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Heads Up Philosophy
Heads Up Philosophy
by DK Publishing
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.05
52 used & new from $6.42

4.0 out of 5 stars A 147-page infographic of philosophy, December 16, 2014
This review is from: Heads Up Philosophy (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very broad, very shallow survey of philosophy, with lots of insets and diagrams and random images related to the text. If you are a distractable reader, you will have trouble getting through this without your eyes just flitting all over the page.

However, if you're a younger reader looking for a good, solid, basic introduction to basically any topic that philosophy has ever examined, from epistemology to ethics, this is a wonderful resource. It won't tell you everything you need to know, but it'll tell you enough to get started.

As far as i'm concerned, the greatest failing of this book is that it leaves you hanging. If, for example, upon reading about Rawls' and Nozick's wildly different definitions of justice, and being troubled by the fact that you agree with both, you've no guidance on where to go next. Sure, the internet will give you some suggestions, but i wish the authors of this book had taken the opportunity to direct readers to other secondary texts.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser, 5 Ounce
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser, 5 Ounce
Price: $6.99
10 used & new from $4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My face looks - and feels! - badly sunburned after using this product, December 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've used many neutrogena products in the past, so this time i brazenly tried it on my face without testing it a day ahead on my inner forearm first.

Big mistake.

I read the ingredients list first, and i'm pretty sure i've encountered all of them in other products before without any trouble. I don't know if there's some reaction to the combination, or if some ingredient here is just much more concentrated in this product than in others, but my face is bright red and radiating unpleasant heat. I'm glad i have aloe on hand.

I'm in pain, and grumpy, and feeling a little betrayed by a company that has always taken good care of me in the past.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2014 5:22 AM PST

Morgue Drawer: Do Not Enter! (Morgue Drawer series)
Morgue Drawer: Do Not Enter! (Morgue Drawer series)
by Jutta Profijt
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.99
27 used & new from $8.13

2.0 out of 5 stars There's a difference between being snarky and being crude and cruel., December 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If the main character is supposed to be 'snarky', then the author clearly dislikes snark and thinks people who use it are self-absorbed, cruel, and verbally abusive. Our friendly neighborhood ghost uses no wit, no understatement. He just insults people a lot, mostly right to their faces.

Had this been a stellar, taught, mind-screwy mystery, i would have sighed and dealt with it. However, it was entirely run-of-the-mill, though i admit, not quite so predictable that i could guess the climax by the end of the first chapter.

So if you think Simon Cowell and his ilk are 'witty' and 'snarky', you'll probably think this book is too. But if you think such TV personalities are just mean people who pretend they're being clever, you won't enjoy this series.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2014 6:25 PM PST

The Good Suicides: A Thriller
The Good Suicides: A Thriller
by Toni Hill Gumbao
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.94
89 used & new from $0.18

3.0 out of 5 stars A european novel, far more concerned with exploring the grey areas of human nature than anything else, December 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If there's one thing European novelists do better than American novelists, it's accepting that there are no binaries. It's not simply a matter of drawing a matrix between good and bad nature, good and bad presentation, and letting people hash out whether the bad-person-who-can behave-nicely is really the bad guy when all signs point to the good-person-who-once-did-something-bad.

No, in eurofiction, everyone is, well, realistic. Some are good people with bad chapters in their past. Some are bad people making good. Some are amoral and just doing what they need to. Some are angels, some are devils, most are neither.

And don't get me wrong. I think that's great. I'm tired of the simple binaries many modern American authors rely on to generate some semblance of tension.

But...well...there's nothing really here beyond the exploration of shades of grey. We meet a zillion people, who are all people with pasts and presents and obligations and relationships and interests and a million different pushes and pulls, just like real people. Some are pleasant, some aren't. Some are nice, some aren't. Some are sociable, some aren't.

Just like in real life.

So, A+ for authenticity and the banality of evil. C- for making a 'thriller' worth reading. Because the actual plot wasn't really very engaging.

