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Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection: 5 (Photography)
Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection: 5 (Photography)
by AA Publishing
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great pix, 20 Dec 2012
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There are some great landscape pix in this collection . . . what else would you expect?
I bought this as a gift for someone, and only leafed through it before putting the Christmas wrapping paper on it. My cavils have to do with the British Railways prize pictures, which were, in general, a bit on the conventional side. The main landscape competition yielded some much more interesting images, which I looked at in order to look mainly at composition. (This is the main point of access to images for us non-techie amateurs . . . I understand why the techies would want more info about exposure times, apertures and all that . . . but for me and -- I hope -- my friend, compositions which capture our experience in the great outdoors are what we are aiming for.)

Also, unlike many "image books" produced in UK (for example exhibition catalogues from the major museums) the publisher/editor of this book appears to have paid a lot of attention to the accurate reproduction of the images (colour replication, quality of paper, binding, etc).

I would have given it five stars, but the BR sub-competition was a bit off.


Death in Paradise - Series 1 [DVD]
Death in Paradise - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Miller
Price: 8.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great giggle, 17 Nov 2012
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This is a series about a very up-tight London police detective deployed to a more or less French formerly colonial island in the Caribbean. It has to be the best and funniest send up of English vs (French) Caribbean stereotypes I have ever seen. just kept giggling at the situations as they developed. It's also a send up of the standard policier series.

Having enjoyed the series so much, I bought it for some special friends who have experienced the joys and pitfalls of cross cultural living, and who will enjoy the stereotyping of the English detective.


The Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good way to learn a little history, 14 Sep 2012
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All good novels have a double plot. The plots in this one have to do with Savonarola's effect on Florence (and a bit more widely, the counter-reformation) and with a young woman who wants to be a painter. Mills and Boon meet the Medici, so to speak.

It's a good read: flows easily, gives you a sense of the times. Not quite as good as Sacred Hearts, which deals with the period just before The Birth of Venus. Both novels are set in the convents which provided "women's spaces" at the time and how the counter-reformation wiped out these places of security for more rebellious women. But I'm generally interested in the phenomenon of how women can carve out these spaces for themselves. And it's far more pleasant to imagine the spaces through a novel than in the dry work of "proper historians".

So I enjoyed the novel. It's well constructed and written and provided good stimulating holiday reading. Read it if you're interested in the times of religious change around the emergence of protestantism and the response of the official Catholic church.


Gentlemen of the Road
Gentlemen of the Road
Price: 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars chuckles all the way, 14 Sep 2012
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Michael Chabon seems to have discovered a rich vein of gentle humour. The story is set a 1000 years ago ("once upon a time") in a far, far away place (bearing some resemblance to the north and east Black Sea area), two Jewish gentlemen of the road (adventurers), one from Regensberg and one from Ethiopia, journey along together -- disparate characters, not above the well practiced con now and then to keep body and soul together -- they rescue a princess (but without knowing she's a princess). I first read the Yiddish Policemen's Union, and have enjoyed this one as much.

Read it. You'll like it. Another one of those novels which helps you to imagine "what it was like then". And chuckles all the way.


The Girl Who Played With Fire [DVD] [2010]
The Girl Who Played With Fire [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Noomi Rapace
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 3.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America versus Europe, 5 May 2012
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Before the Stig Larson trio of books was published, a Swedish-Danish film production company bought the film rights to all three books. This version of "The Girl who Played with Fire" is from that company. All three have been released on DVD. The first was produced in Denmark (The girl with the dragon tattoo) and the second two in Sweden, reflecting an intra-Scandanavian difference in the matter of how Sweden should be presented (as essentially "Danish" in visual style or as seen by the Swedes themselves?).

I have seen both versions of the "Dragon Tattoo". I think Rooney Mara is fantastic, but Naomi Rapace in the Danish/Swedish version is even more fantastic in portraying the internal complexity of a character who is, in a real sense, inarticulate. Michael Nyqvist is also fantastic, well able to convey the haplessness of a crusading journalist, whereas Daniel Craig is just a pretty face. The American versions of the two later films ("Played with Fire" and "Kicked the Hornets Nest") have yet to be released.

