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EllyBlue (United Kingdom)
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The Man Who Watched Women
The Man Who Watched Women
by Michael Hjorth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Scandi crime at its best - a great read, 3 July 2015
I am a fan of Scandi crime fiction, and this, the second in the Sebastian Bergman series is really excellent. I read the first, Sebastian Bergman before this, although this is not essential to enjoy this novel. Bergman is a flawed criminal psychologist who has a traumatic past himself, and his life isn't going very well. He becomes involved in a police investigation into the violent murder of women, and his involvement only becomes deeper as the case develops.
This was a real page turner, containing scenes of violence which some may find disturbing although I did not find them to be gratuitous. The plot was intricate and clever, and I thought the characters were believable and well-drawn, although not always likeable (much like real life I suppose). I shall definitely be looking out for the next book in the series.


Bi-Office 1200 x 900mm Lockable Internal Display Case - Blue
Bi-Office 1200 x 900mm Lockable Internal Display Case - Blue
Offered by Caboodle Office Supplies
Price: £114.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Smart looking noticeboard ideal for public or high traffic areas, 2 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good noticeboard which looks smart with its silver frame, and blue fabric interior. It can be used with either pins or velcro to attach notices to. The lockable glass door (two keys are included) makes it ideal for high traffic areas perhaps in a public area of a workspace where you want to keep control of what goes up on the walls. Fittings to put it up on the wall are included and I was pleasantly surprised that for its size it isn't actually too heavy. If you want to put it into a plasterboard wall, you might need to get extra special wall fittings to spread the load though, so this is something to bear in mind. A good quality item which looks like it will wear well. Recommended if you are in the market for this sort of product.


A Question of Identity: Simon Serrailler Book 7 (Simon Serrailler 7)
A Question of Identity: Simon Serrailler Book 7 (Simon Serrailler 7)
by Susan Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The latest in a series of crime-related novels which are well worth reading, 1 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Simon Serrailler series goes from strength to strength with this, the seventh in the series. Although the novels feature crimes to be solved and a detective, they are as much about the community of Lafferton (a fictional cathedral city) and some of the people who live there, which gives them a slightly unsettling extra dimension, as we get a sense of the sheer ordinariness of the place which is affected by the crimes. The format will be familiar from some of the earlier novels with the voice of the killer interspersed with the rest of the narrative. The story concerns the killings of several elderly women, strangled with a length of electric flex. The title is very appropriate as the killer is playing a role, and in a subtle parallel, Serrailler's niece and nephew are also embroiled in a dispute over possible roles for them in a play. For those familiar with the series, all the familiar characters are here, and the life of Serrailler's family move on. Although you could read this as a stand alone novel, I would thoroughly recommend that you start with the first one and work your way through to this just because you've got so much enjoyment to look forward to. Susan Hill is a fine writer and she has created a series of crime-related novels here which is well-worth reading.


Teach Like a Champion 2.0: 62 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College
Teach Like a Champion 2.0: 62 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College
by Norman Atkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for all teachers, whether new to the profession or more experienced, 1 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great book for teachers whether new to the profession or more experienced. I've been teaching for 25 years and am always keen to reflect on what I do in the classroom to make it as effective as it can be in getting students to learn. I've found much in this book that confirms that some of my existing practice is along the right lines (that's reassuring!) as well as a few new ways to doing things to experiment with. One section which I found particularly useful was strategies for dealing with students who try to opt out by responding "don't know" to a question. There is also advice about the most effective questioning strategies to use to get the best out of students, and a whole lot more. The book comes with a DVD which enables you to watch some of the ideas put into practice in a classroom situation. If you've been teaching for a while then much of what's here will be familiar, but that doesn't make it a bad book by any means. Anyone interested in teacher education, or in mentoring a less experienced colleague might might this useful too, as well as people in the early stages of their teaching careers. There is lots here. I've found it a really good book to dip in and out of, and it definitely deserves a space on the rather crowded bookshelf about my desk.


