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E. Burian-Mohr "cornerstoregoddess" RSS Feed (Los Angeles, CA USA)
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The Invoice: A Novel
The Invoice: A Novel
by Jonas Karlsson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yo Ho Yo Ho a Simple Life for Me, June 25, 2016
This review is from: The Invoice: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wanted to love this book. I wanted to be moved by the characters. I wanted to be amused by the haplessness of it all. I wanted to ponder the riches of a simple life. I wanted to make it all the way to a tender moment described by another reviewer.

But you know what? I couldn't.

I started it several times. I put it down.

I started again.

I moved forward.

When I was distracted I did not re-read any paragraphs. I just plowed forward.

But it just didn't engage me.

And finally I gave up. Perhaps the riches of a simple life are not for me.


When the Music's Over: An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels)
When the Music's Over: An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels)
by Peter Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.76

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Topics in Dark Times -- the Top Ten Things That Are Great About WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER, June 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Peter Robinson inevitably attacks a current problem (or two or three) head-on, and while the reader might feel a bit soiled in the aftermath, the reader will definitely be more enlightened. In WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER, Alan Banks has been promoted to Detective Inspector, giving him (and the reader) a chance to oversee multiple cases. Here, we follow two.

In the first, a respected poet -- Linda Palmer -- comes forward with an allegation of sexual abuse. When she was a starry-eyed teenager, on a vacation with family and friends, she was sexually assaulted by a celebrity. The celebrity is still alive and has probably been continuing in his self-entitled pattern in all the subsequent years. Cases like this tend to be extremely difficult to prosecute, but Linda Palmer remembers a witness who might be able to corroborate her account. The storyline deals with issues of sexual assault, the devastating effects on the victim (even those who do not live out their lives as victims), and the difficulties of prosecuting, especially after a long period of time has elapsed.

In the second story, a 15-year old girl is drugged, sexually assaulted, thrown out of a van, and then beaten to death. DI Annie Cabot and DC Geraldine Masterson are pursuing this, and find that it is quite possible the girl and her friends were being groomed.

While none of this makes for a good beach read mystery, timely issues are explored as the cases are investigated. It is a riveting, if supremely uncomfortable, book.

Keeping in mind that it is not a book for the faint of heart, here's what makes WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER a great mystery.

10. It's topical. The celebrity sexual assault storyline mirrors stories from the news, with celebrities such as Bill Cosby or, in the U.K., Sir Jimmy Savile.

9. Likewise, in parts of the UK where unemployment is high, there are grooming gangs who basically pimp young girls for cash and/or favors. Kids with no options are choice pickings, and escape is rarely an option. Something I didn't want to know, but probably should know.

8. Robinson addresses racism and anti-Muslim sentiment. He also addresses how gun-shy the police have become because of accusations of racism, and what a dark whirlpool it all has become.

7. Character, character, character. If you've read earlier Robinson works, you've watched them evolve, you've witnessed their pains and their successes. They are an interesting bunch.

6. A lovely look at summering in Blackpool back in the day.

5. A less-than-lovely look at Great Britains' cities where a majority are unemployed with no hope for the future.

4. Some nice lessons in poetry.

3. Though Robinson has written a number of these books (and it is, as it turns out, there is a television series with the characters), it is not necessary to read the previous books to understand this one or to connect with the characters.

2. A tour of Yorkshire.

1. Is love coming to DI Banks?

There are moments of light in the darkness, and a lot of darkness in the light.

All in all a worthy read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2016 3:06 PM PDT


With Love from the Inside
With Love from the Inside
by Angela Pisel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Books in One -- What is Great and What is Dreadful About LOVE FROM THE INSIDE, June 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
WITH LOVE FROM THE INSIDE is alternately a great book and a dreadful book, and it made me wonder if the character of Grace, who is on death row for the murder of her infant son 17 years ago and her daughter Sophie, 12 years old when her mother went to prison, who has spent the last ten years hiding from her mother and her mother's attorney, pretending her mother died of breast cancer when Sophie was still a child, were written by two different authors.

Grace has run out of appeals, and has no one to champion her cause except her extremely devoted attorney, a citizen of the town where Grace and family lived. The new governor, proving how tough he is on crime, wants to set an example by sending her to the chair.

