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Sarah M "jaksbin"

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Gin: A Global History (Edible)
Gin: A Global History (Edible)
by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.68

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but e-version too pricey, 13 Dec. 2012
I purchased this for my partner who like a good gin and tonic and he really liked it. Having a flick through myself I like the illustrations such as the old adverts. It seems the sort of book you can dip in and out of.

It's a compact book and quite nicely presented, I might have to look at buying the whisky version too.

The one downside is that the Kindle version is a bit pricey I wish there was a bundle option. Otherwise it would have been 5 stars.


Lexar 2GB SD Card
Lexar 2GB SD Card

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, easy to use. Good value., 29 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Lexar 2GB SD Card (Electronics)
I brought this as a spare for when I get snap-happy.
This does the job for a good price. Worked well with both a Fuji and Canon Camera.


The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back
Offered by encorerecords
Price: £15.95

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled., 10 Nov. 2002
This review is from: The Empire Strikes Back (Audio CD)
What can I say? John Williams wove his spark of genius right into the heart of the Star Wars saga with his glorious scores, and 'Empire' has to be - in my opinion - the best. Just a quite note, however: I have the SW Soundtrack Music Anthology, which is a boxset of four CDs (one on each of the Classic Trilogy scores, and another mix-and-match one), which means that I don't have *every* track in this particular collection, but I do have most; I'll just have to trust that Williams is as wonderful as I think he is!
John Williams works his magic with themes: rich, emotional themes that we can all recognise and associate with a million and one classic moments that Lucas forms for us on the screen and in our hearts. Okay, maybe that wording was a bit too much, but you get the picture, right? This entire score is awash with melodies that we already recognise from 'A New Hope' (and, depending on your time scale, 'The Phantom Menace' and 'Attack of the Clones'), and new ones are formed constantly. Even battle sequences, which I usually judge as being "all the same" and a tedious run of big booms and overdone strings, seem to have been revitalised in this score; Williams adds so much character to everything that he composes that it seems almost fantastical in its very nature! I love it to pieces, really I do...
So, what are the pros and cons of this CD, eh? One pro is definitely the length. Anybody who has bought (or even just looked at) the more recent CD for AotC knows that it is depressingly short, with only 14 tracks (super for a chart album, disgraceful for a Williams-soundtrack). This double-CD has a good range of music, all with the sort of unique personality that even other top-notch composers only manage to fix into their main themes. Each track is so definitive that you can tell exactly where it is in the film and - unlike TPM/Harry Potter and other composers' works - you will be hard struck to find another one like it.
Pros in the way of tracks include the famous 'Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)'. Yeah - we can all sing along to that one. 'The Battle of the Snow' is interesting for a battle track. I'm not quite sure why 'Yoda's Theme' and 'Han Solo and the Princess' were put next to each other (they're of a similar calm, sweet tone and can, at times, blend a little), but they're both excellent. 'The Duel' contains that heart-wrenching moment between father and son, and the 'Finale/End Credits' is even more tear-jerkingly sentimental... (the moment at the end where Luke is hugging Leia gets me every time!).
I can't, honestly, think of any cons, except maybe the annoyance of having to swap between CDs (the day they put every second of SW score onto one music DVD/hard disk will be the day I throw the entire contents of my bank account at Lucas & Co. and be done with it!). My copy even tells you precisely how long each track is - a pleasant triviality.
Basically, this is a collection of some of John Williams' best Star Wars score and, if you're going to buy one of the film CDs, I would recommend this one. There's a bit of everything, wonderfully put together. Very highly recommended.


