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Ms. S. H. Nicholson "Sal" (UK)
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Sold Out: How I Survived a Year of Not Shopping
Sold Out: How I Survived a Year of Not Shopping
by Robert Llewellyn
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading, 3 Jan 2013
I borrowed this book from my local library. I expected a vaguely amusing account of what it is like not to shop for a year.

I got to page 60 and suddenly thought, "This is all well and good, I've read about him quitting smoking, dating a vegan and squatting in Bath... But where's the stuff about not shopping...?" I then skipped forwards to near-ish the end, only to discover that the entire book was more of the same... Basically a series of self-indulgent rants, nothing to do with not shopping.

Abandoned the book at page 70-something and won't be finishing it. Boring, not terribly well written and very little to do with the title. Not recommended.


The Lazarus Vault
The Lazarus Vault
by Tom Harper
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought it would be!, 18 April 2012
This review is from: The Lazarus Vault (Paperback)
I picked up this book in one of the old "buy 2 get 1 free" deals that a certain UK bookshop used to do. This was the freebie, and as a result had been sitting on my bookshelf for quite a long time. In the spirit of trying to read all my unread books, I gave it a go.
And I enjoyed it! The characters were a bit odd, especially the protagonist Ellie. She sleeps with her boss for no apparent reason and endangers life and limb because some random dude who stalks her a bit says so. The reason for her family becoming involved with these 2 mystery objects is never explained. The author specifically states that her father wasn't a member of this protective "brotherhood", but doesn't explain why he was trying to obtain the object, or why Ellie had to, or why the "other side" had to employ Ellie in order to keep tabs on her.

Also, perhaps the author was being deliberately vague, but what WERE the 2 mysterious objects? I found it rather frustrating how they were never really identified, nor was it said what the point of them was. Oh, and how did Ellie's boyfried Doug get to the underground cave-thing when Ellie had taken the car and driven for many miles?

The story is full of plot holes, but despite this, I enjoyed. A simple, easy to read page-turner. In essence a Dan Brown look-alike, with the plot Mr Brown turned down. Frankly, it was like the author had his own mental images of some of the most vital scenes, but didn't do a terribly good job of conveying them to the reader.


On the Beach
On the Beach
by Nevil Shute
Edition: Paperback

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 18 Sep 2006
This review is from: On the Beach (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me with a lot of hype, and on the whole, it didn't disappoint.

I don't often read books written more than about 10-15 years ago, so stepping back all the way to 1958 was different to usual.

The idea behind the story is great and Shute successfully builds up the tension throughout. So much so that towards the end I was almost just skim-reading to get to the finish. I kept having to force myself to slow up!

The ending is beaufifully written and in fact left me feeling quite depressed!

My only critisms might be that it is, through no fault of the author, now slightly dated. Perhaps a more modern re-telling is what is needed?

In general the characters were all well written, with the possible exception of Peter's wife Mary, whom I had no fondness for.

I'd recommend this book to anyone and would advise them to stick with it, purely for the excellence of the last 10 pages!


Property
Property
by Valerie Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable!, 17 Sep 2006
This review is from: Property (Paperback)
Throughly enjoyed this book. It was quite short and had a speedy pace, which made a pleasant change.

As other readers did, I found it hard to identify with any of the fews of the main character Manon, yet I still enjoyed her as a character.

My only critism of the story may be that it ended rather abruptly. I would have liked to have learnt more of the relationship between Manon and her slave Sarah, unfortunately didn't get the chance.

That for me was the only down point of an otherwise excellent book.


Candlemoth
Candlemoth
by Roger Jon Ellory
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable, 10 Sep 2006
This review is from: Candlemoth (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this story. It was definately one of the best books I've read this year (I try and read 50 previously unread books a year).

It tells the story of Daniel Ford, and his best friend Nathan Verney.

Plot:

The first two thirds of the book are primarily the back-story of Daniel and Nathan's relationship, interspersed with occasional present-day chapters. As the book gets nearer to the end, the "present-day" sections get more detailed and regular. Although I was kept engaged all the way through, the first two thirds were a little slow, while the last third was a veritable gallop to the end. The speed at the end might have been a plot device by the author, but I kept having to go back and re-read sections to keep up.

The whole book had a very philosophical leaning. There were a lot of passages that made me stop and reflect.

