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The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District
The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District
by James Rebanks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all who love the Lake District . . . and those who don't, 16 May 2015
This is a fantastic book for all those who love the Lake District . . . and for those who don't! It is a 'warts and all' background to life in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Down to earth and written with passion from someone who loves and works the area. James Rebanks was born into and grown up in a family of sheep farmers as well as experiencing life from different perspectives.
Taking the reader through the four seasons of the life of a sheep farmer and all the highs and lows that brings, Rebanks reflects on his life so far and how his family through generations have influenced that life. It is an insight into the historic and modern day issues that affect the farming community nationally specifically from a view rooted in the Lake District.
For those who love the area it only serves to raise the appreciation and respect for the community. For others who have little knowledge or love of the countryside it is a very readable introduction to the importance of farming in our modern socio-economic society, why it is there, how it has reached the point it has today and why the traditions and community should be maintained and supported.
This is one of the best books I have read recently. At times sad, at others celebratory but thought-provoking throughout leaving the reader rooting for James and his family.
Unlike other reviews which have suggested the lack of pictures is a disappointment, James Rebanks descriptions and experiences of the fells and countryside which are the Lake District are more than illustrative enough to take you there. I cannot rate this book highly enough.


No Limits: My Autobiography
No Limits: My Autobiography
by Ian Poulter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best read but an interesting one, 20 April 2015
Possibly the worst autobiography I have ever read but, at the same time, a fascinating insight into the character and determination of Ian Poulter the man and his golf.
The text of the book suggests that it is largely transcripts from interviews with Poulter who is repetitive and rambling at times. As a book it could do with some serious editing and, in parts, extensive rewriting to make it a more enjoyable read. Having said that, you do get a good idea of how Poulter came to be the golfer he is and how he became the sportsman he is today.
He describes how he behaves in the way he does, how and why he reacts in the way he does to others and the effect his severe OCD has on the way he lives his life. There is no deep insight to the technicalities of golf but it is a fascinating 'behind the scenes' look at the world of professional golf. It is also a glimpse into the world of the professional sport star that is Ian Poulter and the rewards that has brought him. I think you either have to have some interest in professional sport, not especially golf, or in Ian Poulter to enjoy this book.


Wallflower
Wallflower
Price: £7.93

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Diana Krall we have come to know and love!, 16 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Wallflower (Audio CD)
I've listened to this album several times now and I really cannot make up my mind about it! It's certainly not the brilliant jazz performing Diana Krall we have come to know and love. The 'smoky', sultry vocals are there along with the classy performance and production qualities - although some of that production may be a little overdone on some tracks - and if the review was based purely on those criteria then it would have a five star rating. But, if I am to be honest about this album, these are not songs which I feel are suited to Diana Krall.
Overall the album is a sombre and, to some extent, a dreary, dull interpretation of a bunch of sad songs. It has the definite feel of a 'break-up' album from someone who has still to recover from a failed relationship. Each time I listen to it I need to follow it up with something with a bit of life to break the monotony, and thereby lies the problem. There is no light and shade in this album - it is all shade and a very dark shade at that.
Please, Diana, lighten up and let's get back to some really cool jazz and forget these dull covers. They are not you!


Casino Royale
Casino Royale
Price: £7.83

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A serious omission!, 17 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Casino Royale (Audio CD)
If I was reviewing this from a purely musical perspective it has to rate as 5 star. David Arnold is just brilliant as a composer for Bond and has the mood just right for the genre with his superb musical scoring. But, and it's a big but, as a soundtrack album it only rates 3 stars - where is the main title track?! Why oh why release a soundtrack album without the main title theme and one of the best ones as well! If you want 'You Know My Name' then I'm afraid you will have to look elsewhere - this is a very serious omission!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2013 6:26 PM GMT


The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, The Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Trenches
The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, The Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Trenches
by Harry Patch
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true hero!, 20 Sept. 2010
There's not much more which can be said about this book! This is a fascinating insight into the life of what I would term as a 'true hero'. An ordinary many who lived through the horrors of two world wars and gives us a working man's history of the twentieth century. An ordinary man who lived through and extraordinary period of history which superbly illustrates the realities of life and survival. This is not only a well-written biography it is a book which should be part of any history curriculum for its insights into the social, political and technological development in twentieth century Britain and beyond.


Working on a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen
Working on a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen
by David Masciotra
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very thought provoking, 20 Sept. 2010
This really is one of the most interesting books I have read recently. Having only truly 'discovered' Springsteen in recent years being just aware of his music previously, this gives a fascinating background into his story and what makes the man and his music. I have to say that I was ignorant of any of the reasons for his style and 'anger' as depicted through his art. This book brings it all together and my admiration for the man and his music has grown massively. Even if you are not a 'fan' of his style of music this is a must read if you are interested, in any way, in the social and political development of the US. Masciotra has written a truly thought-provoking work from the viewpoint of a lifelong Springsteen fan using the man and his music to illustrate the recent history and current socio-economic development in America. Springsteen himself has used his immense popularity to focus on the inequalties and divisions in society and, as a result, has rightly become a powerful political voice. Whatever your politics this well-written analysis of a popular culture and figurehead certainly has many valid arguments.


A Journey
A Journey
by Tony Blair
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

40 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many words!, 19 Sept. 2010
This review is from: A Journey (Hardcover)
I'm another of those who is neither a Blair nor Labour fan but bought the book out of sheer fascination as to what the fuss was about and also - hopefully - for a deeper insight into the politics behind some of the decisions made during the reign of Blair. At the outset I must say that his editor needs to look for a different career. The wordage is astonishing and could easily have been culled to a third of its size without losing the essence of the tome. Blair comments early on that his appointment of Alastair Campbell was largely for his experience of working on the tabloids. That, unfortunately, is a style which is prevalent throughout the book both in his writing and his character throughout his term in office. For all his words - and there are far too many - what emerges is that Tony Blair has just one interest - Tony Blair!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 11, 2011 1:51 PM BST


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