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Jacques Talbot RSS Feed (Oakland, CA United States)
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Coco Polo, Stevia Sweetened 39% Cocoa Milk Chocolate with Whole Dry-Roasted Almonds, All Natural, Non-GMO, No Sugars Added, 2.82-Ounce Bars (Pack of 5)
Coco Polo, Stevia Sweetened 39% Cocoa Milk Chocolate with Whole Dry-Roasted Almonds, All Natural, Non-GMO, No Sugars Added, 2.82-Ounce Bars (Pack of 5)
Offered by Connoisseur Market
Price: $29.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, but not only does it cost an arm and a leg, you'll have to pass them through your nose too..., February 6, 2015
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Delicious--not too sweet, a simple ingredient list, plenty of nuts, and no sugar added. Thank you Coco Polo. Now if only I didn't have to sell off my first born child to pay for it!


Del Rossa Men's 100% Cotton Woven Pajama Set, 2XL Dark Blue and White Striped (A0714P192X)
Del Rossa Men's 100% Cotton Woven Pajama Set, 2XL Dark Blue and White Striped (A0714P192X)
Offered by Alexander Del Rossa
Price: $32.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Rest easy--an excellent choice, February 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Nice cloth, well-made, fit as expected. What more could you want from any garment?


Lily's Sweets 40% Chocolate Bar Creamy Milk (Case of 12) 3 Ounces
Lily's Sweets 40% Chocolate Bar Creamy Milk (Case of 12) 3 Ounces
Offered by OxKom
Price: $48.66
12 used & new from $48.66

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hooray for no sugar added, but..., February 6, 2015
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A good product, the taste and texture of the chocolate are quite fine, however very much on the sweet side of things. It's also a little misleading to highlight the use of stevia as a sweetener as the product is considerably more reliant on erythritol and dextrin.


Lily's Sweets 40% Chocolate Bar Salted Almond and Milk (Case of 12) 3 Ounces
Lily's Sweets 40% Chocolate Bar Salted Almond and Milk (Case of 12) 3 Ounces
Offered by Old Castle Fine Foods
Price: $43.99
17 used & new from $43.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of an ex-girlfriend:, February 6, 2015
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Too sweet, not nearly nutty enough, and way too expensive. It's also somewhat misleading to highlight the use of stevia as a sweetener as it is far more reliant on erythritol and dextrin.


Hild: A Novel
Hild: A Novel
by Nicola Griffith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.58
168 used & new from $0.01

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An uphild slog..., July 29, 2014
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This review is from: Hild: A Novel (Hardcover)
As a voracious reader of historical fiction, and as someone particularly drawn to Europe's antiquity and Dark Ages, I was extremely eager to read this novel, especially after hearing the author interviewed on Public Radio. At long last - here was the promise of something I could really sink my teeth into after a long fast; fond memories of Mary Stewart's superb first two Merlin books came to mind. Finally the book arrived. I started in immediately and was delighted when the first few pages cast a welcome spell...

So imagine my disappointment as I read on and found Hild to be a very uneven work, one that in my experience, ultimately disappoints. I agree that Griffith shows some palpable talent and promise as a writer. There are scattered passages that truly succeed in transporting the reader into the world, the sensory experiences of the characters. But far too often, and on levels that are far too central to the story, Griffith shows she has bitten off more than she could really chew, and Hild regresses into the literary equivalent of Karaoke. Sublime descriptions are undermined by heavy-handed plotting, deficient characterization, and explorations of emotion and sexuality that unfortunately veer indeterminately between the overwrought prose of the romance genre and the uncalled-for vulgarity of porn.

I am still undecided as to whether or not I will continue reading with the next installment of the tale; on the one hand, what began as a promising journey through a lush garden ended up being a chore-like slog across a seemingly unending wasteland; on the other, Griffith may well learn to rise above the current "aspiring writer's workshop" level she attains in Hild.


