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Mr. August "Literature lover" RSS Feed (Highland Park, IL)
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Green Light Amaze Grass and Weed Preventer, 10 Pound
Green Light Amaze Grass and Weed Preventer, 10 Pound
Price: $27.64
5 used & new from $24.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative Product for Flower Beds, April 27, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is not an inexpensive item, but it is designated for flower beds only. So far, the product is working, we have no weeks popping up and the preventer is safe for pets and fauna. The directions recommend to use another application in four to six months. This time span will give us a better indication of its longevity. So far, it is Amazes us!


DII Kitchen Millennium, 4-Piece, Heat Resistant, Seamless, Non Stick, Dishwasher Safe, BPA Free, Silicone Spatula Set, Includes Long Spatula, Classic Spatula, Spoonula, Round Spatula- Purple
DII Kitchen Millennium, 4-Piece, Heat Resistant, Seamless, Non Stick, Dishwasher Safe, BPA Free, Silicone Spatula Set, Includes Long Spatula, Classic Spatula, Spoonula, Round Spatula- Purple
Price: $17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative and Quality Kitchen Utensils, April 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was quite surprised at the versatility and durability of these utensils. Because of their heat resistant qualities, I was not hesitant to use them in cooking and stirring hot foods in saucepans. The lack of bacteria is probably the most credible and important feature. We even used the thinner longer utensil to push food down the kitchen disposal without harming the sink or the utensil itself.

This is a great gift item. It is not the everyday set of kitchen tools. I like the color; they stand out among the black and steel spoons and spatulas.


The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones
The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones
by Rich Cohen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything You Need to Know About the Stones and the Author, April 13, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a young girl in Chicago when Elvis entered the rock and roll scene. It was a gigantic musical and generational revolution. My friends’ parents were aghast at his music, voice and gyrations. But I did hear one smart father tell me he had a wonderful, original voice and would change American music. Then Elvis went into the Army and never quite regained his stature or influence. Other groups cropped up. One was The Rolling Stones and they were regarded as loud, maniacal and original.

Rich Cohen grew up with music and I remember records you would buy in record stores. There were soundproof booths where you would listen to a record before you bought one. Waiting in line for one of those booths was a rite of passage. Someone was tapping on the door, “your time is up.” We will never have the same resourcefulness again. Music is bestowed on us through the digital and social media. Not so much fun.

But the Stones were fun; so far-out was their lifestyle that an American teen could only find it fascinating and sexy. Cohen captures the era and is in the know of Mick and Keith. In addition to an audio he made for Vanity Fair, Cohen does not have to do much to promote this book. He is articulate and was up close and personal with these guys. He was lucky and talented to become the chosen journalist who followed them on the road.

Mick Jigger and Keith Richards were extremists, not unlike most musical geniuses. They grew up in the same area of London, but Mick was academically smarter and he was singing all the time. Richards, so dependent on drugs, is presented with talent, but his decision-making is questionable. In essence, Richards believed the Stones came ahead of anything else, Jigger felt that he should be a solo. He did not succeed and remains the front man.

Rich Cohen is also a star. He is obsessed by music and regards The Rolling Stones as the greatest. He grew up surrounded by a love of music and could differentiate the sounds. He alludes to Chess Records from Chicago; I remember them, big time negotiators who backed the right groups. There is so much outstanding journalism in this chronicle, I trusted Rich Cohen with every word. However, the book had too much information on the author, it jammed up the informational flow. I have a pre-published copy and there were minimal photographs, there should be more, hopefully, in the published work.


Conair True Glow Battery Operated Pedicure Callus Softener
Conair True Glow Battery Operated Pedicure Callus Softener
Price: $22.72
2 used & new from $22.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Safe Pedicure Product With Excellent Results., April 13, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Of all the products I tried for eliminating dry, hard skin, this is the only one that works. Others I have used cut my skin immediately or the results were nil. Conair has developed a safe product that really does the job.

Simple to use, skin flakes away safely and three batteries are the only requirement. The pad is soft and whirrs around quietly. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked immediately.


