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K. Johnston (Hove, UK)
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Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
by Tracey Thorn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, 2 Sep 2014
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I adored this book. I love Tracey's music and her voice is one that inspires, lifts and soothes me at just the right times. I found this book much the same - she felt like a particularly articulate and insightful friend sharing a story of a life and a relationship with me. Recommend!


Brad Downey: Spontaneous Sculptures
Brad Downey: Spontaneous Sculptures
by Brad Downey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Making the transient permanent, 2 Feb 2012
Love the look of this book - saw it in the bookshop at Hayward while visiting David Shrigley's Brain Activity exhibition. The art I love best is the stuff you see on the street, incidental, transient, clever, quirky, thought-provoking. And this book attempts to highlight, make permanent, those small but meaningful art moments that we might miss. It makes me think about how imperceptible the line between intended 'street' art, and the accidental but brilliant 'installations' that just happen - little connections in life that you notice, that make you think and smile. I guess the world around us is just a little bit of art waiting to be noticed. Anyway, I like this book for nodding to these moments of reflection, the personal nudged into the public, acknowledging and feeding the human activity of picking up meanings and connections from the world around us. Going to own this and enjoy this immensely.


Brideshead Revisited [DVD] [2008]
Brideshead Revisited [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Emma Thompson
Price: £5.23

8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, poignant, moving, 24 May 2009
I'd like to add my penneth to what appears to be overwhelming condemnation of this movie.

I am not familiar with the original series, and have not read the book, so I came to the movie with completely fresh eyes. I thought it was a beautifully shot piece of film-making, a cinematography lover's feast.

I thought the principal actors, particularly Matthew Goode as the protagonist, and Emma Thompson, were extraordinary. Daylight robbery that Thompson was not nominated for her role, surely. And, really, Goode is perfectly cast as Ryder - the classic period looks, the perfect measure of restrained passion. It's all in the eyes with him.

I have several favourite moments, but three come to mind and they are all towards the end: the first, when Ryder turns to the woman he has always passionately loved, defeated, and says, 'I hope your heart breaks', uttered so carefully, devastatingly, it almost made MY heart stop; the second, when Ryder reaches to pinch out the candle in the chapel - and stops, his fingers hovering about the flame, the symbolism of the moment so precisely encapsulated; and the final moment, with Ryder walking out into the blurred glare of sunlight, well, it's a thing of real beauty.

This movie, it is not a flawless thing, but it is all the better for not being so, but it is gorgeous. I hope others love it too.


Map Of The Human Heart [DVD]
Map Of The Human Heart [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick Bergin
Price: £6.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartstopping, 23 Feb 2009
This review is from: Map Of The Human Heart [DVD] (DVD)
I remember seeing this beautiful film for the first time, and it just took my breath away. I didn't know the film's troubled editing history, but I'm rather glad, and it doesn't alter my view that this is a really special movie about a love that endures despite a clash of cultures, and war, among other things. I think this is a gentle, striking film, with some heartstopping moments. I'm sure I'm not alone.


Life: Season One [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Life: Season One [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Damian Lewis
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: £13.55

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Life!, 8 Dec 2008
I love to be genuinely surprised, and discovering 'Life' turns out to be one of those occasions. How often does a US import sound interesting, but turn out to be mediocre? Not this time. Life is an intelligent, quirky, gripping classic in the making. It's a chemistry thing perhaps you can't predict - the combination of great central casting, the dialogue, plot development, direction, styling, all praise-worthy. I love the little, charming touches - the Zen contemplation bits. That's what got to me - that and the beautiful, red-headed, pitch-perfect Damien Lewis obviously.


Dear Fatty
Dear Fatty
by Dawn French
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A little flabby, 6 Dec 2008
This review is from: Dear Fatty (Hardcover)
It might simply be that Dawn French, or at least Dawn French's style of writing, is just not going to be my cup of tea. Ever. I have struggled BIG TIME to wade through the first third, and turning each page feels like a triumph of good will over substantially irritating writing style and flabby content. And I really don't like the structure of the book. This 'Dear Whoever' letters thing, rather than be genuinely revealing, just feels like a device straining against it's own quirkly, clever germ of an idea. Some ideas are only great in themselves, and simply don't work when followed through. And it's a shame - the whole project, I mean - because I'd like to read a biographical piece by Dawn French that took the risk of really being straight Dawn - not the 'in my comfort zone' fat funny woman who writes in her West Country comedy-speak, right down to the 'I s'pect' rather than 'I expect' - you know, so we feel like we're sitting on a comfy sofa with the Vicar of Dibley herself. And I really CAN'T ABIDE the Vicar of Dibley. So, for me, this is very much an unrealised venture and thus rather disappointing, unfunny, and put-downable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2011 5:00 AM GMT


Rachel's Favourite Food at Home
Rachel's Favourite Food at Home
by Rachel Allen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great if you have kids, 29 Oct 2008
My partner and I love to watch Rachel on TV, she's a very charming teacher and cook, and has a winning style. When it comes to her books, I'm slightly less enamoured. I own this one, and have had a good look at her others. It took me awhile to decide to purchase one of them, really because, for me, they feel a tiny bit insubstantial - as food writing they don't really move me - but the recipes are certainly accessible and pleasing. The main reason that I don't own all of her books, however, is that I don't have children, and I think the main market for Rachel's recipes are families - lots of kid-friendly options abound. Thus, I would tend to choose other kinds of cookbooks for reading and cooking from, but for those parents who have little time, and need something easy and foolproof to cook, I think she's probably a great option.


Leon: Ingredients & Recipes: Ingredients and Recipes
Leon: Ingredients & Recipes: Ingredients and Recipes
by Allegra McEvedy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Enough To Eat, 28 Oct 2008
One of the most original cookbooks I've bought in a long time! Leon: Ingredients and Recipes is an absolute delight, both in terms of its recipes, which are healthy and utterly seductive, but also (and perhaps more so), it's design concept, which imaginatively reinterprets that of the Leon eateries. With its interactive pull-out elements, retro motifs, and quirky styling, it is, quite simply, the best fun you can have with a cookbook, without it actually being edible.

Heartily recommend for fans, and for those, like me, for whom the book was the inspiration for a first visit.


Kitchen Seasons: Easy Recipes for Seasonal Organic Food
Kitchen Seasons: Easy Recipes for Seasonal Organic Food
by Ross Dobson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to seasonal eating, 28 Oct 2008
There is much to like about Dobson's book. It's luscious photography; the author's uncomplicated writing style; the accessible recipes; it's contemporary 'feel'; it's emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce. It does what it says on the cover: it's easy. Personally, I'd like a little more complexity and originality - this just feels a tiny bit insubstantial as it is.


Pastry
Pastry
by Michel Roux
Edition: Hardcover

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return of the Master, 28 Oct 2008
This review is from: Pastry (Hardcover)
Oh, at last, Michel's definitive text on pastry. And that's just what it is. A joy from start to finish, with absolutely scrumptious, classy recipes, alongside authoritative, yet accessible techniques on making pastry, including two kinds of puff: classic and rough, depending on what time you have. If you lack self-belief in the pastry-making department, this soon-to-be cookbook classic will arm you with all the confidence and skills you need.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2009 6:53 PM GMT


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