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Customer Reviews: 915
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Jill Clardy "So many books, so little time...." RSS Feed (Redwood City, CA USA)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Memory Foam Pillow Contour for Back & Side Sleepers By Smarter Rest - Best for Travel, Bed, Pregnancy - Cotton Velvet Cover - Cooling Body & Neck Support - Works As Seat Cushion or Wedge - Free Bonus Sleep Mask, Ear Plugs, Ebook - 5 Years Guarantee
Memory Foam Pillow Contour for Back & Side Sleepers By Smarter Rest - Best for Travel, Bed, Pregnancy - Cotton Velvet Cover - Cooling Body & Neck Support - Works As Seat Cushion or Wedge - Free Bonus Sleep Mask, Ear Plugs, Ebook - 5 Years Guarantee
Offered by SmarterRest
Price: $49.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, But Not Quite Large Enough For Me, May 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The memory foam pillow is nicely packaged with a purple ribbon and inserted inside a plastic bag in a rigid outer carton. Earplugs and sleep mask are included, and I tossed those into my travel kit.

The first thing I noticed after opening the pillow was the rather strong, unpleasant odor. I left it out for several days before sleeping on it, and the odor dissipated.

The second thing I noticed is the very small size. It's about 75% of the size of the traditional curved memory foam pillow that I've been using for several years. It is barely wide enough to accommodate the distance from the top of my shoulder to the top of my head. A person with a larger head or longer neck isn't going to get enough support from this pillow. Additionally, it's rather flat, and the slightly curved edge doesn't fill the space between my neck and shoulder when I'm lying on my side. The foam is comfortable enough, and of course doesn't bunch up like a traditional down pillow. I wasn't able to test the "cooling" claims since our nights have been quite cool since I received it. The pillow has a nice smooth white cover with a hidden zipper, so that the cover can be removed for laundering.

Overall, it's a comfortable pillow, but seems to have been designed for a small person. I'm wondering if the pillows come in different sizes...


Fosmon DURA-FROST Smooth Durable & Flexible Slim Fit TPU Case Cover for HTC One Remix (HTC One Mini 2) (Hot Pink)
Fosmon DURA-FROST Smooth Durable & Flexible Slim Fit TPU Case Cover for HTC One Remix (HTC One Mini 2) (Hot Pink)
Offered by SF Planet
Price: $5.99
4 used & new from $1.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Bright, Cheerful and Functional Hot Pink Case, May 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The bright pink case snaps easily onto the phone and provides good access to the on/off button, volume slider and charging port as well as the camera lens. It also makes the phone a bit bulkier and less slippery in the hand, so I hope it's less likely that I will drop it. The color also makes it easier for me to find where I left the phone in my house... My daughter thinks the color is more appropriate for a 16-year-old rather than the "mature woman" that I am, but I told her than I'm still young at heart.


KIND Nuts & Spices Bars, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, 1.4 Ounce, 4 Count
KIND Nuts & Spices Bars, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, 1.4 Ounce, 4 Count
Price: $4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Bland but Chewy and full of texture and fiber, May 19, 2015
I bought a pack of these KIND bars before a long 11 hour transatlantic flight. Airline meals are sometimes rather meager and not always served at a normal mealtime, so having a nutritional supplement on hand is a good idea. This particular flavor is a bit bland, but the nutty chewy texture forces me to take small bites and eat slowly, which makes me feel fuller (lots of fiber). Since the bar has ~25% of the daily value of fat, I won't plan on having one every day, but for occasional snacks, it is satisfying.


Whiplash
Whiplash
DVD
Price: $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Profane, Disturbing - and Thought Provoking, May 18, 2015
This review is from: Whiplash (Amazon Instant Video)
Days after watching the film during a long 11 hour trans-Atlantic flight, I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it. The intensity of the 2 main characters, Terence Fletcher (played by J. K. Simmons) and Andrew Neiman (played by Miles Teller) is almost too much to bear at times. Neiman is a first year drum student at a prestigious music school and Fletcher is the demanding, profane instructor of the coveted studio jazz band, to which the most ambitious musicians aspire. Fletcher rules the practice room by terrorizing, cursing, belittling, embarrassing and sometimes even physically assaulting the students - all in an attempt to spur them on to higher levels of performance. The students fear him, and yet they still aspire to be selected for his award-winning band. He eggs them on with stories of musicians who have been selected from his band for plum jobs in professional ensembles.

