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Hoover A301 Air Purifier WH10401
Hoover A301 Air Purifier WH10401
Price: $199.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very User Friendly Unit - and IT's QUIET, February 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have no technical knowledge whatsoever so I can't give you any of the geeky data on this air cleaner by Hoover. I can say that it's quiet and it's cut down on the dust in my apartment. I live in a senior unit that's located between two city parking lots so dust is my enemy. Since I moved here 3 years ago I had my first encounter with allergies in my 70 years. This air cleaner will get a good work out here.

The operation is logical and VERY user friendly. I usually have to go on YouTube and watch tutorials on how to set up and operate the electronic gadgets I bring into my home. Not so with this air cleaner. There are a few buttons that respond to a light touch. You can set the timer for 2, 4 or 8 hours. There is a fan regulator for low, medium or high. There is an on/off touch button. That's it.

The unit can be situated in a vertical or horizontal position - whichever works best in your home. There are two types of filters in this unit: an Odor-Absorbing Filter and a HEPA Type Filter to capture dust and allergens. The unit weighs less than 15 pounds and has an efficient built-in molded handle that makes it easy to move about.

It's worth mentioning one more time - this is a quiet unit. You hear only a whisper when it is turned on. I talked on the phone today sitting right next to it while it was running and it wasn't apparent to either me or my brother who assured me he heard no background noise.

Avery Index Maker Double-Column Clear Label Dividers, 24 Tabs per Set, 1 Set per Pack (13151)
Avery Index Maker Double-Column Clear Label Dividers, 24 Tabs per Set, 1 Set per Pack (13151)
Price: $16.71
8 used & new from $10.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Professional Looking, February 26, 2015
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Avery sets the Gold Standard in label making. I'm from the old school and remember well inserting heavy paper tags in my Selectric Typwriter , typing out tabs that then had to be cut in the proper place and slid into plastic sleeves. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time but hoorah for the new Avery labels that can be set up in on-line templates, sent to your laser printer and as many sets as you need are spit out in a minute or two.

There are a few caveats with this particular set of indexes in that the information surface is very small and you will have to keep your titles short and succinct. I found that about 6 letters was all I could put on one line. I transitioned quickly into my Twitter mindset where “less is more” and had no problem.

I also found that with the smallness of the info-surface that the ‘practice template” that is included was very helpful until I got the feel for the product. You can adjust the labels to your printer prior to the actual printing – a “shakedown cruise” in other words.

At you will find many options in setting up these labels using the 13151 template including font color and the ability to add graphics – even uploading your company logo - You can import your own graphics or use the Avery library. Again, these labels are so small that I think it’s moot to add any glitzy frills as they’d be too small to be efficient – but maybe you just want a graphic with no lettering – that may be effective too.

This set has 24-tabs (two rows of 12). They turn out professional looking with only a small amount of effort on your part. As I said at the start, Avery produces an excellent product.

Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel
Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel
by R. L. Stine
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.21

4.0 out of 5 stars Some plot problems but mostly lots of fun, February 25, 2015
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I think most people associate R.L. Stein with his wildly popular Goosebumps series but lately he has re-launched his other series for Young Adults in the Fear Street sequence of books.

In Don't Stay Up Late we meet the new girl in the town of Shadyside: Lisa. She has been in a car accident that leaves her with some brain trauma causing hallucinations. Her therapist suggests that she take a job as a babysitter - where? On Fear Street. People warn her against this mysterious street but that does not stop her and soon the hallucinations start again.

The problem for Lisa in reporting her observations is that she is dismissed because of the brain trauma, even by the police. She is considered an unreliable witness. This aspect alone would have me saying that this book should probably have a 14 or 15 year low cutoff for age appropriateness as readers younger than that should not be introduced to policemen who are not your friend.

There were many plot points that I found unbelievable such as why parents would let a girl who may be having breaks with reality babysit their kids.

There are many scary moments, plot twists and murders. Readers of light horror will love this book. That easy peasy babysitting job turns out to be a waking nightmare. The book is actually a lot of fun if you like sleeping with the lights on.

