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E. Braben
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME: Support for Family and Friends
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME: Support for Family and Friends
by Elizabeth Turp
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 8 Oct. 2011
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I love this book from its cover to its contents. It is set out so clearly and the topics are covered comprehensively. The author reiterates the key points throughout the book so if you dip into a section, you will be well informed. The writer has used her knowledge as someone who has suffered from CFS/ME and her experience and skill as a counsellor to produce a book which doesn't preach but informs. I recommend this book to anyone who knows someone with CFM/ME and even to those who don't as it is very important that this condition is better understood.


Darlac Garden Composter
Darlac Garden Composter

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, 24 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Darlac Garden Composter
This is the only composter I have found which is small enough for my garden. It seems sturdy enough, keeps the rain out, has holes to let out excess water and let in air. These are the main requirements of a composter. Whether you get good quality compost and how quickly, is a function of what you put in it. There needs to be a balance of 'green' and 'brown' (leaves, straw, cardboard etc) garden waste, moisture and air. If you want to know more I suggest you buy a book on composting. Otherwise, just don't put in too much of any one thing e.g grass cuttings, which will compact into a solid mass, keep it moist enough adding water if necessary, and turn the contents to mix the 'ingredients' and incorporate air. If you want to kick start the decompostion process and you aren't squeamish put in urine and if you can get it, horse manure. Add the contents of your hoover, and if it's looking too dense plenty of pieces of cardboard or scrunched up paper. Add kitchen waste but not meat, fish and other cooked foods. The smaller the size of the material you put in the composter, the quicker the rate of decomposition.
UPDATE - Jan 2013 - sadly the zip hasn't stood up to use or the weather. I intend to write to the manufactures. A big disappointment because otherwise it does the job.
UPDATE - June 2013 - This composter is made in China. The supplier's reply to my email about the poor quality of the zip was in essence - we haven't had any other complaints so there can't be a problem! Look at the reviews and were there is a poor one, the issue is usually the zip.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2013 12:09 PM GMT


The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone
The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone
by Kate Pickett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important read, 21 Aug. 2011
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This is a scholarly book. Much criticised by those who are ideologically oppposed to the ideas it puts forward. Even if you don't accept their 'big theory' what this book says about the UK alone is well worth reading about. For me, the huge disparity in wealth and power in the UK is unacceptable. And it needs to be addressed now, not, as and when, the free market gets around to it. The authors of the Spirit Level put forward some very interesting ideas about how to do this without going back to some idealistic notions of the past. To continue with unrestrained capitalism in the face of the fact that this ideology has widened the gap between the rich and the poor in out society is inexcusable. But is seems the only answer our current government can come up with is more rather than less free market economics. What folly. Folly, as I recently heard a philosopher defining is when you persist with a course of action which is demonstrably failing but this can't be acknowledged because deeply held beliefs would be seriously challenged. I recommend this book to everyone who has an open mind.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2012 11:11 AM BST


The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-Checking the Left's New Theory of Everything
The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-Checking the Left's New Theory of Everything
by Christopher John Snowdon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

233 of 274 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who's dellusion?, 21 Aug. 2011
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What motivated Christopher Snowden to turned his intelligence and skill to debunking the anti smoking lobby (earlier book) and the anti inequality movement? Perhaps his next book will debunk global warming. I am reminded of the plethora of research in the USA in the 60s which aimed to show that blacks were less intelligent than whites. For what purpose? The Education System should educate all to the best of their ability whatever this is. Similarly, smoking is bad for health, and the huge disparity in wealth and power between those who have and have not, in the UK is, to any fair minded person, unacceptable. And it needs to be addressed now, not, as and when, the free market gets around to it.

Snowden's introduction is in my view a simplistic distortion of what The Spirit Level is about and at times, reads like a rant (p10 3rd paragraph onwards) rather than a rational criticism. What Snowden demonstrates very well in his book is that where data and statistical analyses are concerned, the arguments and counter arguments can run and run. He questions the data and methodology underlying the conclusions drawn by the authors of the Spirit Level and attributes their motivations to left wing ideology. The same accusations could be made about Snowden's cherry picking of data and his obvious anti-left ideology. He is motivated to throw in anything which muddies the waters, creates a smoke screen and under minds his targets - Wilkinson, Pickett, Layard, James and Lawson. Me thinks the man protests too much.

There is much of interest in Snowden's analysis of data but this is spoilt by what he selects, says and how he says it. He uses ridicule, innuendo, personal slurs and takes points of view to the extreme and in doing so, reduces them to the absurd. Such tactics render him far from an objective reporter/analyst. By comparison The Spirit Level is a scholarly book. Snowden correctly says we should be cautious of any claim that is too neat to be true but his total dismissal of all that The Spirit Level offers, is equally suspect. Snowden doesn't have one integrated point of view he takes any point of view which is anti the ideas put forward in The Spirit Level . He says, correctly, that The Spirit Level is a political book - as if his book isn't! Arguing for the maintenance of the status quo in not apolitical it is a hugely political viewpoint.