Through Grace we get a look at what it's like for a woman in prison, with inmates ranging from the innocent to the guilty to the mentally ill. While it is unusual for a woman to be executed, there are examples in history (and in literature, like Elizabeth Silver's THE EXECUTION OF NOA P. SINGLETON), their situations and crimes often differ from those of male inmates. Life in prison is predictably ugly, volatile, and harsh. Small things, like visits, a human touch, faith are all that make it bearable.

It is a reminder that our justice system needs to be about truth rather than about winning.

Sophie, meanwhile, has married a successful handsome plastic surgeon and completely hiding her past. After her father's death, she stopped visiting or communicating with her mother and hasn't given much thought to whether her mother is innocent or deserving of anything from anyone. She serves on committees and hangs out with women who have apparently stepped out of THE STEPFORD WIVES, and their cattiness and shallowness remind me of no woman I ever met. They are caricatures of shallow women.

Long ago, when John Lennon and Yoko Ono came out with their DOUBLE FANTASY ALBUM, I enjoyed it by only listening to the Lennon tracks.

Would that I could have pulled off a similar feat with this book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2016 10:32 AM PDT


Women's Blue Caribbean Sleeveless Maxi Sun Dress - Hand Batik Print - Large
Women's Blue Caribbean Sleeveless Maxi Sun Dress - Hand Batik Print - Large
Offered by Universal Direct Brands
Price: $84.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars happily avoiding the more traditional mother-of-the-groom beaded horrors, June 21, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It has a lovely slimming fit, and the batik pattern is filled with gorgeous blues and hints of purple. I wore it for my son's wedding, happily avoiding the more traditional other-of-the-groom beaded horrors. It will serve me well as a summer sundress as well as a more dressy outfit.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2016 10:00 AM PDT


Fever at Dawn
Fever at Dawn
by Péter Gárdos
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $6.08
69 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rocky Path of Love: The Top Ten Things That Are Great About FEVER AT DAWN, June 21, 2016
This review is from: Fever at Dawn (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
FEVER AT DAWN tells the love story between the author's parents.

The year is 1945. Miklos, a Hungarian Jew, has been liberated from the Camps, dangerously ill, having watched many of his friends die at the hands of the Nazis. He is in a Swedish hospital, where his doctor gives him six months to live. Miklos, however, is undeterred. He obtains the names of 117 Hungarian women, also recovering in Sweden, and writes a letter to each in his beautiful handwriting.

Though he receives a number of responses, the one that captures his heart is from Lili, also recovering in another Swedish hospital. Slowly their correspondence evolves and their relationship evolves.

But Miklos' condition is terminal. Can love cure all?

FEVER AT DAWN is a hopeful tender book, told at a gentle pace, of a relationship that very slowly grows, struggles, blossoms. Péter Gárdos used the letters his parents wrote to each other to piece together the story of their romance.

There seem to be some holes in the fabric of the story, as there would be basing the narrative solely on the letters. The feeling I got, however, is that Gárdos didn't want to make up anything to weave in the missing bits. I think he stayed true to what he perceived in the letters, and let the readers fill in the gaps themselves.

It is a touching sweet work, and I am glad I read it.

Top ten things that are great about it?

10. The reader is reminded of concentration camp horrors in small doses. We must never forget and here we are reminded in quiet ways.

9. Learn the geography of Sweden and Lili and Miklos make their way toward each other. And learn how Sweden reached out to survivors of the camps.

8. An insightful tale of a rabbi explaining his faith post-Holocaust.

7. For all the horror, there is humor... which I believe we need (along with love) to get through the hardest times.

6. An epistolary tale! Every so often a great one comes along. This qualifies.

5. Intriguing bits of history.

4. Totally different from other Holocaust novels... in a good way.

3. A non-traditional survivor story.

2. It's a great story of how people barely survived horrible trauma, picked up the remains, and started piecing their lives back together when nothing from their past remained.

1. Love conquers all.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2016 8:10 AM PDT


MUkitchen Ridged Texture 100% Cotton Dishcloth, 12 by 12-Inches, White
MUkitchen Ridged Texture 100% Cotton Dishcloth, 12 by 12-Inches, White
Price: $4.99
6 used & new from $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 Uses for a MUkitchen Ridged Texture 100% Cotton Dishcloth. Okay. Thirteen., June 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
101 Uses for a MUkitchen Ridged Texture 100% Cotton Dishcloth. Okay. Thirteen.

~Drying glassware. The ridges are excellent for getting rid of those annoying spots.

