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Etheldreda (Dublin 4 Ireland)

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Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare
Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 9 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is essential reading for anyone interested in the fake ''Iranian nuclear crisis''.

Meticulously researched, this book delves behind the scare mongering headlines and official statements. Western and Israeli leaders have known all along that Iran has never been interested in pursuing a nuclear bomb, but have manufactured this 'crisis' as a way to isolate and punish Iran. With the Lausanne deal, we can hope that this charade is now over, but Porter's book remains an essential guide to the several decade long farce that was/is the ''Iranian nuclear crisis''.


Rome - The Complete Collection [DVD] [2007]
Rome - The Complete Collection [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Kevin McKidd
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £22.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best TV series. Ever., 8 Jan. 2014
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'Rome' is quite simply the best TV series I have ever seen. It has everything - outstanding acting, a superb set, unforgettable characters and a plot line which, though not always historically accurate, really did make you feel like you were there in the dying days of the Roman republic. Oh, and did I mention the extremely attractive actors, male and female? It's hard to choose a favourite from so many brilliant performances - Ray Stevenson as Roman 'everyman', Titus Pullo; the lovely James Purefoy as the unscrupulous Mark Antony; Polly Walker as the rather camp Atia; Lindsay Duncan as the ice-cold Servilia; Kevin McKidd as the conflicted Lucius Vorenus, Indira Varma as his guilt-ridden wife ..... so much to love.

HBO executives have apparently said that, with hindsight, cancelling 'Rome' was a mistake and they regret their hasty decision. So do I. There was enough material in this story to easily last 5 seasons, yet we had to make do with two, albeit two seasons of the best TV I have ever seen. If I was to nitpick, I'd say that season 2 is definitely not quite as good as season 1, especially in the second half, when the need to squeeze years of highly eventful history into a few episodes makes the storyline and characters somewhat distorted. I also disliked the portrayal of Cleopatra as a manipulative, squeaky voiced druggie, with little of the intelligence and charisma she was so famous for. But that's just a nitpick. Even if you're not normally a fan of ancient history, or or historical dramas in general, watch 'Rome'. You will not regret it. You'll merely find yourself wistfully wondering about what might have been had the show been allowed to reach its full potential.

'Rome' is a wonder. That is all.


Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Price: £16.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice recipes, but proportions are way off, 7 Jan. 2014
As a vegetarian who loves Indian food, I was really looking forward to getting this book. And when I opened it, I was not disappointed - so many delicious recipes. However, when I looked in a bit more detail, I was surprised. 100ml of oil for Mattar Paneer? Only 3 potatoes for the tamarind, tomato and potato curry? 400g of peas for the pea and cauliflower curry? I was somewhat taken aback at these amounts, but reckoned that the recipes had been tested and must be correct, so I went ahead and followed them. The result, in all cases, was a bit of a mess - not because I didn't follow the recipe, but because I did.

So I have to agree with some other reviewers. It appears that this book was rushed out and the proportions of ingredients were not revised to suit smaller quantities. This is a shame, as it makes many of the recipes unworkable. I hope that the authors review the book and put out another edition with the correct proportions, as then I'm sure it would be an excellent cook for anyone who loves vegetarian Indian cooking.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2014 12:08 AM GMT


Mary Boleyn: 'The Great and Infamous Whore'
Mary Boleyn: 'The Great and Infamous Whore'
by Alison Weir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a worthy subject for a full-scale biography, 1 Dec. 2013
In the introduction to this book, Alison Weir says that until recently, Mary Boleyn was just a footnote in history. Having read this book - really an extended essay with a lot of filler material - I'm inclined to think that that is where she should have remained. As the late historian Eric Ives wrote, all the hard facts about Mary's life could easily fit onto the back of a postcard. We don't know when or where she was born, nor do we have a single authenticated portrait of her. That this is so should not be surprising: the fact is that Mary Boleyn was in no sense an important figure in history. She seems to have had a fling with King Francois, as well as what appears to have been a fairly brief affair with Henry Vlll. She bore two children, one or both - or neither - of whom may have been Henry's, but in any case were not acknowledged by him, so the question is moot. After that, she faded into even greater obscurity, and were in not for the fact that her sister became Henry's infamous second wife, Mary would have been remembered, if at all, as just another of Henry's mistresses.

In other words, it's hard to see how someone as insignificant as Mary is worthy of a full-length biography, and indeed, this book is low on facts and high on speculation, much of it a rehash of some of Weir's other works on the same period. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the author wrote it mainly to cash in on the renewed interest in Mary following the success of 'The Tudors' and 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. Like all of Weir's books, this one is a pleasure to read, fluently written and full of interesting anecdotes. However, even a skilled writer like Weir cannot hide the obvious lack of substance in this 'biography'. Perhaps, at the end of the day, Mary Boleyn is best left to the realms of fiction.


The Mistresses of Henry VIII
The Mistresses of Henry VIII
by Kelly Hart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but covers well-trodden ground, 27 Sept. 2013
As some other reviewers may have pointed out, the title of this book is a little misleading: although it claims to be about Henry's mistresses, in fact much of the book deals with the trials and tribulations of Henry's marriages and divorces. In other words, it deals with a subject which has already been covered in countless books already. Hart does provide some interesting - though often speculative - information about Henry's mistresses, among them Mary Boleyn and Bessie Blount, as well as lesser-known women such as Anne Stafford and Mary Shelton. Her writing style is fluid and easy to read, but there is little new here, and those interested in a scholarly but readable account of Henry's private life would be better off with books by David Starkey or Antonia Frazer. All things considered, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that Hart chose her title as a way of justifying yet another title in an already overcrowded genre.


