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JB

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Declaring Spinsterhood
Declaring Spinsterhood
Price: £3.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 7 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this a little hastily because it was a cheap deal, but realised pretty soon that it wasn't my cup of tea.


In Calamity's Wake
In Calamity's Wake
by Natalee Caple
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious and poetically beautiful, 23 Nov 2013
This review is from: In Calamity's Wake (Hardcover)
Unusual, mysterious, dream-like and poetically beautiful - a mother and daughter story unlike any other I've read. Full of haunting voices, with the occasional dash of sharp wit, there's not a whisper of cliche in this story of the Wild West in all its harshness and real humanity.


Rhodes - A Notebook
Rhodes - A Notebook
Price: £2.41

5.0 out of 5 stars A real pleasure, rich insights, 13 Sep 2013
RHODES: A NOTEBOOK is the latest in a series by Richard Clark, and is a real pleasure to dip into. Combining a travelogue on a sailing trip around Rhodes and nearby Symi with general essays on Greek history, language and culture, it provides rich insights into the well known and lesser known places of this captivating island.
Countless times I've wandered past the casino and the Turkish cemetery, without knowing Lawrence Durrell's associations with what was the British administrative headquarters after liberation of the island in 1945. Nor did I know that Rhodes new town was created when the Turks expelled the Greeks from the Palia Poli in 1309 - no wonder the locals prefer the new town! There's also a poignant note about the Valley of Butterflies, or Petaloudes, and he's made me determined to get to Monolithos this winter.
If you've read CRETE: A NOTEBOOK, then you'll find some material is repeated here (understandably, as the book is aimed at different readers) but for someone like me with a mind like a sieve, it provided useful reminders. And I gleaned a lot from the notes on Greek culture. I loved this, which I hope he won't mind my quoting here, showing that Greek rejection of authority applies even when riding a motorbike:
`It is interesting that the main reason for not wearing crash helmets is not the heat or even a casual disregard for road safety... The real reason is that it is compulsory to wear one.'
Conclusion: well worth a read - and don't miss the Crete book too. Clark lived in Crete and has travelled all over the island, and the book made me long to see some of the places he describes so lovingly.


Edith and I: On the Trail of an Edwardian Traveller in Kosovo
Edith and I: On the Trail of an Edwardian Traveller in Kosovo
by Elizabeth Gowing
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quirky obsession, an extraordinary book, 7 Sep 2013
When forced to leave Kosovo, the place she had fallen in love with, and return to England, Elizabeth Gowing became more than a little obsessed with the figure of Edith Durham, an Edwardian writer who had travelled in the region a hundred years earlier. Finding so many parallels with her own story in Edith's, Elizabeth started to follow the trail of this fascinating and brave character who needed only her tam o'shanter to shield her from the sun on treks through Albania's Accursed Mountains.

Elizabeth's journey to get to know her Edwardian counterpart is not initially a journey in her footsteps through the Balkans, but through museum archives and letters, hunting for clues in libraries and catalogues ('Turn right at Mozart,' says a curator, and she wonders if this is how directions are given in heaven). It is woven with an extraordinary level of fine detail, like the embroidery on a pair of traditional Albanian slippers or a piece of silver filigree, craftmanship that she marvels at along the way. The result is a quirky mix of biography, travel and history. It begins gleeful and humorous, and as she wanders the inner chambers of the gloriously bizarre Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, places where you might stumble across an Inuit suit made of seal intestine, while looking for a wolf's tooth amulet. I read slowly, savouring every moment.

As she gets deeper into the topic it starts to have a whiff of academia, circling back on passages of diaries to make connections, meandering through notes and asides on the workings of modern Kosovo. I had flashbacks to old professors and I wondered whether Elizabeth was lost forever in her obsession. Thankfully, she comes to the end of her search with an understanding of her own way forward, and has written an extraordinary book.


New Hart's Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors (Reference)
New Hart's Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors (Reference)
by R M Ritter
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, 18 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK, saying 'I love it' doesn't make any sense - it's purely a reference book for work, but it's invaluable.


Whatever Makes You Happy
Whatever Makes You Happy
by William Sutcliffe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Turned out to be not my cup of tea, 18 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
His 'Are You Experienced?' is one of my favourite novels ever for funny writing, but I hadn't read any more recent novels, and sadly couldn't get into this one.


The Very Best Of Macy Gray
The Very Best Of Macy Gray
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 18 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Had given away my old copy, so had to buy another. Such a great sound (even if I cringe at some of the lyrics!).


A Night on the Orient Express
A Night on the Orient Express
by Veronica Henry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars As expected, couldn't put it down, 18 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lovely, indulgent, light entertainment - like eating a box of chocolates. Except that I wished it went on for longer. The line describing Venice as 'tiny dramas unfolding against the most exquisite backdrop, the players so nonchalant about the setting' reminded me of the Greek island I live on. If you liked this and haven't read 'The Long Weekend' by the same author, buy it now!


Yellowstone Eva Camping Mat With Foil - Blue
Yellowstone Eva Camping Mat With Foil - Blue
Offered by Top Value Prices
Price: £4.43

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price, 16 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It was a bargain price and it does what it's supposed to do! Lightweight, easy to strap onto the backpack, and keeps you slightly warmer and more comfortable than without it.


Sunshine, with a Chance of Snow: A twenty-minute treat from Carole Matthews
Sunshine, with a Chance of Snow: A twenty-minute treat from Carole Matthews
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I loved A Cottage by the Sea..., 16 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
... so I had unrealistic expectations for this, I guess! I just couldn't connect with it - I found the characters too basic, too conventional.


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