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Susan K. Schoonover "Sue Yingling" RSS Feed (Boulder, CO)
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Tide Plus Colorguard HE Liquid Laundry Detergent, 92 Oz
Tide Plus Colorguard HE Liquid Laundry Detergent, 92 Oz

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Choice For HE Washers That Can Also Be Used With Regular Models, August 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Tide Colorguard is labeled as HE (safe for high efficiency washers). High efficiency washers don't need as much detergent and a regular laundry detergent can flood them with too many soap suds so products labeled HE must be used with them. The good news is products labeled HE like this one can also be used with regular washers. However a bit more HE detergent will need to be used in a regular machine to get an ample amount of suds. This seems to be a point of confusion for some people. At any rate this Colorguard product does work as advertised to clean, freshen, whiten and brighten fabrics. Modern fabrics on the whole seem to be more colorfast than what was available years ago but this product does seem to be especially designed to help textiles keep the original color and "not bleed" in to lighter colored items. I have found Tide (manufactured and sold by Proctor and Gamble) to be a reliable brand in any of the specialized targeted types that are marketed and this Colorguard HE is no exception.


The Murder Farm
The Murder Farm
by Andrea Maria Schenkel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.55
35 used & new from $14.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Crime Novella Translated From German, August 18, 2014
This review is from: The Murder Farm (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THE MURDER FARM tells the story of multiple murders that take place on an isolated farm during the late winter in Germany. Killed in the tragedy were a successful but unlikable farmer, his pious wife, their daughter who has many rumors circulating about her in the nearby village, the daughter's two children who have uncertain paternity and a recently hired maid. I was a little unsure about the time setting of the story at first but by the book's end it become clear this takes place after World War II in the 1950's.

The story is very brief even for a novella and is almost just an extended short story. The actual size of the book is even a bit padded by blank pages and prayers that we learn come from a book published in the early 1920's entitled THE MYRTLE WREATH: A SPIRITUAL GUIDE FOR BRIDES that is a particular favorite of the slain farmer's abused and later murdered wife. Much of the tale is told through brief accounts by people who knew the victims. There is also some more straight forward narration and in one case a newspaper account used to unfold the plot.

THE MURDER FARM was originally written in German and the spare storytelling story seems to translate well to English. A quite complete portrait of each of the victims emerges by the book's end. Most pertinent questions about the dead family and their deaths are also answered and there is a bit of a surprise ending. This is a quick, well rendered read that can easily be finished in just a couple of hours of time.


Invisible City (Rebekah Roberts)
Invisible City (Rebekah Roberts)
by Julia Dahl
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.29
70 used & new from $8.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Debut Mystery That Center's On A Hasidic Jewish Community, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The new murder mystery INVISIBLE CITY is told by Rebekah a twenty-three year old stringer for a New York City tabloid. Rebekah has had an interesting upbringing in central Florida as her mother an Ultra-Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn had left her and her father when she was six months old. Her father a Christian worked for a church. Rebekah never knew if her mother whom she physically resembled was dead or alive. In her work as a reporter she becomes involved in a case where an Ultra-Orthodox woman is found naked and dead at her husband's scrap yard. While reporting the case she soon meets a police officer about her parents' age who says he knew her mother but the man may not be totally truthful. Rebekah's investigation of this murder takes her farther in to the world where her mother was raised as she tries to please her newspaper and discover the perpetrator in the murder of this young woman.

INVISIBLE CITY is a quick, easy read that takes place over the course of a little more than a week. Anxiety plagued Rebekah is not always the most likable protagonist but author Julia Dahl does a great job of making her fully rounded and believable. The life of a tabloid stringer as well as the Ultra-Orthodox enclave are vividly portrayed. This is a good, quick mystery that has the added bonus of teaching the reader quite a bit about the lives and traditions of Hasidic Jews.


