Harriet Klausner's helpful (and plentiful) book reviews guide reams of readers
At age 3, Harriet Klausner taught herself to read. By the sixth grade, she was devouring 1,000-plus-pagers like War and Peace and Gone with the Wind. "I was a speed-reader from the moment I started reading," says Klausner, 48. "It was just some kind of talent."
It's a talent she's now putting to use on Amazon.com, where Klausner has posted more than 500 book reviews since 1995. The Morrow, Ga., homemaker's unpaid critiques have garnered 5,000 "helpful" ratings from Amazon.comrades, an achievement that recently inspired the site to name her its No. 1 reviewer.
Klausner, a former librarian wed to Stanley, 52 (the couple have a son, Eric, 21), says she writes her e-valuations to draw attention to low-profile authors. "There are some terrific writers who are not known," she says, adding, "I have a kind of fan club of people who always read what I recommend." Oprah, watch out.
My Favorite Site
When he's not saving teammate Tom Cruise's skin with his computer-hacking skills in Mission: Impossible 2, Rhames spies on online auctions at eBay.com. "I look for anything about Sonny Liston," he says, adding that he plans to play the famed boxer in the forthcoming Night Train, a movie bio he's coproducing. His prize purchase so far? A 1962 Ring magazine featuring Liston. "I got it," he says proudly, "for just $20."
Is the golf-crazed dad in your life reaching that time of year when the whites of his eyes start to look disturbingly like Titleists? Indulge him this Father's Day on the Web—or learn to be a duffer yourself. You can pick a peck of putters at the pro shop on pgatour.com, compare reviews of the latest driver or wedge at gearguide.golfweb.com, brush up on official rules and how to figure out a handicap at usga.org, or go to thegolfchannel.com for online lessons (if you're not too busy visiting one of many chat rooms with titles like "24/7 TIGER").
Many of my friends want me to send them postcards when I go abroad this summer. How about if I just send each of them e-mail from the road?
Remember, an e-mail message sent from that groovy cybercafe in Izmir looks just like one sent from your living room back home. Send all the e-mail you want to update your friends, but don't be a peseta-pincher. Spring for one postcard per pal.
Click and Get It
Hand-me-downs of the rich and famous
Up for bidding until June 15 on auctions.yahoo.com: the outfits that were once wrapped around runway models and actresses like Heidi Klum, Angie Harmon, Lauren Hutton, Ivanka Trump and 3rd Rock from the Sun's Kristen Johnston (left), who modeled a Randolph Duke creation. Proceeds benefit a charity for schoolchildren. And until June 26, the same site will auction off items from such singers as Shania Twain (an autographed concert outfit), Tori Amos (a piano) and Jewel (a guitar, right) to benefit RAINN, a sexual assault crisis center.
Grammar Grief Relief
The Grammar Lady has a grudge against Bill Gates. Mary Newton Bruder remembers that in a television interview he said, "My parents prevented my sister and I from watching TV...." That should be "my sister and me," of course—as anyone could check by consulting her Web site, grammarlady.com. (She also has a toll-free number so she can answer questions on her cell phone.) "I'm on a mission to make people care about the language," says Bruder, 60, a retired Pittsburgh-area English professor who answers 30 e-mails a day from the grammatically challenged. There would be more if it weren't for those who call to say they can't find the site. "Do you know how most people spell 'grammar?' " asks Bruder, groaning. "With an 'e.' "