Elijah Davis

Joined a year ago

Elijah's Favorites
JavaScript
JavaScript
JavaScript by Don Gosselin. Rated 3.4 out of 5 stars, with 25 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the javascript category.
A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Jon Smith, et al.. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 2138 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Harry Potter og Dødsregalierne: Harry Potter-serien 7
Harry Potter og Dødsregalierne: Harry Potter-serien 7
Harry Potter og Dødsregalierne: Harry Potter-serien 7 by J.K. Rowling, Jesper Christensen, et al.. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
PHP Solutions
PHP Solutions
PHP Solutions by David Powers. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 59 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
Babbitt
Babbitt
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, Flo Gibson, et al.. Rated 3.8 out of 5 stars, with 133 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Orbit: Stephen King
Orbit: Stephen King
Orbit: Stephen King by Brian McCathy, Michael Lent , et al.. Rated 3.4 out of 5 stars, with 8 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
The Joy of PHP: Deep Dive into Sessions
The Joy of PHP: Deep Dive into Sessions
The Joy of PHP: Deep Dive into Sessions by Alan Forbes. Rated 3.6 out of 5 stars, with 16 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
Essential Mac OS X Panther Server Administration
Essential Mac OS X Panther Server Administration
Essential Mac OS X Panther Server Administration by Michael Bartosh and Ryan Faas. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 13 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
SQL Server Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server Query Performance Tuning by Grant Fritchey. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 16 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
Grid Computing - GRID 2002
Grid Computing - GRID 2002
Grid Computing - GRID 2002 by Manish Parashar. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Scala programming category.
Jeff Bezos. Lezioni di business: Le tattiche e i metodi di business del creatore di Amazon (Italian Edition)
Jeff Bezos. Lezioni di business: Le tattiche e i metodi di business del creatore di Amazon (Italian Edition)
Sicuramente non sono un grande lettore ma questo è stato il libro, se così si può definire, meno interessante che abbia mai letto.
Per farsi un'idea molto più ampia basta leggere articoli online che riguardano bezos, amazon, altre aziende e prodotti a lui correlati ... e alcuni articoli sono linkati nell'ebook e fanno da riempitivo.
Presenta qualche refuso.

Da leggere se non si ha veramente niente da fare ...

Niente da dire sul costo.
The Future Is Now: How Elon Musk Is Shaping A Better Tomorrow
The Future Is Now: How Elon Musk Is Shaping A Better Tomorrow
This was a decent understanding into his unimaginable trials, desolations and successes.I have been a genuine wrestling fan since I was youthful watching Superstars in Saturday mornings. This book has clarified extremely well on Elon Musk's Life, Lessons and Rules for Success. This book is absolutely important and extraordinary. Supportive, and sitting tight for next one.
John Gary Anderson and his Maverick Motor Company: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Rock Hill Rival
John Gary Anderson and his Maverick Motor Company: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Rock Hill Rival
I purchased the book to find out more about the Anderson Car Company. The book is about 120 pages and about 1/5 of the book actually is about the years in which the company existed, while the remainder is about Rock Hill, South Carolina and its growth. John Gary Anderson was part of this growth and some of his descendants are still prominent in the area. The rise and fall of the company is covered very briefly and there is little mention of the innovations of the company. My understanding is that Anderson introduced the headlight dimmer switch among other conveniences, but it isn't mentioned in the book. The info on the company itself is not encyclopedic, but it's the best yet, as far as I can tell! If you're interested in the York County area after the Civil War to 1930, this is a good book the have.
From an Idea to Google: How Innovation at Google Changed the World
From an Idea to Google: How Innovation at Google Changed the World
This informative book shares the roots and history of one of the largest companies in the world and the largest search engine. The type format is (mostly) large font, easy to read and kid friendly. The recommended age range of 10-12 years is perfect as I feel this is more appropriate for middle school than elementary or high school. The book outlines the rise of Google from idea to today and shares many insightful aspects including Google's IPO. I believe we should begin teaching kids more business and practical knowledge so they have a better understanding of how things actually work and how companies are formed rather than the basic economics classes that are usually taught, if taught at all. Even as an adult, I found the book very insightful and a quick easy read into the history of Google. It even has a few samples of the notorious Google interview questions, thankfully with answers.
The Singles Collection (23 x 7" Vinyl Singles)
The Singles Collection (23 x 7" Vinyl Singles)
Well, this is a surprise. Much like the box of Christmas singles from 2017, not many saw this coming. Why release this and why now? ('With The Beatles' was released 56 years ago on this very day.) I guess only the keepers to the Grail know the reason(s), but as anything Beatles tends to garner column inches and sales many other artists can only salivate over, the answer would probably be "the time was right". Anyway…

