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Reviews Written by
E. J. Akhurst "Emily Crews-Montès" (France)
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Angela Hewitt - Bach Performance on the Piano [DVD] [2008]
Angela Hewitt - Bach Performance on the Piano [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Bach
Price: £19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value for expertise, 6 May 2014
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As someone else said, great value when one considers the cost of lessons (but get the lessons as well!) Anyone who wants to know whether and how to put expression into Bach should consider this DVD. Angela more than answerers to her critics - and even if you prefer a more restrained interpretation of Bach, this thorough and well-thought-out tutorial (or rather 4 or 5 tutorials - too much to take in in one go) - is a must.


The Afflicted
The Afflicted
by Andy Strutt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, Educating and Humorous!, 2 Jan. 2014
This review is from: The Afflicted (Paperback)
A gripping read, Andy Strutt combines technical knowledge and experience of the pharmaceutical industry, with warmth and flashes of humour, as an outbreak of a frightening illness takes prosperous and laid-back Sussex to its knees.

The author's style matches that of the book's hero: sharp and intelligent, yet generous enough to keep you in the picture - motivated by love and enthusiasm for the subject matter: biology, epidemiology - and as any self-respecting novelist subtexts in sociology and psychology...

The withering contempt expressed for the villains will make you chuckle. This book is like an evening spent at the pub with the most interesting person you know: the story moves fast and the devastation is total, but you'll remember the thrills and spills long after the ravages are over!

I wish I had a colleague like John Simmons. I'm glad we have an author like Andy Strutt.


Kindling the Spark: Recognizing and Developing Musical Talent
Kindling the Spark: Recognizing and Developing Musical Talent
by Joanne Haroutounian
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough guide with plenty of analysis., 14 Sept. 2013
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Having studied psychology at university, I was already comfortable with the debate about whether not talent, in its pure (stereotypical) form actually exists. This book gives much background to help you make up your mind on this, and to nurture your child's abilities. It's just a shame that it's N. America - focussed (inevitably, the author can't be an expert on everywhere!) - here in France we have particular issues about how music is taught (starts too late, for one thing) - no doubt there are different problems in the UK. At least in the UK one can start whenever one likes. In France you can get going early, but formal music education isn't offered til about age 7.


Childrens Songbook (Usborne Activities)
Childrens Songbook (Usborne Activities)
by Anthony Marks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-arranged favourites, colourful book., 14 Sept. 2013
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My children choose their favourite song by the pictures and the colour of the pages, as they're too young to read. This helps them engage with the process - which is great, as I wanted to get them into music as early as possible and this book's just the ticket.


Overcoming the Fear of Riding: Featuring Interviews with 12 Top Riders
Overcoming the Fear of Riding: Featuring Interviews with 12 Top Riders
by Theresa Jordan
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts you on the right track, 14 Sept. 2013
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This book doesn't necessarily help you overcome the fear, but is thorough and helpful in orienting the rider towards a choice of horse. Sometimes it's not about overcoming a fear of riding a particular animal, more one's approach to the sport in general, and especially choice of horse. Also well-covered are the setting of goals and expectations - those of oneself and those of others, and managing and dealing with the expectations of others!


Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals: A Proven Approach that Puts the Buyer in Control
Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals: A Proven Approach that Puts the Buyer in Control
by Jonathan O'Brien
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive manual, 14 Sept. 2013
This is a user-friendly guide to negotiation that, although employing catchy acronyms, places these firmly in context, using a theoretical base supported by experience from the field.

I was interested in whether the author is a training specialist or a procurement professional, and on finding out more I was pleased to discover that he has an important body of work in both, as well as being an author.

Having spent 15 years in procurement and now working abroad and in two languages and across cultures, I was particularly interested in reading the section that pertains to cross-cultural negotiation. There are numerous methodologies, laid out step-to-step, which is invaluable in the field, where purely understanding the theories isn't enough, one has to be able to apply them, at times under pressure. Having said that, a key theme in the book is good preparation.

This work contains a number of alternative (or complementary) models. It is aimed at those who are already practising in the field, for whom it is a rich resource. A must-read for those who need to apply purchasing theory across different domains, or as a resource for an in-office team library.


Logique de L'Honneur. Gestion Des Entreprises Et Traditions Nationales(la)
Logique de L'Honneur. Gestion Des Entreprises Et Traditions Nationales(la)
by Philippe D'
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £21.72

5.0 out of 5 stars The best explanation I've found so far, 28 Mar. 2013
Upon my arrival in France, and the realisation that I was NOT going to be able to get a job, that the only skill of mine that would be valued by most others over here would be my ability to speak and to write English - yet that I would also be looked down upon as a sole trader (interpreter) despite it being my only viable option at this juncture, I knew I needed help.

