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hfffoman (Kent)
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The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy)
The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy)
by Peter May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Those looking for a mature read should look elsewhere, 24 April 2015
I got this on the strength of the enthusiastic reviews. I won't disagree with them but for me it was a mistake on account of the simplistic, almost childish, writing style. In the first few pages I found these example: eyes like a hawk - like a cuckoo in a nest - a shock of black hair - skin like leather - she was a lovely woman - she had a sunny disposition - he thrust a large hand - they had backed the wrong horse - I stopped in my tracks - I tried it out for size.

There is nothing exactly wrong with this but it quickly started to grate for me. Those looking for a mature read should look elsewhere


Philips Satinelle Epilator HP6422/02 with Opti-start Cap with Massage Element
Philips Satinelle Epilator HP6422/02 with Opti-start Cap with Massage Element
Price: £27.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A strong recommendation, 24 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I gave this to a beautician friend who gave a strong recommendation, with the following comments:

All in all I am very impressed. It is one of the most affordable epilators but, apart from the appearance, its performance is as good as the much more expensive Braun epilators.

A great feature is that it leaves the downy hairs that you probably want to keep anyway.

It is very compact and discreet, perfect for travelling. The cleaning brush also comes in handy, cleaning the head while moving from one limb to the next.


Osomount 360 Grip Universal in Car Mount Holder for iPhone 6/ 6 Plus / 5S /5C /4/4S Samsung Galaxy S5 /S4 /S3 / Note 4/3 & Other Smartphones - Black (Flex 360 Black)
Osomount 360 Grip Universal in Car Mount Holder for iPhone 6/ 6 Plus / 5S /5C /4/4S Samsung Galaxy S5 /S4 /S3 / Note 4/3 & Other Smartphones - Black (Flex 360 Black)
Offered by Zero 50 Retail Ltd
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well designed and functional, 24 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is functionally designed and works well though it has a slightly cheap feel.

The phone grip is soft so it won't cause damage and slides apart neatly to accommodate phones of a wide range of sizes.

The suction grip is very sticky and much better than my satnav which constantly falls off when I am driving.

The directional adjustment is excellent. There is an arm which swivels vertically and the grip joint can rotate in all directions. That should be enough to position the phone any way you want.

Finally, I don't want to be a bore but it's worth knowing that research proves that using a hands free phone increases the risk of an accident, though not as much as a hands-on phone.


Crown and Country: A History of England through the Monarchy
Crown and Country: A History of England through the Monarchy
by David Starkey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars A rapid account offering first rate insights, 24 April 2015
This is a rapid high level account of British politics and monarchy over 2,000 years. I recommend it for people who are relatively new to the subject or who have only a passing interest. If you already have a reasonable knowledge of the subject or want a thorough treatment you may find it too insubstantial. In many places it is obvious that important details have been skipped or summarised and there are many excellent books which give much more depth. For those who like audio I recommend This Sceptred Isle, a much more comprehensive account full of quotes from primary sources.

On the positive side, Crown and Country is clear and easy to read and, whatever you think of the author's style, his judgement is first rate. I actually heard him on the Today Programme today, the very day that I happened to finish the book, insisting that his commentary on Magna Carta must be sound because he is a "great historian". I am not an expert but I suspect that this and most of the other points in his book are indeed sound.

The book comprises about 60% summary, 10% reference to sources and 30% commentary. It is this last 305 where the quality of the book shines. He gives fascinating insight, mostly in the first half of the book, into the origins of the British style of politics and the ways in which Britain's path diverged from the continent. As the book progresses the insight seems to get thinner and the feeling grows that important details are being skimmed over. I found little new or insightful in the discussion of Queen Victoria and after her the account descended into trivial (which is perhaps a reflection of the reality).

This book is a reissue of two former books combined into one and as it may be worth getting just the first book which I found the most insightful.


Santa Rita Bougainville Petite Sirah 2010
Santa Rita Bougainville Petite Sirah 2010
Price: £38.15

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting Syrah, 19 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wine is so dependent on individual taste it is hard to write a review that other people can rely on. I shared it with 3 other people and asked them all to score it out of 10. They all gave it 7. I gave it 8 perhaps because Syrah is my favourite red wine. Compared to other Syrahs this is not as smooth and full but has a slight edge. Two of my guests described it as sharp. I quite liked the combination of the rich slightly woody taste with a slight fruity freshness.

I did not tell my guests the price and nobody recognised that it was an expensive wine. However, this is not surprising. Scientifically controlled tests have established that even experts rate wines very differently according to whether they are told the price.


Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy - Book 1): 1/3
Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy - Book 1): 1/3
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Read the first two and forget this one, 15 April 2015
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I am baffled that this has received the same positive response at the first two books in the series.

While the first two were inspired, gave a convincing description of Hobb's fantasy world and unveiled political machinations as interesting as Game of Thrones, I wondered, like Bungo, whether it was written by the same person. It is rambling, unsatisfying, and descends to a pointless ending. Seriously, I am being generous to give it 2 stars.


The Wreck of the Zanzibar
The Wreck of the Zanzibar
by Michael Morpurgo
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Morpurgo at his very best, 15 April 2015
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I read this to a group of about 10 children of varying ages. Everyone enjoyed it including me. It neatly combines excitement, reflection and Morpurgo's prose at his best.

It is short at 122 pages but had as much impact as any of his novels. I see that a lot of the reviewers are comparing it with Born to run, Arthur High King of Britain, War Horse and The Sleeping Sword. Some of his lesser known books are also excellent (and possibly better) - Kensuke's Kingdom, The War of Jenkins Ear, Waiting for Anya and, yes, the Wreck of the Zanzibar


Dark Quetzal (The Echorium sequence)
Dark Quetzal (The Echorium sequence)
by Katherine Roberts
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best adventure trilogies, 15 April 2015
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It is disappointing that this trilogy has attracted to little attention. I found it original, exciting to read, and extremely well written.

As one reviewer says, the final book in the trilogy is not the best but I found it interesting and a good follow on to the previous books.

Taking the set as a whole I think of it as one of the best young teen adventure trilogies and nearly as good as the Mortal Engines series.


Ubiquity: The New Science That is Changing the World
Ubiquity: The New Science That is Changing the World
by Mark Buchanan
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend reading half of it, 15 April 2015
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This is a popular-level introduction to self-organised criticality or the ubiquity of power laws. It romps through an entertaining range of situations and has something to add to the discussion of chaos theory.

Its drawback is that there is not enough material to justify a whole book. It does not go into enough depth to give much insight. Instead he is forced to give so many examples they become repetitive.


The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler (Faber Children's Classics)
The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler (Faber Children's Classics)
by Gene Kemp
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly deserves its medals, 15 April 2015
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The title gives a good idea what the book is about but it cannot convey just how the writing grabs you and draws you in, moving at a fast pace. It feels both realistic and entertaining. it is one of the best novels for age 8-9 and thoroughly deserves the medals it has won.

It is simple enough for children to read but the quality of the writing makes it also a good bet for reading aloud.


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