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Fire HD 6 Slim Case (2014 model), Purple,  Nupro, Slim Fitted Standing Case, Protective Cover (4th Generation: 6")
Fire HD 6 Slim Case (2014 model), Purple, Nupro, Slim Fitted Standing Case, Protective Cover (4th Generation: 6")
Price: $19.99
10 used & new from $16.37

3.0 out of 5 stars Open and shut, January 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This case for the Kindle Fire HD tends to open a bit even after you have shut it. One would think that there would have been some sort of closure, either a tab or an elastic band that would keep the case from falling open. That would also help to protect your Kindle.
The Kindle does fit well in the case and when you want it to stand - it does not seem to hold its position securely. The cover hinge seems flimsy and I have my doubts as to how well it will last
In total the feel and working of the case is not the best, for a bit more money you might want to find a sturdier product.

Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth
Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth
by Terry Alford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.74

5.0 out of 5 stars His act, January 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Terry Alford did extensive research on this book. He says it is the first comprehensive biography on

John Wilkes Booth. There are almost 100 pages of notes included in the book. There is a most interesting introduction in the book which gives much information, but does not cover everything that is included in the book.
The pages gradually unfold the life of Booth and his family. To most there are surprising revelations, such as he did not join the Confederate Army because he promised his mother he would stay safe.

A great deal of the information covers his theatrical career. More than that, we are privy to many of Booth's thoughts and what he was like as a person. There are 1st person reminiscences from those who remembered him and most of them are thoughts of a wonderful man.
The writing also addresses the conspiracy theories that Booth was not really killed or that his body was not dumped in the Potomac, which is what many officials seemed to want to have the public believe.

This is truly a book that those who are interested in history especially that of the Civil War and the intertwined lives of John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln would want to read.

Tiggly Counts
Tiggly Counts
Price: $29.99
4 used & new from $29.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Numeracy, January 28, 2015
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tiggly Counts (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's good to have something new and different to help the little ones learn and be more comfortable with numbers. However this seems to assume too much. There could at least be directions on what to do for those who are less familiar and to avoid frustration. Even those who use ipads might need a bit of help along the way every once in a while if they are not familiar with Tiggly Shapes.

The shapes do have a nice composition and structure for a good tactile touch. The colours are also good. The age range give is 36 months up to 8 years. That range might also be a little bit broad, but these still will last for several years' growth and for a range of brothers, sisters or friends.

The Beatrix Girls Chantal 12" Fashion Doll
The Beatrix Girls Chantal 12" Fashion Doll
Offered by Pretendtimetoys
Price: $12.95
20 used & new from $2.70

3.0 out of 5 stars No Batteries Required, January 28, 2015
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's nice to have a doll/toy that does not require battereies and instead needs some imagination. With that said my grandchildren think this doll is a bit spooky. They have one of the other Beatrix Girls dolls, but somehow this one just seems a bit unnerving to them. Of course that has made her a character that when they play with her- it really does not fall into a girl band, but still it's a toy that they can use their ingenuity with.

Personally I find the fact that this is supposed to be a doll that belongs to a band and she is supposed to play a keyboard and nothing, not even a cardboard replica keyboard is included.
Her head size and eyes are what lead to her `unique' looks, including the amount of hair. One would think that at least a doll sized hairbrush would be included.
Also realize that this doll will not stand on its own. So do not expect her to stand up for her band performances.

A Force for Good: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism
A Force for Good: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism
by John G. Taft
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.89

3.0 out of 5 stars The future of finance, January 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book contains a collection of writings by experts like; a former FDIC chair, founders of investment groups, CEOs, directors and economists. They write on such subjects as; corporate responsibility, the challenges of regulatory reform, restoring trust, debt, fiduciary capitalism and sustainable capitalism.

Other than a few contributions and references there is little about capitalism's role in paying for its part in society or even what realistic role it should take in the economic system. One wonders especially after reading the title "A Force for Good', how capitalism can be an enlightened force if society is collapsing around it. One wishes for more force for good rather than the rich get richer.
This would be a book for those who are interested in exploring deeper philosophies into capitalism, but in many instances it does digress from the goal of finance being a force for good.

Barilla Fettuccine Pasta, 16 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Barilla Fettuccine Pasta, 16 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Price: $10.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Buono, January 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This pasta is good/buono. Even my friend from Italy agrees it is up to her standards.
The fettuccine that we received has the right texture and it holds the sauce to the pasta itself, rather than, as some brands do, seem to let the sauce slide right off.

