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Maggie S

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How to Win at UPWORDS: The Unofficial Book of Strategies for Playing Your Best Game
How to Win at UPWORDS: The Unofficial Book of Strategies for Playing Your Best Game
by Charlotte Whitney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I am SO disappointed with this book, 18 Dec. 2015
I am SO disappointed with this book, and here is why.

It has a lovely glossy cover and is professionally bound, but inside the print is cramped and small - making it difficult to read. This in itself is enough to put me off somewhat - there are very wide margins, and it would be really very easy to make it much more readable. Excluding the rather too copious front matter and end matter, the "book" (actual content on how to win at upwords) is about 23 pages long. There there very few diagrams or pictures (and I would expect these in a book of this kind), but just long blocks of unbroken text with no subheadings, which looks as though it has been printed on a home computer. There is no index and no contents page to help you find a section you want to read, or refer back to.

Inside - almost the first thing I came upon as I flicked though the content was, if not an error, then at least a lack of clarity. "The letters J, Qu, V, X, and Z are not your friends... ." is the claim, followed by the statement that you get no extra points for using them. In the version of Upwords in use by my Mother, for whom I have bought this book, this is not the case - all these tiles get 3 extra points if laid on the 'bottom' layer. This was confusing!

Digging a little deeper, by the powers of Google - I discovered that there are at least two different versions of the rules, one of which originated in the 1980s and the other dates from 1997 (with possibly another version in between - or after). The book does mention that there are two different boards (an 8x8 square and a 10x10 square), but not, as far as I could see, that there is more than one set of rules.

If you have the earlier version of Upwords (1980s) your rules may award 3 extra points each for QU, J, X, AND Z. If you have the 1997 and later version only Qu gets extra points and then it is only 2.

Ms Whitney also states that Qu when laid flat gets 2 points - one for each letter - plus the extra 2, to give a total of 4, whereas, in the version of the rules I I found online (here: http://www.hasbro.com/common/instruct/upwords.pdf (1997) and here: http://www.hasbro.com/common/instruct/04312.pdf (2006), it is clearly stated that there is one point for each letter tile (not for each letter) with 2 extra for the Qu when laid flat. Again - not helpful.

This might all seem extraordinarily picky - but surely the first priority in any board game is for the players to be clear about the rules. And when all this information(and more!) is freely available on the internet to anyone who can type in a few search terms, it seems unforgivable to publish a book like this without at least nodding at important changes like these.

As Ms Whitney rightly suggests, in a late section entitled "Yoga, Yogurt and Upwords" game-play of this kind can be useful in slowing the advance of degenerative illnesses such as dementia. However, for all the above reasons, my mother - who has dementia, and still plays a mean game of Upwords, won't find this an easy book to use. Because of the typeface, it is not physically easy to read. It lacks signposting to help the reader find her way around, and - for players of the earliest versions - it introduces some obfuscation about points scoring even as it tries to add clarity.

Perhaps we could have a second edition - with some of the suggested revisions?


A Little Life
A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read, 20 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Little Life (Paperback)
One of the best books I've ever read. The cover is horrid (I read an e-book version), but the book is gripping stay up all night material. I am not going to spoil it by giving you detail or the story, but the key character, Jude, suffers in a way that will be very real to anyone who has experiences anything even remotely similar. Read it yourself and you will see.


10 Pack of Green Lint Free Microfibre Exel Super Magic Cleaning Cloths For Polishing, Washing, Waxing And Dusting.
10 Pack of Green Lint Free Microfibre Exel Super Magic Cleaning Cloths For Polishing, Washing, Waxing And Dusting.
Offered by Care Supermarket
Price: £6.50

5.0 out of 5 stars V happy to have discovered the microfibre cloth, 5 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
V happy to have discovered the microfibre cloth. Many uses. Very useful.10 for £6.29 seems like a good price. Washable.


