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Bruce M J M (England)

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The Blackhouse: Book One of the Lewis Trilogy
The Blackhouse: Book One of the Lewis Trilogy
by Peter May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Tale, 24 Mar. 2017
This is one of the best books I have read about life in the Hebrides. It truly reflects many of the attitudes and social norms to be met in Lewis and Harris. The particular hardships of the recent past, especially among children, are most accurately described, thanks to real research and authentic narration by May. This is a grand introduction to the Trilogy.


Untergetaucht. Eine Flucht aus Deutschland. ( Ab 12 J.)
Untergetaucht. Eine Flucht aus Deutschland. ( Ab 12 J.)

5.0 out of 5 stars Out of Darkness, 27 Oct. 2015
This book, deliberately written in plain and unpretentious German, gives a vivid picture of the life of a German-Jewish family living in Hamburg during the 1930s. Gert Koppel was only 6 years old when his book begins. His recollections are of a happy childhood in Hamburg which was increasingly overshadowed by the fear and oppression which the regime increasingly exerted on the Jewish population. You soon realize that the process of gradual attrition reduced Gert's family home to a place of constant anxiety and the need to escape by any means possible. The constant indignities suffered by Gert and his Jewish neighbours are painful just to read about. And eventually it was Gert and his sister who first managed to get in Belgium. The experiences which they and their parents endured are almost adventures, if it were not always a matter really of life and death to them all. After the darkness of this part, Gert received many acts of bravery and kindness from a large number of Belgians although the family had to live apart until the day of liberation. The record of the more distant relatives of Gert who were transported east to Auschwitz and never returned is a grim reminder of what an evil regime the Nazis were. People of any age should read this completely factual autobiography.


Langenscheidts Grundwortschatz Deutsch: Basic German Vocabulary
Langenscheidts Grundwortschatz Deutsch: Basic German Vocabulary
by Heiko Bock
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Searching For, 29 Sept. 2014
If you are lucky enough to find a copy of this book at a reasonable price, it would be worth getting. The selection of words has been more carefully chosen than you find in most German vocabulary books, and the examples of usage which accompany each word are stimulating and imaginative. I did find one or two unexpected printing mistakes - not something that I expect from such a respected name as Langenscheidt. The stated aim is to present you with 2000 basic words to cover about 80% of ordinary language requirements: this is followed in subsections with a further 2000 words to cover a further 10-15%. In fact several words appear more than once in different parts of the book and, instead of 4000 different words, the total of varied meanings in the vocabulary is about 3700. Nevertheless all time spent mastering this collection of words will be of great advantage to any serious student aiming at a real familiarity with good, standard German.


iGadgitz Genuine Leather Flip Case Cover for Sony Walkman NWZ-E473 NWZ-E474 NWZ-E574 NWZ-E575 E Series Video MP3 Player 4gb 8gb 16gb (NWZ-E474B, NWZ-E574B, NWZ-E575B, NWZ-E473K) - Black
iGadgitz Genuine Leather Flip Case Cover for Sony Walkman NWZ-E473 NWZ-E474 NWZ-E574 NWZ-E575 E Series Video MP3 Player 4gb 8gb 16gb (NWZ-E474B, NWZ-E574B, NWZ-E575B, NWZ-E473K) - Black
Offered by iGadgitz
Price: £11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Protection, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This must be the best case for protecting your Walkman. It's easy to open & shut, it stops accidental switching on and it looks good too. Well worth its price in every way.


PONS Dictionary English - German ADVANCED
PONS Dictionary English - German ADVANCED
Price: £15.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate & Clear, 9 July 2013
This is a truly excellent dictionary. I have checked its entries for some time and in great detail: it is most carefully edited and presented, and it is a wonderful time-saver when reading harder texts. Apart from all the usual shades of meaning in German and English, it includes all the idiomatic usages very readily available. The added vocabulary practice possibilities are very useful. As if this were not enough, there are examples for all radical words of spoken sounds on line. In addition, the standard pronunciation is given for every word.
It is a wonderful dictionary, to be heartily recommended to every serious student.


20 Questions on EdExcel C2 Maths: Logarithms (Why Didn't They Teach It Like That In Class?)
20 Questions on EdExcel C2 Maths: Logarithms (Why Didn't They Teach It Like That In Class?)
Price: £3.59

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was it worth it?, 23 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The author has provided a really helpful guide to logarithms and the varied manipulation of exponents together with the solution of such things as exponential equations, using logarithms. His language is clear and very accessible in every way. However, whenever any mathematical notation is used, the type becomes incredibly small - often quite unreadable even with magnification. Changing the font of the main text makes no difference.
Consequently most of the utility of this book is completely lost.
It would be great if some expert knew of a way of correcting this; otherwise the book - for all its virtues - is not really worth buying.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2012 5:59 PM GMT


Sicily: Nature, Culture and Traditions (Italy from Above)
Sicily: Nature, Culture and Traditions (Italy from Above)
by Antonio Attini
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle's Eye, 24 Sept. 2012
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What a great book. For those who know Sicily well, this will be a wonderful way of refreshing memories and perspectives of this beautiful island. Over 200 fine colour photographs taken from the air cover every aspect of Sicily. The text is spare but readily positions the photographs into the context of their settings. Consequently the book is divided up into sensible sections covering Archaeology, Nature, Volcanoes, Cities and the smaller islands. The colours are stunning and there is a complete index to look out favourite places.
These are the views of Sicily that you cannot see for yourself and which do not appear on postcards. Its value as a treasury of Sicilian land and life is therefore greatly to be appreciated. I can heartily recommend this book both to anyone familiar with the island and, even more, to anyone planning a visit there.