Viva Labs Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement - The HIGHEST Concentration Omega 3 Capsules, 2,200mg Fish Oil/serving, 90 Softgels
Viva Labs Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement - The HIGHEST Concentration Omega 3 Capsules, 2,200mg Fish Oil/serving, 90 Softgels
Offered by Viva Naturals

5.0 out of 5 stars Product with Credibility, April 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Before I swallowed this supplement, I checked that the dosage was acceptable. It seemed high to me, as I was using a lower dosage of Carlson fish oil for years. After doing some of my own research, I discovered Viva Labs has a wonderful reputation and even though, supplements are not FDA approved, this line of products apparently has received acclaim from knowledgable experts and customers.

The pill is not too large and I swallowed it easily. I hope it is better than my standby Fish Oil and I would be willing to switch. Its purity makes a good case for change. I did not burp it up and I had no side effects. The price point seems reasonable, at least on Amazon. I checked with my local nutritional store, and they carry Viva, also.


Vinegar Girl: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare)
Vinegar Girl: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare)
by Anne Tyler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.84

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Khello, it’s me Pyotr!, April 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Just when you think quirky characters will never make sense, here comes Anne Tyler in a funny, ludicrous novel. Satirizing The Taming of the Shrew is not an easy task, but Tyler had me on the first page.

Kate Battista, a 29-year-old pre schoolteacher, is betrothed to her father’s laboratory science assistant. The eccentric scientist father resembles many others in his league. He is dependent on funding and his dream of finding a cure or a new discovery drives him to distraction. That is not an understatement. He is all about his laboratory despite the fact that he is a widower with two daughters. Kate manages his regimented home succumbing to his systems of cooking, washing dishes and other household duties.

He is an odd sort, to say the least. His science is paramount to his daughters and this priority affected his late wife. Louis Battista has a plan to ensure his success by sacrificing his daughter to marry his brilliant lab assistant, Pyotr. To avoid an expired visa status and deportation, he wants Kate, to ensure his eligibility for a green card. The scheme is raucous and the father tackles the U.S. Immigration process as if it were another experiment. The book is timely, albeit the current election of 2016, and of no surprise, Pyotr discovers an immigrant's plight in the United States is not an easy life.

Kate, herself, is an odd one. She is inclined to be at odds with the parents of her pupils and thus, the teachers at her school. Tyler paints a luminous picture of Kate’s love of gardening and her striking inferiority and anger as she hardly passes though her life.

Contemplating her father’s preposterous plan, Kate’s life opens up as she emerges into someone who can transform herself. Tyler’s secondary characters are perfect, from her younger sister, Bunny to her mother’s sister Aunt Thelma. It’s a marvelous cast of characters. Shakespeare would be pleased how this shrew resolved many issues by teaming up with the most absurd people.


The Verdict: A Novel
The Verdict: A Novel
by Nick Stone
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.69
78 used & new from $6.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not in Grisham's League, March 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Verdict: A Novel (Hardcover)
This is a long novel, one page short of 500. It is a decent legal thriller with a solid plot. The author and this book have been publicized as the London John Grisham. How many times have I heard that exciting promotion? I am sorry but this author is not John Grisham either.

Grisham usually grabs the reader in the first few pages and then sets out to unfold a story, quickly with a solid cadence of prose and no dilly-dallying to prolong the denouement. Stone begins the novel interestingly enough with Vernon James as the young, ultra-rich businessman who after receiving an Ethical Person of the Year award (irony is cast), takes a striking, tall woman in a green dress to his room. Instead of a happy sexual encounter, she beats him up. Stone does a good job with this scene laying the groundwork for James’ incapacity and confusion. Later, a woman is found dead in his suite and James (known as VJ) is accused of murder.

Terry Flynt works as a legal clerk in the firm representing James’ defense (defence in England). No one at this prestigious firm is apparently aware of the history between Terry and Vernon. Flynt has a complicated personal history coupled with a heart-breaking past with Vernon, his boyhood best friend. Will the underdog clerk triumph? Or will he lose this job and possible chance in the legal field?

