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Content by Marian
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Marian (Nr Southampton, Hants United Kingdom)

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A Photographic Guide To Birds Of Southern Brazil
A Photographic Guide To Birds Of Southern Brazil
by Clive Byers
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and informative, 22 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this a few years ago and have used it on trips to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The photos are good and the text is full of information. For my visit to the Pantanal in May 2016 I bought the Van Perlo guide to the Birds of Brazil, which includes far more species, but has very little information for each one, and the illustrations are rather small and difficult to use for identification. I ended up looking at both, and learning more from the Photographic Guide about the birds it covers. (And both got soaked when my water bottle leaked into my daysack! Why don't field guides come in waterproof wrappers?)


Verano Womens Swimsuit Veronica (Blue/Navy Blue, EU 48 = UK 20)
Verano Womens Swimsuit Veronica (Blue/Navy Blue, EU 48 = UK 20)
Offered by Hisert
Price: £67.90

2.0 out of 5 stars Do they ever take measurements from real Size 20 women?, 11 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As so often with Size 20 swimsuits, the bust was a good fit but the body of the garment is too short. I'm only 5'2" but like a lot of Size 20 women, I have a big tum and there isn't enough fabric in this suit to cover it, so there's an unsightly gap above each hip, while the bust is pulled down to show the gap between my breasts. This is about the third or fourth swimsuit I've tried from different retailers, all with the same fault, and unless you want a black granny-cozzie it seems impossible to get something that is cheerful and a good fit.


The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't Working, How it Can be Reformed, What Could Take its Place
The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't Working, How it Can be Reformed, What Could Take its Place

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will help you far more than most of the media coverage, 19 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a really excellent summary of the arguments for and against Brexit, and I have been recommending it to everyone I know, and even buying them copies to read. It's not only amusing and easy to read, but it is packed with useful statistics and economic facts such as you don't hear in most of the commentary in the media. It lays out the various options for a post-Brexit relationship with Europe, not just the usual 'Norway' or 'Switzerland' arrangements that are discussed.


Guillaume Tell: Teatro Comunale Di Bologna (Mariotti) [DVD] [2015]
Guillaume Tell: Teatro Comunale Di Bologna (Mariotti) [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Juan Diego Florez
Price: £19.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just listen, and don't get exasperated by what you see, 11 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would give this 5 stars for the musical quality - terrific singing, lovely instrumental playing, masterly conducting - but the whole thing is horribly let down by the tiresome, silly production. Juan Diego Florez is the star of the show, and throws himself into the performance of the conflicted young lover with great intensity, as well as managing the formidable technical demands of a role very few tenors can even attempt. All the other principals are excellent, and as this opera is rarely performed on stage, watching it allows you to grasp Rossini's achievement in a new style of opera, which was very influential on the composers who followed. What a pity Graham Vick was let loose on it, with decapitated horses and silent cameramen and women in Downton Abbey evening frocks adding absolutely nothing to anybody's understanding or appreciation of a great work!


The Transylvania Trilogy (3 Book Series)
The Transylvania Trilogy (3 Book Series)

5.0 out of 5 stars Your invitation to a world that disappeared 100 years ago, 8 Sept. 2015
This trilogy of novels is a rich mixture - stir bits of Anna Karenina together with Downton Abbey and the political novels of Trollope, and set it in the completely unfamiliar territory of the Hungarian aristocracy in Transylvania in the years leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. It has nothing whatever to do with Dracula or vampires, which is why the translator preferred a different title (The Writing on the Wall). There are complex characters, love affairs that go wrong, mental illness, addiction, and tremendous set pieces of balls and hunts and grand dinners and duels, as well as a loving depiction of the countryside and the forests that Banffy knew and lost when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was divided up after WW1. Unless you are especially interested in the politics of the Hungarian Parliament in the early 20C, you'll probably want to skip some of the political stuff, but even skimming through it, you pick up a sense of the ethnic and nationalist tensions that Banffy blames for the unpreparedness of Hungary at the outbreak of war.


The Hairdresser of Harare
The Hairdresser of Harare
by Tendai Huchu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Open the door to an African hair salon!, 6 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I loaded this on my kindle for a trip through Southern Africa and really enjoyed reading it. It's very contemporary and opens the door on life in urban Zimbabwe, its corruption and its taboos, in a way that I've not found elsewhere. It also made me look with more interest at the hairstyles of the young African women I came across in my travels - not something I find out much about in my usual life in rural Hampshire!


Aurora Mains Voltage Cast Aluminium Square LED Wall / Plinth / Stair Light - White LEDs
Aurora Mains Voltage Cast Aluminium Square LED Wall / Plinth / Stair Light - White LEDs
Offered by Lights4u
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Really useful light, easy to replace, 27 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We've had these in our bathrooms and loos since 2009 and for the first time one began to flicker. Given that it has been running every night for more than 5 years, that's pretty good. It's ideal for keeping a low light through the night so you can find your way to the loo in the early hours without having to switch on a bright bulb and wake yourself up.
You can't just 'replace the bulb', and our local electrical shop couldn't help, so I thought it would be a real hassle to get a replacement unit. Not at all, I found this right away on Amazon and it was very easy just to take out the light unit and fit it as a replacement without removing the metal fitting that is flush to the wall. I got two in case another fails in the future.


Paul et Virginie (illustré) (French Edition)
Paul et Virginie (illustré) (French Edition)
Price: £1.34

3.0 out of 5 stars Holiday read for Mauritius, 30 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I put this on my Kindle to read during a holiday in Mauritius (it's set on the island, and I remembered it from my French degree many years ago). I thought that the illustrations were going to be nice 18C engravings - there must be lots of them as it was a best-seller for about a century - but instead they were horrid, cheap Valentine hearts-and-flowers designs, presumably because the French think of the story as a Great Romance. 'Paul et Virginie' is a French classic, and there's even a hotel named after the book, but hardly any English-speaking visitors have ever heard of it.
Apart from the matter of the illustrations in this Kindle edition, it's a fun read if you are in Mauritius and can imagine it as the tropical Garden of Eden described by Bernardin de St-Pierre - he is making an opposition between the idyllic, simple life of the family and the corrupt, greedy, class-obsessed life of the elite in Paris. The church in Pamplemousses attended by the characters in the novel is still standing, and you can visit the monument to the shipwreck of the St-Geran, which the author uses as the denouement of the story.


Ottoline and the Yellow Cat
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat
by Chris Riddell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book for a new reader, 30 May 2015
This is the first book my 6-year-old granddaughter has read by herself, in bed, keen to go back and read the next bit of the story. I picked it up in a charity shop for our holiday home, and now she has enjoyed it so much, I've ordered two more Ottoline books for her. 'Chris Riddell' is the first author's name that she has remembered - three cheers for him, to have hit exactly the right spot for a new reader.


Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak
Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great read! Henriette went out to Sarawak in 1848 ..., 3 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a great read! Henriette went out to Sarawak in 1848 with her husband to bring Christianity to the people under the rule of the first White Rajah, James Brooke. She was a fearless, can-do woman who had several children, lost some of them to cholera and fever, gave orphans a home and set up a school, had to flee from a Chinese insurrection and attacks by pirates, supported other Europeans who came to work and live in Borneo, took an openminded view on indigenous customs (she once found herself at a feast in a longhouse where the centrepiece was three severed human heads on a bed of rice!) and based her book on the letters she wrote home to her family and, later, to the children she had to send back to England for their health and education.


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