AT-A-GLANCE 2014-2015 Academic Year Pop Robin Weekly and Monthly Planner, 5.50 x 8.50 Inch Page Size (601-200A)
AT-A-GLANCE 2014-2015 Academic Year Pop Robin Weekly and Monthly Planner, 5.50 x 8.50 Inch Page Size (601-200A)
Price: $22.99
3 used & new from $19.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive, Well Designed, And Manufactured Planner For The 2014-2015 School Year, August 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a pretty planner with a fashionable grey faux leather cover accented with some hot pink birds. The grey accents/pink bird motif is used throughout all the pages. There are calendar pages from June 30, 2014 to August 2, 2015. A laminated three year reference calendar for the years 2013-2015 is located at the beginning of the book. For each month there is a two page calendar at a glance provided. On the day by day pages each date gets eight lines for am and eight lines for pm though of course these lines could be used in a variety of other ways. Handy tabs divide the individual months. There are six lined pages dedicated to "contacts" at the back of the planner and another six for "notes". A one page event calendar is included at the back with each month getting five lines and the planner ends with a handy list of seventy religious, national and traditional holidays and the dates they will fall on from 2014 - 2017.

The spirals holding this notebook style planner together seem to be a good quality and likely to last the entire year and a half of use without unspiraling or causing tears in the paper. All in all this is pretty, practical day planner that will appeal to many girls and women.


Road Ends: A Novel
Road Ends: A Novel
by Mary Lawson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.94
55 used & new from $8.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Novel Set In Northern Canada In The Late 1960's, August 14, 2014
This review is from: Road Ends: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was really impressed by Mary Lawson's novel ROAD ENDS. Set in a small town in remote Northern Ontario and London in the late 1960's it is an incredibly well portrayed novel of a family that is falling apart through depression and lack of structure. The major characters are:

EDWARD - A bank manager and the father of nine children. He is unhappily the husband of a woman who seems to want to do nothing but bear and dote on babies. Scarred by his World War II experiences and the abuses of his drunken father when he was a child Edward, when not at work, retreats to his study and reading books about faraway places and times.

MEG - Is the only daughter in the family and the second oldest. Because of her mother's detachment from all responsibilities but caring for babies she has had great responsibility forced on her from an early age. When she turns twenty-one she leaves Canada for London, England where her energy and organization skills help her forge a successful career but alas she also falls in love with the wrong man.

TOM - Once a promising aeronautical engineering student the tragic death of his best friend has emotionally paralyzed him as he returns to live at his parent's home, driving a snow plow and seemingly so crippled by depression and guilt he is unable to do anything about the neglect of his several younger brothers.

ROBERT - His tragic death forms the prologue of the book and its aftereffects reverberate throughout the storyline.

The characters and circumstances of the novel are portrayed in a genuine manner that make the reader feel they really know these fictional people. Apparently a previous novel by Mary Lawson CROW LAKE has some of the same physical settings and personalities but I have not as yet read that novel and had no difficulty at all in following ROAD ENDS. Time and place changes are labeled with location and date at the beginning of each chapter so the book is readable and easy to access. I really enjoyed ROAD ENDS that despite sad circumstances is not without hope and will add the two previous novels Mary Lawson has published to my to be read list as well as looking forward eagerly to what she publishes in the future.


Burt's Bees Brightening Refining Tonic, 6 Fluid Ounces
Burt's Bees Brightening Refining Tonic, 6 Fluid Ounces
Price: $9.66
11 used & new from $4.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Smelling Astringent Style Cleanser/Tonic, August 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been satisfied with other Burt's Bees products I have tried in the past so I was happy to give this "tonic" a try. It is basically a good astringent style cleanser and I am guessing that getting your face clean of all makeup and other products provides a lot of the touted brightening effect. It reminded me in both results and the feel on my skin as what I get from using witch hazel with the addition of a pleasantly flowery scent. Since in middle age I have developed adult acne/rosacea I tend to judge all skin products in regards to whether they cause flares and thankfully this product does not. I've been using it for the last few days in the morning and in the evening and my skin looks healthy and blemish free. Supposedly it takes four weeks to see the total brightening effect and I'll update this review if I see any major changes in that time period.


The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing: A Novel
The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing: A Novel
by Mira Jacob
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.45
65 used & new from $6.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow But Well Rendered First Novel, August 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THE SLEEPWALKER'S GUIDE TO DANCING is the novel of a physician's family from India relocated to New Mexico. The family's specific ethniticy is Syrian Christian. We see most of the story from the perspective of Amina who is thirty and living in Seattle in 1998 when the narrative begins though the setting shifts back to both India and New Mexico in the 1980's frequently.

