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Reviews Written by
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC)
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Banuce Cowhide Leather Thin Slim Business Credit Card Holder Organizer Case Wallet(Royal Blue)
Banuce Cowhide Leather Thin Slim Business Credit Card Holder Organizer Case Wallet(Royal Blue)
Offered by Banuce
Price: CDN$ 19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Some definite possibilities here!, Sept. 18 2015
This appears to be a well-made product that is ideally suited for enlarging an already large-sized, inside pocket wallet or bill fold. Keep in mind that this product has limited storage. In fact, it might even be used as a stand-alone wallet for the person looking to reduce their cards to just a couple with space to tuck away a bill or two, an option I am presently considering. It feels comfortable when it contains up to six small items like cards,bills, and ID. Anything more and you might want to look at a larger size wallet or billfold.

DouGuYan Fashion Print Rucksack Girl's Casual Cotton Canvas Backpack School College Travel Bag Fit in 14 Inches Computer and Ipad Air, Campus Cute Satchel 9 Colors (UK Flag Pattern)
DouGuYan Fashion Print Rucksack Girl's Casual Cotton Canvas Backpack School College Travel Bag Fit in 14 Inches Computer and Ipad Air, Campus Cute Satchel 9 Colors (UK Flag Pattern)
Offered by Civic Sister
Price: CDN$ 54.00

5.0 out of 5 stars This product seems to be just right for a student to comfortably carry two small textbooks, Sept. 18 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As an old high school teacher I have seen many back packs in my time. Some too big or too small for the task at hand. This product seems to be just right for a student to comfortably carry two small textbooks, a couple of notebooks, a bag lunch and a pair of sneakers and gym shorts, all weighing around 12 pounds, which shouldn't negatively affect posture. The stitching appears strong, the lining washable, and the canvass material able to stand up to scuffs and moisture. Since I was asked to do this review, I would be remiss in not mentioning that it does not come with a waist strap to secure it from shifting. We will be putting this bag through its tests later this year when we travel abroad and do some serious hiking.

A Student of Weather
A Student of Weather
by Elizabeth Hay
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.18
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars "Lead on, Macduff", Sept. 18 2015
This review is from: A Student of Weather (Paperback)
Hay, in all her novels I have read, has the wonderful capacity to take her readers across a variegated landscape that combines time and distance in a very transforming and seductive way. Before we know it, the young and inquisitive become the old and wise with a ton of experiences to draw on as they reflect on the enormity of life in a world buffeted by change. We get to travel with two sisters and their father as they move from the wide open, desolate prairies of the Great Depression to the verdant splendor of the Ottawa Valley during World War II to the cosmopolitan bustle of NYC during the fifties. Over this span of time, the Hardy girls are going to be drawn into a world where they will have to fight each other and a domineering parent for the right to be themselves. Central to this ongoing sibling rivalry will be a sophisticated young man from the outside who drops in to investigate the natural wonders of the Hardy farm. Like the incredible unleashing of a Prairie storm, Maurice's appearance will trigger events that will make for an intriguing tale of bitter-sweet consequences. Like in the Old Testament story of Esau and Jacob, Lucinda and Norma Joy will contend for the affections of this mysterious visitor, one from the position of strength, the other from weakness. One from indifference, the other from passion. We must never be lulled into thinking that this story of enduring love will eventually end in a conventional manner. No, the dynamics of a changing landscape and a maturing and, sometimes, desperate point of view lifts this story to new heights. In this semi-heroic struggle, the impressionable and excitable Norma Joy will eventually eclipse the older snob of a sister because of her secret desire to explore and learn the power behind the forbidden mysteries of love, a subject normally withheld from the very young. As the younger sister becomes firmer in her resolve to unlock the secrets of life by creating for herself a special friendship with Maurice, we see her life wonderfully changed. She learns to read, understand the forces of nature, and develop her artistic talents, all of which will lead her into an extraordinary adventure of womanhood in the world beyond. In the end, her amazing life narrative will have one remaining crowning accomplishment: the opportunity to return to where it all began and view herself as a complete person who has not only survived but flourished beyond her borders.

Kamor® 13 13.3 14 Inch Apple MacBook Air MacBook Pro Sleeve Felt & Leather Case with Charger Holder Vintage Style Protective Carrying Bag Notebook Holder Ultra Laptop Shell / Cover Good for Men / Women / Youth / Junior / Girl (Light Grey
Kamor® 13 13.3 14 Inch Apple MacBook Air MacBook Pro Sleeve Felt & Leather Case with Charger Holder Vintage Style Protective Carrying Bag Notebook Holder Ultra Laptop Shell / Cover Good for Men / Women / Youth / Junior / Girl (Light Grey
Offered by YoSpace

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good place to store and transport a small Mac, Sept. 15 2015
I have been requested to provide an upfront review of this product. Here are some things that I am willing to remark on: it does what it claims to and that is comfortably enclose a MacBook; it is easy to carry on trips; it has great storage features; it looks like something a Mac owner would feel comfortable with - sturdy, practical and natural looking; comparitively speaking a decent price; very secure tabs; well cushioned against being accidently dropped; and nice feel with the felt material.

