Profile for Indolent > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Indolent
Top Reviewer Ranking: 34,359
Helpful Votes: 114

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Indolent (Ohio, USA/London, UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Lemon Reamer with Ceramic Handle by Joie
Lemon Reamer with Ceramic Handle by Joie

4.0 out of 5 stars Works really well... I use it all the time., 30 Dec 2011
I received one of these citrus reamers from my mother-in-law a couple of Christmases ago and although I already had a reamer I was "making do" with (the OXO Good Grips Aluminium Lemon Reamer, which doesn't appear to be available from Amazon in the UK right now so I can't link to it - although I'm almost certain I bought it in the UK, in John Lewis now I come to think of it!), I'm really glad she gave me this one as I have to say it works MUCH better than my previous one. From an appearance point-of-view, it's probably not something I'd have picked for myself, but as far as juicing lemons and other citrus fruit goes, it does exactly what I need it to. In contrast to the aluminium reamer, this one cuts into the fruit easily and does a much better job of getting all or most of the juice out of it with minimal effort. I think the aluminium reamer is just too slippery to really do a good job of crushing its way through the pulp as you twist the fruit, while this one will get just about all the juice out in a matter of seconds. I now use this one probably a couple of times a week while the aluminium one is out of commission somewhere in the back of my jumbled utensil drawer.

I have no idea if this reamer is dishwasher-safe as it didn't come with any guidance on how to wash it, and I've never dared put it in the dishwasher for fear of the wooden reamer coming apart from the ceramic handle. It's very easy to wash under a hot tap, though, so the dishwasher "issue" really isn't one at all.

So all in all? This does exactly what I need it to, so... what's not to recommend?


Adore June - Keeb - Case / Sleeve for Apple Wireless Keyboard green
Adore June - Keeb - Case / Sleeve for Apple Wireless Keyboard green
Offered by Adore June_1
Price: £16.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough, Well-Made Snug Protection for Apple Wireless Keyboard, 2 Oct 2011
If you have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and want to take it everywhere your iDevice goes (and let's face it, who doesn't, or what's the point of having one?), then this is a very useful accessory to have. The Apple keyboard is surprisingly sturdy considering how thin and delicate-looking it is, but I still wouldn't just want to shove the thing into my bag unprotected. I was looking for the perfect case that would give plenty of protection to the keyboard without adding too much bulk, as I didn't want to find myself carrying so much junk around that I may as well have just taken my laptop. I thought this case looked like it should do the job, and I wasn't disappointed. It's really nicely-made with a tough canvas exterior and a thick polar fleece lining that gives plenty of snug cushioning to the keyboard. The flap is secured with a velcro tab on each end. The case is exactly what I needed: thick enough to ensure that my keyboard is protected from damage (although you still have to be careful how you pack it as it's not a "hard shell" type of case so won't protect against bending or crushing) but still slim enough to tuck easily into a bag when packing without taking up too much space.

This case also comes in black - if there are more colours available, I haven't seen them.


Adore June - Keeb - Case / Sleeve for Apple Wireless Keyboard
Adore June - Keeb - Case / Sleeve for Apple Wireless Keyboard
Offered by Adore June_1
Price: £16.78

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough, Well-Made & Snugly Protective Case, 2 Oct 2011
If you have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and want to take it everywhere your iDevice goes (and let's face it, who doesn't, or what's the point of having one?), then this is a very useful accessory to have. The Apple keyboard is surprisingly sturdy considering how thin and delicate-looking it is, but I still wouldn't just want to shove the thing into my bag unprotected. I was looking for the perfect case that would give plenty of protection to the keyboard without adding too much bulk, as I didn't want to find myself carrying so much junk around that I may as well have just taken my laptop. I thought this case looked like it should do the job, and I wasn't disappointed. It's really nicely-made with a tough canvas exterior and a thick polar fleece lining that gives plenty of snug cushioning to the keyboard. The flap is secured with a velcro tab on each end. The case is exactly what I needed: thick enough to ensure that my keyboard is protected from damage (although you still have to be careful how you pack it as it's not a "hard shell" type of case so won't protect against bending or crushing) but still slim enough to tuck easily into a bag when packing without taking up too much space.

I bought this black version of the case - it's also available in green.


