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Helpful Votes: 31

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Denon AH-W150BU Exercise Freak In-Ear Headphones, Blue
Denon AH-W150BU Exercise Freak In-Ear Headphones, Blue
7 used & new from $71.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Love the wireless technology; very good sound quality, May 14, 2013
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I wish all wires would disappear from the world forever, but until that happens, at least I'll be happy with these headphones! They're good not only for exercising, but also for general wear because you can walk around the house (or at work or outside) wearing these headphones and you might even forget you have them on! The sound quality is better than any other earbud-type headphone I've used.

I wish I could connect them to my iPod, but it doesn't have Bluetooth technology, so I connected them to a smart phone. Also, I have a bit of trouble getting the earpieces to fit comfortably and to stay on when I'm wearing eyeglasses.

All in all, an innovative, solid-performing product. Yay for wireless! Thank you, Denon.

Hail to the Chiefs
Hail to the Chiefs
by Stephen James Poppoon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.16
24 used & new from $0.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Takes me back to college days!, November 18, 2012
This review is from: Hail to the Chiefs (Paperback)
The "Chiefs" of the book title are five young men from a championship high school soccer team who enroll at the same college so they can continue playing their beloved sport as teammates. The book is written as a diary of the boys' first semester at college, primarily from the point of view of Andrew "Pappy" Paxton, the high school team's brainy, level-headed captain with awesome kicking skills. Painfully shy, Andrew is tongue-tied around girls, and remains forever in the shadow of his handsome, athletic, outgoing but hot-headed best friend, Brian Barrett. The two boys room together in a college dorm, where Andrew's role consists mostly of watching the parade of Brian's female admirers come and go.

From there, the author gives a detailed, day-by-day account of the Chiefs' first months as college students and teammates on the struggling soccer team. All their games are thoroughly and engagingly described--and, while I'm no soccer expert, I got caught up in the games' drama, and I imagine knowledgeable soccer fans would appreciate those passages even more than I did.

Along the way, Andrew gets involved in two other sports, football and karate--I won't tell how--and his growing proficiency in those pursuits is also vividly detailed, which helps make this book an exciting, page-turning experience for all readers who love a good yarn, but especially readers who love sports. If you're not a jock, though, never fear: plenty of other stuff happens to the boys and their friends: dates, romances, frat parties, science-lab hijinks, fist fights, drunken exploits, a panty raid(!)--and, adding to the drama, serious (sometimes life-threatening) illnesses and injuries. The book is so action-packed that, by the end, the reader can hardly believe that only a few months have passed!

Anyone who's been to college, as an athlete or not, will be taken back to those days of being away from home for the first time--all the fun, freedom, and exhilaration, but also the homesickness, insecurity, and occasional loneliness of figuring out who you are as you transition to adulthood.

Grand Mal
Grand Mal
by Dennis Mahagin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.47
26 used & new from $8.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hip, eclectic poetry for lovers of smart literature, November 17, 2012
This review is from: Grand Mal (Paperback)
This briskly paced but well-thought-out book of poetry offers a twisty ride to clever, challenge-seeking readers willing to get aboard. No slight chapbook, "Grand Mal" is a full-length, 120-page softcover book that includes 50 hip, eclectic poems, many of them good-sized, and all of them packed with allusions and references to music, movies, TV, art, celebrities, writers, pop culture, newsmakers, history, places (notably Portland and Seattle)--and (seriously) a lot more.

It would be helpful to come to this book as a reader who has some knowledge about a lot of stuff--being a bit of a dilettante might, in this case, work for you--even still, there may be things you'll want to Google. (I, for example, had to look up the familiar-sounding name "Marcellus Wallace," and I found out--oh, yeah!--he's the gangster played by Ving Rhames in the movie Pulp Fiction.) Mahagin's pretty quick, he keeps you on your toes, and some of his zingers might get past you, but, after having read the whole book twice, and some parts of it more than that, I decided not "getting" all of it was OK. There's a line in the poem "Layers & Layers of Meaning": "Sometimes you don't have to know what someone is saying to understand everything."

Dennis Mahagin's characters have been around the block a time or two via urban streets, moving vans, metro buses, falling jets, with stops in bodies of water, bars, porn theaters, carnivals, no-tell motels, laundromats, fish markets, hospital rooms, cyberspace--and most of these folks have been kicked around some, but they are nevertheless still very much alive to tell about it. On second thought, some of them are dead; OK, a lot of them are: Kafka, Raymond Carver, Andy Kaufman, Kreskin (is he dead?), Mr. and Mrs. Hughes (Sylvia and Ted), etc., but Mahagin resurrects them and gives them words.

The poems are organized in four sections, according to the phases of grand mal (or tonic-clonic) seizures: (1) warning signs known as auras; (2) brief stiffening of the body followed by loss of consciousness; (3) muscle contractions and convulsions with loss of bladder and bowel control; and (4) a returning to consciousness after stupor and confusion. Arguments can be made for why a given poem belongs (or doesn't belong) in the section it's in, and I formulated a number of hypotheses during and after my readings of the book, but I have no definitive answers and I'd be willing to discuss.

