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William (England)

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Sugar and Slate
Sugar and Slate
by Charlotte Williams
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 31 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Sugar and Slate (Paperback)
The content was engaging. The different worlds came together and apart, leaving traces of each other and conflicts unresolved. This was good - the material and the ideas need to be heard.
But I really struggled with the narrative style. If the intention was to give a constant sense of dislocation, then that was achieved. However, this made it really hard to be sure from one paragraph to the next whether we were still in the same continent. The result was that it was difficult to know what to make of some of the stories, as it wasn't clear where they began and ended, either on the page or on the planet!
Maybe it's old-fashioned to want a beginning, middle and end. Maybe it is outmoded to ask for some background on characters before launching into their stories. If you can cope without these things, then this book may be for you.
Two stars because there is treasure to be found here. Three missing because the treasure is too well hidden.

Mary Wesley's Harnessing Peacocks [1992] [DVD]
Mary Wesley's Harnessing Peacocks [1992] [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Mills
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £5.58

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A jolly film, 12 Dec. 2009
An enjoyable film - much better than the lower-scoring reviews suggest. Scenery (Wiltshire, Cornwall, Scilly) attractive. The carnival scenes were good. The 'other' Scott-Thomas is a pleasure to watch.

Morning and Evening Prayer
Morning and Evening Prayer
by Not Available
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.72

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhythm of Life, 29 Nov. 2009
I bought the earlier edition of this nearly thirty years ago and it has given a rhythm to life ever since. Morning, Evening and Night Prayer are there in full. Everything for these offices is there for seasons and feasts (in contrast to the Shorter Morning and Evening Prayer, which leaves out quite a lot of the special material).
All that is missing from the full Liturgy of the Hours is the Office of Readings and Prayer During the Day. Many people might want to supplement the material in this book with some longer readings from Scripture and elsewhere; the Weekday Missal is the obvious next step.
I have bought subsequent copies including a newer edition and given them away to people to guide them in their prayer life. It does take a little work to understand where to go, but it's fairly easy to fall back on the four week cycle of hymns, Psalms, prayers and readings whenever simplicity beckons.
On a practical point, to avoid the ribbons fraying too soon, I have found it helps to tie a knot close to the end of each ribbon. My four ribbons sit (1) in the Proper of Seasons or in the Sundays of the Year, (2) in the Psalter, (3) in the Proper of Saints - General Calendar and (4) in the Common Offices, with prayer cards in the Frequently Recurring Texts (most of these can be learned by heart fairly easily), in Night Prayer and in the National Calendar.
My only criticism is that I haven't yet seen an edition with the revised National Calendar for England and Wales included. Someone please correct me if this latest edition has it.

Warrior: (Matthew Hervey Book 10)
Warrior: (Matthew Hervey Book 10)
by Allan Mallinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.28

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than a warrior, 1 Nov. 2009
Mallinson has written a good book here. It could have been very good, but probably relied too much on being part of the series. So there were some things which didn't stand on their own, but made sense in the context of the 10 books - is it really 10?

I was especially pleased that the encounter much earlier with the nun and the link to the Ignatian method was picked up. It was a bit disappointing that he didn't go back to her to be told what comes next. Matthew Hervey is an interesting person who is much more than just a warrior. How very superior this is to those strange Patrick O'Brian novels.

And there was a bit of a 'with one bound' strand at the end. I won't spoil the plot though for those who have not yet read it.

But all that said, this was a good read. Life is like this: it jumps around; things don't happen when you expect; difficult people turn out to be helpful and vice versa. I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series, and may pursue the non-fiction output too.

The Aeneid
The Aeneid
by Virgil
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £17.35

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential for the civilised reader/listener, 1 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Aeneid (Audio CD)
It is about Aeneas, but there are two others who must be mentioned.

First there is Paul Scofield, whose wonderful voice enriches this telling of the story immensely. At times you hardly notice him, as he lets the poetry do its own work. But then you realise how his grasp of the cadences of Virgil's poetry and his ability to bring out the meaning, where the dense classical text in translation can be demanding, makes this a real pleasure to listen to.

Then there is Virgil. Others will know more of him than I did, but for me it was striking how the character from Dante: Inferno (Penguin Classics)now made so much more sense. He tells a story sad and powerful. In fact there are several stories. First he follows on from Homer and picks up the story of the The Iliad (Penguin Classics) describing the fate of Troy. Then he tells us the wonderful story of Dido and Aeneas. I stopped at this point to listen to Purcell - Dido and Aeneas. This is where I knew that Virgil could tell it how it is. Then there is the descent into the underworld, prefiguring Dante, and last is the account of the foundation of Rome, looking ahead to the Caesars and many others.

If you want to join the dots in the classical world, this is the book. If you want to get the power of the spoken tale, then it would be hard to do better than listen to Paul Scofield.

by Dava Sobel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pride and Prejudice, 26 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Longitude (Paperback)
Harrison seems to have been one of those people who is his own worst enemy; too proud to be successful.
Sobel is almost as prejudiced in his favour as some of those who opposed him were prejudiced against him. So it's difficult to feel you have read this and got the true picture. It seems that the astronomical methods were more successful than she admits for most of the book.
Nevertheless this is a helpful read which puts the development of clocks into context and reminds us just how difficult it was to navigate the seas safely in the days before GPS.

Mastery (Plume)
Mastery (Plume)
by George Leonard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.42

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The antidote to 'Get somewhere quick' nonsense, 26 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Mastery (Plume) (Paperback)
This book was recommended reading for developing 'potential leaders' from my erstwhile, fad-centered, American employer, so my expectations were low. When I saw it was written by someone who was into the totally alien world of martial arts, my expectations fell lower still.
But in fact it's a really simple, sensible book about gradual and long-term development, being prepared to listen to someone else, taking your time, always looking to be better.
As someone versed in the Christian monastic way, I was struck by the parallels with the Rule of Benedict. Here is a practical reflection on stabilitas and the journey.

Amo, Amas, Amat... and All That: How to Become a Latin Lover
Amo, Amas, Amat... and All That: How to Become a Latin Lover
by Harry Mount
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lamenting less Latin, 27 Aug. 2008
An entertaining run through Latin as the language of the classics.

Could have said something about pronunciation: why make it up as the classicists do, or mangle it as the Etonians do, when you can experience it as the beautiful living language of the Church spoken in the Italian style.

A few copy-editing mistakes: translation of the Ave Maria and of Horace (p. 206 - leporem translated as dove rather than hare!).

But otherwise an inspiration to try again with the language of so many ages. Well done, Harry Mount. Who is going to do the same for Greek?

Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus (Myths)
Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus (Myths)
by Salley Vickers
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 5 Jan. 2008
This is a dull book. It is about an imagined set of conversations between a dying Sigmund Freud and an Ancient Greek about Oedipus.
Since it is hard to see anything interesting in the world views, thoughts or experiences of any of them, it just became harder and harder work.
The writing is unengaging, and as for 'layers of meaning', I'm sorry but they passed me by completely.
It is not very long, but too long for me. The only good thing is that it occasionally draws attention to birdsong. But that doesn't make it worth reading!

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