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Ray Macdonald

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Nothing of Importance: A Record of Eight Months at the Front With a Welsh Battalion, October, 1915, to June (Classic Reprint)
Nothing of Importance: A Record of Eight Months at the Front With a Welsh Battalion, October, 1915, to June (Classic Reprint)
by Bernard Adams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Of Much Importance, 18 Dec. 2014
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Some of the book reads as if it had been written – as did Journey’s End – by someone not long out of Greyfriars School and this is perhaps the real tragedy of such a conflict as World War 1.
Both the Blackadder and the “we must fight another war to stay true to those who died in the last one” schools of thought should read what Bernard Adams writes in his preface to this outstanding book.
He said that people involved in war can be thought of having been dealt cards from an invisible dealer. Following is an attempt to paraphrase what he wrote

Spades are dullness, mud, weariness and sordidness.
Clubs are for humour, cheerfulness, jollity and good-fellowship.
Diamonds are the glitter of excitement and adventure.
Hearts are agony, horror and death.


Portrait Gallery
Portrait Gallery
by Edward Greenfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Where is Maria?, 18 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Portrait Gallery (Hardcover)
Excellent thumb-nail sketches of many of the great performers, but where is Maria Callas - is there a story behind her omission? Also, is it possible that everyone featured had a lovely, charming, totally supportive 'other half'?


Debussy: 12 Etudes  (DECCA The Originals)
Debussy: 12 Etudes (DECCA The Originals)
Price: £7.48

4.0 out of 5 stars An opinion, 18 Dec. 2014
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To my uneducated musical ear it didn't sound as smooth or melodic as other works by Debussy's e.g. Clair de lune or his Nocturnes. At times it was as if the piano keys were being hit too hard but one must assume that as the piece is played by an artist with such an outstanding reputation that this was how Debussy wrote it.


David Jones in the Great War
David Jones in the Great War
by Thomas Dilworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Tremendous., 1 Nov. 2014
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A simple story about tremendous events, very well told. The sketches and drawings are terrific and reminded me of some of Isaac Rosenberg's - which were made in similar circumstances.


Most Secret War (Penguin World War II Collection)
Most Secret War (Penguin World War II Collection)
by R. V. Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

5.0 out of 5 stars ...and blush to find it fame., 1 Nov. 2014
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One of the few books to deserve its blurb. It should be better known - how about a dramatised TV documentary?
When I was growing up in Aberdeen (1950's) 'Prof Jones' was a major public figure and personality but other than being known as 'One of Churchill's back-room boys' we knew virtually nothing about what he actually did during the WW2.
He epitomises the saying "Do good by stealth and blush to find it fame".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2014 12:39 AM GMT


Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate
Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate
by Ken Hughes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Is there a truth?, 1 Nov. 2014
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Worth it for the photograph on the jacket of Richard Nixon and LBJ alone. A wonderful insight into the politics of the 1960's and 1970's and left me with the thought "Is there a truth in such affairs?". The presidential conversations on chasing-shadows,com are utterly fascinating.


Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred The World
Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred The World
by David Maraniss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful times and a wonderful book, 17 Sept. 2014
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How vividly this book brought 1960 to mind. I was a teenage athlete then and in the months leading up to the games I had followed the fortunes of those who were to take part in Sports Illustrated e.g Games favourites in the Men's sprints, Ray Norton and Dave Sime - and can recall how Armin Hary and then Livio Berruti spoiled the party. And those Tennessee Tiger Belles protecting their hair-dos against the rain! Wonderful times and a wonderful book. One minor point of criticism : it could have done with more about 'What they did after the Olympics and in later life'. As well as providing plenty of nostalgia it gave an excellent insight to the political and social mores of the time.


The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession
The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession
by Andrea Wulf
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Book., 11 May 2014
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It was fascinating to find out where the plants in our gardens came from, who was responsible for their discovery and for bringing them to Britain. Also, Andrea Wulf has such a light touch that we hardly notice that we're also reading the history of so many countries. A book to read for pleasure, to learn from and to keep for reference. The Glossary is a treasure-house on its own.


Seedling Good Things for Girls
Seedling Good Things for Girls
Offered by NotTheUsual
Price: £16.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Interesting fun., 3 Feb. 2014
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My grand-daughter has had loads of interesting fun with the contents - especially the knitting. The quality of the products were in the main good.


Duracell AAA Plus 8 Batteries For Toys, Cameras etc
Duracell AAA Plus 8 Batteries For Toys, Cameras etc
Offered by K Direct
Price: £3.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Batteries., 12 Dec. 2013
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They arrived on time and were well packed. From an organisational point of view it would have been useful if they had been delivered at the same time as the battery-powered device ordered at the same time. I To try that device was working on arrival. Not a massive point.

Thanks.


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