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Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues
Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues
by Elijah Wald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

3.0 out of 5 stars More about blues fans than the blues, 12 Aug. 2013
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I found this book an okay read, very interesting in parts, less so in other parts; my frustration was that it was really about the delusions of blues fans than anything else, and since I've got little interest in the interests of blues fans it wasn't so interesting to me. I was also frustrated by the generalisations about 'white' fans and 'black' fans - generalisations which Wald does himself recognise and address, but they still grate after a while. Perhaps because I am not one of the 'white fans' - meaning perhaps the book was not written for me!! In the end it really felt like a book about Elijah Wald and his own exploded fantasies; although I'm sure such fantasies are shared by many.

This book is worth a read, despite my own mild reservations. Three stars.


Best Of 2011 - Devotional (South India)
Best Of 2011 - Devotional (South India)
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I love this, 30 Mar. 2013
I love this album... I have never particularly listened to Indian music but I really love this! It's traditional devotional music with a slight modern twist - I love the vocals of the female choir, especially on Bhaja Govindam. Not being an expert, I imagine this might appeal more to a westernised ear than a true traditionalist, but I wholeheartedly recommend.


Salter 9139 WH3R Compact Analyser Bathroom Scale, White
Salter 9139 WH3R Compact Analyser Bathroom Scale, White
Offered by No1Brands4You
Price: £12.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unreliable and inaccurate, 8 Aug. 2012
these scales started off well, even if i did seem to be horribly heavy and with a massive body fat percentage (!!!) but after three weeks i find them to be so inaccurate and variable that i can't trust any readings at all. For example, after apparently losing about 20lb over 3 weeks today I have gained 11lb and 6% body fat overnight. Now unsure if any of the readings have been accurate. Disappointing.


The Dukan Diet
The Dukan Diet
Price: £6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well-written and works for me! NOT unhealthy at all., 7 Aug. 2012
This review is from: The Dukan Diet (Kindle Edition)
I found this book in a library and find it very good indeed. I hadn't even heard of the Dukan diet before seeing it in the library, and initially was dubious. But having looked it up on the internet and found my'true weight' via the Dukan website, I decided to get the book on loan and try it out.

Fabulous! Not every diet suits everyone, and I have tried Atkins before - and while I lost weight on Atkins I didn't find it to be a workable long-term solution. Atkins stipulates that you must eat fat (these can be good fats, such as in olive oil and oily fish) while Dukan stipulates low fat. Both are low carb. For me, the Dukan diet works because it allows so much dairy, and also the oat bran. I make my own fat-free yoghurt in a thermos flask (tastier and milder than the shop-bought stuff) and make delicious oat bran 'scotch' pancakes every morning. The rest of the day is protein and vegetables, but I am never hungry and in fact have to keep an eye on my caloric intake just to make sure I eat enough! (If I eat too little, say less than 1000-1200 cals per day, my body is likely to try to hold on to its fat.)

I am not sure why anyone says this diet is unhealthy; the pure protein phase (during which you are still eating the oatbran) is only for a few days. Fruit is banned during the weight loss stage, but remember that this is SWEET fruit; fruits such as tomatoes, courgettes and peppers are not banned (yes, these are fruits, not vegetables!). During the weight loss phase Dr Dukan advocates alternating between pure protein days and protein-and-vegetable days, but I eat a moderate amount of vegetable every day and am losing weight incredibly fast. My caloric intake is low, but this is because I am not hungry on the diet, not because I am trying to starve myself. I have lost well over a stone in three weeks. (This rate of weight loss may even be too fast, and is something I am attempting to monitor!)

As for the book itself, I find it easy and interesting to read, I enjoy Dr Dukan's style and also like the gallic recipes included in the book. As someone who has a mild intolerance to wheat, I enjoy the emphasis on oat bran and find the recipes very useful alternatives to wheat-based foods. The stages of the diet are very well-explained, and I like the way Dr Dukan explains that there is no 'magic' behind many of his stipulations, but psychology; his rules (such as Protein Thursday) appeal to people who want a clear structure to follow.

In other words, if the psychology appeals to you, the diet will work for you. If it doesn't, it won't. It works for me, though. Brilliant.


The Lightworker's Way: Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal
The Lightworker's Way: Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal
by Doreen Virtue PhD
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, inspiring book, 2 July 2012
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an absolutely fabulous book. i had never read any of doreen virtue's books, and must admit i find some of her angel products (not to mention the unicorns and fairies) a bit off-putting, but this book completely surprised me. lucid, intelligent, inspiring, life-changing, fascinating, i was really interested to read about Doreen's upbringing as a Christian Scientist as it was a religion I knew nothing about, but was intrigued. completely unlike any other book i have read on such matters and thoroughly recommended by me.