After pushing himself through extraordinary marathons of non-stop drum practicing, Neiman eventually burns out and is asked to leave the school. Some of the scenes in which he drips blood from his wounded hands onto the drums, but then just bandages them up and keeps on, are hard to watch. It's just too much... It's hard to believe that an instructor could get away with the brutality that Fletcher displayed towards his students. Eventually, after complaints are lodged against him, he also is asked to leave the school.

The final intense scene in which Neiman drums his heart out in an impromptu solo to get even with Fletcher (or to please him - I don't know exactly what motivated him), is breathtaking to watch - he plays on through intense pain and emotion and physical exhaustion. And then it's over. The audience is left wondering where these two will go from here... I'll keep thinking about, and maybe figure it out eventually.

The


Love Is All You Need
Love Is All You Need
DVD
Price: $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Love Story Set in a Beautiful Sorrento Villa, May 18, 2015
Though the plot is improbable, and the film is populated with some annoying characters, I loved the acting of the main characters, Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan. Both are beautiful to look at as well as vulnerable, and have nice chemistry on screen. They play the parents of a young couple who are going to be wed soon in a disused lemon orchard and villa in Sorrento owned by dad (Brosnan). The beautiful Bay of Naples and scenes from Sorrento play a starring role in the film.

Trine Dyrholm, a Danish actress, plays Ida, the mother of the bride-to-be and is still recovering from breast cancer. The actress actually shaved her head and wore a wig to lend authenticity to the part. She has really luminous blue eyes that light up the screen in all her close-ups. She finds her husband "in flagrante delicto" with a younger woman while Ida was presumably having a cancer treatment. His excuse was that this had been a hard time for him too.

Pierce Brosnan plays the workaholic widowed father of the husband-to-be, content with his solitary life and believing that life and love have passed him by. Of course, you can guess the outcome just from looking at the DVD cover, so I won't reveal any plot spoilers.

Most of the film was in English, and the Danish dialogue had English subtitles. Though there are a few comedic scenes in the movie, I wouldn't categorize it as a rom-com. It's mostly about people who have been disappointed in their relationships, and how they continue to look for love.


Natures Baby Organics Shampoo and Body Wash, Coconut Pineapple, 16 Fluid Ounce
Natures Baby Organics Shampoo and Body Wash, Coconut Pineapple, 16 Fluid Ounce
Price: $17.95
10 used & new from $12.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Scent, Effective Cleansing, But Rather Watery, May 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In keeping with the natural / organic theme, the shampoo/body wash is packaged in a plain, clear plastic bottle with a simple cap. My first reaction when dispensing it into my hand was that it is quite runny, not at all thick like you would expect for a shampoo, and I ended up using quite a bit more than I normally would with a thick shampoo. My second reaction was how pleasant the fruity scent is ! Both coconut and pineapple were easily discernible. The palm full of liquid that I dispensed did not work up into a luxurious lather on my hair, but when I rinsed it out, my hair was definitely squeaky clean. I also rubbed a bit of the suds near my eye to determine whether it stings and felt no discomfort at all. When using it as a body wash I had to keep squirting more into my palm, because it really didn't create any lather than you could spread on your skin, though it appeared to do the job in getting me clean without drying my skin.

The product is definitely suitable for babies and children, but the amount that you need to use, combined with the relatively high price per ounce place this product in the luxury category.


Kid-O Rounded Stackers Toy
Kid-O Rounded Stackers Toy
Price: $24.99
3 used & new from $24.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for a Short While..., May 15, 2015
This review is from: Kid-O Rounded Stackers Toy (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Kid-O Rounded Stackers Toy is an interesting variation of the old-fashioned donuts on a stick that my kids had when they were little. Rather than aligning the pieces on a center pole, the child has to stack them on top of each other, using the textured bottoms (which look like lemon slices in cross section), to attach the pieces. The middle 4 pieces (2 white, 1 red, 1 blue) can be arranged in any order or orientation; however the turquoise one has to be on the bottom and the yellow one on the top. It seems appealing enough to a toddler, but since you can't do anything else with the pieces, doesn't hold interest for long.

My reservations about are the toy are 1) there is no way to store the loose pieces other than stacking them. I would have preferred a net bag or some way of keeping the pieces together. These will just end up floating around in the bottom of the toy bin. 2) The current price doesn't reflect either the cost to produce or the inherent play value. In my opinion, it should be priced at <$10, rather than $25.


