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The Day My Brain Slipped Out My Head and Onto the Kitchen Floor: A Journey Through Psychosis
The Day My Brain Slipped Out My Head and Onto the Kitchen Floor: A Journey Through Psychosis
Price: £2.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A brave and honest story, 23 July 2016
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A brave and insightful account of one woman's battle with psychosis, her attempted suicide and stay on a secure psychiatric ward. Very easy to read (in terms of the style rather than the sometimes harrowing content) and shows that mental illness can indeed happen to anyone. A brave and honest story. I am so glad Melanie is still around to tell it.


The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life)
The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life)
by Fowler, Chad
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, really inspiring and makes you want to ..., 22 July 2016
Great book, really inspiring and makes you want to pursue a 'remarkable career', as Chad Fowler frequently puts it. Not a 'how to code' book, but more a general motivational/career guide, with a focus on programming (but much of which could be applied to different careers). As others have said, you would probably struggle to do everything suggested in this book (also sometimes - let's be honest - your job is not the most important aspect of your life, just a way to pay the bills). But an enjoyable and motivating read that I would recommend to anyone in programming and perhaps other careers too.


Sing It All Away
Sing It All Away
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good music, 17 July 2016
This review is from: Sing It All Away (Audio CD)
Discovered this album entirely by accident and loved it - an eclectic mix of feel good pop rock with bits of reggae thrown in. Loved it.


Who's That Girl?
Who's That Girl?
by Mhairi McFarlane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Great - but perhaps not as good as her other books, 15 July 2016
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This review is from: Who's That Girl? (Hardcover)
'Who's that Girl?' is a look at a different perspective - the 'other woman', who is usually the villain in stories like this. Edie commits what many would see as a despicable act at the beginning of the story and 'Who's that Girl?' charts the fallout from that.

I have loved all of Mhairi McFarlane's books and this is no exception. I found it funny, addictive and compelling; I felt huge sympathy for Edie and wanted her to be able to move past her mistake and find happiness. It was a 'read while you're brushing your teeth' type novel.

And yet -

There was something about it that just wasn't quite as good as her other novels (IMHO). One of Mhairi McFarlane's great qualities as a writer is her ability to bring characters right off the page, to make them living, breathing entities who are palpably real. I never felt like Edie had this same tangibility as a character. I felt like she was slightly cardboard cut-out, and consequently the story felt a little contrived. I also felt the book was lacking the wonderful descriptions of her other books - I've always loved Mhairi's ability to bring a scene vividly to life, and I never really felt this same connection. Finally, I also felt there wasn't the same warmth as her other stories. I have always found her stories to be warm, caring and full of kindness, without the bitterness and sharpness of some comedic novels. While I did find Edie a likeable character, I did sometimes feel the warmth was lacking and it was sacrificed in pursuit of humour (sometimes 'sitcom like' - especially the sister, who I feel was not at all realistic, and also carrying on this tiring vegan cliche of being militant, humourless etc!)

These are minor criticisms, mainly because I had such high expectations. I will definitely read more from Mhairi McFarlane and I would certainly recommend 'Who's that Girl?' I just hope her next book is of the same unparalleled standard of her previous books.


After You
After You
by Jojo Moyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved 'After you' - dare I say it, even more than the original., 15 July 2016
This review is from: After You (Paperback)
I loved 'After you' - dare I say it, even more than the original. JoJo Moyes is a terrific author and Louisa is a compelling character. I especially loved the relationship that develops between Louisa and Lily - it could so easily have been a cliched 'About a Boy' type relationship, but I found it touching, witty and real. I also found the developing relationship between Louisa and Sam very real, and I think this reflects real life where people can and do (quite rightly) find love again after losing someone. It felt like a fitting goodbye to Will, without diminishing what they experienced together, and also a lovely way of finding closure for the Traynors. It also touched on some complex and raw topics without ever descending into mawkishness - the realities and complexities of grief, depression and guilt are handled in a light but respectful manner. There is also plenty of humour here, again handled in a light and touching way. Highly recommended.


The C# Player's Guide (2nd Edition)
The C# Player's Guide (2nd Edition)
by RB Whitaker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.08

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent, accessible guide to C# - very readable, 12 Jun. 2016
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This is an excellent, accessible guide to C# - very readable, especially when compared to some of the more dry books such as the Microsoft official guides. RB Whitaker explains things in a clear way but without being patronising, providing enough detail for a beginner while also giving some deeper info for more experienced programmers. Very impressed.


Last Tango in Halifax - Series 3 [DVD]
Last Tango in Halifax - Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anne Reid
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Become too much like a soap, 13 April 2016
*warning spoilers*

I am a huge fan of Sally Wainwright and 'At Home with the Braithwaites' and 'Happy Valley' are two of my all time favourite TV shows.

I loved series 1 of 'Last Tango...' which was funny, warm and engaging - but I feel from series 2 onwards it lost its way, becoming nothing more than a soap. I have given three stars because the acting is unparalleled, but the writing (in my humble opinion) left a lot to be desired. Not only did I find the storylines repetitive and melodramatic, but I found them cheap and meaningless at times. In particular the death of Kate felt like sensationalised melodrama and unnecessarily cruel - it also let Celia off the hook for her grotesque behaviour on Caroline's wedding day. In fact, I find the casual homophobia displayed in 'Last Tango' quite distasteful and not at all what I find in real life. The story is set a stone's throw from Hebden Bridge - the UK's gay capital - and yet you'd think Caroline was the only gay person in the history of the world.

I really hope series 4 finds its way back to its roots and leaves the soap operatics to Emmerdale.


TeckNet Prima 3-Button Optical USB Wired Mouse, 1000 dpi
TeckNet Prima 3-Button Optical USB Wired Mouse, 1000 dpi
Offered by Innovation Goal UK
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mouse, 10 April 2016
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Excellent mouse. I got fed up with using the touchpad on my laptop and wanted a decent - but cheap - USB mouse to plug in and use instead. I tried a couple from various highstreet shops but they were useless - the pointer was inaccurate and slow. This mouse does the job on every count. It is quick, accurate and easy to use. It provides just the right amount of tactile feedback when using the roller/buttons. I have quite small hands and this is very comfortable to use - I couldn't comment on what it would be like with someone with big hands. Personally I am very happy with this purchase, and the price is excellent.


One Year No Beer: The Ultimate Social Challenge
One Year No Beer: The Ultimate Social Challenge
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book - motivating, 22 Mar. 2016
Fantastic book - motivating, inspiring. I would urge anyone to read it, especially if you are reconsidering your relationship with alcohol or fancy a challenge.


The Linden Method - The Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks & Phobias Elimination Solution by Charles Linden (1997) Paperback
The Linden Method - The Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks & Phobias Elimination Solution by Charles Linden (1997) Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Choose an evidence based therapy instead, 12 Mar. 2016
The Linden Method is currently under investigation by Trading Standards for false advertising, after being referred by the Advertising Standards Agency. This alone should set alarm bells ringing. Couple this with the fact that there is not one iota of independent, peer-reviewed evidence supporting the method (despite being in operation for 15+ years) and it should probably tell you what you need to know. I would recommend one of the many, affordable self-help books based on evidence-based therapies such as CBT ('At last a life' for anxiety, or 'Brain Lock', 'Break Free from OCD' for OCD); and of course seeing your GP for a referral to a qualified therapist (for free) is unbeatable. Steer clear of this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2016 6:30 AM BST


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