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Michael Tolliver Lives
Michael Tolliver Lives
by Armistead Maupin
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading, 5 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Michael Tolliver Lives (Audio CD)
Like most people, I loved Tales of the City but, for some reason, I missed this book when it first came out a couple of years ago. I stumbled across it a few days ago and I'm glad I did.

The first person narrative makes the book feel like a conversation with an old friend. I smiled through most of the pages, enjoying "catching up" with Michael.

As mentioned by other reviewers, it is a bit over the top in some ways but, if you love Tales of the City, you'll probably love this book. It's not perfect but it's a nice, easy read. Take it to the beach or read it on the plane.


Michael Tolliver Lives
Michael Tolliver Lives
by Armistead Maupin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading, 5 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Michael Tolliver Lives (Hardcover)
Like most people, I loved Tales of the City but, for some reason, I missed this book when it first came out a couple of years ago. I stumbled across it a few days ago and I'm glad I did.

The first person narrative makes the book feel like a conversation with an old friend. I smiled through most of the pages, enjoying "catching up" with Michael.

As mentioned by other reviewers, it is a bit over the top in some ways but, if you love Tales of the City, you'll probably love this book. It's not perfect but it's a nice, easy read. Take it to the beach or read it on the plane.


Michael Tolliver Lives
Michael Tolliver Lives
by Armistead Maupin
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading, 5 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Michael Tolliver Lives (Hardcover)
Like most people, I loved Tales of the City but, for some reason, I missed this book when it first came out a couple of years ago. I stumbled across it a few days ago and I'm glad I did.

The first person narrative makes the book feel like a conversation with an old friend. I smiled through most of the pages, enjoying "catching up" with Michael.

As mentioned by other reviewers, it is a bit over the top in some ways but, if you love Tales of the City, you'll probably love this book. It's not perfect but it's a nice, easy read. Take it to the beach or read it on the plane.


Michael Tolliver Lives
Michael Tolliver Lives
by Armistead Maupin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading, 5 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Michael Tolliver Lives (Paperback)
Like most people, I loved Tales of the City but, for some reason, I missed this book when it first came out a couple of years ago. I stumbled across it a few days ago and I'm glad I did.

The first person narrative makes the book feel like a conversation with an old friend. I smiled through most of the pages, enjoying "catching up" with Michael.

As mentioned by other reviewers, it is a bit over the top in some ways but, if you love Tales of the City, you'll probably love this book. It's not perfect but it's a nice, easy read. Take it to the beach or read it on the plane.


Michael Tolliver Lives: Tales of the City 7
Michael Tolliver Lives: Tales of the City 7
by Armistead Maupin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading, 5 Jun. 2009
Like most people, I loved Tales of the City but, for some reason, I missed this book when it first came out a couple of years ago. I stumbled across it a few days ago and I'm glad I did.

The first person narrative makes the book feel like a conversation with an old friend. I smiled through most of the pages, enjoying "catching up" with Michael.

As mentioned by other reviewers, it is a bit over the top in some ways but, if you love Tales of the City, you'll probably love this book. It's not perfect but it's a nice, easy read. Take it to the beach or read it on the plane.


Worlds Apart Flash 170CX Kite
Worlds Apart Flash 170CX Kite
Offered by Bluefinn
Price: £29.95

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and easy to fly, 5 Jun. 2009
I've used this kite several times in the last month and it's very easy to fly (once you have enough of a breeze). If there's a good wind, you can launch it on your own but I've found it easiest in all wind conditions if a friend helps.

The hand grips are moulded plastic circles and they are very comfortable to use. The line attached to the kite with clips, making it easy to set up (you don't need to tie the string to the kite). It also makes the kite more secure.

The only downside is that the kite comes apart very easily on impact. This is obviously better than parts of it snapping but if you have to retrieve it and put the poles back in place after each (slight) impact, it gets annoying.

Overall, this is a good beginner's kite.


The Snake Stone (Yashim the Ottoman Detective)
The Snake Stone (Yashim the Ottoman Detective)
by Jason Goodwin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complex but not intriguing, 5 Jun. 2009
I picked up this novel because I love historical fiction and liked the idea of reading about Istanbul in the early nineteenth century.

Unfortunately, Jason Goodwin seems to think that the point in a mystery is to baffle the reader. Towards the end of the book, I had no idea what was going on - for such a short book there were too many side-steps and too much extraneous material.

The characters are pretty flat and Goodwin goes for quantity rather than quality. We follow Yashim around Istanbul but don't really engage with the location. There are a lot of descriptions but these are usually done as if the reader is already familiar with 1830s Istanbul and Turkish culture.

In all in all, this book was becoming a chore to read and I skimmed the last twenty pages, just trying to work out "who did it".


