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Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze (Melendy Quartet)
Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze (Melendy Quartet)
by Elizabeth Enright
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.19
69 used & new from $3.11

4.0 out of 5 stars All good things come to an end..., May 18, 2014
"Spiderweb for Two" is the last book in the series about the Melendy family and it's my least favorite of the four, simply because there are not enough Melendys in it. When the book opens, one year after the end of the third book, the three oldest children are off to boarding school and Randy and Oliver are facing a lonely, boring winter by themselves, until a mysterious letter written on blue paper arrives in the mail, containing the first clue to what will be a year-long treasure hunt. The clues are funny and entertaining, and the adventures Randy and Oliver get into, going from one clue to the next, are enjoyable. But we miss the presence of Mona, Rush and Mark except during the brief period they are home from school for the Christmas holidays, and the adults in the family, Father, Cuffy and Willie, aren't quite enough to take up the slack.

Compared to the first three book, "Spiderweb" is somewhat of a disappointment, and sort of an anti-climax. Why, I wondered, did the three oldest children have to be sent off to boarding school? Were there no good high schools in their vicinity? Or did Enright not know what to do with them now that they are no longer children but teenagers heading toward adulthood? Enright really seems quite reluctant to let some of her characters grow up. She's wonderful when she writes about children, but she seems uncomfortable when they turn into teenagers. She doesn't even mention Randy's age in the book, although we know Randy is four and half years older than Oliver, which means she's already thirteen. But Randy shows no interest in boys, movie stars, popular music, or any of the things thirteen year old girls normally obsess about. Mona comes home for vacation talking about "When I grow up I want to be..." come on! No young lady going on seventeen talks about "when I grow up", in their minds they're already grown up. Enright's young characters seem to be caught in a time warp, frozen in time as perpetual children.

One thing about "Spiderweb" that sets it apart from the first three books is the lack of a time frame. Enright wrote the first three during World War II and the war is at the center of the family's lives and is present in each book; the children are busy presenting a show and working after school to buy war bonds and going on scrap metal drives during the summer holiday. The first three books take place from the later winter and early spring of 1942, through the end of the summer of 1943. But although "Spiderweb" runs from October of 1944 to June of 1945, the war is never even referred to in the book. Even V-E Day in May of 1945 which would have been celebrated all over town, isn't mentioned. Perhaps this is because Enright wrote "Spiderweb" ten years after she wrote the third book and many of her readers hadn't been born during the war; but still, some mention of the events would have given the book a dimension that is present in the first three but lacking in this one.

When I turned the last page of "Spiderweb" after reading it as a child, I was devastated to realize that there would be no more Melendy books. But Enright had the right idea; the next year would have seen Randy herself going off to boarding school and Mona off to college, leaving Oliver rattling around the Four Story Mistake by his lonesome. A depressing prospect indeed. Enright knew where to end it.

Judy Lind

Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer (C11CC87201)
Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer (C11CC87201)
Price: $69.99
51 used & new from $40.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for... in this case, not a whole lot, February 20, 2014
I needed a printer with a small footprint that would not take up a lot of space on my desk. For a small printer, the Epson 410 is a fairly good buy. Here is what I like and don't like about it:

1) Space saver.
2) Very light and easy to move around.
3) Scanning could not be easier, especially with an iMac.
4) Print quality is good to excellent. Colors are sharp and vibrant.
5) Copy quality ditto.

1) Ink cartridges are tiny and this printer gobbles them up.
2) The printer won't print at all if even one cartridge is low on ink. Not empty, low.
3) Print heads and nozzles clog up frequently. Run a nozzle check before you use it.

In sum, it's an okay printer for light use. If you do frequent print jobs, get a heavy-duty printer.

Judy Lind

Samsung UN85S9 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV
Samsung UN85S9 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV
Price: $39,997.99
6 used & new from $20,898.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hold off for a bit...., January 31, 2014
You know what? I like it. I'm really tempted. But I think I'll hold off buying this until 2016, by which time the price will be down to $700 or $800 and I will have saved $32,000. That's a lotta loot, when you think about it.

