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Charles (England)

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The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism
The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism
by Professor A. C. Grayling
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another important 21st century book, 26 Jun. 2013
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Modern-day philosophers do not come more articulate and persuasive than Anthony Grayling, and this is yet another excellent book from his pen.

The book is in two sections. and both have their merits: the first section, Against Religion, is, as Martin Amis might say, full of thrilling godlessness - seeing Grayling puncture pretty much every single argument for religion is a joy.

The second section, For Humanism, occasionally nearly swerves into idealism but comes good, and offers a warmingly positive vision of the way to live. If a religious person ever says to you "Without god there is no morality", point them in the direction of this book.

Highly recommended for the thinking reader.


The Diversity Illusion: What We Got Wrong About Immigration & How to Set It Right
The Diversity Illusion: What We Got Wrong About Immigration & How to Set It Right
by Ed West
Edition: Hardcover

110 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book that should be read by all, 26 Jun. 2013
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They say we read to know we're not alone, and West's book certainly proves that. This is the book I've been writing in my head for the last 15 years, but haven't got round to penning due to being too angry, too lazy and not talented enough.

In clear and readable fashion, West articulates how diversity has virtually NOTHING going for it, and virtually EVERYTHING against it - common sense, logic and human nature all point in opposite directions. So why are we in the situation we are in? West explains the reasons, from the Holocaust to the violence in 1950s Notting Hill to the growth of state-sponsored multiculturalism - and it's enough to make you weep.

He brilliantly explodes every pro-diversity myth you've ever heard (and schoolchildren are now being taught as fact). His wide-ranging knowledge of history, psychology, religion and science is continually brought to the fore, and he writes with wit and knowingness.

Virtually every page has a few excellent points about how mass immigration and diversity has been a bad thing. Curiously, this is both refreshing and depressing, but at least it gives the willing reader sound arguments (if only we were brave enough to make them!).

West exposes the disastrous policies of Labour governments - Conservative governments aren't blame-free, but it's largely Labour administrations' fault, particularly the 1945-51 and 1997-2010 ones, that Britain has been poisoned - and you wonder how anyone could possibly ever vote Labour again after reading this book. West demonstrates how everything Labour has done has betrayed their original voters and intentions, the cruel irony being that the welfare state (birthed through national unity), was set up in the same parliament as the British Nationality Act, which led to the mass immigration of the 1950s and beyond (which led to disunity).

This book, probably the best of many I've read on the subject, made my head move around a lot: shaking it sadly and slowly from side to side when reading of the UK's disastrous policies over the last 60 years, to nodding it vigorously in agreement when West skewers the issue once again and nails liberal fallacies. If I was a billionaire I'd arrange for a copy to be put in every hotel room in the land.

PS Minor declaration of interest: I worked very, very briefly with Ed West at Front, no less, more than ten years ago (but he won't remember me). Then when he was at Nuts and I was at FHM I saw him at parties occasionally. I never ever would have guessed then that he had a superb book like this inside him! Well done Ed, this is a triumph, and well done for being so brave to write it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2015 5:22 PM BST


The Wizard: The Life of Stanley Matthews
The Wizard: The Life of Stanley Matthews
by Jon Henderson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very professional biog, 10 Jun. 2013
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A compelling and well researched biography of a man who, unbelievably, last played for England aged 42 and last played a League game aged 50.

There are many interesting insights into yesterday's game, things young football fans just wouldn't believe: playing on Christmas day (one year Leicester played TWICE on Christmas Day!); the Scotsman who played for England; the match that was so fog-shrouded it's said that a member of the crowd replaced one of the goalies for the last part of the match.

The author perhaps doesn't fully discover what made Matthews tick - but maybe that was an impossible task given his subject's diffidence and shyness - and he has a slightly distracting style of mentioning things 'before' they happen (eg Matthews's knighthood is mentioned, and then when the author says a little later that Harold Wilson is about to knight him you think, 'Oh, I thought he already had!').

But this is a minor complaint, and I dare say this is the best biography of Stan the Man on the market.


Sure Men Maximum Protection Active Antiperspirant Deodorant Cream
Sure Men Maximum Protection Active Antiperspirant Deodorant Cream
Offered by Greens Pharmacy
Price: £9.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good deodorant, 4 Jun. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The word "cream" surprised me, and the way it works is a little unusual: you turn it and little white bits come up through holes, which you then apply to armpits.

Seems to work well as far as I can tell; scent is inoffensive. Only worry might be that it's a little small and could run out quite soon. But a small size might suit those who want to carry something light in, say, their gym bag.


Cocofina 100% Natural and Pure Coconut Water 500ml (Pack of 6)
Cocofina 100% Natural and Pure Coconut Water 500ml (Pack of 6)
Price: £15.54

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Acquired taste; may be good after sport, 26 Mar. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The six bottles arrived in a box so big I thought it was my new Audi (if only). I glugged at one quite soon as I was keen to see what it was like, and quite excited about it.

It's an acquired taste. If I was to write here the first thoughts I had on its "unusual" taste, and what it reminded me of, I'd probably be immediately banned from Amazon. Know what I'm saying, fellas?

Perhaps though, if I'd just had a two-hour workout in the gym, or played 80 tough minutes of Rugby League, or run a double-marathon, I'd quaff it down with enormous pleasure. Maybe it's just a thirst-quencher. Sadly I think it might be a while before I do any of the above though.


