Ruth Cook

Joined a year ago

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The Enormous Room
The Enormous Room
This book is a fictionalized memoir of e. e. cummings' experiences of World War I. He had volunteered as an ambulance driver, along with a friend of his. As a result of something his friend wrote, he and his friend were arrested and spent a little more than three months in a French detention camp, most of it together.

I have seen this book described as an autobiographical novel, but I don't want to use that term because I think it would be misleading. I'm sure that some to perhaps much of this is based only very loosely on real people and real incidents, but I believe that the story cummings tells in this book is nonetheless true. That is, I believe that it is quite true to his real-life experiences. Even if he embellished characters and events a lot at times, I am quite sure that the overall impression one gets from reading the book presents a true-to-life depiction of that place and time and what he experienced.

Part of what made me enjoy this book so much is the sheer artistry of it. I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek, of course, because cummings was in fact an artist, and the original edition this work included many of his sketches. This Kindle edition did not include those, but I saw some of them online, and enjoyed them very much. One day I hope to be able to obtain a print version that does contain the drawings. But the artistry I'm referring to here is the artistry of his writing. He plays such wonderful games with language here, as he would later in his works of poetry. But this book is all the more enjoyable because he wrote it in two languages, French as well as English. I have a more than passing acquaintance with French, but I still had to have my _ Cassell's French Dictionary _ at my side as I read this book. But it was more than worth it. It was indeed a joy.

By coincidence, I read this book just after reading Simone Weil's _ The Need For Roots _, which coincidently has a forward by one of the other great poets of the day, T. S. Eliot. Had I not read what she had to say about the low status of the police in French society, I would not have been able to fully appreciate cummings' many comments about that. I'm guessing that when modern Americans read his comments about gendarmes being so unpopular that seeing two of them escort a prisoner might inspire town folk to think about mounting a rescue, they would suspect that cummings was exaggerating a bit. Having read Weil, I was prepared to take him at face value.

I probably read this book differently from most people because I too have spent time in prison. I knew exactly what he meant when he wrote:

A hideous crash nipped the last word. I had supposed the whole prison to
have been utterly destroyed by earthquake, but it was only my door closing.

I certainly didn't spend time in a prison like his, but I believe his story.

I have been a fan of e. e. cummings' poetry since high school, but I had never heard of this, his first book, until just recently; I came across a reference to it, I think, on a religious blog. I couldn't wait to read it, and I was not disappointed when I did. This is definitely a great work, and I can't believe I never came across it before now. I think this book is one of the indispensable books about World War I, right up there with _ The Guns of August _ and _ All Quiet on the Western Front _. I would give this book six stars if I could.
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
My son had to read this for a book report. He said it was the most boring book he ever read (and he is an avid reader). He barely got through it...When I asked the other moms of the kids in his class what their son's thought, they all said the same thing,,,their son's hated it!
The True Performing of it: Bob Dylan & William Shakespeare
The True Performing of it: Bob Dylan & William Shakespeare
Essays focused on two artists tend to include comparisons that feel forced or along the lines of the formulaic comparison/contrast papers our high school teachers required. I thus skeptically approached an entire book that purported to consider two artists not only temporally separated by four centuries, but each primarily engaged in the very different pursuits of drama and song. So I was delighted to find Andrew Muir’s book simply flowing with witty observations expressed in a simple and deeply insightful fashion, freed from pretension, informed with a vast knowledge of both Shakespeare and Dylan. Although the obvious connection between the two artists is their supreme use of the English language, Muir goes much further exploring each man’s sources, wordplay, career development, religion, and performance considerations and challenges, all within the context of each man’s work but also within the context of the historical eras in which each created or has had his creations presented.

And then there’s Dylan himself on Shakespeare: “[T]he English language at its peak where one line will come out like a stick of dynamite, and you’ll be so what-was-that! But then the other stuff is rolling on so fast you can’t even think, and then you have to struggle to catch up to where you are in the present.”

This is a book, I believe, for anyone with a deep knowledge of, or just a passing familiarity with, both or either Dylan or Shakespeare. Finally it’s a fun and informative read.
Starting Out with Java: From Control Structures through Objects (6th Edition)
Starting Out with Java: From Control Structures through Objects (6th Edition)
oh boy here we go >_>

So I'm a college student at k-state. Why review this book then? well I actually am enjoying this book. As a person who hates text books because they are fairly difficult to understand (and I have aspergers), this book is the first text book I'm enjoying.
This book goes over a lot of stuff. From simple basics to some advance. I'm not sure who "Software Engineer" is but this book DOES go over the basics and moves towards some advanced stuff.

is it worth the money?
That depends on the person buying it. I'd say rent it first then buy it, take note you will be paying more in the end if you do that. I did do that and I have no regrets as a person who seriously enjoys programming.

What does it come with?
The book IF PURCHASED NEW, will have a code you can use to get access to some goodies like videos and files that have the code (i reccommend coding it down yourself for a better learning experience).

Do you reccomend the book?
Oh yes certainly. Again if your not a huge fan and just checking it out or simply taking the class to earn credits, just rent it. If your getting it for k-state and are just getting into the programming class, Start on chapter 2, that's where the coding begins so you'll get a better start for the semester.

Why 4/5 and not 5/5?
two things, it doesn't go over MVC (model-view-controller) which my prof does go over. and this book is paper back, whish it was hardback so that it would last me longer.
PowerDrive PD2000 2000W Power with Bluetooth Inverter
PowerDrive PD2000 2000W Power with Bluetooth Inverter
im trying out using an inverter instead of lugging around a little generator in my work truck. so i have this bad boy hooked to an auxiliary battery (55AH) charged by my alternator and so far im loving it. i can run skill saw, pvc heaters, hammer drills, and all my battery chargers with no problem.

I load tested this inverter with a string of tempary lights. 150 watt incandescent light bulbs,
it ran 14 of them with no problem(2100watt load),
15 triped the overload warning
true rms meter
amps(ac) 17.4 volts 114.6 (1994w)
amps(dc) 166.3 volts (12.6).(2095w)
thats about 95% efficiency. well over the 90% advertised
havent tested the no load current draw
the Bluetooth features are great power on/off, sleep timer,
adjustable low voltage shutdown.
Air Jordan Collection Manual
Air Jordan Collection Manual
Good book. I enjoy reading about the history of Jordan shoes. Great book for all Sneaker heads and sneakers collectors.
Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen, Black, 0.5mm, 3 Pens (Japan Import)
Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen, Black, 0.5mm, 3 Pens (Japan Import)
Depending on the type of paper that you are using, these can be great... or they can suck. I bought these to write in my planner, but I simply can’t use them for that because the pen just skips over the paper. They are good to write letters on a cheaper quality paper though. Overall I’d say that they don’t blow my mind, but they’re also not completely horrible. They arrived quickly which is a good thing.
Captain America (1979) / Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979)
Captain America (1979) / Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979)
I think the fact that I had little exposure to the original Captain America character may have been of advantage to me, as I was able to judge these films on their own merits, without comparing them to anything that had gone before. I really enjoyed these films when they originally aired on CBS in 1978 and 1979, and purchased them originally on VHS. When the big screen Captain America film came out, I was hoping the TV movies would be re-released on DVD. When they were, I bought them immediately. And you know what? I still really enjoy them, and have viewed them several times. Contrary to the previous reviewer, I didn't find them boring in the least.
Reb Brown, for an ex-football player with little acting experience, does a good job as Steve Rogers, son of the original CA, and I liked the relationships with Simon Mills (Len Birman) and Dr. Wendy Day (Heather Menzies, aka Mrs. Robert Urich).
The origin story is good, though a bit dated, with its reference to the neutron bomb. (You have to be a certain age to remember that!) As for tossing out the comic book backstory, I kind of think they had to-networks for some reason are wary of doing "period" superhero stories (see: Wonder Woman-they could only get picked up as a weekly series-by CBS-when they gave in and modernized it. The ABC episodes, like the original Captain America , were set during WWII) It wasn't enough to sell CBS on a weekly series, but they did order a second pilot, Death Too Soon. This one was better, with a good story and Connie Sellecca replacing Heather Menzies as Wendy-and hey, any film that can attract the likes of Christopher Lee can't be all bad! It accomplished what a pilot is supposed to do-show what can be done with the character. It is a shame that CBS passed on a weekly series-I think it would have been quite good. Maybe it was just a little too similar to "The Six Million Dollar Man".
On the technical side, the transfer from film to disc is excellent-good picture and sound. All in all, these films are good fun and I would wholeheartedly recommend this DVD.
Funko Pop! Avengers Endgame - Thanos (ECCC) Exclusive #592
Funko Pop! Avengers Endgame - Thanos (ECCC) Exclusive #592
The package arrived in very damaged condition due to incorrect packaging. The product came in a protective carton Compared to the the package it is in excellent condition
well done for protecting the product. Other than that amazing pop
Thanos Gauntlet 6 LED Infinity Stones Endgame 2019 Thanos Arm
Thanos Gauntlet 6 LED Infinity Stones Endgame 2019 Thanos Arm
Awesome! A favorite Santa present! This was so unique as It came with a hand written thank you card from the seller. That was so sweet. Would by again. All of my kids and myself wanted to wear it. Just watched Guardians of the Galaxy again today with the glove on. He loves it! We were all naming the infinity stones! So fun! For adults and kids. It was a little big on him, he is 5, but he can grow into it. He still was able to snap us into oblivion like Thanos!
Wolverine Men's Legend 6 Inch Waterproof Comp Toe Work Shoe
Wolverine Men's Legend 6 Inch Waterproof Comp Toe Work Shoe
I normally don't bother writing such a detailed review, but these boots made me have to make an exception. I went ahead and took the risk of ordering them online even though I usually would prefer being able to try it on to see if it fits and how it feels on my foot as i walk around in it, but Amazon has been so convenient for everything else i figured i'd just really read all the reviews and see how people thought the boot fit if it was too large/small etc.

