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Customer Reviews: 1083
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Reviews Written by
Kort "Art, Music, Book & Movie Enthusiast" RSS Feed (Boca Raton, FL, United States)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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New Balance Men's M870 Mild Stability Running Shoe,Blue/Black,11.5 D US
New Balance Men's M870 Mild Stability Running Shoe,Blue/Black,11.5 D US
Price: $109.95
2 used & new from $109.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Get the Balance Right!, August 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
New Balance is my "go to" brand for running shoes. I know I can depend on them to deliver for the money. I'm a former cross country runner and as a casual jogger have gone through many a running shoe. I've tried all of the major brands, but NB seems to be consistently the best for my needs and style of running. They hold up longer than other major brands I've used and feel and look good doing so. These are very lightweight shoes with fairly decent support. I wouldn't use them for a marathon, but they hit the sweet spot for casual running or the occasional 10k. I'm not a fan of the garish look of many sneakers these days, but this color combo - while striking - isn't overly obnoxious. I like it. I used to wear an 10.5 / 11 size, but this 11.5 fits me well. They started out a bit snug on the side but have streched comfortably after a few uses.

~ Kort


The Winter Horses
The Winter Horses
by Philip Kerr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.10
65 used & new from $6.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A Historical Fairy Tale Fantasy, August 17, 2014
This review is from: The Winter Horses (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Set in the Ukraine around WWII, The Winter Horses is what I may classify as a modern fairy tale. It takes actual events and puts a fantastical twist on them, all the while offering the reader excellent characterization and engaging writing. Writing to a younger audience is new to Kerr, but he does so here with aplomb. My daughter really got into the character of Kalinka while my favorite is Max. I read Black Beauty and similar horse stories as a youth, so reading this was like a refresher to what was magical in my youth.

If intelligent, anthropomorphized animals, strong characters, insidious villains and a fairy tale vibe in a historical setting appeals to you, then you should consider reading The Winter Horses. It is sad a times but is fulfilling in the end.

~ Kort


The Meaning of Maggie
The Meaning of Maggie
by Megan Jean Sovern
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.26
53 used & new from $6.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Tackles A Serious Topic With Humor, August 17, 2014
This review is from: The Meaning of Maggie (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is of the kind of story I enjoyed reading while growing up. It approaches the serious topic of a father who is ill and a mother returning to work and siblings who are more concerned with fluff than substance with both compassion and humor. While not always a happy book, I would say it overall a humorous tale and my daughter entering 5th grade agrees. She was moved by the issues this family faced and particularly empathized with the more responsible Maggie character.

Recommend.

~ Kort


Bird
Bird
by Crystal Chan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.67
73 used & new from $0.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Wistful Prose, August 17, 2014
This review is from: Bird (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not sure what I can add to what has already been said except for that I agree that this melancholy novel is a must read for both young and old. The gorgeous cover sets the tone for what surprised me as being and exceptionally in-depth and powerful grade school oriented novel. The core character(s) are gripping and the story pulls you in and doesn't let go, to coin a phrase. The fact that it deals so well with loss and emotion is what hooked me.

My 10-year old daughter became quite emotional reading this and really liked the book. She is actually reading it again to get some of the nuances she missed during her first reading. That is just about the highest recommendation I can give a pre-YA type of novel. I don't know if I'd classify it as a modern classic, but it is close.

~ Kort


Saving Lucas Biggs
Saving Lucas Biggs
by Marisa De los Santos
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.23
72 used & new from $1.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Not A New Tale, But Well Done, August 17, 2014
This review is from: Saving Lucas Biggs (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Saving Lucas Biggs is a time travel story geared towards the late grade school and middle school reader. My daughter entering 5th grade this year is one such reader and she enjoyed it and especially was able to relate to the female protagonist Margaret O'Malley. What can I say, she's a daddy's girl. :)

In any event, this is a take on the "go back to help correct the past and protect the future" time travel type stories. It isn't overly original and the big corporation is evil thing has been done to death, but it is fairly well written and has great characters. Younger readers that have yet to read a plethora of similarly themed novels should be highly engaged. I have read my fair share, but still enjoyed it from an adult perspective. I had minor niggles, but nothing that keeps me from recommending it from late grade schoolers to adults looking for an easy-to-read time travel diversion. As a graphic designer, I appreciated the readable layout and chapter header illustration as well.