If I'd studied poetry (as Dennis has), I'd be better able to tell you who, as a poet, he's like, but instead I'll turn to the writers/musicians/artists that Dennis himself mentions in his poetry, with fondness: Gregory Corso, Jim Carroll, Robert Creeley, Barry Hannah, Dr. Dre, Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain, "Ed" Munch, the Sex Pistols, Vincent van Gogh, Jack Kerouac. So, yeah. That's what he's like. All of them (plus some others I didn't mention). Put in a pot and stir.

The Anvil of Navarre
The Anvil of Navarre
Price: $4.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bet you can't put it down, August 26, 2012
You'll get pulled into the vivid, dangerous, and fascinating world of "The Anvil of Navarre" from the first pages, and you'll race through it breathlessly to the end. Then you'll want more! We demand a sequel! I especially loved the unforgettable character of Sweet Billy Pay--a young girl who dresses like a boy and refuses to be victimized (and marginalized) by her society's attitudes toward and treatment of girls and women. She reminds me of the Lizbeth Salander character from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and the other two books in that trilogy. Brilliant, wily, fierce, and frighteningly competent, Billy Pay steals all the scenes she's in; you can't take your eyes off her. This is a very feminist book. Underlying all the intrique and swashbuckling action are serious questions about gender identification and stereotypes. Mostly, though, it's an expertly crafted page turner. The price of $4.99 is a huge bargain for the smart, fast-paced, panoramic journey that awaits you in "The Anvil of Navarre."

Anxious to Please: 7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice
Anxious to Please: 7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice
by Craig English
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.37
80 used & new from $0.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you a nice person? Quick--get this book, May 13, 2006
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Being "nice" in every situation--especially in love relationships--often will not get you the positive strokes you crave. The authors of this book, both Recovering Nice Guys, tell how some of us fall into the pattern of being Chronically Nice--and how these behaviors work against our happiness and success. This book presents an intelligent, engaging, inspirational and genuinely useful plan for recognizing and overcoming these destructive behaviors. In these pages, you'll likely recognize yourself or someone you love. In fact, a male friend saw the book on my shelf and he went over to it immediately and he took it off the shelf and flipped through it and he said, "Can I read this?" He took it with him when he left. Now I'll have to get myself another copy!

Writers on Writing
Writers on Writing
by Jon Winokur
Edition: Hardcover
73 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book stopped me from stopping writing, May 24, 2005
This review is from: Writers on Writing (Hardcover)
I could cry that this book is out of print. I pored over its pages when I was first writing fiction. I highlighted stuff. It kept me going. I still refer to it. We can hear the voices of writers in it, dead and alive.

Like this:

"A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual." --Vladimir Nabokov

"We have art in order not to die of the truth."--Friedrich Nietzsche

"Poets have to dream, and dreaming in America is no cinch."--Saul Bellow

"There is no way of being a creative writer in America without being a loser."--Nelson Algren

"Writers don't have lifestyles. They sit in little rooms and write."--Norman Mailer

"I never wanted to grow up to be a writer; I just wanted to grow up to be an adult."--Toni Morrrison

Lost on Purpose: Women in the City
Lost on Purpose: Women in the City
by Elizabeth Graver
Edition: Paperback
44 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you'll love these metropolitan lives, March 8, 2005
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Keep this one by your bedside, ladies, and dip into it when you're dateless or hubby's snoring. I especially liked Emily Carter's "Glory B and the Gentle Art," about an old boyfriend's "amazing" new girlfriend; Elizabeth Graver's adolescent best girlfriends who have a crush--on each other ("What Kind of Boy"); and Gail Louise Siegel's "Double Cutaway"--a woman, a man, and a guitar. A lovely, funny, riveting collection.

Broken for You
Broken for You
by Stephanie Kallos
Edition: Hardcover
163 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all survivors of heartbreak, September 17, 2004
This review is from: Broken for You (Hardcover)
Everyone in "Broken for You" is trying--in their own way: comically, clumsily, pathologically, inspiringly--to bear life's tragedies, large and small. Ms. Kallos's Seattle-based characters take us through tchotchke-filled mansions, bowling alleys, jazz-music shops, repertory theaters in their various quests for love and safety and respite from sadness. A very beautiful book--moving, big-hearted, forgiving, funny.

The Gold Coast
The Gold Coast
by Nelson DeMille
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
414 used & new from $0.01

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Love those loooong Italian lunches!, April 26, 2000
This book is overly long, thinly plotted, and all of the character are hard to like (which may have been the author's intention), but the description of the three-and-a-half-hour lunch that the mafia don and the Waspy protagonist share at a little Italian restaurant is priceless. Capisce?

The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.71
738 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sixteen forever, December 11, 1999
Oooh, if Holden Caulfield could hear all these people calling this book a "masterpiece" or a "classic," he'd puke. The book is still very fresh after all these years, and awfully funny. After rereading it recently, I realized how many of our good writers of the past twenty years, people like Raymond Carver, Don Delillo, Lorrie Moore, Thom Jones, and Gish Jen, owe a debt to J.D. Salinger. I also realized how sweet he is, Holden Caulfield, and how lonely. He breaks my heart. What do you imagine becomes of him? He won't be happy, will he?

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