Share this page on

orange Status orange (Level 6/10)

bbicuk01

bbicuk01

Trusted by 35 members
See member statistics

I am an IT teacher at a Sixth Form College. I enjoy all sports and love reading and surfing the net. I will try and return ratings as soon as I can, if I forget comment on my guestbook and I'll get back to you

Reviews written

since 05/02/2007

126

A Boy Called Christmas - Matt Haig 13/03/2016

A Christmas Classic

A Boy Called Christmas - Matt Haig I was convinced to read this book by my daughter after she got it for Christmas and read it as soon as she got it. The book is a small hardback with 266 pages, it is written by Matt Haig and illustrated by Chris Mould. I had not heard of Matt Haig before reading this book but understand that he has written quite a lot of adult books. I didn't really know what to expect from the book. The story follows the experiences of Nikolas and his pet forest mouse Miika in Finland. It starts when Nikolas' dad leaves on a mission and Nikolas is left with the horrible Aunt Carlotta who makes him sleep outside the house. One day Nikolas decides to search for his Dad and that's where the real adventure starts. The story involves, elf's, pixies, trolls and humans in a whirlwind of adventure, danger and fun. I am not sure the age range that the book is aimed at but sometimes it does get quite dark and the messages from the Elf's are not always the most fun. My daughter liked the truth Pixie the most as she could make peoples head pops.......you see the potential issues....the description of the head explosion is interesting to say the least. The writing style of Matt Haig is really easy to read and follow, whether this is how he always writes or not I don't know. But if my nine year old could read it and understand it then it must have been reasonably easy to understand. The illustrations by Chris Mould are fun and add a little bit the story and as it is a children's book it really helps to ...

War Horse - Michael Morpurgo 29/02/2016

A quality story which is far better than the film

War Horse - Michael Morpurgo My daughter won this book at school in a competition and was desperate to read it as soon as she got it home. Having watched the film I decided it was best for me to read it and then decide whether at the age of 9 she was to young to read it. I hadn't read any Michael Morpurgo books before and having heard so much about the author I was excited to read it. I have to say I think I made the right decision to the read the book as its one of the best novels I have read for a long time. As you can probably see from my other reviews I love history and this books was right in my zone. The story follows Joey through his life from a young colt, to his sale from the family home and a horrendous experience in the first world war. Having a knowledge of the first world war and what happened it in I think is a real benefit as it gives you a further view on the experiences that Joey faces. The writing is very good and although you get a real feeling for war and how terrible the battles were it doesn't do it with lots of gore and violence. I know it's a children's book but it does it in a really atmospheric way that I liked and means children really can read the book without being completely traumatised. I'm not going to tell you exactly what happens as that would ruin it. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact the book was written from Joey's point of view as this was something novel and new for me, it just changes the focus of the book and made me really think about what it was like to be a ...

Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West - James Reasoner 15/02/2016

Gunfighting in all its forms.....

Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West - James Reasoner As a great reader and fan of the American West, as can be seen from previous reviews, this was an ideal book for me. The book is divided into a number of sections, Man-to-Man, Gangs, Posses, Holdups, Backshooters and Gun-fighting Mishaps and Misfortunes. Within each section there are about six or seven stories about gunfights and the events that lead up to them. What I really like about the book is the amount of research that has clearly been carried out about each of the events that is told (there is a wonderful bibliography section at the end of the book that would allow me to do further reading about any of the events). A prime example of this is the story of the Dalton gang raid on Coffeyville, I have read about this in many other books but found that there were lots of new bits that I wasn't aware of that were told in this book. I like this as to me its one of the great things about history as we can always find new bits of the story by doing further research. The great thing I thought about this book was that it isn't just the normal stories of the same old gunfighters there are lots of stories of some of the lesser known gunfighters, for example, Jim Masterson, Bat Masterson's brother and Warren Earp the lesser/unknown member of the Earp family. These stories are fun to read as they are the people that really were in the West that we don't read about everyday. The writing is really good and it is very easy to read, with the stories just long enough to grab your ...

Rocket Games Pie Face! 10/01/2016

A Face full of fun....

Rocket Games Pie Face! So my daughter seeming to follow the whole world had this game delivered by Father Christmas. We like to play a lot of games at home and this has been added to the pile to play regularly. The idea of the game is to avoid being hit in the face either by cream or a wet sponge....although this aim does seem to get missed quite regularly. The game is very easy to put together, it does say parents needed and this is mainly as the parts a little tight. It consists of a spring that you connect the hand too. The hand is placed so it is in front of a piece of plastic that you put your head in. There is also a spinner that needs to be made and is used to see how many times you turn the spring. The only thing you will need is a piece of paper to write down the scores as each turn proceeds.The parts of the game seem a little flimsy and I wonder quite how long the spring will last until it really pops and breaks. The game play is really straightforward, you set the hand down in the spring and load it up with whipped cream. The youngest player spins the spinner and this is how many times they turn the handles to see if the spring releases. If the spring doesn't release the hand then that player scores the spinner score x 2 and the hand is moved to the next player and you repeat the process. If the spring releases then they get a face full of cream and score no points. If the spring goes off then you load it up with whipped cream and move it on to the next player to start the process ...

