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Jippu (Oxford UK)

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Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time
Price: £5.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serene aging, 1 Jan 2014
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This is a very low key quiet description of how being a (relatively) healthy 80 year old feels like. With memories of what happened earlier. Worth reading for anybody who wants to understand what being old old means. How you have to restrict your activities and ambitions. How you lose all those people with whom you have been close. It is sad but beautiful.


The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
Price: £3.59

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Amazon evil?, 27 Dec 2013
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I am writing this review for Amazon and I am a longtime user of Amazon as a bookstore. I scarcely buy books from other sources. Before, I was regular user of the best bookstore in my city, but now I go there seldom and don't buy much. In addition, I am a fan of the new Kindle fire which for me is the best way to read books and acquire them. So, for me Amazon has changed everything as a book buyer. I should be thankful for Jeff Bezos. Still I am very divided. I am glad that there are physical bookstores and I am very sorry to see them disappear. When I was young, there was a large and lively bookstore in our neighbourhood, but now there are perhaps two or three real bookstores in the whole city.
Brad Stone tells the story of Amazon's development from the meagre beginnings to the present situation where it is the Everything store giant growing irresistibly. He is quite open about the negative side of this development, both for the employees and for the competitors. He is less good in presenting the life and personality of Jeff Bezos who seems to belong in the category of somewhat pathological but driven and creative capitalists who has created a completely different enterprise. The paradox of Amazon that its share price does not seem the react at all to the normal indicators and that it has a licence to do things which would be fatal for most other firms does not, however, find a satisfactory explanation. Also the fact that Amazon survived the first IT-crash is interesting bot not really treated by Stone. Still the book is highly readable and gives good background for understanding what is happening with Amazon. The story of Amazon is still quite short and we cannot say how it will end. Especially when Bezos leaves the controls. My bet is that Amazon is only one stage in the development towards a more decentralized system. The worst part about Amazon is surely its treatment of the warehouse workers (as long as people are cheaper than machines, they are being exploited...)


The Eitingons: A Twentieth-Century Story
The Eitingons: A Twentieth-Century Story
Price: £6.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating mystery, 15 Dec 2013
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This is a dream for a conspiration theorist: what is the connection between a rich American fur trader, a Freudian psychoanalyst who was in the innermost circle of Freud, and a blood soaked Russian NKVD agent whose most famous coup was the murder of Trotsky but who had been active in China and Spain? They were all relatives and had a Russian connection.And were Jewish. One of them was an obvious Soviet spy, the psychoanalyst was most probably one (involved in the murder of a white Russian general) and even the almost monopoly of the fur trader in the importing of furs from the Soviet Union does make it highly probable that the Soviet security organs were using him in financing Soviet activities abroad.Yet nothing can be said for sure. It could just be accidental.
The author of the book, Mary Kay-Wilmers, is the editor of London Review of Books and a close relative of the fur capitalist. She has travelled to all the places where her famous relatives had been active and interviewed those who were still alive and read the documents which refer to the Eitingons. She is very careful in her conclusions, not making claims that are not based in the documents. But she leaves the field open for speculation. And she gives a very many-sided picture of all the main personnages. And a good background description so one learns a lot of less known history of the 20th century. It is clear that she finds the NKVD agent most fascinating but even the other protagonists are given a fair share.
It is remarkable that Kay-Wilmers has not allowed the book to be reviewed in her own journal so that is almost passed unnoticed by this reviewer who reads regularly LRB.


Across the Pond: An Englishman's View of Ameica
Across the Pond: An Englishman's View of Ameica
Price: £5.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Eagleton's best book, 20 Sep 2013
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I had high expectations concerning Eagleton's bookon the US but came away disappointed. The jokes are pretty lame, the observations are often not generalisable and the Irish bias is very strong. Some parts are better than others but it is a little like Eagleton would not have put his heart on this book... And the comparisons with the UK/Ireland are not terribly interesting or sharp. Sorry to say, besause I am normally a big fan of Eagleton's (except about his opinions on Dawkins!)


555337 001|Nike LunarEclipse+ 3 Dk Grey|45 US 11
555337 001|Nike LunarEclipse+ 3 Dk Grey|45 US 11

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent light weight shoes, 20 Sep 2013
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Nike Lunar Eclipse are a no frill shoes which can be used also as everyday walkers because they have a neutral color and they are soft and comfortable. A good shoe for a neutral runner who does not need much support.


Gran Paradiso: The Alta Via 2 Trek and Day Walks (Cicerone Guides)
Gran Paradiso: The Alta Via 2 Trek and Day Walks (Cicerone Guides)
Price: £10.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful but check the today's situation, 20 Sep 2013
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I walked the Alta Via halfway starting from west (i.e. against the suggested course). Simply because I did not check that the train to Aosta would stop in the small station (with a very strange name) where the eastern end of Alta Via is. So I went all the way to Aosta and took the bus to Courmayeur, which was a good idea. The first part of Alta Via goes outside the map of Gran Paradiso and is common with the very popular Mont Blanc circular route. Better start from the map! The book gave excellent instructions except that in some places it was not completely clear (like going to the top from Thuile). So a map is absolutely necessary, too. Also, the book does not always warn of difficult passages whereas in some cases it makes them sound extremely difficult. It should say perhaps more clearly that Alta Via is not for the ordinary walkers with no practice and also there are some passages where going up is easy but coming down pretty terrible... Another small problem was that in some cases the places mentioned in the book did not exist any more (like the Dortoir Paradis aka en Haut which is now closed). But the Alta Via is really great and the book is a big help. I used the Kindle edition, so it did not weigh so much, either! And could be read in daylight, which cannot be said of my Samsung phone!


Marware Atlas Kindle Cover, Black (fits Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle and Kindle Touch)
Marware Atlas Kindle Cover, Black (fits Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle and Kindle Touch)

5.0 out of 5 stars good cover, 20 Sep 2013
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This a simple but good quality cover which protects the screen, is not too heavy and difficult to handle. No extra frills. Charging possible without removing the cover. And no lamps needed because this kindle has a back-lit screen, although it can be read in daylight!


Triumphs of Experience
Triumphs of Experience
Price: £12.57

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Success breeds success: One of the most successful longitudinal studies, 5 Aug 2013
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The Harvard Grant study is unique: a group of very special (in my country we call them people who are born with a gold spoon in their mouth) men who have been followed intensively from their university studies (with lots of backgrounds material) to the present, more than 70 years. Most of them are still alive and well. You get fascinating case studies, revelations (somebody has been able to hide his horrible mother relationship until old age) and also, interestingly, how fashions change in psychology. Everything from cranial measurements to life stories has been tried with these guys. All possible theories have been proved wrong.
The fact is that we should have lots more such studies. Almost every study would be worth while when repeated sufficiently often.
But we have this one, and it is quite interesting!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2013 3:40 PM BST


Oppenheimer: The Tragic Intellect
Oppenheimer: The Tragic Intellect
Price: £18.52

3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Thorpe, 13 July 2013
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Robert Oppenheimer is a fascinating but not very easy subject for a biographer. Charles Thorpe is unfortunate having written a biography just before Ray Monk published his version. Monk is so much better and thorough, so there is no comparison. It falls flat on its face so that it is almost unfair to compare.


Pissing Off Adults: A Short Guide
Pissing Off Adults: A Short Guide
Price: £0.77

2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't impress, 13 July 2013
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my teenage children! It is really not very relevant to relatively well behaved and intelligent children, as most of the children are anyway!


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