A fine box of all 22 UK singles released between 1962 and 1970 with a ‘new’ single of, what could be described as a double A side, ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’. And each one is not only presented in a picture sleeve from 22 countries around the world, but those singles are also on the original labels from that territory (‘Eleanor Rigby’, from Argentina, is on Odeon Pops, for example), all have solid centres, and those in the USA will find the Tollie single unusual in that respect, which I think makes them better by being more aesthetically pleasing, and some of those with Parlophone, or Parlophon, labels also have strange colours, to the UK at least; blue, green and mauve, but the Israeli sleeve for ‘Come Together’ is weird. The 23rd single included had the same sleeves across the globe. Bar seven of the last eight songs, everything is in mono. It all comes in a nice box accompanied by a 40 page booklet that won't really tell you anything you don't already know.

But why these singles and what of the actual songs? Unlike the singles released elsewhere around the globe, where the group didn’t have much control until later, those issued in the UK represented the artistic intent and direction they wanted to go, and by listening to them chronologically, you’ll hear the progression from simple couplets to something far more involved. That 29 of the 44 songs issued on 45s up to 1970 never appeared on UK albums at the time showed they always gave value for money. Whatever the explanation is for bringing this out, this limited edition release is aimed squarely at Beatles die-hards, and at the current price, it’s certainly not an impulse buy. If you just want to listen to the music, there are far cheaper ways to do so.

Yes, there are the inevitable whingers who will say something like “It’s just greed; Ringo must need the money”, or “Rip off” but those people miss the point (and they won’t be buying it anyway). Like that Christmas Records Box, this is for us, not them. And if you want something that adds to your collection, and many of us do, you have to pay for it. (Special Beatles Tax included.)
Pursuestar Wood Hand Crank Engraved Vintage Wooden Music Box Wedding Valentine Christmas Birthday Gift - The Beatles Let It Be
Pursuestar Wood Hand Crank Engraved Vintage Wooden Music Box Wedding Valentine Christmas Birthday Gift - The Beatles Let It Be
This music box is so small and lightweight. Not much more than matchstick quality. Also, you have to crank the handle continuously manually to listen to the tune. I should have paid more attention to the actual measurements in the description, but they make it look like a normal sized 4-6 inch box. I was going to return it, but I have to take it to the UPS store, otherwise it would cost me more than I paid for it. Just isn't worth it.
The Lyrics: 1961-2012
The Lyrics: 1961-2012
This book is exactly what it claims to be: a collection of Dylan's lyrics, and about the best one there is.

There aren't annotations, or essays, or anything like that. It is just very simply a collection of the lyrics to use as a reference, or to page through and read for pleasure. The lyrics are presented very nicely, in a large font, with each song getting its own page or pages if it's length requires more than one. The songs are presented in the order they appeared in on the album they were released in, with b-sides and other releases collected at the end of the section for the album that came out closest to when they were written. Each album has a title page with art from the album presented in black and white, and a page showing Dylan's hand written or typed draft of a song from the album. In terms of layout and content, it is almost just like the 2002 lyrics collection, only with the much needed update of 10 years of additional material. If you liked that book, you know basically what you're getting here.

It is not 100% complete with everything he has written... I noticed that Marchin' to the City, a favorite track of mine that I think has only been released on Tell Tale Signs, was not included. The book does include many of the songs that he's written that weren't on his albums, though, and while there might be a couple obscurities missing, you will find a ton of great stuff anyway. As far as the claim that this collection features lyrics that have been newly edited by Dylan, I didn't find any yet, but I haven't read every lyric in the book or compared them all to earlier versions. I'm a big Dylan fan, but not a Dylanologist that spends his life studying every detail, so I look forward to the articles by those people which I'm sure are forthcoming that will examine the lyrics that have been changed.

As far as supplemental material, multiple versions of the songs, color art, and extras like that, the large Dylan lyrics book from a couple years ago had more of those things. However, it was a gigantic, massive book, and it also cost a couple hundred dollars more than this one, depending on when you bought it. Personally, although that collection is beautiful, the size is an impediment for me. If you want a collection you can actually read, that one is awfully heavy and inconvenient. This is the one I would get.

