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S Riaz "S Riaz" (England)
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Letters From A Lost Generation: First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends
Letters From A Lost Generation: First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Letters From A Lost Generation, 25 Sept. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For some reason, I have never got around to reading Vera Brittain’s classic work, “Testament of Youth,” but that is something I must amend in the future, after being introduced to this work though one of my reading groups. However, it may take me some time to get over this, as “Letters From a Lost Generation,” is moving, tragic and, I must warn you, will leave you feeling somewhat wrung out when you get to the end…

The book consists of letters from and to Vera Brittain, and between her and her brother Edward, her finance Roland Leighton, Edward and Roland’s friend, Victor Richardson (the three were all at Uppingham School together) and a further friend, Geoffrey Thurlow, who trained with Edward. This book takes us from the 28th September, 1913 to the 24th June, 1918.

In 1913, Vera had just rejected a marriage proposal and was planning to go to Oxford – as was her brother. However, plans for Edward and his friends were interrupted by the declaration of war and Vera is present at the school speech day, when the prophetic speech by the Headmaster, included the words; “Be a man – useful to your country; whoever cannot be that is better dead.” As Vera initially takes up her place at University, the young men in her sphere are all desperate to get a commission and Vera, initially, is encouraging their efforts.

As time passes though, and those they know start to be killed, all of these letter writers will change their thoughts on the glory of war. Vera finds that she needs to do something, especially after getting engaged to Roland, and volunteers as a nurse. The distance between them is difficult for either to accept and they often talk of what their life should have been. As Roland later writes from the trenches, “I sometimes think I must have exchanged my life for someone else’s….” Much of the first half of this book concerns the relationship between Vera and Roland and their letters are extremely moving.

Little things in these letters bring events immediately to life. Whether it is Edward’s concern over losing his valise and the practicalities of trying to move his belongings as he is constantly on the move, Vera going from hospital in London to Malta and later France, where she finds herself nursing wounded German soldiers (trying to save, she writes ironically, the very men her brother is trying to kill), unpacking the belongings and clothing of one of the young men who has been killed, or Edward musing in letters, as he reads, “The Loom of Youth,” by Alec Waugh (brother of Evelyn and an author I have enjoyed reading myself). I don’t think I have ever cried on my daily commute before, but I have now. A wonderful, moving, if terribly sad, read.


AQA GCSE Physics Revision Guide
AQA GCSE Physics Revision Guide
by Pauline Anning
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AQA GCSE Physics Revision Guide, 25 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Revision Guide is for AQA GCSE Physics. There are also Revision Guides for Chemistry and Biology, as well as workbooks for the different subjects. Just make sure that you know which exam board your child is studying. However, assuming your child is going to be taking the AQA exam, as my son will be, then this is an excellent resource.

The book is designed with the AQA syllabus in mind. There are also specially marked section for those taking the higher tier exam. Those studying for the foundation tier will not be assessed on that content, but it does mean that the book is suitable for both, which is useful. I like the way the book is laid out, with Key Points, Practical Skills, Summary Questions, Practice Questions and Checklists to help record progress.

This is clearly laid out, with a good design and suggestions on how to answer questions to get higher grades. Answers are at the back of the book, along with a useful glossary. It would be a good idea to get the corresponding workbook to go with this – again, just be aware there are different editions for Foundation and Higher exams, so make sure you check which curriculum your child is following first.


LEGO UK 41317 Sunshine Catamaran Construction Toy
LEGO UK 41317 Sunshine Catamaran Construction Toy
Price: £47.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Sunshine Catamaran, 25 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely Lego Friends set, aimed at 7-12 and with 603 pieces. This is a fairly demanding build, with five bags of bricks, the instructions, stickers and a large, sail piece. My ten year old daughter is currently obsessed with Lego Friends and so she was delighted to receive this and spent much of this weekend putting it together. It is quite complicated, but the instructions are good and, although it took my daughter a while to assemble, she did it alone.

The set comes with three figures – Olivia, Stephanie and Liam, as well as two dolphins, to swim alongside. The catamaran itself is cleverly designed to look great and also have lots of play value. Outside there is a shower, netting to connect the two sides of the catamaran outside, lounge chairs, a little pool and even a flotation ring. The top deck includes the Captain’s chair and the whole set has a real sense of luxury. There is a great slide which the girls can use to go into the ocean and, hidden behind the slide, is a water scooter. This attaches to a banana boat, for even more fun.

