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Rae "rae_2756" RSS Feed (Oakland, CA USA)

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BESTEK® Portable International Travel Voltage Converter 220V to 110V with Interchangeable Worldwide UK/US/AU/EU Plugs + 4 USB(6A Max) Charging Ports for iPhone,iPad,Samsung,Tablet
BESTEK® Portable International Travel Voltage Converter 220V to 110V with Interchangeable Worldwide UK/US/AU/EU Plugs + 4 USB(6A Max) Charging Ports for iPhone,iPad,Samsung,Tablet
Offered by BESTEK.
Price: $89.99
2 used & new from $49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous gadget....., July 12, 2015
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This gadget is fabulous. I've been traveling internationally since the late 90s, and hauling my technology along with me has always been a giant hassle because of all the converter and adapter issues. No longer. I can charge everything with one gizmo, and it works beautifully. Plus, it's not too heavy. FYI, I bought two, so I could have "converter stations" in two locations in the serviced apartment I'm renting.

Highly recommend this....


Cary Grant: A Biography
Cary Grant: A Biography
by Marc Eliot
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.19
139 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, illuminating, and sympathetic, January 2, 2013
I was somewhat disconcerted by several readers' statements regarding their perception of a lack of facts or research. The author makes mention in the book several times to his access to the diaries of Grant's first wife, Virginia Cherrill (I may have mangled the spelling of her name) and other private documents from key people in Mr. Grant's life. Plus, at the back of the edition I read, there are 13 pages listing sources and quotes. Whatever one might think of the book, poor research is in my mind not an issue.

I found the book to be an excellent read, and a sympathetic portrayal of an obviously very complicated man. The story flows well, and I believe the author credibly backs up his statements about Grant's personal life (although in this day and age, I take everything with a grain of salt).

What I found particularly interesting, however, were the behind-the-scenes stories of Grant's professional life. I had always wondered why Mr. Grant never received an Oscar for his wonderful acting, rather a "Lifetme Achievement" Oscar after he retired - the biographer's theories make a lot of (unfortunate) sense: and, by the way, make me think even more highly of Gregory Peck than I already did.

Cary Grant lived during a great era in the history of both Hollywood and the world in general - I thought the book gave a fascinating look into those times.


A Wanted Man (with bonus short story Deep Down) (Jack Reacher, Book 17)
A Wanted Man (with bonus short story Deep Down) (Jack Reacher, Book 17)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $5.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack is back, and I'm happy about it, September 18, 2012
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The latest Jack Reacher adventure is, as usual, a page turner.

From a plot perspective, Reacher is still trying to get to Virginia to meet face to face the gal with the sexy voice from 61 Hours (won't say more to avoid spoilers). The story begins immediately after the events in Worth Dying For (also won't say more to avoid spoilers). Reacher is a bit scruffier even that usual, and it takes him awhile to hithhike a ride on a mid-American road, but eventually he does.

His traveling companions seem innocuous, but being Reacher he starts analyzing them and notices some details that are, well, off. And this is where Child's writing is so great - he can make four people sitting in a car suspenseful.

I don't think there's any such thing as a 'standard' Reacher story, but this one has all the great ingredients we've come to expect: action, suspense, Reacher's endearingly wonky logic, and some awesomely evil bad guys.

This is yet another great entry in a fabulous series.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2012 4:15 AM PDT


Stamina InMotion II Manual Treadmill
Stamina InMotion II Manual Treadmill
Price: $149.99
20 used & new from $149.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great treadmill - if you're not taller than 5'10", September 1, 2012
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I love this treadmill. It was super easy to put together, the incline is great, it moves really well - doesn't stick at all. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the height issue. If you're taller than 5'9" or 5'10" (I'm 5'9.5", you'll have to bend over a bit to use the handle bar, which could be a problem for your back. Other than that, though, I highly recommend it.


Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, No. 13)
Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, No. 13)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover
326 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another terrific Reacher adventure, May 25, 2009
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"Gone Tomorrow" hooks the reader on the first page when Reacher, the quintessential loner American hero, finds himself on a New York subway late at night with another passenger who meets all the criteria for being a suicide bomber. What to do? Intervene, and perhaps make it worse? Ignore the warning signals? What if Reacher is wrong? Of course, Reacher gets involved.

And then things really get exciting. Reacher finds himself in the middle of a maze of lies, told by everyone from the victim's family, to the local cops, to a Senate candidate. And if he can't find the truth, he'll surely be killed.

"Gone Tomorrow" gives us Reacher at his very best - impeccably logical, always ready to dish out mayhem, and completely unstoppable.

It's also Lee Child at his best - tension that mounts from the first to the last page, tightly would plotting, and lean, elegant prose.

Definitely a book not to be missed.


The Two Minute Rule
The Two Minute Rule
by Robert Crais
Edition: Hardcover
319 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from Mr. Crais, February 28, 2006
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This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Hardcover)
For fans of RC's Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series, you'll love "Two Minute Rule" so much you won't even miss Elvis and Joe. For those who haven't yet had the privilege of reading RC's work, this book will be a great introduction.

Max Holman is a 46 year old screw-up. He knows it, and he knows he's wasted a good portion of his life. As the story opens, Max is being released from a halfway house - he was sent to prison for bank robbery. He's got no particular ambition, and no hope for any sort of success in his future. All Max wants to do is contact his son who's now a police officer, apologize for being a lousy father, and then make some sort of life for himself. But, just as he's being released, Max learns that his son has been killed. When Max is told that his son probably died as a result of being a dirty cop, he refuses to accept it, and sets out to find the truth.