But in the meantime, if you want a book collecting the work of our greatest living songwriter, here it is, beautifully presented in a high quality volume. Doesn't get much better than that.
Gods & Generals
Gods & Generals
Doesn't matter if you ever see the movie, this soundtrack will grab you and hold on. It's emotional without ever being "in your face," as some epic orchestrations have been. It haunts you.
Much to my surprise, Bob Dylan's song is both fitting and well-done, and I was never a Dylan fan. The etherial quality of Mary Fahl's performance in "Going Home" simply has to be heard.
The music videos are a wonderful bonus. Overall, though, the orchestral pieces portray the sadness of a nation tearing itself apart, and it's powerful in a way far exceeding the typical epic style music. Mark O'Conner is one of the best fiddle players in America; here, as in The Patriot, he is key to the music's overall beauty.
This one's a keeper.
OGX Extra Creamy + Coconut Miracle Oil Ultra Moisture Lotion, 19.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
OGX Extra Creamy + Coconut Miracle Oil Ultra Moisture Lotion, 19.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
I used to be a lotion addict, different formulas, different scents, perpetually unsatisfied, Goldilocksing my way through half of Lotiondom. No longer! This stuff is crazy awesome! Reading reviews here, I discovered you're apparently supposed to use it in the shower...no thanks! I have tried the Coconut Miracle Oil body wash, and it's all right, too, though I prefer Archipelago Botanicals coconut milk body wash (it's expensive but the big bottle lasts me 6 months!) and a coconut milk body scrub (don't worry--I diversify with deodorant and perfume). This product, originally meant to try on my red-bumpy arms, has taken over my entire body.

If you LIKE coconut smell, you'll like the way this smells. I recommend putting it on after towel drying, one or two spritzes to each area (I use 2 pumps to biceps, one to forearms, two to each calve, etc.) and simply rubbing it into the skin...quickly! It dries fast and doesn't leave a slippery, greasy residue like SO MANY lotions and oils do, which is honestly what got me so obsessed with this stuff. It also lasts a really long time.

For those who receive bottles with defective pumps, either exchange it as a defective product or get a small plastic spray bottle and pour it into that? I used to use Coochi spray on the post-shaved areas of my body (now, of course, usurped by this product), and both bottles of that I got were nearly impossible to spray, so I just got a wee bottle of my own. After all, it's what's IN the bottle that counts, and c'mon...what's better than being a non-greasy, ultra-soft, beachy/exotic-smellling vixen all day?
Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, with 21 Activities (For Kids series)
Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, with 21 Activities (For Kids series)
Henry David Thoreau for Kids is part of the "For Kids" series published by the Chicago Review Press. I have read many books in this series and on the whole found them to be informative and engaging and beautiful to read. The pictures and the activities make it a perfect way for children to learn about historical events.

Henry David Thoreau for Kids have many of these same qualities. Even though I live in Boston, and know some general facts about Thoreau, this book enabled me to understand his personal and political philosophies and the passions that drove him. From his views on nature and solitude, his call for and active participation in civil disobedience, his relationships to the Emersons and Alcotts and his business and civic involvements were clearly and vividly explained (I see this book being read by 5-8th graders). I especially enjoyed reading about the milieu in Concord and the friendships and communities he was part of, Transcendentalists, etc. I thought the activities were relevant, engaging and fun and gives the material more weight and substance. I did find myself dragging a bit in the middle of the book but overall, if guided by an enthusiastic teacher, I think kids will learn so much about this original thinker and appreciate what he brought to all of us.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Chicago Review Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book for an honest opinion.
Sanshimai Tanteidan
Sanshimai Tanteidan
内容もそうですが、本の表紙のえが可愛いと娘がとても気に入ってくれました。
The Marble Orchard: A Novel Featuring the Black Mask Boys : Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Erle Stanley Gardner
The Marble Orchard: A Novel Featuring the Black Mask Boys : Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Erle Stanley Gardner
3-and-a-half stars. There is a Chinese curse that states "May you live in interesting times." So to say The Marble Orchard is an interesting book may be interpreted as a good or a bad thing. And there are good and bad elements to Mr. Nolan's work.
The plot involves Raymond Chandler seeking down the killer of his wife Cissy's first husband, even though all the evidence points to suicide. Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner, three thugs and an actress specializing in vampiric roles all play parts in the not-bad mystery.
One of the interesting (and unsuccessful) things about TMO is that it is decidedly not hard-boiled. Which may be a valid take on the premise. After all, the authors who wrote the stories were very different from their creations- educated, generally refined men. But this is a fanciful take on the era anyway, so why not go the extra step, I thought? Most of the people were very polite in this novel; its early sections read like one of the English school of mysteries that Chandler disliked and so vigorously deconstructed in The Simple Art of Murder.
But I read on, and at some point, things subtly shifted for the darker and better, and made me realize that the story structure was skillfully similar, even if the trappings were more urbane: the joes and janes peopling the book got nastier, Chandler got sapped and awakened doped (in a scene very like Farewell, My Lovely); Hammett pulled a gun on some thugs; a blackmail plot surfaced; and duplicitous motives appeared out of what had been to that point a disappointingly linear plot. The resolution was as contrived as any good Black Mask novel should be. Not all that plausible, but possible, and entertaining.
Another great thing is how Nolan plays with the way that Chandler and Philip Marlowe *were* alike: a romantic core which appears late in the novel beneath their crust of cynicism. Also, the camaraderie portrayed between Hammett, Chandler and Gardner is a big plus, even if it was entirely manufactured.
The bad things about the novel end up being very few, but they are harmful. Like many modern writers, Nolan seems embarrassed at the lack of political correctness in the original Black Mask stories he seeks to bring to mind. So he creates characters and subplots which advance the story not a whit and seem to exist only to administer some ethereal type of social justice. This treacle was applied, I am sure, with the best of intentions, but garnered the worst of results, coming off as phony, preachy and altogether out-of-place.
Also, the non-stop factoids are interesting for history and trivia buffs to a point, but Nolan goes too far- a litany of what Hammett read as he began his writing career is unnecessary, dull and obvious. The history of cities is again mildly interesting but superfluous; Chandler painted a better picture of SoCal towns with two snotty comments than do the encyclopedic entries of this novel. And, surprisingly, the Chaplin, Welles, Hearst and Temple cameos actually distract from the atmosphere, as they have no relevancy to the plot whatsoever and instead remind us that what we are reading is not historical at all.
Still, Mr. Nolan has succeeded in writing a very well-crafted novel that held my interest despite being nothing like what I expected- not easy to do. And this Black Mask fan thanks him sincerely for keeping an era and a genre, if not exactly a style, alive and kicking.
Robert Ludlum's The Arctic Event
Robert Ludlum's The Arctic Event
James Cobb reprend des personnages créés par Robert Ludlum en apportant sa patte : descriptions précises à la Tom Clancy, suspense et rebondissements. Certes les personnages sont globalement un peu convenus : les Américains sont gentils, les Russes imprévisibles et les terroristes méchants et sadiques, mais il y a des finesses dans la psychologie des individus. Et surtout le froid, la neige et la tempête sont superbement rendus. A lire en hiver sous la couette.
The Big Circus
The Big Circus
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