Adonit Jot Script 2 Fine Point Stylus for iPad/iPad Air/iPad Mini
Adonit Jot Script 2 Fine Point Stylus for iPad/iPad Air/iPad Mini
Price: £76.67

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for sketching or annotating documents on your iPad or iphone, 27 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is better than the cheap soft tipped ones that you see so often, although I'm not completely convinced that a stylus and a tablet are a perfect pairing. It looks like a classy object with its brushed light gunmetal finish. The etched lines around the area where you fingers will be are useful to prevent your hand slipping. It charges via a nifty little usb connector to which the end of the pen attaches magnetically, and charge time is quick; a red indicator light on the side shows charging, and this turns to green when charging is complete.
The pen connects your device via bluetooth. You can't do this through the settings menu in your iPad but via one of the apps that the pen is designed to work with. Pairing was pretty straightforward, although do note that you need to turn off multi-tasking gestures in your settings menu, otherwise the pen won't work properly. This might be a pain if you rely on these extensively.
The Adonis Jot Script 2 is branded with the Evernote elephant on the end, and included in the box is a six month subscription to Evernote Premium which might be a selling point for you if you have bought into the Evernote note-taking infrastructure. You can't write directly into Evernote on iOS devices though, you have to use Evernote's Penultimate app which then syncs with your Evernote account. I didn't get on particularly well with Penultimate, so after the initial connection, I tried the pen in Microsoft's One Note and found it worked well. I've uploaded a sample of handwriting which I wrote in One Note on my iPad mini 2. The experience isn't like using pen and paper. The smoothness of the screen (I was worried that the stylus might scratch it but it's fine), and the slight click of the tip when it hits the glass takes a bit of getting used to. Occasionally,there's a bit of lag between the movement of the pen and the line appearing on the screen, and a few times, the pen has just stopped making lines for no reason that I could fathom. I can see that this product is particularly useful for sketching, or for annotating things (I was disappointed to find that it didn't work with iAnnotate) and perhaps for the occasional handwritten note.
By the way, you can also use it as a regular stylus for tapping at the keyboard, clicking on links in Safari etc. Although it's a smart pen, it can still perform these simple tasks (although if that's all you want a stylus for, then this is definitely a lot more money than you need to pay!)
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Tefal Cook4Me Intelligent Multi-Cooker with Interactive Control Panel and 50 Integrated Recipes, 6 Litre, 1300 W
Tefal Cook4Me Intelligent Multi-Cooker with Interactive Control Panel and 50 Integrated Recipes, 6 Litre, 1300 W
Offered by Lakeland
Price: £249.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A great cooking machine, 26 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great kitchen gadget which does not deserve a place in your kitchen cupboard, but should, in my view, be kept out on your counter so you can use it often. It's ideal for people who aren't very confident about cooking; the machine is programmed with a range of recipes, starters, mains and puddings, as well as settings for rice, vegetables etc. The main cooking pot is non stick with plastic handles so they are easy enough to lift even when you've just cooked some hot food. There is also a steamer basket included which can be removed when not needed. The lid closure is locked by turning the knob on the top. I found this a bit awkward to begin with but it didn't take too long to get used to it. When I first read the instructions, I was daunted by how complicated the instructions seemed for cleaning the valves etc inside the lid. Any cooking device that's a pain to clean isn't going to get used very often. However, I need not have worried; after a couple of practices I realised that this is actually super easy and not a bother at all.
I started out with one of the pre-programmed recipes for soup. It was really very straightforward, with my only slight grumble that once you'd started the recipe, you couldn't refer back to the quantities of ingredients you needed to include. Tefal get round this issue by including a printed recipe book, but I can't help feeling that it would be better everything could be done via the screen, rather than having to get the book out. You can adjust the number of people the recipe will feed just by telling your intelligent cooker and it will adjust the quantities of ingredients needed accordingly. You can actually cook quite small amounts; I cooked enough basmati rice for one person when I was on my own one evening (having checked first with the Tefal helpline that this would be ok) and it worked fine.
Inspired by my success with soup, we moved on to steamed puds, risotto, a range of veggies, rice to go with curry and more. It will brown food, so you can basically soften your onions in oil before you close the lid, and you can also do the same with meat you want to cook to give it a more attractive appearance when cooked. You can programme it to delay starting the cooking, and it will also keep things warm which is a great feature for those families where people sometimes put in a late appearance for a meal. Once you get used to how this cooker works, you can use it in your own way. It's basically an electric pressure cooker which also doubles up as a rice cooker, so I no longer need to keep my rice cooker. I've been dipping in to pressure cooker books to get some ideas. By the way, if you like risotto, but don't always want to be standing stirring over a hot stove, then a machine like this could be for you. The risottos I've made in have been perfect, and frankly, hardly any more difficult than preparing a ready meal.
The reason I've gone for 4 stars rather than 5 is simply because of the price. I am completely sold on the idea of an electric pressure cook. It produces healthy, family meals quickly and easily and with minimal amounts of washing up. My slight hesitation is about the price of this particular model. It is a great looking gadget and it does work extremely well. However, if you don't need the inbuilt recipes, I would probably ask myself if I could get on just as well with a cheaper model. However, if you are at all uncertain, and you would like some support and encouragement to get cooking from scratch, then this machine could well be for you. Over the course of a few months, you'll save a lot over the cost of ready meals in any case, and you know what's got in to each meal you cook for yourself and your family - because you've put it there yourself.