The problem I've always had is that my feet are a 13 and a half, and no one sells those anywhere so 13 is almost always juuuuust too small and 14 makes me look like a clown with bananna shoes.

I saw enough reviews saying these ran a tad large so I went ahead and crossed my fingers and ordered.

When i got these boots two days later, I got ready for disapointment and slid my foot in. Man when I slid my foot into these boots it felt like the first time i slid my you know what into a you know where. I mean I have never felt a more blissfully comfortable, perfect fitting boot in my entire life. I mean these boots just caress my whole foot from front to back, and my toes can wiggle and barely touch the shell toe tips, and man, my feet feel sweet.

Took three days to break in and I was nervous by day two but by day four and onward I just love slipping these on. They are like armored foot gloves and half as heavy as my usual steel toe choice. Im going to buy a second pair since with my luck they wont have another pair of these next year or whenever these end up wearing out.
Michigan Whitetail Pursuit Intro Season 1
Michigan Whitetail Pursuit Intro Season 1
I bought two of these: one for myself and one for my wife. My wife broke hers after just a couple of days (somewhat as expected). ;-)

Anyway, I really like mine. Keeps cold fluids cold and hot fluids hot as advertised.

My only gripe (or suggestion for Princeton Wares) is that the walls of this tumbler are pretty much straight up (like a scientific beaker) which makes it hard for me to get my hand to the bottom to wash it. It is not a huge deal for me but it sure would be nice if they tapered out even just a little bit.

Thanks.
The Thorn Birds
The Thorn Birds
The book, as always, was more detailed and interesting, but for creating it for the eyes to see, this was pretty good. The story and acting were good. The production felt a tad dated. I'd kind of like to see it remade with more modern directing, but then they'd probably spoil it with lurid sex scenes, bad language and such. I know it's the story of a priest, but they'd figure a way to dirty it up. Though there's romance and absolutely a sexual attraction between the main characters, it's handled with dignity and grace. Doubt that today they would leave that alone. So I say keep the movie as is and overlook the slightly dated feel and just enjoy the story and journey of the ambitious priest and his life-long love.

The priest from the very first meeting is attracted fondly to a dark-eyed little girl. They remeet many years later as she is on the brink of adulthood and a lovely beauty. She is magnetically drawn to him. He tries to resist her affection in favor of his ambitions to climb the ecclesiastical ladder to grab the brass ring of Pope one day. Through it all, he suffers watching her get married, pregnant, divorced and agonizing over her love for him (and he for her). There are stolen kisses and affections along the way that cause guilt for him and hope for her, and are noticed by those around them. But alas, though we wait anxiously for the moment all ambition and caution is cast aside and they rush into each other's arms to vow their love to each other, it is never fated to be. It's frustrating and yet a sad and beautiful story of true love that never connects.
Marvel Kids' Black Panther Rolling Luggage, Blue, Blue, Size one size
Marvel Kids' Black Panther Rolling Luggage, Blue, Blue, Size one size
I bought this for a 4 year old boy for his family trip to Mexico for the holiday. The roll carry on bag is light weight and not too sturdy, but the fact that the bag is not too heavy allows a kid to easily roll this bag through the airport, and is perfect for carrying personal little items, favorite little toys, electronic games, etc. The design is very well done, bright with deep quality coloring. This item termed out to be quite nice for the price.
Badge-Usher-Pin Back (2" Silver Star)-Metal
Badge-Usher-Pin Back (2" Silver Star)-Metal
i did write about this usher badge once before because my sister had lost her badge some where don't if she lost at church or when the church went out 2 another church we couldn't find it so i order her a new badge so thank u 4 her badge it is just a badge 2 usher with my badge is a little bit harder than her which is lighter
Lil Freak [Explicit]
Lil Freak [Explicit]
I really like this song, especially with Nicki Minaj in it. It's actually my favorite part. I'd recommend getting it, but it is a dirty song.
Fables Vol. 8: Wolves
Fables Vol. 8: Wolves
This volume will please most fans of the series, being a gratifying read. Here we finally learn what happened with Bigby, and reach an acceptable conclusion to the long-running storyline of his and Snow White's love story. That being said, this is one of the shorter TBPs of the Fables line, and doesn't contain very many exciting or surprising elements (with the notable exception of Bigby's mission into the Homelands, which is actually one of the best sequences of the entire series). Neither Mowgli's quest to track down the ex-sheriff or Cinderella's work in the Cloud Kingdoms did much for me, just sort of dragging on, and containing only brief moments of glory. However, one good aspect of this volume is learning more about the development of Snow White's cubs. This is a group of characters that are just starting to capture individual traits and that should provide a great source of material in future stories.

While the overlying feeling of this book is one of an interlude, with the primary focus being on wrapping up Snow and Bigby's tale, this volume does set the direction for the future of the series. With Fabletown, under the leadership of Prince Charming, gearing up for the inevitable conflict with the Adversary, solidifying alliances and making preemptive strikes, the direction of the series promises to be one of grand conflict, and I can't wait to read it.

As usual, the art contained within this volume is top-notch, especially the beautifully detailed inserts of the original cover art for the individual issues. Overall, while this isn't the best of the series, its still great, and certainly cannot be missed.
The Lure of the Ring: Power, Addiction and Transcendence in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
The Lure of the Ring: Power, Addiction and Transcendence in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
This book is a theoretical idea speculating about who Tom Bombadil is and how Sauron's desire for the ring was like an addiction. I can tell that a lot of research went into this publication and I found it fascinating.
The first point that I found interesting was their comparison of Sauron to a Hungry Ghost in Bhuddism. He is like an emaciated creature who's only desire is possession of the ring but his appetite can never be quenched. I found this to be a good comparison because it really delves into who Sauron is at the core. Tolkien leaves a lot to speculation and I think it is important for Tolkien enthusiasts to dig into the motivations and habits of each character. It gave me a different view of Sauron and sort of makes me pity him.
Creeping past Sauron we entered what I was truly curious about, Tom Bombadil. If you don't know who he is it's probably because he isn't in the Peter Jackson movie. He is a mysterious being in the books, and no one can really define who he is. But this book speculates, and the hypothesis makes a lot of sense. The authors wrote that we can envision Tom Bombadil as the antithesis to Sauron, and I thought that was clever.
They also offer up two different definitions for who Tom Bombadil could be. They state,
"Tom has answered Frodo’s “Who are you?” question in two ways: In terms of identity, Tom’s true name is silence. Simultaneously, in relationship to Frodo – and , indeed , to all others – we shall see that he is called Eldest."
This is a good representation of his character because it is not an easy answer, if that makes sense. Tom Bombadil is complex and one answer would never work. He is the silence you experience when you are just being, and he is the Eldest because he watched Middle Earth become what it is. He takes two forms and only one being corporeal. We can't fathom who he is because he is unfathomable.
My issue with this particular book is that it is extremely repetitive and unnecessarily wordy. It's already a short read but could be quite shorter. Old points are brought up again and again, then sentences are reworded three different ways. Not only was that kind of annoying but it caused me to lose interest. It took me a little over an hour to read and probably could take less if points weren't constantly reiterated.
En aquel valle (Spanish Edition)
En aquel valle (Spanish Edition)
I have read this novels for more than 40 years, since the author died several years ago, I know this are re-runs, but anyway I am so pleased that kindle amazon has them available.

