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Customer Reviews: 466
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Bradley Bevers RSS Feed (Brenham, TX)
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The Secret History of Science Fiction
The Secret History of Science Fiction
by James Patrick Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.67
40 used & new from $5.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Sci Fi Authors, Very Good, November 13, 2014
I received this book as a gift, did not know anything about it before picking it up. I am an avid reader, but science fiction is one of the areas I have read the least in. This collection convinced me to change that . . .

Some things I really like about this collection:

Before each story, there are two quotes talking about science fiction and genre. These were really great insights into the writers. In many collections, these quotes are worthless throwaways. Not so here, much of it was thought provoking and new to me.

Out of the 19 stories, I've read works by only one of the authors before - so a true newcomer. This is a great introduction to works of authors. Here are my two favorites, by far:

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, Le Guin: By far, my favorite. Worth the price of the book, the shortest story of the bunch. Can't wait to put this in front of more people, just a great take on life, storytelling, and layers of truth. Stands out as one of my favorite short stories ever now and one that I will return to.

The Ziggurat, Wolfe: This is an odd story involving a custody dispute and . . . some science fiction. I'm not sure if I can point to exactly what it is, but its awesome. Some of the best writing and storytelling I have come across. Many Gene Wolfe books are now on their way to my house . . .

One more of honorable mention: Angouleme, Disch: Bizarre, interesting, mysterious. I didn't love this story, the first in the collection, but I think might eventually. It's stuck with me and there is definitely more beneath the surface.

All in all, a great collection, a great intro to some modern science fiction authors. Highly Recommended.


The Best American Essays 2014
The Best American Essays 2014
by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.10
66 used & new from $7.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark & Honest, November 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Very good collection of essays, extremely personal. This collection is deceptively short - some essays are only a couple of pages - but the essays themselves are weighty. If you don't like thinking about the darker side of humanity, don't get this collection. It is often a harsh, unflinching look at the worst in humanity and death and sadness and abuse.

Gifted writers sharing some of their most personal stories . . . only reason I don't think its a five star is that there were a couple of essays that didn't seem to fit as well and it's also a hard one to recommend to others because of the subject matter.

Recommended if you aren't offended easily and love short essays.


Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising
by Ryan Holiday
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.03
48 used & new from $6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book For Entrepreneurs, Highly Recommendable, November 12, 2014
This short primer on marketing is a must read for any entrepreneur. The author has distilled a ton of marketing wisdom into an easy to read book that will pay for itself many, many times over. Good books are always inexpensive when the content is valuable, and this content is very good.

Two things that stand out to me for this book as a great recommendation for others. First, it's an easy read. As an avid reader, I read books all the time and have no problem reading 500 page business books. Most people aren't like this, and of the hundreds of book recommendations I have made almost none of them have really been picked up and read. A big part of what makes this book valuable is that its readable in a couple of hours, and even non-readers will be hooked and actually read the whole thing.

Second, it really applies to anything. The model of marketing here encompasses start-ups, product launches, books, and basically any business, non-profit, or product you want to launch. One of my other favorite business recommendations for others that is extremely actionable is The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, but you have to read between the lines to apply much of the content to businesses other than information products.

Highly Recommended and Highly Recommendable.


Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-012-16GW Detachable 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop (64GB)
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-012-16GW Detachable 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop (64GB)
Price: Click here to see our price
4 used & new from $344.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive, Great System, One problem so far . . ., November 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great little touchscreen laptop, very impressed for the price. With the included Office subscription, its really, ridiculously cheap.

I've got big hands, and one of my pet peeves is a keyboard that is too small. This one is small, but its actually not that bad. They maximized the space and you should not have a problem returning emails on it and browsing sites.

First time I've used the new Windows Operating System since switching to a Mac years ago. Works surprisingly well, very intuitive, love the the options here.

One thing I don't like that has started happening recently: The mousepad gets 'off track'. No idea why this happens or how to fix it, but you have to line up the arrow a few millimeters away from where you actually want to click. Annoying, but I'm sure there is a fix for this or its a fluke and I haven't figured it out yet.

