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Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds - The New Generation
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds - The New Generation
Price: £8.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, 1 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was really keen to get a copy of the original War of the Worlds and bought this by mistake - duh! I've been very pleasantly surprised. Liam Neeson does a very good job and I've enjoyed all of the performances (with the exception of the Parson, but then I didn't like the artilleryman in the original, so that's a 1-1 draw really).

It's well worth listening to. I've played it through a few times now and can honestly say I've got over any preconceptions I had that original is best. This version has its own appeal.


Woodlands
Woodlands
by Oliver Rackham
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Diverse and detailed, 24 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Woodlands (Hardcover)
This fabulous book deserves a space on the shelf of anyone who has an interest in trees; the sheer breadth of its content is incredible - everything from their evolution to palynology to their place in eco-systems, and their management and uses.

My own interest is in the history of British woodlands and I found the sections on this topic to be thorough and informative, not least because the author's broad experience provides novel ways of looking at the subject. I can't say if readers with other interests would find that other sections have the same impact, but it seems a reasonable bet.

If you're looking for a great overview of a diverse subject then this may be the book you're looking for. I can guarantee I'll be dipping back into it for years to come.


Simple Knitting
Simple Knitting
by Erika Knight
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous design and very helpful, 24 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Simple Knitting (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a beautiful book. The photos, hand drawn illustrations and even the paper quality all combine to create a soothing earth-toned harmony.

The introduction to starting out and basic stitches is particularly helpful, aided by excellent illustrations which make it clear which needle goes through which loop - none of the messing about with small photos with poor colour contrast which I've encountered in other guides for beginners.

The projects provided are a nice mix from scarves, dish clothes and cushions to the more surprising notebook covers. But what impressed me the most were the swatches demonstrating particular stitches - beautiful.

All in all, a lovely addition to the beginning knitter's library. Suits me perfectly!


The Rabbit Problem
The Rabbit Problem
by Emily Gravett
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rabbitastic, 30 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Rabbit Problem (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully designed book which is a pleasure to hold. The illustrations are exquisitely detailed with lots for the eye to explore, the paper is a high quality and the various fold outs and pop-ups add variety to the calendar format.

The book is a visual representation of a number sequence explored by Fibonacci - demonstrated through the breeding rate of rabbits across the course of the year. As such I was a bit doubtful that my five year old daughter would find it of much interest, but the rabbits won her over. She counted the rabbits on the page and I went off to find out who Fibonacci was, she mulled over the trials faced by the rabbits as they hit the problem of hunger in May and I tried to make sense of the number sequence.

All told, a brilliant book for young and old - but it's a book to think with, not a storybook.


Cold Earth
Cold Earth
by Sarah Moss
Edition: Paperback

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gothic archaeology?, 16 July 2009
This review is from: Cold Earth (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like others I found this book a real page turner: once I'd started I found it difficult to put down - to be churlish, this is in part because its only split into a handful of chapters, meaning that there aren't many logical places to pause.

As an archaeologist I thought I would find things to dislike in the presentation of the dig which forms the centre piece of the novel, but this all seemed reasonable and there were some intriguing asides that make clear that the author did her research.

The difficulty for me was in the characters, well written as they are. Nina seemed annoyingly out of place in the novel's setting, like a university equivalent of Bridget Jones, and I occasionally wanted to throttle some of the others. But I can't really call this a failing on the part of the author. The whole novel is premised on people not being where they should be, and she's transposed a postgraduate community from the seminar room to Greenland - of course some of them seem out of place, and I think the novel is worth reading just to see how the characters cope with their environment.

The only thing I would criticise this book for is the ending, which I didn't feel lived up to the promise of the rest of the book. So have a go but don't race for the end.


The Squirrel's Birthday and Other Parties
The Squirrel's Birthday and Other Parties
by Toon Tellegen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Magical distraction, 16 July 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another amazing flight of fancy from Toon Tellegen, consisting of one long and eight short stories.

Although its format suggests a children's story - small page size, large print, illustrations by Jessica Ahlberg - I think this works better for adults.

I did try it as a series of bed time stories for my daughter and she was interested, but it didn't really grab her - a little abstract for her tastes. It works brilliantly for me though as a distracting whimsy, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys the nonsense verse of Edmund Lear and who still has a soft spot for talking animals and children's parties.


Galileo's Dream
Galileo's Dream
by Kim Stanley Robinson
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful wordscapes, 2 July 2009
This review is from: Galileo's Dream (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a book to be savoured. It builds slowly, giving a great sense of Galileo's Italy and of the scientific and religious dilemmas of his age, before the inevitable clash in world views and the move to resolution.

In 17th century Italy the book works well and was an enjoyable read. I found it harder to square the future world into which Galileo is thrust at intervals during the novel. It felt more like a plot devise to create tension in Galileo's Italy than a fully fledged strand of the book.

Whether this is a problem depends on whether you are reading the book as a plot driven novel, or as another stunning demonstration of Robinson's gorgeous sweeping prose. If the latter is the case then this is a novel to be snapped up and enjoyed at a leisurely pace.


Letters to Anyone and Everyone
Letters to Anyone and Everyone
by Toon Tellegen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 25 Jun. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a wonderful book! Aesop's Fables meets Winnie the Pooh.

A very gentle series of letters sent between animals. Each episode is short, beautiful and thought provoking, without being either weighty or twee.

There is no beginning, middle and end, just a series of encounters which are join to create a dream-like ambience.

This is a book which will be on my shelf for a long time to come - if I can resist the temptation to share it, just as squirrels share cake and glow-worms share their thoughts on darkness.

Read it and find out!


How to Paint a Dead Man
How to Paint a Dead Man
by Sarah Hall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle but impressive, 15 Jun. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book was a surprise. Four parallel stories set in different years, peopled by different characters who are only loosely related. It didn't sound like it was going to work very well, but it turned out to be very readable.

Inevitably, some of the threads seemed stronger than others, and I found myself skimming a little to get back to the plots that had captured my attention most successfully. Even so the teasing out of the stories was well managed across the span of the book and build to interesting conclusions. I'd recommend giving it a go.


The Earth Hums in B Flat
The Earth Hums in B Flat
by Mari Strachan
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, compelling story, 5 Jun. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A brilliantly crafted book which follows a young girl, Gwenni, growing up in a small west Wales community. Over the course of the narrative Gwenni's village is rocked by a chain of misfortunes, all heartrending, but all presented from Gwenni's child-like perspective so that they come across with a lightness and mystery rather than oppressive weight. The author's depiction of innocence is wonderfully compelling and managed with great skill.


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