Cole Haan Women's Pinch Weekender Penny Loafer, Peacoat Canvas, 8.5 B US
Cole Haan Women's Pinch Weekender Penny Loafer, Peacoat Canvas, 8.5 B US
Price: $78.00
2 used & new from $78.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Casual Dressing and Days with Lots of Walking, May 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased the Cole Haan loafers at the last minute prior to leaving for a 3-week trip to Europe because I wanted a comfortable walking shoe that looked a bit more stylish than the white sneakers that are so typically "American". From the moment I slipped on the loafers I knew that they were going to be perfect. They fit comfortably with just a bit of stretch to avoid pinching my bunions, and the rubberized basket-weave soles provide good traction on uneven pavement and cobblestone streets. The navy fabric is the perfect color to wear with jeans or slacks and also hides the dirt. They are also fairly lightweight so that they don't add a lot of weight to my luggage. I'm so happy with the Cole Haan Penny Loafers that I intend to purchase them in other colors.


The Lemon Cookbook: 50 Sweet & Savory Recipes to Brighten Every Meal
The Lemon Cookbook: 50 Sweet & Savory Recipes to Brighten Every Meal
by Ellen Jackson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.62
55 used & new from $10.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Designed Cookbook Featuring Lemons, Lemons and More Lemons, April 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My lemon tree has been producing fruit for 5 months now, and I've been in constant search of ways to use this bounty, so the arrival of this book was quite timely. It's a slim volume, just 125 pages in a small 7"x8" format, printed on thick high quality paper and interspersed with 22 beautiful full color photographs. Color is also incorporated into sketches and sidebars on almost every page, making this a pleasant reading experience.

The carefully curated selection of 50 recipes will definitely help to consume my lemon crop in future years. I've tried several of the recipes so far and have bookmarked others for future use. The lemon crinkle cookies were so easy and are simply delectable - buttery and soft and lemony. I had to put them in the freezer to keep from over-indulging! The grilled flank steak with lemon chimichurri was also a great combination of salty and tangy. And as soon as our local farmer's market opens, I will be visiting to get corn on the cob, to make "grilled corn on the cob with smoked paprika-lemon butter".

The book is prefaced with basic information on selecting and using lemons, including how to zest, juice and preserve a lemon. Included are chapters on breakfasts, salads, sides, vegetarian, seafood, meat and poultry, sweets, drinks and staples. Others have noted that the book will not lay flat due to its small format; however I've solved that problem by resting a lemon on the pages ! The recipes are clear and easy to follow, and appear to have been thoroughly tested.

I look forward to diving further into this cookbook and trying many more of the recipes. Fortunately, even after the last lemon is plucked from my backyard lemon tree, I will still have juice and zest in the freezer, and weekly visits to the farmer's market to keep the fresh lemons flowing...


Love at the Speed of Email: A Memoir
Love at the Speed of Email: A Memoir
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Story of How Lisa Met Mike and grew to love him..., April 21, 2015
Lisa McKay has always had a nomadic lifestyle, even as a child, and though she has an apartment in Los Angeles at the time of writing this memoir, she continues to travel extensively to conduct seminars as a stress management trainer in remote, depressed areas. Her extensive travels make it difficult to sustain a relationship due to her long absences; however she hears the biological clock ticking loudly as she approaches 30, and wonders if she'll miss out altogether on the "beauties and struggles of parenthood". She also wonders whether she'll wake up in 15 years regretting the path she didn't take...

Then another humanitarian worker named Mike, currently located in Papua New Guinea on a 1-year contract, started up a correspondence with her, after another coworker had encouraged him to look at her website and read her essays. They maintained a regular e-mail correspondence for many, many months before agreeing to meet at her family's home in Australia. Though it wasn't "love at first sight", they continued to find that they had much in common. After he went back to PNG, their frequent communication also included Skype sessions several times a week. Their relationship evolved, even though much of their connection was electronic and not face to face. I'm not providing any plot spoilers by indicating that they fell in love since that's the title of the book... The text of many of their e-mails was included in the memoir (though nothing salacious of course), and both are very intelligent and insightful writers.

I found it an interesting story of how a remote relationship can thrive even under less than ideal conditions. Two people with well developed written communication skills can apparently get to know each other even better than they can in person because of the time they can each take to make a thoughtful, considered response. It's not "speed dating", but in their case it worked!


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