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Basement Cat (UK)
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Shieldwall
Shieldwall
by Justin Hill
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next one!, 18 July 2012
This review is from: Shieldwall (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is a bit slow to start, but as soon as Godwin comes onto the scene, and his father is disposed of, things really start to pick up. I found myself completely entranced by the fascinating story, and the amount of history that is contained within these pages. I was a bit hazy on the historical details of England before the Norman conquest, but this book has lead me to read up on the subject. This was a very turbulent time in our history, and Justin Hill has captured the essence of the period, as far as I can tell, very well. Of course there is artistic licence, and events are embellished to make a better story, but on the whole, the facts are enough. I had to keep reminding myself that this was not fiction, as sometimes it read like a fantasy novel. Both Godwin and Edmund were typically heroic characters, and whether this is true or not, I felt that if they had been portrayed in any other way, it would have made the book less enjoyable. This is not a scholarly work of fiction, but it is a fantastic read, which will probably make you want to find out more about the period in which is is set.


AmazonBasics Portable Fold-Up Travel Stand for iPad 4, iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 7.0, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Touch (Black)
AmazonBasics Portable Fold-Up Travel Stand for iPad 4, iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 7.0, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Touch (Black)
Price: 7.99

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 28 Jun 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The photographs of this little stand didn't look up to much, but the reviews were pretty good, so I thought I would try it. Well, it turned out to be just what I needed. I have had my iPad and Kindle propped up against all sorts of unsuitable objects, such as flowerpots, cushions, walls etc. and have worried that they might fall off and get broken. That problem is now solved with this sturdy little stand which holds my iPad perfectly. It feels quite solid and folds up very small, in case you should want to take it out with you. The angle can be adjusted to suit whatever you are doing, and it has foam pads which hold the iPad or kindle securely in place? Really good, and I find that I'm using it all the time instead of the flowerpot.


HHhH
HHhH
by Laurent Binet
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fiction?, 20 Jun 2012
This review is from: HHhH (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Normally, when you start to read a work of fiction, especially if it's something that you are enjoying, you find yourself sucked into another world. Sometimes, the story is so engrossing that you forget where you are entirely. Now this is not going to happen with this book, because the narrator keep popping up and telling you how, or why he wrote what he did, and the circumstances which led him to become interested in his subject. This is all very interesting, but I found it quite distracting, and only when his comments became more infrequent was I able to 'get into' the book. The subject IS fascinating, and I would really like to read a book about Heydrich, but not this one. I was not sure who the narrator was - is it Laurent Binet, or is it another character that he has made up? I felt that I could not really trust him, whoever he was, and the fact that I was constantly being reminded that what I was reading was fiction put me off. I have recently read another book, Tony and Susan by Austin Wright, which also has comments which remind you that you are reading fiction. To be honest, I don't want to be reminded, and it sometimes feels quite jarring to be brought back to reality in that way..


LEGO Games 3848: Pirate Plank
LEGO Games 3848: Pirate Plank
Offered by Bargainmax Ltd
Price: 29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, 25 April 2012
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My grandchildren enjoyed putting this game together, with a little help from their mum. It was quite complicated to assemble, as the pieces are very tiny, smaller than standard Lego. The pirate figures are very small indeed, and will probably end up inside the Hoover. Its a shame that you can't replace lost figures from standard Lego, as lost parts would make the game unplayable. There are tiny pieces that are attached to the dice, and a very, very small tool to take them off with. It took quite a while to put together, and although they enjoyed this part, my grandchildren seemed to loose interest by the time the game was ready to play. I hope they will play it now that it's set up, as it is easy for young children to play without much input from adults.


The Midwife of Venice
The Midwife of Venice
by Roberta Rich
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.80

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 25 April 2012
This review is from: The Midwife of Venice (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This could have been a much better book if the two main characters had been more engaging. As it was, I found that I didn't really care what happened to them, and found it a bit of a chore to read. This was besides the implausible events that befell them both, as they tried to get back together after Isaac's capture as a slave. It started quite well, but even within a few pages things started to go downhill. And there were an incredible number of foreign words inserted too - so many that they needed a glossary to explain them at the end. Not a good book, and I was quite relieved to have finished it.


