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Roy Turner (United Kingdom)
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The Miniaturist
The Miniaturist
by Jessie Burton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying read WITHOUT the Miniaturist!, 9 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Miniaturist (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this novel and could not put it down, just had to keep reading, so from that standpoint I have nothing but praise. HOWEVER, I do think it is mis-titled and the 'miniaturist' remains a shadowy figure who is never fully explained, nor is their part in the whole narrative!

I was carried along by the story of Nella and Johannes, their relationship was well depicted, I believed in it and wanted to see what lay behind the strained relationships of the other characters also. I think this aspect of the story is very well written and believable. It is the presence of this shadowy 'MINIATURIST' which leaves me frustrated and partly wondering why he/she/it are there and what they are really up to.

I feel there is a bigger,deeper story here which has not been quite fully conceived or produced. A really fascinating idea left unrealised. A real shame, but as I say, I enjoyed the book as it is and it it is a worthwhile read in spite of my reservations re. the obscure personage of the title.


Big Bill Tilden: The Triumphs and the Tragedy (Hall of Fame Edition Book 2)
Big Bill Tilden: The Triumphs and the Tragedy (Hall of Fame Edition Book 2)
Price: 5.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of a lesser-known tennis legend., 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fascinating account of the life of Big Bill who dominated men's tennis in the earlier part of the 20th century. What is amazing is how few people these days know his story - a story of triumph and tragedy which makes for an enthralling read. It is also a sad reflection on human reactions to human frailty in others.

Full of detail which will interest today's tennis fans and fill in some gaps in their knowledge of the game's history. I must admit to feeling quite sad as I finished the story of Big Bill. It seems many great and talented people have feet of clay and often have to battle with an inherent weakness in their natures which mars an otherwise successful life. You will find out what Bill's achilles heel was as you read. How you, the reader judges him at the end, is your challenge.


The Lieutenant
The Lieutenant
Price: 4.63

5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing read, beautifully realised narrative based on a true story, 25 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Lieutenant (Kindle Edition)
I had read Kate Grenville's captivating book 'The Secret River' and discovered what a superb writer she is. I picked up 'The Lieutenant' wondering if it could be as rewarding a read. I was not disappointed and could hardly put this one down I read it over two days. She is brilliant at evoking not just a sense of time and place but also human emotion and inner moral challenges too.

I enjoyed the pace of this story and the way she describes the main character's life journey as it unfolds. Kate Grenville is able to engage the reader and elicit our deep interest in the discoveries of the Lieutenant of the title. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough!


Tap Dance Made Easy Vol 1: Basic (Streaming Video Edition)
Tap Dance Made Easy Vol 1: Basic (Streaming Video Edition)
Price: 6.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book and videos for beginner tap dancers!, 8 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am 72 years of age and have just started learning to tap dance which I am really enjoying and finding a great fun way to exercise. This Kindle edition of 'Tap Dance Made Easy' is giving me a good grounding in the technique required for the basic 'tap' steps. The instructions are easy to follow and the teacher breaksdown each step to different tempos.

The videos use a split screen to show each step from various angles which helps to ensure that you are
performing them correctly.

Excellent for those of us taking our first tentative steps in this enjoyable art form. Cannot wait for the next set of lessons to be issued in this way.


Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World
Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World
by Mikey Walsh
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of courage and hope, 9 April 2010
I have just finished this book, I could not put it down, and it has left a lasting impression. Many of the reviews here echo my own feelings and thoughts but one of the things which shone through this autobiography is the courage with which this young gypsy lad endured the horrendous treatment meted out to him. It is hard to believe that some of these things actually happened, and are allowed to happen, in this day and age.

The inner struggles and torments he suffered, trapped in an alien world where all he felt and wanted was inexpressible and unattainable because of tradition and bigotry, would have overwhelmed a lesser soul....and that is why this book is inspirational. It is distressing at times and heart-rending, but it is also full of hope and shows that the human spirit has a huge capacity to win through, and will ultimately survive and conquer.

