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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rebirth of Reading, 1 May 2012
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I have always loved reading books... but, where do you keep the ones you love to re-read? Space is such an issue in our ever more cluttered lives. Books were bought and then evicted to make room for the next read and some of them were a real wrench to send to the charity shop :-( Then I got married and the real clearouts had to happen! So I gradually drifted away from reading - a mix of other interests and space considerations.

Then we had a child... As they grow up you need to get them to read and the best way to convince a child that reading is a good thing is if they see their parents enjoying it! At this point I started getting back into books but the space issue still applied. So I looked at the Kindle series and eventually bought this version around 18 months ago.

The advantages are immediately obvious - I go on holiday and I have perhaps half a dozen books available to read that I have downloaded in the space of 1 paperback! And all my back library are there to re-read should I wish. Many older stories are now available that I can't get hold of in a normal bookshop - Alistair MacLean's HMS Ulysses for example.

The effect on a new Kindle owner is immediate - I now read around twice as much as I used to. The text of the books is easily readable in most light situations. The stories are no different and capture you just the same as they did on paper. I'd recommend the Kindle series of readers to anyone with the one proviso that for technical or broadly illustrated books you'd be better buying the hard copy. But for novels you will find the Kindle ideal - it will be a great companion!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2012 11:36 AM BST

Beats by Dr Dre Solo HD with ControlTalk Headphones from Monster - Black
Beats by Dr Dre Solo HD with ControlTalk Headphones from Monster - Black

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bass and then some... But there's more!, 1 May 2012
I recently upgraded my player to a Sony A series. I had been using a pair of Phillips headphones with my old E series player but my son had his eyes on both whenever I upgraded so I needed new headphones. The Beats series are obviously popular - you see a lot of them in use on the street. I was also aware that Monster make excellent hi-fi products (cable being their particular forte). So I thought I'd give the Beats Solo's a try.

Initial impressions were of a quite dull sound but a few hours down the road the sounds burst into life (the manual recommends a burn in period) and suddenly there was a wonderful soundstage. When I compared them with the Phillips headphones I had been using I noted that all tracks on the Phillips came across much the same but on the Beats a quality recording really sings out.

The Beats are quite a bassy headphone (so maybe not to all tastes) but all headphones have their individual characteristics and good MP3 players are equipped with equalizers to allow us to adjust the sound to our personal taste. Having done this for the Beats I am amazed by their fantastic clarity when listening to a wide range of Rock, Jazz, Blues and Pop including the likes of Budgie, Led Zeppelin, Fine young Cannibals, Carleen Anderson, Chet Baker, Outkast, Yello, Gorillaz. Must be something in there that is close to what you like ;-)

Wearing Comfort is ok for 2-3 hours after which your ears may feel the need of a physical rest (rather than an audio one!) as the pads are clamped firmly in place - presumably to assist in excluding external sounds. I managed 4 hours before experiencing discomfort and that will get longer as I get used to these headphones. They're not as bad as David Clarks in this respect ;-)

My Sony A series Walkman has no trouble driving them - half volume is fine for normal indoors use and a couple more notches up the scale if out and about. At these levels there is the added advantage that I can't hear my Wife and Son talking to me - ouch! - just had a clip round the ear! ;-)

Exorcising Ghosts
Exorcising Ghosts
Price: £5.73

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts of my past, 13 May 2011
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This review is from: Exorcising Ghosts (Audio CD)
I have always loved the tracks Ghosts and Nightporter by David Sylvian / Japan - Nightporter invokes a somewhat seedy past age that perhaps died after the last war in Europe. It's a great track and it's worth owning the album for that track on its own. But there are also a number of other 80's tracks like Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Visions of China that deserve a listen.

Price: £33.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special type of blues, 13 May 2011
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This review is from: Iceman (Audio CD)
Albert Collins was a very individual blues guitarist. The music on this album represents some of his last work. The tone of his telecaster rings out through some excellently paced blues tracks on this album. Special tracks - Iceman and I'm beginning to wonder. Great stuff!

HMS Ulysses
HMS Ulysses
Price: £3.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HMS Ulysses - Fast Paced Wartime Action, 16 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: HMS Ulysses (Kindle Edition)
I first read HMS Ulysses just after I left school. It was somewhat easier to get into than Nicholas Monsarrat's `The Cruel Sea' (itself an excellent story and on the school book list at the time - though I found it too much like hard workthen and returned to it later in life) whilst sharing similar subject matter. The characterisations in MacLean's book are excellent and so are the descriptions of the harsh environment and the vesssels within which the action takes place. Sometimes the pace of the story feels a little too fast and the enemy actions can feel a bit contrived - though I'm mindful that Alistair MacLean was in the Navy and has a far better idea than I will ever have of the battles fought. The book captures the feelings of its characters well though and, by the speed with which it progresses to its inevitable conclusion, makes you feel part of their suffering. I highly recommend this ebook with the proviso that some basic words in the earlier passages have accidentally been altered in the Kindle translation process and sit incongruously within the sentence - they're obvious misprints and do not affect the enjoyment of the story. It was an absolute joy to re-read this book after so many years!

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