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Go in the Wilderness
Go in the Wilderness
Price: $0.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless spiritual, August 14, 2015
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This review is from: Go in the Wilderness (MP3 Music)
Great arrangement of a classic song with powerful marching orders for Christians. Expert harmonizing. You'll want to sing along with it.


Rubbermaid Litterless Juice Box, 8 1/2-ounce (1876874), Colors May Vary
Rubbermaid Litterless Juice Box, 8 1/2-ounce (1876874), Colors May Vary
Price: $13.09
2 used & new from $13.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Handy but would be better without the straw, August 1, 2015
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Perfect size for taking smaller volume drinks in a packed lunch. But the straw is annoying to drink from because of the vacuum created by the sealed lid (which makes for a very loud slurping sound when your mouth separates from the straw). The straw is also pretty tricky to clean, and you have to squeeze or suck water through the straw to clear it of other beverages. You can take the lid off and just drink from the cup, but you still have the cleaning issue, and the lid tends to roll around when on its side unless you anchor it somehow.


Reyn Spooner Men's Malipolipo, Royal, Medium
Reyn Spooner Men's Malipolipo, Royal, Medium

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice. Bit bigger than pictured., August 1, 2015
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Good quality. Look closely at the product image and you'll see that the model's short sleeves are cuffed. The sleeves actually come down just above the elbow. The product image also suggests a slimmer fit than what the shirt really is, which is a generous/looser fit garment that runs large. Pleasant colors--goes with a variety of pants. Nice item, but just expect to receive a shirt that's wider than the product photo.


MARATHON TI030025 120 Minute Mechanical Timer with Loud Alarm
MARATHON TI030025 120 Minute Mechanical Timer with Loud Alarm
Offered by Marathon Housewares
Price: $14.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a timer that's more than one hour, June 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Timers with countdowns of more than 60 minutes are rare, so this 2-hour timer is very handy to anybody needing to time 90- or 120-minute time periods. The ringer is clear--I measured it at about 60-65 decibels. That's loud enough to give you a jolt if you're in the same room, and audible a couple rooms down, but probably not if you're on a different floor of the house or outside. My only quibble is that the tiny font of the minutes on the face of the timer, the totally white "hand" (knob) of the timer, and the low slope of the face make it difficult to glance from a distance of more than three feet (with 20/20 vision) at how far along you are with the countdown. But I'll probably get a better feel for the appearance over time.


Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before And After The Terrorist Attacks Of September 11, 2001
Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before And After The Terrorist Attacks Of September 11, 2001
by United States Congress Senate
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.75
10 used & new from $10.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly worthless, February 8, 2014
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Don't be misled by the product title--this document is not the full 800 page report of the Congressional joint inquiry. It is only 16 pages of 1.5-spaced recommendations that weren't included in initial published report. On top of that, the printing is somewhat blurry, especially on even-numbered pages. You're better off downloading the PDF of the full report online and putting this slim publication in the recycling bin.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2015 2:39 PM PDT


Officemate 9-Inch Standard Steel Bookend, 1 Pair, Woodgrain (93074)
Officemate 9-Inch Standard Steel Bookend, 1 Pair, Woodgrain (93074)
Price: $13.33
2 used & new from $13.12

4.0 out of 5 stars Lighter color than pictured, December 1, 2013
The bookends are as advertised except for the color, which is a bit yellower, grayer, and slightly more distressed looking.


Iraq: Desert Crossings
Iraq: Desert Crossings
Price: $5.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly engaging smuggling caper, September 1, 2011
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First we meet Inge, an attractive German tourist on vacation to see the desert castles of eastern Jordan. But like many things in the novel, Inge is not who she first appears to be. After sneaking away from her guided tour, Inge finds a transfer point for smuggling antiquities from Iraq to Jordan. But she herself is discovered by the smugglers who abduct her. It doesn't give much of the storyline away to say that some members of the smuggling ring think that Inge can be used as a mule to help them sneak the antiquities to market in Europe.

The circumstances of Inge's involvement in the smuggling ring and her burgeoning romance with the smugglers' leader may seem a bit far-fetched, but some how as you read, it doesn't come across as artificial. Other reviewers are correct that there are enough plot twists, adventures, romance, and character development to keep the pages turning.

However, there are some weaknesses in the language. The author has a very good English vocabulary, but uses unidiomatic expressions that show the writer is not a native speaker. A more thorough editing job would have prevented errors like writing "gorilla war" when what should have been written is "guerilla war." If you're a stickler for spelling and grammar, either get over it or read something else. Descriptions of the U.S. military are a bit off too, with soldiers rendering "sharp salutes" to officers even while indoors.

About two-thirds through, the novel drags a bit, but it picks up again for a well-paced conclusion. Overall, a charming espionage story set in modern Iraq and Jordan.


Funding Evil, Updated: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It
Funding Evil, Updated: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It
by Rachel Ehrenfeld
Edition: Paperback
67 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Effective overview, July 16, 2011
Funding Evil effectively catalogs Al Qaeda's global financial transactions, the role of the Saudi-backed Muslim World League (MWL) in exporting Wahhabism around the world, the involvement of two super-wealthy Saudi families (the al-Rajhi and bin Mafouz) in funding the MWL and its subsidiaries, and adequately identifies the role of Islamic charities in funding terrorism.

Where Ehrenfeld shines is in her devastating portrayal of the financing, terrorist operations, and corruption endemic to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority. Ehrenfeld describes PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's first hand role in paying the families of suicide bomber "martyrs" against Israel, and includes a reproduction of one of Arafat's personally signed authorizations for payment. Her chapters on the Palestinian entities help illustrate how difficult it is to combat terrorist financing when Europe and the United Nations consistently saturate the territories with tremendous fungible aid but few controls.

