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Ms. C. L. Scott (Milton Keynes, UK)
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Flat Track Fashion: The Roller Derby Look Book
Flat Track Fashion: The Roller Derby Look Book
by Ellen Parnavelas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on rolling, 22 July 2013
I think the reviewer who gave this book only one star has a) missed the point and b) been hanging out with the wrong kind of roller derby people. To say this is only a book about derby fashion is totally inaccurate - it gives an fascinating history of derby dating back to the early 20th century, provides a detailed description of how the game is played, and focuses on the kit required for the sport as much as the many colourful outfits that are part of the sport. There are even pictures of the first roller skates dating back to the 1800s.

As for 'ask any of the participants how the sport is played and they'll look at you blankly' - um, WHAT?! Anyone who has spent time with a roller girl/boy/fan will know that real derby people love nothing better than explaining all the rules, regulations and techniques of this highly skilled (and wonderfully violent) sport. The fashion part is just a bit of fun - some of us like fishnets, tattoos, funky make-up and garish shorts, and some of us aren't bothered. The uniting factor is we all love to skate, and yes the sport IS growing like the bejesus - a quick look online will show you that women's and men's teams in the UK are springing up all over the shop.

If roller derby isn't your cup of tea, fair enough - but that's no reason to slag off this excellent, colourful and informative book. However, if you think it might be, buy this book - and then go get some skates!


Player One
Player One
by Douglas Coupland
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Audacious plundering of previous works. Doesn't deserve to be called a new book., 8 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Player One (Paperback)
I can't believe Coupland had the nerve to release this as a new book, let alone charge money for it. It is absolutely riddled with passages lifted unchanged from about 7 of his previous novels, and not nearly enough new content or ideas to justify a story. Ending is too abrupt and a cop-out. This is the sound of a barrel being scraped dry.


Ultimate Guide to Kink, The
Ultimate Guide to Kink, The
by Tristan Taormino
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.69

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, informative read covering all aspects of kink from various perspectives, 25 July 2012
Rather than try to mimic previous guides to BDSM such as S/M 101, Tristan Taormino has taken a different approach to the 'kink manual' and it pays off well. Divided into essays by respected kink educators such as Midori, Mollena Williams and Pat Califia, the book looks at pretty much everything the curious kinkster could want to know - bondage, impact play, rough sex, race play, fisting, CBT, sadism, masochism...I could go on but you may get excited! Dealing with both the practical skills and philosophies involved in kink, Taormino shows that kink is about both mind and body and that there's something in the mix for everyone. Clearly written, honest and often intriguing, this is the book for anyone who's ever wanted to be kinky but felt afraid to ask.


Up Close
Up Close
by Shelagh Weeks
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.63

5.0 out of 5 stars 'Careful, alert and subtle' says Tessa Hadley - and I agree, 16 April 2010
This review is from: Up Close (Paperback)
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, as it's by a new author and published by a small independent press, but I think this thoroughly proves that small publishers are as good at, if not better than, the big publishing houses when it comes to spotting talent. This was a tightly written and engaging read that carefully balanced description with action, dialogue with observation. It's a perceptive portrayal of a family in crisis, set against various UK backdrops, which perfectly observes the chaos and disappointments of family life without being overly sensationalist or sentimental. If you like family/human interest stories that are a cut above the cliches of mainstream fiction, I would highly recommend this book. It has certainly made me want to investigate other titles by Cinnamon Press, as they seem to have a sharp eye for a great novel. I look forward to Shelagh Weeks' next work!


