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Josquine (Somerset)

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Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life (or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door)
Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life (or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door)
by Lynne Truss
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.50

1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor, 21 April 2014
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How come I forgot the reviews and bought this? Even before starting to read I realised I had poor value for money. Print the size of a book for 10-year-olds, huge margins, and blank pages between chapters. This would have been only 100 pages if the publishers had not tried and failed to mask the fact that this book is very insubstantial.
In content too. Overstated, unfunny, hypocritical - she reveals herself to be guilty of some of the very things she criticises, like using the 'f' word, even accidentally in front of her mother sometimes - and despite the shortness of the book she goes on too long on her very obvious themes.
I now have a dilemma: do I put the book out straight for recycling, or do I give it to a charity shop to their gain but to some punter's loss? Caveat emptor perhaps, as I should have done!


Outdoor Window Thermometer Suction pad mounted on the outside of a window - large, clear LCD display - GVC
Outdoor Window Thermometer Suction pad mounted on the outside of a window - large, clear LCD display - GVC
Offered by GVC digital Ltd
Price: 7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars OK for the price, 9 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's splendid from a practical point of view, discreet, with a clear face,apparently accurate, and pretty cheap. I'm having to replace it after about a year because the LED display is now faulty. I suppose it's because water has got in, and the inside certainly has rusted somewhat. The batteries have not yet run out, and the jeweller who has looked inside for me (no charge!) said renewing the batteries would in any case cost 9.


Compucessory Imac Mouse Mat Ergonomic Non-slip with Gel Wrist Rest Grey Ref CCS55151
Compucessory Imac Mouse Mat Ergonomic Non-slip with Gel Wrist Rest Grey Ref CCS55151
Offered by Rybond
Price: 10.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable, 8 Feb 2014
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This product is comfortable and ergonomic, has made using the mouse much more satisfactory - and indeed precise - than before.


The Hornbeam Tree
The Hornbeam Tree
Price: 3.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much!, 4 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Hornbeam Tree (Kindle Edition)
What is this book meant to be? A sex novel? A human interest story? A thriller? This is the first (and last) novel I have read by Ms Lewis. I very much enjoyed her two memoirs, the second of which is a harrowing account of she went very badly off the rails in her teens after losing her mother, and whose father handled the situation very badly. But this novel - said by other reviewers to be among her best! - tries to do too much, and is far, far too wordy as well, needing to be cut to about half its length. It just gets boring, even the graphic sex. The plots are completely unbelievable, and although she makes a clear attempt to get the dialogue right according to age group and nationality, she betrays the fact that she lived for any years in the US. Just one example: she talks about an English person being accused of 'obstruction of justice'. In the UK the charge is 'obstructing the course of justice'. There are other annoying inaccuracies also, e.g. it's 'Médecins sans Frontières' not 'Frontiers'. I shan't be bothering to read any more of her novels.


Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life
by Professor Brian Cox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not that easy, 21 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Wonders of Life (Hardcover)
Often when I enjoy a TV science series I buy the DVD, especially when it's nature and wildlife. But this time I decided to buy the book so that I could try and understand the complicated science at my own pace. But frankly it's not that easy, for someone who didn't take sciences further than 'O' level (even if I did get good marks) back in the sixties, to understand even on paper! But it's a lovely book, well presented, except that I for one got really cheesed off at the enormous no. of pictures of Prof Cox, looking gorgeous as ever, doing nothing but staring into his beloved space. Really, I wanted to buy an illustrated popular science book, not a fan club book.


In One Pot: Fresh Recipes for Every Occasion
In One Pot: Fresh Recipes for Every Occasion
by Blanche Vaughan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Upside-down!, 24 Sep 2013
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I haven't had a chance to look in detail at this book, and I suppose I shouldn't really use this space to complain about the state of the book, but Amazon no longer has the facility for you to complain about defective items, without having to go to the hassle of returning it. But the publisher needs to be aware that the book is bound upside-down in its cover! As this is for me and not a gift I can cope, but I should have preferred it to be the right way up, obviously.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2014 11:21 AM BST


I KNOW NOW...IT WAS ALL FOR GOOD-Learning that nothing just happens
I KNOW NOW...IT WAS ALL FOR GOOD-Learning that nothing just happens
Price: 4.08

