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T. Ogden (Oxfordshire, UK)

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Behind the Ranges: The Life Changing Story of J.O. Fraser
Behind the Ranges: The Life Changing Story of J.O. Fraser
Price: £5.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 19 Nov. 2014
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I have read this book twice before, the first time about 30 years ago, and just reread it using the Kindle edition. It continues to inspire me. It tells the story of JO Fraser, born in 1886, who became a missionary mainly amongst Lisu tribespeople in the mountains of Yunnan, south-western China. They were demon-worshippers, and from a conventional British Methodist background Fraser had to learn the importance and strategy of persistent prayer, and dealing with demonic attack. He wrote many letters to his mother and other prayer-supporters, and a strength of the book is its use of these, so that we can see much of the development of Fraser and his work in his own words, and learn with him what he learnt. Fraser worked with the China Inland Mission, whose successor is OMF international. Their website details the continuing strength of the Lisu church, and the use of the alphabet which Fraser created so that their language could be written down and used to translate the New Testament..
The Kindle edition is well-produced, though I miss two features of the hard copy - the maps, and the year and Fraser's age at the top of each page.


Historical Atlas of Norfolk
Historical Atlas of Norfolk
by Peter Wade-Martins
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Still of great value despite being slightly dated, 5 July 2014
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Inevitably somewhat out of date now (2014), which prevents my giving it fives stars, but it has a wealth of information on the history and historical geography of Norfolk and I am very glad to have a copy. (I got mine second-hand and it used to be in a Norfolk public library. I don't think that they should get rid of this sort of book, as there is no more up to date replacement that I know of, but in the circumstances I'm glad I managed to get hold of it.)


The Rough Guide to Belgium & Luxembourg (Rough Guide to...)
The Rough Guide to Belgium & Luxembourg (Rough Guide to...)
Price: £9.49

4.0 out of 5 stars It is convenient to carry of course and pretty useful for reference and good to read, 5 July 2014
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This is the first time that I have bought a Kindle edition of a Rough Guide or any other guidebook. It is convenient to carry of course and pretty useful for reference and good to read. The big downside on my Kindle Paperwhite is that the maps have too low a resolution to be very useful - for example the numbers showing restaurant locations on the maps are illegible on the Kindle and my laptop. However, using the Kindle app to read on my smartphone overcomes this, and I expect the same would be true for tablets or other touchscreen devices.
As to its usefulness as a guidebook, I would give it five stars. As usual with Rough Guides, it has everything I need in a general guidebook, although for art and architecture I also like to have the Blue Guide if available. I find Rough Guides match my requirements better than Lonely Planets, but that must be largely a matter of what information you want and how easy you find the books to use.


The Guardian and the Observer
The Guardian and the Observer
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Quicker and more convenient, 24 May 2014
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I tried this because we found that we were often not getting to the shop to buy the print edition, so were not getting value for money from our print subscription. It is more convenient, cheaper, and, to my surprise, takes much less time to read. This is because I can use the items listing to pick items I really want to read, and of course it is easy to read anywhere, including in bed if I wake early. So reading The Guardian has taken on more life. I only regret its bias against mainstream Christianity.


The Bible in the British Museum: Interpreting the Evidence
The Bible in the British Museum: Interpreting the Evidence
by T. C. Mitchell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and stimulating review, 7 May 2014
A thorough and scholarly review which will much enhance the interest of visitors who are also seriously interested in the Bible. The illustrations are all black and white photos or drawings, but this does not matter from the point of view of understanding the material. It would be hard to use as the basis for a tour, because there is no reference to where the objects are displayed, and the manuscripts are probably now all in the British Library at St Pancras. Also, there are recent finds and acquisitions which are are very relevant. It would be very good to see a revision which retained the standard of scholarship and included a guide to where the finds are to be found amongst the 50,000 items on display. Despite these problems, this is a first-class book.