The Killing 1
The Killing 1
by David Hewson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.91

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 18 April 2012
This review is from: The Killing 1 (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My husband & I got completely addicted to the tv series of The Killing, and so, having bought the DVD as well, I was really pleased to see that there was going to be a book as well. I felt bereft when the series finished, so this was another way to feed my obsession, and I have to say that it worked perfectly! Instantly, I was plunged back into the world that I missed so much, in this incredibly faithful representation of the tv series. It seems as though nothing, no conversation, no scene is missed out. It's almost like an audio description of what is happening on the screen, and I really enjoyed reading it, and going through the story at my own pace.
I'm not too sure who will buy this book though. Is it aimed at people like me who have seen the programme and want more? People who have heard about it but missed it? People who have just come across it in a bookshop? I am not sure, but although I loved it, I am not convinced that the charisma of the series can be completely conveyed by the written word. I did enjoy it very much though, and if a book had to be written, it's in safe hands with David Hewson.


The Land of Decoration
The Land of Decoration
by Grace McCleen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, 18 April 2012
This review is from: The Land of Decoration (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book reminded me, at the start, of 'Oranges Are Not the Onlt Fruit'. The claustrophobic religious atmosphere was similar, as were the other members of the congregation, who appeared to take on the usual roles of comedy religious extremists. But, after a while, it became apparent that something darker and much more harrowing was taking place. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, and this one isn't giving too much away, but does not look as though it is hiding such a painful and desolate ending. I found this book almost too painful to read as it came to a close, and have re-read it several times to make sense of it.
At the beginning of the book, Judith is being bullied at school, and shortly after this becomes convinced that God is speaking to her, which which is a great comfort to her, as her father is cold and distant, and seems to blame her for their situation. After a while though, God begins to say things that are not consistent with the real God, and Judith and her Father find themselves in increasingly difficult straits. Yes, this is a painful book in parts, but it will certainly make you think. I think the author has a very good understanding of religious communities, and this comes over very well. You can understand why Judith and her father are like they are when you know all of their story, whether you understand the religious aspect of the book or not.


The Uninvited Guests
The Uninvited Guests
by Sadie Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.09

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird, but good!, 23 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Uninvited Guests (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never read a book by this author before, which, judging by the comments from other reviewers might not be a bad thing; I have no expectations from this book and nothing to measure it against. Sadie Jones' writing is exquisite - within the first few pages it becomes apparent that she is an experienced author who will captivate you until the last page is turned. The plot is not quite so strong, but the writing is superb.
Until I was about half way thought the book, I wondered if it might be an allegorical story of Britain in the early years of the twentieth century. There was the crumbling country house almost marooned on it's own island, the 'new' money (John) hoping to step in and take over. There was the way that the upper-class family repeatedly ignored the needs of the third-class passengers until they felt threatened. But then the supernatural element which is mentioned on the front of the book, but which had so far not been apparent, began to make itself felt. Up until that point, I hadn't really been able to see how that would fit in, as up until then everything had seemed so solid, and normal.
It's difficult to say too much without giving the plot away, but I think everything that happens in the second half of the book is completely unexpected. And the characters too, are all changed so much by their experiences which take place over just one night. Enjoyed this very much, and it's one of those books that you can't stop thinking about after you've finished it


Bill's Everyday Asian
Bill's Everyday Asian
by Bill Granger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Bill's Latest, 15 Mar 2012
This review is from: Bill's Everyday Asian (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely looking book, with lots of beautiful photographs of elegantly arranged food. It must be easy to cook from as well, surely, as the book is called 'Bill's Everyday Asian'? Well, not exactly. There is an awful lot of chopping and slicing involved, and possibly a fair amount of tracking down ingredients too. I really don't think that I would call many of these recipes the sort that you would tackle after coming home from a long day at work. It seems to be more of a weekend sort of book, when I would be more than happy to spend some time trying out some of these recipes. There is a good selection here, mostly new to me, and mostly quite healthy-looking, with lots of raw vegetables. 'Bill's Asian pantry' chapter is helpful, and his introductions to the recipes are useful and interesting.


Following the Detectives: Real Locations in Crime Fiction
Following the Detectives: Real Locations in Crime Fiction
by Maxim Jakubowski
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Quite useful, 15 Mar 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the sort of book that could be a good present for a crime fan, or perhaps yourself. There's lots of information here, regarding both the authors, and the particular series. Sometimes it also suggests other books in the genre that you might like, eg Scandinavian crime that you could move onto after Stig Larsson.
It's an easy book to use, you just look up your author, and there is a wealth of information on both him/her, the series, the location, the back ground, and a few maps of the area. Unfortunately, this is the sort of book that becomes out of date very quickly, as new books are being published all the time. The maps are a little basic, just giving a rough idea of the area and where crimes took place. If you wanted any more detailed information, you would need to have a look on Google Earth. And that, I think, is the problem with a book such as this - all this information is easily available on line, making books like this redundant. This is the kind of information that the internet does so well. A quick search will bring up all this information you need, and much more too. This is a good book, but probably only for someone who doesn't use the internet, and there aren't many of those left.


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