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G. R. Poole (Suffolk, England)
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Ultimate Beginner Series: Blues Guitar Basics (Revised Edition)
Ultimate Beginner Series: Blues Guitar Basics (Revised Edition)
by Keith Wyatt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Skips a lot of important information, 8 Dec. 2014
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I would not recommend this book for an absolute beginner. The book is lacking in detail when explaining chords such as A5 and E5. Other books provide a little chord theory so the reader/guitarist will know why they are so called and how to form them. The book also introduces barre chords very early on. Barre chords are NOT for raw beginners. Added to that, the barre chord shapes introduced are quite complex. If you've got some playing experience but very little knowledge of blues guitar then this would be a good purchase. Otherwise keep away. The "Blues You Can Use" series by Jon Ganapes would be a better starting point for most people.


Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry
Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry
by Gabriel Hershman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly researched and well-written, 29 Nov. 2014
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I shall begin by declaring an interest. Ipswich is my home town and I was at sixth form with Ian Hendry's nephew Neil, with whom I'm still in contact. Gabriel Hershman's research for this book is meticulous. Who would have thought that Ian Hendry once narrated "Jackanory"? At the beginning of the book I found all the information a little hard to take in. On reflection I suppose the author was making his case that Ian Hendry's life and work was worthy of a biography, which it is. The information became easier for me to digest once the book started to cover Police Surgeon and The Avengers and from then on it was plain sailing. There is no doubt that Ian Hendry was a very talented actor. The vast majority of actors have to take what work they are offered, such is the precarious nature of the profession.There are bound to be hits as well as misses, and an occasional disaster. Trying to find a bad review of an Ian Hendry performance would be a very difficult task.

Thankfully, the book does not glamourise the "hell-raising" lifestyle of Ian Hendry and some of his contemporaries. However, the author does not shy away from this aspect of Ian Hendry's life, but don't expect to find any tales of epic benders. It becomes very clear that alcohol consumption was not beneficial to Ian. What this book does is present a fascinating portrayal of an actor whose work deserves to be better known. Thankfully, due to the rise of the internet and the publication of this book, awareness of this talented actor's work is reaching a wider audience. I hope Gabriel Hershman goes on to write more books.


Rock Guitar Method Complete (Book & CD)
Rock Guitar Method Complete (Book & CD)
by Alfred Publishing Staff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and concise instruction on learning rock guitar., 26 Oct. 2014
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Probably not for the absolute beginner. Alfred publish a tutor book with that in mind. The complete edition which has all three books in one volume is very good value. Music theory is covered extremely well in the early stages of the book and the authors guide you through the music techniques and theory rather than shoving it to one side. For example, with this book you will learn what makes a 5th chord and why. If, like me you want to know some theory on chords and scales then you will find this book very useful. I'm a middle-aged bloke learning guitar for fun and the Alfred books suit me down to the ground. Younger buyers may have a different opinion.


101 Must-know Blues Licks: TAB (Tab Book & CD)
101 Must-know Blues Licks: TAB (Tab Book & CD)
by Wolf Marshall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners, and some knowledge of musical theory will help you get the most benefit from this book, 26 Oct. 2014
These comments are based on a thorough study of the book, but not actual playing of any of the licks. The supporting comments throughout the book are informative and helpful. Some of the licks require alternative tunings in order to be played. This particularly applies to the more modern blues styles covered in this book. My main criticism of the book is the lack of explanation of some music theory. The author refers to basic tonality and modes, such as mixolydian but does not explain them. In my experience music theory is not many guitarists' strongest subject.

This book is not for beginners, it's for intermediate level guitarists. However, a beginner will probably be able to find a few licks in here that he or she will be able to play.


Action Cook Book
Action Cook Book
by Len Deighton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and concisely written., 27 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Action Cook Book (Hardcover)
Ok, the cover might be a little naff but this book was first published in 1965. It's concisely written and very informative. As other reviewers have commented, the recipes are straightforward and uncomplicated, and the cartoon strip method of presentation is very effectiive.

Much of what Len Deighton wrote about food and eating is still relevant today. The diagrams that show which part of the animal particular cuts of meat come from are very helpful.

One thing to bear in mind is the fact that this book was written at a time when supermarkets were nowhere near as predominant as they are now; a time when people would shop at a baker's, grocer's, butchers etc.Finally, the book should be praised for its lack of pretension and "can do" approach, which might have been quite revolutionary when it was first published, at a time when for many men the kitchen was a foreign land.


