Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now
Profile for Eleanor > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Eleanor
Top Reviewer Ranking: 828
Helpful Votes: 1628

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Eleanor (Oxford, England)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension
Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension
by Matt Parker
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for maths-lovers, 2 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Maths was my favourite subject at school and although I never took it past A-level, I love reading about it. At first I was inclined not to choose this book, put off by the description of the author as a 'stand-up mathematician', but I'm glad I did as it's fascinating, stimulating, and, yes, funny.

Over 18 chapters Parker discusses a variety of subjects including binary (and other bases), knots, algorithms, higher dimensions, primes, how to efficiently fill space, and infinity. A diagram shows which chapters build on information from previous chapters, so you can choose a path through the book based on space, for example. Some of the maths is hard work but Parker explains it well and when I put the effort in the lightbulb moment of understanding was very satisfying. Even chapters, such as the one on knots, in which I didn't try to fully understand everything were enjoyable and interesting.

All in all this is an entertaining and mind-expanding book which reminded me both how much I love numbers and how amazing the maths-filled universe is.


Willow Organic Beauty Butterfly Range Rosehip, Almond & Barbary Fig Pink Himalayan Body Scrub 250 g
Willow Organic Beauty Butterfly Range Rosehip, Almond & Barbary Fig Pink Himalayan Body Scrub 250 g
Price: £34.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely moisturizing, 1 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This body scrub consists of salt granules in a subtly scented oil. You rub the scrub in and when washed off the oil leaves a thin water-repelling layer (I felt like it would serve me well if I were to swim the channel!). The salt means that the product is more environmentally friendly than if synthetic microbeads had been used, however it will sting slightly if you have cuts on your hands.

I have to admit I was slightly disappointed when I first used this product. It's designed to moisturise rather than clean, so you would need to use it in conjunction with soap if it was your only shower or bath of the day. I also was expecting something which smelled a bit more luxurious. However, after using it a few times I really appreciated its moisturizing properties and the thin layer of oil does leave your skin feeling lovely.

This is an expensive product; however, the container is quite big, so if you use it occasionally as a treat it will last a while (I was going to recommmend l'occitaine's hand scrub as a similar but cheaper alternative, however by volume they actually cost the same).


Zyliss Zick Mini Food Chopper - White
Zyliss Zick Mini Food Chopper - White
Price: £14.47

2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, 29 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've tried this chopper on a selection of foods and the results are pretty disappointing. Firstly, as advertised, this is a mini chopper so will only chop small amounts of food. However, the amount that can be placed in the base is miniscule and it's difficult to estimate how much to put in. I filled the base with parsley and could then barely attach it to the chopper. Chopping was hard work on the arms because of resistance from the parsley and after a while I gave up as not much chopping was getting done and my arms hurt. I then tried with almonds, but again couldn't manage to chop successfully as there was nowhere for the blades to go and the force required to cut through the almonds was too great. Finally I tried some squares of chocolate which did work.

So, it does chop some things, but I don't really think this is worth the kitchen space or cleaning effort. Most food doesn't just rinse away, and especially with strong-smelling foods you will want to get the chopper really clean. I had to use a knife to try and dislodge chocolate from inside the blades, as a normal washing sponge didn't get into the folds (the manufacturers recommend a brush).

So all in all I can't see myself using this again.


Cole & Mason Dark Wood Morley Crank Pepper Mill, 165 mm - Brown
Cole & Mason Dark Wood Morley Crank Pepper Mill, 165 mm - Brown
Price: £21.86

4.0 out of 5 stars An attractive pepper mill, 24 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a smart nicely-weighty pepper mill which comes pre-filled with black peppercorns. Its appearance and the fact that you can set how finely or coarsely you want to grind the pepper are its main selling points. The mill can be refilled by pulling off the top - the first time I did this I sent peppercorns flying everywhere. Once the peppercorns had settled and been dislodged from the lid, the effect wasn't so dramatic but a few still get caught in and spill from the lid when I remove it.

nb. The instructions state that you can't use this mill for salt as it will corrode the mechanism (and the handle comes printed with a 'P').


How We Are (How to Live Trilogy 1)
How We Are (How to Live Trilogy 1)
by Vincent Deary
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'You keep saming when you ought to be changing', 8 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In "How We Are" (Part 1 of the trilogy "How to Live") psychologist Vincent Deary explains how humans are creatures of habit, happiest when following hard-won deeply-etched routines. When something in our lives changes, whether a new job, relationship, or traumatic event, the old routines no longer work and we have to begin the hard conscious work of trying to forge new routines until we are once again comfortable with the 'new normal'.

"How We Are" is an idiosyncratic book and Deary's voice is at the forefront of every page. Although the subject matter is familiar from other works of popular psychology, Deary transforms his material into something richer combining research findings with anecdote, personal reflection, examples from film and literature, and an overarching metanarrative. Deary's writing won't be to everyone's taste, but I enjoyed following his train of thought - pausing frequently to follow trains of my own.

It was only towards the end of the book that I found my interest waning as the material becoming slightly repetitive; nevertheless "How We Are" is enjoyable and thought-provoking and I am looking forward to reading the next two books of the trilogy.