Ghost Time
Ghost Time
by Courtney Eldridge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.79
46 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars "But then i was just like, I go, Well, no wonder..." (page 3), December 13, 2014
This review is from: Ghost Time (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoy reading YA books, even middle-grade and children's books. I don't mind my protagonists being young, acting young, sounding young. I don't mind the plot being structured for younger minds. What i couldn't deal with in this book was that it was written as if transcribed from a spoken narrative of a 15-year-old girl. So not only was i trapped inside her narcissistic little head, i was trapped in her vacuous lexicon, too. I could have deal with Thea as a main character, but not as the narrator as well. It did not add to the story. In fact, it made the story hard to get to, and in a 'concept novel' like this told out of chronological order, it adds a frustratingly unnecessary level of noise.

Stone Cove Island
Stone Cove Island
by Suzanne Myers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.21
66 used & new from $2.67

4.0 out of 5 stars A fast read that wasn't so blatantly foreshadowed that i knew the end within 20 pages, December 13, 2014
This review is from: Stone Cove Island (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been having bad luck with 'mystery' novels lately. Authors seems to be too busy trying to be clever or witty or gritty or whatever, they don't actually remember to make the mystery a mystery. Instead of reading along as the detective(s) untangle(s) the evidence to reveal the killer's identity, instead of ride shotgun while they ignore the obvious.

Thus, i am happy to report, i actually didn't know the answers in this book until a few pages before our protagonist did.

This book has a few significant flaws, first and foremost being the 'Hi we've known each other forever and never had any chemistry i think i'm falling in love with you' "romance" sideplot. It could have been cut entirely from the book with no consequences whatsoever. The second was a component of the mystery that just felt so awkwardly contrived to deepen the mystery, but was also unnecessary.

That said, i read it in more of less one sitting. I liked the protagonist (despite her poor romantic judgement), and i thought the author did a stellar scene-setting introduction with the damage wrought by the storm. As i said above, i couldn't have tossed the book aside 20 pages in confident that i knew how it would conclude, which is a rare find for me these days.

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions
Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions
by Phil Zuckerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.68
47 used & new from $6.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Morality is not dependent on religion, December 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With all the religious revival going on these days, it's not uncommon to hear people equate atheism with amorality or immorality. There's an implicit assumption that the only reason to be good is to get into heaven, which i personally think reflects very poorly on anyone holding that view.

Luckily for those willing to read it, this book addresses how morality can exist independently of religion, and further, how people, groups, societies, and cultures need not depend on religion for their moral compass.

Those opposed to the idea of Being Good For Goodness's Sake will probably find many opportunities to be offended, leading me to suspect this book will mostly find its way into the hands of people who want affirmation, not education.

Dorothy Parker Drank Here
Dorothy Parker Drank Here
by Ellen Meister
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.86

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much whining and cliche, not enough Dorothy Snarker, December 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The only parts of this book i enjoyed were the sections in which Ms. Parker had dialogue. I found the other characters to be either cliched or trite, and most of all, boring. I signed up for Ms. Parker's wit, not a trudging redemption story for someone else entirely, and certainly not one with such an utterly predictable twist.

...but Ms. Parker is awesome.

GOON SQUAD #7: Dead Man Tells Tale
GOON SQUAD #7: Dead Man Tells Tale
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, sad tale that creates more mysteries than it solves, December 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In this latest installment of the Goon Squad, Ian explains how he became the Revenant. Or, more accurately, he explains the events leading up to it. But he also drops all these wonderful little clues that tell us how much more is going on that we can't even yet begin to understand.

This is, by far, one of the best of the Goon Squad series, and Ian isn't even my favorite member of the Squad.

Hello, City Bus!
Hello, City Bus!
by Marjorie Blain Parker
Edition: Board book
12 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars If your toddler loves city buses as much as mine does, you need this book., December 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hello, City Bus! (Board book)
My toddler loves city buses. We saw a copy of this in his pediatrician's waiting room, and i knew we had to have one for ourselves.

It's a basic toddler book - a simple rhyme about a couple animals getting on the bus, holding on, and getting off at their destination. But for a kid in love with city buses, every page is another opportunity to delightedly shout 'city bus!' and point.

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