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J.S Baddeley (London UK)

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The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
Price: 0.77

70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing Editions, 29 Mar 2011
From what I can gather both of the above reviews are correct as they both appear in different editions of the book.
I bought the 72p edition which seems to link to the 3 star review. I presume the 5 star review applies to the updated edition.
Amazon has made this confusing as people are trying to give advice to shoppers but are having their reviews applied to different editions!


Letters To Lily: On how the world works
Letters To Lily: On how the world works
by Alan MacFarlane
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.80

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and thought provoking view on how the world works, 25 Sep 2006
Anthropologist Alan Macfarlane writes a series of letters to his granddaughter, Lily, on his view of how the world works at the beginning of the 21st century. Each letter tackles a different topic, from love and friendship, to violence and fear. We learn the history of how we have built our current beliefs in relation to these issues and how a British perspective varies from other cultural views. Macfarlane highlights the common mistake we make in assuming that there has been a direct path through history to our current point in time. Of course in reality human history has involved many coincidences and crossroads at which the world could have turned out very differently. By helping us to recognise this Macfarlane reminds us that it is vital that we continually adjust the way we view the world and not assume we have already reached the right conclusions.

An interesting and thought provoking book, we are lucky that Macfarlane has decided to share his thoughts with all of us and not just Lily.


Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.64

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most original novels I have read, 20 Sep 2006
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
Fantastically original, cloud atlas follows six narratives across time from the 19th century to the distant future. Whilst not really overlapping the stories have subtle connections and a consistent moral philosophy. Each protagonist faces situations where the `right' decision leads them down a more difficult and uncertain path where they face corrupt and selfish individuals. Essential like real life there are always people who will pursue their own narcissistic goals that will make doing the right thing difficult. Whilst not making everyone bad themselves it can easily lead to the majority becoming apathetic. What I took from it was that if we do pursue what we believe in, we will find others who will help us fight against evils. But the warning is that this may lead to things getting worse for the individual before they get better for everyone. Without people who are prepared to stand up for they believe in we are all doomed. Let's hope there will always be some good in human nature.


The Planets
The Planets
by Dava Sobel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.67

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating account of our local galactic neighbourhood, 16 Sep 2006
This review is from: The Planets (Paperback)
Sobel skilfully completes the often-difficult task of presenting factual scientific information in an enthralling and page turning format. She does this by using different styles of writing to describe each of the planets for example mythology for mercury, science-fiction for Mars. This resulted in some controversy particularly in the chapter on Jupiter where Sobel brings in astrology, but, as Sobel has subsequently defended, this is more about relating human culture and how the planets have been viewed in the past as a reference point for understanding how we view them today. Thus Sobel's pursuit is definitely a scientific one, whilst still allowing room for other cultural interpretations of the planets to be aired.

If you have any interest in our planetary neighbours this is a superb introduction that will leave you wanting to find out more.


Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds)
Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (MasterMinds)
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We could all do with finding more, 28 July 2006
Csikszentmihalyi argues that the majority of the time during everyday life we are not completely focused on what we are doing, we are thinking about a conversation we had yesterday, or worried about a test we have next week. But on the rare occasions when we are doing something which we really love, be it skiing, playing poker, listening to music or cooking a meal, we may experience moments where "what we feel, what we wish, and what we think are in harmony," Csikszentmihalyi calls these exceptional moments of complete immersion, flow experiences.

There are two important factors that seem to be required for flow to be experienced, the first is, the balance between ones skill and the challenge involved must be equal and high, too great a challenge and one will get frustrated, not enough challenge and one will get bored, if skill and challenge are balanced but low then one will fell apathetic to the task. Csikszentmihalyi thus suggests that "flow acts a magnet for learning" the more we participate in the activity the more our skill increases and the higher challenge we have to set ourselves next time. The other important factor in flow is that we must have clear goals and receive immediate feedback on our actions, for example the mountaineer getting one step closer to the summit.

Csikszentmihalyi highlights that we all have flow experiance which add to the richness of life. by identifying it's sources and understanding it's benefits we can seek to find more flow experiances and thus further enrich our lives.


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