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Customer Reviews: 227
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,085
Helpful Votes: 2041




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Our Tempestuous Day A History Of Regency England Our Tempestuous Day
Our Tempestuous Day A History Of Regency England Our Tempestuous Day

5.0 out of 5 stars How history books should be, April 25, 2015
A very readable and entertaining history of the Regency period, 1810-1820. It brings to life both George III and the future George IV and the challenges of Napoleon, at the highest levels of government and politics; but also the evangelicals, the poor (and the cruelties for example to chimney-sweep boys), the Luddites smashing looms and the appalling inequalities. It managed to make this come alive without sounding too judgmental; the Regent is an easy person to despise, and the author manages to find something positive to say and keep an analytical tone about his less positive qualities.


Chronotherapy: Resetting Your Inner Clock to Boost Mood, Alertness, and Quality Sleep
Chronotherapy: Resetting Your Inner Clock to Boost Mood, Alertness, and Quality Sleep
by Ian McMahan
Edition: Hardcover
85 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but narrow and limited, April 12, 2015
The science in this book is interesting, and I indeed see how the physiological effect of light would be out of synch in today's world. I wish there was more of that, more on what wavelengths do what - this book can't quite decide if it's popular science or self-hale.

However, it seems oddly narrow. It seems the solutions are all technology - light boxes, automatic lights that turn on and off slowly to simulate the sun, melatonin pills. He asserts that changing our lifestyle to get more of what we need when we need it, is not even worth discussing, "too difficult", while all this high-tech lighting is apparently simple and easy and the only possible solution.

I am an owl and stay up too late and have some problems with insomnia, but I didn't really find anything useful for me in this book.


Raising Steam (Discworld)
Raising Steam (Discworld)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.08
78 used & new from $9.86

2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing in this of the Pratchett qualities, April 11, 2015
This book is nothing. While I love the discworld series and would give it a few stars just for the author's sake, and I don't fault him for the health issues that are presumably the reason for the decline in the quality of the books; but the book is what I'm reviewing, and this book is empty of all the wit and life, the characters that came vividly to life, the situations that mirrored reality so cleverly, all the qualities that made the earlier books some of the best ever. Anyone could have written this. I read it through, waiting for some signs of life, but none ever showed up.


Pinnacle Studio 18
Pinnacle Studio 18
Price: $52.99
33 used & new from $42.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full featured and stable, December 17, 2014
This review is from: Pinnacle Studio 18 (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have used a handful of video editing software over the years, to put our home and farm pictures and video clips into something that we can send to the family back east, a few times a year. This is easily and by far the best of the ones we've used.

Easy to install (of course we downloaded the latest patches, which is expected). This is on Windows 7, a pretty big box with plenty of RAM. It's been great - very stable under stress (at least the kinds of stress we put on it). No crashes! Performance is great, particularly save/load/export, there's no longer time to go get coffee while exporting.

It's very feature-rich (some other reviews seem to think it's bare-bones, but it's hard to see what could be missing for the ordinary person). It's been a little difficult to find the way through all the features to get tasks done, so there's definitely a learning curve. The interfaces to the individual feature are nice; it's easy to rotate video, record additional audio tracks, etc. The library of transitions and effects is huge, and the transitions are highly editable and configurable.

We got this to review; but we'd definitely have paid for it if we'd known how stable and powerful it is.


The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity
The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity
by Ashley N. Pugh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.93
71 used & new from $6.42

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing, and not intended for a popular audience, December 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The relationship of workers to employers and spouses to one another and to their children has changed in the last 50 years, in ways that most of us are generally familiar with. This is the "Tumbleweed Society". The goal of this book is to compare individual's relationship to work with their relationship to their partners and children, specifically as to loyalty and commitment.

Unfortunately, the conclusions of the book seemed either obvious and well-known, or vague and incomplete. It wasn't clear to me if loyalty as used for both work and family is meant the same, and if the meaning is identical when it comes to the expectation of loyalty from the employer/spouse. Some of main points are based on this, and it didn't sound like the meaning was consistent. I also didn't find some important distinctions between these types of relationships; leaving a job vs. leaving a spouse are so different on so many levels, it's not simply (one or more of the definitions of) loyalty.

