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G. Thulbourn (England)
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Photoshop CS3 Essential Skills
Photoshop CS3 Essential Skills
by Mark Galer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.54

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A different view, 2 Dec 2007
Sorry, but I can't agree with the other reviewers. I think this book is pathetic: do not be enticed by the fact that it contains lots of pretty colour photos. It has a reasonable run through the very basic background material you need to use a photo editing program (resolution, image types etc). But thereafter it just seems to wander aimlessley through different areas of functionality. If you knew Photoshop before you read the book then it might help (why are you reading the book then?), but otherwise you'll be confused by the use of new concepts before they are explained, and the seemingly random walk through different 'things to do' to photos. It is neither task oriented nor logical in my opinion: and when faced with a photo that I need to work on the book leaves me no better informed as to where to even start.

A fair bit of criticism has to go to the amateur nature of the publisher as well. It doesn't help when headings all share the same style, so you can't tell sub-headings from sub-subheadings... and the use of pictures BEFORE the supporting text is utterly confusing. Some degree of consistency in showing before AND after images, just before, just after, small before image, small after image etc. are what the publisher should be sorting out. Also, just throwing the supporting images on a DVD with no direct link from those in the text is just plain lazy. Very amateur.


Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day
Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day
by Jennifer Grappone
Edition: Paperback

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical handholding through the SEO jungle, 22 Nov 2007
A cracking introduction to Search Engine Optimisation (or Search Engine Marketing as they would prefer to call it!) Runs through the basics at a very easy pace (slightly slow, but at least it ensures that you've covered all the basics). Lots of practical exercises. For me, as a website designer, it confirmed a lot of suspicions I'd always had, and added some new ideas, but most importantly it gave me a focus for structuring my thinking; so even if you've been around in the web world for a bit it's a definite good buy.


Professional Search Engine Optimization with PHP: A Developer's Guide to SEO (Programmer to Programmer)
Professional Search Engine Optimization with PHP: A Developer's Guide to SEO (Programmer to Programmer)
by Cristian Darie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Make sure this is the book for you., 6 Nov 2007
Excellent especially if you work in a larger institution that has programmers and web marketing people on board. However, if you don't have any background in SEO, or anybody handling the basics of doing this for you, then you also need an 'introductory book' (the authors themselves recommend 'SEO an hour a day'. Nothing wrong with that, just don't expect to buy this book to understand basic SEO techniques.


Land's End to John O'Groats: The Great British Bike Adventure
Land's End to John O'Groats: The Great British Bike Adventure
by Phil Horsley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A total waste of time, 19 Oct 2007
Trying to follow the route from the pathetic maps in this book is impossible sitting in front of a PC with high powered mapping software in front of me; on the road it would be worse than impossible.
Buy an alternative if you want to get to the other end.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2011 2:18 PM GMT


The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
by Paul Strathern
Edition: Paperback

18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A fair read but flawed, 30 Dec 2006
Very readable book certainly covering a lot of ground. However, I felt it was badly flawed:

1. Most material is focused on the 'golden age' of the Medici. The rest is very rushed.

2. On occassion the book wanders off into far too much 'related' history, not applicable to the Medici. Background material is required but there were times when this was 'out of control'.

3. The author clearly has fallen in love with the Medici 'myth'. Too many times they are excused their history, instead of it being examined critically. They stole, they murdered, they took advantage of the population of Tuscany, the populo minuto, but this is either excused or simply not covered.

So, a reasonable book covering the Medici, but unfortunately in an abstract manner not in a social context, which makes it a poor read.


Leonardo: The Artist and the Man
Leonardo: The Artist and the Man
by Serge Bramly
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but lacking something, 23 Aug 2006
A very easy and readable account of the life of Leonardo da Vinci: one I enjoyed greatly. However, facing facts, we don't seem to actually know that much about him, and as a consequence there is plenty of filling in the book. The author has clearly researched his book well, but far too many times goes with his emotions when facts are sparse. Furthermore, the illustrations are few and far between, and are hardly comprehensive.

If you want an easy going read I'd recommend this; if you want something a bit more comprehensive, then look elsewhere.


Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi
by Yann Martel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different and very enjoyable, 3 Aug 2006
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
A bizarre concept, but somehow it works. The book starts off interestingly (if you like to know about zoos), then fades badly, only to come back when they finally make it onto the lifeboat (so it's worth sticking with it).

The alternative ending is a very interesting twist, but I can't but help think that this book has been padded slightly, making it just a little too long.

PS. What on earth was he going on about in the section on the 'green island'?!!!


Deception Point
Deception Point
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite "typical Dan Brown", 16 July 2006
This review is from: Deception Point (Paperback)
So, yes, all Dan Brown's books are very similar, but as long as you don't read them one after the other, that's not a problem.

An excellent, compelling read, although not quite the typical Dan Brown. There is slightly more detail and slightly less of a rush whilst reading it. It feels more mature, although without his normal edge: if you're new to Dan Brown read his other novels in preference: Da Vinci Code, Digital Fortress, Angels & Demons.

I just wish he'd left off the last chapter: this is a thriller, not a Mills & Boon!!!


Grumpy Old Men: The Official Handbook
Grumpy Old Men: The Official Handbook
by Stuart Prebble
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and interesting, 25 Jun 2006
I didn't watch the TV series so I thought this was just going to be a humerous read. However, there is a little (OK only a little) depth behind the book. Yes, it's funny to relate to the author's ranting, but it also makes you realise the context of some of your frustrations with the world. It's OK to be a grumpy man; it's a phase of life when you realise the world isn't as good a place as you were brought up to hope for.

I read this book at the same time as I was reading "You can't afford the luxury of a negative thought", and this provided a nice counterpoint. To be honest I got more out of grumpy old men than out of that 'self-help' book.

So, funny AND self-help: what more could you want for in a book?


Silent Spring (Penguin Modern Classics)
Silent Spring (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Rachel Carson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

9 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but overrated and outdated, 25 Jun 2006
An interesting read from an historic context. However, generally much better to read one of the raft of more up to date books on the subject. Also, this might have been one of the first few anti-pesticide books, yet it reads more like a scientific paper and the author didn't seem able to leave a proven point without trying to prove it again and again and again...


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