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A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

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OxyLED T-02 DIY Stick-on Anywhere Portable 10-LED Wireless Motion Sensing Closet Cabinet LED Night Light / Stairs Light / Step Light Bar with Magnetic Strip (Battery Operated) - Silver
OxyLED T-02 DIY Stick-on Anywhere Portable 10-LED Wireless Motion Sensing Closet Cabinet LED Night Light / Stairs Light / Step Light Bar with Magnetic Strip (Battery Operated) - Silver

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful lamp to leave in a cupboard or dark corner, 29 July 2014
This is a very well-designed light and is ideal to place inside a cupboard so that the light comes on when you open the door and put your hand inside (it detects the movement of your hand). It has ten LED lights which give a reasonable amount of illumination.

It attaches to any surface with adhesive strip - you just peel of the backing tape and press the light against the surface. Because the adhesive strip is attached to a magnetic plate, you can detach the light an move it around to illuminate any dark corner or even use it as a small torch - which would be useful in a power-cut for example.

The lamp needs four AAA batteries and these are not supplied. I would think the batteries would last for a very long time because LED lights have a very low power consumption.


JTL-8 Mini Portable Multifunction Bluetooth Speaker (white)
JTL-8 Mini Portable Multifunction Bluetooth Speaker (white)
Offered by buyinsummer
Price: 8.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At this price you can't go wrong - a great little speaker, 22 July 2014
I am very impressed by this tiny speaker. It is about 1 inch tall but sounds remarkably good for its size. In the attractive blue colour which I chose (other options are available) it really stands out and everyone I meet wants to know what it is, and is then really surprised when I turn it on.

To start it up you just press the large power button on the bottom of the speaker and wait for it to pair with your Bluetooth device. I run an Android tablet, which found it immediately. The sound comes through loud and clear, with the volume being controlled by the tablet or phone. There are indicator light that illuminate when the speaker is paired up and also when it is charging. You can also pause the sound by pressing the power button once (to turn the speaker off you do a long press on the power button).

Although this might not be the best speaker for music (you probably need a larger speaker to get a really good bass response), it is ideal for speech or for casual music listening. I am a keen listener to talk radio and this speaker is perfect for that as the speech come across very clearly.

I have not tested the phone options but other reviewers have said that it handles phone calls very well.

The speaker is very easy to charge up - you just connect it to a micro USB cable and plug it in either to a wall socket adapter (not supplied) or to a computer. The battery life seems long enough to me - I've only charged it up once but it's still going strong a few days later.

A little lanyard is supplied with a plug that goes into the audio socket of a phone of tablet so that you don't lose it. I don't use this myself but some people will ike it.

All together it's a great little speaker - it's tiny sizy is it's unique selling point as it fits into your pocket or bag without being noticed.


The Reluctant Sailor: The Adventures Of Nick Hallett
The Reluctant Sailor: The Adventures Of Nick Hallett
Price: 1.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure with bags of action and historical colour, 13 July 2014
I know Rick as a tireless charity worker whose work building schools and other facilities in African villages is second to none. I was therefore intrigued to read his first Kindle book and although it is aimed at children and young adults I found it a good read for any age.

It is obviously very well-researched with bags of 18th century period detail and also much which would interest anyone who know a little about the history of smuggling off the Sussex Coast.

The passages set in a sailing vessel off the East African coast are incredibly realistic and I for one learned much about the dangers and perils of life at sea - especially when the piratical Barbary Corsairs appear on the scene.

Later, the story moves back to Sussex where the adventurers set foot on British soil again and make their way to London with more adventures along the way!

I think this would be an ideal book for a your person, say eight or nine upwards, but was surprised how much I as an adult enjoyed it myself too.


BTR Handlebar Stem Storage Bike Bag With Removable Shoulder Strap
BTR Handlebar Stem Storage Bike Bag With Removable Shoulder Strap
Offered by BTR Direct Ltd
Price: 8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job for all those little extras that fill our your pockets, 13 July 2014
This is a very well constructed little bag which is just perfect for small items like keys, mobile phone, small-size camera or anything else you don't want to have in your pockets while out for a bike ride. As someone who just uses his bike for short rides but needs to carry lots of bits and pieces this is ideal.

It's very robustly constructed out of water resistant synthetic material, with a soft inner lining with plenty of padding. The main compartment is zipped and there's also a smaller zip-up compartment on the front of the bag which could take plastic cards, memory cards etc.

