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National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the U.S. (National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States) (National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States)
National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the U.S. (National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States) (National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States)
by National Geographic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild America, 5 May 2013
Few countries can rival the United States in their diversity of landscapes, climate, geology and habitat. This guide provides an overview of 58 National Parks, from Alaskan glaciers, through the wild and inhospitable Rockies to the Florida Everglades. Reasonable coverage is given to the lesser-known Parks, such as Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt NP, where herds of bison graze among rugged valleys, and the ironically-named Dry Tortugas NP in Florida. Throughout, the illustrations and maps are of typical National Geographic quality and style.

With an average coverage of less than nine pages per Park, this guide cannot hope to provide a substitute for more detailed specific guides, particularly for visitors who intend to go off the beaten track. Where it does excel is by providing a concise and enjoyable overview of the Parks, and a starting point for further reading.


Playing for Keeps [DVD] [2012] [2013]
Playing for Keeps [DVD] [2012] [2013]
Dvd ~ Gerard Butler
Price: £4.00

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just don't expect depth, 27 Mar. 2013
Having viewed this film on a flight, I won't be buying the DVD. George Dryer, an unemployed Scottish football player, seeks to strike two more goals: the first is to develop a career as a sports journalist; the second is to reconcile himself with his 10-year old son who lives with George's (soon to be remarried) ex-wife. But his amazing talent for coaching attracts more attention than he could possibly imagine, particularly from women on the pitchside during practice.

Whilst the plot bears some promise, the delivery is disappointing, with little depth to the characters or the script. As a result, this is not a great film, or even a good one. The best I can say is that it's a mediocre romantic drama, which at times, could be described as a comedy.


Samsung WB150 Compact Digital Camera - White (14.1MP, 18x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD
Samsung WB150 Compact Digital Camera - White (14.1MP, 18x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD
Offered by TUFFskinz
Price: £95.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable value for money, 29 Dec. 2012
As a mid-price compact, this camera offers reasonable value for money. The controls are easy to operate, with a large dial offering pre-set programs for beauty (portrait), night, landscape, text, dawn, sunset, backlight and beach & snow. For more experimental photographers, the camera also offers the opportunity to manually adjust shutter speed and aperture size - again, the controls are easy to follow, without the need for extensive time-consuming menus. The shutter lag is acceptable for a compact, and I have no concerns over the battery life.

The one (and possibly unjustified) area of concern I do have is that the opening mechanism for the battery and card cover looks rather flimsy, as it pivots on a small pin.

Notwithstanding this potential concern, I can recommend the camera for both complete beginners and slightly more experienced photographers wishing to take some experimental shots.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2013 2:15 AM GMT


Great Railway Revolution
Great Railway Revolution
by Christian Wolmar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.25

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How America (almost) fell in love with the railways, 29 Dec. 2012
As a renowned international railway historian, Wolmar chronicles how the American railway system followed - and diverged from - its European counterparts. He illustrates how events such as the Civil War, the exploitation of the west and the depressions and reconstruction programmes influenced, and were influenced by, the expanding rail network, and how the phenomenal growth of air and road traffic since the mid twentieth century nearly killed it. Wolmar concludes that the USA can never sustain an European style national rail network, and that the future of the American rail system will concentrate on freight and on suburban and shorter inter-city passenger journeys.

The text is well written, although it could have been better illustrated with more and better maps.

This is a worthwhile read, not only for railway enthusiasts, but anyone interested in the social and political history of the USA.


The Times Mapping The Railways
The Times Mapping The Railways
by Julian Holland
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.40

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An atlas of journeys through time, 8 Oct. 2012
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I've always had a passion for geography and cartography, as well as for reading about design, history and technology, so this volume has captured my interest for a number of reasons. The quality of the cartographic reproduction is exceptional, from the intricate Batholomew maps of the Victorian era, to the iconic diagrams of the London Underground. There are a number of oddities too, such as the 1890 map showing alternative proposals to link Ireland with Scotland by tunnel or causeway, or a 1919 map showing proposed routes on Scottish offshore isles. Yet the srongest praise is reserved for the simplicity, hierarchy and familiarity of the Beeching-era British Rail map of 1968; a product which the authors argue has not been emulated since.