Fortune Telling With Playing Cards
Fortune Telling With Playing Cards
by Jonathan Dee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not very impressed..., 15 May 2012
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I must say i am not overly impressed by this book, although others here seem to like it (hence why i bought it!). I don't agree with a LOT of the card interpretations here, and the author has corresponded a lot of the meanings to the tarot minor arcana which, while similar in some ways, are NOT the same. More puzzingly to me he has accorded the cards astrological correspondences which again derive from the tarot minor arcana, and often do not fit the meaning of the playing cards (and suggests to me that the author does not have much knowledge of astrology in which case he would have done better to leave it out altogether!). The sections on lenormand style readings seem largely derived from an older book called 'Fortune Telling by Cards' by R.S. Foli which is in the public domain and available free through the sacred-texts website, and so having already read the older book I didn;t find much that was useful in Jonathan Dee's book. I do agree with the author's assertion that every good cartomancer will have developed his or her own method. Obviously others here have found this book very useful, but for me it is just 'ok'.


Fortune Telling by playing cards
Fortune Telling by playing cards
by Nerys Dee
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Useful, 15 May 2012
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This is quite a good book on cartomancy, however I don't agree with a lot of Ms Dee's interpretations, and find that often her interpretations of a given card -esepcialy the reversals - are overly negative, and were a novice reader to follow her interpretations exactly then I do worry that some unnecessarily negative and depressing readings might be the result. Obviously these interpretations work for the author in terms of her own readings, and I feel that is the best way to view this book; not as an authoritative source, but just one way of working with the cards that may or may not work for others. I still find her interpretations useful as I modify them, and sometimes disregard them entirely. In my studies on cartomancy I have found a combination of various methods fused with my own ongoing experience is what works for me, so I would not recommend this book as a sole or primary study source, but may be useful to have on hand for additional reference.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2013 7:23 PM BST


The Complete Tarot Reader: Everything You Need to Know from Start to Finish
The Complete Tarot Reader: Everything You Need to Know from Start to Finish
by Teresa Michelsen
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars just okay, 18 Feb. 2012
I admit I didn't find this book great for me, and I don't think it's 'everything you need to know from start to finish'. There are a lot of exercises and study goals, but I find that kind of thing a little annoying. I think a lot of the exercises contained within the book could have been better presented as illustrated examples. Then when it comes to more indepth information, I felt it was lacking.

That said, there is useful stuff in here about reading reversals, formulating a question and so on... and quite often the author advocates a different and more intuitive approach than is often found, so that's a positive. But generally, although the author implicitly advocates developing an intuitive approach, the actual presentation is quite dry and uninspiring, and doesn't feel at all intuitive with its exercises and study goals.

I like to read for myself and while there is a section on that, it's quite limited. If you are a beginner and prepared to work through this book as a series of exercises with no feedback or discussion (which I think you need when given so many exercises), then you might find it useful. I actually find the layout and her choice of examples, exercises and topics quite confusing - not because they're conceptually difficult, but I just find it lacking in overall coherence. It feels 'bitty' and disorganized.

Having said all that, there *is* some useful stuff in here. Just for me, not enough. I actually found The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tarot much better than this, and caters to about the same level. (I do not especially recommend the Idiot's Guide, although I have found it quite useful and user-friendly over the years. It is still better than Michelsen's book though.)


Beauty Wisdom
Beauty Wisdom
by Bharti Vyas
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but too short!!, 20 July 2011
This review is from: Beauty Wisdom (Paperback)
This is a good book with lots of good tips in it, although I couldn't help thinking it was a bit brief. That said, the information it does contain is very useful - I just would have liked more of it!! She uses quite a few good basic home skincare recipes, advocating the use (for example) of double cream, turmeric and gram (chickpea) flour, none of which I'd ever heard of as cosmetic staples. She identifies problems common to all the different body parts and suggests useful tips to correct them. She also advocates various types of massage and the use of salt baths. Her tips are not entirely 'natural', nor does she particularly push a natural health angle, but she does advocate simple techniques and ingredients that, in her experience, work. For example, she does not dismiss the use of fomaing cleansers which are preferred by many people (not me as i am sensitive to the skin-drying foaming agents), but she does also recommend the all-natural (and cheap!) oil cleansing method. I read this book right the way through while I was in the bath, and was quite disappointed to find that I'd got to the end even before my fingers and toes wrinkled! I did expect something more encyclopedic, but maybe that's just me. I do recommend this book, however, especially if you buy it at a bargain price (as I did!!), and i will look out for more of Bharti's books in future.


Liz Earle's Natural Beauty: A Practical Step-by-step Guide to Making Lotions, Balms, Tonics and Oils
Liz Earle's Natural Beauty: A Practical Step-by-step Guide to Making Lotions, Balms, Tonics and Oils
by Liz Earle
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin!, 16 July 2011
A great little book by Liz Earle, full of information; a brief history of skincare, information on botanicals and essential oils, skincare and bodycare tips and loads and loads of excellent recipes (cleansers, toners, moisturisers, exfoliators, body scrubs, lotions and more!). No pictures, just lots of useful information. Most of the recipes can be created easily from basic ingredients. Excellent!


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