It's very easy to take on and off with two adjustable buckle straps for the handle-bars and one adjustable strap for the handlebar stem tube. It also has a belt strap for when you get off the bike and I could see the bag being useful as a belt bag with or without the bike. You also get a shoulder strap but I'm not sure I would ever want to carry such a small bag on my shoulder.

I'd say this is a high quality product, well-made with every possible fitting and adjuster you could ask for to make it fit snugly on your bike or on your trouser belt. Great value too.


BTR High Quality Bike Seat Wedge Pack Pannier Storage Bag - Water Resistant
BTR High Quality Bike Seat Wedge Pack Pannier Storage Bag - Water Resistant
Offered by BTR Direct Ltd
Price: 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what it says it is - and well-constructed and great value for money, 13 July 2014
This wedge bag fits easily under the saddle of my Dahon folding bicycle. It's easy to attach with a velcro fastening for the down tube and a couple of adjustable snap-on fastenings for underneath the saddle.

It's ideal for carrying a small camera because the way it's attached to the bike means that it's pretty well insulted from knocks and bumps. You could put a soft-drink can in it, or a spare innner tube and a few basic bike tools. The bag is pretty unobtrusive - if you want a bigger bag there are plenty out there but as an under-saddle container for small items it's pretty much perfect.

It's well-constructed out of robust synthetic material with a fairly stiff outer and a softer padded lining inside. It is definitely water-resistant (I cycled home in the rain the bag was fine). The zip up end opening has a mesh pocket inside for anything small like a spare memory card or an emergency five pound note (if you suddenly fancy a coffee along the way). It's easy to remove the bag if you're worried about it being stolen due to the snap on clips and the velcro down-tube strap.

At this price you can't go wrong and if you want a small under-saddle wedge bag, this is the one to go for.


Sicknote Goes Cruising: An Occasional Diary
Sicknote Goes Cruising: An Occasional Diary
Price: 3.06

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave, courageous and inspirational book - funny too!, 11 July 2014
Having just returned from a cruise on P&O ship Arcadia I was surprised a couple of days later to see in the Kindle Daily Deal newsletter that this book was on offer for 99p! I promptly bought it and now three days later I have finished it.

Firstly let me say, this book is not just about cruising, but also about how Dennis and his wife Mandy have coped with some fairly horrendous health problems over the last 12 years. Dennis's account of the onset of ME/CFS and the gradual realisation that his condition was not going to improve over the long term is a sad but strangely heart-warming read - sad in the sense of seeing a life blighted by this dreadful illness, but also heart-warming in that Dennis and Mandy deal with it with humour and a great deal of mutual support, particularly when Mandy also goes down with an illness of her own.

It is inspiring to read how cruising has given this couple a tremendous sense of having something to look forward to which has somehow helped sustain them through some very dark times. If ever there was a holiday more perfect for people with physical limitations I have yet to hear about it. We have ME/CFS in our family too and our only regret is that it's taken us such a long time to discover how suited cruising is to our requirements.

What comes across so much in the book is how much a regular guy Dennis is - don't let anyone try to persuade you that ME/CFS sufferers are shirkers, work-shy, malingerers or anything else like that. Dennis's long and lonely road to a final acceptance that medical retirement is his only option is a painful read at times and I could only respect his bravery and courage in coming to terms with losing his job and the company of colleagues. Mandy is also an example of the "we're in this together" attitude that marriage can bring.

I enjoyed reading Dennis's accounts of visits to various ports and town in Norway and around the Mediterranean. Despite his difficulties Mandy and Dennis made their way into most of the destinations their ships took them too and he writes warmly and enthusiastically about their visits. I loved their story of rescuing a kitten and taking it to a vet! Not many of us would do that, least of all while suffering from a debilitating illness.

The book is also a credit to P&O and the way they manage their ships - their attention to detail is quite amazing and Dennis and Mandy are testimony to the care with which they carry so many passengers of every age and condition around the world.

I found this a very good read indeed - OK, it's not a literary masterpiece perhaps (you can leave that to the great travel writers) but as a story of how one couple like you and me went through some dark periods but still found the grace to carry on regardless it's a great book, tremendously inspiring and something to pass on to others .


Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Princess Castle
Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Princess Castle
Price: 4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very high quality sticker book - the best we have seen so far, 8 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With two young grand-daughters we often purchase small gifts and have had several sticker books. When this one arrived, we gave it to the three year old and were delighted to see how successful it was. The large size (A3) is impressive, and the paper quality and the quality of the stickers is a cut above the competition.