Your journey with Mikey will bring you tears, laughter, incredulity and hope. You will find it hard to put this book down as you follow him through his torments and struggles. Wherever you are now Mikey, thank you for daring to put pen to paper and share your expeiences with us!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2010 10:23 AM BST


Water for Elephants: A Novel
Water for Elephants: A Novel
by Sara Gruen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favourites, 7 April 2010
I was intrigued by the title. It's meaning only becomes clear as the story unfolds......and what a story! Satisfying on all counts!

This is a wonderful book and one of my favourite reads of all time. From the opening pages I was drawn into this engaging story of a young guy's life with a travelling circus. The characters are all believable, the situations interesting and exciting, the emotions beautifully portrayed and observed. In particular, the author's depiction and understanding of the mind of the older man in the Nursing Home is so insightful.

I was involved with these people from the start and really wanted to know what happened to them as their lives unfolded. You will care too. There is genuine warmth and depth in this novel which left me feeling it is good to be alive. I was sad and sorry when I had to turn the last page! Buy it soon as you can and immerse yourself in a small masterpiece.


At My Mother's Knee...: and other low joints
At My Mother's Knee...: and other low joints
by Paul O'Grady
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth, funny and entertaining, 7 April 2010
I loved this book! Written in an easy chatty style - you can hear Paul's voice telling the tale - this is a story told just as it was.......warts and all! There is no pretence or artifice here, just a down-to-earth account of a young guy struggling to understand the world and himself. There were many parts where I laughed out loud and other passages and situations with which I empathised completely.

It is refreshing to read a book by a showbiz personality which is from the heart and displays no contrivance at all. This book was given to me by my daughter as a gift....I would not have bought it myself....but I am pleased to have had the opportunity to read it and can thoroughly recommend it.


The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
by Maggie O'Farrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Once begun...Hard to put down!, 7 April 2010
I don't know where I heard about this book but I am glad that I came across it. Once I started reading I found it hard to put down and finished it in two sittings. Maggie O'Farrell draws you in with this story of what caused a young woman to be incarcerated in an asylum for over 60 years. She weaves a very believable tale involving innocence, jealousy and betrayal with all the repercussions which can arise from these human frailties.

I was tempted to give this book 5 stars but hesitate. The final pages hurried towards a conclusion when there was still more in the lives of these characters waiting to be said and this left me slightly disappointed.

However, I do recommend this book strongly. Some books you can pick up and put down easily....this is not one of those. From the start you become involved with the poignant depiction of Esme whose only fault seems to have been a desire to break free from the constraints of Edwardian society's expectations of young women......only to become even more of a captive in a system from which there was no escape.


The Wilding
The Wilding
by Maria McCann
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story with a heart, 5 April 2010
This review is from: The Wilding (Paperback)
I have just finished reading 'The Wilding' - once I had started it I could not put it down. It is a beautifully written story narrated by a warm and perceptive young man whose uncovering of family secrets leaves him with poignant and heart-rending decisions. Characters are well-drawn and believable.

I found this book completely satisfying as a mystery tale and an extremely good read. Settle down with it over a cup of tea, glass of wine, mug of ale or a gin and tonic and it will repay you a hundredfold. I can recommend this to anyone and cannot wait to read Maria McCann's first book.


The Pillars of the Earth
The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous find, 2 Jan 2008
Being an avid reader, I cannot believe I had never come across this book, and the author Ken Follett, before now. Thank goodness a friend happened to mention it recently .... to have missed the pleasure this wonderful tale has brought would have been a great shame! Even though it was the Christmas period when I started to read I found I could not put the book down. Three days later I came to the end of the 1000 or so pages. I was left with a feeling of satisfaction having followed the believable characters through thick and thin, and with a bonus - an interest in the history of Cathedrals and their fascinating construction. This is a story of great breadth, well - told which repays every minute you spend. Now for the sequel .... 'World without End' - a very welcome Christmas gift!

I just want to recommend another satisfying read: Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller. Different and inspiring. Please read it.


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