Targus Compact Optical Mouse
Targus Compact Optical Mouse
Price: £8.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TINY Mouse - Great For Travel & Emergencies, 1 Oct 2011
I carry one of these in my laptop bag with me wherever I go. I've had mine for a little over a year and it's still going strong. It's a great little mouse, with a definite emphasis on the "little" - while I find it a vast improvement to relying solely on my laptop's trackpad, it's not something I'd want to use for extended periods of time or if I had a better option. But if you're working with limited space at a coffee shop or on a plane and don't feel like carrying a larger mouse around with you, this can be pretty helpful. It's really NOT a product you should consider for an all-day, every-day mouse, though, as it's just too small and not designed for that at all.

It's very responsive and surprisingly comfortable to use considering the small size, and the scroll wheel is a nice touch. The retractable cord and sleek, curved shape makes it easy to tuck away into a pocket in my bag when not using it, where it barely takes up any space at all. If I'm carrying my laptop from meeting room to meeting room at work I just leave the mouse in the USB port and retract the cable all the way in, leaving the mouse dangling from my laptop, rather than even bothering to put it away between meetings - saves on at least some of the hassle of having to pack and repack all my stuff every hour or so before dashing off to figure out where the next meeting is.

If you have a laptop with a half-decent trackpad, you may find that this mouse is of limited usefulness. For example, I'd FAR rather use the multi-touch trackpad on my MacBook for scrolling, etc, and it gives far more functionality than this product. But when faced with a choice between this mouse or the clunky, useless trackpad on my HP laptop at work, I will take the mouse every time - just let me get back to my desk and my trusty Kensington trackball ASAP.


Apple Wireless Keyboard - GBR
Apple Wireless Keyboard - GBR
Offered by Office Nerd
Price: £63.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A Sleek Little Thing of Beauty... Works Beautifully, Too!, 1 Oct 2011
I know it's been said a billion times, but Apple really does make things that just... work. Not only that, but they make things that work and that are an absolute pleasure to use. These wireless keyboards are pretty much wonderfully-designed little pieces of art, as far as I'm concerned, and they are SO easy to set up. Whenever I'm hooking one device up to another via Bluetooth I usually expect to experience at least some minor problem before figuring it out and getting everything up and running. Not so with the Apple wireless keyboard - you can be typing an email or document on your iPad, iPhone, or other Apple product of choice within about a minute of peeling the shrinkwrap from the box.

Setup consists of the following: switch on the keyboard, switch on Bluetooth on whichever device you want to pair with, tap to select the wireless keyboard in the list of Bluetooth devices detected by your i-Device, then enter the four-digit security code shown on the device on the keyboard, then finally hit enter. That's it: you're done, setup is complete, and your i-Whatever is now happily paired with your wireless keyboard.

I find the keyboard very comfortable to use, something I was actually surprised about given how compact it is. The keys feel nice when typing, very soft and nowhere near as "clicky" as the MacBook keyboard I'm typing on right now. For a product that's so slender in appearance, the keyboard is also surprisingly solid-feeling and heavy, and sits firmly in one place without shifting around while I type.

The only drawback I can find to this keyboard is a constant feature with Apple - the price! But hey, it's Apple, and as with many things Apple-made, this keyboard just does what you want it to so much better (and so much more, well, pleasingly!) than a cheaper item would. If I had an iPad (which I don't) I would most certainly want one of these to get the maximum benefits for all it has to offer. Who can really take advantage of all those business/productivity apps if they're forever having to peck away at a touchscreen in order to do so? For me, it will hook up effortlessly to my MacBook, making it SO much easier to use it when I'm not sitting at my desk, and even better, I can sit my Ye Olde iPhone on the little stand that came with its Incipio case, hook up the wireless keyboard, and send emails, create documents and post on web forums to my heart's content. This thing is awesome, beautifully-made, and so compact you can easily take it anywhere you think it may come in handy. If you suspect you might need one of these in your life, you very probably do.


In Leah's Wake
In Leah's Wake
by Terri A. Giuliano Long
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Readable, Very Believable, 14 Sep 2011
This review is from: In Leah's Wake (Paperback)
Terri Giuliano Long paints a thoroughly believable portrait of a "perfect" family suddenly finding itself falling apart at the seams. When Leah, the previously high-achieving model daughter starts to rebel, the stress of her teenage rebellion upsets the family's already fragile equilibrium, revealing buried resentments and highlighting their inability to communicate with each other.