It took a long time for The Big Circus to make it to home video, and even at that is is almost a specialty item. I've fond memories of it, and the remastered DVD is worth watching because it's all good clean fun.

The plot:

Hank Whirling (Victor Mature) has a falling-out with his partners the Borman Brothers and their big railroad circus is split in two. The performers mostly side with Whirling, pooling their money to launch the show as both performers and stockholders; and thus the undercapitalized Whirling Circus, "The Biggest Show in the World," comes into existence. Whirling, a born showman, uses this asset and a calliope to impress a New York City bank into extending him a line of credit. The bank is not totally dazzled, though; they install one of their own executives, Randy Sherman (Red Buttons), as Whirling's CFO in control of the purse strings with orders to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. They also, offending Whirling further, put a flack, Helen Harrison (Rhonda Fleming), in to handle all his publicity, something Whirling is actually very good at. Both are good at their jobs, but neither is circus; no sawdust is in their veins, at least not at first.

The show leaves its winter quarters and takes to the road. There are problems. At a PR party arranged by Harrison, a lion somehow escapes from its cage and wanders into the Big Top where the party is being held. The combined efforts of Whirling and his star aerialist, Zach Colino (Gilbert Roland, in a powerful performance), recapture it. The resultant publicity thanks to Harrison's astute positioning of the averted disaster, is wonderful; but examination of the cage shows it was deliberately opened.

To Whirling's displeasure, Sherman brings in a stake-driving machine. (Parenthetically, I don't know why Whirling was so outraged; Ringling, Cole Bros., and Hannaford among others in America alone had been using them for more than 20 years when the movie was made.)This device replaces 40 roustabouts and saves substantial money, but sparks coving from a faulty exhaust stack set a huge pile of hay bales afire. Only prompt action by Whirling keeps the Big Top from going up in flames. Verbal reports from local kids on the pump gang and examination of the machine show it had been tampered with, and Whirling apologizes to Sherman for his intemperate language and actions.

Later, a train wreck of the first section of the circus train kills Maria Colino, aka "Mama," who is Zach's wife and den mother to everyone on the show, Harrison included. Colino is devastated. Is a saboteur traveling with the Whirling Circus? Whirling, Sherman and Harrison wonder.

The show is not doing well financially; they have been fighting weeks of foul weather while the Borman Circus, the other half of the divided show, enjoys sunshine and great ticket sales in another part of the country. Only glib talk and adept bookwork by Sherman hold the bank at bay. Whirling conceives a bold plan. The show's next stop is Buffalo. The Borman show is scheduled to play New York City, always a money-maker for circuses, in three weeks. He proposes to land a one-two punch. Pull off a spectacular stunt in Buffalo, then scrap his planned route and slip into the Big Apple ahead of Borman to play a two-week stand. This will put the show back in the black, secure their loan, and coincidentally give Borman a black eye, because the Whirling Circus will have cut the circus crowd out from under them.