1.0 out of 5 stars Ghastly!, 5 May 2013
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This is a ghastly book.
Of course the horrible abuse that the author suffered as a child was ghastly, and she would appear to have got a good balance right in recounting that part between sensationalism and over-revolting her readers, while as the same time conveying the vile nature of it and her feelings at the time.
I'm afraid that that is the only compliment I can pay to this book. It is very badly written, with the vocabulary and style of a young teenager blogging to her friends. (Well, even younger, we have pages and pages of boring description of and feelings about appearing around the age of 6 years old in school sports day and a stage production there.)
Grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, spelling are appalling. Full stops have attached themselves to the beginnings of following sentences rather than serving to end the previous ones, commas are mis- and over-used, apostrophes are clearly not understood, and on spelling - well, she (mis)uses the word 'literally' and spells it 'literarily', a completely other word, just to give just one example. Actually you only need to look at 'book description' on Amazon to get a flavour of what I mean.
She also comes over as very conceited, especially in relation to what she considers to be her talents for entertaining. Not in writing she hasn't. And, most arrogantly, she refuses to recount what should be at the heart of the book, how she came to terms with her horrendous experiences, by saying that we must read the sequel to her book to find that out. How's that for trades mis-description? (The book is NOT what is says on the tin.)
Much of the text consists of lengthy homilies on how to treat your fellow human beings, and it just comes over as hectoring. A huge chapter near the beginning is one long evangelical peroration on how wonderful God is.
But the worse bit of ghastliness is that she has come to believe that all the horrible things that happened to her were meant to happen by the said 'loving' God. OK, it's probably her way of getting over it all, and I'm probably being very mean for attempting to prick the balloon, but I want to protect others who might otherwise pay out good money for this book.


Place of Reeds
Place of Reeds
by Caitlin Davies
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.52

3.0 out of 5 stars Puzzling gaps, 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Place of Reeds (Paperback)
"Davies's prose is elegant and spare", "Candid and unsentimental". Two reviewers' expressions quoted in the blurb to this book. Too spare for my liking, too unsentimental, though not so much the prose as the content. (And at times, e.g. around the time of her daughter's birth, far too lengthy.)
A young British white girl, having met her boyfriend in the States, just ups sticks and moves to Botswana with him to live with him in his village. What did her parents and friends think about this? Did she herself not have any doubts about this enormous step? Did she not have any settling in problems? What about her initial impressions of the country (I say as one who has just spent a few weeks in Uganda, my first visit to Africa, and indeed the reason I bought this book)? She is happy enough to give her feelings and impressions about her first return to London thereafter.There is virtually nothing of her first year in Africa other than some factual description of her getting a teaching post in advance and some details about induction. No feeling, no thoughts.
Throughout the book, (though it does improve as it goes on, perhaps because nearer the time of writing) she leaves many unanswered questions, leaves cliffhangers at the ends of chapters, without answering them in the next chapter which may be set many months on. This spoiled for me what is a fascinating and upsetting tale. Perhaps it was written as therapy. As we know, such books are sometimes left unpublished.


Her Own Woman: The Life of Mary Wollstonecroft
Her Own Woman: The Life of Mary Wollstonecroft
by Diane Jacobs
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome and tiring, 20 Dec 2012
I received this book through a book exchange scheme, so at least I didn't have to pay (much) for it. I'm only on page 37 and already I'm wondering whether I am going to make it much further. The subject is (going to be, I hope) fascinating, but the writing is terrible. Already way too much tedious detail (e.g. lengthy quotes from teenage emotional witterings), even repetitive (e.g. we have twice learned the names and ages of the subject's siblings) and quote after quote rather than the author's own narrative. Now that I have discovered that the author is an academic, I understand. This book reads as a dreary thesis, rather than as a biography.
...................
That's it. I've got to page 102 and I'm giving up. I'm having nightmares of quotation marks dancing before my eyes. Diane Jacobs may (or may not) be a clever academic but she can't write for the general public. And she thinks St Paul's Cathedral has a spire.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2014 4:50 PM BST


The Book of the Cat
The Book of the Cat
by Michael Wright
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The best cat book ever, 12 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Book of the Cat (Paperback)
A cat nut, I have bought and then given away more books about cats over the years than I can count. But this one, bought in 1980 as soon as it came out, is my absolute bible. Evolution, breeds, behaviour, care, health and, if you're interested, breeding and showing (I'm least able to comment on these) this is the book I turn to for reference every time, more than 30 years on. And quite apart from that, it's such a joy just to read for pleasure. This book IS 'The book of the cat'. What a pity it's no longer in print.


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