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V. Hayrabedian (London, United Kingdom)
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The Little Paris Kitchen: Classic French recipes with a fresh and fun approach
The Little Paris Kitchen: Classic French recipes with a fresh and fun approach
by Rachel Khoo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.86

4.0 out of 5 stars So good, I bought it twice..., 22 Jun 2014
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... Once for myself, and a second time for a friend. Lovely layout, interesting recipes that a spin on Classic French cuisine, and a very pretty book to boot.


Vintage 007 James Bond Collection - 14 Books (SLIPCASE) RRP £111.86
Vintage 007 James Bond Collection - 14 Books (SLIPCASE) RRP £111.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic box set, 22 Jun 2014
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A comprehensive box set - and as it was a mere £15 from the seller, it was an amazing bargain. I was a bit disappointed that the covers are glossy rather than the individual matt covers previously available, but this is still a required purchase for all Fleming fans.


ForeFront Cases® New iPad Mini Leather Case Cover / Stand For New APPLE IPAD MINI / New Generation iPad mini with Magnetic Auto Sleep Wake Function (BLACK)
ForeFront Cases® New iPad Mini Leather Case Cover / Stand For New APPLE IPAD MINI / New Generation iPad mini with Magnetic Auto Sleep Wake Function (BLACK)
Offered by Forefront Cases
Price: £39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, 22 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a lovely slim cover for the iPad mini that then allows conversion into a stand. I ordered it as it seemed lightweight rather than to use the stand function, so the functionality of the stand was a pleasant bonus. The only thing preventing a five star review is that the iPad mini screen is very sensitive, and the cover ridges activate it when opening / closing - so if you have it in your bag with something pressing against the ridges it keeps it 'on' all the time. But nevertheless, a lovely product.


This Thing Of Darkness
This Thing Of Darkness
by Harry Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely stunning, 18 Sep 2013
This review is from: This Thing Of Darkness (Paperback)
This is a beautiful book, ostensibly about the voyage of the HMS beagle, but in reality about the uneasy relationship between Charles Darwin and Captain Fitzroy. I quite adored Fitzroy by the end, he is painted with such vivid colours, and was gripped by the sense of adventure and peril pervading the entire book.

Most of all, I was fascinated by the way in which Fitzroy was presented as confronting and overcoming challenges and puzzles in much the same way that Darwin is. Where Darwin is searching for answers regarding naturalism, Fitzroy is focusing on the weather and navigation. Where Darwin ends up coming out of his journey an atheist, Fitzroy is able to marry his religious beliefs and his scientific research much more easily. The lands they journey to come to life in a flurry of panic and astonishment at each new and unfamiliar aspect, and the crew's encounters with the different people they encounter is both painful and at times quite touching.

This is a real gem of a book, and heartily recommended.


Aya
Aya
by Marguerite Abouet
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Book 1 is a lovely introduction to the world of Aya, 7 Aug 2013
This review is from: Aya (Hardcover)
Either everyone is reviewing the wrong book, or Amazon has decided to group the reviews of all the different volumes of Aya's adventures together. This review is for Book 1 only.

I thought it was wonderful. The Yop City setting was well realised, and the characters felt quite distinctive while retaining their broad comedic brushstrokes. It felt a little odd to have the title character play an almost peripheral part to the story, but seeing the interaction of her friends and family through her eyes was actually rather interesting. I quite liked the art as well, it had a certain 70s quality to it, with strong bold colours and firm inking. You don't need to be an Africaphile or graphic novel devotee to enjoy it: the storyline is sufficiently fun and accessible for casual graphic novel readers, and there are some fun, witty comments on gender relations to enjoy. I will be checking out Marguerite Abouet's other work following this.


The Long Earth
The Long Earth
Price: £3.66

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars starts off well, but runs out of steam before the end, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: The Long Earth (Kindle Edition)
I was quite interested in the premise of this book, although it did take me a couple of tries to get past the first few chapters. After that, the first third of the book was quite interesting, with a lot of world-building going on. Unfortunately, it suffers from several typical Baxter issues - interesting idea, but the characters don't hold the reader's interest, and there is a strong tendency to fall into exposition delivery. At times, it reads like a lecture given by Lobsang (a character I quickly grew tired of), with random intervals from other characters inserted. I wasn't sure what the point of the whole Helen Greene storyline was, and can only assume that she becomes relevant in later books. Baxter has a tendency to write about world-changing events from the perspective of the lucky few - the survivors in Flood, for instance, and Joshua Valiente, a natural stepper, in this one. Joshua doesn't have to deal with being left behind, and I wonder if a more interesting story could have been told about the abandonement of Rod Greene and the other children.