Slik Sprint Pro II 3-Way GM Tripod
Slik Sprint Pro II 3-Way GM Tripod
Price: £59.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful piece of kit., 5 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the second Slik Sprint tripod I have bought. Very useful bit of kit and light enough to carry around with me when needed.

You need to remember that it is not intended to be a heavy duty piece of kit - and there are many more expensive tripods that are both heavier and more stable in high winds, and that have more features and will support a greater weight. I use an Olympus E-M1 with a variety of lenses and this set-up works well for me. So my verdict is that for the occasional and walkabout tripod user it is a step up from the Joby Gorillapod (which has no height) and is an outstanding value tripod.


OtterBox Prefix Series Case for Apple iPhone 5 - Carbon
OtterBox Prefix Series Case for Apple iPhone 5 - Carbon
Offered by ULTIMATE PHONESHOP
Price: £12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want to give this one star even though ..., 5 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I didn't want to give this one star even though I sent it back. The colour was lovely and muted - but the plastic didn't feel the same as the Greem one of these I already have. It felt a bit brittle and I wasn't sure it would do the job. That is why I sent it back.

However - top marks to the seller - who dealt with my return very efficiently and gave me my money back.


Pintoy Wooden Fire Engine
Pintoy Wooden Fire Engine
Price: £37.72

5.0 out of 5 stars along with some pintoy wooden firefighters - sturdy, high entertainment value, 29 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pintoy Wooden Fire Engine (Toy)
Purchased as a present for a small boy, along with some pintoy wooden firefighters - sturdy, high entertainment value.


The Black Echo (Harry Bosch Book 1)
The Black Echo (Harry Bosch Book 1)
Price: £5.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm afraid I only got about three pages into this ..., 29 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm afraid I only got about three pages into this book. The writing was so childlike it was embarrassing. Perhaps I should have persevered - but life is short and the book was free...


Canson Infinity Velin Museum Rag A4 315 gsm Photo Paper - Pure White (Pack of 25 Sheets)
Canson Infinity Velin Museum Rag A4 315 gsm Photo Paper - Pure White (Pack of 25 Sheets)
Price: £36.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Paper, 17 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just very nice expensive photo-printing paper - that gives good colour reproduction (on a Canon pixma pro 9500 mkII) and a very pleasing matt, very slightly textured finish. Lovely.


The Photoshop Workbook: Professional Retouching and Compositing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
The Photoshop Workbook: Professional Retouching and Compositing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
Price: £23.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, 17 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have bought and used a range of 'Learn Photoshop' texts. This (which I bought in the kindle edition) is the best one I've used for giving concrete and useful exercises that allow you to produce a pleasing result from the very first exercise. I haven't finished the book yet, but I have had lots of fun with it and definitely learned a lot already.

So why four instead of five stars?

It seems to me that the further I get into the book the more knowledge is taken for granted - and then occasionally something doesn't work as it should. Whether this is an error in the exercise (ie suggesting you should paint your mask with black instead of white) - or the user (who sometimes should read things more carefully) is hard to say at this stage - but it is frustrating when it goes wrong and I can't work out what I'm doing wrong.


MegaGear ''Ultra Light'' Neoprene Camera Case Bag with Carabiner for Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm (Black)
MegaGear ''Ultra Light'' Neoprene Camera Case Bag with Carabiner for Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm (Black)
Offered by MEGA WEST
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I actually love this little bag, 15 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I actually love this little bag. I can get my camera in it with any of my lenses attached except my Panasonic 100-300mm (the next longest is the Panny 35-100mm).

It was over packaged however, not just by Amazon (box much bigger than needed - could have been put in a jiffy bag), but also by the manufacturer, as it came in its own little velveteen drawstring bag (pretty but useless) and that was inside a lightweight plastic bag. So it comes as a bag inside a bag inside a bag.... which is major overkill. that's why 4 stars.

But if you want to go out with just you camera and 1 lens and have some protection for the camera - this is your bag. Or if you want to put it inside a rucksack or similar for protection while on the move - this would work well. Won't keep your camera entirely protected from the wet, but for £15 - what did you expect?


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