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nigeyb "nigeyb" (Hove, England)

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Battery--World FM Transmitter+Car Adapter Charger +REMOTE CONTROLLER For iPod Audio Cable
Battery--World FM Transmitter+Car Adapter Charger +REMOTE CONTROLLER For iPod Audio Cable
Offered by cheap4uk(From hongkong,2-3 weeks delivery)
Price: £3.29

2.0 out of 5 stars Transmitter not strong enough so it's like listening to a crackly radio station, 17 Sep 2014
I've had a similar device to this for years that worked very well. Finally it stopped working and I bought this one to replace it. It's nowhere near as good. It does work but I conclude the transmitter is just not strong enough to send a good signal to the radio which means that it's like listening to a crackly radio station. I have tried it on numerous different frequencies and cannot get a sufficiently strong signal. It's a great shame. This is fine if you don't mind a bit of distortion. I do. It drives me to distraction. I'm off now to buy another different make. I'll spend a bit more money next time and hopefully find something that gives a stronger signal and therefore no distortion.


The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights Open Media)
The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights Open Media)
Price: £6.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity, 13 Sep 2014
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First things first, I would never have ordinarily read this book. A member of my book group had picked it up in the famous City Lights bookshop on a recent visit to San Francisco and decided it would make a good book for the rest of us to read.

Most of the group, including me, are left-leaning liberal types so, before reading it, I imagined this book would be playing to the gallery. And, to an extent, it does. Giroux catalogues America's many ills, all of which are well known to anyone who follows world events, and seen in black and white it is a damning and alarming list: a neoliberal elite systematically disenfranchising the poor, the elderly, the young, people of disputed residency and people of color; America's obsession with violence and guns; mass state surveillance; the war on terror; the large number of citizens residing in prisons; rampant consumerism; assembly line education; job insecurity; increased militarisation; reduced social mobility; the treatment of Edward Snowden; Guantanamo Bay; the shameful aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; and so on.

Giroux writes in a very strident style but one that is also overly intellectual and peppered with jargon. As I read it I wondered who Giroux hopes to reach with this book. Not only did the sociological jargon mean little to me, it is also very repetitive. It's like sitting next to a drunk professor ranting about the state of America. He's clearly very bright and well informed but his points quickly become repetitive, his language incoherent and before long I wanted to make my excuses.

So what exactly is Giroux trying to say? And to whom? Once I'd fought my way (OK, frequently skimmed my way) through the forest of jargon (never explained) and references to numerous other theorists, what is Giroux's solution? In the last chapter Giroux suggests hope. Riiight. Against the backdrop of the powerful elites so painstaking described by Giroux over 280 pages it's hard to see where that's going to get anyone. Indeed Giroux again spends most of the final chapter continuing to rake over America's ills and qualifying why "hope" is so hard to create and maintain.

Shouldn't I have felt angry and inspired by the end of this book? I actually felt depressed, bored and relieved to have finished. A missed opportunity.


A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube
A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional book, 11 Sep 2014
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In 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an extraordinary journey by foot - from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. "A Time of Gifts" is the first volume in a trilogy recounting the trip, and in this volume the reader accompanies him as far as Hungary.

It's an exceptional book. Published years after the event, in 1977, it still perfectly captures the wonder of his extraordinary journey and the many fascinating people he met on the way. What elevates this magical book are Patrick Leigh Fermor's gifts as a writer and the resultant delightful prose; his enthusiasm for knowledge and learning which peppers every page; and his personal charm which makes him as welcome in aristocratic homes as hostels or the homes of farm workers or labourers.

Patrick Leigh Fermor also provides an alternative cultural history of central Europe. His gifts for languages and history result in musings about Yiddish syntax, Byzantine plainsong, and most memorably the whereabouts of the coast of Bohemia as mentioned by Shakespeare (turns out it existed for 13 years but also turns out Shakespeare probably couldn't have cared less), and much much more.

So, in summary, a beautifully written travel book, that also serves as a history book, and in the company of the most charming and enthusiastic teenager it's possible to imagine. A remarkable book by a remarkable man. I look forward to the next volume, Between The Woods And The Water, though plan to read the recent biography Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper first. All in all this feels like the start of another beautiful relationship.

5/5


The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) (Penguin Classics)
The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) (Penguin Classics)
by Henri Alain-Fournier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly captures that magical period when emotions are at their most intense, 7 Sep 2014
Most French people read this book at school and a recent poll in France made it the sixth best book of the 20th century.

