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Reviews Written by
D. Pearce "djarmhp" (rainham, kent)
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House of Marley Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones - Lily
House of Marley Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones - Lily
Offered by Direct Entertainment Supplies
Price: £11.29

5.0 out of 5 stars How it should be done., 24 Oct. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The House of Marley have come up with a range of headphones that are absolute must haves. For a thoroughly reasonable £20 you get a brilliantly designed, eyecatching pair of headphones. They are comfortable in the ear and the quality of sound reproduction is excellent. However, all of that pales into insignificance when you realise that every single element is as environmentally friendly as it is possible to be. House of Marley have shown every other manufacturer what is possible and it is amazing that none of the others have been forced into this approach by their customers. Do yourself, and the earth, a favour, buy these!


Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants
Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants
by Alison Maloney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Solid but unspectacular, 14 Oct. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I came to this book as a huge fan of the Upstairs/Downstairs or Downtown Abbey type programme. However, this book whilst interesting and well researched never really engaged me. The characters of the servants and the realities of their lives never really touched me as I wanted them to. Just because their lives were often mundane, I didn't feel as though the book needed to be mundane as well. For a would be writer this would be useful research but I can't see it as a book that will be returned to again and again.


You've Got Talent
You've Got Talent
by Andrea Mills
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well targetted book., 14 Oct. 2011
This review is from: You've Got Talent (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is not an X Factor style, famous for 15 minutes guide. It has well thought through, truthful advice for anyone who might have a child considering a career on the stage. The book never glosses over the difficulties, nor does it put across the idea that the child will somehow have failed if their ambition doesn't come to fruition. If it has a message, that message is to enjoy yourself at whatever level you reach. While I didn't really care for the gimmicky mirror cover my daughter loved it and she of course is the target audience. I would advise the adult caring for any star struck youngster to look through the book with the child in order to see how you can help. It is from DK so perhaps the five stars shouldn't come as a surprise, but this is a solid five star book for everyone concerned.


Midwinterblood
Midwinterblood
by Marcus Sedgwick
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read, 7 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Midwinterblood (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I read this to my daughter at bedtime over a period of about 5 weeks and was surprised with how quickly she engaged with this novel. The story of Erik and Merle and their seven lives is a novel that plays with the usual order of narrative by reversing it. Little coincidences, explanations, clues and new questions are spread throughout the book. Although we meet the two protagonists as lovers (?) in the first section, the following sections have them as mother and child, artist and muse and twins among other relationships. Marcus Sedgwick explores the many different types of love in a way that is truthful and accessible to young readers. When you first start reading this book you may find it difficult to follow, but please persevere. What you will discover is an elegaic and thought provoking book that works on many different levels. Congratulations to Marcus Sedgwick for not treating his audience with any patronising assumptions of what they can understand. He has written a book that says, 'I will give you clues but I won't give you all the answers and I won't even ask all the questions.' That is as refreshing as it is unusual and this book could become a phenomenon.


Last Days of Meaning
Last Days of Meaning

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the presence of genius., 2 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Last Days of Meaning (Audio CD)
It is almost impossible to overstate how talented Nitin Sawhney is, and it is almost impossible to exaggerate the sheer brilliance of this, his ninth album. The Last Days of Meaning is a tour de force. A concept album that could actually give the idea a good name, the 12 tracks of sublime beauty are interspersed with monologues from the eponymous Donald Meaning, played with flair by John Hurt. My favourite track is Tender World with the superb lines;
You lived from dream to dream/ Sacrificed the way between/ Put your fragile life on hold.
It is a lyric indicative of the true insight into the human condition that Sawhney has displayed throughout his career. This could very well be his best ever album, but then he will no doubt produce something just as brilliant next time around. Do yourself a favour and check out the most important artist in Britain today.