The problem is with Zach Colino. The stunt Hank Whirling has in mind is a repeat of one last done in the 19th Century by the great wire-walker Blondin: walk across Niagara Falls. Colino is in a fragile state since the death of his wife Maria and seems to have lost his nerve. Whirling taunts him, calling him a coward. Enraged, Colino promises that he will first walk the Falls, and then he will kill Whirling.

Televised by the local TV station, Colino's walk of the Falls is a great success and still scary today, even though on a high definition TV it's obvious that it's blue-screened. Like Betty Hutton before him, Gilbert Roland had to learn a little bit about a uniquely circus art; he actually is walking on a cable in the close-ups in the blue-screen sequence (and yes, there are full length shots). After completing the stunt, Colino realizes that Whirling was attempting to help his old friend and they reconcile. But more trouble lies ahead.

Goaded by a board member who does not like circuses (it is unclear whether or not this board member is working with Borman), the bank decides to foreclose on Whirling. However, the foreclosure is not official until the papers are served on Hank personally. When Mr. Lomax from the bank arrives on the Whirling lot, Hank is nowhere to be found. Sherman, who by now has gotten sawdust in his veins to the point he filled in successfully with a clown routine when Skeeter, the Boss Clown (Peter Lorre) could not go on, works in cooperation with Skeeter and the Ringmaster (Vincent Price, in a small but marvelous performance) and locks Lomax in a cage with a very laid-back lion. Why would they do that?

They'd do it because Whirling made a deal with a New York City TV station to televise that evening's show, hosted by Steve Allen (playing himself). The money from the broadcast is more than enough to pay off the line of credit, put the show back in the black, and let them move ahead on sound financial footing.

At this point, two things happen at once. Jeannie Whirling, Whirling's sister in her early 20s, reveals to big brother Hank and her boyfriend Randy Sherman that she is going to fill in for the late Maria with the Flying Colinos; she has been training in secret with them for a year. At the same time, the NYPD shows up looking for the catcher of the Flying Colinos, Tommy Gordon (David Nelson), an escaped lunatic and homicidal maniac. Tommy deliberately misses a catch, but fortunately Jeannie is able to latch onto one of the climbing tapes and saves herself. A chase ensues in mid-performance, climaxing with Gordon, the saboteur in the pay of Borman, taking a fatal fall when Zach Colino drives him aloft and goes up after him.

The show climaxes with a grand spectacle, with Helen Harrison and Hank Whirling finally admitting what to everyone else on the show is plain to see, that they are in love with each other. As the camera pulls away they are kissing passionately on a couch on one of the spec floats. And they all lived happily ever after.

Even compared to DeMille's epic The Greatest Show on Earth, there's a whole lot of soap opera in The Big Circus. I find that detracting. There is also the fact the viewer does not see the Whirling Circus as a CIRCUS. I know that Irwin Allen hired a small circus to double as the Whirling Circus; but apart from the Great Zacchini performing his human cannonball act, there are no world-class acts on the show as there are with TGSOE. From a pure performance point, it's nowhere near as good, though Red Buttons' turn as a clown in the old Burning House Gag is funny and Vincent Price's air of quiet, amiable menace does heighten the mystery of the saboteur's identity substantially; right up to the reveal you wonder if he is the saboteur. To be honest, I was frankly more impressed with the secondary characters than the leads, which says something about Mature and Fleming's performances.

Still, if you like circuses and don't mind a big cup of soap opera with your popcorn, The Big Circus is a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours on a quiet afternoon. It deserves a place in the collection of every circus buff.

The Hatching: A Novel (The Hatching Series Book 1)
The Hatching: A Novel (The Hatching Series Book 1)
I'm finding it tough to write this review because I LOVED this novel. It's the most fun I've had with a book in a long time. The writing is taut, fast-paced and page turning. It put me in mind of Michael Crichton and Dan Brown - both masters of books with short, highly-readable chapters that end in cliffhangers and keep you reading more than you intended to at half past midnight. So why only three stars? In a nutshell - it's because of all the loose ends. This isn't a novel that's tied up by the conclusion. In fact, it's only getting going towards the end (not in terms of pace and excitement, but it terms of more plot that's coming) - and this is borne out by the fact that The Hatching looks to be part of (what I'm guessing) will be a trilogy. I got to the end on my Kindle and saw that I could pre-order the next instalment, Skitter, which is due out in April 2017. So a five month wait at the point of review. I find this a little naughty - some people don't like trilogies or don't want to have to invest time in knowing how it all pans out over the course of a few books. Some readers like to know that the end really is the end. It wouldn't be so bad if this was the type of trilogy that could be read as a stand alone - satisfying those readers who don't want to take the experience further, but leaving more for those who do.