This has become by go-to laptop for working on the go. It's very easy to carry, like the keyboard better than my iPad keyboard, and its cheap . . . if I lose it, you can get another one quickly.


Spinbrush Spinbush Proclean Sonic Battery Powered Toothbrush
Spinbrush Spinbush Proclean Sonic Battery Powered Toothbrush
Offered by Product Resort
Price: $14.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy, works well, November 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I use a Phillips Sonicare normally, and this compares well.

Advantages:

* Cheap and replaceable
* Like the bristles, brush head a little better than the Phillips

Disadvantages:

* Louder - sounds like you are using a power tool to clean your teeth
* Not rechargeable

Good buy for the money, cheap enough to be a travel brush, works very well.


The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System
The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System
by David Skarbek
Edition: Paperback
Price: $25.16
35 used & new from $22.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best I've read this year . . ., November 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Came across this book through a random post online, decided to give it a try - glad I did. It reads a little dryly at points, but it is a fascinating look at the current prison system and how it is on the inside. From an economist's perspective, there is a lot of information to sift through. I like how the author included an anecdote with each facet of the system he examined as well.

Some of the things you will learn:

* How governance systems are created - this was an unexpected look at political and social science, very interesting to see what groups of people will do when they are not provided governance, as many prisoners are not
* How gangs were created in the system
* Why gangs on the outside pay tribute to those inside
* 13,000+ cell phones confiscated in California Prison system in one year . . . estimated 10% of what there is
* How gangs can serve to lower violence in prison
* How broken the system is right now - too many prisoners, not enough protection. There is almost no choice but to join a gang for your own protection
* How gangs are created to provide the goods others want

This is well worth the read, one of the most interesting and thought-provoking books I have read this year. The author did an excellent job of giving an inside look at prisons, governance systems, and possible solutions moving forward.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun but limited replay, October 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a fun product, but limited replay value. My kids had a lot of fun with it (watching, too young to really use it), but they haven't gone back to it since the one time. It's fun at the right price, but don't expect it to hold their attention for more than one or two sessions. Good gift idea . . . pretty unique.


Recovering Redemption: A Gospel Saturated Perspective on How to Change
Recovering Redemption: A Gospel Saturated Perspective on How to Change
by Michael Snetzer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.75
55 used & new from $9.57

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Gospel-Centered, September 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great, quick read on how to change from a Biblical perspective. The authors succeed in writing a gospel-saturated God-help book with none of the modern psychology usually worked into Christian books like this. Again and again, the authors point out that if you are relying on anything except Jesus (yourself, others, the world, or religion) then you will fail.

Great advice and, more importantly, a moving book. The personal anecdotes are short and to the point, the love of Christ is clear, and the book is very well written. I will definitely recommend this to anyone who is 'trapped in sin' or looking for a way to really change.


Mead Academie Graphite Sketching Pencils, 12 per Tin (98020)
Mead Academie Graphite Sketching Pencils, 12 per Tin (98020)
Price: $15.64
2 used & new from $9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Too Expensive, September 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The pencils are great - very high quality, they do exactly what they are supposed to. The tin is a nice carrying case as well. The problem is that they are priced at over $1 a pencil . . too much. Look around and you can find better options for less money. Works great, but too high of price.


Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier
Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier
Price: $221.92
26 used & new from $199.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Printer, High Price, September 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This printer does a great job, exactly what it is supposed to do. But I'm not sure its worth the money.

The quality of the photos is comparable to what you would pick up in a store or get shipped online. The big advantages of using this printer over those options, as far as I can tell, are:

1. Much faster - do it when you want to and you don't have to wait on the mail or drive somewhere
2. Privacy - It's always a little weird trusting other people with photos of your family, with this you don't have to

Unless speed and/or privacy are big concerns for you, this is probably not a great option. The upfront price tag combined with the cost of paper and ink means it will take hundreds of photos printed before you start to see a cost benefit here. That combined with maintenance . . . I'll use this every once in awhile, but there are better options for my own photos 90% of the time.


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