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Bernese Alps - Switzerland: A Walker's Guide: A Walking Guide (Cicerone Mountain Walking)
Bernese Alps - Switzerland: A Walker's Guide: A Walking Guide (Cicerone Mountain Walking)
by Kev Reynolds
Edition: Turtleback
Price: 11.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Redundant format., 20 Dec 2013
I bought this book (among other cicerone titles) to plan a summer hiking holiday. I feel a little short changed. There is little detail in the route descriptions and a separate topographic map is a must as the book has no maps worth speaking of. Furthermore many of the route descriptions were actually duplicate routes but in the reverse direction or slight extensions of earlier routes. I don't understand why Cicerone persist with this outdated map-less format. It is much more useful to contact the tourist information offices at Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald (or anywhere else in the Bernese Oberland) as they have free route descriptions and topographic maps as well as contact details for all the campsites and mountain hotels. All the hiking routes are also marked on the 'Swiss Topo' maps available through Amazon.


Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell
Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell
by Peter Caddick-Adams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.92

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book in its own right but..., 1 May 2013
Having read a few books about Cassino (including War Diaries at the National Archive and having visited the area) I was interested to see what this book offered in terms of new insight or materials. Having read it I am not entirely sure. In itself it is a well written book but it will always be compared to earlier works by Parker and Ellis (which it references). This new book is shorter than both Parker and Ellis so there will always be compromises in its coverage. For instance there is almost no mention of 28th Brigade's catastrophic crossing of the Rapido and the book states that all three battalions attacked across the river whereas in reality the Battalion from the Hampshire Regiment did not. It does include photographs where as Ellis's book does not, but the maps in both Parker and Ellis' work are clearer and better placed. Also Parker and Ellis both include an Order of Battle (listing of which units were there) and Caddick-Adams does not. I found this a major omission. This book is also much more focused on the failings and character of the commanders where as Ellis and Parker also do this to some extent but also have the volume to be able to cover the action in detail.

Certainly Caddick-Adams is more opinionated in his summary but there is little there not already stated by Parker and Ellis (although with slightly differing emphasis). In itself it is not a poor book. It is well written and researched. Certainly its coverage of the Amazon bridge action and the break out down the Liri Valley is more detailed. I would say that anybody who buys it will be satisfied and I am glad I read it... but... I feel both Ellis and Parker are the more comprehensive (if maybe less accessible) options.


Charles Taylor and Liberia: Ambition and Atrocity in Africa's Lone Star State
Charles Taylor and Liberia: Ambition and Atrocity in Africa's Lone Star State
by Colin M. Waugh
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.29

4.0 out of 5 stars The authorised biography?, 28 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I very much enjoyed reading this book as I know little about West Africa and wanted to expand my knowledge. I found most of the book enthralling and eye opening in terms of Liberian history and internal politics (by which I mean oppression, patronism and kleptocracy). The book does really read as a biography of Charles Taylor set to the context of Liberian politics but as a reader you develop a disturbing sympathy for the protagonist. Maybe I mis-interpreted the writing but I detected a certain admiration for Taylor's character (which you should realise is described alongside portrayals of equally vicious although less famous political players). The part of the 'Taylor story' I was most interested in was his period as president and his involvement in Sierra Leone, but this part seemed to be dealt with summarily with little hard information on his activities.

What was also eye opening was the extent to which countries instigate or support insurgencies in their neighbours' territory, in some cases for quite personal reasons. There is also some interesting information regarding Sirleaf's (the current President and doyenne of the donor community) relationship with Taylor and her involvement in the civil war.


Garmin eTrex Venture HC Handheld GPS Navigator
Garmin eTrex Venture HC Handheld GPS Navigator
Offered by Best Digital Market
Price: 89.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing., 19 July 2011
I got this GPS two years ago primarily for work but also for hiking. After two years I am very fustrated with it. I am frankly amazed that Garmin is a market leader with products like this.

Pros: It is smaller than other models.

Cons:
The supplied maps are useless and inaccurate. They are NOT the maps shown in the images of this GPS model.

The unit has no ability to communicate directly with GIS software.

The unit's software is clunky, awkward to navigate and not self-explanatory. The number of button actuations needed to do anything is fustrating.

The toggle switch is located so that right handed users will obscure the screen with their thumb! So it requires two hands to use. Stupid design error.

