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M. Thornton (Swansea, UK)
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Underwater Photography Masterclass
Underwater Photography Masterclass
by Alex Mustard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.58

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and accessible!, 17 April 2016
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I nearly didn't buy this book because I was thinking it would just be a rehash of the usual basic photography and underwater advice but I'm so glad I did! Alex Mustard doesn't spend lots of time explaining the basics of photography but instead focuses on a few key topics to start off such as how to choose an underwater setup, lighting etc. The rest of the book is all about specific underwater techniques and how to turn competent shots into fantastic ones. Lots of great ideas and suggestions accompanied by beautiful photographs but very concise and accessible and light enough to take on a trip.

For beginners it's a great introduction, although you will need to understand basic photography concepts such as aperture, shutter speeds, ISO etc. to get the most out of it. But where I think this book really stands out is for those who have mastered the basics of underwater photography and can take reasonably good shots using manual mode but now want to take it to the next level, whether that be with a compact or SLR. There's good advice on lenses and external lighting and the book encourages you to find new and interesting subjects where you wouldn't have thought to look for them (e.g. patterned backgrounds, macro life) as well as try new ways of making popular subjects look different (e.g. remotely triggered strobes in wrecks). If you find you're coming back from every trip with pretty much the same set of photos and are starting to wonder what the point of it is then this is the book for you. I can't wait to get back in the water and start trying it all out!


Splinter the Silence: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 9)
Splinter the Silence: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 9)
Price: £3.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking Tony Hill / Carol Jordan installment, 28 Aug. 2015
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Long-term characters Tony Hill and Carol Jordan are back once more in this new thriller from Val McDermid. If, like me, you follow the series as much (more?) for the personal development of Tony and Carol as for the crime thriller aspect then you will not be disappointed. McDermid continues to explore and develop their relationship in a subtle and believeable way as they try to rebuild their lives. Other characters from the series are also back and we see new facets of Stacey in particular. There are lots of unexpected twists and turns as the story unfolds and even the central murder investigation is unconventional in nature. I demolished it in two days and can't wait for the next one! Longtime fans will enjoy this just as much as its predecessors, newcomers are strongly advised to start at the beginning with "The Mermaids Singing" to get the most out of the series.


The Two Week Wait
The Two Week Wait
by Sarah Rayner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult subject, heartwarming well researched novel., 30 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Two Week Wait (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"The Two Week Wait" is a novel about two women, unknown to each other, who for different reasons decide to undergo fertility treatment in order to have a child. The novel follows their journey as they deal with the reactions of others, the emotional and physical repercussions of treatment and their relationships with their friends and family.

"The Two Week Wait" features Lou, and to a lesser extent Karen and Anna, from Rayner's first novel "One Moment, One Morning". You don't have to have read that one to enjoy this one but it does help to give a little more background to some of the characters. The depictions of fertility treatment are accurate and sensitive and the author has obviously spent a lot of time researching the subject. I liked how the differing attitudes towards IVF were depicted through the reactions of various characters. Lou and Cath were both likeable and believeable and I cared a lot about what happened to them.

Overall this is a thought-provoking novel that handles an original and difficult subject with sensitivity. Recommended.


CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 (PC/DVD)
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 (PC/DVD)
Offered by SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Price: £344.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent graphics package for photo editing, design, websites etc., 26 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 is a collection of graphics applications including Corel PHOTO-PAINT for photo editing, CorelDRAW for design, Corel Website Creator and several other applications and plug-ins. Also included is a huge library of clip art, digital photos, fonts, templates and patterns.

The suite is easy to install and runs fine with Windows 8, although you do have register online to get access to all the resource libraries. I have previously used Photoshop for photo editing but found that this package does everything that Photoshop does. What I found particularly useful is the collection of video tutorials which explain everything from simple tasks (e.g. removing red eye) to more advanced editing. You can also choose to have the screen layout set up more like Photoshop to ease the transition. I have also used CorelDRAW a lot for designing posters, logos etc. and found it equally easy to use.

Overall this is a great package including all the software you need for graphics work at home. I can't speak for professional users but for amateurs this is a fantastic software suite at a bargain price in comparison to what else is on the market.


The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me
The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, original, heartwarming, brilliant read!, 22 Jun. 2014
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I have read and enjoyed one of Lucy Robinson's novels before ("The Greatest Love Story of All Time") so I was looking forward to this new one. I was not disappointed! This novel is the story of Sally, a talented but inexperienced singer who is about to start an opera course at the Royal College of Music. There's just one snag: Sally is terrified of singing in front of people, so how on earth is she going to cope? And a visitor from her past the night before her first day only complicates things even further.

This is a fabulous novel filled with great characters such as the hilarious Jan Borsos, Barry from Barry Island and snooty Violet. The story unfolds with two alternating plotlines - one set in the present and one telling the story of Sally's past - and these are both equally interesting and well balanced. Although I managed to guess in places where the story was going it didn't spoil the enjoyment at all and the opera background was an original setting that was authentic without being overpowering (don't be put off this book if, like me, you aren't really into opera).

Overall a lovely, funny, heartwarming read with characters that I loved. Lucy Robinson is now up there with some of my favourite authors (Sophie Kinsella, Jenny Colgan, Lisa Jewell) and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes these.


