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Eleni
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LUPO 10 Ports High Performance USB 2.0 HUB, Plug and Play (White)
LUPO 10 Ports High Performance USB 2.0 HUB, Plug and Play (White)
Offered by LUPO STORE
Price: 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY PRACTICAL, 6 July 2012
This works well and is exactly what I needed. I lately found my work space cluttered by so many USB devices and as my pc has only a few USB ports, I kept plugging and unplugging my devices, which were scattered around when not on my pc. This 10 port plug is ideal, as I can have all my devices connected on my pc, at all times. I use it with Windows XP computers and I had no problems so far.

I bought the LUPO 10 Ports High Performance USB 2.0 HUB, Plug and Play (Black) a few weeks ago and now I got this one for our second pc, and I couldn't be happier.


HealthAid Almond (Sweet) Oil 100ml
HealthAid Almond (Sweet) Oil 100ml
Price: 5.24

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BASE OIL FOR FACE, BODY AND HAIR, 6 July 2012
This is a very nice quality of pure sweet almond oil, which is perfect to use as base oil mixed with essential oils. This almond oil can be used to massage face or body for a smooth and healthy skin. It can also be used to nourish the hair instead of a pre-wash hair mask. You can use a variety of essential oils to create your own blend. The bottle instructions say to add 15 drops of essential oil for 30 ml base oil, but I think that it depends of what oil you use, for instance, I used orange blossom essential oil and it took a few more drops for the perfect blend. It is best to use relatively soon once it is mixed with essential oil, so I blend 20 ml at a time.

My only problem with this product is that when I received my order, the bottle lid was not very secure and some of the oil was leaking.


The Jane Austen Handbook
The Jane Austen Handbook
by Margaret Sullivan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "PROPER LIFE SKILLS FROM REGENCY ENGLAND", 4 July 2012
This lovely little book is a useful handbook for Jane Austen's novels and also a manual of etiquette for a respectable young woman in Regency England.

The book is separated into four sections; "Jane Austen's World & Welcome to it", "A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings, or Everyday Activities", "Making Love", and "The Best Company, or Social Gatherings". It also includes an Appendix with a short biography of Jane Austen, summaries of all her novels, a list of film adaptations, a list of resources and a selected bibliography.

As a handbook for her novels it is very interesting and useful. It provides valuable information for the better understanding of Austen's novels, like "Who Died & Made Mr. Collins the Heir of Longbourn?" which I have to admit reading "Pride and Prejudice", I could never understand, "Modern Money Equivalents", which calculates for instance that Mr. Darcy's ten thousand a year is something like three million a year, and "Marriage Over the Anvil", which explains the marriage laws of Regency England and Scotland, and many other fascinating facts.

Apart for the better understanding of her novels, the book is a brilliant survival guide for regency society. In case a lady -an accomplished proper lady- decides to pick a time machine and travel to Jane Austen's England, this is definitely the book to take with her. Where to "Spend Each Season", how to "Write a Letter", how to "Ride Sidesaddle", how to "Dress" and "Buy Clothing", how to "Pay a Morning Call", how a "Lady Might spend her Leisure Time" including instructions for crafts like fancy needlework and making filigree baskets, the rules of card games like "Whist" and "Piquet", how to "Attend a Ball" and dance most types of regency dances like "Minuet" and "Quadrille", and many other things someone travelling to Regency England needs to know.

If however you think that the existence of a time machine is pure science fiction and you probably won't be able to travel to Regency England any time soon, this elegant and beautifully illustrated little book is a nice and well written guide of etiquette for any modern accomplished lady; things like "Plan a Dinner Party", "Raise your Children", "Become Known as a Valuable Neighbor", "Get Rid of Unwanted Guests" or "Celebrate Christmas in a Country House", apply today as well.

The book is also published as "The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World".


Jane Austen Handbook
Jane Austen Handbook
by Margaret Sullivan
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars "A SENSIBLE YET ELEGANT GUIDE TO HER WORLD", 4 July 2012
This review is from: Jane Austen Handbook (Hardcover)
This lovely little book is a useful handbook for Jane Austen's novels and also a manual of etiquette for a respectable young woman in Regency England.

The book is separated into four sections; "Jane Austen's World & Welcome to it", "A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings, or Everyday Activities", "Making Love", and "The Best Company, or Social Gatherings". It also includes an Appendix with a short biography of Jane Austen, summaries of all her novels, a list of film adaptations, a list of resources and a selected bibliography.

As a handbook for her novels it is very interesting and useful. It provides valuable information for the better understanding of Austen's novels, like "Who Died & Made Mr. Collins the Heir of Longbourn?" which I have to admit reading "Pride and Prejudice", I could never understand, "Modern Money Equivalents", which calculates for instance that Mr. Darcy's ten thousand a year is something like three million a year, and "Marriage Over the Anvil", which explains the marriage laws of Regency England and Scotland, and many other fascinating facts.

