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Andrew Langdon (Wales, UK)
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Sony KDL26EX553WU 26-inch Widescreen HD Ready SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD - White (New for 2012)
Sony KDL26EX553WU 26-inch Widescreen HD Ready SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD - White (New for 2012)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An attractive, slim TV, 20 Jun 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly the important bits: the set produces a lovely, crisp picture, the sound is impressive for such a small TV and the set itself is exceptionally thin thanks to the LED technology. The setup was quick and painless (with a small reservation) out of the box and the UI is clean and responsive.

However, there is a small reservation: no matter what I tried I couldn't get the TV to connect to the wireless network. Whilst it's not the end of the world, the prospect of being able to access the BBC iPlayer directly from the TV set was an appealing proposition, but not a deal breaker.

So to summarise, the TV does the important things well, is attractive, slim and produces a lovely picture.


Samsung HS6000 Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Black
Samsung HS6000 Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Black

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left me underwhelmed, 22 May 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was eager to try this bluetooth headset as I like the idea of having my phone safely and securely stored away in my bag whilst still be able to listen to music and make phone calls. Sadly, the HS6000 aren't as good as I'd hoped. Setting them up to work with my iPhone 3GS was quick and painless and the distance that the phone and headset were separated yet remained connected was promising.

However, the sound is sadly lacking, with a variety of music styles I played sounding tinny and lacking in bass. Another issue is that headset feels flimsy in my hands and feels like the slightest knock or fall would damage them. However, the most annoying issue was the buttons on the headset. These are poorly defined and I kept having to remove the headset to see the buttons I was pressing as they are finished plush to the rest of the headset. I would also knock the forward/back switch which is highly sensitive which became quickly annoying, being placed precisely where my thumb is placed to remove the headset.

All in all I found the HS6000 to be a disappointment.


A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided
A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided
by Amanda Foreman
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A weighty read, but strangely lacking, 29 Jan 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Amanda Foreman deserves much credit for her weighty and well-researched book (perfectly highlighted by the fact the final 200-odd pages of the book are given over to her research notes) about the American Civil War. It provides commentary from all manner of people involved, from politicians to soldiers, diplomats to journalists, and is scattered with many wonderful Punch illustrations which brilliantly highlight the changing feelings of the British towards the Americans during the conflict.

However, it left me feeling strangely disconnected, possibly down to the lack of balanced reporting (Foreman's predominant use of news reports and illustrations from the pro-Southern British journalists means that very little is told of the effect of the war on the people of the North) and her concentration upon the political brinkmanship - and personality clashes - between the British and American politicians and diplomats quickly bores. Another problem was that the description of the battles regularly amount to simple Armies X and Y met at location Z resulting in this many deaths and that many injured, with only the occasional use of firsthand accounts of the battles being used to bring to life the suffering of the soldiers and civilians.

That being said, and in spite of my misgivings, a can definitely recommend 'A World on Fire' to readers of history books.


Bill's Basics
Bill's Basics
by Bill Granger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely recipe collection, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Bill's Basics (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Bill Granger's cookbook is full of simple, laid back tasty recipes, all of which are clearly explained and beautifully photographed. 'Bill's Basics' has taken pride of place next to my Naked Chef cookbook as one of my 'go-to' books when I want to cook something quick, simple and, most importantly, tasty.

Recommended.


Philips PowerTouch PT720 Rechargeable Electric Shaver
Philips PowerTouch PT720 Rechargeable Electric Shaver
Price: 29.97

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good shave, but lacking an important feature, 19 July 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I found the Philips PowerTouch PT720 to give a good shave, plus the fact that the head can be washed under a running tap and the forty minutes shave time are all very positive. However, I find it difficult to recommend this shaver given its lack of a flip out trimmer for tidying around the sideburns.

This shaver is ideal for a quick shave when you're running late and time is short. However, the fact that you'd need to have a wet shave to smarten around the sideburns means it is not ideally suited for every day use.


Jamrach's Menagerie
Jamrach's Menagerie
by Carol Birch
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read!, 20 May 2011
This review is from: Jamrach's Menagerie (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Set in Victorian London, Jamrach's Menagerie tells the story of young Jaffy Brown, a boy who is eaten by a tiger in the street resulting in him being offered work by Mr. Jamrach mucking out the pens and caring for his collection of exotic wildlife. Here, Jaf meets Tim and the wise old sailor Dan Rymer, with whom he sets out on a great adventure to make their fortune by capturing a mythic dragon of the East Indies.