Gold Rush - Michael Johnson 28/12/2015

Champion, just like the author

Gold Rush - Michael Johnson I was lent this book from a friend at work who knows that I run and that I enjoy to read about running. This book is the autobiography from the legendary American 200 and 400 metre runner Michael Johnson. Before Usain Bolt took over athletics with his 100/200 metre skills Michael really was the best athlete. The book tracks Michael's career, his failures at his Olympic debut and then his appearances at the Atlanta Olympics where he was a lot more successful. I really enjoy Michael when he is on the BBC doing studio work for the major athletic events as he seems to have a great deal of knowledge and experience without being cocky and arrogant. He gives a perspective from the athletes and tries to understand how they are feeling. I hoped that this would come through in his book and to be fair it does. I really enjoyed the easy to read style and information about how to train, plan and prepare to be a champion. The section explaining how he and Nike came up with the idea of his gold shoes for the Olympics is interesting and again shows quite how down to earth Michael is. Although there are lots of name drops throughout the book, these people are used to highlight various different things that have happened through Michael's career so all the peoples appearances make sense. After the quite intense reading of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn it was nice to have a really easy read that just kind of flowed over you. I enjoyed the easy writing style and organisation of the chapters ...

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain 17/11/2015

As good as Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. So begins the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the second book by Mark Twain that recounts childhood adventures in a far away America. This story starts straight after Tom Sawyer ends and follows Huck as he lives with the money found in Tom Sawyer, runs away from his drunken and brutal father and meets up with an escaped slave called Jim. They float down the Mississippi river on a raft and take part in the lives of those characters they meet. They are involved in corruption, feuds and plenty of fun. Huck's attempts to dress as a girl and brilliant and the way he is found out just show the observational writing ability of Mark Twain. I read this straight after I had read Tom Sawyer and I have to say I enjoyed it just as much. The style of writing is just the same and the characters and situations are developed in just the same style as they are in Tom Sawyer. The story flows effortlessly just like the mighty Mississippi and I always wanted to know what was going to happen to Huck and Jim next. The America that is invoked in the writing can really be seen and I always felt that I was on the raft with Huck as he took part in his adventures. I feel that the general tenor of Huckleberry Finn is darker than Tom Sawyer. Both books are seen as children's classics but whereas I can imagine ...

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain 17/11/2015

Twain at his absolute best

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain Well I don't know quite why I hadn't read this book before. I love American History and had read about how great a writer Mark Twain was. The adventures of Tom Sawyer follows the young life of a shrewd and adventurous boy (Tom Sawyer) and how he lives at home with his Aunt Polly. The book follows the many adventures that Tom has with his best friend Huck Finn. The main focus of this book is a murder they observe, the way they clear the accused and are then chased by the actual murderer Injun Joe. I absolutely adored this book it was one of the easiest and most entertaining books that I have read in a long time. Mark Twain's style is brilliant whether it be the telling of the story or the interaction with the reader it is all easy to read. The characters are written with such depth that you really feel that you have known them for your life. I really cared about what happened to them in their day-to-day lives, the section where Tom and Becky are stuck in the caves with no light or food are just exquisite and really made me feel as though I were an observer in the caves with them. In addition to great characters the story flows in such an easy to read way that there were no sections where I wanted to skip ahead as the text was dull. The historical context of the story was excellent and this meant that I not only read a great story but also learn't quite a lot about American history of this period. The story in the school was very entertaining and taught about American ...

Happy Cables Ryman Happy Cables Light-Up Charge & Sync Cable 12/10/2015

Lights up an Apple everyday of the week

Happy Cables Ryman Happy Cables Light-Up Charge & Sync Cable So when my 18 year old daughter headed off to University, one of the first things that I found had vanished was my ipod charging cable....further discussion with her it became apparent she had lent it to one of her friends - however she couldn't remember which one....lol I decided the easiest way to fix this was to get a new cable. She had been telling me that she wanted to get one that lights up, so I thought I would get one just to annoy her.....we have that kind of relationship. These cables I found were available from Ryman £4.99 and with a little bit of student discount that made it a worthwhile purchase. The cable is not officially an Apple product but it is compatible with Apple products although not endorsed by them. The cable that I bought is blue and one meter in length, there are other colours available, I saw purple and pink. The main feature that sells these cables is that at both ends, the connectors have lights in them so they light up to tell you that the your ipod is charging. The cable also doesn't look plastic it looks like a material style. It has worked whenever I have used it connected to my ipod both through my official Apple plug and also through my Samsung USB plug. The cable itself has a USB connector at one end and then an eight pin Apple connector at the other end. These connectors mean that I can use both the plug and my laptop/computer to charge up my ipod, which is always nice. The Ryman website says that the cable is compatible with iPhone6, ...

