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Louise Amkaer (Greenland)
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Dreaming Out Loud [Us Import]
Dreaming Out Loud [Us Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the first of many albums!, 27 Nov 2007
What a dream!! Rarely do you hear such a confident and mature debut album as OneRepublic's "Dreaming out loud". Their sound is very distinct especially with the cello (which I am a sucker for) and the lyrics and melodies take OneRepublic to another level.

One aspect that I especially appreciate, is that the songs are not made after the same pattern. Yes, they all have verses, bridges, and chorus, but they have an individuality which allows each memeber of OneRepublic to shine musically.

I believe, that this will be the first of many albums.

Louise.


A Beautiful Lie
A Beautiful Lie
Price: £7.80

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intoxicating masterpiece!!, 27 Nov 2007
This review is from: A Beautiful Lie (Audio CD)
When I bought "A beautiful lie" I thought I would get a couple of singles and some mediocre songs in between, but I was pleasantly surprised.

"A beautiful lie" is a musical piece to be heard and enjoyed from end to end, not just an album of songs. And then it all just comes together as an intoxicating masterpiece. The lyrics, the guitar riffs, the music, and the vision.

Louise


Snog: A Puppy's Guide to Love
Snog: A Puppy's Guide to Love
by Rachael Hale
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificant, cute, aaawwwhhh! - and so much more!, 27 Nov 2007
I'm not ordinarily for cute animal pictures, let alone a whole book of them, but "Snog" is magnificant, cute, aaawwwhhh! - and so much more.

Rachael Hale truly has found her calling photographing animals, and "Snog" - a book full of puppies is a feat in aestatics, getting puppies to sit still long enough to photograph them, and general cuteness.

What I like about the photographs is how special each and every one of them feel. Ms Hale manufactures a look and setting for each subject in an almost magical way that brings out the personality of each puppy. Each photograph is accompanied by a couple of lines at the back of the book, where Ms Hale briefly shares something about the puppy and/or the picture. In between the photographs are nice quotations about love.

There are however one or two things, I would like to note.

Firstly, unfortunately some of the photographs cover two pages, which in one case means dividing an English bulldog puppy right down the middle. That kind of destroys the otherwise wonderful picture.

Secondly, the books ends!! These are the kind of photographs that bring a smile to your face even after you've discovered you've gained 5 pounds or your mother-in-law is coming for dinner. You look at these very individual, very cute photographs and all of a sudden you've reached the last page.

Louise


Labyrinth
Labyrinth
by Kate Mosse
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but not a page-turner, 20 Nov 2007
This review is from: Labyrinth (Hardcover)
When I had just turned the last page of "Labyrinth", I thought: Wow, what a great book. Now a couple of days later, my reaction is more of a: Okay, it was interesting.

"Labyrinth" is a massive book (difficult to read lying on your back in bed) about Alice in present-day Carcassonne and Alaïs in 13th century Carcassonne. The two stories are tied together with Alice's discovery of two skeletons in a cave, a gral hunt, and the fact that both women have strange dreams.

The story of present-day Alice is a thriller/mystery with ruthless opportunistes, secret societies, murder, and whatnot. The story of 13th century Alaïs is a more refined tale about the crusade against the Cathars, a family of intrigue and secrets, yes another secret society, and an epic love.

For me the Alaïs story was much more interesting.

There are a couple of other things, I would like to comment on. In the beginning of the book, almost every chapter starts with Alice or Alaïs waking and for a moment not knowing where they are. And then the illustrations, they weren't what I had expected. Most of the illustrations are photographs of modern-day views of mountains peaks, churches and cities. Nice, but not really that interesting. There are some interesting illustrations like portraits of knights and other pictures that have a more historic tie.

I would not call "Labyrinth" a page-turner, but I would say it is worth the read.

Louise


The Joy Diet: 10 steps to a happier life
The Joy Diet: 10 steps to a happier life
by Martha Beck
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A veritable happiness-buffet, 20 Nov 2007
I noticed another review, which gave "The Joy Diet" a single star and noted that no single menu or diet will grant you happiness. And I agree with the notion that happiness-in-a-jar isn't realistic, but I don't see "The Joy Diet" as a quick solution.

Reading "The Joy Diet" I literally smiled and aha'ed a lot. I already know a lot of the issues, that Martha Beck addresses in the 10 menu items. I know that when I am stressed out, it is a good idea to have a time out and do nothing or that laughter is a great pick-me-up. These are just things that I keep forgetting - and therefore sometimes need to be reminded about.

The humorous packaging is hilarious and down to earth, which I really appreciate until most self-help books written by more or less pompous Messiahs.

So rather than happiness-in-a-jar I see "The Joy Diet" as a happiness-buffet with different inspirational menu items to get a step closer to happiness.