No Strings Attached
No Strings Attached
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary compliment to the pop world., 29 May 2002
This review is from: No Strings Attached (Audio CD)
Apparently the first boy-band album for defensive "I don't like boy-bands!" fans, this is a work of pop genius. Believe it or not, I don't like boy-bands, or not specifically; my usual purchases are soundtracks and film scores, but I have the occasional favourite random album, and 'No Strings Attached' is one of them.
Firstly, it's one of those few albums that anybody can find where they like all of the tracks (N.B. that *I* like all of them; just my individual opinion!). 'Bye Bye Bye' is that catchy cliché pop track that so many like, but NSync managed to produce an album that's not full of the same stuff and that is surprisingly independent, not being dominated by the usual tacky, meaningless pop. I mean, all of the typical elements are certainly there (e.g. lovey-dovey lyrics, computer sound effects and voice warping), but the overall output seems to resonate quality and make you want to get up and dance, in whatever situation!
A pretty even mix of dance tunes and ballads is spread across the CD, with 'No Strings Attached' being my favourite fast track and 'I Thought She Knew' being the top ballad (partially because it is a voice-only track full of harmonies of the type that just makes me melt!). Forget NSync even trying to take over the Backstreet Boys, Boyzone or Westlife... this album shows that they're most definitely settling their own standards.


Classical Score 2002
Classical Score 2002
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £8.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to the masters of the modern film score... superb!, 26 April 2002
This review is from: Classical Score 2002 (Audio CD)
I haven't actually bought this CD yet, only borrowed it from the library, but I can't believe that I nearly missed it, on the shelves or off of them. This double CD has a total of 34 excellent, mostly classic, film scores, producing a giant quilt of the best themes of all time, including Star Wars, Gladiator, Final Fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, The Piano... it just goes on and on.
The constant worry when buying individual soundtracks/scores is how much actual score and score variation you will find on each CD. Solving those problems in a wondrous flourish, this collection provides you with the best of nearly every soundtrack that I have bought and many, many more. The contrasts between all of the tracks is amazing and, in a way, fascinating; especially to somebody who is used to hearing one theme running through a single CD's hours worth of score. It is an extraordinary tribute to many of the masters of modern-day film composers.
Anybody who likes scores will adore this, as will anybody who likes a majority of the films on here. Both an excellent starter pack for new fans of film score, and a compliment to any seasoned collector's CD rack. I know that I will be buying it as soon as possible; I've been waiting for something like this to be released for a long time!


The Silmarillion Gift Pack (Boxed Set)
The Silmarillion Gift Pack (Boxed Set)
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for Tolkien fans (especially those who like Elves!), 14 Feb. 2002
This was my Christmas treat, and I'm extremely glad that I received it. Just to work on what some other people have said in their reviews as regards 'The Silmarillion' itself: it's highly recommended that you read both 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' before you try this, unless you have the kind of reading tastes that mean that the Bible and Old English tales are the top of your list. The language is delightful if you like this sort of thing, and especially if you are interested in the Elves of Middle-earth (be warned that there's not many Men & no Hobbits in these tales!), but if you are looking for your first slice of Tolkienian literature, I wouldn't start here. If you are unsure, then you can read some samples of the beginning of the book at Tolkien.co.uk.
As a recently revitalised fan of 'LotR', this is my first copy of 'The Silmarillion', and it is worth every penny. The book itself is actually smaller than I had imagined, at around the size of a normal paperback, but the cover is minimalistic and tasteful. The delights of this particular edition, though, are the bits and pieces that come with the book: the Map of Beleriand (which is the size of your average Ordinance Survey Map and wonderfully illustrated!), small poster of the heraldic devices, postcard of Taniquetil, and - of course - the CD of Christopher Tolkien reading the tale of Beren and Lúthien. The CD alone is worth half the price of the gift pack.
The new edition of the book comes complete with an edited version of a famous letter from Tolkien to a gentleman who had asked for a "brief sketch of [his] stuff". The resulting 40 or so pages have been cut down for this version, but can be read in more detail in 'The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien'. It is a magnificent summary of Middle-earth, its history and its peoples, and serves as a brilliant introduction.
This pack is for those who are still intrigued about Middle-earth following 'LotR', and who want something extra special. This set will be proudly adorning the front of my bookshelf for many years to come.


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