Thank you
Deeply Odd: Odd Thomas, Book 6
Deeply Odd: Odd Thomas, Book 6
** spoiler alert ** "In life, little happens by chance, and most bad hands we're dealt are the consequence of our actions, which are shaped by our wisdom and our ignorance."

To be honest, after "Odd Apocalypse", which is a much better book, "Deeply Odd" is somewhat of a disappointment, but thinking about it a while it actually makes some sense, because after the original "Odd Thomas" book, its direct sequel "Forever Odd" was also rather disappointing to me. Luckily that one was followed by the amazing "Brother Odd", so I'm guessing "Deeply Odd" is the same kind of transitional book as "Forever Odd" and we will get an epic conclusion of the series with "Saint Odd".

"Tom, you must be planning a trip straight to Hell City."
"I'm hoping it's just a suburb, sir."

"Deeply Odd" is more urban fantasy than fitting in with the previous Oddities, and feels a lot like an episode of "Supernatural". The Elsewhere showing up all the time was very Silent Hillish. It has less humor, and the atmosphere is not exactly darker but more solemn, which just might be me projecting my thoughts about the series slowly coming to an end. The final chapters are the best part of the book. Meanwhile we meet so many extra characters and witness so many unexplained things, we yearn for the original "Odd Thomas" about one ordinary guy in a small town, nothing more and nothing less. What we learn in "Deeply Odd" about the world, together with Odd himself, seems to throw all the rules we were told in the first novels out the window (dead Alfred Hitchcock suddenly talking even when "the dead don't talk") and it seems like anything is possible. It's no longer just a guy who sees dead people and solves crimes, but that hasn't really been the case anymore for a long time. Yet the contrast here is much bigger.

Then again, Hitchcock explained it himself somewhat: he never lingered, not when he was alive nor when he's dead, so he passed on immediately and now has been sent back from "service" to help Odd.

"I'm sure that your life is full of women who are drawn to you. Because they know or sense that you take a vow seriously, that you're faithful forever, that you recognize and cherish in good women what qualities you loved in the one you lost, that you respect them, that you care deeply about their dignity perhaps even when they don't, that you will never walk away from one in need."

What certainly took some getting used to, was Odd's new sidekick. Sometimes I had the feeling that Betty White must have blackmailed Dean Koontz to create a sassy character for her to play if the franchise ever takes off, the first movie adaptation finally comes into theaters and is such a success all the other books will be turned into movies as well. Edie Fischer makes sure Odd gets where he needs to go. It's like Odd is no longer in control of his own life and body, he's merely a vessel and performs tasks and even gets words put into his mouth as some kind of puppet controlled by a higher force, and Edie takes on the role of assistent to bring that puppet to the place of its next performance. Odd himself is left to reminisce about old times and to complain about the modern world.

There might be some insights into the identity of Odd's previous sidekick, Annamaria. She doesn't want him to diminish her after he says that sister comment, probably meaning she doesn't want to be viewed as merely human. Hitchcock asks why he wouldn't sound like Annamaria, hinting they have something in common. And judging by some abilities of her own, there's a good chance she hails from the same world Hitchcock has returned from, with the big difference that other people can interact with her too.

"Always questioning your motivations is a healthy thing, but fearing your capacity for doing the wrong thing, so that you retreat from many aspects of life, is a terrible error in itself."

Throughout this novel I was seeing things, little details, which I think are just a subconscious desire to link this story to others and which probably aren't really there, and I'm actually scaring myself a little with my own ideas of what might or might not happen. The lightning bolts in the sewer gratings made me think of the goblins' sigul in "Twilight Eyes", and what do I see a few pages further on but Odd himself mentioning this very fact, even naming the book by its title and claiming he's read it! Of course immediately I started to wonder whether Dean Koontz would write himself into this story in the same way Stephen King wrote himself in "The Dark Tower". (And I find it kind of insulting how he fails to mention Stephen King's "Christine" when he lists movies about demonic cars ...) We already had connections to the Christopher Snow stories with Moonlight Bay. And with this in the back of my mind, I started making other connections: the waitress in the diner reminded me of Deliverance Payne of "Tick Tock", the family living in armored seclusion reminded me of Penny Boom's family in "Relentless", the nine children, five adults and three dogs at the end of the story made me think of the ending of "One Door Away From Heaven" and probably some other Koontz book endings as well, like "The Darkest Evening of the Year" and "From the Corner of His Eye".

So, we have even more and more questions, no resolutions, and only one book to go. No matter what, I'm definitely excited about it and I can't wait for the chance to read this entire series back to back as a whole!
The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro)
The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro)
Nora Roberts' is one of my favorite go to authors. Traditionally, her novels offer me comfort and that sense of the familiar that I have grown to know and appreciate. They have romance, intrigue and suspense while giving us a story that we can, most times, relate to. "The Last Boyfriend" is the second story in the Boonsboro Trilogy. I have to admit, any opportunity to visit this small town in Maryland....catch up on the rehab of the Inn; watching the growing Beckett family (the widower Clare and the sweet, patient Beckett, the oldest Montgomery); determine what the resident ghost (Lizzie) is trying to tell them, as well as see the growing attraction between Hope and Ryder....is a pleasure. This story centers around the growing relationship between Owen Montgomery and Avery McTavish. Owen is the sensible and extremely organized Montgomery brother. Avery, is the young strong willed, independent family friend who runs the local pizzeria. With a lifetime of memories and forgotten promises, the two find themselves fighting their growing attraction. As Avery sets her sight on making her first boyfriend her last, she must also deal with the residual effects of her mother leaving and learning to trust her heart. Owen will have to use all of the skills at his disposal to show Avery why they were meant for each other, as well as show her why the toy ring that he gave Avery years ago should be replaced with one that will mean forever.

What I will say about this installment is that I was reminded of some of the issues I had with the Sign of Seven Trilogy series. The first book in the series is fabulous, but the second is so full of explanations that it wasn't as good as it could have been. There were still a few loose ends that I would have liked resolved before they get into the story behind Ryder and Hope (the next book). I would have liked or was just hoping for some more resolution in this book, although they may address those questions that I have in the final book...like WHEN is Avery's mother going to reappear? When will the easy partnership between Willy B and Justine grow into more? What is the ghost trying to tell us? Either way, I am patiently awaiting the release of the last book in the trilogy. Hopefully I will have some of my questions answered and a sense of closure at the conclusion of the series.
Jack O' Judgment
Jack O' Judgment
I give this one four stars. As usual Wallace crafts his story around a larger than life villain, seasons the pot with interesting characters, then provides a surprise ending to wrap it all up. Wallace always had the knack for creating a complicated plot, peopling his stories with lots of well drawn characters, winding it all up with lots of twists and turns, and then letting it rip. Essentially this is sensationalist pulp fiction with style and verve. You never have to worry about the plot running off on a tangent as a page or two later the story is always back on track and Wallace never loses the pace. In lesser hands this story might leave the reader's mind struggling with credulity as the plot unfolds, but, in the hands of a master story teller like Wallace the reader's attention is never left to wander off in that direction. One could argue the point that what Wallace was at heart is a teller of tall tales and that this story is as tall a tale as any ever told. There is a craft to writing, and Edgar Wallace displays a mastery of his craft in this tale.
Naruto, Vol. 49: The Gokage Summit Commences (Naruto Graphic Novel)
Naruto, Vol. 49: The Gokage Summit Commences (Naruto Graphic Novel)
I purchased the Naruto books from volume 39-49 for my 10 year-old son who is crazy about the TV show. He likes to talk about the shows he watches on the computer that are in Japanese with English subtitles. I tried to watch one a while ago but could not read the text fast enough and missed most of the action because I was concentrating on the text.

