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Donald M. Macdonald "donaldmurdo" (isle of lewis, scotland)
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Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside
by Katrina Firlik
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic read, 26 Nov. 2012
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I was inspired to seek this out from seeing a documentary but this is truly brilliant ionsight into the working life an dthe thinking life of a surgeon on the front line of brain surgery. For people used to second hand accounts of medical dramas, this is a real revelation of what life is really like at the cutting edge.
Surgery is hard and every operation is an adventure, almost like a battle - surgeons know so much because of their training but patients are different and this is a no holds barred account of how a surgeon deals with it all.
Recommended highly


Job Spa: 12 Weeks to Refresh, Refocus, and Recommit to Your Career
Job Spa: 12 Weeks to Refresh, Refocus, and Recommit to Your Career
by Milo Sindell
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 26 Nov. 2012
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Truly brilliant.
This is an excellent book with a lot to offer the jaded employee or someone that wants to re-plan their way of working. This is a real renewal project and sticking to the plan or tailoring it to yourself will yield real benefits.
I enjoyed looking at this and will put some things into immediate effect and do think about myself differently already.


Book Of Tells
Book Of Tells
by Peter Collett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars thrilling and revealing, 26 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Book Of Tells (Paperback)
This is an interesting book that does what it says on the cover. Reading it is a journey of discovery. If you are a fan of Derren Brown or Philip Escoffey of Channel 5's 'Imppossible', you will learn how the subtleties of body language can reveal a lot about people and their usual behaviour. I was fascinated in approaching this book and even more fascinated afterwards. It's not often that a book does that.


Passionate People Produce
Passionate People Produce
by Charles Kovess
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars good read, 26 Nov. 2012
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This looked a lot better than it turned out to be but there is no denying that the author offers an excellent background in personal development and a widde ranging approach to inspiring passion.
Borrow a copy as there may be some things that will catch your eye


How to Do a Great Job... and Go Home on Time
How to Do a Great Job... and Go Home on Time
by Fergus O'Connell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.50

4.0 out of 5 stars like this a lot, 26 Nov. 2012
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the shelves are littered with books that tell you how to that offer nothing new. This offers practical advice and guidance and offers guidance on how to maximise your strengths rather than offer a one size fits all tailored solution.
Worthwhile and useful.


Do You Think What You Think You Think?
Do You Think What You Think You Think?
by Julian Baggini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and challenging, 26 Nov. 2012
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i love reading books that provoke and inspire and this certainly does that. While hardly being potted philosophy, it is an origional take on how we think, why we think and what makes us think. An excellent addition to any library of modern thinking, I liked it for both its simplicity in trying to make ideas understood and its complexity in reasononing that there are many things we cannot understand, but many things we can if we sit and think about them.
An interesting meditation on how we are moulded by society as well as how we respond to it


Finer Feelings
Finer Feelings

5.0 out of 5 stars love kylie. love this track, 8 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Finer Feelings (MP3 Download)
i have heard excerpts from a few of the Abbey Road Sessions tracks and I have to say I really like the idea and I like the re-interpretations of the classic Kylie favourites.
i don't remember this track well from the first time around but as Kylie has matured, her voice has adapted as well and this is classic Kylie at her best.
There's no 'finer feeling' than listening to music like this as the nights get darker and the mood needs lifting. Love It.


Elizabethtown [DVD]
Elizabethtown [DVD]
Dvd ~ Orlando Bloom
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 2 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Elizabethtown [DVD] (DVD)
surprisingly good. I had reasonable expectations of this but found the film quite delightful in the way it created an interesting storyline out of a low key start.
quite an exceptional story with engaging stars and a clever resolution. loved the music as well.


Kolya [DVD]
Kolya [DVD]
Dvd ~ Zdenek Sverak
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £9.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply delightful, 11 May 2012
This review is from: Kolya [DVD] (DVD)
The Golden Globe and the Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1996, Kolya is a touching comedy-drama about the connections people make with each other when it is least expected and the delight of awakening something in the heart waiting to be sparked again. As a story centring mainly on two people , the contrast of the leading actors, one an adult and one a child, is well realised and the charisma they display together is one of the film's great strengths. The lightness of touch and humour may not be what we expect of Eastern European cinema, making the film a delightful surprise.

