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Reviews Written by
Sarah Bates "SB" (London)

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The Help
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 30 Aug. 2010
This review is from: The Help (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't want it to end at all and was really sad to have to leave it behind. The fact that it's written from the point of view of 3 of the characters worked well. And it wasn't at all sickly sweet at the end which it could easily have been.


Brilliant Business Writing: How to Inspire, Engage and Persuade Through Words: How Brilliant Business Writers Make Their Words Work
Brilliant Business Writing: How to Inspire, Engage and Persuade Through Words: How Brilliant Business Writers Make Their Words Work
by Mr Neil Taylor
Edition: Paperback

8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, 22 Feb. 2010
I found this book intensely irritating. What was it that made it so irritating? Poor editing for one. Even on the first page it refers to the author's upbringing / schooling (I can't remember) in the Home Countries (sic). To me one of the biggest sins when trying to communicate effectively is poor use of English / grammar and the book contains numerous mistakes. All this does is create noise that detracts from the message. I was surprised there wasn't any advice given in the book on avoiding "irritators" such as poor spelling. The other big problem was the style. Again, I simply don't think it was appropriate for the subject or the type of audience I assume the book is trying to appeal to. It was far too jokey and there were far to many asides slotted in all over the place (in brackets) which, again, just detracted from the messages the book was supposed to be conveying. While the author rightly says that style is important and should strike a chord with the reader so as not to alienate them it was just way too casual/jokey and therefore did not come across as a serious business book. Finally, and still associated with style, was the constant use of Americanisms and slangy words like "heck". Heck, am I the only person that finds this really annoying? Judging by the other reviews I am. I wouldn't buy another book in this series.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 9, 2013 9:44 AM BST


Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall
Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall
by Luke Haines
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, 22 Feb. 2010
This book is engrossing, compulsive and fun. Luke Haines comes across as arrogant and I can see that this may grate for some people but the further I got through the book the more I just got used to it and it stopped bothering me. There's not an awful lot to learn from the book (I am not a massive Auteurs / Haines fan but am interested in the subject and the time) and I'm not sure I've really taken anything much from it but I certainly enjoyed reading it. Poorly edited though and that did grate.


The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century
The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century
by Tom Bower
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, compulsive but flawed, 22 Feb. 2010
I am part way through this book and am really enjoying it. It is extremely accessible and informative and is a very easy read. It appears to be very well researched. The only downside is that it is poorly edited and contains quite a lot of errors that get more and more annoying as the book progresses. I would recommend this to anyone interested in understanding, at a high level, the recent history of Big Oil.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 29, 2010 9:44 PM BST


The Secret Scripture
The Secret Scripture
by Sebastian Barry
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Moving, 29 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Secret Scripture (Paperback)
I would recommend this book. I found it very engrossing, particularly towards the end. It was terribly sad that the main character suffered so much as a result of the society she lived in and the time she lived. It is atmospheric in its descriptions of the area in which Roseanne grew up. It's hard not to feel moved that so much of a beautiful woman's life was so dark and desperate and empty because of one incident early in her life and the hardness of those around her who either abandon her or willfully alienate her as a misfit.


The House at Riverton
The House at Riverton
by Kate Morton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 29 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The House at Riverton (Paperback)
I found this book enjoyable and engrossing. I wanted to feel a little closer to some of the characters on occasion but it was an easy read and engaging throughout.


A Long Way Down
A Long Way Down
by Nick Hornby
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly bland, 29 Nov. 2009
This review is from: A Long Way Down (Paperback)
I generally like Nick Hornby (though it's a long time since I ready any) but found this disappointing. The characters were stereotyped and I found it hard to really care what would become of them. Many of the attempts at comedy were obvious and shallow. There were funny moments but I just couldn't engage with any of the characters so a general thumbs down.


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