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The Collini Case
The Collini Case
by Ferdinand von Schirach
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grave, intriguing, but brief, 10 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Collini Case (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm in two minds about this book. It is certainly a good yarn, well told in a grave and measured tone and totally without humour. There are the obligatory elements for a mystery, the question of motivation, the mysterious and beautiful woman and a whole van load of lawyers - this is a legal mystery.

But. Its a very short book and reads like the synopsis of what could have been a very good and much longer novel. I think this is a shame and will look out for more by this author in the hope that his publisher can encourage him to expand a little more next time.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2013 7:09 AM GMT


True Blood - Season 5 [DVD] [2013]
True Blood - Season 5 [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Anna Paquin
Price: £17.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy..., 7 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As usual, the season got off to a relatively slow start, it seems to be the pattern that you have to give it a while to warm up.
As far as the books go, we're off the edge of the map now, don't assume that the books and the TV series are in any way related
other than the names of the characters.

I felt this was quite a strong series, if only for the fact that there was so much going on that there was no time to be bored,
you had to pay attention and keep up, or you were going to miss something (always an excuse for a rewatch). I found the vampire council
laughable (really, you've survived how long with minimal social skills and a tendency to trust a man standing behind you with an axe?),
but it gave Russell an excuse to vamp it up to such extremes that he'd make a pantomime dame look like Jane Austen. So the funny bits worked
for me, but I found it hard to take the drama seriously.

Bill and Eric did strong, silent plotting although Bill also seems to have taken an unpleasant direction into mumbo jumbo fanaticism, Terry did bewildered, Arelene did gormless, Sam dependable, Sookie psychic, Jessica and Jason gorgeous much as usual. Hoyt breaks my heart in his scenes. Pam got several new dimensions, which I love, because I think she's great. Tara has given up being the emotional punchbag, but this now seems to have become Lafayette's role, which is so wrong because Lafayette exuberant is just irresistible.

Not as good a storyline as some other seasons, but everyone got plenty of screentime, which made for an exhilarating ride.


Your Kitchen Compact Stand Mixer, 600W, 4 L Bowl, 6 Speeds & Pulse Setting Black
Your Kitchen Compact Stand Mixer, 600W, 4 L Bowl, 6 Speeds & Pulse Setting Black

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably priced, but design could be better, 5 Jun. 2013
I bought this in order to try out a stand mixer and how much I would use it, thinking I might invest in a more expensive one at a later date.

Good points. The rubber feet hold the mixer in place really well. The mixer unit is relatively small. Putting in the various attachments is easy. I am getting good results with cakes, so the mixing and beating must be working. The mixer (grey) looks good in my kitchen.

Bad points. The release catch is above the speed dial and the mixer head goes backwards - to use it easily you have to be able to get all round the unit - you can't stand it against a wall and you need clearance above and behind it for when you raise the mixer head. The advice in the instructions is not to run the mixer for more than 5 minutes on heavy mixing or 10 minutes on light mixing and then let it cool down. The attachments and bowl are hand wash only. The feed slot is about 1.5cm wide, 6cm long and curved - I had to roll up some greaseproof paper and make a funnel in order to pour flour into the mix - trying to feed it in with a spoon would result in spillage - this to me is the biggest design fault. And its quite noisy.

Overall, it does what its supposed to and for the price is a reasonable buy.


Composting with Worms: Why Waste Your Waste
Composting with Worms: Why Waste Your Waste
by George Pilkington
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book on wormeries, 4 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a good, straightforward and light hearted guide to starting your own wormery.

While a certain amount of keeping your worms happy has to be instinct, trial and error, I've found this book very
helpful on the dos and don'ts and a certain amount of troubleshooting. Warnings of common pitfalls were also welcome
-for example - most people make their wormery too wet and overload it with food when they start.

Easy to understand and well worth getting if you are going in for vermicomposting.


Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 13)
Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 13)
by Charlaine Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Charlaine Harris, 29 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've just finished the wrap-up book and found it a fitting and satisfying end to an exceptional series. Charlaine Harris has given us a wonderful cast of characters and a distinctive heroine whose voice for me makes all other vampire series fade away by comparison. Its been a real pleasure to inhabit Bon Temps and she deserves respect as a writer for creating the Southern Vampire series.

As far as the ending goes, writers often say that the characters have a life of their own and in this case Sookie makes choices entirely consistent with
her character over the series. For those complaining about a lack of excitement in the last book, one scenario that occurred to me was to have killed off Eric while he was defending Sookie, wildly romantic and we could have had a little period of grief afterwards and maybe all the Eric fans would have found that more satisfying than Eric continuing to be an astute businessman, which has been the most prominent part of his character up until now.

The books have also inspired the series "True Blood" which has gone off on its own path, so there is still hope for all the fans who would have preferred a different ending.

****spoiler alert****

I've been on team Bill from the beginning, but also from the beginning could see this coming. Sookie has matured, its always been made clear that sunshine and a future family were important to her so that any other choice would have involved great and unhappy sacrifice. That she ends up with a good man who has stood by her throughout seems entirely appropriate. I could have done without the coarse description of the sex though, restraint has always been one of Sookie's character traits.

I felt that Bill was shortchanged for an ending, but its not going to result in my trashing what is essentially a mature conclusion to a great series.


I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: Volume 15 (Audio Go)
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: Volume 15 (Audio Go)
by BBC
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £13.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 28 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Four episodes from the long running radio panel game, with Jack Dee as the Chairman and regular panellists Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer as well as guest panellists Rob Bryden, Jeremy Hardy and Victoria Wood.

