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S Riaz "S Riaz" (England)
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I Heart Holidays (Martha and the Bunny Brothers)
I Heart Holidays (Martha and the Bunny Brothers)
by Clara Vulliamy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Heart Holidays, 26 July 2014
Martha and her brothers Monty and Pip are going for a holiday to the seaside in their camper van and they are VERY excited. This story will take small children through everything that holidays entail - from packing all those things you need to the journey there,inlcluding traffic jams, and all the exciting things to do at the beach. Most of all Martha wants to go in the sea, but the water is so cold that Monty and Pip don't want to go in. However, there is lots more to do - sandcastles to make and pictures to draw in the sand - until the British weather convinces Martha's brothers that they may as well get wet and head for the sea. Not even the rain can spoil a day at the seaside and everyone has a good time. There are two more stories featuring Marth and the Bunny Brothers; "I Love (Heart) Bedtime" and "I Love (Heart) School." With reassuring stories and wonderful, vibrant artwork, these are wonderful picture books for toddlers and young children. A total delight and wonderful to read aloud.


KS2 Maths Study Book: The Study Book
KS2 Maths Study Book: The Study Book
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars KS2 Maths Study Book, 26 July 2014
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This study book covers everything your child will need to learn for the Maths Key Stage 2 SATs paper. The book is split into different subject area: Numbers (includes multiplication, division, decimals, money, etc), More Number Stuff (includes fractions, percentages, factors, square numbers, etc), Shapes and Solids, Measurement and Handling Data. This is not a workbook, although there are practice questions for each area and, obviously, workbooks are available from CGP which your child can work along with using this study book as a reference. Where this book excels is in giving clear and simple explanations of the various parts of the maths curriculum, with lots of examples and questions to reinforce understanding.

I really like the CPG books and this is a clear and colourful example, with good explanations of everything that needs to be covered in the SATs tests. Answers to all the questions are given at the back of the book. However, you will probably need the workbooks – or, at least, the one for the area your child finds the most difficult – as there aren’t really enough questions in this to give enough practice in all the different areas. Overall, though, a useful and well presented tool, which can be used both for studying from and as a reference book. Study books are also available for English, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling and Science.


Suicide: The Final Curtain in the World of the Famous - Tony Scott, Kurt Cobain, Ernest Hemingway, Woolf, Drake, Hancock, Hutchence, Von Erich Family, Ian Curtis (Rich and Famous Book 2)
Suicide: The Final Curtain in the World of the Famous - Tony Scott, Kurt Cobain, Ernest Hemingway, Woolf, Drake, Hancock, Hutchence, Von Erich Family, Ian Curtis (Rich and Famous Book 2)
Price: 0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suicide: The Final Curtain in the World of the Famous, 26 July 2014
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This short ebook examines the suicides of various celebrities, including actors, musicians, authors, sports stars and film directors. In order, those included are:

Peg Entwistle
Virginia Woolf
Ernest Hemingway
Tony Hancock
Paul Williams
Freddie Prinze
Ian Curtis
The Von Erich Family
Kurt Cobain
Michael Hutchence
Justin Fashanu
Tony Scott

There is a brief overview of each person’s life, career and how they allegedly took their life (some cases of suicide in the book are disputed). Some cases are unusual (Peg Entwistle threw herself from the Hollywood sign after her career faltered), most a tragic list of drugs, depression, alcoholism or personal problems. There really isn’t a lot of detail, but, if you are interested in any of those included, it might convince you to read on. An interesting, if short, read.


Was Michael Jackson Framed?: The Untold Story That Brought Down a Superstar
Was Michael Jackson Framed?: The Untold Story That Brought Down a Superstar
Price: 1.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was Michael Jackson Framed?, 25 July 2014
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Along with some explanation from the author, an investigative reporter, this is a reprint of an article originally published in GQ magazine in 1994. Like many of us, Mary Fischer had her curiosity piqued by lurid newspaper headlines. Having already been involved in another investigation, where false allegations of abuse could be made public all too easily, she decided to look at the case from another angle and investigate the main accusers – Evan Chandler, the father of the thirteen year old Jordan Chandler, and his attorney Barry Rothman.