The book alternates between the point of view of each of the four family members (along with one other character), and this approach works well in that it allows us to get inside their heads, leaving little room for doubt as to where they're coming from. All four of the Tyler family members are well-developed as characters, full of human insecurity and stubbornness. The author does a good job showing how even the most well-meaning people have a tendency to hurt the ones they love the most, and we see each of the characters in turn, including wayward daughter Leah, desperate to make things right, but not knowing how, and being afraid to make the first move for fear of rejection.

The family relationships painted by the author are painfully recognizable; the father so incapable of seeing beyond his daughter's dubious choice of boyfriend that he risks alienating her altogether. The younger daughter doing her best to hold her family together, but finding herself becoming increasingly invisible as her older sibling goes further and further off the rails. The mother, wondering what the hell happened to her life and her family when she wasn't looking. And at the center of the mess, the older daughter desperately seeking some way to prove herself to be "unique", checking off every clichéed box on the bingo card of teenage "rebellion" (smoking, drinking, drugs, sex) as she does so. Demonstrating her individuality with musical tastes that flip-flop daily from one million-selling "alternative" act to the next as she tries to figure out who she is. Ditching the one thing she truly excels at, soccer (now uncool, tainted for her by the need to follow rules and its association with her pushy father), in favor of hazy ideas of becoming a rockstar. For all that, even at her worst-behaved and most ungrateful, there is something likeable about Leah, and as a reader I couldn't help but sympathize with her as she longs to make things right, believing that it's too late and she's burnt all her bridges with the people who really matter to her.

This brings me onto the one area where the story fell down for me a little: the "God stuff". I had a nagging worry throughout the book that I might suddenly find myself ambushed by an evangelical message, something that I've experienced on more than one occasion with some of the self-published books I've read and will admit I'm super-sensitive to as a result. Happily, that was NOT the case here (at least, not the blunt-object-over-the-head approach I was wary of), but the way the book ended and Justine's repeated contemplations of "what it means to be a part of God's family" and suchlike felt a little out of place for me, as I was more interested in reading about the dynamics between the family members themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was reluctant to put it down once I'd started; it was an easy read that I got through in a couple of evenings. The story continually made me think; more than once, I'd find myself infuriated at the stubbornness of the characters in their interactions with each other, while recognizing that I'm guilty of the same behaviour myself at times! For anyone who thinks the synopsis sounds appealing, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book. Terri Giuliano Long is a talented writer, and I'm looking forward to finding out what she has up her sleeve for the future.


Ashes (Ashes (Hardcover - Trilogy))
Ashes (Ashes (Hardcover - Trilogy))
by Ilsa J. Bick
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars I don't usually "do" YA *or* zombies... but this, I really enjoyed!, 14 Sep 2011
This one had me hooked right up until the last page, at which point I was left teetering over the edge of a mega cliffhanger. There's plenty of meat in the story to keep you wanting to know what happens next, though, so in my case I was left feeling out of breath and a little bereft, rather than cheated. I'm not usually drawn towards fiction aimed at a YA market because so often it seems to be shorthand for "no way this one would pass muster with the grownups" or for some watered-down, sanitized version of a "real" story, but that is not what this book is AT ALL. This book could be called "young adult" because, well, the main characters are young adults and it is written from a point of view that young adults will be able to empathize with, but this book can stand on its own against the best "any-age-adult" novels out there. The author has done a great job at creating believable teenage characters that actually sound and act like real people.

The story starts off with the central character, Alex, hiking alone en route to Lake Superior where she intends to scatter her parents' ashes. Not only is Alex skipping out on school to take this trip, she's also pointedly avoiding continued medical treatment for an apparently incurable brain tumor, and giving serious and rational thought to eventual suicide while she's at it. Her plans for a solo trip through the backwoods are changed rather abruptly when she happens across an old man and his bratty granddaughter and they're hit almost immediately by a massive electromagnetic pulse. From this point on, scary apocalyptic stuff ensues, and the book takes on that un-put-downable quality that'll have you reading greedily until you finish the very last page. Then you might find yourself looking behind the very last page hoping there might be something else squirreled away there, because, as I mentioned to begin with, this book ends on a dizzying cliffhanger that will leave you twitching and suffering from some serious withdrawal symptoms and a bad case of "what-happens-next?!?" syndrome. That's OK, though, because (and this is something I only figured out after turning that last page and thinking "WHAT?!??!") Ashes is the first installment of a trilogy, so there is plenty more of this gorily compelling page-turner yet to come.

