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Michael Allen "Grumpy Old Bookman" (Dorset, England)

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What to Eat: Food that's good for your health, pocket and plate
What to Eat: Food that's good for your health, pocket and plate
by Joanna Blythman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Feb. 2016
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An enormously valuable book. I have owned a copy for some time and refer to it frequently.


The World Turned Upside Down: The Second Low-Carbohydrate Revolution
The World Turned Upside Down: The Second Low-Carbohydrate Revolution
Price: £6.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but there are better guides to nutrition, 20 Jan. 2016
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If you’ve been reading serious and sensible books on diet and nutrition for ten or twenty years then you will know most of what is in here. However, it may still be worth having a look at it. (In one sentence: eat a fairly low-carb diet, don’t fret about fat, and ignore government advice.)

If you’ve never yet read a book on how to stay healthy by eating the right things and avoiding the wrong things, this is not the place to start. Try Tim Spector: The Diet Myth.

Unfortunately those who criticise the author’s style of writing are dead right. Words are left out, or left in when they are clearly relics of an early version; the punctuation is, shall we say, erratic. The overall shape and content of the chapters could be vastly improved; et cetera. This appears to be a self-published book, and that’s a great pity, because a skilful editor at one of the major book publishers would have made a world of difference. Probably she would have treated this as a first draft and completely rejigged it.

That said, the author is knowledgeable and, above all, brave. He is not afraid to challenge the scientific establishment, and deserves credit for that.


The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste: The Case Files of Jack Wenlock, Railway Detective
The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste: The Case Files of Jack Wenlock, Railway Detective
by Malcolm Pryce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will justice prevail?, 13 May 2015
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Anyone who is familiar with Malcolm Pryce's previous work will need no encouragement to read this. New readers, on the other hand, might find it a bit strange.

Thoughts: you are more likely to enjoy this if you are: male, 70 plus and can remember the war; used to be a trainspotter (the old-fashioned kind); were brought up to believe in the Empire; still think of other people as being good chaps or rotters; grew up in an orphanage, borstal, or minor public school; and all like that.

Our hero is a railway detective and the railways are about to be nationalised (we are in December 1947). A pretty girl walks into his office. And from then on we are in fairly traditional private-eye territory. But this is crime/fantasy/humour/romance/and a lot more.

If there was any justice in the book world this would be a contender for the Booker, CWA dagger, various fantasy awards, and that Wodehouse prize they give for comic literature. But since, as we all know, there isn't any justice then it probably won't.


Book 1 The Detective: The Adventures of Patricia & Annabelle: Fabulous Four Foil Fiends! (The Adventures of Patricia and Annabelle)
Book 1 The Detective: The Adventures of Patricia & Annabelle: Fabulous Four Foil Fiends! (The Adventures of Patricia and Annabelle)
Price: £2.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Trying to get your children to read?, 20 Mar. 2015
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If you are a parent, or a grandparent, you will know that it isn’t always easy to get children to read. But when they do find something that they like – either when it’s read to them, or when they read it for themselves – they tend to gobble it down and look for more.

Well, here’s a book which might arouse your children’s interest. And if it does, you will be pleased to know that it’s the first in a series of four. The suggested readership age range is 7 to 12, and my guess is that children of about 10 plus will do best with it if they are reading it themselves. Younger children would probably appreciate having it read to them.

The setting is English, and today’s grandparents will find it reminiscent of Enid Blyton, in that the basic thrust of the story is young children solving crimes. However, it is a kind of updated Blyton, with an adult approach. There are seriously nasty villains, the real threat of violence, and occasional references to the realities of modern life such as child sex offenders. The author is not afraid to introduce religious issues either: the 10-year-old narrator is not only familiar with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, but also with his account of his spiritual conversion.

Fortunately the book is a relatively long one by children’s standards, and therefore the ‘Look Inside’ facility provides ample material on which to make your own assessment of its suitability.


Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health
Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health
Price: £11.87

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: £12.17

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: £8.50

2 of 2 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 (Alex Morrow Book 4)
The Red Road (Alex Morrow Book 4)
Price: £4.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff, 19 May 2014
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: £4.74

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

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction/reminder, 23 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.


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