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The Auschwitz Goalkeeper: A Prisoner of War's True Story
The Auschwitz Goalkeeper: A Prisoner of War's True Story
by Ron Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welsh Prisoner of War's Story, 8 Dec 2013
This isn't just the story of Ron's time in Auschwitz, he also tells us of what his life in Wales was like before and after this terrible time.

Ron's poignant story is added to with testimonies and quotes from fellow prisoners of war. Joe Lovejoy has also completed Ron's story with facts, figures and other Auschwitz research to give us an overall feel of what happened in the hell that was Auschwitz and its aftermath.

Before reading this book, I had been totally oblivious to the fact that giant companies were working and treating POWs and Jews like slaves. The Jews who survived being selected for the gas chambers would instead be worked to death, the Nazi's were hiring out both POWs and Jews to companies such as IG Farben for slave labour. Ultimately, the path for the Jews led to the gas chambers, whether they went straight there or worked until they fell.

Ron Jones recognises that the POWs had it far easier than the Jews, but still... the POWs didn't know if they would be exterminated next, imagine fearing that day in and day out, and then there were the death marches across Europe as the Red Army advanced on Auschwitz and the other concentration camps.

What makes Ron's harrowing story even more awful is that Ron should never have been on the battlefield in the first place, let alone in a POW camp. Ron was in what was regarded as a `reserved occupation', but a simple error sent him into the battlefield and into the hands of the Nazis. That simple error changed Ron's life and could have seen him lose it.

Ron's story might be harrowing and compelling, but it is not self-glorifying. Ron has simply told his story as it was. Ron also questions the stories of other survivors and whether some events really could have taken place. He hasn't made himself out to be a hero, but a man that has endured what he has and survived to tell the tale, must still be someone special.

So what makes this prisoner of war story different to others? At 96 years old, Ron Jones wants to set the record straight once and for all and before it's too late. I wasn't there (Thank God!), so I can only take Ron and other POWs at their word, but Ron's story isn't fanciful and there's no obvious exaggeration. Ron has simply told it how it was. Nevertheless, Ron's story should be read and, with Joe Lovejoy's help, I've certainly learned a thing or two from reading it.

Let us hope history has been learned from.


Scare Me (Exhibit a)
Scare Me (Exhibit a)

5.0 out of 5 stars Scared!, 20 May 2013
Richard Parker's Scare Me is a clever story making use of today's technological society. With a wealth of technology (computers, the world wide web, GPS etc) to draw upon, the characters are either using it to stay one step ahead or using it to play catch-up. Of course, using technology in a book may make it seem dated in a decade's time, but right now it's up-to-date, edgy and a fantastic way of executing a crime thriller.

One or two of the technical aspects/terms did nag at me as they didn't seem quite right, that and the fact that the protagonist always seemed to be able to connect to the internet no matter where he was. However, those are just small issues and they really didn't affect my enjoyment of the book.

The book's opening chapter immediately gets straight to the point and paves the way for the rest of the story. There's no messing around or filler here. Just like the characters, the reader is thrown from one situation to the next. Its relentless pace is certainly one that will keep readers on their toes! It's non-stop, with barely a breather, and you want to find out what's going to happen next just as much as the protagonist and his wife do.

When I began reading Scare Me I had no idea where it would take me and I certainly didn't envision the journey it took me on. Just like the protagonist, I could never really prepare myself for what scene he would walk in upon at each location he was sent to. The author certainly has quite an imagination!

Creepy, menacing, tramatic, and full of supense and tension, this book is definitely a keeper. I easily read over half of it in one go and definitely recommend it to fellow thriller readers. Scare Me is the first release from Angry Robot's Exhibit A imprint and I can't wait to read more by both author and publisher.

(Please note: I received this book free via NetGalley from Exhibit A. However, this has in no way influenced my opinion of the book.)


Tom Tailor Women's Quartz Watch 5404603 with Leather Strap
Tom Tailor Women's Quartz Watch 5404603 with Leather Strap

5.0 out of 5 stars A great looking and comfortable watch, 5 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When the cuff strap on my old watch broke, I was unable to find a replacement strap which I liked, so I went looking for a new watch. It is then that I stumbled upon this Tom Tailor Women's Quartz Watch.

The black leather strap for this watch is so soft and comfortable, I can hardly tell that I'm wearing it! The strap fits smoothly around my wrist and fits perfectly. I have narrow wrists and sometimes find it difficult to find a watch that fits tidy, however there is plenty of scope in this strap for smaller wrists as well as wider ones.