To be honest, I suspected this might be the case. There is a huge cast of characters and the novel skips around between different people and places - each chapter focuses on a different group and area. There's Mike Rich (an FBI agent - a character who crops up throughout the novel); There's Melanie (an entomologist and spider expert); then there's Manny (her ex husband, who's also the right-hand man to President Pilgrim (a female president - nice touch BTW)); there's Kim and her team of Marines; Gordo, Amy, Shotgun and Fred, survivalists who've hunkered down in Desperation, California, and there's Aonghas and his fiancée, Thuy, who are visiting Aonghas's grandfather on a remote island on the Outer Hebrides. There's more beside. If you're not keen on novels that skip around, this won't be for you. I don't mind this though - and I do feel that the 'main' characters (such as Mike Rich, Manny and Melanie) were well drawn. Some may feel they're a bit flat - but let's be fair; this isn't a character novel. It's a plot-driven novel. However, as I was getting over halfway through the novel, I started to think that the author was not going to be able to wrap it up in the page count remaining. Right towards the end (with about 10 mins Kindle reading time left), the chapters are super-short and really jump around - and I knew, with a sinking heart, that it wasn't going to be wrapped up. For characters like Aonghas and Thuy, the novel hadn't really even touched them (in relation to the impact of the spider invasion) - so I can only assume there will be more focus on their story in the next novel. With hindsight, a lot of the novel began to seem like scene setting for the subsequent novels. Also, it was never really explained how the 10,000 year old calcified egg sack from Peru was linked to the sudden emergence of the 'modern' spiders. I do hope this eventually gets tied up, as there was no answer in this novel.

I think, to be fair to readers, this should have been a novel that's double its current length. I know for new writers, it's more of a gamble that people will read 700 or 800 page novels. Stephen King can write novels of any length he wants, because he's got a loyal readership. Maybe it's harder for new authors (although Terry Hayes managed it with I Am Pilgrim, as did Joel Dicker with The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair - and a number of other emerging authors). But okay - maybe the author didn't want to send out a doorstop first time. In which case, I do wish the novel had been tied up more at the end. Sure, write a sequel - but either make sure the initial book is stand-alone, or let readers know in advance that this is going to require an investment of time beyond the current novel. I didn't love Hugh Howey's Wool and never went on to read the other novels in the series - but I felt satisfied with the conclusion of Wool.

So, this seems like a lot of criticism. But there was a lot to commend this novel too. Like I say - I loved it. I'm quite the arachnophobe, so did worry about reading it. But then I figured - hey, it's meant to be scary and icky (I was never scared reading Herbert's Rats because I like rats). In fact, it wasn't as bad as I expected because the spider action is so (hopefully!) out of the ordinary. This novel would, hands down, make a superb film. It simply HAS to be adapted! I read very widely - all sorts of genres - and this is an honestly fun experience. It's not high literature, it's never going to win the Booker Prize - but it does what it does exceptionally well. It's a five-star read, with stars knocked off simply because it left a lot hanging. But for a book of its genre, it's up there. It is so well written and can hold its head up alongside other fast-paced commercial fiction (like Grisham and Crichton). Reading this novel was a bit like going to the cinema - pure entertainment.

If you're into rollercoaster novels that do skip between places and people, or love end-of-world scenarios, or simply want to torment yourself with rampaging spiders on the loose, then this is the novel for you. And if it was clearer up-front that it was Part 1, then it'd be a definite five-star book.
Navy Baby
Navy Baby
I enjoyed this story, partly because I've been to several of the places mentioned and my son used to be in the Navy. But... I found the premise of there being no sex for so long in this marriage of near-strangers to be unbelievable. Even though its fiction and just meant to be entertaining, I found my self thinking "oh no way would this happen!" Oh, and no way a big guy would be a submariner.

I finished it though, and did mostly enjoy it. In general I like Debbie Macomber's stories.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Vol. 1 Of 2 (Japanese Edition)
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Vol. 1 Of 2 (Japanese Edition)
イギリスでも「ハリー・ポッター」シリーズに次ぐ人気で、映画化もされた作品。

「草食主義」の“ヴァンパイア”エドワードと、ヴァンパイアを惹きつける不思議な香りをもつ“普通の”高校生ベラ。
父親の暮らす、霧の町フォークスにベラが引っ越してくるところから物語は始まります。
ヴァンパイアと人間の禁断の恋…。
『あなたが欲しいのはあたし?それともあたしの血…?』
果たしてベラはどうなってしまうのでしょうか...

