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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Balance of November

During the month of November, I read/watched and reviewed the following:

Audio-books:
- "The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout" by Jill Abramson. Read my review.
- "Glow (Sky Chasers)" by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Read my review.

Books:
- "Raised Right" by Alisa Harris. Read my review.
- "The Grace Effect" by Larry Taunton. Read my review.

Other Products:
- "Logitech Gaming Mouse G300 with Nine Programmable Controls". Read my review.
- "Remington D3710 Ceramic Fast Finish Dual Fan Turbo Hair Dryer, 1875 Watts". Read my review.
- "Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2". Read my review.

Product "Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2"

About the Product: Technical Details:
- Fold-up keyboard and stand for iPad 2: Compact fold-and-go design holds your iPad 2 at the ideal angle for typing and taking notes.
- Full-sized Bluetooth keyboard: More comfortable and easier than typing on small, folio-style wireless keyboards.
- USB charging: You never need to replace batteries.
- Auto on and off: Power-conserving keyboard automatically wakes up when unfolded and turns off when closed.
- Works with your Smart Cover: Fits your iPad and cover-on the go when your keyboard is folded and at your desk when it's unfolded

My Review: This product is a great addition for your iPad2, probably not for a full time use, but whenever you need to answer a bunch of e-mails or have to type for navigating on Internet. The keyboard looks great, has a nice and soft touch and it is conveniently small and splits in two, allowing it to fold into a space below the overall structure. Very light, it does not compromise the weight, and you have to keep in mind that you do not need to use it all the time. When you are done typing, you fold it and take your iPad away, so you can again have the flexibility that you love of rotating your iPad and use it in portrait, instead of landscape orientation. The angle for the iPad is not adjustable, but it is close to what I believe most users would adjust it into anyway.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book "The Grace Effect" by Larry Taunton

About the Book: “Simply defined, the ‘grace effect’ is an observable phenomenon—that life is demonstrably better where authentic Christianity flourishes.”
What does Christianity give us beyond televangelists, potlucks, and bad basketball leagues? Not much, according to the secular Left. The world, they say, would be a better place without it.
Historian and Christian apologist Larry Taunton has spent much of his career refuting just this sort of thinking, but when he encounters Sasha, a golden-haired Ukranian orphan girl whose life has been shaped by atheistic theorists, he discovers an unlikely champion for the transforming power of grace.
Through the narrative of Sasha’s redemption, we see the false promises of socialism; the soul-destroying influence of unbelief; and how a society cultivates its own demise when it rejects the ultimate source of grace. We see, in short, the kind of world the atheists would give us: a world without Christianity—cold, pitiless, and graceless.
And yet, as Sasha shows us, it is a world that is not beyond the healing power of “the grace effect.” Occasionally infuriating, often amusing, but always inspiring, The Grace Effect will have you cheering for the courageous little girl who shamed the academic elitists of our day.

"This highly readable book is a collection of powerful insights into the long-term consequences of spiritual indifference and, above all, a remarkable example of how to conquer it."
— Dr. Olivera Petrovich, research psychologist, University of Oxford

"What would a world without Christianity look like? We don't have to guess because such a world does exist: it exists in the current and former Communist bloc. Through the inspiring story of a little girl born in Eastern Europe and now living in America, Larry Taunton draws a sharp contrast between the life-giving influence of Christianity and the worn out theories of atheism and radical secularism. The effect--The Grace Effect--is nothing less than powerful and moving."
-- Dinesh D'Souza, former White House policy analyst, fellow of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, and current president of Kings College

About the Author: Larry Alex Taunton is Founder and Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the public defense of the Christian faith. Fixed Point has captured the attention of BBC, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News Network, The Christian Post, The Times (of London), Spectator Magazine and many others.
Mr. Taunton has personally engaged some of the most vociferous opponents of Christianity, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer. In 2007, he organized “The God Delusion Debate,” on the merits of Dawkins’s arguments against Christianity as set forth in his bestselling book, The God Delusion. The lively discussion was heard by over a million people worldwide. In 2008, he chaired two follow-up debates at the University of Oxford.

Taunton and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama.

My Review: This is a wonderful book that tell us the story of Sasha, a Ukrainian orphan girl who is adopted by the author's family and has a deep everlasting effect on their lives as well as on the lives of those surrounding them. The author narrates in full details all the incredibly difficult saga of the adoption process in Ukraine, a society governed by corruption and still impregnated with socialism culture of atheism. And at the end, that is the proof that a world without Christianity is a cold world, where people do not care about their orphan children and where there is no grace at all.
I was very happy and full of hope after reading this book, for finding people that still try to live according to the word of God. Congratulations to Mr. Larry Taunton and his family for giving us this wonderful example of life and resolution. And example is the best way for educating people.

This is a very inspirational and powerful book. I recommend this book to be in the permanent library of all Christians and they should read constantly to remind them on the importance of Christianity in society.

This book was written by Larry Alex Taunton and published by Thomas Nelson in November of 2011 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.