CafeTutto (Nespresso compatible) Capsules Taster Box 25's
CafeTutto (Nespresso compatible) Capsules Taster Box 25's
Offered by Fresh Coffee Shop Ltd
Price: £7.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The search goes on, 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love Nespresso, but like many others, wish there was an alternative to the Nestle monopoly. So I was quite interested to hear about Cafe Tutto.

My first question, on trying out the capsules, was: Will they work in my machine? The answer is yes, they do. The capsules fit well into my Pixie machine, and I didn't even notice having to exert any more pressure on the lever. I did notice some extra water dripping into the drip tray when I opened it, and the espresso shots seem to be slightly shorter than with genuine Nespresso capsules, but none of this bothers me much.

My second question was: Will they taste as good? Here, unfortunately, the answer has to be 'No'. Even with the higher intensity capsules such as 'Espresso' the taste is distinctly thin and lacking in depth. Perfectly drinkable, but with more of an 'instant coffee' feel rather than the rich, creamy taste of genuine Nespresso.

For that reason, and of course the fact that the capsules are no cheaper than Nespresso, I am giving Cafe Tutto two stars. The search for a genuine rival to Nespresso goes on.


Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography New Evidence of an Authorship Problem
Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography New Evidence of an Authorship Problem
by Diana Price
Edition: Paperback

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Devastating Rebuttal of the Traditional Shakespeare Story, 2 Jun. 2013
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If you are in any way interested in the Shakespeare authorship question, you MUST read this book. I challenge anyone who reads this book with an open mind to tell me that the authorship question is 'beyond doubt', because it most certainly is not. Diana Price brings forward a wealth of meticulous research and analysis about the life of Will Shaxpere of Stratford, all of which combines to cast very considerable doubt on the idea that he was the great poet-dramatist, or indeed a writer of any sort. The most impressive section of the book concerns Price's comparison of the documented facts about Shaxpere with those of contemporary writers. She searches the historical record for documentation in 10 different categories (eg links to a patron, evidence of education, possession of books) with regard to 24 Elizabethan writers. ALL of the writers have left evidence in at least 2 or 3 of the categories (Ben Jonson in all 10) - all that is, except Shaxpere, who left evidence in none of them. This is not easy for Shaxpere's defenders to explain away, to put it mildly.

Naturally, orthodox scholars have done their very best to challenge Price's conclusions, but given how carefully researched her book is, they've had an extremely hard time picking holes in her arguments. Anyone who thinks authorship sceptics are 'cranks' or 'conspiracy theorists' needs to read this book, as it demonstrates very conclusively that, whatever those with vested interests in the Shaxpere myth would have you believe, there most definitely IS an authorship problem.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2014 10:26 AM BST


Jasmine Silk 100% Pure Silk Filled Eye Mask / Sleeping Mask Sleep Mask - BLACK
Jasmine Silk 100% Pure Silk Filled Eye Mask / Sleeping Mask Sleep Mask - BLACK
Offered by Jasmine Silk
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as 'skin friendly' as I had hoped, 2 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm very sensitive to light and so have been wearing a sleep mask basically every night for years. However, I was concerned that the polyester mask I had, while good at blocking light, was a bit harsh on my skin. So I bought the silk mask. When it arrived I was thrilled at how soft it felt, and when I put it on, was pleasantly surprised at how much light it blocked, especially if I adjusted the elastic band so that it was tight. The next morning, however, I was disappointed to find that I had noticeable creases on my face where the mask had been, which kind of defeated the purpose of having a silk mask. On subsequent nights, I've loosened the band and have found that, while this usually - but not always - stops the mask from leaving creases on my skin, it doesn't block light as efficiently. So while it's preferable to my old mask, the problem with skin creases means I can only give this mask 3 stars.


20 Pairs of Howard Leight Max Lite Ear Plugs
20 Pairs of Howard Leight Max Lite Ear Plugs
Offered by Breathe and Sleep Ltd
Price: £3.05

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best ear plugs I've ever used, 27 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm very sensitive to noise so wear ear plugs every night. Over the years, I've tried many different brands, most of which work quite well, but I've often found they can be a bit painful in one ear, or that they simply don't block enough noise. Not so these ear plugs. When I put them in the first time, as I was holding my finger over the plug to allow it to expand, I could feel the background noise of my bathroom fan diminish to a barely audible murmur within seconds! That's how good these ear plugs are. They're also comfortable, especially if you have small ears, and what's more, the price is right! I really can't fault them.


The Elizabethans
The Elizabethans
by A.N. Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable, 10 Feb. 2013
This review is from: The Elizabethans (Paperback)
Agree with the tone of many comments above. This is an interesting read for a 'newbie' to the Elizabethan era, but you'd have to question the writer's authority on the subject. He emphatically claims that Mary Stuart killed her husband Lord Darnley, even though this is hotly contested among historians, with many claiming she was innocent. Similarly he states that Elizabeth and Robert Dudley never had a physical relationship, something which, again, is the subject of much debate among historians. He also refers to Elizabeth as 'Welsh' though she considered herself very much English, being only partially of Welsh descent. Also,he definitely seems to have an antipathy to the Irish and to Catholicism, which can be off-putting.

Like others, I get the feeling that Wilson is much more at home in the Victorian era, and that this book is really an attempt to cash in on the success of his other works. So while this book is readable and in places informative, it's too unreliable to be recommended as a serious work of history.


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