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Ian Riley (Shanghai, China)

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Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the American Circus
Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the American Circus
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading, 2 July 2017
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Insightful and deeply depressing analysis of Trump's presidential race from primaries to White House. Trump unleashed division and hatred in a tribal approach to US politics that is reminiscent of the scariest parts of the world. Bannon is portrayed as an Alt-right Lenin who is now the real driver of the Trump strategy.


Pratico Kitchen Superb Cube 1.4 Inch Cube Silicone Ice Cube Tray With Ez-Release & No-Spill Steel Reinforced Rim - Makes 18 Cubes
Pratico Kitchen Superb Cube 1.4 Inch Cube Silicone Ice Cube Tray With Ez-Release & No-Spill Steel Reinforced Rim - Makes 18 Cubes
Offered by Pratico Goods EU
Price: £21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect cubes, 27 Oct. 2016
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Excellent product. Easy to use and makes great looking, surprisingly heavy ice cubes.


Eagles at War (Eagles of Rome Book 1)
Eagles at War (Eagles of Rome Book 1)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well told story, 24 Mar. 2016
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It makes a change from most Roman tales in that the barbarians won! There are some well developed characters but they tend to be a bit stereotyped. Altogether, a good read.


The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1)
The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1)
Price: £4.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Great tale from a master storyteller, 11 Mar. 2016
Vintage Cornwell. Utred, despite his faults, his arrogance and his occasional foolish choice, is one of Cornwell's most likable heroes. This tale, which starts in his childhood is simply fun to read.


Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty
Price: £5.39

4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting viewpoint, 24 Dec. 2014
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Compulsory reading for anyone trying to make sense of the modern world and how we got here. A bit repetitive but nonetheless a well structured argument for a theory to explain why some countries succeed and others are stuck in a cycle of exploitation and poverty.


In The Shadow Of The Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World
In The Shadow Of The Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World
Price: £5.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating history of the beginnings of Islam, 11 May 2014
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The victors write history. Holland argues that is exactly what happened with Islam. To understand the context for this. he takes us on an arduous and colourful journey through the struggle between the Byzantine and Persian empires of late antiquity. The sudden emergence of Arab power in 630 AD becomes more understandable. Holland explores the variations of early Muslim beliefs and the gradual definition of orthodoxy.

This is a fascinating exploration of a poorly understood era. Holland questions the location of Mecca, the nature of the Qur'an, the source and purpose of the hadiths. His conclusions are not as revolutionary as his questions seem to promise, but are no less satisfying for that.

A great read.


The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama
The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama
Price: £4.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling tale of a brutal time, 24 Mar. 2014
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Although the Portugese have a reputation as particularly harsh colonials, I had not appreciated the extent of the cruelty and violence that accompanied the exploration and exploitation of the East. Cliff paints a vivid picture of a harsh and violent time and some of the iron willed characters who were responsible for Portugal's maritime empire.

The book puts the European discoveries and exploration of both the Americas and the Indies in the context of a much older story: the conflict between Islam and Christianity, especially in the Iberian peninsula and North Africa.

Cliff does justice to his characters' virtues while not shying away from their flaws and crimes. I liked this balanced and well written history.


Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years
Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years
Price: £6.02

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting context for understanding today's social media, 26 Jan. 2014
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Before picking up this book, I had assumed that social media was a modern phenomenon. However, Standage argues persuasively that this is not so and traces its history back to Roman times.

I found some of his anecdotes a bit dull and his general style is rather earnest. Nonetheless, it


A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China
A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating analysis of the fall of Bo Xilai, 2 Sept. 2013
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While we may never know for certain what happened, the authors paint a believable picture of the events and conspiracies behind the headlines. This book makes compulsive reading for those interested in understanding Chinese current affairs.


Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2)
Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2)
Price: £5.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful sequel, 27 Jun. 2013
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A book to savour. Mantel develops her characters with great depth and subtlety making this a compelling, hard-to-put-down read. She seems at times to almost have fallen in love with Cromwell-the-competent-yet-kindhearted, yet manages to retain sufficient distance to keep him credible.

Highly recommended. I look forward to the next book.


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