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In Living Commentary

The BookBook iPhone 5 cover matches form and function. recommends, Dec. 8, 2012

The BookBook, a shopping loophole and rock-inspired wines – check out what stuff we like in this week's Recommends.

BookBook iPhone 5 cover – I've reviewed many iPhone cases over the years, but the BookBook is among the most beautiful. This, you see, isn't just a protective cover for your iPhone. It's also a wallet, and its form factor is that of a tiny, vintage, leather hardcover book. When using it, it looks to appears as if you're actually reading a pocket-sized classic novel. Soft and supple, it fits comfortably into jeans pockets and adds both style and panache to the mundane act of carrying your money and credit cards and your smart phone, too. For me, the BookBook isn't perfect, however. I'm a "Costanza" wallet sort of guy, so I had to pare down my normal wallet to a bare-bones version to pack the BookBook to its gills. And the actual act of using the iPhone is compromised: To talk on the phone, you have to bend back the cover, which is awkward, and because of its thickness, you can no longer really use your phone with one hand. Still, the gorgeous and unique cover does double-duty in show-stopping, old-school fashion, at a completely reasonable $60. Believe me, it'll turn heads, and you'll never misplace your wallet again. For a certain type of iPhone user, I highly, highly recommend. – Andy Tarnoff

Wines That Rock – Mendocino Wine Company knows the value of catchy marketing. Hence its line of five wines in its Wines That Rock line, featuring labels nodding at classic rock. The Police Synchronicity is a 2008 red wine blend, The Rolling Stones Forty Licks is 2010 Merlot and Woodstock is a 2010 chardonnay. I sampled two. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is a 2009 cabernet sauvignon that has nice rounded tannins and a cherry-ish finish. Grateful Dead Steal Your Face is a blend of red varietals from the 2010 vintage that has a nice touch of vanilla. Both are very drinkable wines with labels that make for great conversation starters. A great holiday gift idea for the classic rock fan on your list. – Bobby Tanzilo

Trial offers – The holiday season, in all of its commercial glory, is well underway. And, if you're like most people, you're deep in the trenches of shopping for your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, mail carriers ... you get the idea. With that in mind, wouldn't it be nice to save just a little extra while you polish off your shopping list? There are a number of advantages to online shopping (not having to change out of sweatpants, for one) but the best – and most under-appreciated – is the trial offer. Most online stores have some kind of membership these days, and during the holiday shopping season they give first-timers the option to try it free for 30 days and enjoy all the benefits of a regular member – free shipping, discounts, etc. So, enroll away and simply make a note of when you need to cancel the trial – or better yet, just finish your shopping and get rid of it right afterward. No muss, no fuss, more money in your pocket. – Renee Lorenz


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