Apart for the better understanding of her novels, the book is a brilliant survival guide for regency society. In case a lady -an accomplished proper lady- decides to pick a time machine and travel to Jane Austen's England, this is definitely the book to take with her. Where to "Spend Each Season", how to "Write a Letter", how to "Ride Sidesaddle", how to "Dress" and "Buy Clothing", how to "Pay a Morning Call", how a "Lady Might spend her Leisure Time" including instructions for crafts like fancy needlework and making filigree baskets, the rules of card games like "Whist" and "Piquet", how to "Attend a Ball" and dance most types of regency dances like "Minuet" and "Quadrille", and many other things someone travelling to Regency England needs to know.

If however you think that the existence of a time machine is pure science fiction and you probably won't be able to travel to Regency England any time soon, this elegant and beautifully illustrated little book is a nice and well written guide of etiquette for any modern accomplished lady; things like "Plan a Dinner Party", "Raise your Children", "Become Known as a Valuable Neighbor", "Get Rid of Unwanted Guests" or "Celebrate Christmas in a Country House", apply today as well.

The book is also published as "The Jane Austen Handbook: Proper Life Skills from Regency England".


Changeling
Changeling
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.84

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars VERY DISAPPOINTING, 25 Jun 2012
This review is from: Changeling (Hardcover)
This is the first book in the new young adult historical fiction series by Philippa Gregory.

In 1453 Italy, seventeen-year-old Luca Vero, although accused of heresy, is assigned by the Order of Darkness to investigate any mysteries, heresies or sins that Pope Nicholas V considers a threat to the church and the future of Christendom. As Luca is trained for his assignment, seventeen-year-old Lady Isolde of Lucretili is robbed of her inheritance by her brother and forced to become an Abbess. Luca and Isolde are brought together when the young inquisitor is asked to investigate strange visions and bleeding wounds that torment the nuns in her care and throw suspicions of witchcraft on Isolde and her friend Ishraq.

I thought that a historical novel set in medieval Europe for young adults is an excellent idea, and even more so, when it is written by such an experienced, established author like Philippa Gregory. Sadly reading it, I couldn't possibly believe that it was indeed written by Gregory and not by some novice author, whose awkward writing and many blunders show only minimum promise for the future. The idea is interesting, but the plot is all over the place, the dialogues repetitive and simplistic, characterization, which usually is Gregory's strongest quality, here is practically nonexistent, and atmosphere and historical detail are nowhere near her usual standards.

I don't believe that writing for young adults is an excuse for inferior literature. Young adults are not second rate citizens, they are not less intelligent or perceptive, and they definitely do not deserve this treatment. On the contrary, being the readers of tomorrow, they deserve encouragement, gratitude and respect, which I don't think that Philippa Gregory gives them, with this sloppy amateurish book, so shockingly unlike her other excellent work.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2012 1:20 AM BST


Empress of the Seven Hills
Empress of the Seven Hills
by Kate Quinn
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL FICTION AT ITS BEST, 19 Jun 2012
This is the third historical fiction book in the Rome series by Kate Quinn.

This novel focuses on the reign of Emperor Trajan and covers a period of fifteen years. The emperor's niece, Vibia Sabina longs to see the world and has not forgotten her first love, the former gladiator Vix, who returns to Rome to seek fame and glory as a soldier. Their romance is interrupted by her marriage to the emperor's ward, the ambitious Hadrian, but they are always united by their mutual love for Emperor Trajan, their friendship with the kind and honest Titus and their duty to Rome. Like the two previous books in the series, this one is about strong, independent characters, who are trapped in a world of political ambitions, plotting, and prophesies, and have to fight for their happiness, even though fate doesn't always grant them their dreams.

The atmosphere is great, as Kate Quinn once again creates an amazingly vivid background enriched with details of everyday life in Rome, descriptions of the military campaigns and the life of soldiers while at war, as well as details of the customs, appearance and architecture of all the Roman provinces that Sabina visits. Historical detail is excellent, and even though there are some inaccuracies, the author has used this fascinating period of Roman history, with all the scheming, passions and battles, to create an excellently written, fast-paced, captivating novel. Although not all characters are likable, as all good stories need their villains, they are all very well developed. Also, some of the main characters from the previous novels, Daughters of Rome (Rome 2) and Mistress of Rome, are back, which brilliantly links the storylines, without however making it necessary to read the novels in the order they were written.

I really loved this historical novel as much as the previous two, and since the novel ends on a cliffhanger and promises a sequel, I can't wait for the fourth book in this series.

The book includes a historical note and an excerpt from "Mistress of Rome".

This book is also published as Empress of Rome (Rome 3).


The Pindar Diamond
The Pindar Diamond
by Katie Hickman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FRAGMENT FROM A STORY NEVER TOLD, 16 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Pindar Diamond (Paperback)
In this historical novel set in 17th century Venice, three seemingly unrelated storylines revolve around the Sultan's Blue, a priceless diamond. The merchant Paul Pindar is trying to find his long lost beloved, with the help of his mistress Constanza and his servant John Carew. In a Venetian monastery, a former slave from the Sultan's harem in Constantinople is adjusting to her new life as a nun. A mysterious injured woman washes on the shore of an Italian village and is taken care by a poor group of female performers.