The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend
The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend
by Bob Drury
Edition: Hardcover
93 used & new from $5.89

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Worlds Collide, May 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The heart-breaking story of America's westward expansion and the wresting of the continent from its native inhabitants is not a new one, but it is one that bears retelling and deserves repeated contemplation. This volume provides a wonderfully accessible and balanced entrance into that story through the prism of the life of Red Cloud, a "chief" or more properly, a leader, among his people. An autobiography of sorts was recently unearthed in the dusty archives of a midwestern historical society, providing new information and insight into the life and times of this almost legendary, yet enigmatic figure about whom almost nothing was really known.

What makes this book so enjoyable is its readability. Unburdened by footnotes (there are notes at the back of the book for those motivated to dig deeper), the narrative moves along at a leisurely pace like a majestic herd of buffalo drifting across the prairie, grazing as it goes, now moving from the gory details of the Fetterman Fight to the history of Sioux migration, now pausing over the tragedy of Red Cloud's first love, then moving on to the finer points of clan and tribal hierarchical organization.

By the time one has finished the book, the reader will have a much better understanding of Red Cloud and his place in American history, but also a solid grounding in the wider context in which his life unfolded. You won't be an expert on any aspect, but you'll know lots more than you did before and all without getting saddle sore from the ride.

If I have one criticism of the book it's that I feel the authors exaggerate Red Cloud'ss importance and accomplishments vis a vis the American government and military. Sure, he "defeated" the U.S. Army in a battle (if losing more men than you kill can be considered a victory), and yes, the government did pursue a negotiated settlement for a brief time after, but ultimately Red Cloud stood no more chance of long-term success than any other Native American leader.


Death of a Nightingale (A Nina Borg Novel)
Death of a Nightingale (A Nina Borg Novel)
by Lene Kaaberbol
Edition: Hardcover
68 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Medicine if you need more NIna Borg..., November 21, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third English translation in the series I've read, and like the others, this one will keep you turning pages. Once again, we enter the world of Nina Borg, a Danish nurse who works with illegal immigrants in and around Copenhagen. Nina is an endearingly flawed character whose ongoing struggles with personal foibles and a less-than-perfect family life provide the perfect amount of continuity from one book to the next without intruding to the point of precluding a reader from picking up any of the titles and following along.

I've commented elsewhere that these stories are pervaded by an almost oppressive vague dread that at once contributes a compelling suspense that draws one along and a sense of impending doom that triggers a nearly palpable flight reaction.

Some readers may be thankful to learn that this one eases up a little on the "awful" factor, but don't get too comfortable, because the change is incremental and it's possible I'm imagining it due to inattention or willful self-delusion.

Readers familiar with Nina Borg will find the same fine pacing and literary deftness that made this book's predecessors so solid; newcomers are in for a treat. They can start with this one and always go back and read the earlier books if they like what they see. Definitely worth the price of admission.


REICH OF THE BLACK SUN
REICH OF THE BLACK SUN
by Joseph P. Farrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.76
59 used & new from $6.74

4.0 out of 5 stars If Half of This Is True, We're Well and Truly Screwed..., November 21, 2013
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This review is from: REICH OF THE BLACK SUN (Paperback)
At once fascinating and deeply disturbing, Farrell's initial foray into secret Nazi weapons research and its post-war survival is several cuts above much "conspiracy" fare on a couple of levels. For one thing, Farrell is not only intellectually curious, he is highly educated, VERY well read, and able to present dense subject matter in a way that is well-organized, cogent, and engagingly written. If only he could afford a proofreader. Or a bibliography. Still, all kidding aside, he is always careful to at least cite his sources and if he sometimes stretches his case to the breaking point, he certainly bases his arguments on enough actual evidence and logical rigor to create a persuasively plausible case for the profoundly unsettling scenario he lays out in this and many other books.