If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Product "Remington D3710 Ceramic Fast Finish Dual Fan Turbo Hair Dryer, 1875 Watts"

About the Product: Frustrated with spending all your time blowing your hair dry before work? Don't waste more time than you have to! With Remington's Style Solutions Fast Finish Hair Dryer you'll have your hair dry in half the time of other top selling dryers. With two turbo fans powered by a high-torque motor, and 1875 watts of enhanced air flow, you can be assured that this is the fastest dryer to hit the market. This power-loaded tool has three heat settings, two speed settings, plus the option for turbo speed in case you are in a real hurry. A few minutes with this dryer, followed by a blast of its cool air button will have your hair dry and styled in no time. With Remington's Style Solutions Fast Finish Hair Dryer, you'll have more time for fun!

My Review: This is a very powerful tool. It does the job better than  advertised. A little bit heavier than I would like, but it does not compromise at all the overall performance. The 3 levels of heat adjust are great, because I can even use it to dry my dog's fur after a bath and adjust it to the middle setting, as my dog is not that tolerant to heat air flow on her. Even just the air flow without heat is great for that purpose (and I have a labrador retriever that loves to get wet...). Now in less than 15 minutes I can have her dry and not smelling like a wet dog.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AudioBook "Glow (Sky Chasers)" by Amy Kathleen Ryan

About the Book: If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.
The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.
Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.
Pulse-pounding and addictive, GLOW begins the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.

About the Author: Born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Amy Kathleen Ryan is a graduate of the New School Creative Writing Program. She lives in Colorado. Visit her website at: www.AmyKathleenRyan.com.

My Review: This audio book comes in a 8-CD compilation, read by Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown, with a running time of 10 hours (unabridged).

This is a very well written book, telling us the story of an expedition headed to the new earth in a far away galaxy. Two spaceships are traveling to this new world. One of them solved the problem of procreation on space while the other claims sabotage when receiving the information about this solution, that prevent their females to produce eggs. This causes a major conflict between the two spaceships and from there the story unfolds in a series of unexpected twists. Brilliant overall, you have all the ingredients to captivate the attention from the beginning and you really start cheering for your personal heroes. You have the love triangle, you have traitors, heroes, greedy people etc, that guarantees the success of the story. My only complain is that the continuation of this story is not published yet.

The narration of Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown makes this listening very entertaining. Excellent option for a long commuting.

This is a must have in the permanent library of any  science-fiction lover.

This audiobook was published by Macmillan Audio in September 2011 and Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this audiobook for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Monday, November 14, 2011

AudioBook "The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout" by Jill Abramson

About the Book: An instructive and marvelously entertaining chronicle of a puppy's first year, by the executive editor of The New York Times. One sparkling summer day, Jill Abramson brought home a nine-week-old golden retriever named Scout. Over the following year, as she and her husband raised their adorable new puppy, Abramson wrote a hugely popular column for The New York Times's website about the joys and challenges of training this rambunctious addition to their family. Dog-lovers from across the country inundated her with e-mails and letters, and the photos they sent in of their own dogs became the most visited photo album on the Times's site in 2009. Now Abramson has gone far beyond the material in her column and written a detailed and deeply personal account of Scout's first year. Part memoir, part manual, part investigative report, The Puppy Diaries continues Abramson's intrepid reporting on all things canine. Along the way, she weighs in on such issues as breeders or shelters, adoption or rescue, raw diet or vegan, pack-leader gurus like Cesar Millan or positive-reinforcement advocates like Karen Pryor. What should you expect when a new puppy enters your life? With utterly winning stories and a wealth of practical information, The Puppy Diaries provides an essential road map for navigating the first year of your dog's life.

About the Author: Jill Ellen Abramson (born March 19, 1954) is the executive editor of The New York Times. Assuming the position in September 2011, she became the first woman in this role in the paper's 160-year history. A native of New York City, Abramson received her high school diploma from Ethical Culture Fieldston School and a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University in 1976. While a student at Harvard, she worked at Time magazine from 1973 to 1976 and subsequently spent nearly a decade as a senior staff reporter for The American Lawyer. In 1986, she was appointed as editor in chief of Legal Times in Washington, D.C., serving for two years. From 1988 to 1997, she was a senior reporter in the Washington bureau of The Wall Street Journal, eventually rising to deputy bureau chief. She became the chief of The New York Times Washington bureau upon her move to the newspaper in 1997. Abramson was the Times' Washington Bureau chief during the turbulent period of Spring 2003 during the run-up to the war in Iraq and the Jayson Blair scandal, which led to the resignation of Executive Editor Howell Raines and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd. Abramson was named to the news Managing Editor position (with co-Managing Editor John M.Geddes) by Raines' successor Bill Keller. In 1995, Abramson and her The Wall Street Journal colleague (and Fieldston alumna) Jane Mayer co-authored Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, which detailed circumstances surrounding the confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas. Maureen Dowd would later write of having bonded with Abramson during that time. From 2000–01, she was a professor at Princeton University. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. In February 2007, Abramson testified in the perjury trial of Scooter Libby, United States v. Libby. She was called as a defense witness to undercut the credibility of Judith Miller. On June 2, 2011, it was announced that Abramson would become the executive editor of the Times in September 2011, replacing Bill Keller who would step down from the position to become a full time writer. An unabashed dog lover, she has long been fascinated by the complex relationship between dogs and their owners. She, her husband, and Scout live in New York City and Connecticut.

