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allwillbewell (London)

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The Winterval Myth: A Festive Tale of Bad Journalism
The Winterval Myth: A Festive Tale of Bad Journalism
Price: £2.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars but it is an excellent analysis of how myths grow and grow when they ..., 10 Nov. 2014
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I'm sure Kevin Arscott has made approximately no money out of this, but it is an excellent analysis of how myths grow and grow when they suit a media agenda. I keep referring to it in online debates as it really deserves to sell more.


More Fool Me
More Fool Me
Price: £12.93

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In which every famous person in Britain appears, but only as a name..., 2 Oct. 2014
This review is from: More Fool Me (Kindle Edition)
"Got up. Went out to do a voiceover at 10. To lunch at *expensive restaurant* with *famous name*. Spoke to *another famous name* about *possible future project, of which no details are given*. Then to the Groucho, where I met *list of famous names*. Took a gram of cocaine, and got to beddly bed at 3am."
Three stars because Fry's enthusiasm, affection and love of words DO come through. But no more because it really isn't a very good book. There is an interesting reflection on cocaine use. There is a funny and gossipy chapter on following Rihanna round the world. But those are respectively the only interesting reflections and funny and gossipy chapters. Celebrity autobiographies either have to have an eye for a good anecdote - which risks losing a friend - or to have fascinating insights into the process of becoming and being a celebrity. This has neither. We learn that he is recording Blackadder, Fry and Laurie, Peter's Friends, and numerous other potentially fascinating projects, but nothing interesting about them at all. His writing of The Hippopotamus is mainly recorded in terms of daily work counts.

I understand that Fry - who seems a kind person - doesn't want to write a load of bitchy stories about people who like and trust him. I don't want him to either. But half this book is little more than a list of names. We learn almost nothing - that Princess Diana looked like her photographs - surely the dullest celeb fact ever committed to print - and that numerous famous people are pleasant and/ or amusing. The entertaining Rihanna chapter is so out of sync that it seems to come from a different book altogether. Obviously she doesn't drink at the Groucho and he doesn't mind pissing her off.

He could have done better.


Antonia Forest's Kingscote Spring Term
Antonia Forest's Kingscote Spring Term
by Sally Hayward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligently written but flawed., 12 Sept. 2014
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So NEARLY a five star review. Sally Hayward is exceptionally good at capturing the authentic Forest tone: the dialogue is generally first rate and she gives enough of an ingenious twist to the 'school play/ concert' theme to stop it being more of the same. There are any number of minor incidents that I could imagine Antonia Forest nodding approvingly over: we get to meet Peter's Selby, for example, and to see new facets of Esther, of Miranda, even of Miss Keith. The Nicola/ Patrick scenes are warm and convincing, and contrast perfectly with the scenes between Patrick and Ginty in earlier books.

But there is a major flaw in my opinion, which cost this book a star and nearly cost it two: Antonia Forest always offers something redemptive. People fall out with their family and their friends rally round, or vice versa; they sleep on a catastrophe and feel better in the morning; basic human decency prevails. And she is very good, as we saw right back in Autumn Term, in showing the way that rows just fizzle out: people just aren't that interested in other peoples' grievances, friendships generally survive, people have a level of balance and realism that steps in in the end. Not here. NO teenager deserves to be left as one is in this book, in utter despair and isolation; and the trigger for it just isn't adequate. The last part of the book treats one of the characters so harshly that it is impossible to care about the supposedly feel-good (for other characters) ending. I am not sure the author really took on board that if a character is left in a situation at the end of a book, they are effectively in that situation forever; if the author doesn't offer any glimpses of hope or consolation, it just feels as if that character has been destroyed.

I don't know if Sally Hayward plans any more books in the series. This kind of series is always a challenge as the characters get older: the neatly constrained world of school gets less and less convincing as the characters are of an age where they are beginning to separate and focus on life outside and after school. But there are still some big loose ends it would be nice to see addressed. Rowan in particular: I always felt Antonia Forest had left her very badly treated, apparently condemned to live with her mother forever, working excruciatingly long hours, running the farm that would never belong to her, because neither the owner nor his heir fancied the job at the moment. I envisage her at 35 suddenly being told to move out now because Giles's family need the house and want the farm. Lawrie's total assurance that she only has to turn up at the doors of RADA to be welcomed in as a star also has possibilities: does she? I would definitely read another one, but would hope it would be a bit kinder. This one ended far too harshly for an end-of-series book.


