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Penelope Young "Penny" (Brighton, Sussex, UK)

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Rayware Alpine Poppy Dinner Set, 16 Piece
Rayware Alpine Poppy Dinner Set, 16 Piece
Offered by BuildSaver
Price: £34.87

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dinner Set that makes me smile in the morning, 1 Nov 2011
I've recently moved into a new flat. I had a few bits of crockery and thought this dinner set was an affordable price that would give me at least 4 of everything.

It is delightful. I love the crisp red and green poppy image against shiny white china. The pieces are a decent size. I particularly like the pasta bowls which are just the right size for pasta and sauce. It looks quite tough and is dishwasher proof. An excellent offer. It makes me smile in the morning when I butter my toast and pour my tea. Good value and excellent design. Arrived safely and efficiently.


Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (Second Edition)
Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (Second Edition)
by Richard Layard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spread a little happiness, 1 Nov 2011
I'm particularly interested in whether my mind can control my mood. The notion of happiness being something we can switch on and off is something I am sympathetic to, but sceptical about. Richard Layard's book confirms that happiness is something we can all achieve. I like the way in which he has applied the logic of an economist's mind to an ethereal concept like 'happiness'.

The book is structured so that you move, with Richard, from questioning why so many of us are unhappy in developed countries when our standard of living is generally greater than our parents, to conclusions about how we can collectively change to a more trusting and positive national culture. It is well referenced and easy to read.

I bought the book because I am writing a book about the benefits of being just that bit older. Most media reporting on an older population is negative yet research tells us that people over 70 are happier than people in their mid-40s. I enjoyed this book because it affirms my own conclusion that maturity can bring us contentment, more compassion and surprisingly, a lot of fun. Read this book and you cannot not think about what you can do to be happier and to make others around you happier. Happy reading.


Glasshopper (Myriad Editions)
Glasshopper (Myriad Editions)
by Isabel Ashdown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You will want to take Jake home, 20 April 2011
This is a really good weekend read. Isabel has a particular gift for dialogue and the conversations between Jake and his parents are at times heart-rending to listen to, as Jake makes sense of ongoing situations. The pace of the book never slows; the story gripped me and I longed for a happy ending. I won't say whether there was one or not.

The structure of the book is interesting. It took me a while to feel comfortable because not only do the voices change but the timescale as well. Jake's voice moves through a year whereas his mother's story covers from 1957 - 1985. That's why, I'd suggest, you read the book as far as possible in one go; easy to do as it hooks you in and you want to find out what happened.

The added attraction for me was that part of the book is set in Brighton, which is where I live, and part on the Isle of Wight which is where I, like Jake and his family, used to holiday as a child.

It's funny, it's heart-warming, it's sad, it's a brave story. A brilliant first novel.


I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman
by Nora Ephron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to face being older, 30 Jan 2011
I've admired Nora Ephron's film work for a long time. She wrote the screenplay for 'When Harry Met Sally', one of my favourite movies. She has a wonderful knack of writing humorously and hauntingly all at the same time.

'I Feel Bad About My Neck' is a series of short essays about her life. It reflects that time in life when each of us has to face our mortality, work through the inner turmoil that may bring and arrive at a place where we can be at peace with ourselves and our age. This is a chocolate box book. One into which you can dip in every now and again and pick out a soft cream one day and a brazil nut the next. For example: "But if the events of the last few years have taught me anything, it's that I'm going to feel like an idiot if I die tomorrow and I skimped on bath oil today." Funny and very readable.


The Three Amigos! [DVD] [1987]
The Three Amigos! [DVD] [1987]
Dvd ~ Steve Martin
Price: £6.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chuckles from the beginning, 14 Oct 2010
I love this movie. I have seen it several times and it still makes me laugh out loud. I love the way it starts, the misunderstanding which means the three actors are mistaken for real cowboys and the whole pastiche of The Magnificent Seven plot, music and setting.

The 'My Little Buttercup' sequence is brilliant. The guys in the bar are so dirty and believable and the bar tender looks so scared. It is very, very funny. The script is brilliant and never lets up and acting superb. Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short work together to produce truly one of the funniest movies ever. They must have had a permanent party making it.


Walking
Walking
by Henry David Thoreau
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing as a cold glass of water on a hot day, 3 Jan 2010
This review is from: Walking (Paperback)
This slim volume of Thoreau's thoughts is delightful. Unfortunately the book doesn't give the original publication date. He's a 19th century American author and unlike many of his time, Thoreau writes clearly and satirically. His first and second paragraphs grab you as he explains his love of walking or 'sauntering'. His thoughts were radical for the time as he saw humans as part of nature, not above it. He valued freedom and wildness above all else.

He made me want to get up and just walk - in any direction, with no purpose except that of walking. It's not about taking excercise. It's about wandering for two or three hours and observing nature, the sky, trees, walking past villas, down road, across fields and being excited by a new vista. It's a refreshing simple book to read that reminds you that when life gets too complex and hurried, all you have to do is put on your jacket, open the front door and go for a walk.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2011 10:12 AM GMT


Père Goriot (Oxford World's Classics)
Père Goriot (Oxford World's Classics)
by Honoré de Balzac
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sensual Read, 11 Oct 2009
This is a classic book based in Paris in the 19th century. It's theme is a basic one of a young man's aspirations within a society where money and connections count. Apart from the story line, the book gives a fascinating insight into Paris at that time with areas, streets and particular addresses being mentioned. You get a real feel for the what it was like to move around the city at that time. I enjoyed it.


Presentation Skills 201: How to Take It to the Next Level as a Confident, Engaging Presenter
Presentation Skills 201: How to Take It to the Next Level as a Confident, Engaging Presenter
by William R. Steele
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Ratchet up your presentation skills, 30 Jun 2009
This is an excellent book for readers who have some experience in presenting. You don't need much experience though as most of the fundamentals of good presentations are included. It's relevant whether you present to in-house teams or you are talking to a large audience.

The book covers the pragmatic side of presenting such as preparing slides and what to do if your equipment fails and the less tangible skills such as pulling in and retaining your audience's attention to, and enjoyment of, your presentation.

Bill Steele's advice is written in a conversational tone and is easy to read. I liked the way in which the content of each chapter was listed as part of the index. This means I can use the book as an ongoing reference book to dip in and out of, as any presentation issues emerge for me.

I'm a freelance trainer and management consultant so am familiar with presenting. I also organise conferences and have often stood at the back of a conference hall watching a speaker struggle to make a point or over use statistics, and wished someone would help to raise his or her game as the audience's attention wandered, and people started texting on cell-phones or rustling the conference papers to see when the tea break was due. This book should be required reading for any presenter, no matter how much experience he or she already has.

Happy reading.


Writing the Popular Novel: A Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Fiction That Sells
Writing the Popular Novel: A Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Fiction That Sells
by Lauren D. Estleman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Resource, 9 Jun 2009
Loren Estleman writes mystery and historical western novels so many of the examples given are of those genres. His pragmatic, personable approach applies to any genre. He peppers his text with relevant examples and inspiring quotes. I particularly liked his recommended reading lists divided into two sections:
(a) instructional how to write books and (b) what he calls "writers speak"- autobiography's, books of author's letters etc. Under each recommendation Loren has added his personal viewpoint in useful comments to help the reader.

I enjoyed the conversational tone of this easy-to-read book and by the end of it, felt I could have sat down with Loren over a coffee and had an informed chat about the process of writing a popular novel.


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