The toggle switch cannot be locked so the map scrolls freely when it is pocketed.

The Compass mode does not give you a bearing read out. Only a vague direction arrow.

There is no option to add Attribute information to a Waypoint. This means you have to put all relevant information into the 15 characters allowed for a Waypoint name.

Small Screen. My cheap mobile phone has a bigger screen.

The glue holding the rubber housing has started to come away.

EDIT: I also discovered that you cannot load .img maps directly to the handset using the supplied software.


Rangeland Ecology And Management
Rangeland Ecology And Management
by Harold Heady
Edition: Paperback
Price: 30.99

1.0 out of 5 stars buyer beware..., 21 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book with the impression it would give me a basic understanding of modern rangeland problems and management issues surrounding rangeland ecology and management but I was very disappointed. Firstly, this book is from the 1970s with little to show from the updated editions. Even the 1999 edition mostly contains references ranging from the ancient to the 'before you were born' category. Secondly, there is little discussion regarding grassland ecosystems and focuses more on managing rangelands as farms, particularly in North America. Thirdly, there is little discussion on the widely known problem of pastoralist communities and rangeland degradation in open access areas. This is of particular interest to most Rangeland managers in developing countries. Fourthly, as you would expect from a book written in the 1970s there is little information on GIS, remote sensing or Modelling tools. Lastly, there is limited focus on environmental problems caused through rangeland management and over-grazing.

Overall an expensive mistake.


Photo-journalism (Black and White Series)
Photo-journalism (Black and White Series)
by Terry Hope
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring book, 1 July 2010
I am very impressed with Terry Hope's series of books that specialise on certain aspects of B&W (photojournalism, portrait, still life, nude, landscape, architecture). I own the first two and they are quite simple, inspiring and informative. He uses photographs from well known professionals or talented amateurs and then discusses certain aspects of how they were produced (either during the set up, composition, lighting, processing, printing, etc and finally discusses framing and presentation).


Portrait and Figure Photography (Black & White) (Black and White Series)
Portrait and Figure Photography (Black & White) (Black and White Series)
by Terry Hope
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring series of books, 1 July 2010
I am very impressed with Terry Hope's series of books that specialise on certain aspects of B&W (photojournalism, portrait, still life, nude, landscape, architecture). I own the first two and they are quite simple, inspiring and informative. He uses photographs from well known professionals or talented amateurs and then discusses certain aspects of how they were produced (either during the set up, composition, lighting, processing, printing, etc and finally discusses framing and presentation).


Charlie Wilson's War: The Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History
Charlie Wilson's War: The Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History
by George Crile
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun read but limited insight..., 20 Jan 2008
I have read a few books about the covert war in 1980's Afghanistan. Recently I wanted to read a book that gave a greater critical overview of the operation to supply and support the mujahuddin. This, sadly, is not that book. This book seems more of an authorised biography of Congressman Charlie Wilson and CIA agent Gust Avrakotos. Huge sections of the book deal with their early careers and personal lives. There is quite a bit of unnecessary hero worshipping by the author towards Charlie and Gust. The author also paints an unflattering picture of all the other US agencies and politicians involved in the operation. It also seems that no criticism is made of the decisions the two men made, often in a frighteningly adhoc manner. Decisions such as their financial backing and arming of dubious people such as Zia ul Haq, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaluddin Haqani and the Pakistani ISI. Backing which has had very serious consequences for peace in the region.

This book is a light hearted tale of two rather engaging and rebellious characters, rather than a critical 'warts and all' history of the biggest covert operation of the cold war. It is easy to read and fun but don't expect too much.


Africa: A Biography of the Continent
Africa: A Biography of the Continent
by John Reader
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.59

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece!, 21 Jan 2005
For a very thick book I read this in a week and a half. Very well written and easy to read but researched in such a way to add serious credibility. The environmental, historical and anthropological detail that Reader employs is very effective. It helps banish to history the stereotypes and false impressions about Africa that have prevailed for centuries.

Some of the information about African languages, the migration from Africa to the rest of the world, the development of iron and why the established western understanding of the development of civilisations and ancient cities just doesn't apply to Africa are really fascinating.

This should be read by everybody who has lived, travelled or worked in Africa. Brilliant Book.


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