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Customer Reviews: 282
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Helpful Votes: 3197




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Joanna RSS Feed (Pacific Northwest)

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Medline VEN6025 Venom Steel Latex Gloves, Splash Protection (Pack of 30)
Medline VEN6025 Venom Steel Latex Gloves, Splash Protection (Pack of 30)
Price: $12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Strong, handy gloves for gardening and more, April 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are strong, handy gloves for various jobs around the house. The come like tissues in a box where you can easily pull out one glove at a time and slide it onto your hand. I like that these go on readily and do not stick or get hung up like some other disposable gloves do. They're thicker than the latex gloves medical professionals wear but not as thick as dishwashing gloves, which makes them great for chores like gardening and painting where you want some hand protection but more dexterity than thick gloves allow. At $12 for 30 gloves these cost about 80 cents per pair, which seems like a very good deal to me since I'm often able to use each pair more than once, though that is not what the manufacturer recommends.


Brita Water Filter Pitcher Replacement Filters, 2 Count
Brita Water Filter Pitcher Replacement Filters, 2 Count
Price: $11.99
6 used & new from $4.80

3.0 out of 5 stars Wish these were reusable and that Brita had non-plastic pitchers, April 12, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven't used Brita for years but ordered this when it was offered to me thinking I would get a non-plastic pitcher to go with it. In recent years I've replaced almost all the plastic in my kitchen and started recycling everything possible. It bothers me that these filters are not reusable and also that all the Brita pitchers here on Amazon are plastic or else, like the stainless steel model available, have plastic liners or parts in them. I'm glad this plastic is BPA free but wonder what other substances that could be found to be harmful are in it. I also do not like the thought of going through non-reusable plastic filters every couple of months and would like to have reusable ones (ideally, non-plastic) both to save money and to generate less plastic debris. I like the idea of filtering my water but do not like drinking water that's been sitting in plastic. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, the water tastes good most of the time to begin with and would only need filtering for taste reasons in the hottest part of summer when you can detect the chlorine.


The Truth According to Us: A Novel
The Truth According to Us: A Novel
by Annie Barrows
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.52

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming, witty, and long, April 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a charming, witty and well-written book with a strong Southern feel. The characters spring to life on the page and so does the small town of Macedonia. The 'fish out of water' juxtaposition of East Coast debutante Layla Beck into this West Virginia backwater makes a great set-up, and Lalya, forced to work for the first time in her life, is an entertaining character, as is plucky 12-year-old Willa, who seeks to understand the mysteries around her. The book has some good intrigue, but I also found it too slow moving and detailed for my taste sometimes with too broad a canvas. I would become very interested in certain characters or plot points but then those aspects were either drawn out too long without enough changing to sustain my interest or the topic changed to something new in the way of the town's history or some side plot that I didn't care that much about. It was a good and admirable book in so many ways, but I grew tired of the lack of variety (some might say consistency) in the tone and pacing. I think this was just a matter of personal taste and that readers who like long Southern family sagas and this sort of wry voice and child's world view will like it very much.


The Preservationist: A Novel
The Preservationist: A Novel
by Justin Kramon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.53
73 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Initially engaging but too cold and creepy for my taste, April 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read a sample of this book before I ordered it and really looked forward to reading it. The college setting and the character Julia interested me at first, and the writing was clean and smooth. The problem became that as I grew to know them better neither of the male characters was very appealing, and for a book like this to work I think the love interests need to seem compelling and attractive for more of the tale. The rather familiar plot and setup made it seem the book might be romantic suspense, but it was much more Patricia Highsmith without the more intense and original features. In places the characterization engaged and made me think this was a good read, but the overall world of this book and the people in it were all too often cold and creepy to make it involving. There were few if any warm and pleasant places or really likable characters: Julia's roommate, her mother, Sam's crude coworker, even people like Marcus's father were just too one-note cold and off-putting, as was Julia herself sometimes, such as when she broke up with people. I just grew more put off by the book emotionally as I read, though I was curious about the outcome. The ending was disturbing and reflected what had been missing in earlier parts of the book, making it seem the author did not really care for these characters much at all.


Francois et Mimi Vintage Double Wall French Coffee Press, 34-Ounce, Stainless Steel
Francois et Mimi Vintage Double Wall French Coffee Press, 34-Ounce, Stainless Steel
Offered by Power Savings
Price: $39.99
9 used & new from $23.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely press makes wonderful coffee, March 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have another 34 ounce Francois et Mimi French press, and I like it so much I snatched this up when I had the chance. This one looks a lot bigger than it is because the bottom tapers out, but the inside is straight up and down. This also looks more elegant and traditional but works just as easily and produces rich brew with no grounds in the coffee and just a few at the bottom of your cup. I find this size pot perfect for one person who wants a few cups in the morning; it's on the small size for two people if you want more than one cup each but works well after dinner. The press is much lighter-weight than my Frieling 36 ounce, which cost $90-some, but it looks just as pretty. The coffee stays wonderfully hot for that second and third mug-full.


The Jazz Palace: A Novel
The Jazz Palace: A Novel
by Mary Morris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.68
66 used & new from $8.17

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brings the Jazz Era in Chicago to life, March 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I’ve always liked Mary Morris’ writing, and this book is no exception. In vivid, beautifully descriptive prose, the novel brings the gritty Chicago jazz era of the 1920s to life, from the tenements where immigrants lived to the speakeasies of notorious mobsters. The book begins in 1915 with the disaster of the SS Eastland, which rolled over while tied to dock in the Chicago River, killing 844 Western Electric employees, including three of young Pearl Chimbrova’s brothers. History of the period is interwoven with Pearl’s story and that of Benny, a Jewish boy who loves playing jazz piano, and Napoleon, a black jazz trumpeter who befriends him and becomes his collaborator. They start playing at Pearl’s family’s saloon, ‘The Jazz Palace,’ and run right into it with the Mob. This is their story, a vivid, compelling tale of immigrants, gangsters, Chicago, Prohibition and JAZZ.