His friends are tired of hearing about Naruto and his Chakra so he tells me instead. He read all ten books in a matter of days - two, I think. He takes a few to school and lets his friends read them. He re-reads them when we are waiting for another endless appointment or traveling in the car. I have purchased more of the set - both earlier and later volumes that are part of his Christmas gifts. I like the fact that he is reading for enjoyment - not part of a school requirement - just for fun. Up until this year, he has had to read for 15 - 25 minutes a night as part of his homework - that requirement has been dropped for 5th grade and I must say I do not miss the endless reminders to please read. With these books, it is not a problem.
ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Lightweight Camping Hammock, 1 to 2 Person
ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Lightweight Camping Hammock, 1 to 2 Person
I am a 25 year old female and i bought this product for a garden retreat as i have a bad hip and am unable to get out camping anymore. i am a lrager woman and it takes me and my partner with ease. it is very wide which helps with getting in as when you sit in it the back comes up to your shoulders stopping you from falling back and out of it. it also cocoons you when you lie down which protects you from the wind nicely. the bag that it comes in is very small and when i took it out for the first time i did think that i wasn't going to get it back in but suprisingly it goes back in with ease. its like putting a sleeping bag back into its bag but easier. the bag as shown in the picture is also attatched to the side which i have been using for storage while im in it. (it holds a water bottle brilliantly). the bag has a small strap which can be used to compress it down more although to be honest its small any way so doubt you would need to use it for that. i can also be used to attach it to your rucksack instead of packing it in it. the only problem is that it dosnt come with straps i presume this is because there are different types. if like me you you want to attatch it to trees and dont really know anything about the types of straps (i did research so to save you time) then i would go for susspension straps these wrap around the tree and the weight of you in the hammock pulls them tight and griips the tree also they dont damage the tree. i would recommend buying decent straps as i bought some off here for around 13 pound and they are crap. two sets have broke and it took less than half of the maximum weight allowance to break them (i have wrote a reveiw so please check before buying as when they broke my partner dislocated his shoulder and i wouldnt want anyone else getting injured due to poor quallity goods). i really would reccomend this product it is so comfortable, spacious and the storage of it is easy and also takes litrally 5 mins to put up. if after reading mine and the other peoples reviews you are still not convinced then i reccomend looking on the eagles nest outfitters website as they have some amazing pictures of people using this product and there other hammocks. if after seeing the pictures it doesn't convince you then i dont know what will lol. i am so happy i bought it and cant wait to spend some warmer nights in it gazing up at the stars :)
BIOHAZARD RE:3 Z Version COLLECTOR’S EDITION 【CEROレーティング「Z」】 (【予約特典】「ジル&カルロス クラシックコスチュームパック」プロダクトコード 同梱)
BIOHAZARD RE:3 Z Version COLLECTOR’S EDITION 【CEROレーティング「Z」】 (【予約特典】「ジル&カルロス クラシックコスチュームパック」プロダクトコード 同梱)
RE2もコレクターズエディションを購入し、今回もジルのフィギュア目当てでコレクターズエディションを購入。
作り込みはなかなかのものでレオンのフィギュアと共に並べて飾ってます。
アートブック、地図に関してはあくまでおまけと言う感じですがサウンドトラックは今作も曲が良い為おすすめです。

ゲーム内容についてはレジスタンスはプレイしていない為3のみとなりますが自分にとっては最高傑作です。
バイオは6以外は全てプレイしておりますがもともとオリジナルの頃から3が1番好きな作品でした。(かなり少数派だとは思います。)
当時は単純に追跡者がかっこいいのとどこであらわれるのか予測不能な不死身の敵に追いかけられ続けると言うのが新鮮に感じたためです。
そんなに深いストーリーではありませんし短いながらも好きでした。
欠点としてはボリューム不足気味なところでしたが選択肢によってストーリーが多少分岐したりルート分岐があったりするところも新鮮でした。

そしてリメイクの出来ですが当然と言えば当然ですが映像は圧倒的に強化されてます。
単純に綺麗と言うだけでなく細かな所まで作り込まれており、ちょっとした流れる音楽やラジオ、ポスターに至るまで作り込みがすごいです。

後はこちらも当然ですが演出がオリジナルはもちろん過去作と比べても圧倒的に良い。
軽くネタバレになりますが初っ端からのネメシスは焦りましたし、リメイクのネメシスもやはりかっこいい。アグレッシブです笑
火炎放射器やロケットランチャーをしっかり使ってくれます。

ただ気になった点としてはボリュームは少なめで当時好きだった選択肢を選ぶシステムの廃止やルート分岐の廃止、また一部ロケーション削除や変更等があった点です。(時計塔削除、病院が広くなる当時)
後はクリーチャーも一部削除されたりデザインが大幅に変わっております。
追跡者も人間形態はオリジナルよりも短く、獣のような姿に変化はします。(追跡される期間は短い)

ボス戦も削除されてしまったのが残念でなりません。(グレイブディガーやニコライのヘリ)
また、追跡者がレールガンでそのままあっさり倒されてしまいマグナムで止めを刺す演出は欲しかった。

また難易度についてですが今作は謎解きも少なく、敵もそんなに強くない為腕に自信がない人でもスタンダードでも5.6時間でクリアできるんじゃないでしょうか。スタンダードなら全ての敵を倒しても余程変なプレイをしていなければ弾がなくなるなんてことはありません。ナイフも耐久度がありません。(ゾンビが固い等の意見を見ましたがショットガン1発で始末できますしゾンビはこのくらいの耐久性があった方がいいと思います。)
そして肝心のボス戦以外のネメシスですがRE2のタイラントほど鬱陶しく感じませんでした。まず、セーブエリアはもちろん町ではおもちゃ屋やスーパー、地下鉄の会社等狭い場所、入って来られると避けようのない場所には追いかけてきません。それどころかおもちゃ屋に至っては窓の外からこちらを見つめて待っていてくれました笑
それにスタンダードなら手榴弾1発で倒せ、おまけに武器パーツも落としてくれます。
それに全体を通してみると追跡期間は短いです。
これらのことからも難易度はRE2よりも低めだと思います。

個人的にはホラーアクションゲームはかえってダラダラと長くするよりこのくらいのボリュームで終わってくれた方がちょうど良く感じます。
世間の評価はおそらく違うでしょうが個人的には最高傑作と思っていたRE2よりも好きな作品です。
Forbidden Knowledge Conference UK 2006 (FKCUK)
Forbidden Knowledge Conference UK 2006 (FKCUK)
What might have been interesting lectures and power-point presentations are absolutely sabotaged by having the camera/sound recorder at the back of a lecture hall caputuring the ambient sound of amplified voices. For whatever reason, the microphones were not tied into the recording, so what you get is a dismally low grade recording of amplified voices as they are dispersed throughout the hall. Then, to compound that problem, an insipid "new age" vocal soundtrack has been laid over the lectures rendering them essentially inaudible. I wholeheartedly agree with every reviewer who lambasted this DVD for it's amateurish, defective and inexcusably crummy production values.
The Great Impersonation
The Great Impersonation
This was written after the Great War in 1920 but based the period leading up to outbreak of war in August 1914. It therefore has the benefit of an almighty dollop of hindsight.

Two near identical lookalike chaps incredibly meet up in the middle of the scramble for German East Africa. Guess what? They both went to Eton and Oxford together. One is Norfolk landowner Sir Everard Dominey and the other Baron Leoplod Von Ragastein. An everday story of common folk.

What evolves is a ripping spy yarn of impersonation, but who is impersonating who? It is all so stereotyped as to be ridiculous to the modern reader and requires suspension of belief with an ability to constantly attune the values of the contemporary era. This is up there with The 39 Steps and The Riddle of the Sands but not as a warning of German aggression (a bit late for that) rather proof that British pluck and stiff upper lip will always defeat Teutonic planning.

Out of hand killings of unruly natives mix with trips to see the Kaiser. Wives and friends appear blind to all changes in character and many readers will see a forerunner of Brat Farrar and The Return of Martin Guerre aswell as the earlier Fantomas stories.

