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Patrick McCormack RSS Feed (New Brighton, MN USA)
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Armada: A Novel
Armada: A Novel
by Ernest Cline
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.60
69 used & new from $10.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fan Boy Tripe., July 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Armada: A Novel (Hardcover)
This is fan boy tripe. Redolent with the exhumate aroma of the 1980s, consciously modeled after movies like the Last Starfighter, this book crosses the line between homage and insipidity.

Our hero plays video games, and is recruited to be a pilot to save the Earth. The alien's actions are not sensible, as they ramp up over many years into an invasion that seems designed to test humanity, rather than to simply crush us. This awareness of the weakness of most alien invasion scenarios (if they came here, they have the tech to crush us, so why the fight) is never fully developed by the author into cleverness. Unlike Ready Player One, where the base scenario was fun and sensible, this scenario does not work.

The main character is a git, a whiny puling jerk, without redeeming characteristics.

The result is a book that is less fun each chapter you read, less interesting, less worth reading. As a child of the era, I admire the treatment of the 1980s as a sort of archaeological field museum for stories. This is a swing and a miss.


Cuisinart CPS-104 Classic Pizza Wheel, Silver
Cuisinart CPS-104 Classic Pizza Wheel, Silver
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I wear this on a chain around my neck., July 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A pizza cutter is not just a tool in our house. It a necessity. Pizza gets us through busy weeks.

This is a grand cutter. The handle allows good grip and exertion of force. The blade slices (it has a blade shied because it is sharp) We can make quesadillas, and slice pizza all day long. I wear this on chain around my neck, it is so useful.


Cafejo  K-Cups, Signature Blend, 24 Count
Cafejo K-Cups, Signature Blend, 24 Count
Price: $16.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice coffee...., July 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My favorite is Green Mountain Kenyan AA, and I also like several other dark coffees. This Cafejo is milder, but with a rich flavor, with overtones of complexity from roasting (they call it carmelization, which made my son think it was caramel coffee -- let's just say roasting).

This is a very nice keurig, does not have that washed out flavor that so many do....


Motorola Talkabout T400 Rechargeable  Two-Way Radio Pair (Yellow)
Motorola Talkabout T400 Rechargeable Two-Way Radio Pair (Yellow)
Price: $69.00
9 used & new from $52.80

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way cool., July 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Fun! These are what I wanted as a kid. They perform very well over the distance of our park, a few miles away when hiking -- a little less well in crowded urban areas. They give weather reports, allow connection and are just what I need when out for a long walk on a camping trip. Easy to charge, easy to use.

Used these on Mt Washburn in Yellowstone, when my wife sprinted up the hill, and my son and I turtled behind her. They worked great in the wilderness, gave us peace of mind about being separate.


Amici Baja Set of 4 Hiball Glasses - 19oz
Amici Baja Set of 4 Hiball Glasses - 19oz
Offered by Wayfair
Price: $38.99
2 used & new from $38.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Large and very nice glasses., July 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are larger than they appear in the photo. Sort of like small pitchers.

And they are very nice, solid, and attractive. Good for a large margarita, or for a large planter's punch.

Get 8. Have a party.


Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)
Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)
by Annie Finch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.15
56 used & new from $7.97

5.0 out of 5 stars An education within great poetry., July 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The selection of poems is excellent,and the organization into chapters according to meter and rhyme is very helpful. In a way, this is the academic class in poetry and meter that non-poetry majors feel they lack, given with a light touch within an excellent collection. I put this into my carry on bag....

I also like that some of the poems are chosen for the style they epitomize, which means that this is not just the usual suspects, only, but some that are not in other collections. This is a good book to have in your carry on case.


V-LIGHT Halogen Architect Style Desk Lamp with Double Swing-Arm Design (VS407SN)
V-LIGHT Halogen Architect Style Desk Lamp with Double Swing-Arm Design (VS407SN)
Price: $36.65
2 used & new from $30.24

5.0 out of 5 stars A Tool As Well As A Light., July 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My son is using this nice lamp as an aide to his computer repairs. This lamp is great for desk work, and can articulate, moving the light to the spot necessary. Well built, attractive, a tool as well as a light.


Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
by Anthony Doerr
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.16
78 used & new from $3.94

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book built on twins., June 29, 2015
This is a gentle, well written journal of the author's year in Rome, raising twin sons, with his wife and a stroller and the backdrop of the hills of Rome. The author weaves spirituality, travel writing, parenting, the life of a writer, and a sharp eye for detail into a book that makes you want to be a parent.

OK, you thought that I would accredit the book with making a reader want to return to Rome. It does.... and it makes you want to write, and read Pliny, and eat pizza, and see the Piazza Navona.... but the twins and the struggle to be a father take center stage.

This is writing, the kind of book that an award winner can publish, and is so graceful and well done that it becomes beloved.


Gold Fame Citrus: A Novel
Gold Fame Citrus: A Novel
by Claire Vaye Watkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.32

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Water Collander., June 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is not "The Water Knife". This is more "The Water Collander" -- a narrative thread that wanders, a story that is not engrossing, characters that are indulgent, writing that is awkward and uneven.

We are in the middle of dystopia pornography, a sub-branch of the pornography of death, an era where every aspiring author has to have one novel about the end of times. Thirty years ago, every author had to have an incest moment (Think "A Thousand Acres".)

This one by Claire Watkins is set in the Southwest, land of swimming pools, dry in a drought at the end of times. We have Luz and Ray and a baby and a group of people trying to survive, told in a mildly convoluted and entirely unconvincing style, without verve, without spark, without the kind of writing that crackles. The result is dis-spiriting.

As the relationship develops, the drought and the travel serve as a metaphor... wait, wait, do I need the drought to be a metaphor for a dying relationship between Ray and Luz? The mountain range is a mortar and the colony moves through the desert, although it is almost as if the desert moves through the colony, or some such meandering writerly stuff, and we feel a sad sense of foreboding, or maybe a foreboding sense of sadness, or maybe the tragic sense of loneliness, or maybe life is s*** when there is no water, and relationships dry up, and the reader begins to pound his head on the table in a migraine of pain that Ray feels for us as he walks, and the reason to read this book dwindles into the distance, and the book moves through me like water in a desert that does not exist, and I put the book down and cannot find it anywhere, but OK, I can live with that.


Leviathan Wakes
Leviathan Wakes
by James S. A. Corey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.64
99 used & new from $3.78

3.0 out of 5 stars Dang Dumb Ending., June 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Leviathan Wakes (Paperback)
I liked this book, until the end, at which point I threw it against the wall in disgust.

The story alternates between a cop and a ship's captain, as they are maneuvered midst the forces of a inter-system war between Earth, Mars, and the Belts...There is a bit too much of a lens effect -- where all events are focused through the actions of these two persons.

Then -- SPOLIER -- we get to the ending of this book one. And ending in which the crazed cop argues the skeptical ship's captain into magically thwarting the combined forces of all other plants, hundreds of bombs, all to save the life of an alien-consumed girl who might not exist. And they pull this off, because that is what the author wrote they did, common sense be damned.

Yet, see, I don't have to buy book two if book one ends so stupidly. And I can say that this author might be worth it for a later work, or works, but this was dang dumb.


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