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When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II
When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II
by Molly Guptill Manning
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and enjoyable., October 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As I was growing up, I remember the stories told by family members of their experiences during World War II. In particular I remember one uncle talking about his developing a love of reading while in the US Navy in both the European and Pacific Theaters of Operation. In fact, he loaned me my first "grown up" book to read. I still remember the title "Tobruk Commando". He also told me of getting those "little" books during the war and that he wished he had kept some of them.

I had forgotten them until I saw this title and jumped at the chance to read it. I do not remember ever seeing one of the Armed Services Editions (ASEs). But, my uncle's stories and my love for books allows me to sense the effect they had on those who served during those years.

The book itself is well written and sticks to telling the story of the books with other material added only when necessary to set the stage for the period. The behind the scenes information is amazing as the reader learns of the dedication of a few to create a program so large - and with such an impact on the lives of so many.

Included in the back of the book is a list of the authors whose books were banned by Germany during those years. Of more interest, though, is a list of those books that were distributed in the millions to our service people from the fall of 1943 to the summer of 1947 (you'll be staggered by the number of titles, so I won't spoil it here).

I was sorry for the book to end, but was glad that it stayed focused on this one subject and covered it so well. I heartily recommend this to all lovers of books. It is an amazing story.

by Anthony Horowitz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.88

5.0 out of 5 stars The return of A.C. Doyle? Well, pretty darned close., October 26, 2014
This review is from: Moriarty (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What fun! While I have not (and will not, at least for a while) looked through the Sherlock Holmes to compare the styles between the old and new writers of the doings in London of a century ago, I was immediately transported to that time and place upon reading the first page of Moriarty.

The mystery is there. The clues are there. The red herrings are there. The characters are there. And Holmes was there. No, that is not a spoiler. Instead, it is a compliment to Horowitz.

We are taken from Switzerland to England with the main characters, both good guys and bad. We have violence aplenty. We have, well, just about everything needed for several hours of reading pleasure. A cuppa and comfortable chair are all we need to bring to the party.

If you are a fan of Holmes or of the British mysteries set in that time, then please grab this one. If you have not had the pleasure, then grab this, but take the time to read Doyle's accounts first. I wish I could read them again for the first time. And, I think there are more coming from this new entry in the Holmes family of stories.

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man
The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man
by W. Bruce Cameron
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.62
53 used & new from $9.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun., October 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am, or have been, a sucker for this type of book with the protagonist being the minor anti-hero type that are sort of bad, but basically good; sometimes inept yet somehow qualified to save the world (or at least their little corner of it); always getting the girl or being a good sport about it if he doesn't, assuming she survives. These are frequently filled with coincidences enough so the story can end within a reasonable number of pages. In the case of the Midnight Ride of the Repo Man, the coincidences are all in place.

Then there are the characters. Our main character, the flawed (if likeable) Ruddy McCann, is a repo man with a strong sense of family, apple pie, legally (usually) stealing vehicles, and is the type who uses a sledgehammer to hang a picture. With some strange mental intrusion going on, he isn't likely to change anytime soon as he tracks down the killer(s) of his cranial roommate. What is good it that Ruddy has ample room up there for his new closest friend.

As we follow the action, we get to meet several characters, a few of whom make Ruddy seem like a Rhodes Scholar by comparison. That is scarier than it sounds. These side characters add more than levity, since, of course, they must also provide some interference in Ruddy's quest for solutions to problems that he helped create. Of course, to keep with the pattern, there is a romantic element to the book that is just a little bit quirkier than that found most places.

This addition to this sub-genre is an enjoyable, if more than just a little bit hokey, story. All comes together, of course, and some hours have passed in escape from our world while we shared our minds with several characters. I liked it and just may pick up the promised sequel. All of that makes it four stars worth.

Brother DCPL2540DW Wireless Compact Laser Printer
Brother DCPL2540DW Wireless Compact Laser Printer
Price: $142.14
31 used & new from $98.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast, multi-function, easy to use., October 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bottom line first: This prints quickly, cleanly and two-sides at once; the copying and scanning are easily done and there is a multi-document feeder. This will be my default printer for black and white printing.