This , then, is as in-depth a look as is possible within a single article at those who made the initial allegations against Michael Jackson – allegations swept up with glee by a sensation seeking media. The picture is of a father no longer living with the mother of his child, who saw the chance to exert power over his ex-wife and exhort money from a celebrity and a dubious lawyer with a lot of enemies. It was a chance encounter which led to June Chandler Schwartz, her son and her younger daughter, become regular visitors at Neverland. Certainly, most – if not all - of the adults in this sorry case seem to have lacked judgement (and I include Jackson in this) and this makes sad and sorry reading, involving a custody battle, a fascination with celebrity and greed.

However, it is a fascinating article and, having read it, you can’t help but feel Jackson was not well served by his legal team in making a settlement, rather than going to trial in a case in which there was a such a lack of evidence that lawyers were scrambling around attempting to obtain other credible witnesses without success, which, to put it bluntly, was always about money and which, by making a financial settlement, left Jackson vulnerable to future accusations.


Frozen: Troll Magic [With 4 Chunky Crayons] (Disney: Frozen)
Frozen: Troll Magic [With 4 Chunky Crayons] (Disney: Frozen)
by Courtney Carbone
Edition: Paperback
Price: 2.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frozen: Troll Magic Colouring Book, 25 July 2014
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This is a fun colouring book for children with lots to do - not only pictures to colour in, but also mazes, wordsearches and puzzles. The colouring pages are quite detailed with, for example, intricate patterns on Anna and Elsa's dresses. The level of detail means it is probably better for children aged 4+, although obviously it is good fun even if your little one goes over the lines. It does come with four crayons, which are good quality, although the choice of colours are pretty limited. Where the book does lose a star is in the quality of the paper - thin and rather greyish in colour, it was not particularly appealing. However, that did not seem to bother my daughter and she seemed very happy with it.


Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Price: 4.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Topics in Calamity Physics, 24 July 2014
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This is the assured debut of Marisha Pessl and, having recently read her new novel, “Night Film,” I decided to go back and re-read the story of Blue Van Meer and her professor father. Blue travels around the country with her father, attending different schools and being educated, and moulded, by him. Gareth van Meer is a man of mystery – intelligent, sarcastic and bookish – who has a whole plethora of ‘June bugs’ attempting to trap the widower, but who all fall by the wayside, as he and Blue continue their travels.

Blue fantasises that they will settle somewhere and is thrilled when her dad announces that they will reside in Stockton, North Carolina, for the entirety of her high school senior year in order to obtain her a secure place at Harvard. Two days after arriving in Stockton, Blue sees Hannah Schneider, who turns out to be a teacher at St Gallway School, where she will attend. Her dad wants her to be Valedictorian and, at first, Blue believes it is her dad that Hannah is interested in. However, to her astonishment, it appears to be Blue that Hannah, and her closest students – a group referred to as ‘the Bluebloods’ are interested in.

Before long, Blue has joined the clique of Hannah’s group of privileged students; including handsome Charlies, delicate Leulah, sturdy Milton, the cipher that is Nigel and the stunningly beautiful and wealthy Jade. Accepted into a group for the first time in her life, it appears to be a Golden Age and a special time for Blue, but Hannah is surrounded by mystery and eventually there will be a tragedy which will change Blue’s life.

This is a wonderful novel – intelligent, filled with fantastic characters, well plotted and paced and one of those books you can simply sink into. There are few authors I re-read, but Pessl is one of them. When it was released, this novel was compared to “The Secret History” and there is much about Pessl’s writing that reminds me of Tartt, but I believe the comparisons are more due to the academic setting than anything else. I would say that, if you do enjoy Donna Tartt’s novels, you will most probably like this and she is an author that I am so glad I discovered.


Character Me T Shirt Boys[9-10 Yrs,Blue]
Character Me T Shirt Boys[9-10 Yrs,Blue]
Offered by Sports Direct
Price: 3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minion T-Shirt, 23 July 2014
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This is a bright and cheerful T-Shirt in 100% cotton. The picture is of a minion from the kid’s film Despicable Me, with the slogan, “Proud to be a Minion.” I brought this for my nine year old son and the size is actually 9-11 according to the label (rather than the 9-10 listed), so it is rather large for him. It is not huge, but it is rather long, so if your child is a small 9 it might be better to go for the size below this one. However, he liked the fun design and it washes well.