A central theme in Crais's books is the idea of doing the right thing in spite of all obstacles, of keeping a promise no matter what happens. In "Two Minute Rule", Max Holman is determined to clear his son's name - nothing else matters. Max is willing to risk everything, including his own life, to make sure his son's legacy isn't tarnished.

Crais writes characters who are three-dimensional flesh and blood people - they're neither all good nor all bad, and they walk right off the page. Max Holman is a great character, and "Two Minute Rule" is a great book - a tightly plotted, fast-paced page turner that's both a thriller and a mystery.


One Shot (Jack Reacher, No. 9)
One Shot (Jack Reacher, No. 9)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover
135 used & new from $0.02

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Shot is one terrific novel, June 20, 2005
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Lee Child's ninth Jack Reacher story begins not with one shot, but with six. A sniper has opened fire on office workers in an Indiana town, leaving five dead. The local police force, through extraordinarily meticulous detective work, finds their man. They have mounds of evidence, the local prosecutor is delighted, the problem is solved. But when they interview the suspect, he says only two things: "You have the wrong man"; and "get Jack Reacher". And the problems are just beginning. First, it's no easy task to "get Jack Reacher". A former military policeman, Reacher has left the Army for a life of wandering; he has no ties to any place or any person - it's not that simple, even for the police, to find a man who has no address, no phone, no tax records. In this case, however, Reacher is already on his way to Indiana; he's seen the news reports of the incident and has his own reasons for wanting to talk to the prisoner. And that's the second problem; from the moment Reacher arrives in Indiana we, and everyone else involved, discover that nothing is as it appears. And Reacher, as always, is determined to do the right thing at any cost.

From the first paragraph to the last, this book is a thrilling ride, containing all the wonderful elements readers have come to expect from Lee Child's writing: meticulous plotting, riveting action, unexpected humor, and of course, Jack Reacher - one terrific hero.


I Right the Wrongs: A Novel
I Right the Wrongs: A Novel
by Dylan Schaffer
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from $0.01

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great second novel, May 9, 2005
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Gordon Seegerman, the underachieving public defender in mythical Santa Rita, California (it's really Oakland), continues to want to lay low and spend as much time as possible preparing his Barry Manilow cover band for its next performance - in Las Vegas, for Barry himself. But, as in the wonderful "Misdemeanor Man", events conspire against Gordon and his lack of ambition.

Marcus Manners, the local high school athletic hero, is arrested for stealing a rival team's mascot. The fact that there's a little mysterious pot in the car shouldn't cause too much trouble in this basic `misdo' case. But Gordon draws an insane judge. The illumni of the rival school, many of whom are involved in the local legal system, are not interested in letting things slide. And then the wife of the mascot's owner is killed. Thus, Gordon is thrust again into the spotlight - much against his will.

Dylan Schaffer has written another marvelous story; not only is it chock-full of sly, acerbic humor, there's a deftly plotted mystery. It would be a mistake to think of this book as simply a funny legal mystery - while there's humor aplenty, Schaffer touches on a number of darker issues as well: racism; corruption, and the difficulty of dealing with ageing family.

This is a terrific second novel - I hope there are many more Gordon Seegerman stories to come....


Wind on the River
Wind on the River
by Richard Barre
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful series just gets better, November 29, 2004
This review is from: Wind on the River (Hardcover)
This is the third in a series of short stories that Richard Barre has written to celebrate the holiday season. There's a common theme of hope against all odds, and the redemption of one person's soul.

In Wind on the River, the protagonist is a woman of the late nineteenth century - she's a pioneer in the midwest, struggling to keep her family together, when a stranger appears. What happens next is beautiful, joyous, sad, haunting, and celebratory.

There's not a single wasted word in this story - or in the series if it comes to that - it's just beautifully written, and a rewarding read.


Misdemeanor Man
Misdemeanor Man
by Dylan Schaffer
Edition: Paperback
52 used & new from $0.03

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misdemeanor Man is a terrific, funny debut novel, July 10, 2004
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This review is from: Misdemeanor Man (Paperback)
Gordon Seegerman, an underpaid, under-motivated public defender, is not a happy camper. His `boss-in-theory' Duke Abramowitz, has handed him the defense of a public exposure case. Gordon has no time to actually do his job, because he and his Barry Manilow tribute band are in final rehearsals to perform for the great man himself.
So begins a debut novel by Dylan Shaffer that is oh-my-god good. Set in Santa Rita, California (anyone who lives in the Bay Area will immediately recognize Oakland), "Misdemeanor Man" is the story of Seegerman's struggle to do the right thing for his client in spite of the obstacles thrown in his path - many of which are inside his own heart and mind.
Shaffer sets up the core of the book a couple of pages in, as Gordon ruminates about how he became a public defender: "I didn't intend to end up here. I finished high school because I didn't want to be a bartender - I spent too much of my childhood waiting for my dad in bars, watching bartenders mop up vomit. I went to college to avoid becoming a cop, which is what everyone expected of me. And I went to law school because there aren't too many jobs other than cop and bartender available after an undistinguished college career. In the end I became a public defender. Now I spend much of my time with cops, in bars, where, it turns out, I feel most at home."
"Misdemeanor Man" will make you laugh out loud, but there's much more to it than its acerbic sense of humor and its send up of the California legal system. There's an intriguing mystery and heartfelt human drama as well. It's to be hoped that this isn't the last we'll see of Gordon Seegerman.


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