Her writing humorous and horrific, Carol Birch brings to life the squalid sights and smells of Victorian London and the harshness of the sailors lot beautifully, and in Jaffy Brown she has created a captivating narrator. Jamrach's Menagerie is a book I can heartily recommend.


How I Cook
How I Cook
by Skye Gyngell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully presented cookbook, 2 May 2011
This review is from: How I Cook (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Skye Gyngell's 'How I Cook' is a well thought out and beautifully presented cookbook. The recipes are organised into occasions (Breakfast, Sunday Lunch, Alfresco Eating, Afternoon Tea, Simple Weekday Dinner, Late Night Supper, Special Occasion and Time To Spare) and then split into two or three course menus. The recipes themselves range from the relatively straight forward to the more challenging, but are all clearly written and should be achievable for anyone confident around their kitchen. (I can highly recommend her simple recipe for little glazed carrots - absolutely delicious and I can't imagine cooking my carrots any other way!)

'How I Cook' would make an excellent gift for the home cook.


The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet Travel Book)
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet Travel Book)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 26.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Travel Tome!, 15 Nov 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The usual high quality Lonely Planet photos and humour mixed with basic information (things to see, do, eat, etc.) spread across more than four hundred gloriously large glossy pages make this the ideal reading material for the traveller looking to stave off a bout of wanderlust, or to serve as inspiration for your next holiday.

This is a book that you will dip into time and again. A true must have!


Upside Down Management: A Common Sense Guide to Better Business
Upside Down Management: A Common Sense Guide to Better Business
by John Timpson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost exactly what it says on the tin (or book in this case), 12 Sep 2010
A no-nonsense management book offering an insight into the common sense management/culture of the high street chain Timpson. The book offers a chapter by chapter account on how Timpson developed his management philosophy, through his failures and successes in the world of business, and offers up his experiences and learnings for other big business owners to apply in their organisations.

Its refreshing to see this management style at a larger business, but it's not new. Most successful small business owners are or have been doing this 'Timpson philosophy' up and down the country for years. Customer focused, giving employees the freedom to think and act for themselves to help the customer, being weary of expensive jargon touting consultants, accountants and lawyers, and business owners supporting their staff through thick and thin would be considered the backbone of any small enterprise. These qualities become diluted in large organisations which Timpson is attempting to address in this book.

Why 'Almost exactly what it says on the tin?' As the title 'A common sense guide to better business' suggests a book about a guide to running a better business, there are unuseful rants about Timpson's gripes with bureaucracy and legislation, and waffle about his extra curricular activities that should be spared for his autobiography as they are not conducive to running a better business in this reviewers opinion. Although you cannot be spared the rants as they are in the first section of the book, the waffle is conveniently located in the second section of the book, so you can stop reading at that point and not miss out on anything.

To summarise - the useful first section of the book will offer applicable advice to business school graduates/big business owners that other management styles can be adopted and be successful away from the blinkered, corporate jargon ladened teachings of business schools and the corporate world if they so choose to entertain it by stepping out of their ivory towers or board rooms. Small business owners will find confirmation of what they already know and see that the culture that they foster can still survive if their business grows and grows.

Either way, you can spare buying the book and pop into a Timpson shop to experience the consequence of upside down management at first hand - I can attest it's very refreshing having tried their shoe repair and battery replacement service, and wish for a day that the majority of big business offered a similar level of service to their customers - and then delve into the book if you wish to learn more.


Tony and Susan
Tony and Susan
by Austin M. Wright
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.44

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two into one doesn't go, 17 Aug 2010
This review is from: Tony and Susan (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The premise of Austin Wright's novel is that Susan receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward, which we read whilst learning a little of Susan's unhappy relationship with her current husband and her reasons for leaving Edward. Effectively it's two stories in one book.

Whilst I quite enjoyed Edwards novel 'Nocturnal Animals', especially since it centred on Tony's feelings of guilt rather than being a silly action hero revenge story, I feel that the short snippets of Susan's reactions and backstory added nothing.

I would have preferred a short novella called 'Nocturnal Animals' than the novel 'Tony and Susan', which just goes to show that two for the price of one is not always good value!


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