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Feanor (London, UK)

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Belkin N300 Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender/Wireless Signal Booster (Easy Setup, WPS Function) - Wall Plug Mounted
Belkin N300 Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender/Wireless Signal Booster (Easy Setup, WPS Function) - Wall Plug Mounted
Price: £24.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Competent booster, 21 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As far as range extenders go, this does the job competently. My problem has been signal interference in all the WiFi channels because I live in a densely populated area. This device boosts my signal enough that it drowns out the neighbours. Of course, it's only a matter of time before they cotton onto my cunning plan and obtain a device of their own, and I'll be back to the interference problem.


How To Eat Fried Worms
How To Eat Fried Worms
by Thomas Rockwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The usual kind of yuck, 25 April 2014
This review is from: How To Eat Fried Worms (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If it is yucky, the kids will be deliciously grossed out by it, and this book is no different. My eight year old liked it but not so much that he wanted to add it to his list of books read to get a book badge at school. Instead, he went back to his How to train your dragons, and Harry Potters.


Memory of Water
Memory of Water
by Emmi Itäranta
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive bilingual debut, but feels unfinished., 1 Mar 2014
This review is from: Memory of Water (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Emmi Itäranta wrote this book simultaneously in Finnish and English, and the former version was widely acclaimed in her native country, winning a couple of awards. Set in what appears to be a Chinese dominated Scandinavia suffering from severe water shortage, the heroine learns the art of tea from her father. He is a tenth generation tea master, an oddity in a world of terrible heat, technological breakdown, ecological devastation and water rationing - so how is he able to create superb teas for his affluent visitors?

Life for the inhabitants of this world is not a complete misery - there is time for research and contemplation. Itäranta's prose is melodious and reflective. Her world-building is masterful, but the same cannot be said of the pacing of the book, or the development of the plot. Tensions builds up and the novel ends abruptly. Perhaps this is only the first in a series?


The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket
by John Boyne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.69

2.0 out of 5 stars Preachy tale of celebrating differences, 23 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As far as preachy books for kids go, this is one of the preachiest I've read in a while. A little boy who defies the laws of gravity is abandoned by his strait-laced parents who have a horror of appearing not 'normal'. This becomes an adventure for the fellow - he travels the world, meets other people who have been ostracised, and brings joy to some and love to others. Barnaby's mother and father have few redeeming characteristics (despite a back-story that tries to explain their hatefulness), and are a truly disturbing vision of parenthood. How will a child reading this book respond to such a betrayal? The question worries me, and I haven't been able to bring myself to read it to my boy, despite the commendable celebration of differences.


Data Mining and Business Analytics with R
Data Mining and Business Analytics with R
by Johannes Ledolter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £83.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Overview of R techniques for data modelling, 13 Nov 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A reader expecting to learn data modelling may find this book somewhat inadequate as it only explains how to do it using the R programming language, without much motivation for the techniques or complete explanations. For non-quantitative readers, or for those who quickly want to see how R can help with their analysis, this may suffice. For others, this book would, be useful only in tandem with a more theoretical tome.


The 11+ Verbal Reasoning Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 9-10)
The 11+ Verbal Reasoning Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 9-10)
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, 17 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Just like its maths equivalent, this is a mixed bag - the questions appear to be pitched at somewhat random levels, mixing what an eight year old is expected to know with what a 9 year old is expected to know. For some reason, there are some maths questions thrown in as well. Not entirely sure if these should have been in a verbal reasoning set. Still, a useful set of questions for practice.


The 11+ Maths Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 8-9)
The 11+ Maths Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 8-9)
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, 17 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a mixed bag - the questions appear to be pitched at somewhat random levels, mixing what an eight year old is expected to know with what a 9 year old is expected to know. Still, a useful set of questions for practice.


Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive Glossary of British India
Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive Glossary of British India
by Henry Yule
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical and linguistic review, 19 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you ever wondered how so many English words appear to have subcontinental and Persian and Arabic origins, and you forgot that the English who ruled over India also studied the country acutely, then you'll do well to nip out and grab this book which tells you all that you want to know about the gain of knowledge, the enrichment of language, the depth of study, and the catholic minds of the authors of this superb Hobson Jobson. Not only was there an early cross-pollination of ideas from India to Britain, but the languages of India too gained from the English. Read and savour!


The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced
The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced
by Stephanie Dalley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent synthesis and reinterpretation of age-old mystery, 22 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Traditionally, of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the only one supposedly never properly identified has been the Hanging Garden of Babylon. Although considerable evidence has existed to solve the puzzle, different experts have at different times discounted many of them. In this book, the extant evidence is reinterpreted in light of the latest understanding of the history and technological achievements of the Mesopotamians, and a rather convincing case made for the Gardens to be Assyrian, rather than Babylonian. Exactly how this identification has been made is well illustrated, with wide-ranging asides on related topics that serve to illustrate the lives, habits and cultural high-points of the Great Kings. Very well worth the read if you are interested in Assyrian and Babylonian history, and how these cultures have been perceived by outsiders.


Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56
by Anne Applebaum
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of a dismal period in European history, 23 July 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Applebaum has extensively covered the space between the East and West in a sequence of books, and this one is as detailed and nuanced as you can ask for. Much of the matter has been covered in other books, of course, but one reason to read this is that Applebaum has used a larger corpus of archival matter to bring a multifaceted picture of the crushing of post-war Eastern Europe.

This is an essentially politico-military event, and I would have liked to have seen more detail on the intellectualisation of the Soviet take-over - how did local propaganda try to convince the populace that they should be grateful? Also, there's little coverage of Western counter-moves (if any) to limit the extent of Soviet power, as the book deals almost exclusively with internal matters. Still, it's a superb piece of work and educational, and I would recommend it heartily.


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