The book has weaknesses too. References to Saudi Arabia's financing of terrorism are scattered throughout the prologue, epilogue, and the main text itself, which may have been more conveniently condensed into a single chapter focusing solely on Saudi Arabia. Funding Evil has a lot of facts, figures, and quotes of improprieties that at times come across like a laundry list without a theme connecting them. The paperback version is large (9"x6"x1"), but its big font, near double-spacing, frequent use of bullet lists, and lengthy bibliography make the 296 page book a realistic equivalent of 125 pages of text. That makes for a quicker read, but it's slightly less information overall than I expected.

Funding Evil includes several proposals for fighting terrorist financing going forward including the need for the U.S. to identify more firmly the Saudi and Palestinian sources of funding, global enforcement of a common standard against terrorist financing, strict enforcement of the PATRIOT Act, and the use of microherbicides to permanently destroy Afghan poppies. Those are valid recommendations, but maybe not as bold as you'd expect given the urgency of the situation Ehrenfeld describes.

Overall, Funding Evil is an informative read for students of terrorism, counter-narcotics, and the Middle East.


Palace Walk: The Cairo Trilogy, Volume 1
Palace Walk: The Cairo Trilogy, Volume 1
by Danielle Steel
Edition: Paperback
347 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A telling family drama, July 7, 2011
The 2011 revolution against Hosni Mubarak's regime is nothing new for modern Egypt.

Naguib Mafouz's Palace Walk takes place during British rule in Egypt in the late 1910s while a nascent nationalist movement brews. The revolutionaries demand the return of Pasha Sa'd to Egypt from his exile in Europe. One of those revolutionaries is the rebellious Fahmy, who distributes handbills and helps organize student protests.

Although the novel is set in the context of the Egyptian revolt, Fahmy's role in revolution are secondary to the more central family drama involving Fahmy's father, al-Sayyid Ahmad, and all the little moons (his wives, his daughters, his sons, and his friends) in orbit around him.

Al-Sayyid Ahmad is an outwardly pious, stubbornly traditional, big-time hypocrite who stays out drinking late with his buddies, womanizes, and demands upright morality and absolute obedience from the members of his household. Although they sometimes struggle to live up to his expectations--such as Fahmy who does not receive his father's approval to join the student protests, but cannot resist the lure of the masses--fear him, respect him, and fervently wish to stay in his good graces.

Sadly, al-Sayyid Ahmad's rules for his dependents aren't designed for their own well-being, but rather on what will help al-Sayyid Ahmad's own image and reputation the most. When his son Yasin tries to rape the housemaid and his daughter-in-law asks for a divorce, al-Sayyid Ahmad is more concerned about losing the friendship of the wife's father, with whom al-Sayyid Ahmad has arranged the marriage, than he is about his son's life, his daughter-in-law's welfare, or household order (or the safety of the maid who's plight is quickly forgotten by the family & author alike).

For the Western reader there are familiar elements--snubbed wives trying to retain the interest of their wastrel husbands, petty jealousies between daughters and mothers-in-law, sibling rivalries, and good-natured teasing among brothers and sisters. There are less familiar themes as well--the iron subservience of female characters to the males, the apparently commonplace dichotomy of al-Sayyid Ahmad's life of excess outside the home and staid reserve within it, the heavy premium placed on pride, dignity, and purity (illustrated by the household scandal Maryam causes when she is spotted giving a brief smile from her window to a British soldier encamped outside), arranged marriages, Friday prayers, anti-colonial resistance, limits on women going outside their homes, and despotic fatherhood (well beyond American stereotypes of 1950s-style husbands from "Father Knows Best").

Palace Walk is culturally informative--it puts the reader in the shoes of a very human group of characters. You sympathize with their weaknesses, share in their dreams, and are burned by their disappointments. Palace Walk is a delicate book, somewhat slow in pacing, but sensitive and enlightening in the characters Mahfouz so poignantly develops. Well worth reading, and an especially timely read amidst the Arab Spring.


Land of Marvels: A Novel
Land of Marvels: A Novel
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High-brow historical fiction, June 27, 2011
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The Assyrian Empire burst onto the world historical scene by smashing the ancient Sumerians and their gods. Their brutality was surpassed only by their inability to govern on a sustained basis, and their empire expired, leaving the bone fragments of their kings buried beneath the tells of northern Iraq and neighboring regions.

Fifteen hundred years later, fictional British archeologist John Somerville diligently excavates the possible remnants of one of those bad old kings of Assyrian lore. The characters in Land of Marvels have a touch of fading imperial grandeur themselves, facing the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the onset of the Great War that would begin to transform Europe from the world's epicenter to the world's afterthought.

Land of Marvels is fiction, but it is deeply infused by history and is focused on characters who make a living studying history. This is enormously enjoyable for readers who have a thirst for knowledge. Readers who prefer straightforward adventure to a history lesson should look elsewhere.

That being said, this is no dry history book either. The characters are nuanced and warm, with both obvious and subtle motivations, secret desires and failings. Just ten pages of this book will give you a better "feel" for who the characters really are than some novels will give you in ten chapters.

The story seamlessly weaves together the archaeological excavation, the railway construction, and the oil search. The pace is fine and there are enough little twists to keep the pages turning. The conclusion is somewhat harsh--if you like happy endings, stop reading when you're about nine-tenths of the way through.


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