Bringing God Home
Bringing God Home
by Forrest Church
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Relatable and profound, 11 May 2014
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This review is from: Bringing God Home (Hardcover)
Finding myself unwell recently, I had great difficulty choosing anything to read. I felt uncomfortable and grumpy, and had the concentration span, as a friend put it, of half a gnat. I picked up Forrest Church’s book because it was the only one I could reach from my bed, and to my surprise found it was the ideal book to read when you are feeling rather low and unable to focus.
The Rev Forrest Church was a much loved UUA minister in the US, and author of several books, some of which I had already read, but this is the one I would recommend if someone was going to read one. It is subtitled ‘a Traveller’s Guide’, and intrepidly examines the whole journey of life and death, asking the most difficult questions, theological and secular: Where were we before we were born? Where are we after we die? What can we do if we hate ourselves, and how does that fit with loving others as we love ourselves? What is the right thing to do if someone says they want to kill themselves? How do we believe in any religion when they all contradict each other and claim to be the only true one? Do we have to be either a theist or an atheist?
The reason that the book is a good one for those feeling under par is that it is very gently, approachably, often humorously written. It is very anecdotal. Church uses incidents from his own life, but in a clear-eyed, calm, unjudgmental way: he discusses the fact that he was simultaneously a popular and well-regarded minister and an alcoholic without excuses or excessive regret; he feels that it made him a poorer minister, but not a poorer human being. It is unexpectedly warming to see someone applying the same kindly lack of judgment to himself as he does, invariably, to others.
The answers he offers to the hard questions are not of the kind where you exclaim, “Brilliant! I would never have thought of that!” They are more the kind of answers where you think, quietly, “I’m glad he said that. It feels right.” Beneath the breezy, anecdotal style is someone exceptionally well-read, thoughtful, and with a highly skilled ability to use language. One of the short reviews on the back of the book – by American theologian John Shelby Spong – describes it as ‘Intensely human and mystically profound’. I like that phrase very much. It sums up the way the book lulls you into confronting the kind of questions we tend to avoid, and holds your hand as you do so.


The Teen's Guide to World Domination: Advice on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness
The Teen's Guide to World Domination: Advice on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness
by Josh Shipp
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent approach to the subject, 7 April 2014
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Bought this to inspire workshops for teenagers, and found it really useful. The approach to the whole subject of how to deal with life's problems is original and appealing, and combines a light touch with some quite profound ideas.


TOP-MAX Canon NB-11L Camera Battery Charger for Canon IXUS 125 HS [Electronics]
TOP-MAX Canon NB-11L Camera Battery Charger for Canon IXUS 125 HS [Electronics]
Offered by com2save ltd
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Barely useable, 7 April 2014
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Looks ok - arrives with a mains charger and a car charger, and the battery fits into it fine. Only problem is that the lead of the mains charger barely fits into the unit - you really have to force it in, and I can't imagine that it will last long. I would have returned it, but have no time to get another one before my holiday, so I am resigned to forcing it in until it breaks.


Kaiser 80/ 90cm Medical Sheepskin Rug
Kaiser 80/ 90cm Medical Sheepskin Rug
Price: £45.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars feels wonderful, 5 April 2014
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Larger than most, very deep and soft baby sheepskin. Can be used in cot or buggy, or just on the carpet - always feels springy and comfortable.


Beaphar Care+ Rabbit Food 1.5 kg (Pack of 4)
Beaphar Care+ Rabbit Food 1.5 kg (Pack of 4)
Price: £34.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but definitely the favourite, 5 April 2014
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You can get cheaper rabbit food, but as soon as our rabbit tried this one he fell in love with it. It actually does smell very nice, and has the unfortunate side effect that the rabbit won't even look at cheaper foods now.


ABC Products® All in One USB Multi Digital Camera / Mobile Phone Picture Memory Card Reader Writer USB 2.0 Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Apple Mac OS V9.2 & above, PLUG and PLAY Digital Photo Frame Transfer, Reads all Cards Except Smart Media, USB Cable Included
ABC Products® All in One USB Multi Digital Camera / Mobile Phone Picture Memory Card Reader Writer USB 2.0 Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Apple Mac OS V9.2 & above, PLUG and PLAY Digital Photo Frame Transfer, Reads all Cards Except Smart Media, USB Cable Included
Offered by abcproducts
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Neat and efficient product, 5 April 2014
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Compact and works well. Takes 6 different kinds of camera/ phone card so should suit everyone. Not much more to be said really.


Pearl (Oxford Poets)
Pearl (Oxford Poets)
by Jane Draycott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation, 30 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Pearl (Oxford Poets) (Paperback)
I doubt whether many people have read Pearl, except students of English under duress, for generations. Everything about it seemed difficult and forbidding. Jane Draycott's translation is just beautiful; even someone who doesn't read much poetry could read it for pleasure. The descriptive verses are gorgeous, and the theological arguments genuinely rather entertaining. Just as Gawain was waiting for a Simon Armitage, Pearl needed its Jane Draycott.


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