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Kaplan Math Workbook for the New SAT (Kaplan Test Prep)
Kaplan Math Workbook for the New SAT (Kaplan Test Prep)
by Kaplan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.76
44 used & new from $9.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of practice problems, February 10, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At 266 pages, this workbook is much smaller than Kaplan's test prep guides, but almost all of its content is devoted to practice problems and their answers so it's a helpful resource for students who need to refresh their math skills. The answer pages do include explanations, but unlike the larger test prep guides there is no preliminary section reviewing how to solve the types of problems found on the SAT test, though there is a section on test taking strategies. Problems in this workbook are categorized as either easy, medium or hard.


Baggage
Baggage
by S.G. Redling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
20 used & new from $9.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars high intensity thriller with in-depth character developement, February 10, 2016
This review is from: Baggage (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
S.G. Redling is one of my go-to authors for great story telling, and while this thriller didn't capture me quite as much as some of her earlier books it's still an absorbing read. One of the things I like best about Redling's writing is that her settings are detailed, fascinating, and even seamlessly informative (in this case the story takes place on and near a college campus in West Virginia), and her characters' development is never skimped on or sacrificed, even though her plots feature plenty of action. Main character Anna, who works in the college's art department, is far from perfect and has a lot of emotional "baggage" from her past, leaving her damaged and prone to excess drinking. There is no romance in this story, Anna's husband committed suicide just a year ago, which is a nice change of pace, and she's not so much eager to solve the "mystery" as she is fighting for her life. It's a hard book to put down.


A Room with a View
A Room with a View
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, February 1, 2016
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When Lucy Honeychurch arrives in Florence she’s feeling peevish and disappointed. After travelling abroad for the first time Lucy finds their little hotel filled with fellow Britons, and even the woman in charge speaks English with a Cockney accent. What’s the point of leaving England if you’re still surrounded by the same people? Plus, Lucy and her chaperoning cousin were promised rooms with a view of the Arno river, and instead their accommodations look over a courtyard. But when a rough around the edges man and his enigmatic son offer to switch rooms, Lucy’s horrified, uptight, passive-aggressive cousin (played by Maggie Smith in the 1985 movie) is sure that would NOT be proper. Lucy (portrayed in the film by Helena Bonham Carter) wavers, confused. Where is the balance between embracing experience and living within the rules of propriety? If I could give A Room with a View more than 5 stars I would. E. M. Forster writes beautifully, and he tells Lucy’s story with both sympathy and insight.


Between Mountain and Sea: Paradisi Chronicles (Caelestis Series Book 1)
Between Mountain and Sea: Paradisi Chronicles (Caelestis Series Book 1)
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I loved Between the Mountain and the Sea, January 31, 2016
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I loved Between Mountain and Sea, and really didn’t want to leave the characters behind. Fortunately it’s the first of a sci-fi series that’s part of the Paradisi Chronicles, an intriguing multi-author project about 10 extended families who exit our devastated home world to set up colonies in New Eden, an Earth-like planet that already has native hominids. These original people are an interesting human variation, and several of them play important roles in the novel.

M. Louisa Locke, author of the series that starts with Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery, is here telling the story of the Yu family, who have their roots in China. Mabel Yu was one of the original settlers and traveled from Earth as a young teenager. About 150 years later Mei Lin Yu, Mabel’s descendant, discovers Mabel’s diary, a fascinating document that tells the real history of the colony, not what Mei Lin has been taught at school. These new insights help Mei Lin question the path that’s been laid out for her, one that doesn’t suit her at all. Though Mei Lin is YA age, romance plays almost no role in the action--it’s more a coming of age book. As indicated by the title, the setting is vivid and wild, and while parts of the plot were a little predictable, I was so caught up in the world and the lives of the characters that I didn’t care.


Speak: A Novel
Speak: A Novel
by Louisa Hall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.68
88 used & new from $9.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, poignant, and deep, January 31, 2016
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This review is from: Speak: A Novel (Hardcover)
Powerful, poignant, and deep, Speak has an unusual structure, weaving together six narrative voices that together illuminate a link between the creation of artificial intelligence and the fundamental human yearning for connection. When I started the book its nonlinear format put me off, but it took just a few chapters for me to become totally hooked. The narrators include a Pilgrim or Puritan girl leaving her former life behind to journey to America, AI pioneer and WWII code-breaker Alan Turing, and a now illegal, slowly “dying” babybot--a doll of the future so lifelike and compelling that children who had one couldn’t bond with people--as it slowly loses power and memory.


Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart
Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart
by Claire Harman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, hard-to-put-down, sometimes heartbreaking, January 31, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This moving, hard-to-put down and sometimes heartbreaking biography of Charlotte Bronte completely captivated me. At just under 400 pages it's detailed without being epic in length--I also loved The Brontes: Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of a Literary Family, Juliet Barker's biography of the whole Bronte, family but it takes a much bigger time commitment to read.

Even though the focus in this book is on Charlotte, it can't help but tell the stories of her father, sisters, and brother because their lives were so interconnected. I especially enjoyed the sections about the family, and the way Harman related the novels the sisters wrote to their lives. Anyone who loves Jane Eyre, or who is interested in life during the middle of Victoria's reign, will find this biography fascinating.


Planetfall
Planetfall
by Emma Newman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.64
74 used & new from $5.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, memorable, and deeply captivating, Planetfall manages ..., January 28, 2016
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This review is from: Planetfall (Paperback)
Intense, memorable, and deeply captivating, Planetfall manages to be character-driven and idea-filled without sacrificing action and suspense. The story involves space travel, an off-Earth colony 20-some years after its establishment in the shadows of a (mostly) abandoned alien structure, the biology-linked religious beliefs that inspired the colony’s creation, a first person narrator coping with and trying to hide her anxious obsessions, and life enhanced (or maybe diminished) by advanced technology that includes 3D printers, which create everything the colony needs from homes to cups, and implanted chips, which connect every person to the web and each other--making it difficult for the main character to keep her psychological challenges off the grid and out of sight. Being inside the head of a character struggling with compulsive behaviors was unsettling and fascinating, and felt uncomfortably close to some of my own mental processes. The ending is unlike anything I’ve read, savage, visceral, cosmic and sublime.


Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind
Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind
Price: $6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and haunting in the sense that it leaves you with things, January 25, 2016
Beautifully written and haunting in the sense that it leaves you with things to think about, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind completely captured me. Blending science fiction, art, and history, its three connected storylines span time--with one in the past, one in the present, and one in the future--but all revolve around the fifteenth century painter Paolo Uccello and his artistically talented daughter Antonia, two real life historical figures. A lot of research went into this novel, and I actually learned something about painting composition, art history and the possibilities of future technology.

I alternated between reading a review copy of this book supplied to me at no cost by the author, and a Kindle copy that I got during its Kindle First promotion.


Kaplan GED Test 2016 Strategies, Practice, and Review: Online + Book (Kaplan Test Prep)
Kaplan GED Test 2016 Strategies, Practice, and Review: Online + Book (Kaplan Test Prep)
by Caren Van Slyke
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.97
52 used & new from $11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide for a good price, January 22, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like most Kaplan guides I've tried, this GED prep book is well organised and contains useful study tips and specific test taking strategies. Also included are 4 pretests (one for each subject area of the exam), which are helpful diagnostic tools for directing your study, and 2 invaluable practice tests (One online and one in the book). Kaplan sells several GED guides, but this one, I think, is the best bargain. It doesn't have a CD, or DVD, or mobile app, but the book itself is the same as the more expensive products that do have those extras.


Simple Steps for Sixth Grade
Simple Steps for Sixth Grade
by Thinking Kids
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.99
38 used & new from $8.81

5.0 out of 5 stars This well designed and highly useful 200+ page math and language arts workbook is a ..., January 22, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This well designed and highly useful 200+ page math and language arts workbook is a great resource for practicing skills and reviewing concepts, and would be a good choice for reinforcing school work during vacations, but it doesn't have enough repetition or reinforcement to be used as a teaching tool for classroom teachers or homeschooling parents.

Unlike some review workbooks, this one does provide good directions for how its problems can be solved, which will be helpful for students who've forgotten, for instance, the order of operations, the difference between mean, median and mode, the parts of speech, or the types of sentences--though the math steps won't always match what students have learned in their classrooms.

The workbook begins with a very thorough table of contents and ends with an answer key for every page.


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