The novel extends itself into every nook and cranny of Terry’s present and past. Vernon James admits he craves sadistic sex which includes choking his female sex partner until she signals she’s had enough. Apparently, he didn’t always abide by that rule. And he is married to beautiful Melissa, who seems to be aware of her husband’s flagrant encounters, but remains married. Her role is sketchy. Oh, and of course, Terry was always in love with her. There are few teasing scenes to fortify this premise.

There is a bounty of characters in this novel. Some are worth the read, Christine Devereaux, who heads the defense, is brilliant and dying, but Stone bolsters her up for the trial. The plot becomes encumbered and Stone often repeats situations, either from poor editing or not enough confidence that the reader will remember, making the book longer. The ending has some little surprises but the Terry and Vernon final scene falls flat.

Grisham is a master at avoiding extraneous complexity. He pulls the reader through his original plots with a definitive theme, and he knows where he is going and when to stop. Stone’s story is good, but not great and much too long.


The Bed Moved: Stories
The Bed Moved: Stories
by Rebecca Schiff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.14
62 used & new from $11.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New, “Moving” Talent, March 16, 2016
This review is from: The Bed Moved: Stories (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I always believed short stores are more difficult to write than novellas and full length novels. The author has limited space to grab the reader in the first paragraph or two, make a point, show love, mercy, forgiveness or other emotions in the next few pages, and then get out and end the prose.

The writing can be flowery, enigmatic or any style. The consistency only has to last for the pages of a particular story and then on to the next one. Rebecca Schiff does master this difficult technique as she explores family relationships and the enduring theme of the need to connect with somebody or everybody.

In a collection of short stories, or maybe they should be called compositions, because there is a dearth of plots. Each selection is written in the first person point of view so we assume it is the writer speaking to us of her sleeping, around, drugs, assimilation of American Jews, her father and more. I think all of us can identify with some of her vignettes.

In many of her stories, some were very short, I needed more distinction and separateness. The stories connected to each sometimes but others were instances of casual and sad friendships embroiled with sex and drugs.


Lost and Gone Forever (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad)
Lost and Gone Forever (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad)
by Alex Grecian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Stuff of Nightmares, March 11, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Who hasn’t heard of Jack The Ripper? He’s the quintessential graphic slasher who has upstaged many murderers in literature and valid history perspectives.

Alex Grecian presents another fictional view for the pleasure of those who follow Jack the Rpper through his witty and compelling series of the London Murder Squad. The opening of the book is excellent. Grecian pulled me in immediately with the first chapter. The reader is aware that there will be a gripping mystery and introduces us to the gruesome fear of captivity and the name Jack. Association is immediate.

We are placed in Victorian London and can feel the sharp difference in the classes. Grecian’s secondary characters are the most interesting. The women are presented on many levels. Mrs. Parker is a devious monster and scarier than Jack. Mrs. Day is a combination of a woman ahead of her time and a good wife and mother; it is her husband, Walter Day that has been missing. Ambrose, the orphan, evolves with the help of Walter Day. Some of the prose reads like Dickens, especially describing the extreme poverty on the London streets and the division of the poor and unedited and the wealthy.

I could sense the times; the rooftops, the office of Detective Hammersmith and underneath it al, lives a killer who messes with one’s mind. I enjoyed the book but some of it dragged on a bit in the middle. The author, however, has created an original series and he is consistent with each book.


Bissell High Reach Duster
Bissell High Reach Duster
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Adaptable Product for High Places with Superb Results, February 27, 2016
This review is from: Bissell High Reach Duster (Misc.)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With high ceilings and recessed lighting, this duster is a bonus for anyone who needs to reach heights and remove dust, dirt and maybe the occasional cobweb. This product is designed well; the ability to maneuver the handle to adjust to accommodate crevices and hard-to-reach areas is more than practical. It works. Bissell has survived many imitators without losing its quality control.

The high reach duster is innovative and practical; one of the better items I had the opportunity to review. I also think it would be make a great housewarming gift!


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