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keen reader (uk)

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Seven Sisters at Queen Anne's
Seven Sisters at Queen Anne's
Price: £5.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not least for the delightful little article at the back, 30 May 2014
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called "houseboating for girls."
Evelyn Smith takes some well known girls' school story tropes and plays with them splendidly. Recommended.


The autumn ghosts
The autumn ghosts
by Ruth M Arthur
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Short gothic novel for preteens, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: The autumn ghosts (Paperback)
I enjoyed this when I borrowed it from the library as a child and was half expecting to be disappointed, but wasn't. The author has a slight tendency to show rather than tells, but this helps the pace and is not unreasonable given the first person narration and the genre. All the vital ingredients are there and in good working order. Romilly is the true heroine of the story of course.


Candlemas mystery
Candlemas mystery
by Ruth M Arthur
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I read it, 25 May 2014
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This review is from: Candlemas mystery (Paperback)
..because I very much enjoyed books by this author when I was (much) younger, and this was the one I didn't get to read! Had I succeed in borrowing it from the library when it was published, it would have been contemporary. As it was, I enjoyed a spot of nostalgia about the conversion to north Sea gas and the lack of coal. (We got sent home from my primary school too.) The story seemed rather shorter than the other books, though and I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the books my the same author with more supernatural and historical elements. Margery Gill's illustrations were a joy, as always.


Dido Elizabeth Belle: A Biography
Dido Elizabeth Belle: A Biography
Price: £1.82

4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was expecting, 25 May 2014
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But enjoyable nevertheless. There was rather more context and less about Dido Elizabeth Belle than I was expecting, but that may be a reflection of how much less people's lives, and perhaps especially women's lives were recorded then. Daughter as clerical assistant/confidential secretary is not an unknown twentieth century phenomenon either, and I can confirm that this arises out of trust and mutual respect, rather than daughter-as- dogsbody. I can think of other reasons, apart from illegitimacy or colour for Dido's non- appearance at meals. Is it possible that being in her foster father's professional confidence she knew a little more about some of the guests, perhaps not entirely to their credit, and had at one point said something indecorous, perhaps pointing out hypocrisy in a fairly typical adolescent fashion? It would be a lot easier for an about-to-explode teenager to get herself out of the room in the drawing room after dinner than from the formality of the dinner table. The other possibility is an eating disorder. I do realise that for most of Britain's population, getting enough food would be the issue, but I'm sure upper class and upper middle class young ladies had at least as much pressure on them with regards to appearance as twenty-first century young women.
I am most intrigued by the signal for "the captain's dead." There has to be potential for a CS Forrester - style sort story there.


eSecure - Aneroid Sphygmomanometer Blood Pressure Monitor Meter + Free Stethoscope
eSecure - Aneroid Sphygmomanometer Blood Pressure Monitor Meter + Free Stethoscope
Offered by eSecure
Price: £44.99

3.0 out of 5 stars well, it is OK, 25 May 2014
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It would be even better if the fingers on my right hand functioned better, but that is hardly the product's fault. Not as easy to use as an electronic monitor, but just as portable.


Omron M2 Basic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron M2 Basic Blood Pressure Monitor
Price: £22.66

4.0 out of 5 stars seems to work, 25 May 2014
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And seems to continue working, more to the point. Insofar as I have been able to test it against another sphygnomanometer, it seems accurate enough.


Disney's Nine Old Men: A History of the Animators Who Defined Disney Animation
Disney's Nine Old Men: A History of the Animators Who Defined Disney Animation
Price: £2.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 7 May 2014
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A little bit of background, interesting for a general reader who would like to broaden their knowledge painlessly without committing time they haven't got. Reads rather like a series of shorter articles and none the worse for that.


Queen of the Desert: A Biography of the Female Lawrence of Arabia, Gertrude Bell
Queen of the Desert: A Biography of the Female Lawrence of Arabia, Gertrude Bell
Price: £1.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More in it than I expected, 13 April 2014
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.......and I'm still not quite sure what I think of her. (I think this is a good thing in a biography.) Certainly a fascinating mixture of events, time, attitudes and activities. Lively writing and an interesting story. There are achievements and ability to admire in Gertrude Bell, but I wonder if I'm the only reader left with a slight (and unaccountable) feeling that I distrust her? That doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the book, however.


The Galapagos Murder: The Murder Mystery That Rocked the Equator
The Galapagos Murder: The Murder Mystery That Rocked the Equator
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty enjoyment, 13 Mar. 2014
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A situation so fantastic and Agatha Christie - ish that I was half expecting the a fussy little Belgian to turn up on the next boat after the disappearance of - well, wait and see. Sadly, M Poirot suffers mal de mer and a slight "actuality" issue, so we'll never know who...
There must be a cracking film that could be made from this story.
The conclusion drawn about whoprobablydunnit made me think of a remark made about (I think) Captain Carrot in one of the early Discworld books.


A Dancer from the Abbey
A Dancer from the Abbey
by Elsie Jeanette (E J ) Oxenham
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars A slight story but enjoyable, 13 Mar. 2014
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The Abbey books have a curious addictive quality. This is one of the later ones and doesn't seem to have as much happening to the main characters, but is never the less a pleasant read. Parts featuring the more well known characters felt rather like getting an annual Christmas catch-up letter from a friend you used to see on a daily basis many years ago.


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