Jan Sveràk's `Kolya' takes place in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia near the end of the Cold War and centres on Franta Louka (Zdenek Sveràk), a virtuoso cellist who once played with the prestigious Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
He's fallen onto hard times, like many others around him in the city where he stays and makes a modest living by playing as part of a small ensemble at funerals and by retouching the lettering on graveyard headstones. He is both a middle-aged bachelor and perennial womanizer, mixing business with pleasure very regularly. As we are introduced to him, he's heavily in debt and finding it harder to conceal his financial difficulties from his mother who lives in a more rural part of the country. His problems multiply when, one day a friend proposes a money-making scam which sounds simple in theory but proves a lot harder to pull off in practice.
The deception calls for Louka to marry a Russian woman so she can attain Czech citizenship, in return for which, he would receive a large sum of money. The scam would culminate in the marriage being legally dissolved after six months and everybody's lives returning as they were before. Louka, questioning the ethics of the enterprise and being unenthusiastic about the idea of marriage, accepts the terms a little hesitantly at first, but tempted by the financial settlement agrees.
But of course, all does not go according to plan. The newly married couple, having been barely introduced, now have to live as man and wife in Louka's bachelor pad. His bride, soon after receiving her Czech documents, emigrates to West Germany to reunite with her ex-lover, leaving her young son Kolya (the delightful Andrei Chalimon) with his grand aunt. The situation is further complicated when she becomes too ill to take care of him, and the boy, who speaks only Russian, is left with Louka. The legal implications of the scam soon catch up with him, as Czech immigration officials begin their investigations. However, a far greater personal challenge facing Louka comes through the unexpected responsibilities of fatherhood.

`Kolya' is a touching and intelligent film, setting a sense of humanity against the disillusionment, cynicism, and bitterness that tends to envelop people's lives as they grow older. The Director, Jan Sveràk, ably weaves the relationship between Kolya and Louka into a thought-provoking, sad, and poignant commentary on Czechoslovakia's occupation just prior to the historic 1989 "Velvet Revolution."
The message of the film is ultimately uplifting. It is a thoughtful meditation set in a simple story - a marriage of convenience arranged by a friend to earn money. After a perhaps patient start, the film really hits its stride when Louka and the young Kolya begin to adapt to living with each other. A cultural and language divide is no barrier to young enthusiasm and adult inventiveness and the story unfolds with an understanding for the two characters which seems both insightful and makes their growing connection seem very real.
The two actors playing the adult Louka and the young Kolya are well matched, each playing their role with conviction and adopting the language and gestures that reflect their growing relationship. Their chemistry and increasing on-screen confidence as the story unfolds makes their connection so realistic and affecting. The writing is precise, knowledgeable and understanding, drawing the viewer into an appreciation both of history and human nature through a poignant tale of connections and reconciliation. The Czech locations are suitably varied, contrasting the dullness of the cityscapes with the open-ness of the country with the music score expressing beyond language the joyfulness of life and opportunities lost and found.

`Kolya' is an outstanding film because it takes a number of elements and blends them into a well told narrative which is well acted, balances drama and comedy, supports the lead actors with well rounded out supporting characters and lets us observe a part of the world we rarely see in popular cinema beyond spy and war movies. Father and son stories work well in cinema and have a popular appeal. What lifts this above others is its simplicity of story, layered skilfully with depths of understanding which remain unstated but are seen on the screen through the small gestures and actions that overcome language barriers. The level of affection between father and son goes from a physical distance to a deep emotional tie, evidenced by their spending time together out of closeness rather than necessity. An additional factor that makes the film special is the maturing of Louka and Kolya through their interaction with each other - Louka develops further as a person through his devotion and selflessness and Kolya emerges from his shell through the interest of a father-figure for the first time. It blends the drama and the comedy in ideal proportions.
`Kolya' is a heartwarming comedy that I would recommend highly because it is uplifting in an age when there are too few films of its kind. Its appeal should not be limited to those who have an interest in foreign languages, a curiosity about other countries or and an appreciation for cross-cultural humour. This is quality entertainment with intelligence and warmth. This is a family film which you'll enjoy and contains universal themes which many viewers will engage with.


How I Ended This Summer [DVD]
How I Ended This Summer [DVD]
Dvd ~ Grigory Dobrygin
Offered by The World Cinema Store
Price: £6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping and well told, 11 May 2012
A Russian film with English subtitles might not seem like the most attractive viewing prospect, but putting any concerns aside, this is a compelling drama about two men working in an isolated Arctic Region who find a growing tension between them becomes almost unliveable.
Winner of two Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival for its actors and its stunning photography and of the Best Film Award at the London Film Festival in 2010, the film's setting is a remote Arctic island weather station manned by the experienced and dedicated meteorologist Sergei and the less experienced Pavel, who arrives at the weather station with youthful diversions to while away his free time in the unforgiving Winter months he will spend there.
When Pavel receives an important radio message, his awe and tense fear of the older man halts him from telling Sergei the shocking news that he has heard. He tries to find the right moment, but this deception leads to bitterness and suspicion affecting relations between the pair to the degree that Pavel fears that he might be killed by his companion as the news he should have passed on becomes apparent. Dangers are already all around from the harsh conditions they work in to the polar bears that roam the island, so Pavel feels closed in and scared for his well-being and the story becomes a survival drama as more is revealed.
The acting from the two leads is powerful and convincing. The location photography adds to the sense of belief that this is almost another world. This is a story that unravels at the pace that feels right and ends up as being a stunning drama for being so different to other films about being isolated in a remote area. This is cinema about relationships between people, their connection with their environment, about fear and cowardice and the strength of feeling they ultimately have for each other.
For a two hour film, I was gripped completely by it and while it moves slowly for some compared to more mainstream films, I would recommend it to others as a dramatic experience and as an exposure to storytelling using words, action and location to its fullest.


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