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W. J. Miller (West Bromwich, England)

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The Rough Guide to Ethical Living
The Rough Guide to Ethical Living
by Duncan Clark
Edition: Paperback

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful overview, 10 Aug 2007
This is an easy to read and very practical introduction to issues around ethical consumerism and developing a greener, less exploitative lifestyle. It is an expanded edition of an earlier book, 'The Rough Guide to Ethical Shopping', covering a wider range of topics.

While the book clearly advocates lifestyle changes which would benefit the overall welfare of the Earth and its inhabitants, it avoids being overbearingly moralistic. Instead it provides information to help readers make their own decisions. For example, it discusses the pros and cons of boycotting products from certain companies or countries. At another point, it shows how improving the insulation in your home can often help reduce carbon emissions far more significantly than other more expensive measures like installing wind turbines or solar panels.

Overall the book aims to be helpful rather than merely 'right on' or politically correct. As another reviewer has indicated, one of the book's strengths is that it points to a whole host of websites where particular topics can be explored in more detail. It is a really useful introduction to a wide range of related subjects. I don't know of another introductory book of similar scope.

Highly recommended reading.

The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Dangerous Book for Boys
by Conn Iggulden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and fun - but badly edited, 10 Jan 2007
I can see why this book is popular. It is full of interesting facts and things to do, which will appeal to boys. It has a deliberately old-fashioned feel, mimicking books of the mid twentieth century. This is nostalgia for a pre-television age when boys played out and were allowed to do 'dangerous' things.

However, it is poorly edited. (This may be improved in later editions. I do not know.) Some of the interesting facts are wrong and there are some pretty glaring errors or omissions on some of the maps and diagrams. It has not been put together with enough care, and this is a pity and spoils what is otherwise quite a good book.

I also have reservations about the inclusion of material which glorifies war and empire. This is a very conservative book, but I suppose that that is the nature of nostalgia.

Israel and the Nations: The History of Israel from the Exodus to the Fall of the Second Temple
Israel and the Nations: The History of Israel from the Exodus to the Fall of the Second Temple
by F. F Bruce
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.16

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great overview of biblical history, 9 Dec 2006
If you want a historical overview of the history of the people of Israel from the Exodus to the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. then this is for you. For those who know the writings of F.F.Bruce it will be no surprise that this is a scholarly evangelical treatment of the subject, which acknowledges and uses historical evidence from non-biblical sources as well as biblical ones. Because it was originally written in the 1960s David Payne has lightly updated the text.

If you want a lot of detail on any particular aspect of the history of Israel then the book will probably disappoint, but its brevity and its concentration on the big picture is its great strength. For the inter-testamental period a little more detail is included because this is the historical period with which most readers will be least familiar.

The book also includes some really useful appendices, giving lists of kings, high priests, governors and so on, as well as selected family trees.

It sheds a lot of historical light on the Bible for the general reader. Highly recommended.

Dinnerladies - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1998]
Dinnerladies - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Victoria Wood
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: 16.98

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh and cry, 9 Feb 2006
These DVDs are astoundingly good value at less than £10 for the boxed set of both series. There are no special features or extras, but all sixteen episodes are here and that is enough.
Dinnerladies is very funny with its humour being primarily character-driven. In fact, all the action takes place within the confines of the kitchen and canteen where the dinnerladies are employed. The script is so wonderfully crafted that there is no need for changes in location in order to make it work. (Victoria Wood is a genius!) What is more, because the characters are developed so well and so realistically, you care about what happens to them. You are drawn into their world and some episodes can make you cry as well as laugh. That is a truly rare quality in British comedy.
In short, Dinnerladies is one of the best sit-coms ever to be broadcast.

The Christian Theology Reader
The Christian Theology Reader
by Alister E. McGrath
Edition: Paperback

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good companion to McGrath's Introduction to Theology, 11 Nov 2003
This is an excellent companion volume to Alister McGrath's 'Introduction to Christian Theology'. The many and varied theological excerpts in the Reader are arranged under the same headings that he uses in his 'Introduction to Christian Theology'. The two books are thus easy to use alongside one another and 'The Christian Theology Reader' helps to flesh out what McGrath writes in his 'Introduction to Christian Theology' with historical examples from across the centuries.
I have certainly found the book helpful in getting a flavour of various theologians of many different persuasions and eras, from the early church fathers through to the present day. The length of passages quoted varies from a few sentences to a few pages and they are arranged in chronological order under each heading. McGrath also writes a brief introduction to each excerpt, which helps to orient the reader before the passage itself is actually read.
Finally , I should note that it is quite possible to use and benefit from the 'The Christian Theology Reader' without also having McGrath's 'Introduction to Christian Theology'. I would certainly recommend both books, but they can each be read on their own terms or used for reference without recourse to the other volume.

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