Hard Choices
Hard Choices
by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 34.45
97 used & new from CDN$ 0.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laying Claim to the Mantle, Sept. 15 2015
This review is from: Hard Choices (Hardcover)
For those who are critical of Clinton for being superficial in this autobiographical account of life in high places, remember she is writing from the position of America's top diplomat with the daunting task of defending and defining the country's foreign interests and policies. So where does an aspiring public figure start in telling her version of events that could take her all the way to the White House? As both a prominent senator and then Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary presents herself as a caring individual, a loving parent, a savvy politician, a pragmatic thinker, and a devoted humanitarian who both wants what is best for American and the world at large: a better way of life. While some may question the accuracy of her recollection of events - Libya and the death of Ambassador Stevens - one cannot question her drive to be out front on all the big issues of the day such as womanhood, disaster aid, free trade, peace negotiations, immigration, education, healthcare, and foreign aid. This book is full of stories about her being here, there, and everywhere, embracing prominent allies, holding intense discussions with opponents, and posing with celebrities and children. There is no need for her specific views on foreign and domestic policies because she takes care of all that by creating the impression that she enjoys defusing crises, mending fences, reconciling differences, and giving people hope, even though it often entails making tough decisions as a way of standing up to America's enemies.This personal account is worth reading because it covers all the bases necessary to make Clinton a front-runner in name alone.The problem, however, is that presidencies are rarely won on name recognition or globe-trotting alone. She will not only have to remain a leading spokesperson for America abroad but also become a difference maker at home. The jury appears to be still out on that point. That might be harder to achieve because the electorate might want something other than her name on which to base its trust.

House Guests, House Pests: A Natural History of Animals in the Home
House Guests, House Pests: A Natural History of Animals in the Home
by Richard Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.04
30 used & new from CDN$ 8.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the World of Creepy Crawlers, Sept. 12 2015
I like what Jones endeavors to do in this study of househld insects and vermin: both entertain and instruct us as to why all kinds of disgusting organisms have successfully made their way inside our homes with the greatest of ease to cause no end of inconvenience and hardship. Mites, fleas, flies, rats, mice, spiders, lice, worms, maggots, mosquitos, beetles,, moths, cockroaches, and wasps are part of the cast of pests 'programmed' to attack our food, pets, bodies, and living environments, often with deastating results. Jones has an avid interesting in not only sharing the graphic details of fleas that bite, flies that lay maggots, beetles that spoil food, and rats that spread disease, he goes to great lengths to show we have unwittingly open our doors tonselcome them through the housing of pets, the poor storage of foodstuffs, the ineffective securing of windows and doors, and the questionable disposal of waste. What made this book especially appealing to read is are the excellent collection of dramatic, life-like ink drawings by the author showing how these lifeforms look close up: very sinister and menacing in an enlarged scale. Yes, Jones has creatively introduced us to world thst can only be understood as a warzone where humans and lower forms of life are locked in a never-ending battle to control and ultimately expand their space.

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Stalina
Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Stalina
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 17.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Candid and Tragic Story, Sept. 8 2015
Finally, we have verifiable proof that Stalin was not only a bloody tyrant of the worst kind - no limits on who he murdered, even his immediate family members - but a social creep and a malignant narcissist to boot. It was this man with all his psychological abnormalities who played the dual role of ruthless dictator of the USSR during a very tumultuous period of history while being the father to three children. Sullivan, in this very well researched study of who Stalin was as a 'papa' paints a very unflattering picture of a parent who, while professing great love for Yakov, Vasili, and Svetlana, was nothing more than a cruel, heartless hypocrite trying to reconcile his private and public lives. While he was able to instill fear into millions of Russians, he never seemed able to keep tight reins on his children by making them like himself: devoid of empathy. Most of this book looks at Stalin through the eyes of Svetlana as she had to contend hard for his uncertain affections. This was a world of terrible uncertainty and deep, dark secrets. It was the time of the Great Terror and even young Svetlana's life was heavily scrutinized and controlled by the NKVD on orders from her father. We see a young girl very determinedly making a life for herself by reading widely, asking awkward questions and refusing to be intimidated. We also are treated to some very interesting insights into life inside Stalin's private dacha. A peasant at heart who had little time for cultural sophistication. As the story unwinds, Svetlana gradually gains a measure of independence that allows her to seek a career, fall in love, marry, and have a child. Unfortunately, what made her less than successful in these ventures could, in large part, be traced to those earlier unhappy times when Stalin emotionally brutalized her mother, brothers and herself. Having read her autobiography back in the seventies, I truly appreciate this update account that fills in the gaps and takes her story right up to her death. Svetlana always struggled with sustaining relationships because of the fear that it would evolve into something that would end up controlling and ultimately destroying her.