The physical set-up went smoothly using the Quick Setup Guide. (Note: those steps are not included in the provided manual.) But, this is not a plug-and-play type printer. There is an included CD, though it can be set up without it. It took about 25 minutes to get the initialization done on the computer using the included CD. I'm using a Windows 7 laptop and did the wireless setup option without USB cable. There was no hitch in the process. That time does not include any search/download of updates.

Then there was a problem. The restart to set everything on the computer locked up the computer and it had to do a check disk to get things back working again. So, it was nearly an hour in total to get this working. While (seemingly) nothing was lost, it did create a problem with Open Office restarting.

The printer is a snap to use and intuitive. The properties section when setting a page or pages to print takes you through the choices and from there it gets the pages printed quickly. The two-sided printing is the feature I really like. No more turning flipping and re-printing to get those backs of the pages filled with stuff.

Bottom line last: I like it and will use it on a daily basis.

LaGila Golf Wipes 18 Pre-Moistened Double-Sided Cleaning Wipes Pouch for Your Golf Balls and Clubs, Green/White
LaGila Golf Wipes 18 Pre-Moistened Double-Sided Cleaning Wipes Pouch for Your Golf Balls and Clubs, Green/White
Price: $6.95

4.0 out of 5 stars When playing a round you never know when you'll need a wipe., October 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Now you can have a whole bunch of them in one package. These cloths are similar to some of the kitchen disposable towels that have been around. There is one rough side and one smoother side. Each is 7" by 8" and there are 18 per pack. I guess they expect you to use one per hole?

These are impregnated with: water, isopropyl alcohol, butoxyethanol, ammonia, sodium laureth sulfate with an added sandalwood fragrance. Since I'm not a chemist, I will not try to explain what these do alone or in combination with one another. For the purpose of the product, though, those are the cleaning ingredients for the golf equipment.

They do work, and the fresher the whatever on your golf balls and clubs the better they work. With more work while using the rough side they did take off some dried stuff from a previous round.

While I will use the rest of the pack sent for me to review, I seriously doubt that these will replace my towel that hangs from my bag. But, if you are the type that likes to have specific products for specific chores, then these might be just right for you.

by Adam Roberts
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from $20.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And now, for something really completely different., October 12, 2014
This review is from: Bete (Hardcover)
The book description lets us know that there is at least one talking animal in the world. We also know that it knows that our hero, a farmer named Graham (but only to be called "Graham" by a few, the cow not being one of them), is going to shoot it. Thus, we have a problem, or rather our main guy (I'm not one of the few, either) has a problem.

Well, actually, you see, the whole world has a problem, at least the human part of it (regardless of their names and who all they want to use them) has the problem. I guess, when you get right down to it, at least one cow has a problem at the start of the story, too. Its, her, his problem is of a more immediate nature, as well, but only by a matter of a few minutes or so.

In this world created by our author (wonder if he would mind if I called him "Adam"?), we recognize parts of our world as more and more of us people type want to somehow elevate those life forms we normally consider to be enough beneath us to be eaten to some level of legal existence with attendant rights approaching ours.

He who is not to be called "Graham" by most every being of some various number of legs (for our purpose, I'm defining zero as a number) is immediately faced with legal action because of his relationship with his talking cow and how that relationship blooms or wilts. Soon, and perhaps previously, but definitely not long after the opening salvo, such as it may have been, many, many changes come about in the everyday world of at least one of the British isles, and by implication everyone's isles (for our purpose, I'm defining continents as very large isles).

We then travel with the man whose wife was allowed to call him "Graham" as he tries to find his way through a future we find way, way, way to easily imagined. It is scary how possible some version of this tale is. It is also too easy to give away too much that needs to be experienced from the book and not my review.

If you, like me, are a fan of Roberts, then don't wait to read this. If you haven't experienced this man's ability to create speculative fiction that is intelligently written, then this would be a fine place to start. Bete will stay with me for a while. Maybe it will remain just a story in a book.

(His parodies are fun, too.)

Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60 with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset for PC and Mobile Devices (TBS-6020-01)
Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60 with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset for PC and Mobile Devices (TBS-6020-01)
Price: $118.30
12 used & new from $106.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice sound., October 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are easily set up for use and deliver a very good sound. I use these for music that my wife doesn't want to listen to, which is basically anything I want to hear. When I have failed to hide these well enough, she uses these to listen to her music. When we both want to use these at the same time, we compromise and she uses them as long as she wants.

The ear cups are quite comfortable, but get warm quickly which is the only negative I've found. The adjustments for fit are easily used and stay in place. I am used to a much lighter set but I'm getting used to the difference.

I am not a gamer and have used these for music and some video. The connection via USB adds to the sound when compared with using the earphone plug. The choice of mode and separate volume control adds to the enjoyment. All of that adds up to a nice set of headphones.

Tested with: PC laptop; Kindle Fires (2 generations); ASUS tablet.

NOCO Genius Boost GB30 12V UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter
NOCO Genius Boost GB30 12V UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter
Price: $129.95
7 used & new from $129.95

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than you thought you wanted., October 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Does it start cars that don't want to start by themselves? Why, yes it does. And, it is less cumbersome than with regular jumper cables. Only one car needed and no half hour wasted getting the live car close enough and in the right position so the cables will reach. Hook them and turn on the charger. Start neighbor's dead car. Turn off charger and unhook clamps. Doesn't take long, even the first time. There. Review done - for the jumper function of this device.

But wait! There's more! Rather than throwing this into the trunk for the next time you need help or to help someone else, check this out.

It has a flashlight - a multi-function flashlight. It dims, it strobes, it flashes and it even turns on and off.

It has a charger for your goodies that need a USB charger.

It can get its charge in one of three ways: from a charging socket in your vehicle (aka cigarette lighter) with the included plug in, or from a USB wall charger (not included, though the cable is) or via a USP port in your computer. The charging time will depend on the source used, perhaps (per the enclosed info) taking as much as 12 hours. There are lights that indicate charge levels in 25% increments.

And, the whole thing is very compact. It takes up about a quarter of the space of my jumper cables. Plus it supposedly holds its charge for up to a year. We'll have to wait to see about that. It came about half charged and I left it to finish charging overnight so I don't know the actual time.

I have wanted some form of this device, but never enough to study them to actually pick one. This NOCO will do just fine. Finally, there is a feature I hope I never get to test - it will supposedly "safely jump start a dead battery ... up to 20 times on a single charge". (That would be one poor battery.)

OXO Good Grips Healthy Portions Analog Scale, 16-Ounce
OXO Good Grips Healthy Portions Analog Scale, 16-Ounce
Price: $13.82
5 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Weighs small quantities accurately., October 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have an older five pound scale that still works great, but it's not for measuring light amounts. This works easily and is easily adjusted to account for whatever container is used - or no container at all. We tested it with some old apothecary weights and the combinations we tried all were on the money.

The turning bezel easily zeroes out and there are two measuring systems: ounces and grams. The weights are easily read. There are non-skid plugs on the bottom and the included plastic bowl doubles as a lid to keep the scale clean.

It's just that simple to describe and to use. Now we have to find a spot on a shelf that is convenient enough that we will actually use this. Maybe one of the four sets of measuring cups can be moved. Hmmm. Or ....

RCA LED55C55R120Q 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV (Black)
RCA LED55C55R120Q 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV (Black)
Offered by Connect Buy
Price: $560.72
6 used & new from $441.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Just what we were looking for., October 1, 2014
This is our first HDTV and first that has anything larger than a 30" screen. What a difference. We had moved to a home with a room that allowed for something this large and spent a year trying to find what we wanted that we could afford on our limited retirement budget.

Our son found this on sale at a store where we could actually look at it before buying. We were not interested in a "smart" TV, so this fit the bill perfectly, for fewer bills than anything else in this size. We bought it on the spot.

Set-up was easy to get it working. The only down side we've had after several months is the sound (Surprise!). So, after some more looking, we went back to the same store and found an open box deal on this sound bar:
Samsung HW-H450 2.1 Channel 290 Watt Soundbar

The combination is just great for our use. It does what we want for what we watch and listen to.

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