Although our grand-daughter is only three years old, she found the book easy to use and was absorbed in it right from the start. She quickly cottoned on to the way she cold peel the stickers off the pages and use them again. The pages are brightly coloured and attractive and stickers themselves are robust and colourful and peel off easily (apparently they can be washed and dried on a towel to prolong their life).

We are very aware of gender stereotyping issues but our grand-daughter's fascination with the princess castle seems to be something she was born with - we will have to wait and see if her baby brother grows up with different interests or whether he will just play with his sisters' toys (but no doubt there is a car mechanic sticker book somewhere!).

I would say that this is without doubt the best series of sticker books we have seen and while I can see it is a great gift, the way our grand-daughter took to it confirms that children also will love it.


Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Fairies
Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Fairies
Price: 4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely the best sticker books we have bought, 8 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With two young grand-daughters we often purchase small gifts and have had several sticker books. When this one arrived, we gave it to the five year old and were delighted to see how successful it was. The large size (A3) is impressive, and the paper quality and the quality of the stickers is a cut above the competition.

Our grand-daughter was totally absorbed in the book from the start and began to make up stories on the pages, using the stickers. She was very surprised when she found that she could peel off the stickers and use them on other pages to make-up a new story. The pages are brightly coloured and attractive and seem to suggest many stories to our grand-daughter. The stickers themselves are robust and colourful and peel off easily (apparently then can be washed and dried on a towel to prolong their life).

I would say that this is without doubt the best series of sticker books we have seen and while I can see it is a great gift, the way our grand-daughter took to it confirms that children also will love it.


Philips PerfectCare Azur Iron GC4910/10 - One Perfect Temperature Steam Iron, 180g Steam Boost
Philips PerfectCare Azur Iron GC4910/10 - One Perfect Temperature Steam Iron, 180g Steam Boost
Price: 89.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A set of useful features make this the best iron we have ever had, 8 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It has never occurred to me before that the heat settings on most irons are completely redundant if steam is used correctly. This iron relies on a quite low heat setting but a very consistent supply of steam through the bottom plate. This means that you can iron a mixed basket of clothes without having to worry about the temperature. You can iron a shirt, then a towel (if you iron towels that is!), then a silk scarf, and the iron will cope with them all without scorching or burning.

To use the iron you just fill the water container on the top of the iron, plug it in, then wait for the blue light on top to stop flashing (about two minutes) and away you go.

One important feature on this iron (which I think all irons should have) is an automatic timer which turns the iron off if it is not being used (it waits two minutes if it is flat or three if it is standing on its heel). It is easy to get distracted when ironing, but a crying child, a door-bell or phone ringing etc, and if you put this iron down without turning it off you can rest assured that when you get back it will be quietly cooling down rather than burning a hole through your ironing surface. This would make it a particularly good iron for those with young children or perhaps an elderly person who is becoming forgetful.

Another unusual feature, which I haven't tried yet, is the ability to iron vertically! The description says, "iron out creases from curtains or hanging clothes for example suit jackets or dresses that might need a refresh". I am not sure how you'd do this, presumably you just press the curtains against the wall and iron away.

I have not had to clean the iron yet, but apparently it has permanent anti-scale pills, located in the water tank, and a regular self-clean button. This is quite a useful feature.

We have had this iron for three weeks now and am very impressed with it. Because of the low ironing temperature it has to be safer to use and also cheaper to run. The absence of heat settings is a little bewildering at first, but when you understand that it really doesn't matter, then ironing becomes much easier task overall. Other reviewers have commented that they are worried about trying it on delicate fabrics, but I am certain that you really can trust it.


Dearest Jane...: My Father's Life and Letters
Dearest Jane...: My Father's Life and Letters
by Roger Mortimer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.49

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars While I loved Dear Lupin, 6 July 2014
I bought this book having read Dear Lupin by Jane Torday's brother, Charlie Mortimer. Both books draw heavily on their father Roger's letters to his children. While I loved Dear Lupin, I found Dearest Jane rather pedestrian at times. Jane has provided much more family background and biographical details of her father and personally I did not find this particularly interesting. Her brother Charlie's book lets the letters stand largely on their own, and this is what gives Charlie's book it's time. Jane Torday book gives me the impression of having far too much padding in it and while some of it is interesting, why would a reader want so much information about her family and their lives?

I feel that Dear Lupin could become a modern comedy classic - along with such books as Diary of a Nobody, Three Men in a Boat etc. Jane's book lacks the sheer concentrated sparkle of her brother's book and I regret will come in as an also ran. Note to budding authors - be original, not derivative.


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