His Whole Life
His Whole Life
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lot of Deep Faultlines Here, Sept. 4 2015
This review is from: His Whole Life (Kindle Edition)
There was a part of me that wanted to really like this novel. After all, Hay definitely has the ability to bring characters together in the search for the bigger meaning or purpose of life, whether it be in love, loneliness, or lore. Her well crafted prose, in the three novels I have read to date, have a wonderful way of allowing the reader to penetrate the psyche of her characters. In "His Whole Life" we get to see a young boy struggle with the challenges of growing up in a modern dysfunctional family, torn apart in his soul by parents who are at serious odds as to where and how they want to live. While young Jim knows what he wants - the peace to enjoy life in a setting of his own choosing - the adults in his life are forever forcing their own rancorous dispositions on him. He has barely begun to live life and they confront him with the ugly uncertainties and prejudices that come from unresolved sibling rivalries, impending death and national politics. While Hay does a capable job of creating a little world of retreat for Jim and boyish dreams and interests - by a wilderness lake with a dog - I am not so confident that she has made a good case for connecting him to the bigger world around him through the rough-and-tumble antics of a local character named Lulu who really doesn't care what others think of her. I am not sure whether she is the surrogate mother Jim needs to teach him about life or just another quirky individual meant to mess with his head during these unsettling times. Then there is that matter of the 1995 Quebec Referendum that inserts itself into the storyline like a dirty shirt. We know it is Nancy's obsession as to whether Canada, her home and native land, will stay together or not, but how that mirrors the reality of her own private struggles as an effective backdrop, I'm not quite sure. When things eventually come to a monumental head with the resolving of various seething tensions, unhappiness still reigns in he adult world. Perhaps Hay is telling her readers that life is only worth living if we, like Jim, can create that existence that allows us to enjoy the moment and overlook the failings of others.

Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics
Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics
by Donald Savoie
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 26.25
21 used & new from CDN$ 17.72

4.0 out of 5 stars Making sense of government that has become too powerful for its own good, Sept. 2 2015
This in-depth study about the mechanics of how the Canadian government really works is informative, instructive and enlightening. Everyone who thinks they know about the inner workings of our national democratic institutions and practices may need to go back to school to learn a thing or two about what is for real and what isn't. For starters, Savoie believes that our federal system, based on the principle of a strong central government, is anything but democratic in nature. As the role of its chief executive grows in power and size, the democratic influence of parliament wanes. Essentially, legislation and, more importantly, policies are formulated from within the inner sanctums of the executive, namely the Prime Minister's office, the Privy Council, and the Treasury Board. These three bureaucracies assist, guide, protect, and help manage the government''s initiatives. In all fairness, the job of being the Prime Minister has reached the point where the job has become so complex and demanding that only the best advice is required from the best minds to bring about the best results. The problem with this rationale as to who gets to make these important decisions - financial, legislative, judicial - is that they are done behind a cloak of secrecy by unelected personnel. Government has increasingly become an intricate exercise in controlling public dissent and publicly burnishing its image as being responsible and representative. While Savoie identifies this troubling trend, of over two decades, he seems to be at a loss as to how to reform it. Just how do we decentralize and democratize a system that reserves the political power of appointment, policy making and enforcement, and spending tax dollars to an inner circle of power brokers.

Wedding Chronicles
Wedding Chronicles
Price: CDN$ 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it immensely, Aug. 31 2015
Sorry, Bob, for taking so long to read this terrific novel. It does everything I expect in a novel and more: one, this explosively quixotic and elaborate tale of globe-trotting Bob Bo's strange compulsion to travel the world in search of weddings to attend has my attention; two, while on this global circuit in various capacities, our hero enters into a myriad of conversations about the state of culture, economy, politics, and history; and three, each experience contributes to a clearer understanding of what both brings people together and pulls them apart. Weddings are one of the important social mediums by which ideas are exchanged, issues are hashed over, illusions and fallacies perpetuated, and friendships made and shattered. Might it be said that the convention of a good wedding, with all its rising expectation, glitter, and celebration, imitates life in interesting and cautionary ways: rising hopes, nagging worries, mercurial emotions, intensive views, and creative expressions. I see this book as a clever and fun-loving parody of all that modern weddings have come to mean to the human race. As Bob Bo has discovered in his global jaunt, weddings are all about the individual needs of the guests and not the matrimonial prospects of the happy couple. To make that point, the author quickly sums up the feelings of the bride and groom in a tersely worded e-mail as a convenient prologue to the main story: the re-enactment of life and all its comic wonders for the umpteenth time.

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