~ Kort


The Thickety: A Path Begins
The Thickety: A Path Begins
by J. A. White
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.04
54 used & new from $8.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Intense For The Recommended Age, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Other readers label this as a "dark" book. Fantasy with an overbearing horror bent. For the suggested age group, I would have to agree. I wanted my 10-year old daughter to read this book and give me her opinion, but I think she should wait to read it for another year or three. And this comes from a parent that isn't that restrictive when it comes to books, movies and TV shows. The lead character Kara is a redeeming precense, but this is still pretty intense. On the up side, it hits many of the fantasy checklist points that are the things I enjoy in a book of this sort. As an adult I read and enjoyed this. My daughter will have to wait. That said, *I* am looking forward to the next book.

~ Kort


Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale) [+digital booklet]
Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale) [+digital booklet]
Price: $11.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crying Eyes But Happy Ears, August 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you're looking at this album, you are probably a JJ Cale fan. As a fan, you want to know if this is an appropriate tribute to the great man. I can unequivocally say YES. Eric Clapton and friends did an amazing job channelling JJ through sixteen of his best tunes. My wife is a *HUGE* Cale fan and remarked that on most tracks it sounds like JJ singing and playing. I agree. Eric Clapton did an amazing job with this and earned bonus respect points for not including Cocaine - his biggest cover from JJ's work. Instead we have a good mix of well-known and lesser-known tunes, but all of them sound great. The talented guest artists help make this a memorable experience.

I still become wistful when I realize that we'll never have new work from this great understated American musician, but 'The Breeze' helps soothe that hurt somewhat.

~ Kort


Sauder Original Cottage Bookcase, Rainwater Finish
Sauder Original Cottage Bookcase, Rainwater Finish
Price: $105.82
6 used & new from $98.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy, Sturdy Book Shelf, August 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a high quality Sauder product. Very sturdy, and rather heavy as well, so I know it is made from quality materials. In total it took me about an hour to assemble, much better than my last furniture purchase. Instructions are fairly clear but I recommend using a power drill instead of just a hand powered screwdriver. All parts line up well. The color is pretty much what you see in the photo and fits our Florida decor well. The shelves are rated to hold up to 25-30 pounds each, but I think they could handle more. We already have it stuffed with books and in a nice spot. I couldn't be happier with it for the price and expect to have this piece for many years.

~ Kort


TMS Corner Desk, Antique White finish
TMS Corner Desk, Antique White finish
Offered by Achilles Trade
Price: $99.99
12 used & new from $71.88

2.0 out of 5 stars Decent Corner Table, Poor Corner Desk, August 11, 2014
I recently purchased this from a 3rd party seller. I thought I was getting a good deal, but soon found out that the old adage about things being to good to be true is often on target.

Perhaps not all of the kits that ship out have issues, but like many other reviewers, mine did. The instructions were imprecise (and even backwards on occasion). The quality was not as good as I had hoped. The assembly took me over 3 hours and I have experience putting furniture together. Parts did not fit properly and it was generally a frustrating endeavor. To top it off, the desk drawer does not move smoothly on it's tracks and the door would not even close since the magnet is not proper situated with the pre-drilled holes.

My advice is to avoid this product. It is not worth the risk that you'll get a kit that is a real pain to try and assemble. Mine was. I would return it, but it I finally got it assembled and it will do the job it was intended to do for a few years, even if the front drawer is more or less unusable.

~ Kort


Boys of Blur
Boys of Blur
by N. D. Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.23
62 used & new from $6.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure For Runners Young & Old, August 11, 2014
This review is from: Boys of Blur (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a reluctant runner. My military father would wake me up before school to go for a jog with him. While it wasn't my favorite thing at the time, I look back and I am glad he pushed me to do it. I went on to run for 2 years on my high school cross country team and was a passable long distance runner. I learned to enjoy pushing my physical and mental endurance limits. Those days are behind me, but I still have that mindset.

I saw this book and thought I'd give it a spin. I have a 10-year old daughter whom I thought might enjoy it. While she read it, she told me, "Daddy, this is really a boys book". It think *I* enjoyed it more, and it is male-centric, but it is a great story nonetheless. Perhaps the fact that I love classic mythology and fantasy, and have lived in South Florida for nearly 2 decades contributes, but I really liked it. I can relate to the town of Taper as it evokes images of what I know of Belle Glade and other small argricultural towns bordering lake Okeechobee. I hope it will become required school reading at some point, if good taste prevails. The writing is really what sets this apart. N.D. Wilson has an exquisite grasp on the english language and on how to evoke emotions in the reader. His pacing is fast but not at the expense of the story and characterization. It is grounded in realism with a generous dose of the fantastic. You either decide to go with it our you don't.

If the publisher's book description appeals to you at all, pick this one up. Beside, its got zombies! ;)

~ Kort


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