Sightseers [DVD] [2012]
Sightseers [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Alice Lowe
Price: £5.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite enjoyable, 5 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Sightseers [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A strange couple turn a holiday in rural Britain into a murder trail.
Flawed but always interesting black comedy with some witty dialogue and novel ideas, although it boils down to a series of disparate events that don't coalesce into a fully satisfying whole. Still, it's quite refreshing and worth a watch, especially for those who go on these sorts of breaks.


George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor
George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor
by Janan Ganesh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining biography, 31 Jan. 2013
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An enjoyable biography of one of the most powerful chaps in Britain, this is a favourable but fair book that's intelligently written and easily digested.

Osbourne comes across well, as incredibly bright, very driven and not unpleasant in his dealings with his staff. The book focuses more on politics and economics than personality, and that suited me just fine. It also serves as a recent history of the Conservative party, and the author makes some salient points.

It's quite unusual (for me, anyway) to read a biography of someone so young and of events that have barely gone. How will history judge Osbourne and Cameron? TBC, as they say. But this is a good, readable book for politicos.


F in Exams: The Best Test Paper Blunders: The Funniest Test Paper Blunders
F in Exams: The Best Test Paper Blunders: The Funniest Test Paper Blunders
by Richard Benson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

98 of 110 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Must try harder, 26 Nov. 2012
Liked this to start with but the more I read the less I liked it.

Why? Well, I think it has a major problem, one which becomes more evident the more you read the book, and the more you think about what you're reading: the examples are all made up. Both the questions AND the answers - and that's important to note. Because once you've realised that you can see what they're doing, inventing questions that would NEVER actually be asked on an exam paper, just so they can put a 'funny' answer, you see the light. And when you realise this, the 'punchline' is revealed to be pretty lame. 'Name Labour's first cabinet minister' is one. Eh? How could there be a proper answer to this? There isn't, it's just the excuse for the retort 'Mr Chippendale'. Or 'Why did Britons have better health after the year 1990?'. Did they? I'm not sure they did, but it leads to the 'child's' answer of 'the eighties were over'.

Also, sometimes the answers simply do not sound like answers youngsters would give, making it seem falser still.

When something like this doesn't ring true it completely falls apart - the humour DEPENDS on it being genuine. That's why Private Eye cuttings books work, because you can see that they really were originally done. Here I suspect that they get someone to imitate around a dozen different styles of children's handwriting and make their book - and there's no way that their spelling would ever be as fault-free as this!

But what do I know, it's sold loads.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2013 6:12 PM GMT


Should You Judge This Book by its Cover?: 100 Fresh Takes on Familiar Sayings and Quotations
Should You Judge This Book by its Cover?: 100 Fresh Takes on Familiar Sayings and Quotations
by Julian Baggini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking - with one big problem, 26 Oct. 2012
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This book is good for the brain and I'd recommend it; it casts a new light on old, often hackneyed phrases and demonstrates why we should never stop thinking and questioning.

I had one big bugbear with it, however, which may not bother other readers but bothered me. The author, as he does in all the other books of his I've read, insists on exclusively using the female personal pronoun. That's EXCLUSIVELY. Now, I know why he does this, and that's because up until very recently it has been the male pronoun exclusively used, and this is his reaction to that. He thinks it right and just; in fact he think it's not even worthy of comment.

In my opinion, it's deeply irritating. After it's happened a few times it completely takes you out of the text. It's absurd, an over-reaction, a silly, militant thing to do. Okay, so he's setting himself up as the polar opposite of AC Grayling, but surely the best policy is to MIX the gender pronouns - that's what the best authors do.

For me it was a blight on an intelligent and interesting book.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2013 6:38 PM GMT


Enoch at 100: A re-evaluation of the life, politics and philosophy of Enoch Powell
Enoch at 100: A re-evaluation of the life, politics and philosophy of Enoch Powell
by edited by Lord Howard of Rising
Edition: Hardcover

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly highly worthy, 22 Oct. 2012
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A very welcome further addition to the library of Enoch, this book brings the great man's views right into the modern day - and many of them, particularly on the EU, are remarkably perspicacious. It's only on Ulster that I feel Enoch's ideas would have led to little long-term satisfaction for the United Kingdom.

Most essays are a good read, although I'm not sure that someone who's written a biography of Simon Cowell (Tom Bower) is the best person to discuss Enoch's grapples with the problems of mass immigration. Predictably the author comes to the same misguided conclusion as some others have done, that Enoch made the subject taboo - forgetting that it was pretty much taboo BEFORE the Rivers of Blood speech. Enoch lanced the boil and allowed people to speak out on the issue; it was just that too many politicians lacked his courage and foresight to voice their similar thoughts in public.

My favourite part of this book was the interview with Enoch's still-living wife Pam. For me, this was far too short! I could have quite happily have read a hundred pages of her talking, to discover a lot more about what life with Enoch was like, and how she has coped since his death, especially in regard of the media invoking his name every time there are race problems. Please release the full transcript!

Just before I wrote this review I looked at the BBC's football website, and all three main stories concerned problems with race. This is the true result of mass immigration - that we are nation continually at each other's throats - and if Enoch had been more listened to by those in power, we would be a considerably more cordial and content nation now.


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