So I really enjoyed the whole of the Danish/Swedish trilogy. The acting is superb. There is a very good balance in the screenplays between the two plots: One about the shenanigans of the rich (centred on the Nyqvist character) and the other about how the Swedish welfare state can get it wrong (centred on the Rapace character). The heart of the story is how these two plots come together into a single narrative. The Swedes and Danes can deal with moral ambiguity and, beyond being linked in the narrative, this ambiguity is also captured in the camera work and in the way that "characters" don't always have to be "beautiful". It is the moral ambiguity which makes the Danish/Swedish versions stick in your mind long afterwards (. . . whereas the American version just fades). What would I have done in this situation? Is "crusading journalism" -- important as it is -- not able to cope with the ugly sides of everyday realities? Would I have had the courage to act in such a situation? How does one learn to be a moral person when one has been badly mistreated? How do I cope with recognising that there is both good and evil inside me? And, of course, in the context of the News of the World hacking scandals -- and their political linkages -- the films have a real resonance today.

If you have a choice, go for the Danish/Swedish versions.


Comfort Zone (Vincent Calvino Crime Novel Book 4)
Comfort Zone (Vincent Calvino Crime Novel Book 4)
Price: 3.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, 13 Mar 2012
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I love these novels because they bring together a completely improbable set of characters in a place that I love, Thailand. But in the makeup of the characters, there are traces of New York, another place I love. The plots generally work well for what my Estonian friends refer to as "crimmies". They aren't the best written novels, both in terms of style, and for the genre they lack the moral ambiguity that sets good crimmies apart from the rest. But, they are enjoyable to read for pleasure . . . To take your mind off other things or you don't have the time/place to focus. Definitely recommended for long airplane flights when you can't sleep . . . And other similar moments.


Symphony No.9 in E minor 'From the New World', Op.95 B178 : III Scherzo - Molto vivace [Poco sostenuto]
Symphony No.9 in E minor 'From the New World', Op.95 B178 : III Scherzo - Molto vivace [Poco sostenuto]
Price: 0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet music, 15 Jan 2012
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This is being tipped as the best recording of Dvorak's 9th symphony. And it is good. What I really liked -- compared to buying the disk -- was that I could just download the tracks I wanted, the four movements of the symphony!!!!
Now all I have to do is get it from my PC iTunes to my ipod and ipad, and I shall drift away on soft dreams accompanied by fantastically beautifully played music.


Symphony No.9 in E minor 'From the New World', Op.95 B178 : II Largo
Symphony No.9 in E minor 'From the New World', Op.95 B178 : II Largo
Price: 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone knows the largo . . ., 15 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is being tipped as the best recording of Dvorak's 9th symphony. And it is good. What I really liked -- compared to buying the disk -- was that I could just download the tracks I wanted, the four movements of the symphony!!!!
Now all I have to do is get it from my PC iTunes to my ipod and ipad, and I shall drift away on soft dreams accompanied by fantastically beautifully played music.


Symphony No.9 in E minor 'From the New World', Op.95 B178 : I Adagio - Allegro molto
Symphony No.9 in E minor 'From the New World', Op.95 B178 : I Adagio - Allegro molto
Price: 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet music, 15 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is being tipped as the best recording of Dvorak's 9th symphony. And it is good. What I really liked -- compared to buying the disk -- was that I could just download the tracks I wanted, the four movements of the symphony!!!!
Now all I have to do is get it from my PC iTunes to my ipod and ipad, and I shall drift away on soft dreams accompanied by fantastically beautifully played music.


A Social History of Housing, 1815-1985
A Social History of Housing, 1815-1985
by John Burnett
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased to find this, 15 Jan 2012
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This book has been out of print for sometime, so I was pleased to find it on Amazon . . . I wanted it as a gift for a friend in Poland. What made me sad, however, was to find it was an ex-library stock book. Libraries are important and the cuts in the service are a real problem.


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