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Mr. D. N. Sumption (Sheffield, UK)
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Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life
Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life
by Paul Dolan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Useful suggestions, but a struggle to read, 23 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I struggled with this book at first: it is not particularly well-written, with important points buried amongst repetition, anecdote and poorly structured sentences. However, it contains many fascinating insights and particularly in the second half, where Dolan lays out some practical exercises, it becomes genuinely useful. In the short time since I read this book, I certainly feel both happier and more aware of the sources of my own happiness. It's just a shame that the book wasn't better written and about half the length.


ESSENTIAL FOODS Estate Living Dog Food
ESSENTIAL FOODS Estate Living Dog Food
Price: £55.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds like the good stuff!, 23 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well, this certainly isn't your everyday dog food! The packaging tells us that it contains such exotic ingredients as acai berries, seaweed and alfalfa, as well as two types of deer meat! Quite how necessary all of those things are to a dog's diet is open to question, but what is certain is that they are an improvement over the cheap bulking ingredients and high wheat levels in most dry dog foods. How did it fare in practice? Well, our Lakeland terrier wolfed it down, but then that's hardly surprising, there is very little that she will not eat. After a couple of weeks on the stuff, she certainly appears healthy and lively, although that is my subjective assessment based on just one dog. It's hard to say whether this is worth the money, but I can say with some certainty that you could do a lot worse!


Kings Bounty - Dark Side (PC DVD)
Kings Bounty - Dark Side (PC DVD)
Offered by Retro Online
Price: £17.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Old-school turn-based RPG, 23 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fairly old-school computer game, a turn-based RPG. For what it is, it's decently done, and will provide hours of playing. I found it a little dated, with its old-school graphics and its requirement that you read reams of text from the screen (there were no recordings of characters speaking the script), and I have to admit that I didn't stick with it for more than a couple of days.


The Wake
The Wake
by Paul Kingsnorth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, 23 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Wake (Hardcover)
This is an extraordinary novel, one which will live in my bones for a very long time.

The Old English-style language in which it is written is, of course, the first thing you notice. Initially you suspect that this "shadow tongue" may be a piece of trompe-l'œil, clever, eye-catching, but obscuring a lack of real depth to the story. Gradually though, as events spiral out from the fenland home of its protagonist buccmaster of holland, the tale gets its claws into you, the characters become terrifyingly real, and the suspense builds towards an inevitable tragic ending of an England ruled by the French.

The language makes reading the book relatively hard work - more difficult than books like Riddley Walker or Vernon God Little simply because some of the words are not "soundalikes", so you will need to refer frequently to the glossary to decipher terms like fugol (bird), cenep (moustache), whit (animal) and wyrd (herb). But gradually these terms too become familiar, and you find yourself increasingly inhabiting both the landscape and the mindscape of the "angland" of 1000 years ago.

From the many one-star reviews on here it is clear that people are struggling with the language and giving up. While that's understandable, I really don't think it's any reason to rate the book so lowly. Certainly it is a book that requires effort, but stick with it and it will more than reward the effort that you put into it.


Extra Long 2 Meter Micro USB To USB Cable (Pack Of 5) (BOS-27U) Braided Tangle Free [Type-B] [Micro USB Cable] Free 30 Days Money Back Guarantee [18 Months Warranty]
Extra Long 2 Meter Micro USB To USB Cable (Pack Of 5) (BOS-27U) Braided Tangle Free [Type-B] [Micro USB Cable] Free 30 Days Money Back Guarantee [18 Months Warranty]
Offered by The Ago!
Price: £11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond pleased!, 20 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Beyond pleased with these cables. They look and feel great, and have proved to be a lot sturdier than previous USB cables I've used. I just wish I could also buy them as USB to mini USB, so that I could replace *all* of my USB cables.


No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Pole and hooks not included!, 13 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I realised I would have to buy a shower pole to hang this up with, but I expected it to have hooks (as indeed it does in the picture). I was wrong! This is just a curtain (or "curtain liner" as the packaging has it).

Once I'd actually got hold of the pole and hooks, it was fairly easy to hang up. It is, this time in line with the description, "basic", no frills, just a transparent rubbery shower curtain. I imagine you'd have to wipe it down and dry it well after every shower if you want to avoid limescale and blobs forming on it, but for now it does the job just fine.


Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin in the Middle Taiga
Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin in the Middle Taiga
by Sylvain Tesson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A small taste of raw nature, 13 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The idea of becoming a hermit is both fascinating and terrifying. To retreat to a remote part of the world where every day's activities are guided by nature at her most elemental, and to become self-sufficient, is a prospect which both appeals and repels. Sylvain Tesson, who took the bold step of living six months in a forest cabin in Siberia, gives us a taste of what this experience must be like. His task is an impossible one - as he himself admits - how can one put down in writing what it feels like to survive and work in temperatures of -40F, or to explore forests and climb mountains in a place where one's nearest neighbours are tens of miles away, and a small accident or poor judgement could lead to death. But he makes a good attempt of it. Particularly towards the end of the book, as I became familiar with Tesson's cycle of fishing, book-reading, vodka-drinking and scrambling up mountain slopes, I did get a sense of what it must be like to exist outside of the timescales and responsibilities forced upon us by modern society and technology.


Gardening Myths and Misconceptions (Wise Words)
Gardening Myths and Misconceptions (Wise Words)
by Charles Dowding
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book, though of questionable value, 8 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an interesting and pretty little book, with some handy tips, which would make a good present for any gardener. The "myths and misconceptions" which the author attempts to dispel cover a range of things, many of which are emphasised several times in different ways, particularly the myth that land needs digging and loosening before planting. However, the author's evidence that these myths are incorrect often just come down to the fact that he has succesfully grown things while doing things the opposite way. One or two of his statements are backed up by scientific studies, but generally it is a case of "works for me" (to be fair, he does make this quite clear in the introduction, and stresses that his real aim is to get readers to question and test any handed-down wisdom).

The book itself is a pretty thin hardback (I read the whole thing in under two hours, and I'm not a particularly fast reader). It's very attractively presented, although while reading it I found that the little flourishes and fancy headers were actually a little distracting, and made it harder to read - as did the rather small typeface.


Hotpoint Steam Blender, 600 Watt, Silver
Hotpoint Steam Blender, 600 Watt, Silver
Price: £99.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Makes great healthy soup and baby food, 4 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To start off with, this is a great blender, with a heavy duty glass container and a lethal-looking arrangement of six blades, two of which are serrated. It is both larger and more effective than the blender I used previously, on my Bosch food processor. And then, we have the steam cooking option. I was a bit baffled by this at first (the next-to-useless instructions really do not help), but it's actually very straightforward: set the time to cook, and then turn it on, that's it - there are no other settings. By steaming and then blending, you can knock up some deliciously tasty (and nutrient-filled) soups and baby foods (careful though, this stuff comes out HOT). It's really very quick and easy to knock up some great purees. As with all blenders, washing up can be a bit of a chore, but nothing especially tricky about it.


Stanley STHT5-20211 20-inch/ 500mm Heavy Duty Saw (Pack of 5)
Stanley STHT5-20211 20-inch/ 500mm Heavy Duty Saw (Pack of 5)
Price: £38.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy-duty, but disposable, 4 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These saws make fairly light work of heavy-duty sawing. Their sharp, hardened blades are good for hard woods and for big jobs - but are fairly coarse, so perhaps better suited for sawing firewood than for crafting furniture. They are "disposable" - hence the five pack - once the saw blunts then you move on to the next one.


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