The Supernatural Enhancements
The Supernatural Enhancements
by Edgar Cantero
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Supernatural Enhancements, 22 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really quirky, original and, despite the subject matter, a fun read. The book is written as a collection of diary entries, letters to trusted Aunt Liza, pages from books, documents and transcripts. The main characters are a young Englishman named only as A and his companion, a young Irish girl called Niamh, who is mute and who communicates mainly through writing notes. A has been left Axton House –a sprawling mansion in Virginia – by a distant cousin called Ambrose Wells, who committed suicide in the same way as his father thirty years before. When A and Niamh arrive, they discover that Struckner, the butler, has disappeared and there are rumours about the house being haunted. Before long, A and Niamh are experiencing strange phenomena, which lead to them trying to investigate what has been going on at Axton House. Who were the visitors to the house once a year and what was the strange game which compelled Wells to risk his life and his sanity?

It is hard to say too much about this book without giving away the plot. Once A and Niamh are established at Axton House, we follow their search for the truth and the whereabouts of anyone who can shed light on what happened to Ambrose. This novel is full of clues, secret societies, ciphers, nightmares, ghosts and a game worth dying for... An unusual book, which I really enjoyed, with the atmospheric setting of an isolated, rambling house and a creepy (although not meant to be scary) storyline.


A Dance to the Music of Time: vol.1: Spring
A Dance to the Music of Time: vol.1: Spring
by Anthony Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dance to the Music of Spring vol 1: Spring, 22 July 2014
This edition has the first three volumes in the twelve novel, “A Dance to the Music of Time,” comprising A Question of Upbringing, A Buyer’s Market and The Acceptance World. In order, the books are:

1. A Question of Upbringing – (1951)
2. A Buyer's Market – (1952)
3. The Acceptance World – (1955)
4. At Lady Molly's – (1957)
5. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant – (1960)
6. The Kindly Ones – (1962)
7. The Valley of Bones – (1964)
8. The Soldier's Art – (1966)
9. The Military Philosophers – (1968)
10. Books Do Furnish a Room – (1971)
11. Temporary Kings – (1973)
12. Hearing Secret Harmonies – (1975)

A Question of Upbringing

The first novel is A Question of Upbringing. Together, the books are the fictional memoirs of Nicholas Jenkins and some of his friends, family and acquaintances - although the author used many of his own youthful memories in this novel. This first book begins in 1921 with Jenkins still at school (based on Eton, which Powell attended), where he rooms with Charles Stringham and Peter Templar. Also mentioned is a slightly odd character, named Widmerpool, who Jenkins meets up again later in the book, when he visits France to improve his language skills. Although Widmerpool is identified as a figure of fun, Jenkins later reappraises his attitude slightly and it is demonstrated that he has both ambition and a strong will to succeed.

Obviously, this first novel – the first in a three book sequence linked to the seasons as ‘Spring’ – is very much an introduction. We meet several characters, including Jenkins Uncle Giles, housemaster Le Bas, members of Stringham’s and Templar’s family and are introduced to Professor Sillery – a don who likes to plot and influence events way beyond the scope suggested by his university tea parties.

The four young men who are the focus of this book are all very different, but the author weaves their stories effortlessly – telling a tale of class, friendship and the stirrings of romance. Critically acclaimed – the novel was included in Time Magazine’s Top 100 English language novels from 1925-2005, while the editors of Modern Library ranked the work as 43rd greatest English-language novel of the twentieth century – this twelve volume cycle of novels is one of the longest works of fiction in literature. However, I feel it is almost impossible to read this first book and not want to read on and that is the true test of a great story.

A Buyer’s Market

This is the second novel in the Dance to the Music of Time series, following on from A Question of Upbringing. It is set in 1928, when our narrator, Nick Jenkins, is twenty one or two. However, it begins with a flashback to Paris just after WWI, when Nick has a chance meeting with an artist, Mr Deacon, an acquaintance of his parents. This introduction serves the reader to understand the various relationships in Nick’s life, as he meets up with Mr Deacon again after a dinner party at the Walpole-Wilsons.

