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Reviews Written by
D. Graham (Wakefield, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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The Word Exchange
The Word Exchange
by Alena Graedon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.19

2.0 out of 5 stars interesting idea which falls flat, 19 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Word Exchange (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really liked the description from the back of the book - the Word Exchange sounded like a fascinating concept. However the book just really didn't live up to the concept for me. I struggled to finish it.


Lagoon
Lagoon
by Nnedi Okorafor
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and unusual, 19 Jun 2014
This review is from: Lagoon (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
interesting characters doing interesting things, but overall it left me feeling a little disappointed. It's quite unusual, and a clever idea, but it just didn't quite click for me. I loved the setting and idea, but the plot just didn't grab me.


Tefal 13-Piece Ingenio Enamel Set
Tefal 13-Piece Ingenio Enamel Set
Price: 144.00

5.0 out of 5 stars lovely pans, 19 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great set of pans - I really like the detachable handles as it makes them much easier to store neatly. The pans are good and solid, very non-stick and great to cook with.


The Year Without Pants: WordPress.Com and the Future of Work
The Year Without Pants: WordPress.Com and the Future of Work
by Scott Berkun
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.59

5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 27 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Up front - I'm a huge fan of Scott's, both of his blogs and his other books. I've read them all, and really like his writing style - it's friendly and accessible and draws you along.

I was keen therefore to see what he made of his year working for Automattic, the guys who bring you WordPress, one of the most popular blogging platforms on the market. As with his other books, Scott slides right into the story and you get a real sense of following him on his adventure into the world of remote working. It's a great personal account of his time there, and a fascinating read.

Could your workplace handle working the same way as WordPress do? Have a read of The Year Without Pants and find out!


The Echo
The Echo
by James Smythe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.59

5.0 out of 5 stars and I thought The Explorer was good, 27 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Echo (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I read James Smythe's The Explorer a while ago and loved it. Then I found it out was part of a quartet of books, of which The Echo is the second.

I thought the Explorer was great - clever, twisty sci-fi where you were never quite sure what to believe and what was happening. I was intrigued to see what James would do with a sequel - the unique format of the first book meant that another similar story wouldn't do, and with The Echo, he hasn't let us down. Events in The Explorer are now well in the past, and a new ship is heading out to the Anomaly. Strange things are afoot, and weird things start to happen.

There was a point towards the half-way mark where the pace slowed, and I was a little unsure, but it just added to the atmosphere and building sense of unease - stick with it, it all pays off in the end.

Bring on book 3 please!


Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips (Lonely Planet How to Guide)
Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips (Lonely Planet How to Guide)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars great for starting out, 27 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Really liked this little book - it's small and easy to slip into a pocket (or your camera bag). Ten 'rules' of photography, and 45 other tips, along with some wonderful photographs.

Great for beginners to get the basics.


Red Rising
Red Rising
by Pierce Brown
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Jan 2014
This review is from: Red Rising (Hardcover)
Nearly everyone will compare this book with The Hunger Games and there are echoes of that here, along with shades of Ender’s Game, but laced with the outright brutality and deviousness of Game of Thrones.

It’s hard to talk too much about the story without giving away too many twists and turns, but suffice it to say that it’s brilliant. It’s a veritable rollercoaster of a book – the first third is one of the best openings for a book I’ve read for a long, long time. Then it kicks up a notch and you’re swept along.

Is it a YA novel? Much like in the Hunger Games, the main characters are quite definitely young adult, but this is quite definitely much darker and far nastier than that. The huge cast of characters are beautifully realised and well-rounded, and the world-building is absolutely top-notch.

It’s one of those books that you just lose yourself in, and emerge blinking into the daylight at the far end. I devoured it over the course of a couple of days, staying up entirely too late (and getting up entirely too early) to read just one more chapter.

Fair warning though, it’s the first in a trilogy and whilst Red Rising wraps up nicely, you’re definitely left wanting more.

More now. I want book 2, now.


Orla Kiely Home
Orla Kiely Home
by Orla Kiely
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 27.00

5.0 out of 5 stars another classic, 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A wonderful coffee-table book and design reference, packed with beautiful photos of homes around the world. A great companion to her previous book, Pattern.


Braun Oral-B TriZone 5000 Six Mode Power Toothbrush with Wireless Smart Guide Black Limited Edition
Braun Oral-B TriZone 5000 Six Mode Power Toothbrush with Wireless Smart Guide Black Limited Edition
Price: 86.34

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good, 28 Nov 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Pretty good toothbrush, though it seems to take ages to charge up. The wireless smart guide is a nice idea, doubling as a clock. It gives you a visual representation of how far through the brushing cycle you are, and allows you to see at a glance which of the brush settings you've got selected. The brush stops and beeps after every 30 seconds to indicate that you need to move onto another quadrant in your mouth, which is a nice touch.

There are a few different brushing modes, but you'll probably end up set on one anyway. The brush head supplied has a slightly odd-looking set of bristles - they move side to side as you brush, giving you a better clean.

Quite pricey, but worth the cost. Three of us use it - the base unit takes regular Oral-B heads, so you can find one to suit and it comes with a little tray case which will hold four different heads.


RHA MA750 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphone - 3 year warranty
RHA MA750 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphone - 3 year warranty
Offered by Advanced MP3 Players
Price: 79.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars astonishing, 16 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've owned a fair number of in-ear headphones over the years, from various different companies.

None of them come even close to the sound that these earbuds manage to create. The difference is astonishing - it's as if I'd been listening to music through a doorway, with a curtain pulled across. Suddenly the sound stage seems *so* much wider. Instruments and voices take on a new level of clarity, and I've found myself digging through my music collection looking for favourite tracks to give another listen. There's a new edge to the sound where previously things were lost. Bass notes in particular are picked up well, but across the range these perform brilliantly.

Yes, I received a pair via Amazon's Vine programme. But, should the worst happen and I lose these headphones? I'd buy another pair without a second's hesitation.

The build quality is superb too - the earbuds are made from stainless steel and feel lovely and solid in your hand, yet not heavy in your ears. The cord goes up and over your ear, which I've always preferred. This cuts out the cable noise you get when in-ear headphones trail the wire straight down. The curved wires on these have a reinforced plastic to keep the curve in place and protect the cable, which I really liked.

The whole thing just smacks of quality, from the industrial metal joins where the left/right cables meet, to the spring at the headphone jack end, again to protect the cable. The cable itself feels heavy-duty and robust too. These are no lightweights.

They come with a load of extra ear tips - single and double-flanged as well as memory foam ones loaded into a nice stainless steel holder and a carry case.

Backed up with a *three year* warranty. A seriously nice bit of audio kit. Worth every penny. Do your ears a favour and buy a pair.


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