Nivea for Men Energy Shower Gel 26/08/2015

Energy giving?

Nivea for Men Energy Shower Gel Now I try and use a variety of different shower gels through the year, just to stop things and Lynx getting boring. I got a couple bottles of this Nivea shower gel cheap in the supermarket. It is for body, face and hair and has been used by me for all three. The hair part seems to wash OK but I do find that if I wash my hair with anything other than Head and Shoulders for more than a couple of days my hair becomes greasy. This has happened with this gel as well. I always laugh when I read these bottles when they have the word Energy splashed all across the front. What exactly are they giving energy to? Me, my skin, my hair or something else and the big question is would I know if my skin or hair had been re-energised? I would be much happier if the bottle just had the flavour/smell that it was meant to be on the front. I have found that the Mint extract in the shower gel is quite pleasant when you are using the gel and I haven't had any complaints afterwards so it must be a reasonably friendly smell post wash. Mint can be overpowering on occasion and I think they have got the smell level just about right. The colour of the gel is a kind of mixed blue and green which is nice enough and represents the mint extract I guess. The gel itself is smooth and spreads nicely across the hair and body when it is used with a wash cloth or hands, it is very nice to touch rather than other shower gels that I have found to be grainy and slightly harsh. The design of the bottle is OK with ...

Stonehenge - Bernard Cornwell 21/08/2015

Nice Stone Age story

Stonehenge - Bernard Cornwell I have read quite a few Bernard Cornwell books just none of the Sharpe ones. I do enjoy a historical novel and have found that Cornwell always manages to fit his stories into a nice historical context with the right amount of truth and story telling. This is normally OK as the historical context he is writing in is written and at least partially known by many of his readers - in the case of Stonhenge this is not the case. Stonehenge was built over 5000 years ago so there is clearly no written evidence of what happened in that time, so Cornwell has relied on some archaeology and historians ideas to base his story on. The story itself follows the members of the Ratharryn tribe and in particular the fortunes of Camaban, Saban and Lengar the three sons of the ruling chief. It follows as their lives ebb and flow and how Camaban uses the gods to try and create what we know as Stonehenge. I am not going to go into the story to much in case anyone wants to read the book. I found that the main characters were written really well and with a great deal of depth so that I did really car about how the characters lives progressed....the badies came across that way and I really wanted them to fail. I would say that for me the book kind of fell into two sections, the story of the characters and the story of building Stonehenge. Both parts started off really interesting but I do have to say that as the book progressed I got slightly bored of reading again about the way stones were raised and ...

Minions Banana! - Renauld Collin 17/08/2015

BANANA!!

Minions Banana! - Renauld Collin With my 8 year old daughter being only slightly obsessed by the little yellow minions when my wife and I found this comic book for her we thought she would love it. The comic book is published by Titan Comics and the copy we have is a hardcover A5 graphic novel style. The pages are not numbered but there are fair number of pages and it is not a thin book. There isn't really a story so to speak in the comic and each page has its own theme. It starts off with a boys ball falling into a whole in the ground where the Minions spaceship has gone. Each page after has a title and then a page of panels telling a little story. There is no text to speak of except for the very occasional speech bubble from the Minions. The pages have headings and short stories called, amongst other things -Job Interview, Stretching, Masterpiece, Scale Trial and Spiderminion. The last page has the Minions returning the ball to the boy... The cartoons are well drawn and are similar in style to the film, which is good and means it is easy for my daughter to understand the characters and the stories that are trying to be told. Although there is no story text the single page stories are pretty funny and have made me and my daughter laugh on many occaisions. My only concern is quite who this book is aimed at...the cartoon sketches can be a little violent in places and on occasions my daughter has asked me to explain exactly what is going on, for example one of the sketches has references to William Tell, I ...

