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Emilia Palaveeva "ema-in-seattle" RSS Feed (Seattle, WA United States)
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Stagestruck (Peter Diamond #11)
Stagestruck (Peter Diamond #11)
by Peter Lovesey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.30
108 used & new from $0.01

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointed, June 24, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I liked the other Diamond novels and could not wait to get Stagestruck. I either remember the previous ones wrong, or this is way below their standard. The writing is stiff, flat and very very formulaic. The characters, including Diamond, are stereotypical caricatures. Their conversations and actions do not make sense or seem forced. What happened? Did he get an intern to write this?


The Tiger's Wife: A Novel
The Tiger's Wife: A Novel
by Téa Obreht
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.17
361 used & new from $0.01

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanna Be Balkan Marquez, April 16, 2011
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Started the book with anticipation after reading the many positive published reviews. And the beginning was very promising. The Balkan mythology can be a fruitful ground for magical realism. But the book looses momentum in the second half. The stories become shallow, the characters uneven. The first part builds anticipation and drama, that is never met or resolved by the ending.


Faithful Place: A Novel
Faithful Place: A Novel
by Tana French
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.90
347 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mystery, great novel, July 27, 2010
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The book is not only a great mystery, but a great novel. It goes deep into issues about love, family, patenting. There are a few cliched characters (the murder squad detective) and a few of the characters are off (main character's daughter talks and acts at times like a 6 year old, not 9), but overall, a must read.


The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Novel
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Novel
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and cute, but historically accurate?, April 18, 2010
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The second installment of the series is as cute as the first one. We see the precocious Flavia, once again investigating a murder, brewing poisons and antidotes, and tormenting her sisters. It is all great entertainment. It would have been a great novel if the action was taking place 20-40 years earlier than the 1950s. It seems that WWII completely skipped this village in the English Countryside. None of the characters seem to remember any of the challenges they endured less than 5-6 years before. There is a passing mention of the war, because one of the characters is a POW, but other than that. no one seems to have been impacted by it. Flavia's father is still nervous to use the telephone and the advent of the television at the end of the book seems like a sci-fi moment, given how frozen in time the village and the characters seem.


Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device (9.7" Display, U.S. Wireless)
Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device (9.7" Display, U.S. Wireless)
2 used & new from $162.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First time Kindle owner--love it, June 25, 2009
I got the Kindle DX as a gift as soon as it came out. After overcoming the initial guilt that I am another nail in the coffin of real books, I must admit that I love it. I would stay away from super techincal comments, because for me the Kindle is not a gadget. I also must state upfront that I have not used some of the features others have commented on. Instead I would focus on the reading experience:
Pluses
--The best part about the Kindle DX (and I guess any of the Kindles) is the immediate delivery through Wispernet. As soon as you are done with one book, you can order and start the next one. So many times, I would browse a bookstore, and postpone a purchase, till I read some reviews on Amazon.com, only to get distracted and not buy/order a book (probably a sign of ADD, but who doesn't have ADD these days). Or I would order a book online, only to forget what spiked my interest by the time it arrives. Kindle DX solves that problem for you.
--The screen is just the right size, it does render font beautifully and after a while you have forgotten you do not have an actual book.
--I like being able to see all my library on my home screen and get to the last read page
--You can adjust the font size and spacing, which is a nice feature. However, I have not figured out yet if you can adjust the contrast on the device--I woudl definitely make it a bit stronger if I could.

Things I am not so sure about:
--I miss page numbers. Instead of page numbers, there is a percentage "bar" at the bottom of the screen. It is understandable why pagination will not work, given that you can adjust the font size. However, I find it a bit confusing to try and determine how much of the book I have read by percentages. It is probably just a matter of habit and eventually I will get used to it.
--There are some interactive features that I have become so used to, that everytime I am holding a digital device I expect them by default. The Kindle DX does not have them, though, and I find that lack a bit distrubing. For example, I kept looking for the equivalent of the "Back to Top" button, that would take you to the beginning of the chapter, or I expected that the table of contents would be "hyperlinked." These may not be reasonable expectations but if we are going to an electronic book reader, should we make it more electronic?
--I miss the ability to flip through pages, or go back to a certain chapter. While the KDX gives you the ability to search or highlight areas, it is not the same--I do not always know that I would want to go back to a spot, so I do not highlight it. Not sure anything can be done about it.
--Archived items--I subscribed for the New York Times, which is great. However, even if I delete an issue, it still remains in my Archived items. I have not been able to find any information on wether or not archived items still use device memory, but even if they do not, my inherent need to keep things clean and organized makes me cringe everytime I see 20 archived items that I cannot clean. (Probably a problem for a psychiatrist, not Amazon.com)
--The Kindle library is good, but if you find a Kindle book by an author you like you may be unpleasantly surprised to discover that older titles by the same author are not available. Pride and Prejudice however has at least five Kindle editions?!?