The Intern's Handbook: A John Lago Thriller
The Intern's Handbook: A John Lago Thriller
by Shane Kuhn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.47
35 used & new from $0.57

2.0 out of 5 stars Author tries too hard to be funny, February 25, 2015
This book would only be funny to someone who has not read Carl Hiaasen or Donald Westlake. The author tries too hard to be witty but falls short. It's too bad as the premise has so much potential. I found it about as humorous as a one season sitcom.

The Harvest Man (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad)
The Harvest Man (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad)
by Alex Grecian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Victorian England and Gruesome Murder, February 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Hammersmith and Day are back. This time Day is befuddled by lack of sleep after the birth of his twins and Hammersmith is operating as an independent investigator after being sacked from his job at Scotland Yard.

The culprit they're after is called The Harvest Man named after the spider who lives in attics and eats pests. The Harvest Man of London enters homes during the day and hides out in the attic. After the family retires for the night he creeps out and administers a drug to make them groggy and unable to react while he methodically cuts away their faces. After the latest attack Inspector Day is assigned the task of locating two missing children who can probably identify the perpetrator.

Hammersmith is going rogue and searching for Jack the Ripper and possibly a copycat killer. Yes, there are murders-a-plenty in Alex Grecian's newest offering. The historical accuracy of this recounting of Victorian England and the early emergence of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad adds another lay of interest for the reader. Fingerprinting is being introduced along with the cordoning off of the crime scenes.

The supporting characters are well fleshed out. Clair Day, wife of Inspector Day, along with his in-laws who seem to have come to stay shows us that home life with new babies has not gotten much better over the years. The giant Henry with his magpie is assigned to help Dr. Kingsley and both are colorful characters who fit well into this period piece. Even Inspector Tiffany has a bigger role in this story than in The Devil's Workshop.

If you are a fan of Victorian drama and tales of gruesome murder this will be right up your alley.

The Miniaturist: A Novel
The Miniaturist: A Novel
by Jessie Burton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.34
124 used & new from $9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good writing in search of a genus. 3.5 stars, February 23, 2015
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For me this book fell somewhere in-between a historical novel and a fantasy. The writing was superb but I found myself uncomfortable with the many times that author Jessie Burton asked me to forgo common sense and accept the wild outrageous plot points that this story depended upon.

While I loved the descriptions of the life and times of seventeenth century Amsterdam I questioned the ability of the miniaturist to foresee the future. Who was this person? How did the miniatures get altered? This was never explained. Why did she vanish half way through the book? Maybe there was something I missed. Did Johannes actually have a carnal encounter in an alley? Wasn’t he smarter than that? The father of Marin’s baby seemed obvious to me from the first mention that she was with child.

It is hard for me to explain my feelings towards this book. Nella, Marin, Cornelia, Otto, Johannes all seemed to be operating independent of each other yet somehow the book held me captive. I fell into their lives and time from the oppression due to the religious fervor of the period to the description of Marin’s fur underpants (now there is a whole research project in Literature 101).

I think that if the author would have locked down her genre I’d have given this book more stars. There is very good writing in search of a genus.

Blood on Snow: A novel
Blood on Snow: A novel
by Tom Johansen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.88

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olav is a fixer - who mostly kills the sort of men who deserve it., February 20, 2015
This review is from: Blood on Snow: A novel (Hardcover)
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This is an offbeat offering from Jo NesbÝ in that it's short, unpredictable and not featuring Harry Hole. Olav is a fixer who justifies his lot in life by articulating that he mostly kills the sort of men who deserve it. He further clarifies his vocation by stating that he's chosen to do this because he will not be a driver, a robber, deal in drugs or prostitution. He's also bad at math.

His boss, Daniel Hoffman, is Oslo's Red Light Boss along with sharing the heroin business with a competitor named the Fisherman. Hoffman hires Olav to murder his current wife Corine. Olav stakes out across the street and observes a man arriving in Hoffman's apartment each day, slapping Corina and then having sex with her. Olav follows the malefactor and shoots him in the back. Upon reporting to Hoffman that he'd fixed the wife's lover and that he suspected she was being blackmailed, Hoffman replies "You killed my son?"