David Busch's Nikon D60 Guide to Digital SLR Photography
David Busch's Nikon D60 Guide to Digital SLR Photography
by David Busch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-patronising yet easy to follow, 28 Mar. 2009
Like many people, I moved from digital photography with a compact camera to a dSLR without really thinking about the differences. I knew I would be able to take better pictures, I knew that I would be able to play with exposure time and focus in a way that the compact would not allow but I didn't actually know how to do it.

The Nikon D60 manual (supplied with the camera) is great if you already know what you want to do - what I needed was a book to bridge the gap between the nuts and bolts functions of the camera and those wonderful pictures I've been dreaming up since acquiring my D60. This is it.

David Busch explains what all the functions do and when to use them. It's a bit dry in some places but it encourages you to play with your new camera, to experiment and learn through experience. It's a really good book for those who are new to dSLR photography as well as new to the D60. It won't tell you an awful lot about the artistic side of photography (for this, I would recommend a book like "40 Digital Photography Techniques" or its dSLR equivalent) but it does demystify the D60.

The only downside was the fact that there's a list in the first couple of chapters of essentials, where the author tries to flog everything (branded, of course!) from tripods to lenses. Also, it is written for the American market so you may be a little cheesed off to find that most of the camera equipment mentioned is twice the price in the UK compared to the US. One example of this was the spare battery (which is actually a sensible investment, especially if you travel with your camera): in the UK, it was listed as £45 but I bought it on amazon.com for $35. Same Nikon branded battery.

The other downside was the chapter about connecting the D60 to your PC. Obviously we all have to upload the pictures but given the diversity of PCs and software we use, it was a little redundant.

All in all, a great start to using your D60 (much better than the manual) but far from being a definitive guide.


The Colour Of Law (A. Scott Fenney)
The Colour Of Law (A. Scott Fenney)
by Mark Gimenez
Edition: Paperback

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Supposedly the next John Grisham!, 4 Feb. 2007
I bought this book because of the reviews it received in the press. Unfortunately, the plot and characterisation were lack lustre and, although the author is undoubtedly talented, the book as a whole fell flat.

The first 2/3rds of it is basically the set up. It takes too long to get started and is very repetitive (there's a moral dilemma which the author milks for all it's worth, explaining again and again what's to gain and lose). The actual legal drama is "blink and you miss it" short and feels tacked on. As for the ending... oh, don't get me started on that!

Basically, this is a straight forward book written with black and white values. The author keeps reminding us that law is rarely colour blind and that money wins trials. At the same time, all the black characters living in the projects are all in trouble with the law. All rich lawyers are soulless. All rich white people are unhappy and are racist, sexist homophobes.

After waiting so long on the actual trial, I was disappointed when it lasted only a few days. There was one of those horrendously bad "Perry Mason" moments and everything worked out as you knew it would. At least the author admitted that it was contrived by name checking Mason.

The ending was far too swift and happily ever after.

There was a lot lacking in the build-up to trial. For instance, the defendant played a very small part in the story. Fleshing her out more would have made the reader actually care about whether she lived or died. Instead, the author rather clumsily uses her daughter to humanise her.

Anyway, if you want Grisham, you'll be disappointed with this offering. I do think this author will improve, though, as he learns his craft. I would recommend skipping this novel and going straight to his next book.


Electron Microdiffraction
Electron Microdiffraction
by J.M. Zuo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £155.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for those interested in CBED, 10 May 2006
If you're looking at this book, chances are that you are not the general reader. As a PhD student, I have found this book to be invaluable as an introduction to the theory behind convergent beam electron diffraction. It has the right amount of maths and is straight forward to read.

The chapters are as follows:

1. A brief history of electron microdiffraction

2. The geometry of CBED patterns

3. Theory (this is the chapter I find invaluable)

4. The measurement of low-order structure factors and thickness

5. Applications of three- and many-beam theory (again, very handy)

6. Large-angle methods

7. Symmetry determination

8. Coherent nanoprobes, STEM, Defects and Amorphous materias

9. Instrumentation and experimental technique (Williams and Carter are much more thorough in their "Transmission Electron Microscopy" but if you're looking for a quick guide to instrumentation, this is good, especially since it covers energy filters)

There's a huge list of references, most of which you'll have come across if, like me, you're towards the end of your literature review.

There are appendices dealing with:

1. Useful relationship in dynamical theory

2. Constants (eg. electron wavelengths)

3. Crystallographic data (a nice little introduction to crystallography, starting from the reciprocal lattice)

4. Indexed diffraction patterns with HOLZ

5. Computer programs (I've never used these but they seem to be included in every book on crystallography)

This is a good book for a postgraduate student, although an undergraduate with a good grasp of quantum mechanics and the associated maths may find it helpful. My only criticism is that there are too few illustrative CBED patterns in the book.


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