Three Little Words: They mean so much
Three Little Words: They mean so much
by Jessica Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable novel but would be better with less storylines, 14 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Three Little Words" is the story of three women: Bryony, Sara and Rachel. None of them know each other but each of them receives life changing news on the same evening. The book follows these women as they deal with what happens next.

The novel is an entertaining read and I found myself caring about the characters and wanting to know what happened to them. Bryony's story is probably the most well developed of the three and I liked how the author touched on the points of view of other key characters such as Tynice and Keon. Rachel was another intriguing character, although I felt that her story was resolved a little too rapidly towards the end of the novel to give a nice neat happy ending. I would have liked to have seen more about how she coped with the revelations towards the end of the book. Sara's story seemed to end quite early on and I found it less interesting than the others. The writing was a little clunky in places, for example the overly detailed descriptions of the characters' appearance and clothes, but the plot moved along well and kept me interested.

Overall I enjoyed "Three Little Words" but I think the author tried to squeeze too much into one book. I understood that she was trying to draw links between the characters but I think it would have been better to have focused more on Bryony, Keon and Tynice as their story on its own was more than enough to keep the reader interested. I would have preferred to see Rachel as the subject of a separate novel, with more focus on her, Rita and Lisa and more exploration of her story. However it was still an enjoyable read and I would certainly try more of this author's work in the future.


Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women's Health on the Move (MOTM)
Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women's Health on the Move (MOTM)
by Amie Clifford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference/revision guide for medical students in O&G, 11 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book comes from the "Medicine On The Move" series and is aimed at medical students. It includes a free mobile app with the full text of the book. There are three parts: obstetrics, gynaecology and a 'women's health' section covering sexual health and breast problems. There are good chapters on history taking and examination for each part. All the key information is covered with coloured photos for illustration where needed.

The book is laid out in bullet point format with important information highlighted in 'micro' boxes and good use of tables, diagrams and flow charts to summarise information. This makes it ideal for revision or for quick reference on the ward. It contains the "need to know" key facts rather than giving lots of excessive detail. There are self assessment questions (EMQs and SBAs) at the end with answers to further aid learning. The mobile version was a bit tricky to install and there are no extra features but the text of the book can be arranged by index or by table of contents for ease of access.

Overall a good revision aid for medical students who just want the key points presented in a clear and straightforward manner. The compact size and included mobile version make it convenient to use on ward placements and in clinics as a reference text also.


Psychiatry on the Move (MOTM)
Psychiatry on the Move (MOTM)
by Molly Douglas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good revision book for medical students, 2 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book comes from the "Medicine On The Move" series and is aimed at medical students. It includes a free mobile app with the full text of the book. The book starts with a very good section on history taking and examination including mental state examination. There is a useful section on pharmacotherapy which includes practical guidance on prescribing in mental health disorders. The rest of the book covers a wide selection of common mental health disorders. There is a short section on capacity and the Mental Health Act which I found a bit too brief even for medical student level.

The book is laid out in bullet point format with important information highlighted in 'micro' boxes. This makes it ideal for revision or for quick reference on the ward. It contains the "need to know" key facts rather than giving lots of detail. There is a good selection of self assessment questions with answers to further aid learning. The mobile version was a bit tricky to install but once set up it made it very easy to access the information.

Overall a good revision aid for medical students who just want the key points presented in a clear and straightforward manner. It would also be a useful refresher for junior doctors starting work in the specialty prior to more in-depth reading.


Wedding Night
Wedding Night
Price: £3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Farfetched but funny, touching read, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Wedding Night (Kindle Edition)
In the hands of any other author this book would be a disaster owing to its farfetched plot: one sister rushes into a marriage on the rebound, the other tries to sabotage her honeymoon in order that the marriage can be annulled when (if!) she comes to her senses. However Sophie Kinsella manages to pull it off through her hilarious writing and likeable, well-drawn characters and I ended up liking it a lot more than I was expecting. The chapters are split between Lottie and Fliss which works very well in moving the plot along.

I like Sophie Kinsella's books because they always manage to be both funny and touching and this is no exception. As Fliss tries to protect Lottie she comes to see her own behaviour in a different light and both sisters have difficult decisions to make. A fabulously funny read perfect for holidays.


The Greatest Love Story of All Time
The Greatest Love Story of All Time
by Lucy Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, touching chick lit with attitude, 30 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first book I have read by Lucy Robinson and I would describe it as 'chick lit with attitude'. This is the story of Fran, a TV producer whose relationship has suddenly, inexplicably fallen apart. Fran copes with this by confining herself to her bed but her friends have other ideas and decide to get her back on her feet by challenging her to go on a series of dates.

I liked Fran as a heroine: she is far from perfect and can be a little self-centred at times but makes up for it by being hilariously funny. She has enough insight to know when she's being a bit crazy but even so just can't help herself, and her family troubles were touching without being tragic. There were enough twists to the story that I didn't manage to predict how it was going to end and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. If I have one criticism to make it's that the book is a little on the long side and by about two-thirds of the way through I was starting to get impatient to find out how it would end. There is also a lot of swearing, which I found amusing as part of Fran's character but which might put some readers off.

Overall a funny modern chick-lit novel with a gutsy, likeable heroine. I think fans of Sophie Kinsella, Chris Manby, Jenny Colgan and similar would enjoy this and I will definitely be reading more by this author.


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