The Honest Kitchen Revel Chicken and Whole Grain Dog Food, 2-Pound
The Honest Kitchen Revel Chicken and Whole Grain Dog Food, 2-Pound
Price: $15.99
3 used & new from $15.67

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually unappealing and more work to serve, March 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wasn't expecting that this product would be a powder or that it would look so unappealing to me or mix up like a sort of thick gruel. I ordered it for my dog because I really like the idea of free-range chicken and organic ingredients made in the U.S., but it appears all the ingredients may not be organic (they aren't all listed as such) and they also can be from other countries around the world, excluding China, which makes me a little uncomfortable because we try not to buy produce (excepting tropical fruits) from anywhere else but nearby. I'm also concerned about my dog's dental health and don't think this would be nearly as good for his teeth as kibble is. Finally, the product is expensive and more of a hassle to serve than our dog's dry food, which we think is better for him overall with the carrots, apples, and other produce we include with it. We expected a nice, healthy treat but having seen this are not very enthusiastic about feeding it to our dog.


Lifted by the Great Nothing
Lifted by the Great Nothing
by Karim Dimechkie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.26

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching, funny, engaging--and in need, at times, of a stronger editorial hand, March 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This coming of age novel drew me right in with its engaging, distinctive voice and interesting characters. I found the set-up with young Max and his desperately American father, Rasheed, touching in the way they both tried to protect one another but kept so many important things they thought and felt concealed. The book had some very good humor and suspense that kept me turning pages, interested to find out more about the little mysteries that kept cropping up along the way, mainly concerning Raheed's various secrets and things he was keeping from Max. I thought I was in for a good read indeed, but towards the middle of the book, as Max grew older and got involved in what seemed to me an implausible relationship with an older woman, who herself seemed like a not-very-believable character, I felt less wrapped up in the story. From then on my interest waxed and waned and was seldom as strong as during the first part, but I still found much to admire in this novel. There's a sweetness to many of the characters and human interactions that I found appealing, and the yearning to understand oneself and those one loves rang true. I also thought the book could have been tightened significantly (especially from the teen years onward) and that some of the more unusual figures of speech and a few incidents (the sexist visually impaired pedestrian, part of Max's reaction to a death near the end) could have been cut to good effect since at times they were just too much or even a little off-putting.


Maytex Thermal Shield Kaylee Energy Saving Window Panel, 50 by 84-Inch, Red
Maytex Thermal Shield Kaylee Energy Saving Window Panel, 50 by 84-Inch, Red
Price: $17.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely cranberry color and good draft reduction, March 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This curtain does a good job of keeping the morning light out (except at the top) and is much more attractive than I expected it to be. The color of the 'red' shade is a very nice, rich cranberry. As for the thermal properties, the air really does feel warmer and less drafty in front of the curtain than it did with miniblinds. I don't like the way it looks when the drapes are open with only one curtain, however, and would rather this came in two sections.


Oreck Surface Scrub Hard Floor Cleaner
Oreck Surface Scrub Hard Floor Cleaner
Price: $237.22

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleans floors better than anything else I've ever used, March 8, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This took us a while to get assembled, and I did not find it especially user-friendly at first to use. It was hard to see the writing on the buttons, and the machine makes a lot of noise so it was a little overwhelming initially to operate. I also was not pleased to read that the cleanser it comes with is toxic since our dog licks the floors by where we eat and prepare food all the time, and we certainly wouldn't want to poison him. We ended up using this without any cleanser and just a little vinegar (though the directions explicitly warn you should use only Oreck cleanser). Before we even started cleaning the floors, I was thinking this unit might just be more trouble than it's worth. You need to vacuum or sweep before using it, and, at our house, there's also a fair amount to move or pick up in most of the rooms.

All of that became immaterial, however, after we started cleaning the floors and saw a) How wonderfully easy this was to use compared to any kind of mop I've used before; and b) How wonderfully clean it got our floors. We used it in two bathrooms, the kitchen, and the family room on ceramic tile, sheet vinyl, and floating wood flooring, and I don't think I've ever seen their surfaces clean up so well, especially with so little effort on my part after I got the unit going. It's lighter and easier to push than our vacuum and cleans and maneuvers really well. They were no smudges, streaks, or places with debris left behind, though I did need to wipe a little bit of water and some tight spots and edges up with a towel. The surfaces all looked really, really clean, much cleaner that they've ever looked before, even if I mopped and rinsed a few times in a row. The fact that this sucks up the dirty water is a big plus and probably why the results are so much better.

I do have some concerns about using this too often on all our wood floors since the installers told us to use as little water as we can. I really like that this has a dry use option where I can damp mop very lightly and then use this to dry that up. This is the best thing ever for the ceramic tile and sheet vinyl, though not something to haul out for little jobs or spills. I see this as a great way to clean large areas of flooring all at once and leave them sparkling clean. It's nice that my husband emptied and refilled the tanks for me once and cleaned them when I was done, but he didn't think that was too bad a chore at all. We are both very pleased to have this floor cleaner.


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