My Review: This audio book comes in a 4-CD compilation, read by Beth MacDonald, with a running time of 5 hours (unabridged).
This is a very well written book, telling us the story of the first year of Scout living with her new owners. It begins with the initial accommodation after being separated from her mother, but still living in a farm environment in Connecticut. Later the adaptation to live in New York City. The author describes in all details all her struggles to make their lives proceed with this new family member. Sometimes being very comical, sometimes sarcastic, she tells about all the services available for dogs in NYC that mimic services for humans, sometimes being even more expensive for dogs than the equivalent ones for humans. All training efforts are very well described and all the worries about health care and vet also are presented in this book. She also describes the interaction between Scout and the other dogs in the neighborhood and her personal interpretation on many situations lived by them.
The narration of Beth MacDonald makes this listening very entertaining. Excellent option for a long commuting. If you have to drive for about one hour, this should last for a week's worth of entertainment.

This is a must have in the permanent library of any dog lover.


This audiobook was published by Macmillan Audio in October 2011 and Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this audiobook for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Product "Logitech Gaming Mouse G300 with Nine Programmable Controls"

About the Product: The sculpted, ambidextrous Logitech Gaming Mouse G300 is the perfect first gaming mouse for anyone who wants more control and easier gameplay on their PC. You get:
* Nine programmable controls
* Three onboard memory profiles
* Easy-to-use configuration software, including automatic game detection
* Gaming-grade 2500 dpi optical sensor for accurate tracking on a wide variety of surfaces

My Review: This is a very nice mouse, beautiful design and fits perfectly in our hand. It is perfect for my family, as each one can create its own profile, programming the controls according to our preferences. Add that to the fact that my wife uses her left hand and I use my right hand to control the mouse. We do not play that much those fancy games, but this mouse works fine for regular use also.  My only "complain" is that our main computer at home is an iMac and this mouse works fine as a regular 3-button mouse, but we lose the capability of using the programmable buttons. But as it is so comfortable to handle, we decided to let it stay connected to our iMac and move it to our Windows based laptop when we need to play some game that uses those capabilities. As it uses a simple USB connection, the transfer is done with no pain.
I recommend this mouse mainly to any house that have users that use different hands to control it.


Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book "Raised Right" by Alisa Harris

About the Book: Meet the new breed of Christians shaping our culture.
Alisa Harris grew up in a family that actively fought injustice and moral decay in America. She spent much of her childhood picketing abortion clinics and being home-schooled in the ways of conservative-Republican Christianity. As a teen she firmly believed that putting the right people in power would save the nation.
But as she moved into adulthood, Alisa confronted unexpected complexities on issues that used to seem clear-cut. So, she set about evaluating the strident partisanship she had grown up with, considering other perspectives while staying true to the deep respect she held for her parents and for the Christian principles that had always motivated her.
Raised Right is not only an intriguing chronicle of Alisa’s personal journey; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the worldview of a younger generation of faith––followers of Christ who believe that the term “Christian” is not synonymous with a single political party or cultural issue.
Whether you are moderate, conservative, or progressive, Raised Right will prompt you to consider more deeply what it means to affirm Christ-like justice, mercy, and righteousness in the current cultural landscape. And it will give you a deeper understanding of how the new generation of Christians approaches the intersection of faith and politics.

About the Author: Alisa Harris is a journalist living in New York City who enjoys writing in quirky coffee shops. A 2007 graduate of Hillsdale College, she has worked as a college instructor in writing and journalism. Her writing has been published in WORLD, the Farmington Daily Times, Albuquerque Journal, and Detroit Free Press.

My Review: This is a remarkable book from a young lady who decided to share her view on how she was educated by her parents on a strong Christian basis, with links to politics being the way to redeem the world for Christ, and how she was disappointed when leaders of her home church began criticizing her because she started thinking on her own way, trying to discern the voices whispering in her ear. She writes about immigration, the poor, abortion, big government and politics.

This book is a quick and easy read. It took me around 8 hours to finish this book. I recommend it to all young Christians who are idealistic about politics saving this country through a faith proposition. This book should bring them more close to the reality that political ideologies are usually intoxicating, but far away from the true meaning of Christianity. Do not let your political beliefs become a substitute for your faith and your political party become your god!


This book was written by Alisa Harris and was published in September of 2011 by WaterBrook Multnomah Books. The publishers were kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Blogging for Books Program.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and give a feedback about this review using the link below.