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GwydionM "Gwydion M Williams" (Coventry, Great Britain)

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The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates
The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates
by Frans De Waal
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A wider view, rather hazy, 8 Mar. 2014
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I'd been impressed by Frans De Waal's earlier books about apes as such. In this one he tries to fit this into a wider context. But I don't think he succeeds.


Rebekah (Women of Genesis)
Rebekah (Women of Genesis)
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Bible stories modernised, 8 Mar. 2014
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Telling the Bible story in modern terms, and willing to accept that not all of it is accurate. As the author says, it is a story about people who believe in God, not requiring the reader to share that view. And the characters come across as very believable.

Part of a series, this one is about the wife of Isaac, the key link between Abraham and Jacob / Israel.


The Bug
The Bug
by Ellen Ullman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Improbable computing, 8 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Bug (Paperback)
About a software project plagued by a mysterious bug. Tries to be cleverer than it actually is - there is in the end an explanation for the occurrence of the bug, most likely based on a real case, but none at all about why it should crop up at inconvenient times. As an insight into top-level IT, it is not as good as "The Soul of a New Machine", but still quite interesting.


Goodbye Mickey Mouse
Goodbye Mickey Mouse
by Len Deighton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.39

3.0 out of 5 stars The US airforce in World War Two, 8 Mar. 2014
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One US squadron based in Britain and fighting the air war. Very readable and seems an accurate account. Does not sentimentalise, but shows sympathy.


Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
by Paul Kriwaczek
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where civilisation came from, 8 Mar. 2014
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A neat account of the first city to have something like the modern way of life. Things that the Greeks passed on to the rest of Europe, but they had taken them from West Asia, where Babylon became the main focus.


The Complete Stalky & Co (Oxford World's Classics)
The Complete Stalky & Co (Oxford World's Classics)
by Rudyard Kipling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A view of a Britain that vanished, and deservedly, 8 Mar. 2014
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A collection of short stories set in a British Public School, but rather an odd one. A glimpse into a world that now seems very alien and with much that could not be accepted nowadays. But excellent if you want an understanding of that world. And also full of clues as to why it crashed, though the author did not intend it so. Trickery of the sort Kipling admires is typical of an empire in decline, and generally fails to prevent the decline.

They are also entertaining stories, if you accept that these are people with very different values from modern Britons.


Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century
Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century
by Christian Caryl
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Rise of the Radical Right, 8 Mar. 2014
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The parallel developments of Thatcherism, the Polish Pope, Islamists in Iran, the anti-Soviet resistance in Afghanistan and Deng in China. Showing parallels and differences, a useful reminder of events.


Jews in Italy under Fascist and Nazi Rule, 1922-1945
Jews in Italy under Fascist and Nazi Rule, 1922-1945
by Joshua D. Zimmerman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Complex relationships, 8 Mar. 2014
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An account of how Italian Jews were originally accepted by Italian Fascism, with some supporting it. And how they were later pushed out and sometimes deported to death camps, as the alliance with Nazi Germany strengthened.


The Broken Sword (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
The Broken Sword (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
by Poul Anderson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Age Fantasy, 8 Mar. 2014
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This is the original version of a story the author later re-wrote. Many including me think that this older version was better.

It treats a diversity of gods as real, co-existing with the human world. Rather like the later Dungeons & Dragons, and not the only one. But it catches the grim spirit of the Dark Ages, its mix of cruelty and beauty.


Redshirts
Redshirts
by John Scalzi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine up to page 222, 21 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Redshirts (Paperback)
This is a clever parody about the flaws in the original Star Trek, very funny. Then near the end of the main narrative, it suddenly suggests a completely different solution.

This idea is then let droop, and you have three "codas", which I read in the hope of a plot continuation. Instead it is a trio of slow meditations on matters that had been covered already. Scalzi isn't a good enough writer to make character-studies interesting. I'd advise readers to skip these and just check the Acknowledgements at the very back, which are OK.


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