I first read the anglophone classics by Geert Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars, which explained a lot. However these, and other books I read, left the opinion of the French citizens themselves conspicuous by its absence. I looked for the French cross-cultural literature - and there isn't a lot of it. Luckily I speak French, so I ordered this book and several others by Iribarne.

Having found that the business of understanding other cultures is a bit one-way (the Americans and North Europeans trying to understand the southern Europeans, with the Southern Europeans not reciprocating, it appeared), I wasn't this book to contribute as much to my understanding as it did. However, it was profoundly helpful. One of the key reasons that French business culture is so different from the British, is precisely because rules are applied (or not) locally. This isn't only geographic, but applies to specific departments within factories and businesses as well. (This may go for other Southern European countries - if you live in France you'll appreciate why France is considered Southern European...) To get anywhere near a full understanding of this, you need it to be explained by a frenchman.

One of the practical ways that Iribarne brings a deeper level of understanding in this work, is his liberal use of verbatim quotes - which he places in context in the main body of the text.

If any publishers are reading this, please contact me if you'd like me to translate this work (or perhaps one of the newer Iribarne works) into English - it's a project that deserves to be done, though I'd probably work myself to death doing it!


Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition (Business Skills and Development)
Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition (Business Skills and Development)
by Geert Hofstede
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.92

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough but, being an empirical study, lacking in explanation (theory), 28 Mar. 2013
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In the empirical tradition, this book describes dimensions elucidated through an empirical study - in this case the statistical analysis of items (from questionnaires or workshops, sorry I can't remember). The point being that the authors have used correlations of the degree of agreement between people of different nations to a set of statements, to "shake out" the dimensions they describe.

That is, they didn't start with theory, propose dimensions that they believe to exist, and then test those through the measurement of empirical data, they let the data throw out the dimensions. There's lots of Social Science research methodology literature that discusses this point (in general) in detail.

Back to this book, and to the dimensions: from my own cross-cultural experience (being a Brit living in France), showing a difference between our nations in the dimensions of Uncertainty Avoidance (colloquially "Fear of the Unknown") and Power Distance, gave my "Anglo-Saxon" mind some comfort that the frustrations I felt at the time were not all in my mind. The discussion around these points allow one to put those "lost" feelings into perspective.

I only stop short of giving the book 5 stars because for a book that's manifesto is to improve cultural understanding, I feel that more care should have been taken not to explain the dimensions from a northern-european (similar to "Anglo-Saxon" (how I detest that term!)) standpoint. For example, there's a statement that goes somewhere along the lines of saying that in certain cultures not losing time (in getting from A to B in a car, i.e. driving fast) is considered more important than human life. (Had the authors really evaluated the value of human life in the country in question?)

But certainly to be read by all those looking for answers when trying to put cross-cultural differences into perspective. This work is also a cornerstone to the cross-cultural literature used in multinational corporations.


Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: What Makes the French So French?
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: What Makes the French So French?
by Jean-Benoit Nadeau
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for understanding, but not for the improvement of your own tolerance., 28 Mar. 2013
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This book explains a lot - but from rather a prejudiced standpoint.

I have personally had a lot of trouble fitting in in France and therefore have some not altogether charitable views on the French at times - but these guys.... don't like the French at all.

However, they do make some astute observations. They whipped in and out of France in a year or two - they didn't stay and develop a more rounded and balanced view. This is both a strength and a limitation in this book. Its strength is that it will answer many of your "Why" questions (with plausible answers, though not necessarily wholly accurate). Its limitation is that it might just reinforce your own prejudice and leaving you feeling all the more alone!

As other reviewers have noted, a book to be read with a critical and enquiring mind.


Change Your Life In Seven Days (Book  & DVD)
Change Your Life In Seven Days (Book & DVD)
by Paul McKenna
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This works but I have no idea how, 28 Mar. 2013
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As a psychology gradutate and someone who feels a strong duty to remain in the driving seat of my life, I don't like admitting that I don't know how this works, nor that it does!

It should be a load of nonsense, shouldn't it? But, as I suspect like many others, I gave it a go anyway. And do you know, it does work. So impressed I was, that I recommended it to a couple of family members who suffer from depression. They batted it away. I think the only downfall of this book is that it's firmly a self-help book, and as such has a lot of competition. Also, many of the people who need help for depression have lost their faith in there being anything useful among the possible "remedies".

All I can say is, if you're thinking "shall I or shan't I", just do it - unless you need its cover price to buy food or to heat your house, of course...


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