This doesn't have a date function, which is something I do miss, but the dial is a good size and keeps time beautifully.


Animal Nikki Women's Gilet Peacoat Size 14 CL2WA515-K23-14
Animal Nikki Women's Gilet Peacoat Size 14 CL2WA515-K23-14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Comfortable!, 15 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This gilet is so warm and comfortable! It is well padded, but doesn't make you look like a michelin man (which some gilets/bodywarmers can). It has two side pockets, which button up, and an inside pocket (which doesn't). The inside is lined with a sweatshirt like material, making it lovely and warm to the touch. The hood zipps off if not requied, but I've left mine on.

It has been so cold lately, but wearing this and a hoody underneath has kept me lovely and warm. Friends have been commenting on it and asking where I got it from!

Order the same size as you would an Animal hoody and this will fit nicely over the top.


Bereft
Bereft
by Chris Womersley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Australian Fiction!, 24 Feb 2012
This review is from: Bereft (Paperback)
In 1919, a soldier of the Great War, Quinn Walker returns to Australia where the Spanish flu epidemic is raging. He is drawn back to Flint, a small town in New South Wales from where he fled ten years previously having been accused of murder. The townsmen, including his own father and uncle, have never forgiven him and have vowed to hang him should he return. Aware of this, Quinn keeps to the town's surrounding hills, unsure of what to do next.

A young girl named Sadie Fox finds Quinn above the town and a bond is formed. Sadie seems to know, and share, Quinn's darkest fear. In fact, she seems to know a lot. With Sadie's help, Quinn learns the only way he can lay his past to rest.

Bereft is written in third-person narrative, subjectively following Quinn's actions and train of thought. Quinn is damaged by the Great War, not just physically but mentally too, and we follow him back to his hometown where his survival is dependant on not being seen. His memories of what happened in Flint ten years earlier and of what happened during the Great War are never far away.

Sadie's discovery of Quinn sparks an unusual, if slightly uneasy, relationship between him, a veteran of the Great War, and her, a lone young orphan girl. Some might call their relationship "odd", and to some extend it is, but it is an entirely innocent one. They see each other as the one they miss.

Despite it being such an atmospheric, haunting and grim story, Bereft is beautifully written, but it did have me wondering at times if certain things were real. Bereft is not a "whodunnit" (as I think that part is pretty obvious early on), but makes for compelling reading with its story of survival, guilt and grief. The story slowly gathers pace until it reaches its climax and it, perhaps, borders both literary and crime fiction. It certainly isn't your standard crime thriller, it's thoughtful and deeper with its story of human tragedy, consequences of actions and regret.

All in all, Bereft is a good read and one I'd certainly recommend to anyone looking for some great Australian fiction.


Something of the Night
Something of the Night
by Ian Marchant
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.99

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What do you get up to when the night falls?, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Something of the Night (Hardcover)
Something of the Night is a semi-autobiographical book by Ian Marchant, exploring Britain's night time activities. Each chapter investigates something different, whether it's bonfires and fireworks, life at motorway service stations, drunken nights out, Soho's ladies of the night and other goings-on under the cover of darkness.

Just a short step into the book I realised the author lives just over the hills from me, though, admittedly, "just over the hills" is still nearly an hour's journey away due to our lovely country lanes and roads. Put it this way, when you live in a county where there's more sheep than people, "local" covers quite an area!

Still, it was great to see names of local places popping up every now and then as this area generally just doesn't exist (although ex-MP Lemsip, sorry... Opik Lembit put us on the map a few years ago). Even local news has to be quite big to nudge past the North & South Wales news on the local bulletins.

Something of the Night isn't just about what Mr Marchant gets up to when it gets dark, he also provides us with some history, facts and figures along the way too. His drunken friend Neil also comes along for the journey through Something of the Night, even though he thinks Marchant's previous book was called `The Longest Mile' (It's `The Longest Crawl' - a book about a massive pub crawl!). We also get quite an insight into Ian Marchant's musical tastes (somewhat before my time though, I must admit!).

If you're after an easy read with some history and some laughs along the way, then I'd recommend giving Something of the Night a go. It's an enjoyable read.


Smashing Logo Design: The Art of Creating Visual Identities (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
Smashing Logo Design: The Art of Creating Visual Identities (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
by Gareth Hardy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Smashing Book!, 19 Sep 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Smashing Logo Design is a handy book that takes you through what you really should know when tackling logo design. It takes the reader thought different types of logo, the key to a successful logo, designing a logo (right through how to work with clients and communicating with them before and as you work), typography, colour, presentation, usage guidelines... Really, there's pretty much everything you need to know!

