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Pewari Naan (West Midlands, UK)

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Fear of Landing: You Fly Like a Woman
Fear of Landing: You Fly Like a Woman
Price: £2.05

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Pilots, 11 Dec 2011
Well, I know nothing about planes, or flying, or being a pilot, but I found this book a highly entertaining read - I never once felt bogged down in aviation jargon, everything technical was explained clearly.

Sylvia is an engaging writer with a lovely subtle, self-depreciating humour. I could completely relate to that feeling out of one's depth in a male dominated field and was rooting for her every step of the way.

Buttonbag Bunny Hutch
Buttonbag Bunny Hutch

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great - but not enough felt provided!, 12 July 2011
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Buttonbag Bunny Hutch (Toy)
My 10-year-old received this as a birthday present and was really looking forward to making it. Only we discovered very early on that the amount of felt provided was too small for the pattern.

Fixed the problem by scanning the pattern in and reducing the size by 80% before reprinting, but really that shouldn't have been necessary. A very disappointing start to an otherwise thoughtfully produced kit.

My World in Motion
My World in Motion
by Jo Whiley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.36

8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, funny and full of personality, 26 Jun 2009
This review is from: My World in Motion (Hardcover)
The first impression of the book is one of overwhelming enthusiasm, spirit and personality. It's packed full of interesting and often hilarious anecdotes about the music industry and life in the BBC, combined with the balancing act of being part of the Whiley-Morton `tribe'. It's a non-stop ride and as a result the narrative can feel a little disjointed in places, but Jo comes across as someone who is honest, loving and living life with every last ounce of energy that she has.

I greatly enjoyed reading about her family, her childhood with her sister Frances who suffers from cri du chat, and how she juggles her life as a DJ with bringing up four children. Motherhood, work and life balance is hard for many women and while Jo doesn't claim to have found that balance, she meets the challenge head-on with the passion and vivacity that she throws into every aspect of her life. It makes a refreshing change from the current trend of angst-ridden genre of momoirs.

The absolute best feature of the book, though, is the playlists that are scattered throughout the pages, each themed to a different stage of her life. It was a great trip through memory lane for me as well as I re-discovered tracks I haven't listened to in years and I strongly suspect I'm going to be spending a lot more on iTunes over the next few weeks as I go back through the book!

Anyway, I can thoroughly recommend this book to any music fan or if you just love to read about other people's interesting lives.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 3, 2009 12:15 PM BST

Kipper's A to Z
Kipper's A to Z
by Mick Inkpen
Edition: Paperback

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite with mum too!, 1 July 2003
This review is from: Kipper's A to Z (Paperback)
Kipper's A to Z is a delightful book which unlike most children's alphabet books doesn't take itself too seriously. It follows Kipper and Arnold through their world while they search for creatures to put in their alphabetical zoo box (unsuprisingly, the enormous elephant won't fit) cheating horribly along the way (X is for Xugglybug?!). It even features a rather impatient zebra who just won't wait until the end of the book. This had me laughing as much as my two-year-old.
The illustrations, as you would expect for Mick Inkpen, are superb - simple yet detailed enough to delight even after the hundredth read. From an educational point of view, all the words chosen fit nicely with the phonetic sounds of the alphabet which so refreshing after the last alphabet book we bought which had a is for ape and g is for giraffe - doomed to confuse from the start.
We originally got this book from the library, but it soon became apparent that it was one that needed to be a permanent fixture on the shelves.

At Swim, Two Boys
At Swim, Two Boys
by Jamie O'Neill
Edition: Paperback

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted tale, 3 Oct 2002
This review is from: At Swim, Two Boys (Paperback)
The first thing that struck me on picking up "At Swim, Two Boys" was the lyrical Irish dialect used throughout the narrative as well as the character speech. For the first chapter or so, I found this really awkward to try and process what was being said, however I soon got used to it. In some ways, I felt the language lent the book a magical quality and I quickly became immersed in the scenes as a result.
The book is set around the time of the First World War and follows the life of a young boy, Jim, up to the time of the Irish Easter Uprisings in 1916. The main theme is the contrast between glorification and idealism of war compared to the grim realities. There is a particularly poignant moment where Jim's father (Mr Mack) tells him that his brother is safer in the WWI trenches than he would be on the streets of home, of course history tells us a much different scenario. We also follow the burgeoning homosexual relationship between Jim and his friend Doyler. There are darker subplots in the book of abuse, manipulation and rape that made for quite an uncomfortable read at times.
The plot progresses quite gently at first, meandering through the character's lives - and you really do get to know and love each of them for all their faults. Jim comes across as naïve and idealistic - full of energy, love and faithful to what he believes in. Mr Mack is probably my favourite character, however. He is idiosyncratic to the point of irritating and appears to be a woefully inadequate parent. Then as you get to know him, you realise that he's just doing what he thinks is best in a very difficult situation. Although full of pride and wanting to be seen to be moving upwards in society, when events conspire against him, he is seen to be generous and true, thoughtful and dutiful to what is right, a pillar of strength throughout almost overwhelming sorrow. I grew to admire and respect him throughout the novel.
Doyler, I suppose, is the typical loveable rogue, although he's never that straightforward a character. At times, it is hard decide if he is the manipulated or the manipulator in his relationships and actions. We are given glimpses into the poverty he was brought up in - scenes which I found difficult to relate to given how starkly different they are compared to life in the Western World of today. Despite that, he makes his own choices and his own luck - I remain undecided whether I actually like him or not!
MacMurrough is an odd character - he hears voices, he manipulates the young boys to his own ends, he has overwhelming self-interest and bitterness - yet he does appear to genuinely love Jim and I often found myself hoping that he would find happiness and fulfilment by the end of the book. In many ways, I felt as if we should really dislike him, yet I couldn't quite bring myself to.
I was slightly disappointed with the book's ending. The main pace had been slow and thoughtful, yet towards the end it became fast and confused. I imagine part of this was intentional on the part of the author to reflect the atmosphere of the time, and also part due to my general ignorance of Irish history. However, I found that as I understood less of what was going on, I had less sympathy with the characters and less interest in their fate. The final chapter felt contrived, unsatisfactory and unfinished (I don't want to give too much detail away here for those who have not completed the book yet).
Overall, though, it was a lovely book - I felt I had participated in the story rather than just read it, which is a direct reflection on Jamie O'Neill's skill with the written word. I would probably want to read it again some day, but only after I had read up a little more about the Irish history of that time.

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