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Reviews Written by
El Loro "El Pinarillo Books" (London, England)
(VINE VOICE)   

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AmazonBasics Poly Cotton Duvet Set with 1 Pillowcase, Single - Geo Flowers
AmazonBasics Poly Cotton Duvet Set with 1 Pillowcase, Single - Geo Flowers
Price: £11.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Great value., 3 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a reasonably attractive, functional set.

Nothing special but ideal for students, people setting up home or just the spare room.

All in all, great value for money.


Mitre Quick Pop Up Football Goal
Mitre Quick Pop Up Football Goal
Price: £20.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Not for grown ups but first class for the young'uns., 24 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was great fun for a team of kids aged between four and eighteen on one of our warmer afternoons. They played penalty shoot outs and three perfectly well...until the grown ups got involved.

It's not a good size for the older goalie and suffered a bit when a couple of old-enough-to-know-betters fell over on it.

Funnily enough, we were asked to go back inside.


L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Rebalancing Facial Oil
L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Rebalancing Facial Oil
Price: £16.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps us both happy., 24 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The wife loves it.

It's not greasy, it rubs in well, is quickly absorbed and feels good.

Me , I like the smell of citronella around the dressing table.


Indian Arrivals, 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire
Indian Arrivals, 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire
by Elleke Boehmer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting angle on Anglo-British history., 24 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an interesting take on Anglo(?)-Indian relationships at the height of the Raj: instead of the usual examination of the impact on India, we have a look at the effect of Indian migrants and visitors on Britain.

It is a considered work which tends to the weighty in style and subject while remaining accessible. The focus is on the cultural impact so we properly learn about giants like Tagore and Gandhi. However, the effect of the many ordinary people from the subcontinent - the ones that built the mosque in Woking in the 1880s, for example - is passed over.

Nevertheless, an interesting and readable book.

Mind you, more pictures would have been nice.


Swing Dance: Fashion, music, culture and key moves
Swing Dance: Fashion, music, culture and key moves
by Scott Cupit
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, 24 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I think of swing, I don' t think of forties dance halls so much as clubs full of almost hipsters in London's east end. Not the best impression.

So I ordered this book on the off chance - and I'm glad I did.

Although it's not deep, it explores the connection between then and now, with great photos and suggestions for listening. With a tablet alongside, it gave the book a multimedia depth that e-publishing can't seem to deliver.

If I were twenty years younger, I'd take myself off to Bethnal Green and join the party but this book was still a lot of fun.


Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool
Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool
by Jennifer Jacquet
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

3.0 out of 5 stars A very twenty first century approach., 24 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a thoughtful and accessible book that explores the potential of shame as a means for transforming our world.

I had several reservations - the way shame is used in social media, for example - which the author addresses, although not entirely satisfactorily. Panopticism is nothing new. The concept has been around for centuries and has manifested itself in many ugly ways - the DDR in the seventies and eighties springs to mind.

Without a certain moral compass, shame can be more a weapon for oppression than a tool for transformation and I was not convinced the author understands this somewhat archaic principle. Instead, it felt like one more overly optimistic libertarian fantasy.

Maybe it's because I'm old enough to remember a different way of living.


The Last Banquet
The Last Banquet
by Jonathan Grimwood
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars It's not easy writing about food in English., 24 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Last Banquet (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Writing about pleasures of the senses is not something that comes easy in English. Apart from Joanne Harris's Chocolat and Jim Crace's The Devil's Larder, there is nothing that comes remotely close to Patrick Susskind or any number of Latin American writers.

Perhaps it's the fault of the language. After all, we don't have a phrase to match bon appetit, guten appetit, buon apetito or que aproveche.

Still, Jonathan Grimwood has had a fair go at it. It's not bad but it doesn't hit the spot.


Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzing Powder with Blush Number 09, Golden Tropics 16 g
Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzing Powder with Blush Number 09, Golden Tropics 16 g
Offered by Lazymoggi Cosmetics
Price: £4.49

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wife likes it., 3 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Mrs Loro is very keen on this.

She likes the texture and she particularly likes the way she can blend the blusher and bronzer to her own taste.

If she's happy, I'm happy.


Sport and Ireland: A History
Sport and Ireland: A History
by Paul Rouse
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

5.0 out of 5 stars I don't like much sport but this is about much more., 1 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fascinating insight into an important aspect of what has been a marginalised culture. It also reminds us of the political significance of sport at historical moments.

It's much more than the kind of sporting book you might get for Christmas or read on holiday but accessible and engaging nevertheless.


New GCSE English Language and Literature Revision Guide - for the Grade 9-1 Courses
New GCSE English Language and Literature Revision Guide - for the Grade 9-1 Courses
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Like the new grade five, these four stars include the top end of three stars, 28 Dec. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using and recommending CGP resources since the late 90s and this is the first time I've found them wanting.

The new English and Lit GCSEs are daunting because of (largely political) changes in the way they are assessed. The skill set is pretty much the same. CGP can be relied on to stay on top of changes and this book hits the mark as usual.

The problem is it's ambitious breadth. There is a huge difference between a grade three and a grade five; trying to cover the entire spectrum for two courses in under a hundred pages is too much even for CGP.

It's packed with useful material - as usual - but it's pitched too high for the lower grades and too low for the higher grades. It's most useful, perhaps, as an introduction to the courses at the beginning of year ten, although most students would have had a taste of GCSE in year nine.

I can't fault CGP for producing this. The government's endless idealistic and ideological meddling has generated an atmosphere of uncertainty, with all the commercial potential that follows. I just think it's neither fish nor fowl.


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