Judy Lind

Haribo Gummi Bears Sugar Free 5lb Bag
Haribo Gummi Bears Sugar Free 5lb Bag

41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be classified as WMDs, January 14, 2014
I ate a handful of these on a flight from NYC to California and now I have been PERMANENTLY BANNED by that airline. I heard they had to fumigate the plane.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2014 8:50 AM PDT

Scandal: Season 3
Scandal: Season 3
DVD ~ Tony Goldwyn
Price: $39.99

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slam-bang-crazy fun, December 14, 2013
This review is from: Scandal: Season 3 (DVD)
The way this series is going, you'll need to invest in a defibrillator. Scandal will have you on your feet screaming "WHAT?!" at your TV at the end of every episode. The plot twists and turns are so ingenious that just when you think Shonda Rhimes can't possibly take it any further, she pulls out another trick that stops you dead in your tracks. The acting continues to be excellent, with special mention to Kate Burton as the Jesus-freak Vice President Sally Langston and Joe Morton as the diabolical Rowan/Eli Pope. I can't begin to imagine the direction in which Shonda Rhimes is taking this show, and I don't want to know. All I'm looking forward to is being blown out of my shoes every Thursday night, and Shonda hasn't disappointed yet.

Judy Lind
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2014 5:42 AM PST

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
by E. L. James
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.98
2488 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spray this thing with Raid!, October 13, 2013
Wondering why this book was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks on end, I thought about buying it but decided to browse through it in the bookstore first. Smartest thing I ever did. After reading ten pages, I threw it back on the shelf like it was something toxic. I have never read such abominably written tripe in all my life. The writing is so bad it actually made my back teeth hurt. And this thing is a best-seller? What in the world is wrong with people?!

Judy Lind

Anuschka 505 Hobo,Python Bloom,One Size
Anuschka 505 Hobo,Python Bloom,One Size
Price: $242.00
9 used & new from $242.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well constructed and room for (almost) everything, August 16, 2013
This review is from: Anuschka 505-PTB Hobo (Apparel)
This is my third Anuschka bag. The first, Anuschka 371 Top Handle Bag, an abstract-pattern medium-size hobo with a rope handle, is good for carrying a few essentials around. The second is the Anuschka 357 V-Top Hobo in the peacock-feather design and is somewhat roomier. The 505 hobo has room for almost everything you would want to carry around, with the possible exception of a laptop. It can, however, accommodate an iPad quite nicely.

The best thing about the 505 hobo is pockets galore, if you don't like all your stuff rattling around your bag in one big space. The outside has two large zip pockets on either side and a smaller pocket that doesn't zip. It also has zip pockets on either side of the bag, one that runs the entire width of the bag. Inside there is another zip pocket and two smaller pockets to hold your cell phone and whatever. I found my Samsung Galaxy S4 is a tad too big for the cell pocket so I keep that in the smaller zip pocket on the outside of the bag. My metrocard holder fits exactly into the cell phone pocket inside.

When my bag arrived I packed it up to see how much it would hold and was able to fit in my Nook with its padded cover (which adds twice the bulk), my iPad with its cover, my wallet, a leather cosmetic bag, a folding umbrella and two sections of The New York Times. (Alas, the whole paper wouldn't fit after everything else was in there.) I zipped up the main section, put my keys in the smaller side pocket, my cell phone in one of the outside pockets, picked up the bag and hefted it. It didn't seem to weigh nearly as much as my other leather hobo which is about the same size.

Like all Anuschka bags, this one is gloriously painted. The colors are vibrant but not garish. Carrying this bag is like wearing a piece of artwork. It's a lot of fun.

The one thing I'm not delighted about the 505 hobo is that even when you double up the handle, it's still very long. The drop varies from 16 inches to 27 inches if you want to use it as a cross-body bag. However, I was able to shorten it some more by knotting the handle on top, which made it pretty much the length I like to carry on one shoulder.

The big downside of Anuschka bags is that they're like Lays potato chips; you're never content with just one. For now I'm sticking with three. I just hope they don't tempt me with another one -- at least for a while yet.

Judy Lind

Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 16 Running Shoe
Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 16 Running Shoe
Price: $63.99 - $129.99

68 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These shoes were made for kickin' azz!, June 30, 2013
Well dang, these must be some slammin' shoes! They helped a little woman hold off a whole herd of rampaging "elephants" for 13 hours! I gotta get me some!

Hang in there, Wendy, and stay strong. You're my new hero.