~Washing dishes. The ridges make for a good scrubby surface.

~Covering food on the table so you don't have 6-legged visitors alighting on it before your two (or four) legged guests arrive

~Putting under your basket of brushes and sponges to keep from getting a stagnant puddle on the counter

~Tossing into the washing machine so it never gets stinky like sponges

~Wiping down your countertops

~Dry-wiping your stainless steel faucet so it's nice and shiny

~Setting under produce after you've washed it

~Whisking away random spatters and spills

~Washing the cat's face (Hey! Martha Stewart says she does this every night. You could, too!)

~Grabbing a lizard off the dining room floor for transporting outside

~Grabbing a jar lid to give it a good twist

~Wiping the knife blades so they can be put away instead of sitting in the dish rack looking for random fingers to slice


Don't You Cry
Don't You Cry
by Mary Kubica
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.19
90 used & new from $9.25

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Twisted Tale, Heavy on the Creepy. The Top Ten Things That Are Great About DON'T YOU CRY., June 4, 2016
This review is from: Don't You Cry (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Suppose you are Quinn. Kind of average. Self-described as "not-the-sharpest-knife in the drawer." You're living at home, hating it, and slogging to a minimum wage job you hate. Then you answer an ad and find yourself roommates in the heart of Chicago, with Esther, who is smart and stylish and beautiful and wise and even turns into a great friend.

Then one night you go out. You come back and she's gone.

Okay. Maybe she went out to do something.

Next morning she's not back. Okay. Maybe she spent the night somewhere.

At what point do you contact the police? At what point, wallowing in your insecurities, do you think maybe she's trying to get away from you. Slowly you begin to investigate...okay, snoop... and you start finding all sorts of extremely puzzling clues.

Meanwhile, in another freezing cold Michigan, we meet Alex. He's a good kid. Mother left when he was young. Pop's an alcoholic who is probably going to leave the stove on and burn the place down one day. Alex took a pass on college, despite opportunities, because he is stuck making sure Pop doesn't accidentally kill himself, so Alex works at a local diner where he's worked for many many years. It's a dead end job. He's never going to meet anyone. He's never going to escape this life.

But then a mysterious beautiful girl shows up at the diner. When Alex follows her, he finds her doing all sorts of strange things. He's intrigued. He's bewitched. He starts investigating (okay, maybe stalking) and starts uncovering all sorts of extremely puzzling clues.

How do these stories connect? What's going on?

Read... uncover puzzling clues... and see if you can figure it out.

I did not.

The book has some flaws (a bit of overwriting in the descriptions, an unlikely character who makes a living selling beaded jewelry by mail order... don't ask me how I know this is impossible), but it hangs together masterfully.

There is much to like about Mary Kubica's third book DON'T YOU CRY (with a backwards R for reasons unclear to me).

10. Character, character, character. Kubica develops character masterfully. Quinn is a bundle of insecurities, insights, determination, fear. And Alex is a perfect portrait of a kid who has so much going for him, a touch of Sir Galahad, but has been dealt a a horrible hand and must deal with it.

9. Twisted twisted backstory. If you love reading creepy family secrets, there is a treasure trove of them here.

8. Mysterious letters. Does a thriller get any better than that? Who wrote them? What do they mean?

7. Facebook as a forensic tool.

6. Some rather ingenious (and bizarre) methods of murdering someone... in case you were making a list.

5. Remember the scene in ARGO where they're piecing together all those strips of paper from the shredders? It's here, also with a dramatically ticking clock.

4. Sometimes, when it becomes necessary, someone who thinks of herself as timid and dull and mousie can step up to the plate and become NOT timid and dull and mousie. Those are always great moments.

3. A really crazy bad character.

2. Twists and turns and twists and turns.

1. Two words: Bad Seed

Try not to skip ahead because the pieces of the puzzles weave together in very interesting ways.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2016 6:11 PM PDT


Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of A Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator
Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of A Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator
by Homer Hickam
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.67
85 used & new from $6.51

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love about a road trip with an alligator and a rooster? The Top 10 Things Great About CARRYING ALBERT HOME., May 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's your classic tragic love story. Sensitive sensible hard-working Homer, who happens to be author Homer Hickam's father, loves the beautiful spirited Elsie (Homer's mother). But Elsie loves another. His name is Albert, and he's an alligator.