The Total Beginning Guitarist: A Fun and Comprehensive Beginning Method Featuring Rock, Blues, and Jazz Styles (Book & CD) (Total Guitarist)
The Total Beginning Guitarist: A Fun and Comprehensive Beginning Method Featuring Rock, Blues, and Jazz Styles (Book & CD) (Total Guitarist)
by Rich Hinmam
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A great starting point, 5 Sept. 2014
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This is a good starting point for the beginner. The book covers jazz, rock and blues for playing examples. Music theory is introduced incrementally. There are some follow-on books in the series covering jazz, rock, blues and various aspects of acoustic guitar.

When starting out playing a musical instrument it's very easy to get distracted these days with so much stuff (of varying quality) readily available online. If you want to learn some music theory whilst learning, I would advise you to plump for this book. I'm an adult learner and I find this book very helpful. Younger learners might feel differently.


IN WHERE IT HURTS : My Autobiography
IN WHERE IT HURTS : My Autobiography
by Bryan Gunn
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by an Ipswich fan., 5 Sept. 2014
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I feel I should declare an interest here; I'm an Ipswich Town supporter. Football has changed quite a lot since this book was published; the drinking culture for one. This is an interesting book which goes beyond the career of a goalkeeper who played for a Norwich City team at its peak (despite, or because of all the drinking). Most readers are probably aware that Gunn's daughter died of leukaemia when she was very young, and this is covered sensitively.

Gunn's early career is also covered in detail. He was signed by Aberdeen who were then managed by one Alex Ferguson. Aberdeen's 'keeper at that time was Jim Leighton, who was a very good keeper (don't be fooled by what happened in the 1990 cup final) and Gunn couldn't get a game. Ferguson was aware of this and acted in order too get regular first team football for Gunn, whose transfer to Norwich was sealed based on Fergie's reputation. Gunn soon arrived in Norwich, with a hangover.

In summary this is a very good book covering the trials and tribulations of life as a professional footballer, and how a family cope with the loss of a child. With regard to the drinking anecdotes, most of them come from Bryan Gunn himself. For those who don't have much time for Sir Alex Ferguson, this book shows him in a different light, from the point of view of someone who worked closely with him and got to know the Ferguson family very well.


Show Your Hand & How Sweet Can You Get & Average White Band
Show Your Hand & How Sweet Can You Get & Average White Band
Price: £9.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more to the AWB than Pick Up The Pieces, 5 Sept. 2014
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Apart from "Pick Up the Pieces" I didn't know any tracks by the AWB. This is a great value item. Three albums on two CDs. Itmust be pointed out that the AWB were excellent musicians. If you want some AWB to add to your collection you cannot really go wrong with this CD. Although these albums are nearly forty years old they don't sound dated at all.


Acoustic Blues Guitar Method Complete (Book & CD) (National Guitar Workshop)
Acoustic Blues Guitar Method Complete (Book & CD) (National Guitar Workshop)
by Lou Manzi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clearly written combination of theory and technique, 31 Aug. 2014
There are plenty of tutor books for guitarists now available. This book is very clearly written and the author clearly explains theoretical concepts like triads. If you want to learn some music theory in addition to the practicalities of playing acoustic blues music then this book would be a very good choice. Note that all the books in this series follow a similar format and include more music theory than most tutor books. If you buy the complete edition combining all three books then you can get a real bargain. The only drawback with this book is the lack of original pieces to play. Instead, the pieces to play are "in the style of....x". However, this is a fairly common state of play with guitar tutor books.


Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV: How to Write Monologue Jokes, Desk Pieces, Sketches, Parodies, Audience Pieces, Remotes, and Other Short-Form Comedy
Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV: How to Write Monologue Jokes, Desk Pieces, Sketches, Parodies, Audience Pieces, Remotes, and Other Short-Form Comedy
by Joe Toplyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and entertaining specialist guide from someone who knows his stuff., 3 Aug. 2014
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This is an up-to-date guide on how to write for a specific comedy genre, in this case the late night talk shows presented by the likes of Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno and Bill Maher. It says something about the size of this sector in American television that a writer can produce a specialist work like this. Some of the references might be unfamiliar to UK audiences (but can be discovered via Youtube). The section on joke-writing is very detailed; he's virtually giving away trade secrets. It's refreshing to read joke-writing guides that clearly demonstrate that joke-writing can be taught and that it's not an innate gift. In my opinion this book is much better than many recent British comedy writing books, with the possible exception of Sally Holloway's book. The skills taught in Toplyn's book are transferable to other areas of comedy. My only criticism is the absence of exercises to work on through the book.


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