Carmex Original Tube and Pot - (Pack of 2)
Carmex Original Tube and Pot - (Pack of 2)
Price: £5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tried, tested and tingly!, 25 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a tried and tested brand, and this handy 2 piece set includes both a pot that you can dip your finger into as well as a tube that you can use to apply the balm directly to your lips. It is cooling and has a touch of eucalyptus to it I think and you definitely get a sort of cool tingle on your lips when you apply it; not unpleasant at all but a bit strange to start with. It is also moisturising and the effects last a long time. It's colourless too which I like. This isn't quite my favourite lip balm although it's a close second to my favourite Lypsyl. One area which is perhaps lacking here is that the Carmex doesn't appear to offer any inbuilt SPF. Your lips need protection from the sun just like the rest of your face, so if I'm out and about, I would choose a product with an SPF. However, this is a good, soothing and reliable product which is worth a try if you haven't done so already.


Limited Edition Premium Leather Origami Cover for Kindle Voyage
Limited Edition Premium Leather Origami Cover for Kindle Voyage
Price: £79.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well designed cover with an antique feel, 20 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've got the standard Amazon leather cover for the Kindle Voyage, and in terms of the design and function, this product is exactly the same. The Kindle Voyage is attached by invisible magnets to the inside of this cover, and is very easy to remove. (I prefer to read my Voyage without its case). The "hinge" is at the top of the case, rather than at the side as would be a more conventional book style case. I assume this is so the case can stand up in portrait mode using the fancy origami folds which make up part of the front cover; I actually quite like this although traditionalists may bemoan the fact that in this cover, the Voyage feels slightly less like a book. It's also worth adding that this cover has the auto-sleep-wake function built in so when you close it, your Kindle goes to sleep and when you open it, your Kindle wakes up.
The only difference I can see between this and the standard leather Voyage cover is the leather with which the outside is covered. The soft velvety feel to this brown leather cover is certainly premium and its got that lovely genuine leather smell as well. It's no doubt designed to mimic the feel of antique leather covered books and it achieves this. However, just like those old books, this cover actually marks very easily and after a few days of use, mine no longer looked new. (By contrast, my regular case looks unblemished after six months of use). If you like the aged/antique look then this cover might appeal to you although bear in mind that this cover is a fair bit more expensive than the ordinary Amazon Voyage covers. To be honest, I'm not sure how well the idea of an antique finish case works with a high-tech ereader, but if it works for you, then this cover is worth considering.


Rexel A4 50 Pocket Clearview Display Books - Black (3 Pack)
Rexel A4 50 Pocket Clearview Display Books - Black (3 Pack)
Price: £54.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Smart presentation item, 14 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This set of 3 A4 display books would be useful for presenting school projects or portfolios of work for small businesses. Each comes in a slip case, and there is a slot to insert a cover page at the start. Inside the front cover, there is a plastic slot to store a CD or DVD as well as business cards etc. the plastic sleeves (there are fifty in each book in the product I'm reviewing) feel fairly thick and good quality, enabling the display of up to one hundred sides of A4. This seems like a hard wearing product and it looks smart, although it may be a bit pricey for some uses. However, for businesses who need to use this sort of product, this would be a good option that should last well and show their work in a good light.


The Lure of Technocracy
The Lure of Technocracy
by Jürgen Habermas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read but gives insight into important current debate on Europe, 14 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a collection of Habermas's ideas relating to Europe, split into three broad sections. The first assesses the current political situation within the Eurozone, the second considers possible ways forward as Habermas explains, from a German perspective, which British readers will find insightful even if they do not agree with everything written. The third section is slightly different in that it contains three academic essays whic look at Germany's relationship with the Jews. This isn't a "for beginners" type of book; it's a meaty academic work which requires concentration in order to learn from it. However, with Britain's future in Europe right at the top of the political agenda at the moment, this book is a helpful read in helping to build understanding about the current state of the European project and also how it might develop from here.


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