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Cornelius Leviathan Beansprout

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The Chelsea FC Miscellany
The Chelsea FC Miscellany
by Rick Glanvill
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abso-Blue-tly Brilliant!, 29 Nov. 2012
There is no-one more qualified to write this book than Rick Glanvill, official historian and biographer of Chelsea. The miscellany isn't a blow-by-blow history of the club, but it is a fun, irreverent and informative look at some of the events, places and characters that have made this club what it is today. The club didn't start with Abramovich and Rick's book has the perfect blend between old and new. It's ideal for Chelsea fans of all ages and I couldn't recommend it highly enough.


Keeping Quiet: Paul Nixon: The Autobiography
Keeping Quiet: Paul Nixon: The Autobiography
by Paul Nixon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, open and a real page turner, 3 Aug. 2012
There are a lot of overhyped celebrity 'autobiographies' out there, but Keeping Quiet really deserves all the attention it gets and more. It's very candid yet is filled with humour too. From his early days in Cumbria right through to the Indian Premier League and England duty, Nixon's story is quite remarkable and is full of triumph over adversity - not least Nico's openness about dealing with his own inner-demons and The Little Man who seemed so intent on ruining Nixon's career. I genuinely couldn't put this down. It's superbly written (a far cry from the idiotic dross pedalled out by far too many celebrities and their writers) and you really feel it's Nixon narrating the story, testament to the careful handling of Jon Colman. Nixon is not above self-reproach but his opinions are well-informed and when he talks I find I just want to listen. Featuring the likes of Hansie Cronje and Freddy Flintoff, this is a behind the scenes look at cricket and the many characters - and above all it's honest!

A very gracious and funny man, Nixon's story is one that I could (and will) read time and time again. I actually couldn't recommend it highly enough.


The Worst Football Kits of All Time
The Worst Football Kits of All Time
by David Moor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace, ace, ace, 11 Nov. 2011
I have bought five of these for Christmas presents this year (well, four - one's for me). It's an absolutely corking book where each turn of the page brings up something vile, grotesque and utterly wonderful. It's hilarious, from the Victorian gents in their turbans with shirts made from mattresses to the modern computer designed efforts. I have to admit, I've bought one kit from the book (Ajax 1989 or so) because, while it is undeniably hideous, it is quite something. An emotive subject guaranteed to deliver engaging and jovial debate, this book is a must-have for football fans everywhere. Now, which one is the worst ...?


Walking on Sunshine: Swansea City 2010/11
Walking on Sunshine: Swansea City 2010/11
by Keith Haynes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 13 Sept. 2011
Far from a dry, statistical diary of events, this book captures the gripping and real-life anecdotes that made Swansea City's rise to the Premier League so extraordinary. Starting with a very honest, sometimes brutally so, reminiscence of the peril Swansea faced at the very bottom of the Football League and potential oblivion in 2003, this makes the tale of their fan-fuelled, passion-driven journey to the upper echelons of British football all the more special. This book is a must have for any Swansea fan and anyone who likes a good football story - the best thing is, it's all true. Excellent book.


The Golden Age of Speedway
The Golden Age of Speedway
by Philip Dalling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 28 Mar. 2011
I don't know anything about 1940s/50s speedway (or at least I didn't) aside from some of the key names of racers like Ove Fundin, Reg Fearman, Peter Craven and Johnnie Reason to name but a few. This book is fascinating because it is retrospective analysis coupled with recollections of the riders and officials of the time. It's full of fantastic images from the time that really evoke the grit, dirt and spirit of the sport in its golden age. And yet it is not all happy endings, there is an underlying sense of a sport at its peak, but facing a downward turn in fortunes which Dalling captures sympathetically but honestly. It was a really exciting time for the sport with some really amazing riders and it's all revealed here with an evocative and engrossing narrative and illustrations.


