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Reeta (London, UK)

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Cuckoo
Cuckoo
by S. D. Breen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty reality of 90s London, 28 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Cuckoo (Paperback)
Cuckoo is a gripping coming-of-age novel set in and around Highbury and Stoke Newington at a time when John Major was in power and Islington was beginning to become trendy. But all that is in jarring yet irrelevant juxtaposition for long term residents Pat (the novel's protagonist) and family. Pat inhabits a world below the comfortable middle class radar: forced child prostitution and murders are just two aspects of life viewed by Pat in an alarmingly matter-of-fact way. But for all that the book doesn't seem overly dramatic. It is just part of a grim reality. On top of this Pat, like all adolescents, struggles with identity. This is complicated by a tragic event on the very margins of early childhood memory. Ghosts of the recently departed are part of the fabric of Pat's life but as in Henry James's THE TURN OF SCREW could be real or could be in Pat's head. It could be argued either way and leaves you quizzical. The fact that you can debate the facts of the novel in this way is a mark of the excellent writing and leaves you wanting more. I would highly recommend this book.


The World's Greatest Idea: The Fifty Greatest Ideas That Have Changed Humanity
The World's Greatest Idea: The Fifty Greatest Ideas That Have Changed Humanity
by John Farndon
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very illuminating, 1 Mar. 2011
I'm constantly faced with my own ignorance but this book helps to reduce it slightly. There may be somewhere else that you could you get an understanding of steam power, an indication of quantum physics, a thoughtful discussion about welfare state, an explanation of scientific method and a clear-eyed view of the banking crisis (and this is the tip of the iceberg) but I don't think it could be done in such an engaging, simple yet unpatronising way. When I read John Farndon's books I feel I've learnt something and challenged my views - but really enjoyed doing it. It's a cliche but I did have trouble putting this one down.


Dude, Where's My Career?: The Guide for Baffled Graduates
Dude, Where's My Career?: The Guide for Baffled Graduates
by Tanya de Grunwald
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good and humane book, 18 July 2008
This is far better than any of the other career books I've read:

- It makes you feel less alone because you realise that there are many others who are the same as you.

- It makes your realise that just because you don't have everything sorted you are not a loser.

- It gives a step by step plan for getting on your feet.

- New gradulate specifices aside, it gives useful philosophical tips even to those who have been in the job market a little while.

- Best of all it is extremely and refreshingly realistic. The author doesn't expect you to change your personality and suddenly become a better, motivated person. Her strong advice against perfectionism and beating yourself up for past mistakes is invaluable when you are feeling bewildered and down on yourself.


India Booms: The Breathtaking Development and Influence of Modern India
India Booms: The Breathtaking Development and Influence of Modern India
by John Farndon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've only got time to read one book about India make it this, 3 Nov. 2007
I haven't got time to read lots of books on one subject and one problem I find is that most books are written from a particular perspective, with an argument to make or a drum to bang. Consequently they make everything fit their theory. What I want are the facts, served up to me in a accessible interesting way, so that I can form my own opinions. John Fardnon has done the same excellent job here as he did in his book on Iran. Of course, no author is totally without an agenda or point of view but the attempt at presenting all sides of the argument in this book is appreciated.

If you want the facts in an accessible form, this is the book on India for you.


The Rough Guide to The Brain (Rough Guides Reference Titles)
The Rough Guide to The Brain (Rough Guides Reference Titles)
by Barry Gibb
Edition: Paperback

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars totally good, 22 Oct. 2007
I really agree with the previous reviewer. This is simply an excellent book. Fascinating beyond belief and accessible to the layperson like me. I hope this writer continues to write this brilliant science non-fiction.


God's Apology
God's Apology
by Olivia Fane
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really interesting, 17 Sept. 2007
This review is from: God's Apology (Paperback)
I can't do justice in this review to explain how readable and fascinating I found this novel. I really didn't expect to but I just rushed through it. The title is actually very apt because it is an apology for (in the sense of a defence of rather than being sorry for) faith. As an argument it is a whole lot more intelligent and sympathetic than those rammed down our throats by the religious or athiest fundamentalists. It is unashamedly Christian-focused and brings the Christian story to life in a way that I would not have thought possible. This book may be accused of being a little worthy and 'holier than thou' and possibly at times I found it a bit much. Not enough to diminish from five stars though: the premise of the book is incredibly ambitious but the author pulls it off. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is supposed to make you believe in God, but it left me cold. I was and remain a agnostic, but Olivia Fane is the most convincing apologist for faith I have come across.


As a Dodo: The Obituaries You'd Really Like to See
As a Dodo: The Obituaries You'd Really Like to See
by George Poles
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars laugh out loud, 17 Sept. 2007
I know it's a cliche but this book has literally made me laugh out loud. It's an irreverant, inventive and refreshing review of our times: politics; celebrity; trends; the lot. The entry about Britney Spears' Hair is a classic but my favourite is the faux-obituary of Jeremy Clarkson. It's quite a good stocking filler Christmas present I would have thought. I will be buying it for those 'difficult to buy for' men in my family.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2013 7:19 PM GMT


A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (Penguin Essentials)
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (Penguin Essentials)
by Marina Lewycka
Edition: Paperback

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unfortunately I didn't enjoy it, 15 July 2007
Unfortunately the bulk of the book didn't live up to the humour of the first few chapters which originally drew me in. It's very hard to do something that is both funny and sad but I didn't feel this book really did either. The characters lacked subtlety and the plot seemed unstructured and baggy.


7lbs in 7 Days Super Juice Diet
7lbs in 7 Days Super Juice Diet
by Jason Vale
Edition: Paperback

40 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars totally ridiculous, 13 July 2007
1. You don't need a book to tell you that if you only drink juice for a week you will lose a certain amount of weight.

2. When you get headaches on this diet it is not just your body `detoxing'. You are getting a headache because you are making yourself ill.

3. I am not a doctor. As far as I can tell neither is the author.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2008 2:54 PM BST


How to Look Good Naked: Shop for Your Shape and Look Amazing!
How to Look Good Naked: Shop for Your Shape and Look Amazing!
by Gok Wan
Edition: Hardcover

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful, 30 Jun. 2007
Five stars because although the book is not perfect I applaud the kindness of the author. An interesting aspect is that Wan himself tells us that he was overweight. Quite obviously he is not now - yet this is emphatically not a diet book. What seems to have happened is that the author styled himself to feel better about himself and the weightloss followed in due course when he was happier about himself. This book is so brilliant because it starts with what's right about you rather than with what is wrong, working with your self-consciousness rather than totally disregarding it. All teenage girls should be given this book and the author should be given a knighthood. Read in conjunction with watching the TV show.

My only criticisms: perhaps the style is a little cloying; but I'll live with that since I know he is trying to put the reader at their ease. Also sometimes it's hard to know exactly what shape you are: e.g. am I a pear shape, a bird with a big bum or petite? Maybe some comparative measurements would be useful. Worst thing would be to accidentally go for the wrong shape. Really I'm a combination of all three so how to work with that? There is some limited advice but more would be good.


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