To me Snowden's book misses the point. In the UK the prison population is rising, obesity levels are increasing, depression and anxiety levels in adults and children have skyrocketed (even if this is due to self-diagnosis, the question is, how come?) Profits from the diet and cosmetic surgery industries are rising dramatically year on year. This information hardly adds up to a contented society. Isn't it a about time we tried something else? A mistake is something hindsight reveals. Folly is when you persist with a course of action which is demonstrably failing but this can't be admitted because deeply held beliefs would be seriously challenged. So is more not less unrestrained capitalism the way forward? Folly indeed.

The most telling omission in Snowden's book is the lack of any attention to global warming, something which is mention often in the Spirit Level. So, Christopher Snowden, how is free market global capitalism going to solve this major problem? Ah, perhaps this is going to be his next book!
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2016 6:18 PM GMT


Damage
Damage
by Josephine Hart
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good title, 5 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Damage (Paperback)
This writer died recently. I read her obituary and this book was mentioned as a remarkable read. I was interested enough to buy it. It's a perfect title as the story shows the damage done to others as a result of emotional damage done in childhood, in this case, an awful but not very unusual dysfunctional father and son dynamic. Whilst the story is dramatised and a very good read as a result I still found it believable and could see only too well how one event or experience ultimately led to another. At it's heart, this story is about the complexities of the individual characters in the story but it shone light for me, on the human condition.


The Definitive Elvis [DVD]
The Definitive Elvis [DVD]
Dvd ~ Elvis Presley
Offered by thelastplace
Price: £8.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprhensive and excellent value, 19 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: The Definitive Elvis [DVD] (DVD)
For a dedicated Elvis fan this dvd is shear indulgence given the amount of material it contains. It's an accurate enough account of the man and his life so for those who have a more detatched interest in Elvis it's also a good watch.
This package is divided into:
Part 1 - The memphis years; The television years; the hollywood years; the Memphis mafia, the comeback special and The vegas years. Joe Espositio is the executive consultant which will give some of you an idea of the tone of these sections.
Part 2 - The many loves fo Elvis; The spiritual soul of Elvis, All the Kings disciples (fans). Various people talking about the man they knew and of course, they love him!
Part 3 - The Hollywood years 1962 - 1969; The army years; Elvis and Priscilla; The intimate loves of Elvis; A man and his music; The day the music died. Again various people talking about him and with one exception; an actress who was in one of his films who had nothing nice to say about him, they all adored him and still do.
Bonus feature: Elvis and the colonel - an interesting insight for those who do not know much about this relationship.
There's also lots of film clips, interviews and footage of performances.

So as you can see, it's comprehensive and very good value especially for anyone who hasn't any other dvds. But if you do have a collection as has already been said by someone else - beware, there is a limited amount of material out there and it gets re-packaged over and over again. For some of us we have to accept that we have seen it all and there is no more!!


The Boy in the Dress
The Boy in the Dress
by David Walliams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.49

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, 12 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: The Boy in the Dress (Paperback)
I read this book before I gave it to my grandchildren aged 8 and 10 years. I enjoyed David Walliam's writting style very much. I was impressed with his ability to cover the issue of 'difference' in such a funny and entertaining way.


Mr Stink
Mr Stink
by David Walliams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A good laugh, 12 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Mr Stink (Paperback)
My 10 year old grandson read this book in an instant and he laughed out loud. That's all I can say as I haven't read it myself but I bought the book on the strength of having read The Boy in the Dress. I was impressed with David Walliam's writing style, his humour and his ability to tackle the subject of 'difference'.


Wait For Me!: Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister
Wait For Me!: Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister
by Deborah Devonshire
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing slice of recent history, 13 Feb. 2011
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This book is well written and very interesting. Not only does is give a broad brush account of the Mitford sisters, it captures the life and times of the British upper classes very well or at least, Deborah Mitford's life and times. While reading this book I was constantly struck by the obvious inequality of the few owning so much but this was balanced by the duty and sense or responsibilty that was so clearly felt by, in this case, the Duke of Devonshire on his inheritance. Something that Deborah also took on when she married him and continued after his death. Without their input and dedication such places as Chatsworth may not be here today for us to enjoy. Certainly, the author comes across as a likeble person and I think by being born the last in the family, she seems to have escaped the need to be quite so eccentric as her older siblings. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which is a very honest account of the author's life and times and while she doesn't shy away from describing and naming the undesirable trait of others in her family, she does so with understanding and love for the fuller person she knew.


The Iron Woman
The Iron Woman
by Ted Hughes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale, 13 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: The Iron Woman (Paperback)
I bought this book for my 8 year old Granddaughter and read it before giving it to her. It's a classic tale very well told. I think it would appeal to children of a creative mind who like to be transported into realms of fantasy.


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