Overall, I like the Kindle DX. Will it replace my love for real books--probably not. But it is a good ebook reader, that successds in balancing the benefits of the "e-" with the old fashioned "book" experience.


Nocturnes
Nocturnes
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from $0.01

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical, "weightless," slightly repetitive, June 2, 2009
This review is from: Nocturnes (Paperback)
The common theme in Ishiguro's collection of short stories is music and love -- how love and music can inspire or stifle each other, how musicians' love of music can surpass or extinguish love, how sometimes one is not enough without the other. The stories are very lyrical, unpretentious and smooth. The reader floats from one story to the other, as if in a dream and in this respect,as well as for the melancholy tone, the title is very appropriate. However, towards the end, I felt that the stories are beginning to repeat themselves. When you add Ishiguro's recurring penchant for unreliable narrators, the collection felt a bit like you are in the same slightly uncomfortable dream over and over again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2009 3:13 PM PDT


Stone's Fall: A Novel
Stone's Fall: A Novel
by Iain Pears
Edition: Hardcover
176 used & new from $0.01

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid plot, but weak in character motivation, May 28, 2009
This review is from: Stone's Fall: A Novel (Hardcover)
Iain Pears's latest novel is three books in one. Each of the parts aims to unveil a different layer of the story. While Pears used this device amazingly well in his Fingerpost novel, I thought that in this case, he was trying too hard to follow the winning formula of his previous book and the result was gimicky and pieced together not very well.

The novel starts with the suicide of a financial genius. What drives the mistery is a provision in his will that speculates that he has a child that no one else knew about. By the end of the book, the mystery is solved, with all the seemingly unrelated twists and turns tied neatly together. Unexpected outcome, a few surprises, good read.

What troubled me most about the book was the fact that Pears did a lousy job describing why some characters acted a certain way. Each part of the book has that--in the first one, the journalist is like a puppet being driven around by behind-the-scenes masters. Money kind of explains why he gets involved, but his attraction to Elizabeth seems like an afterthought that was thrown in to avoid more in depth "analysis." And then we have quite a few moments, where you feel like you are reading about everything AND the kitchen sink....

The second part was particularly annoying--we see young Cort, who turns from a business person to a spy quite reluctantly and cluelessly, yet suddenly he is really good. Similarly, Elizabeth's early years seem like a series of cliches pasted together--the person that pushes her to run away is never given more than a sentence. Similar weak spots in the third book as well.

I also found the business story somehwat artificially layered on top of the personal story of the characters. It almost seemed like Pears set out to write something else, but with the business climate today, decided to speed things up, add a not well thought out, but timely angle and publish fast.

M


Jennifer Kries: New Body! Pilates II
Jennifer Kries: New Body! Pilates II
DVD ~ Jennifer Kries
Offered by MassageStore
Price: $12.90
13 used & new from $4.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good pilates primer, not so good execution, May 12, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am a Jennifer Kreis fan--her style of Pilates instruction (methodical, even-toned, not over the top motivational) appealed to me in her tapes (Target Specifics). That is why when I decided to go for a Pilates DVD, I was searching for her. Yet, this DVD is very different--she does not model the exercises. Instead, she walks around another model, talking through the poses and excercises. It may sound petty, but I found the result somewhat distracting as I was trying to follow both Jennifer and the model. When you are on the 90 repetition of the 100 breaths, that is no fun.

I definitely recommend Pilates for DVD excersice, but would have prefered a DVD with people who appear in it that are in synch, rather than with an instructor walking around.


SwissGear Computer Backpack (Black)
SwissGear Computer Backpack (Black)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool and practical, May 12, 2009
This backpack is the best, according to both my husband and my son. It is sturdy enough for a laptop, yet it is not super bulky. It features multiple compartments(for keys, water, MP3 or phone), but some of the pockets are hidden, contributing to a sleek and stylish look. More importantly, it can withstand being thrown daily into my son's locker or carried around as the carryon bag for my husband's many business trips. And the Amazon.com discount makes it super affordable.


Classic Fairy Tales
Classic Fairy Tales
by Scott Gustafson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.11
53 used & new from $11.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Great beautiful book, October 19, 2007
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This review is from: Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)
I loved the book. It features classical fairy tales that have not been "modernised" beyond the point of loosing their original morals. That makes the stories a bit longer than the standard adaptations in other collections.

What sets it apart though are the super detailed and somewhat old-fashioned classical illustrations. They bring out the magic and mystery of these stories and will delight children with imagination and interest in art.


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