I won't go into any details--don't want to spoil the fun of discovery--but I think this book will appeal not only to the "conspiracy" crowd, but to a much wider audience, dealing as it does with modern military history, WWII, UFOs, scientific research, geopolitics at the end of one war and the beginning of another colder one, and most importantly how all this affects our world today.

I don't know if Farrell is right about everything he says--is anyone?--but it sure as hell makes for a good read. I would have given this five stars but for the incredibly shoddy editing and dismal illustrations.


Disneyland of the Gods
Disneyland of the Gods
by John A. Keel
Edition: Paperback
46 used & new from $2.97

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Or Threadbare Carnival of Sweaty Mortals?, November 21, 2013
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This review is from: Disneyland of the Gods (Paperback)
Not one of Keel's stronger efforts but still entertaining. Readers failiar with Keel's other works, most notably The Mothman Prophecies, will recognize his basic premise the "extraterrestrials," supernatural beings, poltergeists, Sasquatch and other cryptozoons are in fact "ultraterrestrial," that is to say from another dimension or vibrational frquency than that which characterizes our everyday reality--but which phase in and out of our awareness as they vibrate within or without the narrow band we humans are able to perceive.

There are a few good stories to be found here, but generally it feels like Keel had run out of things to say by the time he wrote this book. And, as usual with Keel (and very annoying), he offers little or nothing by way of source references. If this book is likened to the so-called Disneyland of the Gods, I would have to say that the rides are old and broken down, the once-bright paint is chipped and faded, and there are no laughing children, only furtive middle-aged men in dilapidated tranchcoats shuffling along between the corndog stand and the lame merry-go-round.

Keel at his best? The Mothman Prophecies and OperationTrojan Horse.


The Dinosaur Feather
The Dinosaur Feather
by Sissel-Jo Gazan
Edition: Hardcover
96 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light As a Feather..., November 21, 2013
This review is from: The Dinosaur Feather (Hardcover)
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Rave reviews notwithstanding, I found this book, well, light as a feather. Let me qualify that: It was an enjoyable read, it kept me turning the pages, but when all was said and done there wasn't much meat on these bones and in the end they crumbled to dust and slipped through my fingers like a fragile fosil suddenly exposed to air and light.

The strongest element of the book is the way Gazan makes a pont of sharing his (?) characters' life stories along the way. And I mean that quite literally. We get the WHOLE back story of each and every flawed, wounded character, from early childhood trauma to the outlines of of their futures. It's fairly well done and Gazan is to be applauded for injecting a good strong whiff of depth and authenticity to these characterizations by way of his characters' quirks and the specificity of their challenges.

Now we have to talk about what doesn't work so well...

This is one of those mysteries--among a seemingly numberless plenitude--that seeks to hang itself around a thematic gimmick, in this case the scientific debate around the evolutionary origin of birds. Are birds in effect a surviving branch of the old dinosaur family tree or did birds and dinosaurs evolve as separate offshoots from some more remote common ancestor? It's a tried-and-true literary device, and when handled well can be a wonderful way to engage the reader and draw them into a story. Unfortunately I did not find the effort here entirely successful. For one thing, in order for the thematic gimmick to work, an author really needs to be able to share specialized information and generate enthusiasm, but in this book the ostensible skeleton upon which the rest of the story is supposed to depend is given very short shrift; in truth I was left wondering if Gazan had really done any homework at all, that's how superficial and cursory the treatment of what could be a genuinely intriguing intellectual topic was.

Another element I had trouble with is how the main characters all manage to work through their particular personal issues by the end of the book. It definitely detracted from the gritty realism Gazan had managed to build to that point.

Lastly, the murders at the heart of this story--it is a murder mystery after all--and their solution seemed terribly arbitrary and not strongly linked with either the theme gimmick or the convoluted personal oddyseys we've navigated for hundreds of pages.

Did I enjoy reading the book? Absolutely. Would I recommend it? Yes, for light reading and not with white hot enthusiasm. Would I read it again? Never.


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