The novel is somewhat slow and often sad but the family relationship themes will resonate with many and the writing is often superb. The focus on the little known Syrian Christian ethnic group also adds interest as does the more general struggles of first generation Asian Indians in the United States. Sleep is a motif used in various ways throughout the novel. I thought the book was a bit long and would have been better with a bit of streamlining but this is still an admirable effort from a first time novelist.


The Story Hour: A Novel
The Story Hour: A Novel
by Thrity Umrigar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.87
29 used & new from $7.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Story Of One Patient And Her Therapist, August 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Engaging and intelligent THE STORY HOUR is the well told story of an immigrant woman from India and her therapist who has problems of her own. Lakshmi tells some of the tale in her phonetic English. Lakshmi, an intelligent but uneducated woman of thirty-two, was born in a small Indian village. Through strange circumstances that are not revealed until fairly late in the book she married an Indian man some years older than her who brought her to the United States where he owned a small grocery store and restaurant. Lakshmi knows herself to not be her verbally abusive husband's first choice for a wife and in loneliness and despair as she is no longer is even in contact with her family in India attempts suicide. At the hospital where she is brought to recover she is introduced to a psychiatric therapist named Maggie. Maggie is in her mid fifties and though African American herself is in a successful long time marriage to a man from India who is a professor at the local college apparently located somewhere in the Midwest. While Maggie's marriage is strong she has taken the foolish and somewhat unbelievable mistake of engaging in a first time affair around the same time she begins treating Lakshmi.

Though Maggie knows it is not really ethical she begins treating Lakshmi for free and she and her Indian born husband soon help the younger woman find catering and cleaning jobs as well as teaching her to drive. Lakshmi's relationship with her husband who at first seemed cruel improves as her independence increases. Meanwhile Maggie continues her reckless affair that is inevitably discovered by her husband because of a vengeful act perpetrated by a rejected feeling Lakshmi and a divorce ensues.

THE STORY HOUR is a novel with many well rendered components. Author Thrity Umrigar seamlessly integrates traditional Indian words, customs, and thought processes in to her story line giving the reader much insight in to how and why the Indian born characters behave and react. I would give the novel five stars except I never fully believed in Maggie and her midlife affair as that plot device seemed more contrived than genuine to me. However THE STORY HOUR remains a much better than average blend of literary novel and chick lit which teaches the reader in an entertaining manner about the Indian immigrant experience in the US.


HP M127FW Wireless Monochrome Laserjet Printer with Scanner and Copier
HP M127FW Wireless Monochrome Laserjet Printer with Scanner and Copier
Price: Click here to see our price
43 used & new from $100.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Easy To Use, Laserjet Printer With Scanner And Copier, August 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow this is a great printer. It has easy set up, is user friendly and is super quiet. And did I mention it is fast? It does print only in black and white but it prints in so many shades of grey to make graphics stand out color isn't even needed that often. And it includes a scanner and copier. Love that it is wireless as well. My one suggestion for HP would be that they include a feature to power off the copier during idle time.


Abroad: A Novel
Abroad: A Novel
by Charles Wright
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.94
79 used & new from $7.48

4.0 out of 5 stars "Mad The Way Young Girls Are Mad", August 9, 2014
This review is from: Abroad: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
ABROAD is narrated by Taz (real name Tabitha) a half Jewish girl from Ireland. Taz is dead having been murdered while studying in Italy. This novel is thematically inspired by the 2007 case in which American Amanda Knox was accused of murdering her British roommate Meredith with Taz the fictional victim and her American roommate Claire a stand in for the real life Amanda Knox. The novel is admirably written and sometimes seems to be even a bit cautionary, The novel cleverly ties some ancient Etruscan elements in to the story. Skilled author Katie Crouch keeps her reader turning the pages in this intelligent and engaging book. Another fictionalized novel inspired by the infamous Knox case published earlier in 2014 is CARTWHEEL by Jennifer DuBois and ABROAD is the better of the two books and earns more stars from me.


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