We are very aware of the time period in which this is written. This is very much the London of the Bright Young Things, when Nick – now working in publishing – seems to spend most of his time at dinner parties, ‘low’ parties and house parties. During this constant gaiety – at one point, people are veering between two parties held in the same square – you sense a certain desperate sense of looking to be entertained and entertaining.

The book is full of chance encounters. Through Mr Deacon, Nick is introduced to Barnby and Gypsy Jones. Other characters, from A Question of Upbringing, also appear – including Charles Stringham, Sillery, Uncle Giles and Widmerpool. Although a figure of fun at school, Widmerpool is certainly becoming a man of ambition and, throughout this book, we are aware that Nick has a slight dissatisfaction with his career, his romantic life and the way his lifestyle compares unfavourably with his contemporaries. These novels are very much a series and, although they do work as stand-alone books, it is much better – and makes more sense – to read them in the order they are intended to be read in.

The Acceptance World

This is the third volume in the twelve novel, “Dance to the Music of Time.” The books are organised in terms of the seasons and so the first three novels are the Spring of our narrator’s life, consisting of A Question of Upbringing, A Buyer’s Market and The Acceptance World. This novel is set in 1931 and follows many of the characters we have already become fond of, as well as some new introductions.

At the end of A Buyer’s Market, we found Nick Jenkins feeling slightly dissatisfied with his life and career. When we meet him again, he is still working at a publisher and involved with art books. In the first of five chapters he meets Myra Erdleigh through his Uncle Giles and has his fortune read. There is, indeed, much in this volume which touches on fate and love.

Many familiar characters appear in this book – Charles Stringham, Widmerpool, Quiggins, Peter Templer and his sister Jean, Sillery, Le Bas and others all feature. Nick stays with Peter Templer and his new wife, Mona, has a love affair, visits an art exhibition, sees a demonstration with some unlikely participants and attends an Old Boys dinner.

From the start, you are very much aware that this is set in the 1930’s. The entire feel is different from the party atmosphere of the 1920’s. Rather than wild parties, people are discussing politics and poetry. The London of the Bright Young Things has entered a period of depression, finance and business. We are aware that Nick is certainly entering his summer years and his youth is passing. Friends are not only getting married, but divorced, and perhaps Nick is also moving on and wanting more stability in his romantic life and career path. This is a stunning series and I look forward to reading on. The next book in the series is At Lady Molly’s, which begins Summer for Nick Jenkins.


A Morbid Taste For Bones (The Cadfael Chronicles 1)
A Morbid Taste For Bones (The Cadfael Chronicles 1)
Price: 0.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Morbid Taste for Bones, 21 July 2014
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I am delighted to see the Brother Cadfael novels beginning to appear on kindle and hope they will all be available soon. This is the very first book in the series, first published in 1977 and set in 1137, it still reads as though it could has been released this month. This is a timeless, classic mystery and an enjoyable introduction to the world of Cadfael and his fellow brothers at the Shrewsbury abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

Brother Cadfael has arrived late to the cloister, after a full and eventful life. Now in his mid fifties, he has left the world behind him, embraced the monastic life and tends his Benedictine garden. However, as readers will know, he is always happy to become involved in events and, when Prior Roberts wishes to travel to Wales and secure the relics of a local saint for the monastery, he manages to be taken along as interpreter - and gain a place for young Brother John, whose vows he feels were made for the wrong reason.

Prior Robert is not a man who likes opposition and, along with his acolytes Brother Jerome and Brother Columbanus, he sets out determined to obtain the bones of Saint Winifred for the abbey. Local priest, Father Huw, is disconcerted when he hears of the mission and Rhisiart, a local landowner, opposes their desire to remove Winifred from Welsh soil. When Prior Robert attempts to use bribery to obtain what he wants, he finds he has misjudged the local people badly and, before long, Cadfael has a murder to solve. Cadfael is a charming character - a man who uses good sense, who does his best and who is never afraid of bending the rules if he is sure the outcome is worthwhile. If you are just embarking on this series then I envy you and I hope that these new, kindle versions, will help new readers discover these books.


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