The interviews and descriptions of the individuals interviewed seemed clinical and cold, but that may be since it's being sociology, and is not intended for the general public. It's also possible that the selection of people interviewed didn't include any of the demographics I'm familiar with, which is why I found so little commonality between what I know of employer/worker and partner relationship and the generalization and conclusions in this book.

It is also not a particularly enjoyable read; the points that are made are repeated over and over, and I found the writing to be somewhat grandiose.


Clever Crates Collapsible Grated Storage Container, 45 Liter (47.5 Quart), Sapphire Blue
Clever Crates Collapsible Grated Storage Container, 45 Liter (47.5 Quart), Sapphire Blue

4.0 out of 5 stars Great crates; wish they were as sturdy as the non-folding ones, November 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really, really, really want to like this. It's so clever! Our lives seem to consist of moving things from place to place, and there is nothing as useful as crates; and wow, it very easily folds down to very flat; and the way it folds, it doesn't seem like it would unfold accidentally.

However... it not quite study enough to live up to the promise. The bottom and short sides seem strong, but the long sides flex out under somewhat modest pressure So, I wouldn't trust it with heavy loads where there is sideways pressure... for example, I wouldn't load it with winter squash lest one break through the side; groceries in bags would be fine, but loose in the crate would worry me.

Still, as we get into our busier times in spring, I expect I'll probably buy a bunch of them (hopefully they stack well); and there are some similar Clever Crates with solid sides and bottom.


The Dry Valley
The Dry Valley
DVD
Price: $7.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't realize it's in Russian, October 27, 2014
Perhaps I'm an idiot for not realizing it, but I can't find it mentioned anywhere that this film seems to be in Russian. While I would like to see it, I don't want to see it enough to read subtitles...


Mansfield Park
Mansfield Park
DVD
Price: $2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not really Mansfield Park, nor anything else, October 25, 2014
It's impossible to watch this, as if it was the same Mansfield Park as Jane Austen wrote. The whole plot of Mansfield Park is on the sweet and gentle goodie-goodie Fanny, and if she's not sweet and gentle... and in this movie, she's not... the the book's plot doesn't work for the movie. There were so many important plot devices in the book that, while they are presented (as if from a check-list) in the movie, they aren't connected in any way to anything, just sort of stuck there in the middle (my husband had no idea what was going on most of the time). And then there are the added-in plot devices that are not related to the original book... which are also not connected to the story in this movie, so I'm left wondering what the point was.
But we did watch through the whole thing so it gets some stars...


Chef'n Hullster Tomato Huller
Chef'n Hullster Tomato Huller
Price: $9.74
22 used & new from $8.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best tomato gadget yet!, September 24, 2014
It is very effective and efficient at getting the little cores from canning tomatoes - surprisingly so, given that it's kind of a cutesy gadget. It's not nearly going to remove the massive cores from the heirlooms, if you were wondering - but it does nip off blemishes as well as core. It does take some pressure to press in the "stem" and open the jaws, and then to shake the core out of the mouth, which is a little of a strain for me since I've pulled something in the elbow... but still, I've used this huller rather than the circular motion with the pointy knife on pretty much every regular tomato this year.


DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Oversized 32 x 38" Jumbo Jenny Flour Sack Dishtowels, Set of 8, White
DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Oversized 32 x 38" Jumbo Jenny Flour Sack Dishtowels, Set of 8, White
Price: $25.99
2 used & new from $22.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very large, very thin; a great elite rag rather than a second class kitchen towel, August 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
To experience these, you have to give up your ideas of the size, material, and general appearance of a dish towel. These towels are twice as big (both ways, so technically four times as big), very thin, pure white, and wrinkled and unattractive. While they may be high quality, frankly, they don't look it. They are so big and wrinkly that I cannot imagine using them as a regular kitchen towel, except for things like wrapping things to bring to potlucks where regular towels are too small.

But they are useful and practical, if not pretty. After washing the towels, I tested by washing a couple of windows, and it did a great job and with no lint at all, which is impressive. And they are big enough so you can get quite a lot of cleaning done. They fit in the niche where a regular kitchen towel is too small or too nice and an old rag isn't good enough.

Postscript: some weeks later, I've added that final star since I seem to be using these rather a lot; for wrapping or covering food to transport, drying tomatoes, patting food dry, lining bowls. Where perhaps a regular kitchen towel would be too nice, and where the clean whiteness of these towels makes it seem better when touching food.


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