We have used this and other Barilla brands with almost every type of sauce - heavy creamy ones, tomato based and even just cooked, add a bit of butter and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. The pasta has to really taste good with that and this meets the test.

For those who also need kosher, it is certified kosher.
But what matters is the taste and how much we love to have it for a meal.

The Imaginary
The Imaginary
by A.F. Harrold
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Whatever you want, January 26, 2015
This review is from: The Imaginary (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It is a shock to open a children's book, to start off the introduction with Amanda was dead. This perhaps is a warning to those who wish to keep these thoughts from their little ones.

There are interesting illustrations throughout, including those tucked into the edges of and through the pages. The story can be a bit scary, including some of the illustrations.
There are some parts of the story that might be unsettling. The imaginary child trips a girl down the stairs and a person hunting imaginaries opens his jaws to swallow them. That in fact is the gist of the plot. Amanda has an imaginary friend, Rudger and along comes a Mr. Bunting to hunt imaginaries so he can live longer. Amanda even gets hit by a car and therefore Rudger is lost.

The plot is a bit dark, but then one thinks about what children can see on TV at the ages of 8-12, which are the recommended ones for this book. One should just be aware that this is not a sweet little tale throughout - but it has its lessons and lovability in the end.
You might want to look at this book first for your child - but it is no worse than Grimm's Fairy Tales and in many ways better.

The Years
The Years
by Nicholas Delbanco
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.77
43 used & new from $6.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fate and coincidence, January 26, 2015
This review is from: The Years (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
`The Years' is almost an old fashioned book that tells a simple, but still at the same time complex story that draws you into the characters' lives. What is missing in a way are physical descriptions, we deal mostly with emotions, thoughts and even the minuscule memories.

This is a story of 2 people who were lovers in college, but just not ready to commit to each other and drifted apart, only to meet 40 years later on a Mediterranean cruise
The writing is done well. It brings out the inner feelings, for example when Hermia is thinking about inviting Lawrence to Cape Cod. Then in Lawrence's mind's eye when he sees himself as a boy again and in her arms she is a girl again. How these two find themselves so ancient, but at the same time their youth is at once recalled.

There are also the conversations about coincidence, conscious choice, free will and determination. There are repetitious scenes toward the end, especially as Hermia is recalling the past, which really gives the illusion of the way one thinks and recalls.
This is a story that those who enjoy an engrossing personal love tale that seems all too real would enjoy.

Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe
Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe
by George Friedman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.11
72 used & new from $12.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing significant is ever over, January 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The author, George Friedman is the founder of a private intelligence company and is considered an expert on that and international geopolitics. He writes this book describing the points that he feels are festering with problems that have led to wars in the past. He says the European Union is failing to stop these challenges to peace and stability.
There are useful maps throughout to help the reader picture what Friedman is trying to prove. He also explains his, his family's and Europe's in general, past history which lends a more personal look and understanding of some of these problems and the saga of past events. The reader can see the results of the past and what might come to fruition in the future.

With that said, the title might lead one to feel that the contents of the book are predictions for Europe's future, when in fact it seems that there is more of an emphasis on the past events that might lead and add to impending troubles
The analysis that is done is interesting, but in some cases it seems to ignore some of the changes in modern life such as the interconnection of the world by internet and a more global perspective both in communication and travel than had occurred prior to WWII.

Still there are interesting perspectives here from an author who has some proven insights on global trends. Those who wish to learn more about the European situation and what could be future difficulties might like to digest the concepts in this book.

Coffee (PRS - Polity Resources series)
Coffee (PRS - Polity Resources series)
by Gavin Fridell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.01
43 used & new from $14.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The daily crises of coffee, January 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an interesting exploration into the economic, political and social ramifications of coffee. Gavin Fridell does an excellent job in exploring and explaining all of these aspects.
He includes a very helpful list of abbreviations/acronyms in the beginning and there are charts that illustrate some interesting facts interspersed with the readings. One in particular, showing the volatility of coffee prices does much to explain and illustrate many of the points made in the pages that follow.

As usual, the farmer is on the low end, receiving 14 cents for a kilo that is sold in the supermarket for $26.40. There are also explanations on how governmental intervention controls the coffee industry. Large companies get bigger and so do their profits despite market ups and downs. These points are emphasized throughout as well as the view that the conditions of the market are not the results of supply and demand but of power politics.

Equally interesting is information on the history of coffee and its cultivation. There is almost no aspect untouched- advertising, labor conditions, differing beans, distributions, the huge companies; Nestles, Kraft, Starbucks, etc. and fair trade are all similarly explored.
Even those who are not coffee drinkers could find much of interest in this book.

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