Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for Harnfield > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Harnfield
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,585,413
Helpful Votes: 12

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Harnfield

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Good Plain Cook
The Good Plain Cook
by Bethan Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars predictable, 18 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Good Plain Cook (Paperback)
We read this book in our book club. Somehow it did not inspire, and the connection claimed with Peggy Guggenheim was tenuous and contrived. The writing felt manufactured with the descriptive detail squeezed in as part of the editing process, and it did not flow or draw this reader in. I felt nothing for any character. I have no interest in chick lit - so maybe this is a 1930's equivalent to chick lit.
One of our readers noticed the book fails to mention political or social events of the 1930's. Perhaps that is because a servant would not pay attention to such news, but such news might have improved period authenticity and lent depth to fairly trivial fare.


The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia
The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia
by Paul Theroux
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars seasoned however somewhat prosaic travel writer, 18 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read Paul Theroux's 'To the ends of the earth' my curiosity was piqued so I ordered this volume. In the range between enthusiastic-effusive-poetic and cynical-prosaic-down to earth, Theroux veers toward the conservative which probably makes him more readable. This might suggest he travels for need rather than desire, and at times he appears to lack empathy for characters he describes.
This book is one of his earlier travel books. It is unfortunate that the transient impressions in the train do not afford Theroux more understanding of the places through which he passes. Excerpts from his later work in 'To the ends of the earth' indicate more involvement in the present moment, which will encourage me to read more of Theroux's work.

I have travelled to many of the places described, including Vietnamese Indian and Russian railways, and concur with many of his impressions. However I wish Theroux felt more joy and there was less immature carping.


Casino Royale (Coronet Books)
Casino Royale (Coronet Books)
by Ian Fleming
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars introducing the enigma James Bond, 18 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
To understand Bond, it is best to see how he was created in this 1953 book by Ian Fleming.

In the days of the Jet Set, James Bond knew his clothes, car and restaurants. Early on he describes casino gambling with familiarity as if it were a vice of Ian Fleming. Bond alludes to his war experiences in WWII and the cold war, however Fleming's description of the Secret Service is somewhat sketchy and seems less believable than that of John Le Carré. Bond is jaded about dating, anticipating the steps of courting through infatuation toward estrangement, yet his feelings evolving toward Vesper are described convincingly in the last part of the book.

Bond presents the last course of a smart meal as Vesper eating strawberries and Bond eating Avocado Pear - possibly because Ian Fleming had not eaten Avocado yet and did not know it was a savoury item.

It is likely that more now know Bond from the movies than from Ian Fleming's books. So it is inevitable to compare Bond in this book to depictions in movies which appeared over subsequent decades, tracking changes in public taste and 'politically correct' attitudes. The movie 'Casino Royale' (2006) followed the book closely except for beginning with a car chase not in the book, for using a rope-end instead of a carpetbeater to torment Bond, and for placing final actions in Venice.

However the first Bond movie to appear was 'Dr. No' (1962) because Ian Fleming sold the film rights of Casino Royale elsewhere, resulting in the incoherent forgetable farce of the movie 'Casino Royale' (1967). One may compare how Sean Connery plays Bond in 'Dr.No' to how Daniel Craig plays him in 'Casino Royale' (2006). Some say Daniel Craig is the best Bond yet and he depicts the toughness of Bond. However he is lacking the urbane charm, personality and presence of Sean Connery in my opinion. Both have more physicality than the other actors (Roger Moore Pierce Brosnan Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby) whose lesser physicality diminished their depiction of Bond as a calculating killing machine.


Intelligent Internal Control and Risk Management: Designing High-Performance Risk Control Systems
Intelligent Internal Control and Risk Management: Designing High-Performance Risk Control Systems
by Matthew Leitch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £80.00

5.0 out of 5 stars impressive achievement - a resource to return to again and again, 5 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book contains a comprehensive tool-kit for improving quality of business processes and thereby reduce the risk of error. Matthew Leitch draws on auditors' specialist knowledge, best practice in design of computer software like databases and spreadsheets, and these are merged with techniques identified from analysing client businesses and developed over the author's extensive career as a business consultant.

As the pace of trade and innovation speeds up, systems have to respond by getting smarter and more robust in design. Other books on 'internal controls' focus on addressing regulations (such as the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002) which will go out of date, and follow a checklist approach which discourages creative impulse.

The book is unique - it provokes creative thought and inspires. Applying its "design led discipline" can benefit enterprises more than applying the proscriptive regulations drafted in response to scandals of maladministration and fraud in recent decades.

Having trained as a chartered accountant and computer auditor developing financial systems, I found Leitch's every chapter stimulated "aha" moments and fresh insights - a resource to return to again and again. His later chapters build on earlier ideas to offer side views and deeper insights. The author's background in psychology shows in the way he discusses human reactions and barriers to improvement, so this book offers a rounded picture not just bare technique.

Knowing how MBA teaching can be behind the times, I would urge Business Schools to adopt this book to cultivate students' imagination around systems of business control, to develop case studies illustrating how combinations of techniques may be applied. Corporation directors are now required to certificate that their organisations have adequate control over business processes, and this book gives them the tools to do this.


Trail Life: Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking
Trail Life: Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking
by Ray Jardine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new "bible" for Ultralight long-distance hiking, 22 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ray and Jenny Jardine have adventured across the world by foot, cycle, canoe and sail. This book is about "ultralight" equipment and techniques that they have developed for walking long-distance trails all in one go. They describe how to obtain minimal pack weight which significantly extends daily distance, thereby reducing injury. This also minimises the number of days, so minimising supply cost and detours made necessary to obtain such supplies. They advocate Tarps (tarpaulins) that allow natural ventilation instead of Tents (and Bivi bags) that cause build-up of moisture, and explain why tents are usually colder than tarps. An umbrella keeps one drier than an anorak, except in the heaviest of downpours. They describe their clothing system, and how to camp with minimal impact on the environment.

Ray and Jenny claim 25000 miles of trail-tested tips, and I have adopted their approach and equipment for 2000 miles with complete satisfaction. I could not have done these without them: The UK Pennine Way in 2 weeks (Sep07), St. Olav's Way in 3 rainy weeks from Oslo (Jul09), the Via Francigena in 11 weeks from Canterbury (Aug-Nov10) and the UK Coast to Coast in 12 days (May11). I made my rucsac, tarp and other equipment from kits available from Ray and Jenny's website (search on RayWay). For clothing, I use the original range from Rohan ("bags" shorts and trousers, shirts and Olfio).


Page: 1