Sandie Shaw and the Millionth Marvell Cooker
Sandie Shaw and the Millionth Marvell Cooker
by Wendy Robertson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A passable story let down by lack of proofreading, 21 Jan 2010
This tale of life in a factory in 1960s Newcastle would be quite diverting if I could get past the fact no one ever seems to have proofread this text. The amount of (and nature of) mistakes that pervade this book is ATROCIOUS! It was riddled with typos, incorrect uses of words and sudden, inexplicable changes of tense. It also uses several Americanisms ("she's cool with that" "I'm mad at her") that would not have been heard of for another 30 years in this country. Can't believe the publisher let it go through in this state.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2012 9:13 AM BST


The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House
by Kate Summerscale
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype - boring as all get-out, 20 Jun 2009
I cannot understand why this book is so acclaimed, it bored me senseless and managed to make a potentially interesting tale dull as ditchwater. It spends ridiculous amounts of time referencing other books on completely irrelevant details, and lays out the facts of the case with such painstaking precision that I might as well have been reading an encyclopaedia, or police report, instead. This may be a good reference book, but a good read? Absolutely not.


A Light-Hearted Look at Seafaring and Other Stories
A Light-Hearted Look at Seafaring and Other Stories
by Len Holder
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book!, 20 May 2009
This has been thoroughly enjoyed by myself, my dad and my partner's dad - so suffice to say it has wide appeal. This is a humorous and light read which is easy to come back to again and again. The variety of tales mean there's something in there for everyone. Buy, read, and laugh!


The Catalpa Tree
The Catalpa Tree
by Denyse Devlin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Starts well but ultimately a huge let down, 9 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Catalpa Tree (Paperback)
The premise of the book draws you in initially, but clocking in at nearly 400 pages it soon becomes a huge drag. The obvious ending could have been brought about much sooner, and the book needs cutting by half. The protagonists are largely dislikeable, their conversations endless, repetitive and tedious, and the inevitable progression of their relationship can be predicted from about page 2. Also, if you don't like reading about sex between 20-something girls and 40-something men, which reads much like incest, I wouldn't bother even starting this.


A Spot of Bother
A Spot of Bother
by Mark Haddon
Edition: Hardcover

16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but totally lets itself down at the end, 6 July 2007
This review is from: A Spot of Bother (Hardcover)
The follow up to 'The Curious Incident...' is much more of a 'standard' modern novel, dealing with family rifts, break-ups, break downs, wedding hysteria and the like in a wonderfully 'British' manner - no patronising shiny American self-help here! I warmed to all the characters and was captivated by the story, which Haddon writes in unpretentious yet enchanting prose. However, my gripe with it, which I suppose is fairly major, is the ending. The character of George goes through the book suffering silently with great anguish and even harming himself for reasons he himself does not understand, yet at the end seems to just magically 'get better' and decide to 'stop all the nonsense'. Not only is this a totally unrealistic portrayal of mental illness, but it is downright offensive and unhelpful to those who struggle to convince cynical friends, relatives and even the medical profession that depression is not just something you can just 'snap out of'. Sorry, but you don't bite chunks out of your arm one day and then decide 'ooh I'm better' the next. I feel Haddon did a total disservice to depression sufferers by feeling obviously pressured to wrap up the book with something of a happy ending. I would have been more convinced if the ending had simply left the question of George's depression hanging, or at least implied it was going to take a lot of time and work for him to get better. As it was, the ending seemed to be a 'hey ho, enough of this mental illness lark, time to tack on a happy bit!' and as a result was a total let down.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2008 12:27 PM BST


This Book Will Save Your Life
This Book Will Save Your Life
by A. M. Homes
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.22

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Homes' best by a long shot, 7 May 2007
Very disappointed by this, as I'm a big fan of A M Homes' other novels, such as The End of Alice and Jack. I agree with other reviewers that it was meandering and didn't hold the attention long enough, but my main beef is that its title is a totally false claim. The book will not inspire or help anyone unless they, like the protagonist, happen to have a huge pile of cash and stacks of free time to go around bestowing expensive favours on unsuspecting strangers. It has no relevance at all to the average person, and the storyline about the doctor is COMPLETELY ripped off 'Choke' by Chuck Palahniuk. Sort it out, Ms Homes - I know you can do better!


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