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Reviews Written by
Michael Allen "Grumpy Old Bookman" (Dorset, England)

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Death by Food Pyramid
Death by Food Pyramid
Price: 9.35

4.0 out of 5 stars you will enjoy and appreciate the additional insights provided by this book, 15 Aug 2014
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If you are already well read in the history of diet/nutrition, you will enjoy and appreciate the additional insights provided by this book. If you are beginner, this is not the book for you. In the Kindle version, the occasional charts and graphs are well nigh useless, as usual.


Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy
by Ellen Datlow
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.53

4.0 out of 5 stars I am old enough to have known some Victorians, 14 Aug 2014
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Literate, imaginative, thoughtful, evocative of the time. All in all pretty classy stuff. But you have to come to it with a feeling for the period.


Format YOUR Print Book with Createspace
Format YOUR Print Book with Createspace
by Tim C. Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars indispensable, 24 May 2014
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I bought this book twice. First in Kindle, and then, when I realised I would need to read it carefully and refer to it frequently, I bought the paperback. (I have done this before, with other non-fiction books.) There is no index, but I can search the text on the Kindle version (via Kindle for Mac), and can scribble notes on the margins of the paperback.

Worth every penny. The first few formats were very hard, but once you get the hang of it it is much easier.


The Red Road
The Red Road
Price: 5.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff, 19 May 2014
This review is from: The Red Road (Kindle Edition)
The last line of this hard-nosed crime novel made me laugh out loud, which doesn't happen often.

I read this in the course of one evening, but rather agree with the reviewer who said that it was hard to remember all the names. It isn't written and structured the way I would have done it, but then Ms Mina is famous and I'm not, so she must be doing something right.

As my mother used to say, they don't write them fast enough for me. On the whole it's an excellent piece of work.


Holy Orders: Quirke Mysteries Book 6
Holy Orders: Quirke Mysteries Book 6
Price: 6.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best yet, 27 July 2013
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I have now read all the Quirke novels, though not always in the right order, and have found them consistently interesting and moving.


Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique
Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique
by Michael Gelb
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction/reminder, 23 Jan 2013
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If you're new to the Alexander technique, this is a good introduction. And if, like me, you want to be reminded of principles you might have forgotten, this is equally good.


Building Your Book for Kindle for Mac
Building Your Book for Kindle for Mac
Price: 0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth paying for -- but it's free!, 14 July 2012
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This book would be well worth paying for, but at the time of writing it's free and I would expect Kindle to keep it so.

I have spent months trying to figure out a way to have my ebooks display correctly on various ereaders, and have pages of notes. Even so, this guide to the Kindle solved a lot of problems for me. Make sure you get the right edition -- this one is for Mac users who have Word 2011 for Mac.

Example of one small but very helpful piece of guidance: when you convert your Word file to html, make sure you click the radio button beside the words: Save only display information into HTML.

Also the advice on previewing is immensely helpful.

You will find that, despite your very best efforts, Amazon still has some funny little ways which will surprise and either infuriate or amuse you, depending on temperament. But for the time being, this is the best advice you can get.


Google Blogger for Dummies
Google Blogger for Dummies
by Susan Gunelius
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.73

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money, 16 July 2011
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It seems to me that the one-star review for this book is unduly harsh. The book is certainly not a rip-off.

Some years ago I ran a fairly successful blog of my own, using Blogger as the host; eventually I had to give it up because of shortage of time. I was recently asked to advise a friend on how to start a new one, so I bought this book to refresh my memory.

In my judgement this is a most helpful and easy-to-follow guide, covering all the main points and providing a step-by-step procedure for many of the necessary steps. The only drawback is that the currently available edition is now a couple of years old, and Blogger, like everything else online, is continually under development. So some of the on-screeen windows have changed in their titles and tabs, compared with those illustrated in the book. In one or two cases, more detailed information would also be useful, e.g. how to register the blog with Technorati, a procedure which is, frankly, a pain in the arse.

Otherwise, well worth the price.


Moon Over Soho
Moon Over Soho
by Ben Aaronovitch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.37

69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes, this is wonderful, 7 Jun 2011
This review is from: Moon Over Soho (Hardcover)
Wonderful. Literally wonderful, in the sense that it is full of wonders.

At my age (72) it is increasingly hard to find novels that I actually want to read, and even harder to find novels which I don't give up on after perhaps 50 pages. But this one works all right.

Provided, of course, you know what to expect, and like what you are led to expect. For this is one of those cross-genre books. It's part police-procedural, part fantasy (since it's about magic, and we don't believe in magic, do we? Oh, really?), and part literary; the latter because, for a police constable of modest background and educational attainments, our hero is remarkably erudite. Oh, and there's a wide streak of humour running all the way through it -- humour of that black kind which police officers, A&E doctors, and ambulance men, develop into order to protect themselves from the horrible things they have to deal with.

Fortunately, this is number two in a series, so you can go back and start with number one before getting stuck into this one. And the only thing wrong with a series such as this is that the fact that, as my dear old Mum used to say, they don't write them fast enough.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2013 11:18 AM BST


Rivers of London
Rivers of London
by Ben Aaronovitch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.02

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The last-but-one wizard in England, 24 May 2011
This review is from: Rivers of London (Hardcover)
This is a rather splendid novel. If we are to categorise it, it is both a crime/mystery novel and a fantasy novel, but is more likely to appeal to fans of the latter than the former. Although almost any reader could surely recognise many of its virtues: the chief of which is that it is fun to read.

Briefly, the principal character, and first-person narrator, is a young member of London's police force. Our narrator tries to take a witness statement from a man who turns out to be a ghost. And that experience brings young Peter Grant to the attention of Chief Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England, who takes him on as an apprentice.

This a book which is full of unexpected turns of events - seldom a bad thing. And, much to my surprise, it is a book which has dignitas, and even a little grandeur. Along the way we meet not only a few ghosts but also some attractive young ladies who turn out to be the spirits of most of London's rivers.

If I have a criticism, it is that our hero, who has an undistinguished academic record, is remarkably articulate. But hey - let's not look a gift horse.

Very nicely designed too, in an admirably readable font.


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