Vax U88-AM-B Air³ Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Vax U88-AM-B Air³ Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 18 Sept. 2012
When I bought the Air3, I used it at once and was horrified at the amount of dust and fluff that it picked up which my old cleaner failed to clean. This vacuum is a genuine pleasure to use. It gives my carpets a good brushing to restore the pile and it picks up everything. It is very lightweight which is, for me, a real benefit as well as a change. So stairs are no problem to deal with efficiently.
The fact that this comes with a 6 year guarantee shows that you can have confidence in this machine. It has already made all the difference to my whole house and I can strongly recommend it.


Gaeilge Gan Stro! - Beginners Level: A Multimedia Irish Language Course for Adults
Gaeilge Gan Stro! - Beginners Level: A Multimedia Irish Language Course for Adults
by Eamonn O Donaill
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Way to Start Learning Irish, 5 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a wonderful way to start learning Irish as an adult. The themes throughout the book are those which would naturally occur in general conversation and the setting is always entirely relevant to daily life. At the same time, the approach to grammar is much more relaxed. As a result the intention seems to be to instil the patterns of the language by hearing and seeing them in action. Occasionally you are left wondering why a phrase is worded in the way that it is: and this is probably the sort of question that is best left to a more rigorous course.
After doing all the lessons and exercises, I can say that I've got a good general understanding of how Irish works, and - with plenty of revision - a fairly useful vocabulary to practise with. The sounds of Irish words, which are often reported to trouble beginners, are sorted by the 4 CDs covering all the words and dialogues. These are recorded by native speakers, and they include interviews with interesting Irish speakers, unconnected with the course as such. Dialogues however are spoken at regular conversational speed and I needed plenty of re-listening to detect all the words and to hear how they were pronounced in context.
There are two very good indexes at the back on topics and grammar. As you work through the book, you really need to make your own vocabulary list for revision purposes. The exercises are a mixture of spoken and written questions: the answers to the latter are all given in a Key section at the end. With each lesson there are hints for the learner and there is a wealth of information about where further study, reading and contact can be made with the language.
I highly recommend this book to all enthusiasts of the language and I look forward to attempting the follow-up Lower Intermediate book in this series.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2012 12:22 AM GMT


Irish:Spoken World
Irish:Spoken World
by Living Language
Edition: Paperback
Price: £41.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super start but beware of the details!, 9 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Irish:Spoken World (Paperback)
I have just completed every lesson and exercise of this course book. It gives a wonderful overview of the Irish language, introducing all the main points of grammar and using plenty of everyday vocabulary. The 15 lessons are supported by CDs on which the dialogues and vocabulary lists are recorded together with the example sentences for each new grammar topic. Separate recordings give the learner practice at aural comprehension and in answering some spoken tests.
There is also supplementary reading text with each lesson, requiring probably a separate dictionary to translate all the words, although the dialogues and texts all have a printed translation following them.
The course book has a full guide to pronunciation at the start and some very handy appendices on lenition, eclipsis and other prefixes.
Each lesson has some written exercises at the end. These are frankly much too easy for even the most puzzled learner and do not prepare you for the far harder business of the aural/oral tests later. On the other hand there are also interesting passages in English on a wide variety of topics concerning Irish life and culture with internet addresses where we can read further details and extend our interest.
However, the attentive learner will notice a few points which perhaps need attention in a second edition of this course. There are some obvious misprints: some arise from transcription - e.g. fhdcadán for fholcadán, éise for éisc. Others come from failed proof-reading: `the initial consonant . . . is made slender[p.142]' instead of `the final consonant . .'. Things like that might confuse the unwary learner, as does the spelling of cathan[p.154], m'fostóir [176] etc.
The two speakers on the CDs, together with the continuity speaker, are excellently clear and they speak at a speed that makes their words easy to follow with or without the printed text - something that many other Irish courses fail at miserably. However, although the female Irish voice is clearly confident and consistent, the male speaker seems to need watching! He might have a native dialect which will pronounce `ch' as a `k' and `dh' as a hard `g', but I have my doubts. His intonation when reading the texts suggests to me that he is reading from a script of imitated pronunciation, without actually understanding the Irish he is saying. Words that belong together are often separated as if the second belongs to what follows; and some words are pronounced in more than one distinct way. I cannot find the names of the speakers anywhere in the course material.
You will also find that occasionally the speakers insert words and even short sentences that are not printed in the book. And in the aural tests, you cannot always blame yourself if your answer is different from the one given. At one point you are asked to describe in Irish a pair of trousers as blue: after a pause, the man recites the answer, saying in Irish that the trousers are red. Even in the recitation of some of the printed paradigms there are little mistakes which could easily have been corrected.
So, if you buy this course, just be aware that you are not alone in making small mistakes along the way!
The course uses nearly 600 Irish words and there is a further supplementary vocabulary of words, grouped under general headings for further study. There are even some blank pages at the end of the course book for your notes.
Despite the imperfections which required only some efficient proof-reading or, better still, some practical trials with students before publication, I think this is a fine first course and a great way to start Irish and I still reckon it deserves its 5 stars. But you would do well to arm yourself with `Progress in Irish' for getting to grips with the grammar in serious detail.


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