I'll avoid delving too deeply into the contents of this book as I don't want to spoil anyone's reading for them, but will finish by saying that Alex is a great heroine. She's strong-willed, rather feisty and quick-tempered, extremely capable and self-sufficient, and a pretty likeable, self-aware human being with it. This makes for a character that the reader can actually identify with, care about and respect as she deals with finding herself more truly "alone" than she ever could have hoped when setting off to get away from everyone and everything at the novel's opening. Ashes is a book I would highly recommend... and please bear in mind that this recommendation comes from someone who, if she shies away at the words "young" and "adult" in a book's jacket blurb, positively comes out in hives at the sight of the word "zombies". "Young", "adult" and "zombies" are, let's say, not the ingredients of a book I'd ever think I'd enjoy, let alone rave about, but Ashes really is one to read.

[note - I received a free copy of this book for review]


On Dark Shores: The Lady
On Dark Shores: The Lady
Price: £0.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written... can't wait for the next book!, 14 Sep 2011
Ahh, where to begin? Let me start by saying that this book is of a genre that wouldn't usually be my first choice. Or second. Probably not even third. Then let me carry on to say that I am SO glad to have been offered the chance to read it, as On Dark Shores: The Lady is some of the best writing I have come across in a long time. It's one of those books that has me enviously thinking "why can't I write like that? It's not fair!" every other sentence.

Author J.A. Clement has the knack of pulling the reader right along with the flow of the story. She takes the approach of frequent cuts between scenes, shifting the reader's attention between characters, without ever losing focus on the central plot. I read this book with a constant nagging feeling of "just a couple more pages then I SWEAR I'll put it down for the night" that somehow had me awake and still reading 'til dawn because I couldn't quite bear to stop yet. There might be something wrong with me, though. It sounds like the inhabitants of the town of Scarlock aren't exactly living overly happy or fulfilling lives under the thumb of the unpleasant Copeland, but somehow the author's description of the place made me want to go there, rent myself a little stone hovel, wander the cobbled alleys and generally assimilate!

.... All of which leads me to the only minor thing I can fault this book on, and that is the fact that the author cruelly and heartlessly left me hanging. I got to the end of The Lady and felt a bit like I'd just finished a chapter in the most amazing epic novel when a mugger came up and snatched the thing out of my unsuspecting hands. Now I'm left feeling all bereft and longing for my next fix of the little world that Clement has dreamed up and so eloquently put down in words. There's a difference, though - a BIG one! - between being left feeling dissatisfied and being left hungry for more. On Dark Shores: The Lady definitely has the latter effect, and in closing I'd just like to say one thing. J.A. Clement, I firmly believe you have this story all mapped out in your head, and I get the feeling it might be a long one (I do hope so). So, if you'd just be so kind as to give up all unnecessary extraneous distractions such as eating, sleeping, bathing and suchlike, and get down to the important business of writing and editing the rest of the On Dark Shores series, I would be pathetically grateful. At this point I'm quite desperate to find out what happens next, and I'm not ashamed to beg! Thanks much.

In short? Yes, you should read this.

[note - I received a free copy of this book for review]


The Gift Giver: A True Story
The Gift Giver: A True Story
by Jennifer Hawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.84

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-Provoking and Sob-Inducing in Equal Measure, 14 Sep 2011
I'm trying to find the right words to describe how I felt about this book. It wouldn't seem quite right to say that I "enjoyed" it. Who can enjoy a book in which the author details her experience in having to somehow find a way to bear the unbearable? It's thought-provoking and sob-inducing in equal measure, a book about finding a way to move on in the face of the devastating, the heartbreaking and the unexplainable.

I started to read The Gift Giver while lying in bed beside my sleeping husband, who had turned in for the night ahead of me. Reading about how the author woke up one morning to find that her husband, Mark, had died in his sleep was... uncomfortable, to say the least. I was crying snottily through those first few chapters about the unimaginably awful, compelled to turn over and cuddle up to the snoring man beside me roughly every minute as I did so.

The book focuses on how Hawkins starts to come to terms with the loss of her husband, trying to deal with her own grief while helping her two young children through their own and somehow keep their world together as far as possible. Without giving too much away, I'll say that a central concept to this book is explained when Hawkins recalls a discussion with Mark about the idea that, in the instant before we die, we get to choose whether it will happen or whether we will stay alive. She describes how she comes to believe in this, and this belief helps her to accept and make sense of what has happened and carry on living herself.