エドワードとベラはもちろん、全てを愛するカーライル、マリア様のようなエズミ、明るくかわいいアリス、美しいロザリー、力自慢のエメット、不思議な力を持つジャスパー、チャーリー、ジェイコブ、サム、セス、マイク、ジェシカ、アンジェラ……
たくさんの登場人物それぞれに魅力があってみんな大好きですw

現実離れした内容かと思いきや、エドワードとベラの普通の高校生としての一面もあり、読み終わった後は「実はあの子はヴァンパイアかしら?」なんて感じてしまうほど、身近に感じられる作品です。
No Police Like Holmes (McCabe and Cody)
No Police Like Holmes (McCabe and Cody)
I read this for free via Kindle Unlimited and soon as I finished it, bought the second book in the series immediately. I'm hooked. Dan knows his Holmes and displays that knowledge throughout this book.
I suspect that a reader would have to be at least a bit of a Holmes fan to fully enjoy it. The whole thing revolves around a Holmes conference at the local college. They mystery regards stolen Holmes collectibles such as pages from Doyle's "Hound of the Baskervilles" manuscript and a very rare copy of the magazine that printed the first Holmes story, "A Study in Scarlet."
I enjoyed the romance between Jeff and an attractive newspaper reporter, and I thought the main characters fairly well-rounded. I'm looking forward to visiting them again in the second volume. I'm no expert on mystery plotting, but author Bonnie McBride, who did her own series of Holmes pastiches, said he's a master plotter.
I fully expect to read the entire series eventually.
The Bling Ring - Behind the Bling Featurette
The Bling Ring - Behind the Bling Featurette
Basically just a trailer for the film, didn't add anything at all. Anything called behind the scenes should add interviews or something....I highly recommend checking out the reality tv series "Pretty Wild". It follows Alexis and her sisters over 9 shows. Alexis is depicted as the ring leader of the "Bling Ring" in the movie, but of course tries to convince everyone that she is innoccent within the context of the show. Her arrest takes place within the pilot episode and the series ends with her sentencing. There are other discrepancies between the show and the movie, but it brings an interesting look at one of the main characters.
Kiss of Venom (Elemental Assassin series)
Kiss of Venom (Elemental Assassin series)
3.5 stars: Liked it - recommend (B+)
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

Taking place shortly after the events in the previous book, Deadly Sting, Kiss of Venom is told from the first person POV of Owen Grayson, the once lover of heroine Gin Blanco. It was very different reading the story from Owen's perspective, when for so long we only "hear" what Gin thinks. But this was a much-needed story for those fans of the series who are "team Owen."

The novella immediately lets the reader in on Owen's true feelings about Gin killing his once love, Selina Debouis (Widow's Web) and the subsequent actions and events (Deadly Sting). And WOW is Owen consumed with guilt. So much so that it dragged on for chapter after chapter! And I *almost* wanted to forgive him for his behavior towards Gin in those prior two stories. It was valuable insight, even if it did go on a bit long.

But this is Ashland and life doesn't stay calm for long. Owen and newly reunited BFF Phillip Kincaid work to foil an assassination attempt on Gin. It was wonderful to watch Owen and Phillip working together to bring down the bad guys. I enjoyed their banter and easy-going nature - even through Owen's guilt. I am so glad these two have rekindled their friendship.

Finally, in the finale of the story, I enjoy Owen's self-reflection. He experiences an important revelation, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out in the upcoming title, Heart of Venom. The time he spends working in his forge is wonderfully described - something we don't see usually. It was fascinating to read how he uses his magic and body to shape the metal.

Overall Kiss of Venom is an enjoyable novella - definitely a must read for Elemental Assassin fans. It is a wonderful insight into Owen's mind and heart. While I enjoyed learning about his true inner feelings, after a few chapters it did start to drag and become repetitive. I missed the quick-natured action found in the series, but the action scenes with Owen and Phillip were fantastic. And in the end, I am so thankful that Ms. Estep wrote this novella so that we could all see the truth behind Owen's actions and inactions.
KINGGRID Balloon Decorating Strip, 16.5', for Party (2 Pack), Clear
KINGGRID Balloon Decorating Strip, 16.5', for Party (2 Pack), Clear
Well, who knew, all these years I was just making like harder on myself. This is why I love Amazon sooooooo much. Your mind thinks man, it would be cool if they had...... And them you search it and they do.

I've been Decorating parties for years. And I guess, because I am not a "professional", even though I decorate like one, I missed out on a very needed tool of the trade.