London's East End: A 1960s Album
London's East End: A 1960s Album
by Steve Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't paper the cracks, 19 Jan. 2011
This book is gritty, some of the scenes aren't pretty and yet everything in it and all the characters portrayed are real and their circumstances existed at the time. It is not an idyllic jaunt down rose-tinted avenues and yet by not being so, it is a true deferential homage to the real people of the East End. Mention is made to the burgeoning fashion scene and the pop culture, but the old man on the bench and muddied babies in the tenements existed too. To complain that this book doesn't have enough clean, glamorous images of market stalls, mini skirts and music is missing the point - of course it's nice to see those images but just as important is the capturing of what life was really like for some people then. It can't capture every aspect of the diverse East End, nor should it. The pictures that are in here aren't sensationalised though, nor are they contrived, they are honest and beautifully taken. What is heartening is that beneath the dirt, the poverty, the hardship and the struggle, Steve Lewis shows us the real people of the East End, smiling against adversity, embracing the traditions (see the pearly kings and queens) but encouraging the new ideals and fashions (see David Bailey and his glamorous sidekick). To suggest that this should be full of glamorous images of people enjoying themselves is naive, pointless and disrespectful to the people who did live like this. There is no doubt that Steve Lewis knows how to take an excellent picture, and from cover to cover this book is full of them. It is fascinating, alarming, revolting and humorous in equal measure, but most of all it is genuine - genuine people living in a real place at an actual time.


Soil in their Souls: A History of Fenland Farming
Soil in their Souls: A History of Fenland Farming
by Rex Sly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fenland fantastic, 24 Nov. 2010
Whether or not you're from the Fens, this book is a really fascinating read about an important, if often overlooked and forgotten, part of the country. Mixing detailed technical history of the land's formation with personal anecdotes from those who work the fields, Rex Sly really captures the tone of the place, its people and its legacy. There are some really interesting photographs from the nineteenth century right through to the modern day and while the clothes may be different, and the tractors have replaced horses, it's amazing to see that the values and rules abided by by our forefathers are just as prevalent today. As well as looking back (there is an informative chapter on the no longer used aerial spraying), Rex also looks forwards at what we can expect from the Fens in the future. This is a book about agriculture, about changing technology, about crop rotation, about animal grazing, about independent farmers and international conglomerates, but it's as much a tale of triumph over adversity and of the characters who have made this open, bleak, beautiful landscape their home, and shaped it into their livelihoods and lives.


The Wigan Warriors Miscellany
The Wigan Warriors Miscellany
by Ewan Phillips
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.86

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must have, 23 Nov. 2010
this book is an absolute must have for any Wigan fan. It's got the stats, fine, and it's got player biographies, great, but it's got lots of witty anecdotes from across the whole history of the club, right from its inception to today's heroes like that Radlinski fella. It's got heart warming tales of genuine sportsmen and some horrific injuries to boot - the perfect book to dip in and out of. It's a really nice looking little thing and is fantastic for the idle moments.


Man City: 50 Classic Matches and Some To Forget
Man City: 50 Classic Matches and Some To Forget
by David Clayton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Citytastic!, 3 Mar. 2010
Written in a witty but informative fashion, I loved this book. While other books of a similar ilk might focus on more recent matches, this is really good with games from right across Man City's history in all divisions and competitions. It's also actually more than 50 with cup matches as well as, of course, some of the worst matches - hey, it wouldn't be City without some stinkers. I'd say this is a must have for the older fan looking to relive past glories as well as younger fans wanting to learn more about the history of their club and some of the exceptional players to grace the field for the Blues. It's not dry though and while being packed with stats, it's also good fun to read.


The Little Book of the London Underground
The Little Book of the London Underground
by David Long
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is excellent!, 24 Nov. 2009
I absolutely loved reading this book and I don't even use the tube that often, being an out and out country bumpkin. It's humorous, informative and down right eyebrow-raising in equal measure. David Long obviously knows his subject and has captured the tube, it's foibles and its fancies perfectly. I would strongly recommend this book not only for anyone who uses the tube on a daily basis but to anyone who has any interest in this great and important part of London and its history. It's perfect for tourists, but is intelligent and deep enough for even the most battle-hardened commuter to learn something new from. You never know, it might actually make the journey more bearable with its useful hints and tips on tube etiquette and optimal seating arrangements (just small examples of what this book has to offer). I actually want to go back to London and do an 'underground' tour with this book acting as my guide!


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