A fascinating period piece but don't expect great classical literature.
The Black Candle
The Black Candle
1883-1923. "The Black Candle is a historical fiction novel. The main character, Bridget Mordant, a woman ahead of her time, oversees the candle and blacking factories she inherited as a young girl with a firm but loving hand; and is most gracious to those she knows are her poorer employees.
Thus, being an aristocrat she is both loved and hated. She remains single without a care because she is always busy keeping an eye on the factories and her many relatives, 2 of whom she brought up on her own]. As time goes by she becomes involved with 2 brothers of a declining aristocratic family that live in her town. And she continues to keep her hand in all things as she is so capable and honorable... Fluffy
The Host: A Novel
The Host: A Novel
While I didn't particularly care for her other series (the one that features a certain sparkly vampire), Stephenie Meyer certainly surprised me with The Host. Considering I'm not a big fan of books about aliens, the fact that I actually liked this one is a big deal! The story was cleverly told, weaving multiple plot lines together seamlessly. But, best of all, Meyer presented me with new characters - particularly Wanderer, Ian and Jamie - to care about and be invested in.

Wanderer, or Wanda, as she's known in the novel, is my favorite of the characters. It's not just because I like her name, or how it symbolizes the totality of who she is (and the kind of person I'd like to be when it comes to travel). It's because I adored her spirit. In spite of being a soul, part of an alien race that takes over various planets through their insertion into the planet's inhabitants, Wanda is kind, considerate, generous and intelligent. The sincerity of her choices was appealing, and easy to like, so it's not surprising that I grew really attached to her.

Ian and Jamie would tie for my second favorite character in this novel, as they're both important parts of Wanda's story. Jamie is the little brother of Melanie, Wanderer's "host". Through Melanie's memories and her own interactions with him, Wanda grows to love him and it's really sweet to see how he responds so honestly and sincerely to her. He was always able to distinguish between the two - Melanie and Wanda - which was certainly great. Ian also ended up having the same ability, even though initially he was against Wanda's presence in their little band of humans. Witnessing his transformation and watching his regard for Wanda really grow as the story progressed made it easy to like him as much as Wanderer did.

Honestly, the book's beginning was pretty rough. It took a few chapters before I felt invested enough to keep on turning the pages, but once it clicked, the feeling of needing to know what happened next stayed with me up until the end. Meyer did a great job with the story-telling, combining romance, friendship and a bigger conflict. Instead of filling this book with physical action scenes, Meyer chose a slightly quieter route where she convinced readers to care about these characters and then presented us with a moral conflict that fits the context of their story. Doing so could have potentially backfired, but it definitely ended up working well.

If what I've said in my review isn't enough to convince you to read the book, maybe the knowledge that I actually teared up while reading it will. I was that emotionally invested in Wanderer's story, and Melanie's too! Meyer caught me off guard with how good I found The Host. If you're unsure whether or not to give this book a try, let me be the first to suggest you give it a chance because you might just be surprised like I was.
Time Trap (The Somerset Series Book 2)
Time Trap (The Somerset Series Book 2)
Christopher and Arianna's breathtaking romance continues in Time Trap, the worthy sequel to Time Twist.

Just when I believed all was settled between the hero and heroine, duty and honor forces Christopher to make one last trip into the past. His character is so noble, and yet his very nobility can be his blind spot. Which ... is my very favorite kind of male lead in a romance.

Arianna is understandably horrified when he is gone.

The villain from the first book is back and bad as ever, but the author gives us someone even more manipulative and horrible to love to hate in this sequel.

I loved the courage Arianna has a chance to show. I love the clever ways Christopher works to repair the past, even at great risk to himself. The love he has for Arianna is the stuff swoons are made of.

Jeanie Davis has such a way of creating palpable danger, and at the same time showing depth of concern between her characters, that I am quickly becoming a huge fan.

I can't wait to read book 3!
A escolha (Portuguese Edition)
A escolha (Portuguese Edition)
A escolha nos leva por mais uma das brilhantes histórias de Nicholas Sparks, é um livro gostoso de ler, embora eu ache o envolvimento dos personagens muito rápido, e demorei um pouquinho para me convencer do romance. Mas sempre vale a pena ler os livros do Nicholas.
Vicious Circle (Hector Cross Book 2)
Vicious Circle (Hector Cross Book 2)
I previously thought this book deserved a better rating than a 1 star, but now I realise that, compared to his earlier books, and after reading other reviews where I see that my disbelief and disgust is shared by many others, I can barely believe Wilbur Smith had any part in writing this book.
This is NOT a typical Wilbur Smith. Don't be mistaken...I love most of his previous books, I've read all of them. The Courtneys, Courtneys of Africa and Ballantyne novels are still my favourite.
The first Hector Cross book was gory, tragic, some places a bit too vividly violent, but REALLY??? This book is downright disgusting...depravity, pigs eating human flesh, some really unbelievable characters.
The worst for me was when I watched a movie about Hannibal which was made years ago, and realised that the idea about pigs eating live humans probably came from this movie...how unoriginal...it's sad that a writer who was once a genius has been reduced to this...maybe he needs the cash...
If you want to read trash, buy this book. If your time is precious and you expect a quality read for your money...stay FAR AWAY. The book should come with a warning.
I hope Wilbur Smith reads these bad reviews, he should be ashamed of himself for ruining his reputation and legacy in this manner.
North of the Danube
North of the Danube
This travel book of a visit to Czechoslovakia in 1939 is one of three books Erskine Caldwell and Margaret Bourke-White collaborated on. In this book she photographed and he wrote separately, and they combined their efforts although they did not attempt to match the text to the photos.

Czechoslovakia, which was formed in 1918 in the aftermath of the First World War out of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, was 20 years old and about to be divided up in 1939 between Nazi Germany, Poland and Hungary. Maybe the authors gave a geographic title North Of The Danube to their book because of the uncertainty of the continued existence of the nation.

Bourke-White's cameras capture beautiful portraits of the local people, landscapes and architecture in their last year of peace before the war, including a couple of photos showing the new Nazi presence. Photos used in this book are dated from April 1937 through August 1938 on the Life Magazine website

While Erskine Caldwell is a great writer, his lack of knowledge about the region is obvious. His text is full of vivid descriptions with very little context. As travel book it is good, but it lacks the depth of analysis he was able to bring to You Have Seen Their Faces which he wrote with Bourke-White about tenant farmers in the southern states of the USA. What is evident as they move towards Germany in the eight chapters of this book is the increasing Nazi influence that troubles the Czechs and Slovaks they meet.

They traveled from east to west starting in Uzhgorod which is now the capital of the Zakarpatskaya oblast of Ukraine and end their visit in Prague and Bohemia. At Uzhgorod they hire a chauffeur to drive them to a remote mountain village called Uzhok where years ago the peasants supposedly ate their seed wheat and have no bread, living on oat meal mush. Then they take a train across Slovakia from Kosice to Zilina where Caldwell reports on badly behaving German travelers. They visit almost every corner of this young country and Bourke-White's photos are a snapshot of the country in the two years before the war.

It is not obvious from the book itself how completely their travels were since there is no map and place names are often small towns and villages, some whose names have changed over time. This inspired me to write a Map Review of the book using Google Maps. You can see the completed map review here: [...]
Thunderball (James Bond (Original Series))
Thunderball (James Bond (Original Series))
‘Thunderball’ had its origins as a screenplay that Fleming was working on with two other writers so, in a sense, it would seem ready-made for film with Fleming’s book as the novelization of the screenplay. All of this took shortly before the famous film series was launched, with ‘Thunderball’ coming out over a year before the film ‘Dr. No.’ It is a fairly cinematic novel, although there is still much exposition and internal monologue that would need to be excised from any workable screenplay.

Unlike the film series, in which the terrorist organization SPECTRE and its master mind Ernst Stavro Blofeld were introduced from the beginning, ‘Thunderball’ is the first novel of the series that features this organization and its supervillain. The reason for the emergence of SPECTRE is partially because the Soviet organization Smersh was dismantled by Nikita Khrushchev in 1958. What are ex-foreign spies to do to stay in business? Blofeld provides them with a second career, assembling ex-Smersh, Gestapo, Mafiosi and other refugees from foreign intelligence. SPECTRE is an acronym for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. The mission that will thrust them on the world stage is a blackmail plot involving the hijacking of a jet carrying two nuclear bombs. Ransom letters are sent both to the Prime Minister of Britain and the President of the United States giving them seven days to hand over $300,000,000. Or is that pounds? It’s a large amount (for 1961) regardless of the currency. This, of course, is Terrorism circa early 1960’s, where the terrorists issue warnings with escape clauses (at least on the surface), unlike their 21st century counterpart Al Qaeda.

