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Janie "Jane O'Neill" (Brighton, England)

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Mr Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark: The Story of the Byrds' Gene Clark
Mr Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark: The Story of the Byrds' Gene Clark
by John Einarson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best music biographies, 22 Mar. 2014
I found this book almost impossible to put down. It's massively readable, riveting and insightful. Although a fan of the Byrds, I was not very familiar with Gene's solo work, or his life story, and I certainly was not aware what a complex, dark and above all gifted man he was. There are many sad and tragic sections of the book - Gene was self-destructive to a massive degree, and obviously suffered from a whole host of undiagnosed psychological problems. It would be easy to loathe him due to his frequent terrible behavior to family and friends, but through it all I couldn't help but feel a sense of pity for Gene (and for the people who suffered at his hands) due to his obvious mental discord and his own suffering. The most amazing thing is that, through it all, Gene kept producing fantastic music, as if that was a part of his being which could never be destroyed or even just damaged. Gene also comes over as an essential good person who could not control his own demons. The book portrays all this in great detail and with great insight. And the best thing for me is that while reading it - and since finishing it - I have been listening to a lot more of Gene's solo work, where I've found a vast reserve of musical riches. Thank you Mr. Einarson!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2016 8:28 PM BST


Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life
Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life
by Graham Nash
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 1 Oct. 2013
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I really enjoyed the book - Graham Nash has lived an amazingly interesting life, and the book tells the story well, with lots of energy and detail. It's incredible that he transcended such a difficult early life to attain such heights of creativity and success. Thanks Graham - for the music and this great book!


L'Integrale des Albums Studio (13CD)
L'Integrale des Albums Studio (13CD)
Price: £54.07

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 10 April 2013
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It's impossible to do justice to the power and beauty of Jacques Brel in words. I have listened to most of the songs of these CDs hundreds of times now, over the last 20 years, but they never cease to affect me with their transcendent, time-stopping intensity. Some songs - like Au Suivant, Amsterdam, Mathilde, Les Desesperes - literally take your breath away. You listen to them and your mind is in suspension, and at the end the world seems a slightly different place. The best songs are so transcendent that you can't believe that they were composed or recorded in a particular time and place (mostly in Paris in the 1960s!) - they seem eternal. Somehow Brel had the ability to conjure a whole world in three minutes or so, to capture the experience of dozens of different human beings - in that sense, he's as great as Shakespeare. He had the ability to depict almost every aspect of human experience, aware of wonderful and terrible human life can be, often at the same time. So many songs about death! But maybe his intense awareness of death made Brel aware of the tremendous significance and beauty of life.

And on top of all this, Brel was an amazingly captivating and charismatic performer - it even comes through in the grainy black of white of the you tube videos. [...]
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2015 12:37 PM GMT


Listening to Van Morrison
Listening to Van Morrison
by Greil Marcus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It ain't why why why - it just is, 7 Dec. 2010
I would like to echo the other reviewers - this book is narcissitic and pointless. It tells you little about Van Morrison or his songs, and a lot about the author - far more than we need to know, since he comes over as very self-absorbed and self-important. Any pretence at critical objectivity is abandoned in his sweeping dismissal of vast swathes of Van's output. You'd better of buying a book by someone who actually 'gets' the music - or maybe just forget the books and go back to the music. After all, 'It ain't why why why - it just is.'


The Power
The Power
by Rhonda Byrne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars inspiring in places, 24 Aug. 2010
This review is from: The Power (Hardcover)
There are lots of inspiring passages in this book, and in places it did make me think 'Yes! That's right!' The Secret was largely made up of other people's work, so it's interesting to hear Rhonda Byrne's own perspective in detail. A life-affirming read, even though it does feel a little repetitive sometimes.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2012 12:17 AM BST


59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot
59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot
by Richard Wiseman
Edition: Paperback

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent and uplifting, 15 July 2009
This is a very useful antidote to the nonsense of self-help books such as the Secret, which promote self-delusion over genuine self-improvement. At times it reads like patchwork of different ideas, rather than a coherent book, but it's full of excellent tips, and written in a very lively style. Wiseman has a gift for paring research down to its essentials and conveying its findings very directly. I'm not sure if the 59 seconds idea is very realistic, but anyone who reads this book will certainly gain a great deal. It's the kind of book which gives self-help a good name - and it needs it, after books like the Secret and the Cosmic Ordering Service! It stands together with other authentic and genuinely helpful self-help type books such as Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness or Steve Taylor's Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of our Minds Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of Our Minds


How to Live in the Here and Now: A Guide to Accelerated Enlightenment, Unlocking the Power of Mindful Awareness
How to Live in the Here and Now: A Guide to Accelerated Enlightenment, Unlocking the Power of Mindful Awareness
by Paul Jones BSc.
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 25 May 2009
I really enjoyed this book - it's an excellent blend of psychology and spirituality, very clearly written. It looks at what it really means to live in the present, and the factors which stop us doing so. It makes it clear that most of us spend practically our whole lives out of the present. True living only really takes place in the present, so in that sense most people spend their whole lives not living. This books aims to correct this. I recommend it for anyone who wishes to live more fully. Another excellent book with a similar message is Steve Taylor's Making Time Making Time: Why Time Seems to Pass at Different Speeds and How to Control it


One Unknown: A powerful account of survival and one woman's inspirational journey to a new life
One Unknown: A powerful account of survival and one woman's inspirational journey to a new life
by Gill Hicks
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 29 Jan. 2009
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I love this book - I have found it massively inspiring, especially the way that Gill's attitude to life has been transformed by her experience. She reminds us of what is really important in life, and how we should appreciate the smallest things in our lives, and not take anything for granted. She reminds us that life is precious, and that it's imperative for us all to live positively, and make positive contributions to the world.


The Pursuit of Happiness: A History from the Greeks to the Present
The Pursuit of Happiness: A History from the Greeks to the Present
by Darrin M. McMahon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 24 Dec. 2008
I love this book - it's fantastic as both history and philosophy. The author is fantastic at describing the historical context in which thinkers developed and at summarising their thought in a very simple and accessible way. It's a massive achievement, spanning 2500 years of philosophy and never wavering in its depth of scholarship. At the same time it's very fluently written - unlike many philosophers McMahon can really write. I really feel like I've glimpsed the world as earlier thinkers saw it, which is all you can ask from a book.


Seconds Out
Seconds Out
Price: £12.98

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 7 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Seconds Out (Audio CD)
This is a fantastic album - the sound and the production are amazing, especially compared to the flawed and flat production of early Genesis Lps. That's part of the reason why the album is so good - because older songs which didn't sound that great on record (because of dodgy production) like The Cinema Show and Firth and Fifith (even Suppers Ready too to an extent) sound crystal clear on this record. And Phil's vocals are similar enough to Peter's - and good enough in themselves - to provide continuity. One of the best live albums ever, I think.


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