Under the Parson's Nose: Further Extracts from the Diary of Revd Benjamin Armstrong, Vicar of East Dereham 1850-88
Under the Parson's Nose: Further Extracts from the Diary of Revd Benjamin Armstrong, Vicar of East Dereham 1850-88
by Revd Benjamin Armstrong
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, entertaining, thought-provoking, 4 May 2014
An entertaining insight into the life of a prosperous country clergyman from 1850 to 1888. This new selection apparently contains material about the antics of various members of the family, mainly wasting money, that was omitted from earlier selections so as not to hurt immediate descendants who were then still living. It leaves a mixture of impressions. (1) The diarist was very conscientious, especially in his early days, visiting throughout his parish, and organising the committed members of his flock into teams for pastoral support. (2) He had independent means and did not question the class system in which he moved, but within that restriction he was compassionate and supportive of the poor. (3) He was a committed supporter of the Oxford Movement, working over the decades to bring ritual into his church. At the start this comes over as perhaps introducing greater seriousness and commitment to church services and ministry, but in later years it left me with the feeling that success in church politics displaced honouring God as the main object. (4) He did not like dissent (non-conformity), speaking once of rescuing someone from dissent, but he wrote sympathetically of the poverty of Baptist preachers in the parish. He was obviously disgusted with the Salvation Army when they established in Dereham. (5) He was very concerned that his children's marriages should be financially satisfactory, but the two children who married did so for love. One match he warmed to over the years, but not his daughter Lily's. This went so far that it seems whenever he mentions her two children he says how unfortunate their birth was when their parents have no stable income, and never seems to mention the names of these grandchildren. All these provides and insight into life and church doings in this small town.


An Experiment in Criticism (Canto)
An Experiment in Criticism (Canto)
by C. S. Lewis
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent item, 16 April 2014
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Excellent condition, very good price, and very quickly delivered. Supplier fully deserves five stars. This is a book which I read many years ago and made me much more self-confident and relaxed about what I enjoyed reading. I lent my copy to someone who did not return it, and look forward to rereading.


3/4" BSP Thread Water Butt Tap with Push on Fitting
3/4" BSP Thread Water Butt Tap with Push on Fitting
Offered by Bamford Trading
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars works very well, 16 April 2014
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Easy to fit, does not leak, and takes standard hose fittings. This last point is proving very convenient, partly for directing the water flow into the watering can without mess or loss.


Dimplex 2 KW Convector Heater with Turbo Fan
Dimplex 2 KW Convector Heater with Turbo Fan
Price: £36.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor temperature control, 10 Mar. 2014
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Throws out a good heat but the thermostat is very imprecise, so it is not a good choice if you want to leave it to maintain a particular temperature. Even on setting one the heater comes on occasionally when a nearby thermometer shows the temperature to be 20°. I am interested that another reviewer uses an external thermostat to control it, but this clearly should not be necessary. I have however used it on the frost control setting through the winter and it has not let the conservatory fall below about 4°.
Later: On further experience I have reduced my score by one star. The thermostat control is not fit for purpose: all it seems to do is to change the frequency with which the heater comes on, and does not respond to room temperature as far as I can detect. I definitely would not recommend this heater if you need thermostat control, and if you do not need it there are cheaper alternatives.


The Anglo-Saxon World
The Anglo-Saxon World
Price: £22.80

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, comprehensive, and up to date, 12 Feb. 2014
This account of Anglo-Saxon England and its connections is outstanding because of its depth and comprehensiveness. It takes account of very recent discoveries, such as the Staffordshire Hoard, and development of thinking on episodes such as the migration period and developing trade centres, in the in the light of archaeological research. I liked the inserted sections which look in detail at particular features such as the Domesday Book and the Bayeux Tapestry (for the work includes the impact of the Norman invasion). It is the 'Anglo-Saxon World' not just in a geographical sense but in the way it seems to look at every aspect of society. I read the hard-cover version. I know that Kindle versions of non-fiction books like this are often much less satisfactory because of the illustrations and coloured diagrams which are frequently referred to, and looking at other reviews makes me think that the conversion in this case may not be very satisfactory.
I am not a historian but I have a long-term interest in this period.


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