Access to the cabins is really easy – you just lift off the upper deck to reveal the cabins, bathroom, galley area, breakfast bar and a glass bottom area, so the friends can watch the fish swimming around. Sliding doors allow the figures to access the inside of the catamaran, if you don’t want to remove the top.

With three figures, plus the dolphins, and lots of accessories (as well as the water scooter and items already mentioned, there are all sorts of little bits and pieces; including fruit, ice creams, baskets, a smart-phone, etc). The use of space is excellent and with the top removing so easily, to provide access, this allows great play value. It was also nice to see some different figures included, as so many of the sets seem to include Mia (who, although my daughter’s favourite, does appear often), and the dolphins are a nice touch. Great fun, wonderful to build and with excellent accessories.


The Mushin Way to Peak Performance: The Path to Productivity, Balance, and Success
The Mushin Way to Peak Performance: The Path to Productivity, Balance, and Success
by Michael Veltri
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mushin Way to Peak Performance, 25 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I tend to read a lot of business, and self-help books; largely as I work in a college which offers a lot of business courses and so I am always on the lookout for useful books to purchase for our library or which can be used by lecturers. This uses martial arts principles and applies them to those in high-pressure careers. I am not entirely convinced by this parallel, but there are some useful suggestions for those in a very tense, pressured or successful careers. I thought this applied well to my cousin, who works in a City law firm, where he earns a great deal of money, travels excessively and has yet struggled with feelings of burnout, stress and being almost constantly on call, which has affected his personal life. One of the problems of being in such a situation is that they know they are lucky to be in such a successful career, so feel concerned about suggesting anything is wrong. Oddly, my cousin also studied martial arts and so I recommended he read this.

Essentially, this book is about transforming your life. Whether that is to remain calm in a stressful job, using your energy efficiently, making better decisions, tackling things you are uncomfortable with – such as public speaking - or changing your career, this aims to give you suggestions to approach your life, and career, calmly. I found this an interesting read and enjoyed it more than I actually thought that I would. Overall, an interesting addition to my business library and a good read.


Busy B Travel Wallet
Busy B Travel Wallet
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Busy B Travel Wallet, 24 Sept. 2017
This review is from: Busy B Travel Wallet (Accessory)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This travel wallet closes simply with an elastic strip and opens completely to lie flat. The outside has a polka dot patterned cover, which will easily wipe clean, and the inside is dark blue. The right side of the cover has four pockets to hold passports. The two back pockets are slightly deeper than the two at the front, so could hold two passports each. The front pockets are smaller and would only hold one passport each. On the left, there is a large pocket, into which you could probably insert boarding cards and a small pocket which could take small items like insurance cards.

Although not really large enough to take all your travel documents, this would be really handy at an airport, when you are attempting to juggle passports and boarding cards; especially if you were also dealing with children in buggies or a relative in a wheelchair (both of which I have done). I would say this has limited use, but I will certainly use this, both at the airport and also to store important items in one place whilst I am away. The whole wallet would have been improved though, had there been a large pocket, perhaps in-between the cover and the middle (as you have in a purse to keep notes), which could have safely stored paper items, such as print outs from your travel agent, tickets, etc. However, this is certainly a nice and useful item to have while travelling.


LEGO Star Wars The Last Jedi 75190 First Order Star Destroyer Toy
LEGO Star Wars The Last Jedi 75190 First Order Star Destroyer Toy
Price: £129.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Star Wars The Last Jedi First Order Star Destroyer, 24 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really imposing Lego set, which consists of a huge 1416 bricks and is aimed at ages 9 – 14. The First Order Star Destroyer takes a few hours to build (it took my thirteen year old son most of Friday evening and Saturday morning) and is great as a model, but also has lots and lots of play value. The top has a retractable handle, so you can lift the ship with one hand and this is great to help fly it around the room and it looks impressive closed.

To open this up you need to lift the bridge part up and then the sides open to reveal the inside. This includes various consoles, screens, a conference area and both stairs and a ‘turbo lift’ to reach Snoke’s chamber. There are a good array of mini figures included: Supreme Leader Snoke, a First Order Officer, a First Order Stormtrooper Sergeant, a First Order Stormtrooper and a First Order Shuttle Pilot, plus a BB-9E droid, plus a buildable Medical Droid figure, which does not seem to be listed on the box.