Unlike the average French person, I came to this story of adolescent love in my early 50s. Would the book's charms work for the older reader? The answer is an emphatic yes. It perfectly captures that magical period when emotions are at their most intense.

Le Grand Meaulnes, the protagonist, is an adventurous, charismatic wanderer who stumbles across a lost chateau where partygoers, dressed in period costumes from the 1830s are gathered to celebrate a wedding. At the chateau Meaulnes falls in love with Yvonne.

What follows is a enchanting story of tragedy, intensity, dreams and love. The plot doesn't bear too much scrutiny however that is not the point. The point is to simply surrender to this delightful and atmospheric book and (re)discover your inner adolescent.


Ska'd for Life: A Personal Journey with The Specials
Ska'd for Life: A Personal Journey with The Specials
by Horace Panter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A clear-eyed and vivid evocation of life in The Specials, 21 Aug 2014
Horace Panter aka Sir Horace Gentleman was the bass player with, and a founder member of, The Specials. Jerry Dammers lead the band and the Two Tone record label which, with its marvellous fusion of punk, reggae and ska, kickstarted the late 1970s ska revival in the UK.

Horace vividly describes his life before The Specials, the band's formation, their meteoric rise to the top of the charts, and their equally swift disintegration.

This clear-eyed recollection of life in The Specials is a marvellous read. It also operates as a cautionary tale for any would-be rock star. Horace's description of the band's first American tour sounds like hell on earth, despite playing some good shows. Overall it's hard to escape the conclusion that being in a successful band is not something anyone with a normal disposition should covet. That said, what Horace also conveys is the magic and exhilaration of playing live music, and of course playing in The Specials meant playing some of the finest music of their era.

A great band, and a very interesting and enjoyable book.

4/5


A Moment Worth Waiting For
A Moment Worth Waiting For
Price: £4.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate, informed, essential and inspirational, 6 Aug 2014
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I first came across Kevin Pearce through his 1993 book "Something Beginning with O". I have no idea why I bought it but I was hooked from page one, and still have my original copy which seems to go for around £50 on eBay these days. I next stumbled across Kevin's work through his Your Heart Out website which contains a series of essays that explore all manner of interesting and eclectic music. These essays are also highly recommended.

If Bob Stanley's splendid "Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop" was the ultimate guide to the British pop charts, then "A Moment Worth Waiting For" does a similar job, but in a parallel universe and is a bit more time specific. Whilst "A Moment Worth Waiting For" contains references to the pop charts and the mainstream, Kevin Pearce's focus is more about what was happening at the margins and in particular what was happening in the early 1980s. Kevin's genius, and to me it is genius, is to find myriad connections between his multifarious musical passions and, as with all good music writers, to inspire the reader to (re)visit the songs and artists he discusses.

OK, cards on the table. It helps enormously that we both share a huge enthusiasm for Vic Godard. Vic, as you probably know, has been constantly questing since emerging with other early punks, pursuing his own distinct musical agenda, primarily, it seems to me, to please himself and the enlightened few who embrace his maverick sensibilities.

Kevin Pearce shares Vic's questing spirit. At the start of A Moment Worth Waiting For, he makes it explicit that he cannot be constrained by genre...

How can anyone stick to one thing: funk, punk, jazz, reggae, hip hop, techno, folk, classical, whatever?

Quite so. There's always a new world, unexplored territory, or a selection of rabbit holes to disappear down. What's wonderful about Kevin Pearce is he will point out new pathways. I scribbled down all the references (musical, cinematic, literary - though mainly musical) that piqued my interest. Another reader would doubtless come up with a very different list.

How Kevin manages to establish and remember the numerous intersecting connections he highlights throughout A Moment Worth Waiting For is a mystery to me, however I am very grateful for his diligence and passion which informs every page of this wonderful book.


Punch Shoe Shine Liquid Polish Navy Blue 75ml
Punch Shoe Shine Liquid Polish Navy Blue 75ml
Offered by Toolsave
Price: £4.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed. Watery and insufficient blue, 18 July 2014
I bought this polish to use on some blue shoes which had become quite faded. I was hoping this polish would restore the colour. The polish is very watery and does not contain much blue colour. After seven applications, the colour was slightly improved however it was nowhere near as blue as a thicker, more traditional polish would achieve.


Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars P.G. Wodehouse would have approved, 15 July 2014
Sebastian Faulks, in the book's introduction, describes this book as "a tribute" by "a fan" and not "an imitation".

For my money, and as a fellow P.G. Wodehouse fan, I'd say Jeeves and the Wedding Bells is every bit as good as the real thing. Sebastian Faulks is to be congratulated for pulling off the perfect homage.