I have always tied my balloons together to each other to create an arch or what ever design I was trying to create. This saved my fingers and my nails from double and triple tying.

This was almost too easy. Tie the balloons. Insert the knot into the big hole portion and pull to the smaller section. Easy Peasy. What what have taken me 30 minutes, my way, took me about 10 minutes.

I kinda like a thicker bunch, but I probably could have added double in one hole. But, this was AMAZING. I used tape to adhere it to the wall. Never fell off. The balloons never felt out. The guest of honor liked them so much, she took the baloin cluster home with her. So, that was a win win. But, it also exposed her to my newly found secret😜.

I'm like a magician, when I decorate. I want the guest to be wowed and wonder how.
Online Teaching Survival Guide: A Supercharged Guide of How to Build Relationships With Your Students Online. Essential Teaching Resources for Teachers in Challenging Times
Online Teaching Survival Guide: A Supercharged Guide of How to Build Relationships With Your Students Online. Essential Teaching Resources for Teachers in Challenging Times
I give this book 4.5 stars. It's a bit of a dry read and some of the info had me going, "Yes. Duh." as a middle school teacher (the book was geared toward college professors who might not have a teaching background). But so much of what I read was so dang useful. I can't wait to put this book's strategies into practice in my hybrid and distance learning virtual classrooms this fall.

This website link sums up the 10 best practices from the book. I would add to it that the book includes practical ways for improving assessments using rubrics, organizing group work in a digital setting, building community through discussions, asking rigorous questions, and setting up your digital classroom for success. I love that the authors used backward design for both the book and their digital class strategies and end with reflection; this fits seamlessly with K-12 education.
Something Wonderful (The Sequels series Book 2)
Something Wonderful (The Sequels series Book 2)
“What is it you think is going to happen?”
Alexandra shivered deliciously. “Something wonderful."

There is always something about historical romance that can get me out of a book slump. There’s just something about them that pulls on my heart strings with their one of a kind love stories. And Something Wonderful didn’t disappoint.

When seventeen-year-old Alex, daughter of a lord and a commoner, saves Jordan, the Duke of Hawthorne from some highwaymen, well that’s when something wonderful begins. It isn’t all flowers and rainbows—that’s what I love about Judith McNaught’s novels. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions.

Jordan is a rake, player—call him what you want. He does not deserve Alex. She has “life is wonderful” goggles over her eyes; is kind, selfless, so trusting, and so naïve. She thinks of Jordan as a god, when he’s nothing but a libertine.

I had a smile on my face the entire beginning of Something Wonderful. After certain circumstances arise, Jordan and Alex are forced into a marriage. Neither wants it. But Alex makes it known that she will accept it. And her young heart immediately falls for Jordan. God, I was cringing at her naivety and declarations of love, for only Jordan to say “Thank you.” But it was also so endearing to me. It showed my black heart how selfless and true young love can be. And hers was.

When Jordan disappears and is declared dead, Alex is broken. But it was her husband’s wish that she be accepted into society, and so she worked hard to become what he wanted. At first, she was so naïve, and so in love with Jordan that she made a fool of herself, because she didn’t know the kind of man he was. She was unknowingly complimenting his mistresses' looks, and becoming the laugh of the ton. Until she changes it all around and realizes how Jordan had played her, and who he really was.

When Jordan returns, it’s to find Alex about to marry his cousin. The only reason he got through the torture he’d been through, was thoughts of getting back to her. He realized she was it for him, and he wanted a life with her. A five star read for me if I didn’t find some parts a bit slow. But still a very enjoyable one, nonetheless.

Something Wonderful takes us on a journey of jealously, betrayal, lust and love. Another great one by Judith McNaught, and I’d absolutely recommend to lovers of historical romance.

"Something wonderful had happened."
A Taste of South Africa
A Taste of South Africa
Such a charming show!! I had no idea how diverse South Africa is in both food and people. And alcohol, apparently. I want this guy's job.
CIMOO White Makeup Vanity Chair, Cute Furry Home Office Chair with Back Arms, Fluffy Swivel Accent Chair for Girls Bedroom Living Room,White Long Fur
CIMOO White Makeup Vanity Chair, Cute Furry Home Office Chair with Back Arms, Fluffy Swivel Accent Chair for Girls Bedroom Living Room,White Long Fur
I ordered this chair to match my bathroom and walk-ins. It arrives on time but the box was damaged and the white fur of the chair on the bottom was not only dirty, but torn to where you could see the inner metal frame. I contacted the company because the chair itself was still functional and I thought they may send a new fur cover. They were very responsive and immediately send me a whole new chair, which promptly arrived undamaged. Phenomenal customer experience and a great quality product! I definitely would recommend!

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