Louise


The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1
The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1
by Joe Abercrombie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A long prologue, 28 Oct 2007
The Blade Itself is an introduction into a medieval-ish world of violence, struggle, and even a little magic. It guides the reader through a large and diverse geography, including strange and magnificant cities. It introduces a wide variety of different characters from the veteran warrior Logen - or Bloody Ninefingers to the First of the Magi, Bayaz, West, Ardee, Glotka, Sult - I could continue for another couple of lines, but in all of this there is one thing missing - an actual story line.
Had this been first episode of a new TV series, I would definitely watch the next episode, but this is not a 45-minute thrill, but a 500 page novel. A bit long for an introduction in my opinion.

I do have to admit, I like the title, which is a quotation of Homer. The blade itself incites to deeds of violence. I especailly like the way the opposite also proves true in the very end of the book. When you are stabbed, you do not blame the knife, but the person behind the knife. I believe, that these two opposing statements are the core of the book.

Louise
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2008 3:16 PM GMT


Indiana (Oxford World's Classics)
Indiana (Oxford World's Classics)
by George Sand
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romantic story with interesting questions, 9 Oct 2007
Indiana is a young woman in the 1830s surrounded by men: her husband - an elderly retired colonel, her cousin, who practically raised her on Bourbon Island, and her lover - the ever eloquent Raymon. Indiana is also a woman in the 1830s surrounded by different views on women and their place in France, examplified by the men around her.

Indiana can be read as a nice little romantic story, but it can also be read as a socio-cultural essay. I read it leisurely, but the messages between the lines are so evident, that I had to think about them.

Life has changed quite a bit since the 1830s, but I find that the novel still has relevance today. Reading "Indiana" I thought of society's role in an individual's decision-making, i.e. Indiana's escape to Bourbon Island when her relationship with Raymon comes to an abrupt end or the question "what are our motivations for our actions?", i.e. Raymon's lust for the hunt of Indiana's love.

This is a little romantic story, deguising some very interesting questions.


Minutes To Midnight
Minutes To Midnight
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £9.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just repeating a good recipe, but a refeshing new twist to LP's discography, 6 Sep 2007
This review is from: Minutes To Midnight (Audio CD)
"Minutes to Midnight" is very different than Linkin Park's previous two albums - but it is a refreshing new twist to their discography true to Linkin Park's originality, creativity, and musical genius.

I find that Hahn's masterful sampling has been pushed in the background on "Minutes to Midnight", but the album has more emphasis on guitar riffs and garage-effect - like handclaps and cheering in the background as percussion. The sound is stronger, wilder and just a little more punk.

In an interview, a memeber of Linkin Park said, that the aim was not to make a trilogy - and just repeat a good recipe. "Minutes to Midnight" is by no means "just another album" - it is a Linkin Park masterpiece.

Louise.


Catch And Release [DVD] [2007]
Catch And Release [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Jennifer Garner
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £4.24

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original take on the romantic comedy, 8 Aug 2007
A romantic comedy: yes - with modifications. "Catch and release" is not your average romantic comedy with a simple plot, that is so generic that you hardly remember the movie afterwards. This movie has a twist, that makes it worth not only a Sunday afternoon on the couch but another look.

The right people find eachother in the end - no surprise there, but "Catch and release" has an original take on the romantic comedy. Gray has lost her fiancée and is thrown into the practical problems this ensues. She can't offord the house they were moving in to together and ends up in a house with three of her late fiancée's friends.

What raises this movie above the generic romantic comedy is the real feel it has. The characters aren't complete strangers who walk down the sidewalk and suddenly can't their eyes off each other. The characters in "Catch and release" haven't really chosen each other, Gray's late fiancée and a dash of circumstance bring them together.

Furthermore, the characters are very rounded, lovable and despisable at the same time. The entire cast really encapsules that fact. Great movie!

Louise.


A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
by Ishmael Beah
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRULY AMAZING!, 7 Aug 2007
How can a boy or young man survive the high probability that his family has had a horrible death, the fear of a war hunting him in jungle eventually catching up to him, starvation, and still manage to come out the other end with a perspective on the entire situation that is AMAZING?

A Long Way Gone is the memoir of a boy, going to a talent show and winding up in the middle of a civil war - participating in a civil war. It is also about surviving the unsettled Sierra Leone and being a boy soldier.

What I find truly amazing about A Long Way Gone is the matter-of-fact-ness. Ishmael Beah does not judge causes, intentions, or politics, but writes from his own perspective - that of a boy. Nothing is condemned, but everything is a part of his life and has helped mold him into a person.

I won't recommend this novel as interesting, but say that for the sake of understanding the lives of people in conflict areas, we have a responsibility to read A Long Way Gone.

Louise.


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