I smiled, chuckled and on a couple of occasions guffawed, through this charming Jeeves and Wooster story.

P.G. Wodehouse would have approved I'm sure. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells reminds me how much I love the work of P.G. Wodehouse and inspires me to get reading and rereading his books. There is no higher praise.

As you may now, P.G. Wodehouse won the Mark Twain Medal in 1936 for "having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world". Sebastian Faulks has now further added to the happiness of the world with Jeeves and the Wedding Bells.


Hearing Secret Harmonies (Dance to the Music of Time)
Hearing Secret Harmonies (Dance to the Music of Time)
by Anthony Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finishing the series with a flourish, 12 July 2014
It's curious to consider that when Anthony Powell wrote Hearing Secret Harmonies the final novel in the twelve-novel series “A Dance to the Music of Time”, and despite the series starting in the early twentieth century, that it was almost contemporaneous, being published in 1975, and taking place in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and makes references to hippies, the permissive society, Vietnam, and Enoch Powell.

The final two volumes, Temporary Kings and Hearing Secret Harmonies, each moving the narrative forward by around ten years, allows for some dramatic changes to have occurred, the most notable change is in Widmerpool whose trajectory dramatically changes in ways that would be difficult for anyone to imagine earlier in the series.

Anthony Powell finished the series with a real flourish. Hearing Secret Harmonies embraces the late sixties counterculture and contains some truly stunning scenes. He also manages to introduce yet more new characters, including the memorable Scorpio Murtlock and his Harmony cult.

Overall “A Dance to the Music of Time” is magnificent. Reading the series has been such a fabulous experience. Anthony Powell is a master. Although the books can be read and enjoyed individually, and on their own terms, the real pleasure is in reading all twelve books, and enjoying a narrative that takes place over a seventy year time span. Calling his series ''A Dance" is a perfect metaphor, as Anthony Powell is akin to a choreographer, who intricately keeps track of over four hundred characters across more than a million words. It's a stunning achievement, and throughout, his beautiful writing is as much of a joy as the ingenious plot and his ambitious, and completely successful, cultural and social history of England throughout the twentieth century.

The star of the series is arguably Kenneth Widmerpool, one of the most memorable characters I have ever encountered in a book. Widmerpool is a contemporary of narrator Nick Jenkins and, despite not being friends, he crops up somewhere in every volume. Whilst narrator Nick, along with many of the characters, represent musicians, poets, novelists, painters etc., Widmerpool is the opposite, a ruthlessly ambitious person but a deeply flawed human being. I wonder to what extent he might represent the triumph of commerce and bureaucracy, over more aesthetic considerations, that appears to be one of the main aspects of twentieth century history.

Whilst reading it I have had a copy of "Invitation To The Dance" by Hilary Spurling which is a wonderful reference book, particularly when I needed reminding about a character who had just reappeared. Now I have finished the series I plan to read the whole of "Invitation To The Dance" as it clearly contains lots of other useful and interesting information. I also have a copy of To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Anthony Powell which looks like another wonderful book and, according to the cover, is "especially illuminating to students of A Dance to the Music of Time". I am really looking forward to reading both, in addition to re-reading this marvellous series again.

“A Dance to the Music of Time” is a masterpiece - and one of the best literary experiences I have ever enjoyed. Profound, funny, dramatic, and remarkably accessible and easy to read. It is a series I will return to again. I cannot praise it highly enough.


Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking
Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking
Price: £3.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unnecessarily lengthy, but nonetheless important, investigation into how introverts are undervalued in Western society, 3 July 2014
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An interesting and timely investigation into introversion, and how introverts are undervalued and misunderstood in schools, the workplace, and Western society.

One of the most interesting chapters is about how, after industrialisation, the USA quickly evolved into a culture that valued a hearty, sales type personality over more considered personality traits, and how this outgoing stereotype now dominates at the expense of people who are naturally quieter and more thoughtful.

All of the book's more salient points also feature in Susan Cain's presentation on the TED Talks website however the book elaborates on the key points.

In common with many similar books (e.g Malcolm Gladwell), the main points can easily be summarised in a few pages however, in order to create a book, the central ideas have been filled out into c300 pages of science, research, social history, questionnaires, and anecdote, much of which adds little to the central message. I got impatient throughout the many sections which felt like padding and which added little to the central thesis.

Susan Cain's book contains some important, timely and provocative messages that are worth understanding. That said, it's not necessary to read the book to grasp the key points, which can be understood more quickly by watching her TED talk and/or reading the book's summary on Wikipedia.


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