With that the game of cat and mouse begins with Olav being the one sought for fixing. The story takes place in the 1970's in the dead of winter. The characters turn out to be almost as chilling as the weather. I found the first 2/3 of the book better conceived than the end but still it is a book well worth reading. I understand that the rights have already been picked up by Warner Brothers and the screen adaption will be produced and possibly starred in by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2015 6:50 PM PST

Fabulous fry pan favorites: The complete electric fry pan cookbook
Fabulous fry pan favorites: The complete electric fry pan cookbook
by Patricia Phillips
Edition: Unknown Binding
7 used & new from $2.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of regional Cost Cutting Recipes, February 19, 2015
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I've recently gotten an electric skillet. My mom used to use one of these and I was looking for some of the classic recipes she made so long age. can remember that she used to make 4 grilled cheese Sammy's at a time but I wanted to go beyond the obvious. I found the Pineapple-Plum-Glazed Pork Chops that have a Latitude-20 feel and are excellent over rice..

Pot Roast in an electric skillet always comes out tender and with a gravy that is perfect over wide egg noodles. This cookbook offers several choices for chuck roast and round steak. In the regional section you'll find lots of cost cutting choices including Yankee Red-Flannel Hash, Maryland Fried Chicken, a Denver Sandwich and from the South Arroz Con Pollo.

I found more than enough recipes to use my electric skillet often without duplicating the same favorites over and over.

Happy are the Happy
Happy are the Happy
by Yasmina Reza
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.99
75 used & new from $9.56

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The characters travel a Möbius strip twisting back on previous events, February 19, 2015
This review is from: Happy are the Happy (Hardcover)
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"Happy are those that are beloved and those who love and those who can do without love. Happy are the Happy." And so with this epigram Yasmina Reza's novel begins. This is a short and unique book written in an odd format. There are 20 paragraphs, each a chapter and each a short story of its own.

The main characters are Robert and Odile Toscano, a married couple, whose lives and loves are spotlighted in a series of vignettes featuring their parents, friends, and lovers. I was immediately reminded of the dark medical show from the 1960's, Ben Casey, which started each episode with symbols on a chalk board representing "Man, Woman, Life, Death, Infinity". This novel is structured with the characters traveling on a Möbius strip that routes each member both towards and away from the beginning of the novel but eventually all refer back to the starting place.

The characters are exceptional and unique yet each touches on the lives of the others. There is the young man who channels Celine Dion; The bridge player who makes a tournament play that's never been seen on the circuit before; the oncologist who is attracted to male prostitutes.

The life observations are profound and quote worthy: Robert's father Ernest says "Old folks are people from the past stuck in the future". Ernest's friend refers to someone he met "long before he was kicked out of the Third Circle, one of those exclusive clubs where oligarchs from both right and left connive together, steeped in right-mindedness and filled with devoted allegiance to the power of money". Robert recalls how he'd speak to his father each morning to fix Syria and Iran and to criticize Western naÔveté and European conceit.

This is a novel filled with both the mundane and outlandish goings-on in the day-to-day life of a French couple. A nod should be given to the translator, John Cullen, who not only gave us the words but the sensation and mood of the inimitable characters in this story.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2015 7:30 PM PST

T.S. Shure Pocket Bears Wooden Magnetic Dress-Ups
T.S. Shure Pocket Bears Wooden Magnetic Dress-Ups
Price: $14.52
7 used & new from $14.52

5.0 out of 5 stars No batteries, no joystick, no internet required, February 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Your child will have hours of old-fashioned fun dressing up these 2 wooden bears from T.S. Shure. No batteries, no joystick, no internet required - Just lots of imagination.

The bears have 40 dress-up pieces including tops, shoes, scarfs and scads of other colorful outfit pieces to choose from. The bears and clothing are magnetic so the parts adhere firmly.

This set comes in a compartment storage box with a sliding lid to keep the pieces safely for travel to a friends or grandma’s house. I’ve loved “paper dolls” since I was a little girl over 70 years ago and just love this modern version. These bears have been a hit with my nieces and friends grandchildren when they’ve visited.

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