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Reviews Written by
Stephen Hampshire (Huddersfield, UK)
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Bosch PLL 1-P Laser Spirit Level
Bosch PLL 1-P Laser Spirit Level
Price: £27.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well made, does the job, 25 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well made product. Essentially a small spirit level with two built in lasers (a dot to project across the room and a line to project along a flat wall). The wall mount seems like a bit of a clunky solution, but otherwise very accurate and easy to use.


The Diagrams Book: 50 Ways to Solve Any Problem Visually (Concise Advice Lab)
The Diagrams Book: 50 Ways to Solve Any Problem Visually (Concise Advice Lab)
by Kevin Duncan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as useful as I hoped, 9 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really wanted to like this book. I do like the way it's laid out, and each diagram is well explained, but there is nowhere near enough depth or breadth.

The problem is that the diagrams, and the concepts they convey, are very limited. Some of them, frankly, are so shallow that they're closer to clipart than conceptual diagrams. All of them are from a very narrow domain of marketing or basic business strategy.


Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2014
Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2014
by Hugh Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars For people who prefer drinking wine to talking about it, 26 Sept. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love wine, but I hate most wine writing. This book really is different from most of what's out there, which either assumes you're a complete idiot or a navel-gazing oenophile.

Hugh Johnson's pocket guide is structured and written for people who understand and enjoy wine, but aren't obsessed about the detail. It's straightforward and no-nonsense, encouraging you to stretch yourself a little ("if you like this, then try this"), and amazingly comprehensive for its size.

Highly recommended, I was glad to update my 2010 copy.


AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
Price: £3.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IT guy has midlife crisis, goes for walk, 14 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The AT is clearly a long and daunting undertaking, a great personal challenge for the people that do it, but ultimately it's all a bit mundane as the subject for a book. It's a bit like accounts of trudging up Everest from oxygen-assisted, fixed-rope riding, tourist climbers. Big personal challenges are not necessarily meaningful, or interesting, for other people.

While perfectly adequate, the author is not gifted enough for the power of his descriptions to make up for my lack of interest in his undertaking. Walking the AT sounds like a purgatory of trudging carefully way-marked trails between hut-fulls of buffoons ("AWOL", "Wolverine"...seriously?!)


Cold Wars
Cold Wars
by Andy Kirkpatrick
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, insightful, true...essential for armchair mountaineers, 2 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Cold Wars (Hardcover)
There are not many mountaineering books that will make you laugh out loud. You might expect that from Andy Kirkpatrick, who often seems as much a stand-up comic as a climber; but most probably wouldn't expect the depth of introspection and insight into the climber's mind that Andy has achieved with his second book.

The frankness of Andy's autobiography is startling, even shocking at times. Few people have the ability to look within themselves with such utter clarity and honesty. You can't help but wonder if that ability to be detached and rational is what enables someone to climb at the level he has done, and to take the risks that go with it.

At other times Andy's warmth and humanity shine through - the scenes with his children, and the effect they have on his climbing mind, are among the most affecting in the book.

This is a superb climber's autobiography, spare and uncompromising, insightful and honest, by turns hilarious and moving. Anyone with an interest in mountaineering, or obsession and its effect on us and those around us, will love it.


Spss Survival Manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS
Spss Survival Manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS
by Julie Pallant
Edition: Spiral-bound

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction, well illustrated, 11 April 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really useful book if you use SPSS for analysis (whether you're new to it, or as a refresher). It's extremely well-organised, moving from planning a study, through data preparation, to basic descriptive analysis and on to more advanced analysis.

Each section outlines the types of analysis covered and the circumstances under which they are appropriate. It also makes clear what assumptions are called for, and what alternatives exist. Each chapter illustrates how a particular technique works with a single, clear, example. These are much better than the built-in "statistics coach"!

Finally, it's worth mentioning that the physical format of the book makes it easy to use. It's big, clear, and the ring-bound spine makes it possible to lay the book open next to your keyboard. It's a little thing, but it makes following along with the examples much easier.


Instant Recall Spanish, 6-Hour MP3 Audio Program
Instant Recall Spanish, 6-Hour MP3 Audio Program
by Michael Gruneberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 17 Jan. 2011
Don't get this if you want a conventional language-learning course!

The concept seems to be that you learn vocabulary first, and then grammar is introduced to enable you to use that vocabulary to constuct meaningful sentences. That seems reasonable in theory, but in practice I found the "helpful" mnemonics for the vocabulary extremely irritating.

Finding a vivid picture to associate with a word or concept is a useful memory technique, but I think it only really works if you use your own images that are relevant and meaningful for you. This course uses standard images which are, frankly, often very odd.

As an example, the first word is "cat". We are told: "The Spanish for cat is "gato". Imagine a lovely cat eating a gateau." It only gets stranger from there. For a dog ("perro") we are to imagine a dog pirouetting. For a cow ("vaca"), we should picture a cow cleaning a field with a vacuum cleaner. I wish I was making this up.

If that sounds like it would work for you, then this might be the language course you've been looking for. I just found it annoying.


LINDY USB Guitar Cable 5m
LINDY USB Guitar Cable 5m
Price: £22.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works, but SOOO laggy, 5 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I guess I should have expected no better for the price.

It works, in that it's reasonably easy to connect your guitar up to the computer and record it (I used Reaper). But for me it was just far too laggy to be any real use.

If you're happy with something that gives you a half second delay between striking a string and hearing the output, then this might work for you.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2011 2:19 PM BST


A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories
A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories
by Desmond Fforde
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Just enough to whet the appetite, 9 April 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've always been a fan of sea stories, though I've tended to stick to Napoleonic-era ones, so I opened this book with enthusiasm.

It starts with a classic Hornblower gem, but covers much wider ground. In the rest of this relatively slim book we get accounts from merchantmen and submarines, from WW1 and WW2, and even from a Fleet Air Arm Corsair pilot in the Pacific.

Almost all of the extracts made me want to track down the books from which they were taken, which is a great strength of this anthology...but also the reason it gets four stars not five - some of the stories felt a bit isloated and stripped of context.


The Greek Body
The Greek Body
by Ian Jenkins
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for me - interesting, informative, and beautiful, 26 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Greek Body (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At first glance you might assume that this is just another coffee table art book, something which I have little time for (I don't have a coffee table!).

However I soon found that, beyond the photographs (which are beautiful) was text that really helped me to understand the meaning and context of what I was looking at. I'd be the first to admit that I'm no expert when it comes to classical sculpture, so I found it very good indeed.


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