You see, in her (earlier) youth, after escaping from the West Virginia coal-mining town where Elsie and Albert grew up, and that Elsie loathed, she went to Florida and led a life of glamor and excitement, dancing the night away in the arms of Buddy Ebsen.

When Elsie returned she grudgingly married Homer, always yearning for Buddy Ebsen. As a wedding gift, Buddy sent Elsie a baby alligator, who took up residence in Elsie's bathtub, and eventually in a pond in the yard. Homer loves Elsie with all his heart. Elsie loves Albert the Alligator with all her heart.

When Albert takes a bite out of Homer's pants, Homer issues an ultimatum: him or the alligator. Elsie agrees to give up the alligator, but only in a suitable spot in Florida. So Homer takes a leave of absence from the coal mines, they load up the car and head due south to Florida.

That's when all the adventures begin, or, as the cover puts it: "The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator." The adventures are loosely based on loosely-told stories recounted to the author, by his parents.

What makes CARRYING ALBERT HOME A great book?

10. Homer Hickam Jr. has a gently down-home writing style that makes you settle in a comfortable chair with your feet tucked under you. Yo don't have to think very hard; you just have to enjoy.

9. If you like the book, Hickam has written a LOT more, including ROCKET BOYS, which was made into the film OCTOBER SKY. (If you decide to rent it, I suggest you do not make the same mistake I made, and rent RED OCTOBER. I assure you, they are not the same story.)

8. The book is full of wonderful historic cameos. Along the way, Elsie and Homer meet up with John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. They participate in a union organizing scuffle, meet up with depression migrants, and are robbed by most everyone from West Virginia to Florida.

7. There's a pet alligator. And a good luck rooster. Can life get better than that?!

6. Despite Elsie's consistently horrible treatment of Homer, the author describes her gently and without judging. It says a lot about him, I think. I'm not sure I would have as gentle a take had she been my own mother.

5. There are adventures for all. Among those adventures, Homer learns the lessons of baseball, works in the coast guard, the railroad, tries his hand at union negotiations, and enjoys a brief film career. Elsie becomes a nurse, inherits and loses millions of dollars, flies, and acts in a film.

4. Have trouble naming the states between West Virginia and Florida? When presented with a map of the US, with the states outlined, do you falter after Texas, Florida and California? Follow Homer and Elsie due south and learn which states lie between.

3. There are lessons of love to be learned here.

2. When on a long road trip with limited time and limited funds, the car will always break down. This book proves it with historic precedent.

1. What's not to love about a road trip with an alligator and a rooster?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2016 4:21 PM PDT


The Bed Moved: Stories
The Bed Moved: Stories
by Rebecca Schiff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.11
71 used & new from $9.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Twenty-Three Millennial Tales, May 26, 2016
This review is from: The Bed Moved: Stories (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THE BED MOVED -- a set of 23 short stories -- covers everything from:

~my son the porn star, living in his mother's comfortable mobile home with "the ladies"

~a tale of a vase that cost between $12 and $100

~sexual explorations at geology camp, where cleavage and hardness jokes run rampant

~someone who only sleeps with men who play SETTLERS OF CATAN

Are the stories clever? Yes. Are they amusing?

Well, not to me.

I suspect I am the wrong target audience for this book.

I suspect that millennials who love to read will enjoy it greatly.

If you are a boomer, go re-read FEAR OF FLYING and reminisce.


No/No Tan Straight Sided Sunflower Tube Feeder   TSS00347
No/No Tan Straight Sided Sunflower Tube Feeder TSS00347
Price: $18.13
27 used & new from $18.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chirp on the Street Says This is THE PLACE for Sunflower Seeds, May 20, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When the description said the No/No Tan Straight Sided Sunflower Tube Feeder would attract "more wild birds to feed," they apparently were not exaggerating. The tube holds a generous 1-1/2 pounds of sunflower seeds, far more than my Demented Garden Gnome Sunflower Feeder (AKA NO/NO MSB00344 Mushroom Mesh Wild Bird Feeder, which holds .7 pounds).

Since I was filling the Demented Garden Gnome feeder about once a day, I figured I'd be filling the Tube Feeder every three days or so.

Wrong! As soon as word chirped out, new birds were flocking to my feeder station, stuffing their birdie bellies. I am now filling it almost every day.

It also makes a very nice cat entertainment center for the cats that sit by that window, watching the avian antics all day long.


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