I usually love historical fiction and I expected to like this one as well, but sadly I didn't and I actually had to force myself to finish it. Although the storylines are finally connected, the plot never really makes complete sense, and it seems that it is only a fragment of a story we are never told. Reading it, I expected that the background stories would eventually be revealed, especially the story of the mysterious woman, but they never really do. Also, the characters are never established, so their reactions and their relationships are never explained. I suspect that most characters are first introduced on Katie Hickman's previous book The Aviary Gate, and having read it, the reader would better understand this one. However, this is not a series and nowhere does it mention that having read any other books is a requirement for the understanding of this one.

It is obvious that Hickman is familiar with the history and the everyday life of the time, however her dutiful, but colourless descriptions never achieve to create the necessary atmosphere, to make her 17th century Venice real. Similarly, her emotionless narration and awkward writing never truly engages the reader. Also, elements like romance or violence are suddenly thrown into the story with no explanation or justification, and without adding anything to the plot or the development of the characters.

It is possible that the author's non fiction work is very good, but as far as historical fiction is concerned, there are far better books out there.


Fruit of the Loom Men's American Original 3-Pack T-Shirt
Fruit of the Loom Men's American Original 3-Pack T-Shirt
Price: 5.48 - 10.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC & CONVENIENT, 14 Jun 2012
These lovely classic t-shirts are great. I got a pack for each of my parents, as they are great for men and women alike, and I even got one xxlarge pack for myself, to turn into loose beach dresses, and we couldn't be happier. The quality is very good and the fabric is thin and therefore they are ideal for the summer. The size is a little small, but having read the reviews, I got a size larger and they fit perfectly. The white, black and grey colours are great, and the design is classic and incredibly convenient. Also the crew neck is rather loose, so it is perfect for people who don't like tops that are very tight around the neck. I can see that some reviewers had problems washing them, but I washed them with cold (30 degrees) water and I had no problems. To be honest, I don't know about the 40 degree wash suggested by the instructions, as I wash everything with cold water anyway.

The white and black t-shirts are made of 100% cotton, and the grey t-shirt is made of 94% cotton and 6% polyester. They are made in Morocco. They can be machine washed and ironed.


Martha Stewart's Christmas: Entertaining, Decorating and Giving
Martha Stewart's Christmas: Entertaining, Decorating and Giving
by Martha Stewart
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MARTHA'S CHRISTMAS OF 1989!!!, 13 Jun 2012
I got a bunch of used books and I am so glad that was one of them. It is a lovely old fashioned Christmas book that reminded me of my childhood and since my Christmas cooking and decorating style is more classic than modern, I can actually get some really good ideas. I have to admit that it is rather dated and most recipes can be found on Martha Stewart's web site anyway. However, it is still a beautiful book with its green and gold themes and it is really well written with easy to follow, tasty recipes, with beautiful coloured illustrations for serving suggestions and decorations. It includes recipes for her amazing cookies, puddings, cakes and roasts, as well as great ideas for homemade gifts like her potpourri, dozens of preserves, curds and jellies, nice spiced vinegars, and her famous gift baskets. The decorations are limited to a few wreaths and Christmas trees, and sadly are not as detailed, as in her more modern books, which I highly recommend.


Being Elizabeth Bennet: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure
Being Elizabeth Bennet: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure
by Emma Campbell Webster
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FUN GAME INSPIRED BY JANE AUSTEN, 13 Jun 2012
This is a very fun game inspired by Jane Austen's novels. Having said that, I should make perfectly clear that this is not a novel, it is not even meant to be read like a book, from beginning to end; it is a game. The basic idea is to put the reader in Elizabeth's place and of course to accomplish what any respectable Jane Austen heroine most passionately desires; finding the ideal husband, which in Elizabeth's case is Mr Darcy. However, the book may be titled Being Elizabeth Bennet, but draws elements from most of Austen's novels, her heroines and naturally the prospective husbands of her novels.

The game is divided into five stages and the reader, being Elisabeth has to make choices, answer questions and solve challenges in order to advance to each stage. Correct answers and wise choices add points to the lists of Accomplishments, Intelligence, Confidence, Connections and Fortune, which the player has to start before playing the game. However failing tests and challenges causes the player to deduct points from the lists and may lead to utter and most of the times, hilarious failures; on my first attempt being Elizabeth Bennet, I ended up as a retired actress, living alone and in shame. What is really great about this game though, is that you can play as many times as you like, make different choices, and explore all the different endings.

The book - game is beautifully written in the style of Jane Austen and although it has some mistakes, it beautifully immerses the reader into Austen's world. However, I truly believe that Elizabeth Bennet, as indeed most of the other Austen heroines, is so much more than just a girl looking for a husband, and I wish the game wasn't focused only on that aspect, but could allow the player to pursuit alternative adventures, unrelated to marriage, without failing the game. Also, sadly the choices the player can make are usually quite vague and have a domino effect that leads to an outcome that had nothing to do with the original choice. However, despite its shortcomings, the game is really original and fun, and it is ideal to play alone or with friends.


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