By coincidence, Bond has already encountered a key player in the SPECTRE plot, whom he made an enemy with a vendetta by reporting him for his connection with the Red Lightning Tong criminal organization. Bond follows his hunches and suspects, rightly, that Emilio Largo, a rich Italian property owner in the Bahamas with a massive luxury yacht, is the agent responsible for executing the plan for removing the bombs from the sunken aircraft and transporting them to a location where they can be detonated. Bond is reunited with his old C.I.A. buddy Felix Leiter and they both make the acquaintance of Largo. Meanwhile, Bond also coincidentally makes the acquaintance of Largo’s mistress, Domino Vitali, who also happens to be the sister of the primary hijacker who was himself murdered by other SPECTRE agents.

Despite the grandiosity of the scenario and the megalomania of the villains, Fleming infuses ‘Thunderball’ with a convincing air of authenticity. The sadism of the villains is more understated than those from ‘Goldfinger,’ ‘Dr. No’ and ‘From Russia With Love’ and the hand to hand combat minimized (or at least confined to underwater battles).The characters are actually relatively believable and their motivations stem naturally from what we know of them. Even though the blackmail plot is far-fetched it holds together better than Goldfinger’s ludicrous Ft. Knox heist. Largo possesses a smooth, oily charm (merely the veneer for malevolent desires) that I can see not tipping off the unsuspecting. In other words, he doesn’t walk around like Dr. No and Goldfinger with a sign on his head stating ‘I’m a world class villain’.

Domino, the obligatory Bond girl (the only one in this novel as opposed to the three or four in most of the films), is also a fully dimensional person (at least within the dimensions of the world of Bond). She is tough and refuses to back down even when tortured. She is not demonstrative in her swooning to Bond’s animal charms and she also saves his life.

Felix Leiter, in some novels simply the C.I.A. sidekick whose presence signifies that Fleming is throwing the Americans a bone, is here in all his sarcastic glory. There is much more dialogue in this novel between him and Bond than in previous novels. His role in the case is almost as essential as Bond’s and he has a wry, cynical outlook that he never hesitates to express. Actually, he reminds me of Donald Hamilton’s American James Bond equivalent, Matt Helm (forget the absurd Dean Martin film depiction). This is probably as close as we will ever get to see what the experience of Bond and Helm working together would be like.

I see this novel as Fleming’s attempt to move James Bond forward in time—new decade, new villains. This is the international espionage of the future, he seemed to be saying, where spying can no longer be viewed as the opposition of nationalities but as the opposition of national world powers with freelance terrorist organizations. In a general sense, his prediction was on the nose even if the details differed significantly.
Thunderball
Thunderball
Thunderball was the fourth James Bond movie and continued to star Sean Connery in the lead role. The story focuses upon SPECTRE attempting to steal nuclear bombs from Britain and NATO and hold them for ransom. It was the first Bond movie to really expand upon the use of gadgets and is still great fun to watch.

Gadgets became a trademark of the James Bond films. While the previous three all had them they were not that prominent nor noteworthy beyond Bond’s Aston Martin in Goldfinger. In Thunderball he employed all kinds of technology. In the opening scene he kills a spy and escapes his henchmen by using a jet pack that lifts him off a roof and then to his Aston Martin. The car then puts up a bulletproof shield in the back and then shoots water at the attackers allowing Bond to get away. This announced that the series was going all in on the secret agent gadgets.

Thunderball also had all the other elements of the Bond series. The new SPECTRE villain was Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) who planned the theft of the nuclear devices. There were a series of beautiful Bond girls. There was Molly Peters as Patricia Fearing who worked at a health clinic Bond goes to, Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe a SPECTRE agent, Martine Beswick as Paula who had a brief role in From Russia With Love and this time played an MI6 agent in the Bahamas, and finally Claudine Auger as Domino Vitali Largo’s mistress. Bond has to deal with the SPECTRE femme fatale Volpe while seducing Domino. There’s spy work, fights, chases, explosions, sharks a deep sea battle, and all that good stuff. All together you have all the parts for another very successful James Bond movie.
Ian Fleming's Secret War
Ian Fleming's Secret War
I want to believe the author when he states facts for the reader. One that raised great question foe me was his assertion that Fleming based 30AU on Otto Skorzeny's work in Crete following the German airborne invasion. This is problematic. The invasion of Crete was May, 1941. 30 AU was formed (as 30 Commando) in 1942. Yet Skorzeny did not start commando operations until 1943. In 1941, Skorzeny was an Obersturmfuhrer (1st Lieutenant) in thDas Reich Division, working as a maintenance officer. Author also makes the same assertions about Skorzeny in his book about 30 AU.

Even if the author bases this assertion on statements from Fleming, it is his obligation to check this matter with the record as it exists. This gross error casts other assertions into doubt as to authenticity.
Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure
Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure
It is quite amazing but 40 years after Lupoff wrote this (1965) sterling account of the novels and stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs (the creator of Tarzan) it is still the indispensable source book on all of the 80 plus works of this master of American fiction. It is absolutely a "must read" for every Burroughs fan! It is not a biography of the man but of the books themselves and filled with a treasure trove of insights and commentary. One may agree of disagree with Lupoff's views, but one must know this book to be knowledgeable about ERB criticism.
The Sheikh's Blackmailed Mistress (Arabian Nights Book 6)
The Sheikh's Blackmailed Mistress (Arabian Nights Book 6)
This is the 6th book in the Arabian night series and the second of the two book miniseries about the twin brothers Vere and Drax rulers of Dhurahn. This is Vere's story. Vere was not looking for a wife, his brothers marriage provided him with a ready excuse to ward off diplomatic marriages with the Emir's daughter or the Sultan's daughters as he argued that marrying one will be unfair to the other.

Vere is a tortured man who had not recovered from the trauma of losing their parents in their early teen especially the loss of his beloved mother. He believed that love was a weakness that made you vulnerable to pain, emotions and loss of control and a ruler could not afford such weaknesses. A searing kiss shared with a strange blonde woman threw his world into turmoil and called into question the vulnerability he thought he had overcome. For three months images of the woman hunted his dreams by night and his fantasy by day. He decided to go to the desert to reclaim his sanity.

Sam McLellan was in the Arabian Gulf for an interview as a cartographer in the boundary mapping going on in the Desert states of Dhurahn, Zuran and Khulua. Nothing prepared her for the kiss she shared with a robed stranger on her way to her interview three months earlier. Now in the desert camp with her colleagues mapping the boundaries, Sam was finding it very difficult to keep her mind on her work, as the image and fantasy about this stranger was playing havoc with her body as well as her mind. Imagine her shock when she finds out the Ruler of Dhurahn Prince Vereham al a'Karim bin Hakar, whose visit to their campsite had everyone on their toes was none other than her robed stranger.

When their paths crossed again, sparks were ignited, tempers flared and the attraction was as powerful as ever. For Sam it was love at first sight, for Vere is was lust and a weakness which must be overcome. Vere hated the attraction they shared and in a bid to resist Sam believed the worst of her - that she was a spy and set out to publicly discredit and humiliate her by making her his mistress. What will happen when he finds out that she is innocent or when she finds out the motives behind his asking her to be his mistress?

This is a well written story that depicted the vulnerability and emotional baggage that sometimes accompanies the early loss of one's parents and loved ones. Vere though hardhearted initially tired to act with honour, and humbly acknowledged he had made a mistake, apologised, took responsibility for his actions and opened his heart to love and healing. It was a journey filled with pain and joy of loving for both the hero and the heroine.
Chaos: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta Mysteries)
Chaos: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta Mysteries)
What total and utterly boring drivel. And that is being polite!

Years ago I bought several of her earlier novels, which initially proved interesting when the writing concentrated on Scarletta's forensic investigations, but her later books strayed further and further from the basic scientific crime solving aspect of what are essentially crime novels, and I gave up buying them. A good who dunnit and how do we catch them, was replaced by what Scarletta wears, buys, has a private life that sucks, and incidentally there was a murder most horrible.