A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories (New York Review Books Classics)
A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories (New York Review Books Classics)
by Robert Walser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beguiling collection, 8 Sept. 2014
"A Schoolboy's Diary" brings together a number of Robert Walser's very short prose pieces, chiefly written between 1900 and 1920 and, with a few exceptions, translated here for the first time. The collection starts with 'Fritz Kocher's Essays' which is based on the premise that Fritz has died shortly after leaving school and his mother has allowed Walser to publish some of his schoolboy essays. Fritz is arrogant, intelligent, and naive and his perfectly-rendered voice, tinged with strangeness, makes them highly enjoyable. The final piece in "A Schoolboy's Diary" is 'Hans', a short story which brings together many of the collection's themes and conceits.

Walser's tone is very difficult to get a grip on, as Ben Lerner writes in his introduction 'the meaning of Walser's meandering sentences scurry away'. Behind his lyrical and evocative descriptions one is always aware of Walser's presence. Sometimes you sense that the narrator is laughing up his sleeve: at himself, what he is describing, and finally, his reader; at other times the narrator will suddenly insert himself into a piece, forcing it to swerve and disorientate the reader.

It is this strangeness, this sense of irony that make Walser's pieces so compelling. I found myself rereading them, savouring the tone even as it slipped from my grasp.


Ashenden, or, The British Agent
Ashenden, or, The British Agent
by William Somerset Maugham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The British Agent, 7 Sept. 2014
First published in 1928, "Ashenden" recounts the adventures of the title character during the First World War. A successful novelist, Ashenden has been recruited as a spy, carrying out tasks in various European cities. Ashenden, whose wartime experiences mirror Maugham's, is no James Bond; rather he is a small cog in a larger machine, acting as a facilitator whilst often being unaware of the wider consequences.

Although the chapters are linked, "Ashenden" reads more like a collection of short stories than a novel, and there is no strong overarching narrative. This is (deliberately?) ironic, as Maugham's preface emphasizes how fact 'is a poor story-teller' and needs to be marshalled into a structured plot to be pleasing as fiction. Indeed, throughout, Ashenden brings his novelistic eye to bear on the circumstances he finds himself in, often remarking that they would make unsatisfactory or unbelievable fiction. This literary playfulness combined with some great descriptions (one character, the 'Hairless Mexican', is 'a purple patch on two legs' and the Swiss at the resort of Lucerne are descibed as 'taking their neutrality, like a dachshund, for a walk with them') adds an extra layer to Maugham's tales of wartime espionage.


Heli [DVD] [2013]
Heli [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Armando Espitia
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A sobering film, 1 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Heli [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Towards the start of "Heli", a census-taker comes to visit Heli's house, and we learn, among other things, that this unassuming young man has a wife, a child, a job in a car factory, no education beyond high school, no washing machine, and that five people live in his two-bedroom house. The director sucks you in with these and other moments in the life of Heli and his family before forcing you to watch the consequences of a fateful decision he makes.

"Heli" contains moments of shocking violence (and the viewer is prepared from the very first scene) but it is also contains lovely scenes of family life, young love, and silent humour. This is a quiet, naturalistic film containing long periods without dialogue. The focus on Heli and his family, rather than the drug dealers they encounter, movingly gives a glimpse into the human cost of Mexico's drugs trade.


The Reluctant Cannibals
The Reluctant Cannibals
by Ian Flitcroft
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars 'Eating People is wrong', 1 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
St Jerome's College, Oxford is home to the Shadow Faculty of Gastronomic Science, a small group of dons who seek to scale the heights of gastronomic pleasure at each of their termly dinners. As the title suggests, it looks like a rather unusual meat will soon be finding its way onto their menu...

A quote from Publishers Weekly describes the 'shocking climax' of "The Reluctant Cannibals" which overstates things somewhat. Despite the subject matter there's nothing particularly shocking or stomach-turning about this novel (well, apart from the Australian 'desert prawns'...). Rather it is an old-fashioned Oxford comedy which delights in both its collegiate setting and gastronomic descriptions. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and my only advice would be: don't read this book when hungry.


The Emperor Waltz
The Emperor Waltz
by Philip Hensher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable novel, 17 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Emperor Waltz (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Among the communities, periods, and places visited in "The Emperor Waltz" are seventies London, where Duncan is opening a gay bookshop, Germany and the pupils of the Bauhaus school, Carthage, home to some of the early Christian martyrs, and the present day where the author himself lies in a hospital bed contemplating the presentation of self in everyday life.

Hensher introduces connections and echoes but the parts also feel quite separate. Taken as a whole, however, the reader is left with a picture of humanity, capable of pettiness, bigotry, and hatred, but also able to produce and disseminate joy-bringing works of art and literature.

Readers familiar with Hensher's other novels will see the same gifts at work here: the zooming in on particular characters such that their whole life is made vividly present in a few pages and the skilfull recreation of conversation and its currents. This combined with the historical settings, where fact and fiction mingle, makes for a rich and enjoyable novel.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20