The usual format of an opening introduction by Jack Dee which delights the local audience with some mickey taking at the expense of the host location and then on to "lets meet the team" and some very silly games which invariably have me in hysterics. The Cardiff episode in this case being particularly good and local boy Rob Brydon managing to bat a few back at the regular team.

All four episodes are up to the consistently high standard of ISIHAC, Humph of course is irreplacable, but Jack Dee is settling into the Chair better than almost anyone else could have done, although he still needs to work on the double entendres.

Recommended listening for the commute to work and sure to make you laugh.


No Title Available

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well thought out, but oh those instructions!, 21 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice, compact set, for trimming, shaving and removing body hair. Neatly packed, it contains one handset, a choice of 2 heads - one for shaving, the other for depilation. A selection of guards are designed to fit the appropriate head, so its not possible to fit the wrong guard to the wrong head.

First you have to charge the rechargable batteries in the handset for an hour with the plug and lead provided; there is an indicator light which tells you when its fully charged. 1 month later with light use the initial charge is still going strong.

You are advised to use the exfoliator brush supplied 24 hours in advance of depilation. I loved the exfoliator brush, its pretty and feminine with a plastic crystal on top to fit over the fingers and give you a good grip. I will probably use this more than anything else. I do not plan my hair removal sessions 24 hours in advance though, and I don't think pre-exfoliation really makes much difference to how well the epilator works.

I tried the epilator first. The massage guard was quite easy to fit, although since it has rather flimsy moving bars I managed to disconnect one, but this was easily put back into place. I didn't even notice any massaging effect. The epilator has to be held at right angles to the surface of the skin and worked very well although I did go over the surface of my legs a couple of times to make sure I got all the hairs. A word of caution though, the epilator head has moving blades, don't press too hard. I didn't keep the handset upright as I negotiated a tricky turn round the outside of my knee and ended up nicking the skin. After initial reservations, mainly based on the fact that I'd never used an epilator before, I find I'm using it exclusively, rather than wax or razors, because its so convenient and works really well.

The razor head has a foil guard and works very well, much like other ladies razors.

There are two more guards, one for protecting areas like the bikini line and one for trimming hair. How you use this third one isn't clear and this leads me to the instructions...

Philips makes very decent kit, so I don't understand why they keep ruining it with pathetically inadequate instructions. You get one small page of pictures with this kit and a few hints on the box. Compared to pages of printed warranty in all languages. From the pictures and the box I worked out how to use the heads and 2 out of 3 of the guards, but it did detract from the experience.

Finally there is a little cream plastic bag in which to keep your razor, heads and guards and the little brush for cleaning them. Its a nice set, but as I said before be prepared to work much of it out for yourself. And take care when using the epilator.

Update: I did find instructions on Philips' webpage here, but presumably they were too big to fit in the package:-

http://www.philips.co.uk/c/hair-removal/satinsoft-skincare-system-wet-dry-shaving-head-hp6522_01/prd/;jsessionid=8C89B807C30FA44806DFE13783A097AE.app121-drp2?t=support#lightbox_setheight;504


Fate
Fate
by L R Fredericks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but cold, 16 May 2013
This review is from: Fate (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a big Gothic novel which covers mortality, alchemy, scenery and a quest in search of a lost ancestor. Its atmosphere is a little like "Interview with the Vampire", lots of dusty velvet frocks, faded scent and past glories.

Why didn't I enjoy it more? Partly because as soon as you get interested in a character they die and partly because I didn't particularly care for Francis.
Its a cold and unengaging narrative.

It was a struggle to finish.


You're Hired! Total Job Search 2013
You're Hired! Total Job Search 2013
by Jeremy I'Anson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.72

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful guide for job hunting, 16 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well written and comprehensive guide to job hunting with chapters in the consecutive order you need to take you through the job application process.

It promises to be updated annually to take account of the changing fashions in presentation. A colleague of mine who is currently job hunting is using it as a reference guide and check list and has been impressed by how well it is structured and by some of the suggestions.

A good reference book for job searching.


Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies
Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies
by Hadley Freeman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a curate's egg, 14 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With a book such as this one, where an author is expounding their views on a broad topic, its fairly important that
you like their voice and that you find their point of view at least understandable, if not interesting.

This was the problem for me with the first half of the book. The constant Americanisms larded with references to living in the UK and the
assumption that all the readers would understand US cultural references was a bit distracting. (which side of the Atlantic is this person from?)
The frantic pace and humour gave me the impression that this person was desperate to be liked and agreed with. And I should have realised that
the use of "Awesome" was a sign that this would probably be pitched at a target market akin to Cosmo.

However, I liked the second half of the book much better, when Hadley slowed down a bit and started making some serious points (or at least provided food for thought) on a number of feminist topics. But in a light hearted way of course, because we can't have scary, hairy feminists pointing out that equality is at most 2 generations deep and isn't yet sufficiently established that we can afford to take it for granted, at least not without throwing in a bit of humour to sweeten the pill.

I thoroughly agree with her about the generalisation of remarks about and representation of the sexes; feminism is about equality, not a licence to persecute the opposite sex.

The origin of this book as a series of newspaper articles does show - short, single topic chapters, and I guessed she had written for the Guardian as she has "Guardianitis" - the paper's journalists have a tedious habit of almost exclusively quoting the Daily Mail (possibly frothing at the mouth as they do so) to illustrate its origin as the source of every single thing that is wrong with the world. This may be true, but it is very very tedious to read and the reason why I stopped taking the Guardian. There are other examples from other sources, just quoting one is lazy and a teensy bit obsessive.

So, this book tries a bit too hard, but the second half is much better than the first and makes some good points.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2013 1:02 PM BST


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