Chaos was a freebie Kindle version courtesy of The Times newspaper and so I thought I would reacquaint myself with her writing at no cost to myself. By page 70 I still didn't have much of a clue what was happening since there appeared to be no plot, and it didn't help that it was so incredibly boring that I was speed reading through the trivia of Scarletta's private life to try to get to the interesting parts, so somewhere along the line I may have missed a decent plot developing.

And what appalling dialogue. The author seems to spend more time in trying to prove that she is a connoisseur of good taste, rather than developing a decent story line, regaling us instead with tedious and who-cares-less facts about her private life and the designer labels of her shopping purchases. As one example of the drivel, our heroine and her suave, sophisticated, handsome, intelligent husband (isn't she lucky) are having a meal in a restaurant, and after spending what seems like pages and pages on what food to order, are now debating the choice of a wine.

Eventually Scarletta says to her husband "I think we should go for a Burgundy: A Chablis premier cru." (what else!). "The 2009 Montee de Tonnerre" (right on!). And as an aside: "We've had it before, and the wine is refreshingly clean and pure with a chiseled finish." My thoughts exactly. Realistically, most people would think, "That was a right good sup. Let's buy it again", not the pretentious "the wine is refreshingly . . .".

If you like inconsequential claptrap such as this, then the book is for you, but if you like a good story line and you feel that you cannot put the book down, then this is not your cup of tea. Regrettably page 80 is as far as I got, deleting it forever from my Kindle before suffering death through boredom. There may have been a plot later, but I wasn't prepared to wade through pages and pages of dialogue that made you cringe. Good riddance I say. I now know why the Times were giving it away for free, because nobody in their right minds would knowingly buy such rubbish and I consider myself lucky that I didn't waste good money on it.
Unofficial History of Magic: Unofficial Encyclopedia of the Wizarding World - Volume 4
Unofficial History of Magic: Unofficial Encyclopedia of the Wizarding World - Volume 4
Not just Harry Potter history here. This book includes everything from magic's beginnings to Albus Dumbledore. Written in chapter form, it's a fascinating read with historical and fictional references. The detailed index at the back is super helpful so you can find exactly what you're looking for. I loved learning about the notable births in each time period too. It's full of information about magic's history but it's not too overwhelming either. Just enough information to pique a young reader's interest. This is hands down the best history of magic book available. Five stars for sure!
Harry Potter Quidditch Costume Accessory Kit
Harry Potter Quidditch Costume Accessory Kit
Wow. I could not believe how TERRIBLE this was. The best thing about this was the fast shipping, but after it got to my front door it was all down hill from there. Once inside, I opened the amazon box and found that the actual inner packaging had broken open and was spilled out. And the contents was the worst and cheapest material I've seen in years. The dollar store has better quality then this. The gloves were not designed for human fingers/hand! In general, all the fingers were different sizes in width not height (the pinky being the widest) and the thumb location was where the knuckle of the index finger should be. Not to mention the stitching itself was horribly twisted and in many places, and did not even stitch the two pieces of fabric together. The goggles were not even fully painted! They had a gray primer and gold around the lenses on top and both (like the stitching) looked like they had been painted on by a drunk person with the paint-brush held between his toes. They had not even bothered to paint in the black over the gray primer. The "armor" is just a cheap painted paper product with 2 thin (1/4 inch wide) pieces of elastic tacked on the back (which by the way broke within 30 seconds of handling). I have to say this did make me smile, mainly because it was so terrible it was hilarious but also to keep form crying on the complete waste of 20$.

All in all this product prob would not be sold in a dollar store but b/c it was even below their quality standard.

Not recommended.
Magic The Gathering - Indestructibility (23/249) - Magic 2014
Magic The Gathering - Indestructibility (23/249) - Magic 2014
Received the MTG Indestructibility card in Mint condition from the Magic 2014 core set. It's a good card, you can use it to make any permanent indestructible. Here is the card info: Mana Cost: 1 White and 3 Colorless. Card Type: Enchantment. Card Text: Enchant permanent. Enchanted permanent has Indestructible. Card Color: White.
Union Forever (The Lost Regiment series Book 2)
Union Forever (The Lost Regiment series Book 2)
It is a simple truth that the first book in a series of this sort is the best: it introduces the primary hook and the reader is delighted to see how it all hangs together. A renowned Civil War regiment, the 35th Maine no less, somehow transported to another world peopled by groups from past eras but bedeviled by one other race of giant warriors, with a culture akin to the Mongol horde, who feed on the humans as they circle the globe. In the first book, the Yankees defended the Rus (medieval Russians) from the Tugar horde and in the process brought them democracy.

In the second book, the Yankees have been busily industrializing Rus territory and have reached the Roum (Romans) who would have been next on the Tugar menu. But another horde, the Merki, have enlisted turncoat Tobias Cromwell and Roum's rival, the Cartha (obviously). This sets up another conflict but moves much of the action to the sea. The alien characters are explored more deeply, and Cromwell is given a back story to explain his flaws.

This is a wonderful story but of course it must borrow from the amazing creativeness of its predecessor.
Harry Potter Y Las Reliquias De La Muerte (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Spanish Edition)
Harry Potter Y Las Reliquias De La Muerte (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Spanish Edition)
I am trying to learn Spanish by reading this because I am so familiar with the English version. This follows along very well and seems like a good translation. The text font is a little darker and easier to read than the English version. It doesn't have any illustrations for the chapter headings, which makes it a teensy more difficult to find your place or a chapter.

As far as the subject matter and writing, this is one of the greatest series ever written. This modern fairy tale is truly some of the best contemporary literature--a wonderful package of many wise insights and life lessons. This is coming from someone who has read Moby Dick six times. These books even provided comfort right after my father passed away. I feel like they should be required reading in school.
Jolly Pets Soccer Ball Floating-Bouncing Dog Toy
Jolly Pets Soccer Ball Floating-Bouncing Dog Toy
The dogs love this ball!

We have had the solid plastic jolly ball for years but they did not find it too much fun and their teeth made a terrible sound on the hard plastic.

This one is light and they can bite and squeeze and it springs right back into shape. There are already some puncture spots on the ball but it is holding its shape.

The only caution I would give is that it sometimes sticks to my shepherd's long canine teeth and he has to paw it to get it to release from his teeth.

I really hope it holds up over time because if it does I'll be buying another one.

UPDATE: It had been over 5 months with this ball. They still absolutely love it. The ball has hundreds of teeth marks all over it yet it has held up great. It still springs back into place like its brand new. I have since bought the small version of the ball as their indoor ball and that too has held up wonderfully. Highly recommended!