You can pose the figures and leave them in the ship even when it is closed, which is good fun for children. Snoke needs to be pushed down a little – or rather laid back – but he can stay put and there is plenty of room to leave the other figures inside. This makes the ship not only fun to build (it is a fairly complex set, but the instructions are easy to follow and very detailed), but with a lot of play value. Very impressive and with good detail.


LEGO UK 41586 Brickheadz Bat Girl
LEGO UK 41586 Brickheadz Bat Girl
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Brickheadz Bat Girl, 24 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lego Brickheadz are for ages 10+ and come with bags of bricks, a plate for them to stand on and an instruction booklet. This is Batgirl and was fairly easy to build. She is one of a series of superhero figures, which include Batman, Robin, Captain America and the Hulk. My ten year old daughter enjoyed putting this together and the Brick Headz can either act as ornaments, or, better yet, as toys

I really like these little Lego sets. They would make ideal stocking, or party bag, fillers and have great play value. I have since purchased more of the figures as they are such fun. There are lots of different figures in the range too, which will appeal to both boys and girls.


FIND Women's Ticking Stripe Wrap Dress, Blue (Blue Stripe), 12 (Manufacturer size: Medium)
FIND Women's Ticking Stripe Wrap Dress, Blue (Blue Stripe), 12 (Manufacturer size: Medium)
Price: £34.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FIND Women's Ticking Stripe Wrap Dress, 24 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This dress is quite fussy and, as such, is not very flattering when worn. It has an odd feel to it – it reminded me of the polyester aprons my grandmother used to wear when doing housework. I liked the shirt detailing and, in fact, what spoilt it the most was just the crossover wrap, which tied at the front. It is far too big and looks very odd.

Saying that, I suggested my niece (who is in the early stages of pregnancy) try it, as she is not yet wearing maternity wear. She actually looked really nice on her; accentuating her slight bump and worn over leggings it was loose and comfortable. However, as it is not really designed as maternity wear, I cannot really say it was a great success.


FIND Women's Cross-Strap Body, Black, 14 (Manufacturer size: Large)
FIND Women's Cross-Strap Body, Black, 14 (Manufacturer size: Large)
Price: £13.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FIND Women's Cross-Strap Body, 24 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This women’s cross strap body comes in black or white and is really comfortable – best suited for the young and preferably flat-chested – in order to look at its very best. The material is super soft and this looks gorgeous with jeans, leggings or shorts. It also looks good underneath a shirt, if you feel less confident. The body is quite revealing and so you cannot really wear a bra beneath it. My young niece loved it, but I do feel it is best for the very young and probably on holiday, or at least in the summer, where it will come into its own. If you are the right age, shape and size, it will look great and the quality of the material is lovely.


10-Minute Tests for 11+ Comprehension Ages 10-11 (Book 2) - CEM Test
10-Minute Tests for 11+ Comprehension Ages 10-11 (Book 2) - CEM Test
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10-Minute Tests for 11+ Verbal Reasoning Comprehension, 23 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a CGP workbook for Verbal Reasoning: Comprehension - Ten Minute Tests (Book 2) for the CEM (Durham University) test for the 11+. It is aimed at ages 10-11 and contains 31 ten minute tests, plus 11 pages of puzzles. The idea behind the CEM tests is that are supposed to be ‘tutor proof’ and so these questions rely on comprehension skills, including vocabulary. Tests include short comprehension passages, followed by multiple choice questions to assess understanding of meaning, words and context.

Whether the CEM actually achieves its objectives is debatable – a 2014 study of Buckinghamshire schools, which brought in the CEM test in selective schools to try to address the perceived imbalance , found they have actually seen a drop in the number of state school children passing the 11+ compared to private school pupils. Obviously, that is one study and it is still fairly new compared to the previously widely used GL assessment tests, but the introduction of the CEM has caused a lot of parental panic – not least as Durham University do not sell past papers.

However, many publishers have now produced CEM workbooks, based on the type of questions children have reported answering in the tests. If your child is taking the 11+ then check with the schools you are interested in, whether they will taking the CEM test first. If so, then this will give a lot of worthwhile practice. Answers are included at the back of the book (they can be neatly pulled out) and there is also a useful progress chart. Usefully, they also tell you how many questions a child should be answering correctly, in order to pas the test (at least 10 out of 12). Well designed, with useful ‘bite size’ ten minute tests, this is an excellent workbook and is very well laid out.


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