As uncertainties over H2S and the future of freight traffic dominate the news, it's hard to imagine what a contemporary rail atlas will look in 20 years' time. What we can be certain of is that much of the surviving network will still be based on the efforts of the Victorian pioneers who surveyed and mapped the railways.


My Kitchen Table: 100 Foolproof Suppers
My Kitchen Table: 100 Foolproof Suppers
by Gizzi Erskine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious recipes, 17 Jun. 2012
I'm not an adventurous cook, so was pleased to see a wide range of recipes which even the most cautious of cooks can master. The pork roasted in milk was particularly well received - its citrus and spice infusion so aromatic that it would be fit to grace the table at Christmas. Not all of the recipes are modern - some like flavoured steak butters are vintage 1970s!

A few of the ingredients could be difficult to source, but these dishes comprise a minority of the recipes. Altogether, this is a compact but useful source of ideas for tasty suppers.


Dubai Baedeker Guide (Baedeker Guides)
Dubai Baedeker Guide (Baedeker Guides)
by Baedeker Guides
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.57

4.0 out of 5 stars A contextual guide to the UAE, 17 May 2012
There are a number of guide books to the Emirates, and in most respect, this is pretty similar to the Lonely Planet and Thomas Cook offerings - a historic overview, things to do and sea, practical information, and so on.

The feature that distinguishes the Baedeker guide is the detachable large map of the UAE, which also includes extracts of neighbouring countries. The UAE's historic and continuing reliance on shipping (and more recently on air travel) is graphically demonstrated by the lack of road crossings into neighbouring countries - just four to Oman, and despite a border several hundred kilometers long, just one to Saudi Arabia.

A useful guide, both for travellers and for anyone wishing to learn more about the region.


The Best Laid Plans: A Novel
The Best Laid Plans: A Novel
by Terry Fallis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent political drama, 27 Nov. 2011
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Angus is an dour Scottish engineering professor in a Canadian university. Lacking any background in politics, he divides his spare time between writing diary letters to his late wife and building a hovercraft. Daniel is a disillusioned political hack who returns to academic life. In return for taking an unpopular teaching commitment, Daniel persuades Angus to stand as a paper Liberal candidate in an ultra-Conservative seat.

This unlikely scenario takes on further twists as Angus's non-political background influences his decision to put principles before party. Yet the maverick politician's engineering skills take an unexpected significance during a crucial Parliamentary division.

Despite an implausible plot, I enjoyed this novel. Both Angus and Daniel are strong characters and interact to form a highly entertaining, if rather unusual, political drama.


The Jury [DVD]
The Jury [DVD]
Dvd ~ Julie Walters
Price: £8.24

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising drama marred by over-editing, 13 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Jury [DVD] (DVD)
The series starts with a promising plot, which relates to a retrial after an earlier conviction was declared unsound for an unspecified reason. There is plenty of potential in the material: an agitated defendant charged with damning circumstantial evidence; a juror who becomes influenced by learning of revealing accounts of the previous trial; another who risks a conviction for impersonating her overworked boss. Julie Walters delivers an entertaining performance, as an eccentric defence counsel who begins each cross examination sequence with a rambling monologue, before pouncing with the killer question.

However, the series was let down by the fact that some of the sequences, both in the courtroom and in the jury room, appear pared down. As a result, both examination-in-chief and cross-examination sequences appear incomplete. Perhaps this was due to over-editing of the script or of the footage.

Despite this, I enjoyed the series, and would probably watch it again.


100 Ways To Take Better Landscape Photographs
100 Ways To Take Better Landscape Photographs
by Guy Edwardes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A journey from remote Rannoch to dreamy Dorset, 1 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Guy Edwardes is an outstanding photographer, who has a talent for transporting atmospheric scenes into your living room. Most of the scenes are shot in England and Scotland, although a handful from Scandinavia and USA add diversity to his portfolio. Each photograph is accompanied by text to illustrate a theme such as composition, exposure or depth of field.

Paradoxically, it's the excellence of the images that makes this book rather less useful as an educational resource. Rather than showing how average images can be improved, Edwardes simply provides us with the exemplary image. To be fair, the text is helpful, even if it does in places tend to state the obvious. I have no problem with photographers showcasing their talent (and Edwardes has plenty of it), but this was not the book I expected.


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