Judy Lind

Scandal: Season 2
Scandal: Season 2
DVD ~ Tony Goldwyn
Price: $29.99
21 used & new from $25.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Hopelessly addicted and loving every minute of it., April 27, 2013
This review is from: Scandal: Season 2 (DVD)
It's extremely rare that I get enthusiastic about a TV show but this one... my God, they pulled all the stops out. It's like a roller coaster ride that never ends and each time it slows down a bit for you to catch your breath -- whammo, here comes another plot twist that knocks you senseless.

What can I tell you -- this show has it all: a terrific, suspenseful plot that you can never figure out, great script, great performances, and explosive chemistry between the two leads. There are no real heroes and only a few real villains; every character is flawed to some extent, which is what gives them so much depth and makes them so appealing to watch.

What I respect most about Scandal is that its creator, Shonda Rhimes, sticks to her guns and writes it the way she wants it, regardless of fan pressure. She caved in to fans on several occasions while writing "Grey's Anatomy" and she's not making that mistake again. Scandal is her baby and she's taking it where she wants it to go. And we all hang on breathlessly for the ride.

I don't know where this show is going. I don't even want to know. All I look forward to is being blown out of my shoes every Thursday night.

Judy Lind

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 [DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet]
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 [DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet]
DVD ~ Kristen Stewart
Price: $12.96
18 used & new from $7.44

29 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is the way the series ends... not with a bang, but a whimper, March 8, 2013
So it's finally over and thank God for that. The most over-blown, over-hyped, over-extended movie series ever made has at long last limped to a close. They even threw in a fake battle scene to try to liven up the moronic book ending. Not that it helped very much.

"Breaking Dawn 2" feels like a bunch of scenes that don't have much relation to each other strung together by a disjointed voice-over. It doesn't even feel like a whole movie. It's as if there was too much book for one film, but not enough for two.

I can't see what was the purpose of making these movies except to send a bunch of pre-pubescent Twihards into fits of joy and make some mediocre actors into instant gazillionaires. Kristen Stewart gives her usual lip-biting, mouth-breathing, one-note performance as Bella, trying to look fierce during the climactic fake battle scene and managing only to look somewhat constipated. Robert Pattinson, a much better actor, does what he can with the excruciating lines he has to say ("We're the same temperature now." Really?) Billy Burke does his usual superb acting job as Charlie, Bella's dad, but some of the other supporting roles (Rosalie, for instance) have been so truncated they hardly have anything to say. Except for Jacob, the wolves don't do anything but act wolfy. And the Volturi are nowhere near as menacing as they were in "New Moon" and "Eclipse". Jane, for instance, was a truly diabolical character, meting out excruciating pain with a baby-faced simper. Now she's just standing around wearing too much eyeliner looking as bored as the viewer feels watching her.

(A few people asked that I put in the following caveat, so here goes a ***SPOILER ALERT***):
As for the fake battle scene, it did help to liven up a stupefyingly boring confrontation between the good guys and the bad guys, but why did it have to be fake? It would have been infinitely more satisfying to see Alice really handing Jane a taste of her own medicine, or Bella and Edward handing Aro his head. But as in the book, it's all a cheat. Nobody dies, nobody even gets hurt; Aro sees the future through Alice and decides this is something that can wait a few millenia, and he and the rest of the Volturi run off with their tails between their legs, leaving the good guys to...

... to what? What do these undead folks actually do all day? Carlisle's an exception; he's a doctor, out doing some good in the world. Esme keeps house. But what about the rest of them? Besides laying around and occasionally decimating the native wildlife population, what are Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper, Alice, Edward and Bella going to do for the rest of their endless existence? We get through Alice's vision that at the ripe old age of seven, when she will be fully grown, Renesmee will run off with Jacob and they will settle down and breed a bunch of little werevamps and live happily ever after, so that leaves Bella and Edward facing empty nest syndrome for eternity with nothing ahead of them but the same ole same ole day in and day out and sooner or later probably boring each other into a coma. Doesn't sound like much to look forward to.

So it's finally, finally, finally over. No more sparkly vampires. And please, Stephenie Meyer, no more godawful books to turn into godawful movies. Peace out.

Judy Lind
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2013 12:23 PM PDT

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