Whether you'd just getting into design or you've a seasoned designer, I think this book is useful, practical and, most importantly, easy to understand. It's probably also useful for anyone who's looking at getting a logo designed.

Recommended!


Dicota D30254 Bounce 15-16.4 Inch Notebook BacPac with Cushioned Notebook Compartment - Black/Blue
Dicota D30254 Bounce 15-16.4 Inch Notebook BacPac with Cushioned Notebook Compartment - Black/Blue

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good looking, sturdy and comfortable laptop backpack, 23 Aug 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not only does this notebook packback look good with it's black exterior and blue detailing, but it also does a good job of protecting my laptop too.

I have a 15 inch laptop and I always keep it in a protective sleeve. Prior to getting this backpack, if I wanted to take my laptop away with my I had to put it in my normal backpack and get it out every time I needed to grab something out of my bag. However, this Dicota BacPack Bounce Backpack has it's own compartment for the laptop. At first I was dubious as to if my laptop would fit in there with its sleeve on, but, amazingly, it does! It's a snug fit, I must admit, but keeping the sleeve on means my laptop has added protection. There is also a velcro tab to secure the laptop in the bag so it doesn't move about. The backpack itself has sufficient padding, especially on the back, so you don't feel the hardness of your laptop on your back when carrying it.

Also, the adjustable straps are designed so that weight is distributed evenly, meaning it won't give you backache when carrying it. I have similar straps on my other rucksack. The padding on the back of the rucksack is breathable padding, meaning you don't sweat so much when carrying it.

Another great thing about this backpack is that there's room for more than just your laptop... The main compartment will easily hold a change of clothes or a work folder. There is also a front pocket which can be used to carry notebooks (of the paper variety!), pens, keys and other accessories.

The backpack also comes with exchangable zipper pullers. The ones on the backpack are blue, but the spare ones are black. Personally, I prefer to keep the blue ones on it, but I'm sure the spare ones will be handy at some point.

So, if you're looking for a backpack to carry your laptop/notebook and protect it, then I'd highly recommend the Dicota C30254 BacPac Bounce Backpack. It looks good, it's practical and it's sturdy. What else could you ask for?!


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children)
by Ransom Riggs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 5.20

4.0 out of 5 stars No Ordinary Book!, 13 July 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is no ordinary book. It isn't just presented as text, we're also treated to a wealth of black & white photos and hand-written letters dotted throughout the book as if they were in a photo album or scrapbook. The book was perfect for me... I love looking through old photographs and imaginging the story behind them.

The chapter titles are also thoughtfully presented on their own page decorated with a patterned background. Even the spine of the book is designed to look like an old leather-bound book found in the library of a big house.

So, does the story live up to the wonderful presented book? It certainly does! This is a fantasy story without any vampires, wolves or angels involved. It's beautifully written with descriptive (but not overly so) text. While some of the story is set in the present day, a lot of it is set during World War 2. Despite the differing times, it is easy to follow. It's haunting, fun, adventurous, mysterious and creative.

I did have a couple of niggles, though they were fairly small. Niggles aside, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is a wonderful book for teenagers and adults alike. I didn't know quite what to expect with this book, but was pleasantly surprised. It's definitely a book I'd recommend!


The Hunting Ground
The Hunting Ground
by Cliff McNish
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite creepy for a kids book?!, 11 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Hunting Ground (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I haven't read a ghost story in a while, so I thought a young adult book wouldn't be too scary of a re-introduction to ghost stories. However, The Hunting Ground is quite creepy for a kids book! I guess that's why it says "Not for younger readers" on the back of the book!

I found the book to start very well, with tension building immediately. I certainly felt a little wary when I put the book down and turned off the light... If anything had made a sound shortly after I'd put the book down, I'd have jumped out of my skin! However, I thought the story faltered a little in the middle and I began to lose a little interest. Thankfully, the pace quickened again in the final third of the book and I found myself racing through it.

Only one thing really bugged me about the book and that was the diary sections. They find pages of a diary belonging to Theo (a boy who once lived at Glebe House) and the diary entries are dotted about the book as and when they are found. Theo's diary started off being written like a diary would be, but then the writing started to read more like a story would. It was almost as it the story was actually shifting to the first person perspective, rather than reading a diary entry.

All in all, The Hunting Ground is an enjoyable (if slightly scary!) book and is definitely one to give a go.


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