To be honest, this didn't feel terribly like a collaboration; other than the chapter set in the UK, the majority of the rest of the book read like standard Baxter fare. I am not convinced or interested enough to seek out The Long War.


The Bugatti Queen. In Search of a Motor-racing Legend
The Bugatti Queen. In Search of a Motor-racing Legend
by Miranda Seymour
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully researched, wonderfully written, 1 July 2013
I picked up this book more or less by accident - I had certainly never heard of Helle Nice, which is astonishing, given how popular she was and all that she achieved. This book is an engaging look at one of the early superstars of motorsport, thoroughly researched and with some lovely photos of both Helene and the cars she raced. Recommended for both motorsport afficionados and those interested in women's history.


CAIRO TIME (2009)
CAIRO TIME (2009)
Dvd ~ Andrew Cullen
Offered by Nr1mediaFBA
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle & understated romance, 3 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: CAIRO TIME (2009) (DVD)
I adore this film. With so many modern romance stories filled with overblown declarations & cliches, this unassuming little film is a step apart from the rest. It's a story about adults connecting - no nubile twenty-somethings frolicking on the shore, here - with all the attendant complications of adult relationships. Beautifully acted and with a stunning setting, Cairo Time is 2 parts ode to Cairo to 3 parts romance. Highly recommended.


Cairo SC
Cairo SC
by M. K. Perker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a vivid sense of place, 25 July 2012
This review is from: Cairo SC (Paperback)
I adore this book. It is strong on the magic realism (one of the favourite tropes) and with a fun, action-oriented plot, it moves along at a fast clip. Cairo - and its inhabitants - are very well realised, with strong interactions between the supporting characters and a good sense of place. This is helped by the art, which is slightly stylised but absolutely lovely with it. The ending makes me wish for a sequel. Highly recommended.


Flood
Flood
by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Paperback

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing scope - shame about the execution, 6 July 2009
This review is from: Flood (Paperback)
The story of a great flood drowning the world is an interesting premise, and could have been a truly fantastic read. Baxter makes a dutiful effort in walking us through the shock felt by the near-Earth's inhabitants when the waters rise and don't subside. I enjoyed the set-up for his protagonists, as they, too, have been separated from this world by a few years and can therefore justifiable be confused. As they learn, we learn, and it helps to avoid exposition dumps (at least in the beginning of the novel).

as we progress, however, it becomes apparent that there isn't really a point to the story, except perhaps 'humans deserve it'. We don't see the human cost of suffering - we're always with the survivors, and they don't seem to spend much time thinking about anyone they've lost. Main characters are killed out of sight, and the constant influx of dozens of new characters, all given equal weight, is disorienting. The human relationships become more and more unbelievable as the story progresses, with mothers refusing to talk to their children even in this drowned world because of who they shack up with, people being passed around like objects, and allegiances changing every chapter. Most frustratingly, a lot of weight is placed mid-way through until the end on the relationship between our protagonist and one of her former hostage friends. A romantic relationship is manufactured out of thin air, and we are later informed that the middle-aged man is in fact in love with the protagonist's niece. Given that the last time we met said niece she was 16, that's a little creepy. (This also follows some other suvivalist also trying to walk off with the girl, a la '28 Days Later'). His 'love' continues through him killing people she loves, and everyone around him tolerating this kind of behaviour because 'he can't help it'.

Meanwhile, billions of people die in between chapters, unmentioned and unnoticed.

Baxter's idea is strong, solid. There was real potential there, especially in the first third. But his relationships are unconvincing, and there is too much pseudo-science here for the book to hold water (!) otherwise. Most of all, he tries to turn a human tragedy into a political discussion by focusing on the most privileged strata, those that somehow always come out on top. What would have been much more interesting would be more of a focus on the less-fortunate, those that have to struggle to survive, rather than simply be affiliated with a multinational.


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