The Breakfast Club: 1: The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club: 1: The Breakfast Club
by Kate Costelloe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great new series, 20 Sept. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having read the Sleepover Club series of books to my two daughters over the last few years, we have been looking for a successor to those excellent stories. Finally, we seem to have found it.
The central characters are 14, live in Notting Hill and are fashion conscious, but their issues at school and home are very familiar to all the target readers.Billie is the narrator for this story that is built around two main strands; the Breakfast Club's search for a new coffee shop to meet at every Saturday morning after the closure of their previous venue, and Billie's determination to become a professional singer despite her mother's opposition. By the end of the story, both strands are very well wrapped up, but the reader is left wanting to know more about the other three girls in the club.
I can see this series being the natural follow on for readers who have grown up with the Sleepover girls given the relative ages of the central characters. My girls are already pestering me to get the next book in the series which is always a good sign. If you like witty, well written stories then search this one out.


Crabtree and Evelyn Iris Bath and Shower Gel 250 ml
Crabtree and Evelyn Iris Bath and Shower Gel 250 ml
Price: £13.64

5.0 out of 5 stars A touch of luxury, 13 Sept. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As you would expect from Crabtree and Evelyn, this is a superb product. The shower gel leaves your skin smooth and soft and the scent isn't too overpowering. The price would make it an occasional treat for most people rather than an everyday shower gel. However, if you have a lady in your life to buy a present for at Christmas this would be a perfect gift for any age.


Death in August (Inspector Bordelli)
Death in August (Inspector Bordelli)
by Marco Vichi
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation?, 13 Sept. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this book for my wife, who ordinarily loves detective novels, expecting glowing reviews. Unfortunately, she just couldn't get on with the story and gave up about a third of the way through. She said that the story was way too slow and she felt that it was never going to get started. Also, the central character, Inspector Bordelli, did not appeal in the same way as a Wexford or a Morse. When I put the title for this review, the translation I was referring to was the translation between cultures. I am not sure whether the age of the book makes a difference, but maybe Italian readers have a different view of what detective novels should contain.


Driver Genius 10 (PC)
Driver Genius 10 (PC)
Offered by Unique_Item_Bazaar
Price: £12.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A useful tool for memory poor computers, 13 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Driver Genius 10 (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I first saw this product I held out great hopes for it. I had a computer that was starting to struggle, but little idea of what to do about it. A driver updating package seemed to be just what I needed. In many ways it fulfilled my hopes. Easy to set up, I was looking for updates within 10 minutes of loading the disc, it is just what an average non techie needs.

The only problem I had was with the lack of specific information about each update. It only tells you that you have an out of date driver so you pretty much have to download everything. That probably makes it perfect for technophobes who hate having to choose, but I just prefer the extra details. However, at least one of the drivers must have been important as the laptop started running noticeably quicker after the download. In short, if your computer is running slow this could really help your dwindling reserves of patience!


Liesl & Po
Liesl & Po
by Lauren Oliver
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless tale, 30 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Liesl & Po (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an achingly beautiful book with an incredibly hard and personal story behind it. Lauren Oliver, quite possibly the most talented YA writer of her generation, lost a very close friend and wrote Liesl and Po as a kind of catharsis. She did not write the book for future publication which could well be its strength. It is as honest as any book I have read in many years and seems to be written for any reader, not just a person who likes young adult fiction. It is a book that anyone who has suffered loss could take comfort in.

Anyone who has lost a close friend will recognise the world inhabited by Liesl who is imprisoned in her room in a world from which the sun disappeared some years previously. She finds hope and comfort from Po the ghost and his ghostly pet Bundle. The story of Will, a young boy who has become obsessed with Liesl as she looks out of her attic window, initially runs parallel to Liesl's then crosses into its path.

The plot and characters, whilst interesting and enjoyable, play second fiddle to a book that is all about atmosphere. As with A Christmas Carol. my favourite book, it is the language that wraps you in its spell and draws you into an atmosphere of fear, melancholy, understanding and finally renewed hope. I feel certain that this book will be around as long as there are ways of reading great stories and I just hope that it finds the widest possible audience. It is quite simply a work of heartbreaking genius that I felt privileged to share with my daughters.


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