There were a lot of pages dedicated to US government, which seemed completely pointless. A whole chapter was about the Watergate saga, yet even after a whole chapter, I still didn't understand what had happened, or how it was related to the story. It appeared that the author had researched this period in history very carefully, and was going to get it into the story if it killed him. Completely pointless.

Characters:

I loved Daniel as a character, but felt that Nathan could have done with a little more development. His character seemed to jump around a lot, with little explanation.

Summary:

Excellent. Fast-paced and beautifully written.


You Raise Me Up
You Raise Me Up

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Beautiful!, 23 April 2005
This review is from: You Raise Me Up (Audio CD)
Such a gorgeous song! The lyrics are so uplifting and the melody is so nice.
A really peaceful, quietly inspiring song. Buy it.


The Best Little Girl in the World (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
The Best Little Girl in the World (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
by Steven Levenkron
Edition: Paperback

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Potentially damaging, 4 Mar 2005
I wrote a review of this book 4 years ago now. I liked it at the time, but now I'm older, I can appreciate that this is a rather dangerous book. I remember reading it and thinking "I could do that..." NOT a good thought for a 16 year old girl. This book should not be aimed at teenagers. It teaches "methods" of starving oneself and manipulating others. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The only reason I have given it 2 stars is because it is well written, that doesn't mean I think it is a "good" book.


Mary, Called Magdalene
Mary, Called Magdalene
by Margaret George
Edition: Paperback

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not M. George's best., 4 Mar 2005
This review is from: Mary, Called Magdalene (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Margaret George's work, but this is her weakest book to date. The characters are weak and the story plods along very slowly. I think the main reason for this may be that George was having to work from very little factual information. Very little is known about Mary Magdalene, which makes it rather hard to write a book on her! The only bit I enjoyed were the details of Mary's childhood. From the moment she became a follower of Jesus, it went downhill.
As an individual, I'm not at all religious, which perhaps put me at a disadvantage in that I had absolutely no interest in what Jesus had to say in the book at all. Jesus as a character had no development and was very wooden throughout.
Don't read this book if you have no interest in hearing Jesus preach, which is pretty much all he did. Although he did stand and look sad from time to time. I would recommend steering clear of this book and reading some of George's other works, which are far superior.


Closer (U.K. Version)
Closer (U.K. Version)
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.87

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sends shivers down the spine!, 29 Jan 2005
This review is from: Closer (U.K. Version) (Audio CD)
Josh Groban was a voice I'd wanted to listen to for a while but I kept putting off buying this CD because I wasn't quite sure that I would like it. I got given an on-line voucher and Josh immediately sprung to mind!
Now I'm sooooo glad I did! Since the album arrived 3 days ago it has been playing on my stereo nearly continuously. The more I listen to it, the more I fall in love with his voice. How is that this guy is not more well known?!?
I guess you could class his genre as something along the lines of "opera/pop".
My favourite song has to be "You Raise Me Up", it is truely beautiful and the lyrics are so inspiring. Every time I hear "Oceano" it sends a strange shiver down my spine.
I have literally just ordered Josh's first, self-titled, album and can't wait to receive it!
I truely feel I've uncovered a true musical gem. I will be buying every album Josh can pump out. I'm only sad I didn't buy it earlier!


Elizabeth [1998] [DVD]
Elizabeth [1998] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cate Blanchett
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: 10.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and dramatic., 5 Mar 2004
This review is from: Elizabeth [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed this film a great deal. It tells the story of Elizabeth I, in the first few years of her long reign. It depicts the early struggles of her and her advisers to secure her throne and dig out her enemies. Elizabeth herself is played strongly by the marvellous Cate Blancett, who doesn't put a foot wrong throughout. She finds just the right balance between vulnerability and strength. Around her is a strong supporting cast. These include the charming Joseph Fiennes as Lord Robert, a wonderful-as-ever, Geoffery Rush, as Elizabeth's protector, Walsingham, and later, her most trusted advisor. There is also Richard Attenborough as her faithful, but somewhat mis-guided advisor. The ex-footballer Eric Cantona makes a slightly odd, but well-played appearance also.
The extras on the DVD are informative and enjoyable. Not outstanding by any means, but more than good enough.
See this film if you want a passionate story of power, corruption, love and betrayal. If you want a piece that is totally historically accurate, then don't bother.


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