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Richard (Portugal)

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Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations
Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False Advertising!, 25 Mar. 2015
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This is not a collection of connected essays or, in any way, an integrated volume about Classics. Instead, it is a collection of book reviews that Mary Beard has written for various publications. Some of the reviews are interesting and well-written; others seem overly nasty and superficial. In essence, the author got a book out of disjointed reviews about books exploring a wide range of topics. I was very disappointed.


My Life with Belle
My Life with Belle
by Judith Ravenscroft
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Novella, 28 Feb. 2015
This review is from: My Life with Belle (Paperback)
If you like compelling, thoughtful and intelligent writing, this would be a good choice for you. Judith Ravenscroft proved long ago that she was a great short story writer, and in this book she demonstrates that she is a talented author of longer fiction, as well. I read everything Ravenscroft publishers (and I wish she would publish more!).


The Wordy Shipmates
The Wordy Shipmates
by Sarah Vowell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.41

1.0 out of 5 stars One of the Worst Books I Have Ever Tried to Read, 20 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Wordy Shipmates (Paperback)
Littered with glib, pop-culture references and impossible-to-verify conjectures, I found this book embarrassingly bad. The author admits she started learning history from an idiotic American TV show called "The Brady Bunch" and her writing seems perfect for an American sit-com. If you can get through this entire book, check your pulse, because you might actually be brain-dead.


Act of Darkness
Act of Darkness
by Francis Henry King
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 28 July 2013
This review is from: Act of Darkness (Hardcover)
This is a terrific novel. It won't be for everyone, thank goodness - far too intelligently written for that. If you like good writing and complex, multi-layered stories, it might be for you.


Treblinka Survivor: The Life and Death of Hershl Sperling
Treblinka Survivor: The Life and Death of Hershl Sperling
by Mark S Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Moving!, 4 Jan. 2012
The author does a superb job of researching his subject's life. I was particularly moved by the story of Hershl Sperling's life following the enormous traumas he suffered in the Nazi death camps. I'd never read a book that so intelligently and forcefully captured the lasting effects of trauma on the survivors and their families. "Bravo!" to Mark S. Smith! I cannot recommend this book highly enough.


L'OREAL TOOK MY HOME - B Format: The Secrets of a Theft
L'OREAL TOOK MY HOME - B Format: The Secrets of a Theft
by Monica Waitzfelder
Edition: Paperback

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive battle against giant corporation, 18 Dec. 2007
Monica Waitzfelder tells the impressive, moving and ultimately infuriating story of how she has been carrying on a one-woman struggle against L'Oréal, the French cosmetics giant. L'Oréal refuses to give back the Waitzfelder family house in Karlsruhe, Germany, which the company purchased under highly dubious circumstances after it had been confiscated by the Nazis.
I found several things amazing about this story:
1) Waitzfelder's determination and dynamism, and the wonerful job she did in accumulating the documentation that proves her family has every right to their house in Karlsruhe.
2) The short-sightedness and lack of common sense of L'Oreal's directors, who could have done the right thing early on and given the house back to Waitzfelder, but who instead chose to battle against her. Note that the company would have suffered only a trifling financial loss if they gave back the property. Also,in doing so, L'Oréal would have made a great public-relations coup. And the company's directors would have had the satisfaction of knowing they acted in a morally upstanding way.
3) The frightening ability of giant corporations to intimidate the media and stifle coverage.

I won't be buying any products from L'Oréal until they give back the Waitzfelder property, and I'll bet you won't either if you read this book.


Catalonia: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
Catalonia: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
by Michael Eaude
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb survey of Catalonia - its history, art, politics and cultural heritage, 18 Dec. 2007
I loved this book. Michael Eaude writes with a novelist's sensibilities about a region that he clearly adores, and he is able to translate his passion into captivating chapters about everything from cuisine to architecture to anarchist politics and history. I particularly enjoyed the section on Catalan music and its connection to the region's political movements since I knew nothing about that subject. He writes concise and often poetic prose, and his flashes of wit enliven his text. For anyone preparing to visit Catalonia or explore its history, this book would be a great place to start. Highly recommended.


Catalonia: A Cultural History
Catalonia: A Cultural History
by Michael Eaude
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb survey of Catalonia - its history, art, politics and cultural heritage, 15 Dec. 2007
I loved this book. Michael Eaude writes with a novelist's sensibilities about a region that he clearly adores, and he is able to translate his passion into captivating chapters about everything from cuisine to architecture to anarchist politics and history. I particularly enjoyed the section on Catalan music and its connection to the region's political movements since I knew nothing about that subject. He writes concise and often poetic prose, and his flashes of wit enliven his text. For anyone preparing to visit Catalonia or explore its history, this book would be a great place to start. Highly recommended.


A Gentleman's Relish
A Gentleman's Relish
by John Murray
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novel!, 15 Jan. 2007
This review is from: A Gentleman's Relish (Paperback)
John Murray is renowned for being an amusing writer (and he is!), but it is the compassion at the core of this mad and brilliant novel that makes it stand out from so much contemporary fiction. I found the relationship between George and his father, Bill, extremely moving. If you're sick of the high-gloss, superficial novels that seem to be so popular at the moment then I'd recommend you give 'A Gentleman's Relish' a try.


Parallel Lines
Parallel Lines
by Peter Lantos
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and Moving, 16 July 2006
This review is from: Parallel Lines (Paperback)
Lantos' world came undone when - as a small boy - he was deported by the Nazis to Bergen-Belsen. Many years later, after becoming a medical doctor in England, he returned to Hungary to reconstruct what happened to him and his family. His memoir is beautifully written and captivating, and he has done a wonderful job of discussing terrible suffering in simple, moving, and insightful ways. He has not only written a sensitively narrated memoir, but he has also done an expert job of sleuthing his family's history in order to fill in the heartbreaking gaps left by the Holocaust. I recommend this book highly.


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