Motor Racing: The Golden Age: Extraordinary Images from 1900 to 1970 - John Tennant 19/05/2015

Stunning photos of fast cars

Motor Racing: The Golden Age: Extraordinary Images from 1900 to 1970 - John Tennant As a motor racing fan who has an interest in the history of the support this book is a must have. It can be described exactly as it says on the cover, it is a collection of mainly black and white images from that seventy year period. There is a two page introduction from the legend that is Sir Jackie Stewart OBE that introduces the book and the concept of it. The A3 hardback nature of the book means that it really is a coffee table book that you dip in and out of. The images in the book usually take the full page size and in some cases are a double spread, which makes them look really impressive. The index at the book is most useful as it allows you to quickly look for a driver and then see the photos. Each photo has a caption explaining it, a date and the name of the photographer, this obviously helps the real expert get an real idea of the photos. So what are the photos actually of I hear you ask, well, there are a complete mixture of shots from all round the world. Grand Prix, Indy car, Le Mans and rallying are all covered in the photos. The different time frames are covered across all of these photos, there are lots of shots of the early days at Brooklands and as far as I am concerned there are some stunning rallying shots. There are racing shots, crashes, men and women, cars being built and a wide variety of race tracks. There are shots of land speed records, these were probably the least interesting for me, but are still pretty stunning shots. I think the book is an ...

New York Diaries 1609-2009 - Teresa Carpenter 11/05/2015

An unorthodox but brilliant history of New York

New York Diaries 1609-2009 - Teresa Carpenter The idea for this book is really quite straightforward, the author has taken snippets of diary entries to do with the city of New York and then constructed a year in the life of New York. The diaries range from 1609 - 2009 so from the earliest days of New York up to the relatively modern, the book was published in 2012 so that explains the date range. The book is structured with an introduction explaining the process of creating the book and why it was written. It then is displayed in a diary style, with each date as a heading and then one or multiple diary entries underneath the date. The diary entries are a range of lengths, some only one or two lines and some over a page long. The diaries come from a variety of people both rich and famous, but includes such people as Thomas Edison, Edgar Allan Poe, Andy Warhol, Mark Twain and George Washington. The entries are really easy to read and as you get to more modern times it is not just diary entries but also blogs and website entries. I found that the book could be read in two main ways, from start to finish or by dipping in and out and just reading a couple of diary entries at a time. I have to say I read it from start to finish but as it has been on my coffee table a number of friends have picked it up and read one or two entries - surprisingly many of them have gone straight to September 11th to see what people where writing. The author states in the introduction that it's almost that the terrorists knew about the idea for ...

No Regrets - Ace Frehley 06/04/2015

Not an Ace biography

No Regrets - Ace Frehley So as a big KISS fan this was a book that I was bound to read at some point. I haven't read books by Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley but again I am sure that is something that I will do. This book being called 'No Regrets' seems to imply that Ace will lay bare all the stories about being in the 'hottest band in the land', his drugs and drink issues and his moving in and out of the band on many occasions. Unfortunately it doesn't anywhere near all of these things. The book makes a really promising start and recalls Ace's early family life with his mum, dad, brother and sister in New York and growing up to his time in High School. This is all really interesting and gives a bit of colour to his upbringing, there are some fun stories about his dad's work and home life. This continues on pretty well into Ace's schooling and trying to live up to his siblings A* performances, but at this stage we start to move into the "i'm cool wanna be a rock star, like chicks and drink" kind of story. We learn he ran with a gang in New York and did stupid things when he was hammered - great... We then move into his joining KISS and then touring etc, but most of these stories are ones that fans of the band will already know and have heard on many occasions, there is not a great deal of new stuff. Worse is to come with Ace's leaving the band in 1982 pretty well skated over and then one chapter on his post KISS career, when he released at least 4 albums and had some level of success - I really ...

Going Off Alarming: Vol. 2 - Danny Baker 21/03/2015

Danny being Danny

Going Off Alarming: Vol. 2 - Danny Baker Now having written a review of the 1st part of Danny Baker's autobiography I am going to need to be very careful not to just repeat things in this review of the 2nd part of his autobiography...I may be in a minority but Danny Baker has always made me laugh, I love football and grew up with him on 606 and his other various Radio shows so am writing from a slightly biased position... This book follows on from the first tranche of Danny's biography but has a bit more of a roundabout order - it strikes me as though Danny wrote the book by saying/writing down funny stories about his life and has then written them down in his book without to much thought on exactly how they flow. For me this is a real good reflection of Danny, if you listen to him on TV or the Radio then you know he rambles, he goes off on a tangent and then reappears with the story when you least expect it. There are lots of great stories and anecdotes about life in the East End of London and for me that was the real highlight of the book, rituals of a Sunday, regular burglaries and rag and bone men. These made me smile and think about the real social aspect of these stories. Danny's dad sounds like an absolute legend and someone you could have had a great time in the pub with...Not being a pet person I can't see the great love that Danny and his family have for their pets but I could still laugh at the stories . Of course there are stories involving a variety of famous people, his time on the Six O'Clock Show ...
See more reviews Back to top