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autodidact

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The Empress of Australia: A Post-War Memoir
The Empress of Australia: A Post-War Memoir
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Account of an Earlier Age of Austerity, 9 Oct. 2017
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A very moving account of the early years of Harry's marriage to his German wife immediately after the end of the Second World War and the culture-shock she received on moving to the grime and dirt of working-class Yorkshire. His is an extremely honest account and he doesn't spare himself in the events leading up to their separation as his wife could stand the life no longer and returned to Germany.
Those who follow Harry's nonagenarian activism ('Harry's Last Stand') will know that the story ultimately had a happy ending after they sailed off together for a new life in Canada on the 'Empress of India' of the title.


Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Dvd
Price: £2.49

3.0 out of 5 stars For when you're too tired for anything else, 9 Oct. 2017
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Well, it fits the bill for a bit of mindless entertainment, if that's all you can face. Very silly, of course.


Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds
Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds
Price: £7.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laughs Aplenty and Hard Science, 9 Oct. 2017
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Not many science books make you laugh out loud (for the right reasons), but this is one. Well written, with plenty of wry jokes, certainly in the early chapters. The basic thesis of the book is that the image of man the risk-taking adventurer and woman the stay-at-home nurturer is not supported scientifically and that nurture rather than nature defines the roles. Fine cites many studies to support this thesis and debunks the hard-wired sexual differences with ease.
I found the book a little repetitive towards the end as more arguments were marshalled to challenge the patriarchal stereotype, but overall this is an enjoyable as well as a thought provoking book.


Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler
Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Physicists Who Worked for Hitler, 17 Oct. 2016
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Philip Ball does an excellent job of showing how the leading physicists who didn't flee Nazi Germany accommodated themselves to the regime. It seems fairly clear that despite justifications afterwards, the likes of Heisenberg got on with their jobs and looked after their own interests. There is no evidence that research into the development of an atomic bomb was deliberately slowed down or sabotaged (and some indication that Heisenberg got his sums wrong).
Of course, this is not a phenomenon unique to Germany. The physicists were members of a middle class that shared the prejudices of their time, including a general anti-semitism and were firm believers in law and order and obedience to authority. Given that we are now in danger of entering another period where demagogues exploit prejudice and fear for their own ends, the lessons of this book are timely. .


Mens Chino Trousers by Asquith and Fox - Black - 32 Regular
Mens Chino Trousers by Asquith and Fox - Black - 32 Regular
Offered by COOZO UK
Price: £18.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Seem a fine pair of chinos, 17 Oct. 2016
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For me, a good fit. Soft chinos feeling comfortable from the first time I wore them. Stitching seems fine. Now to see how they last.


A Brief History of Seven Killings
A Brief History of Seven Killings
Price: £5.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brutal, Violent Novel of Jamaica, 11 May 2016
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An extremely ambitious novel, where the ambition is slightly greater than the execution. The novel centres on events around the Bob Marley Peace Concert in 1976, an attempt to stop the violence between the supporters of the People's National Party and those of the Jamaica Labour Party. At the time the PNP was fostering closer ties with Cuba and the CIA was involved in attempts to destabilise the country and the PNP leader Norman Manley. Two days before the concert an assassination attempt was made upon Marley's life.

The novel uses the difficult device of narration in the present tense, so events unfold as seen by participants, giving an immediacy to the story.. The narration changes between a large number of characters, and one of the difficulties for the reader is remembering who each narrator is, though this becomes easier as you become better acquainted with them. There is quite an extensive use of Jamaican patois, familiar to me from inner city Manchester in the 70's, but I don't think there is any difficulty understanding the narrative.

Don't be misled by the title of the novel; the title is explained near the end, but the novel itself is not brief, nor are there only seven killings. Life in the ghettoes of Kingston in all its brutality is portrayed, though the setting itself is fictional. Not a novel for the squeamish.

But despite not being a complete success (in my opinion and pace the Booker judges), it is still a formidable work and deserves to be read.


Wireless Doorbell, JETech Portable Wireless DoorBell Chime Plug-in Push Button with LED Indicator Over 50 Chimes, No Batteries Required for the Receiver (White) - 2122
Wireless Doorbell, JETech Portable Wireless DoorBell Chime Plug-in Push Button with LED Indicator Over 50 Chimes, No Batteries Required for the Receiver (White) - 2122
Offered by Rankie-Direct
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Wireless Doorbell and it works, 3 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived promptly. Installation is easy, though I chose the screws rather than the double-sided sticky tape that wouldn't withstand the West Wales weather. Easy enough to fasten the screws in the holes in the bell (I used a bradawl through the plastic as it doesn't come with the holes punched out).

Works fine and is loud enough even for my partial deafness. I haven't changed the out-of-the-box settings, but the controls are obvious enough if necessary.

Now to see how long the battery lasts.


Shostakovich - Complete Symphonies
Shostakovich - Complete Symphonies
Price: £34.96

5.0 out of 5 stars A First-Rate Shostakovich Cycle at Budget Price, 17 April 2016
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Barshai's cycle of Shostakovich stands comparison with the best (Mravinsky, Rostropovich, Jarvi, Petrenko et al.) and at budget price this is an unmissable set. My only quibble is that the booklet does not contain the texts and translations where appropriate. For most they are freely available on the Internet, but I can't find a source for Symphony 14, and it really is necessary, I think.


The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity
The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction for the General Reader, 11 April 2016
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A history of General Relativity from Einstein's formulation to the present day, including the now-disputed announcement of the discovery of Gravity Waves. As a practising scientist, Ferreira has been in the centre of the latest developments and arguments of the theory. He manages to get through the book without a single mathematical equation, though sometimes in the descriptions, for example of 'hairy' black holes, you think that some mathematical formulation might explain the colourful language and descriptions. We learn that the field equations of General Relativity are very difficult and are solved for special cases, and clearly there is a level of mathematical understanding that excludes the general reader.

But if you want to understand importance of people like Stephen Hawking then this book is a very good introduction


Fishnet
Fishnet
Price: £5.69

5.0 out of 5 stars A Serious Novel, 11 April 2016
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This review is from: Fishnet (Kindle Edition)
This is a serious novel on a serious subject.
Like many novels coming out of Scotland there is an underlying gritty realism here as the heroine searches for her missing sister and discovers the realities of the world of prostitution. Despite the subject the book avoids salaciousness.
Many will dispute the positive image of sex workers in the book. I don't pretend to know the answer, but the details in the book ring true. Well worth reading.


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