The Gift Giver is not easy to categorize; there's no obvious pigeon-hole to choose for this book that sits somewhere between memoir and self-help/inspirational, while reading almost like a novel. However, for someone like me who doesn't subscribe to any particular religion or notion as to what happens to us after we die, it is a book that will leave you feeling comforted even as you reach for another stack of tissues to sob into. I'm not quite sure I'd go so far as to say "this is what I believe", as Hawkins does in the opening pages of the book, but I know I believe in "something", and (despite the chorus of "buts..." and "how comes..." my more rational mind will throw out there), Jennifer's version of "something" might be as close to making sense of the senseless as I'm likely to find.

In short, this book is well-written and moving, and if you can brace yourself for the utter ruination of your mascara and have plenty of tissues on hand, I really would recommend it. My respect and best wishes go out to the author for being such an incredibly strong woman.


Lost in America: A Dead-End Journey
Lost in America: A Dead-End Journey
Price: £12.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit bleak, a bit depressing, but still worth the read, 14 Sep 2011
Colby Buzzell, an Iraq war veteran with PTSD who's had a memoir published and written a lot for assorted magazines and the like, was commissioned to take a road trip across the US and write, quote-unquote, a "love letter to Kerouac". These plans were rather hampered by real life in the form of his mother's terminal illness and the impending birth of his son. The book opens with a series of false starts as Buzzell, conflicted, uncertain and most likely in denial as to the true state of his mother's health, postpones the planned start of his trip, with the result that he then ends up setting off right after his son is born. All this gives us some context as to why (in addition to the PTSD) our author may be a little all over the place. How's the guy supposed to concentrate on writing a North American travelogue while he's weeks into new fatherhood and trying to mourn his mother at the same time?

Once he finally gets going, Buzzell pretty much stumbles across the North American continent, drifting from town to town in search of... something. It's as if there is some kind of plot here, some kind of narrative, but Buzzell has no idea what or where it might be and just doesn't have it in him at this point to find the thread. So what we get is him driving until he's sick of driving and low on gas, then pulling up in some random and often unnamed town. At this point he'll check into the nearest hotel that meets the criteria of being a) cheap and b) not part of a cookie-cutter chain, then, for want of anything better to do, heading straight to the first dive bar he can find and getting drunk. Very drunk. He'll spend a while in some of the places he stops off at, doing a bit of day labor here and there and drinking during his off-duty (and even on-duty) hours, finally realizing there's nothing for him there, at which point he'll hit the road in search of more of the same.

All this paints a very bleak picture of the places Buzzell travels through, but you know what? I wouldn't mind betting it's a truthful one. People are broke. There's not much work. What work there is is badly-paid. There's precious little optimism to go around, and life pretty much sucks. Sure, there are other, more heartwarming and poignant stories to be told, but at this point, Buzzell is not the guy to be telling them. You can tell the author is pretty damned depressed and feeling utterly directionless, it comes across with painful clarity in his writing. He's genuinely lost in America, and the America he's travelling through feels pretty lost too. He doesn't know where to go and it seems like there really is nowhere to go. He doesn't seek out the `good' places to present to the reader, instead he gravitates naturally towards the hopeless and the lost and the misfits. I get the impression that the first half of the book is about Buzzell despairing as to how he's ever going to write a book, and what it's going to be about.

At which point our decrepit hero rolls up in Detroit, and everything somehow falls into place. From what I can make out, he falls in love with the city almost at first sight. He checks into a non-chain hotel, just like he does everywhere else, but this place is special. Buzzell describes the hotel and its owners in such a way that I almost want to go and find it, and move in. It's run by an old couple who seem to regard each and every one of their guests as part of their extended family, treating them with the kind of solicitousness you'd expect them to reserve for wayward grandchildren rather than paying boarders. Once set up in the hotel, Buzzell sets out to explore as much of Detroit as he possibly can, gravitating as though compelled by some perverse deathwish straight towards all the neighborhoods that his worried hosts beg him to steer clear of. He also whips out his camera and for the first time during his trip, feels inclined to really document what's around him.

The second half of Lost in America makes the whole thing worthwhile. I've never been to Detroit and must confess to knowing next to nothing about the place, but came away from reading this book wanting to take a trip up there and find out what it's really like. I found myself staying up late into the night reading about the locations Buzzell had visited and looking at endless photos of the city, both in its heyday and now in its state of extreme decline. Colby Buzzell, ought to consider addressing his next love letter to Detroit. That's a book I would definitely read.

[note - I received a free review copy of this book from Netgalley]


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4