NEW UPDATE: I am beyond impressed with this ball. It has now been 4 YEARS and it is still going strong. I keep it outside year round through summer, rain, snowy winters. Does it look great? Not really since it has thousands of teeth dents but does it still function as new? Yes. Still bounces, floats, and the dogs are still able to bite it and have it bounce right back into shape.
40 Inch Large Pink Number 1 Helium Balloon,Foil Digital Balloons for Party Birthday Anniversary Festival Decorations
40 Inch Large Pink Number 1 Helium Balloon,Foil Digital Balloons for Party Birthday Anniversary Festival Decorations
At first I was nervous purchasing this without having a air pump but boy was I surprised. The balloon came with a straw and instructions on how to blow it up and seal it using only the straw and your hands. I was able to blow both numbers in less than 30 seconds so I was very satisfied. Also, the size of them were perfect! I needed huge balloons and that's exactly what I got! Def worth the price!!!!
IO SONO LE MIE SCARPE (Italian Edition)
IO SONO LE MIE SCARPE (Italian Edition)
Impressionante il percorso dell’autore, un racconto avvincente anche quando tratta episodi di vita comuni a tutti. La fragilità, la forza, la passione, il desiderio, tutto raccontato con forza e semplicità. Più di una volta ho chiuso gli occhi e ho fatto un viaggio con l’autore, mi ha reso felice, complimenti.
USB Type C to HDMI Digital AV Multiport Hub, USB-C (USB3.1) Adapter for Nintendo Switch, Samsung DEX Mode, MacBook Pro and More, with USB3.0, USB2.0, 4K HDMI and PD Charging, Portable Dock Aluminium
USB Type C to HDMI Digital AV Multiport Hub, USB-C (USB3.1) Adapter for Nintendo Switch, Samsung DEX Mode, MacBook Pro and More, with USB3.0, USB2.0, 4K HDMI and PD Charging, Portable Dock Aluminium
I used to have an OTG adapter for my last phone which has a microusb to USB female interface. I could only connect USB devices to it such as a flash drive. I got this product hoping I could do similar things with my new phone as the last adapter wasn't working with it. I was surprised to find that it is compatible with so many products that I have tried.
I was able to hook up a projector to my phone using the HDMI port. I was able to connect a graphic drawing tablet which I was able to use to draw on my phone. I was also able to connect an SD card reader adapter to this adapter to read SD cards which I now use very often when transferring files from a DSLR. I was also able to connect a DSLR to this so I could use my phone as a remote trigger or viewfinder. Finally, I could also charge my phone while using the adapter which is a truly valuable feature.
USB Wall Charger, Surge Protector, POWRUI 3 Outlet Wall Mount Adapter with 4 USB Ports Charging Station (30W) Compatible iPhone Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7/6/Plus, Pro/Air 2/Mini 3/Mini 4, Samsung S4/S5, 6A
USB Wall Charger, Surge Protector, POWRUI 3 Outlet Wall Mount Adapter with 4 USB Ports Charging Station (30W) Compatible iPhone Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7/6/Plus, Pro/Air 2/Mini 3/Mini 4, Samsung S4/S5, 6A
Too many devices, too few plugs. We had multiple cords and charging blocks using a double outlet in the kitchen, which was really a single plug since one slot was needed for an under-cabinet light. This not only solved the problem of constantly swapping regular power cords and charging blocks with the single available outlet, but it also has a shelf on top for a phone or even small portable speaker to sit on while charging, which gets the device off of the much-used kitchen counter. It is very stable with the long screw in the middle which replaces the short faceplate screw. The outlets handle our toaster oven and under-cabinet light easily, and we don't need charging blocks anymore with the USB ports, which are used for iPhones and portable speakers. Great product!
Adult Female Sheep Costume
Adult Female Sheep Costume
I ordered this in a size large when I’m typically a medium in everything else. It was so tiny there were like six inches in the front wide open that I couldn’t even get close to zipping up, and the rest of it was skin tight. I’m currently in the process of returning it and I ordered a size bigger but I haven’t gotten my refund yet and unless the XL is significantly larger than the L, it’ll probably be too small too. But I really want this costume to work so I’m hoping it does.
Ophthalmology Review Manual
Ophthalmology Review Manual
This was my primary review book for the boards. With last minute optics and the photos from the path BCSC book, I felt very prepared during the test. I would highly recommend that you read over this book once or twice before the exam.
"sari"
"sari"
A beautiful assortment of scarves. Each is made of 5 strips of sari silk and the colours are amazing. Expensive I know but really nice for dressing up a plain black dress or jeans and a top. And if you wrap your hair like I do you won't be disappointed, they look amazing, especially if you choose 2 and wrap them together. I recommend this collection to anyone who likes patterns and colours.
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 11.6" HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, Gigabit Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, Google Chrome, CP311-2H-C679
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 11.6" HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, Gigabit Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, Google Chrome, CP311-2H-C679
Much faster and of course newer than my old Acer 15" Chromebook, which was one of the first 15" models they made and the only 15" Chromebook on the market when I bought it. I got this because I wanted something good for couch surfing and my old Chromebook doesn't support Android apps so it was starting to feel very limited in use. I decided on this model after reading a lot of positive reviews, which mainly turned out to be for the last model that uses this devices same name.

I'll start off by saying this thing feels really sturdy, built well in typical Acer fashion. But I'm kind of surprised with how big the bezels are, they easily could've put a bigger screen in the thing. The screen that is installed though is plenty bright enough for my use, and is perfectly sharp at a typical viewing distance with good viewing angles. The touchscreen is kind of flaky in my experience, but that could be a problem with the user since some touchscreens just don't like responding well to my fingers. Performance in typical use is perfectly fine, but don't expect to do much gaming as it doesn't have the power to run more intense Android games smoothly. WiFi is very fast and signal is excellent. The ports provided are great, and I love that it can be charged from either USB-C port. The keyboard feels pretty good and the trackpad is about what you'd expect on a device like this.

Now where I am truly disappointed is in the fact that stylus support was removed from the last model of this system. I'm a bit of an artist and like to draw on occasion, even if it's just playing a round of Draw Something to fix my itch. I thought drawing on this with an Android app would be pretty nice compared to my Note phone. And another person had already asked if this system supported an active stylus, which Acer responded by saying yes. This thing absolutely does NOT support an active stylus. At least not an EMR one like you find in Samsung devices (S-Pen) or a Wacom stylus. I'm tempted to send this model back and order the older one since there doesn't seem to be much difference between the N3350 and N4020 CPUs.

I'll also mention here that the indent for the second camera that goes above the keyboard for use in tablet mode is present, but there isn't a camera. I was unsure what this indent was for until I did some more reading online and found a review for a pre-release version of this system. That included the camera and stylus. Seems they changed their minds on both features but didn't bother to get rid of the indent.

Long story short, it's a good little 2-in-1 but some design choices are odd for a device in 2020. Also many of the reviews out there are for the last model (N3350 CPU) or for pre-production test units that have features this thing actually doesn't have (stylus and second camera). Also look at the true reviews closely as this thing is offered with the Intel CPU (N4020), and AMD CPU, and a MediaTek CPU.
TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router - Wireless Internet Router for Home(TL-WR940N) (Renewed)
TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router - Wireless Internet Router for Home(TL-WR940N) (Renewed)
I set this router up using the quick setup feature, then turned on the wan ping block as I do for every router I buy. I bought this to replace an old router because it is a more modern router, and should offer faster and stronger wireless access than the ancient router I replaced (also tp-link).

This router provides wireless access to clients who visit my office, and people who attend my Meetups because I never allow anyone to access my personal network.
In order to set this router up, I connected it to a five port switch, which is connected to another TP-Link router. I was able to get 180MB downloads and 20MB uploads, which is only slightly lower than connecting directly to the main router. Some people report that this router does not have Gigabit ports, which may be true in their case but 180MB a second is more than a 10/100 port could manage so the router I received does have Gigabit ports.

Bottom line, this appears to be a good router, at a fantastic price (I bought the refurbished unit), and it was easy to set up. I have no complaints but I may update this review if there are any issues in the future.
EuroGraphics (EURHR) The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali 1000Piece Puzzle 1000Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
EuroGraphics (EURHR) The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali 1000Piece Puzzle 1000Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
El rompecabezas llegó antes de lo esperado y sin ningún daño exterior en la caja. La imagen es de buena calidad y se aprecia bastante bien. Solo tengo que mencionar varios aspectos a considerar:
1) Los rompecabezas Eurographics utilizan el mismo tipo de pieza, es decir, todas las piezas tienen la misma forma. Dependiendo de como veas esta situación, tiene puntos buenos y malos; si buscas más dificultad al momento de armar un rompecabezas entonces esta marca es ideal para ti, ya que el hecho de que las formas de las piezas sean iguales lo hace verdaderamente difícil. En cambio, si lo que buscas es un rompecabezas de 1000 piezas que no sea tan difícil, entonces no te recomiendo Eurographics, porque no hay variedad en sus piezas.
2) Algunas piezas estaban mal cortadas, y al momento de desprenderlas algunas se rompieron un poco por la parte de abajo del cartón, pero nada grave. Te sugiero que las separes con mucho cuidado y de ser posible usa un cuter o algo afilado para poder separarlas adecuadamente.
A mí me tomo solamente 2 días en terminarlo, pero soy bastante obsesionado y le dedicaba muchas horas jaja.
En conclusión, Eurographics es una marca de rompecabezas decente, la impresión de la imagen es buena y el encaje de las piezas también. Si te gustan los rompecabezas dificiles entonces Eurographics es para ti.
Dulce de regaliz black liquorice fini Gourmet
Dulce de regaliz black liquorice fini Gourmet
Da la sensación de estar hecho con plástico reciclado, no es lo que se anuncia. El sabor a regaliz no coincide con la realidad pues se nota que es un sabor sintético, químico, que ha agregado a una especie de gelatina con añadido de aceite de coco y melaza... total una decepción. Hay que hacer notar que no aparece el aval de sanidad ni su registro como elemento nutricional consumible, solo hay un número que corresponde al lote de registro que los fabricantes han colocado por su cuenta. no recomiendo su compra.

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