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MC (Hertfordshire, England)

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Christmas in the Country
Christmas in the Country
Price: £2.63

3.0 out of 5 stars OK if there's nothing else around to read, 8 Jan 2014
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For me, a Regency romance should be consistent: historically accurate, language of the period, characters to reflect the mores and opinions of their time, characters to act plausibly.

Sorry, but the characters and the outcomes are not plausible within the contexts. The plots are too predictable, and the writing just isn't good enough to make up for the conveyor-belt -like progress of events.
It's the sort of book you feel mildly ashamed of reading. Think Barbara Cartland and you won't go far wrong.


The Dean's Watch
The Dean's Watch
by Goudge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem of a story., 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Dean's Watch (Paperback)
I nearly gave up during the first few pages or so which describe the watchmaker at his work. I thought it seemed a bit slow, and nearly gave up. How glad I am that I persevered with this wonderful book.
It follows the lives of a small group of people who live in and around Ely cathedral and traces how they are changed through their interactions with each other, and how they grow in love- a Christian would describe it as how they are offered God's grace, and how they respond to it.
Seeing how the characters change and grow in happiness is just wonderful. I have already recommended the book to several friends. It's a book you will want to talk about with kindred spirits.
Beautifully written. Fascinating detail about the history of Ely. A book to keep and come back to, time and time again.
A refreshment to the spirit.


Finding Your Hidden Treasure
Finding Your Hidden Treasure
Price: £6.47

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of commonsense, humanity and wisdom., 21 Oct 2013
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If you are a beginner at this "praying" lark, then this is a wonderful companion to take on your journey. If you are an old hand, a struggler, stuck, or growing tepid, then this is a wonderful prayer companion for you, too.
Benignus O'Rourke, an Augustinian, is a wise, compassionate and readable guide for anyone wanting to come closer to God. He has opened his heart to his readers, and speaks truly. What he said really resonated with me, and I suspect with
many, many others. The chapters are short, very readable.
Buy it for yourself, or for a friend. It will be a book to keep by you forever.


Resilience: How to cope when everything around you keeps changing
Resilience: How to cope when everything around you keeps changing
Price: £6.79

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Magazine-type advice, 21 Oct 2013
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A reasonable article that one might find in a magazine expanded to fill a book. There are a few salient points here and there among the repetition, otherwise it's a frustrating read.


The Frog Earl
The Frog Earl
Price: £1.93

3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 21 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Frog Earl (Kindle Edition)
Introduced to Carola Dunn through her Daisy Dalrymple stories, and being a life-long devotee of Georgette Heyer, I thought this would be a safe bet: reasonable author, Regency theme, what's not to like?

The story itself is quite engaging, but the past is another country- they do things differently there, and Carola Dunn's characters speak, think and act in the language of today. It jars. If you're going to write an historical novel, then why not be more consistent about the details of life, thought, manners and behaviour?


The Sound of Laughter
The Sound of Laughter
Price: £3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp, 6 Sep 2013
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Easy to read- in fact a rattling good read. Perfect for a one-off marathon session or when you can read the book in short bursts over a day or two.
There are lots of very funny stories here about Peter Kay's early life, but he is no fool. His observations are sharp, sometimes quite cruel, and always there is the sense of strong family in the background. He is a very grounded personality, and there is no sense that he is trying to portray himself in a favourable light.

Take the book on holiday, on a long journey, to the hospital.


Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality
Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality
Price: £0.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One to chew over.., 6 Sep 2013
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I liked this book- but that's not to say that I agreed with every single thing the author said!

What I particularly liked was the way he exposed the coercion and brutality which can accompany sentimentality. If you are someone who is uneasy about being forced to use PC language while important issues and injustices are sidelined, then this is a book for you to dip into and tussle with.
I liked the analysis of the post-Diana outpouring of grief and trial by media. There is quite a lot in this book which is a serious warning against woolly and sentimental thinking. Read it with a clear-minded friend. Then enjoy the ensuing arguments!


Overcoming Depression: How To Recognize, Understand, And Overcome Depression And Anxiety Naturally
Overcoming Depression: How To Recognize, Understand, And Overcome Depression And Anxiety Naturally
Price: £2.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Let-Down, 6 Sep 2013
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If you are suffering from depression, or emerging from it, you would be better off saving your money. It is a very general, meandering sort of introductory chapter to a book about depression. Then, just when you think "NOW, let's get down to some concrete strategies and give me something useful to think about or do-" the book ends.
A dissatisfying experience.


Sensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey
Sensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey
Price: £5.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very womanly journey, 6 Sep 2013
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I absolutely loved this story of four Christian American women on a journey to a deeper faith. The conversations and faith-sharing sounded authentic, and not too over-the-top although I did cringe a little at times at the perfection of the spiritual directors and their too, too, loving and empathic personalities. Many holy people can be quite awkward and devastatingly direct at times! Here, the spiritual director was always available, loving, open, sensitive, wise etc. Too good to be true.

I liked the very clear descriptions of lectio divina, imaginative prayer and the examen- any reader could use these methods of prayer using the guidance given. The "hands up, hands down" idea was new to me, and could be a real gift at times. The sections on "how to" use different ways of praying, and the discussion around a few biblical passages were excellent.

What didn't ring true was the speed at which these four women began to overcome their problems- and how quickly the prayer "worked." In my experience, the answers to prayer come slowly, over many years, and many do not get any emotional feedback at all. The emotional responses of the women might put some readers off- or make others wonder why these emotional consolations never seem to come their way. At one point I was thinking:"This never happens to me..."

I'm not sure many men would find this book helpful, even though the teaching side on prayer is very sound. The eyes filling with tears, the understanding and the fighting of unresolved issues etc. might put a few off!

Overall, though, I liked it. I have highlighted many relevant questions and passages to use in my own prayer.


If Symptoms Persist
If Symptoms Persist
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Keep taking the pills, 25 Jun 2013
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The author is an acquired taste; you either like his tone, or you hate it. I love it, and I love his no-nonsense common sense.
A great read.


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