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James Gallen RSS Feed (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.)
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The Sound of Music Story: How a Beguiling Young Novice, a Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing Von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time
The Sound of Music Story: How a Beguiling Young Novice, a Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing Von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time
Offered by Audible, Inc. (US)

5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Behind The Movie, February 7, 2016
This book is the story behind the story. It tells the story of the Von Trapp family, which is somewhat different from the movie line, the story of the making of the movie and the story after the movie, its box office successes and failures, its reissues, reunions and the lasting impact it has had on our culture.

I really enjoyed the book. I like to know how the real line tracks and deviates from the screen play. The reaction of the real Von Trapps to the film and to the “reel” Von Trapps was interesting. The relationships among the actors, producers, directors, screen writers and Rogers and Hammerstein provide insights into the creative milieu out of which this cinemagraphic masterpiece emerged.

I have always enjoyed the movie and equally enjoyed this book. When I next watch Julie and Christopher I will see more in the film and will be on the lookout for more things. Rather than exposing faults that detract from the luster, this book will just make the film more enjoyable.


Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father
Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father
by Michael Signer
Edition: MP3 CD
Price: $29.99
8 used & new from $20.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Young Madison And The Constitution, February 7, 2016
“Becoming Madison” focuses on John Madison’s young life, primarily up to age 35. For an introduction to Madison personally, it deals with his education, his relationship with his father and his early romantic endeavors. Madison’s early political career lacked a measure of both desire on his part and success.

Much of the book deals with Madison’s efforts to bring about the Constitution. More than an introduction to Madison himself, this book provides an insight into Virginia politics of his youthful days. I was surprised to find that, despite his close association with Thomas Jefferson during much of his career, at this point Madison was more truly an ally of Alexander Hamilton with Jefferson being reluctant to agree to the strong national government that the Constitution provided. I was also intrigued to learn of the major role played by Patrick Henry in the Constitutional debate. The Virginia Convention called to consider ratification of the Constitution is depicted as a close contest in which Madison and Henry were the primary proponents for their respective positions. This book gave me a new perspective on the relationships among early founding fathers and whetted m appetite to read more, particularly about Hamilton and Henry. A book that can do that is a worthy read.


Sukoa Sports Ball Pump with Pin Needle - Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Rugby, Netball - Superior Inflation Device Ensures Optimal Pump Every Time - Lifetime Guarantee
Sukoa Sports Ball Pump with Pin Needle - Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Rugby, Netball - Superior Inflation Device Ensures Optimal Pump Every Time - Lifetime Guarantee
Offered by The Rembrandt Project
Price: $12.87
2 used & new from $12.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I Would Want In A Ball Pump, February 7, 2016
When I was offered a free sample of this ball pump I decided to accept the offer and am glad that I did. This pump is the normal size of a ball pump and comes with a needle for balls and an attachment for valves the size of a bicycle tire. The attachments go on easily and I was able to pump up a basketball without problems. This Sukoa Pump has everything I would want in a ball pump.


DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Everyday Kitchen Basic, Chef Stripe Commercial Grade, Restaurant Quality Potholder Set of 2, Nautical Blue
DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Everyday Kitchen Basic, Chef Stripe Commercial Grade, Restaurant Quality Potholder Set of 2, Nautical Blue
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well Insulated And Very Useful, February 6, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These mitts are well insulated, make items easy to grasp and are large enough to use as a hot pad under a moderate sized bowl. The colorful stripes make for an attractive addition to a kitchen or dining area. I look forward to using these for a long time.


Tom's of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant Multi Pack, Tea Tree, 3 Count
Tom's of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant Multi Pack, Tea Tree, 3 Count
Price: $14.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and Effective, February 1, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Besides the environmental issues, Tom’s Deodorant is easy use and has a fresh, but not overpowering scent. Most of all it is effective for its intended purpose. Tom’s has provided a reason for consumers to break away from the big brands and follow the road less traveled.


A 15-minute Summary & Analysis of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
A 15-minute Summary & Analysis of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
by Instaread
Edition: Paperback
Price: $2.50
9 used & new from $1.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Read The Summary, That Is Enough, January 25, 2016
This book is Instaread’s 42 page summary of a book about ways to tidy up and how the process can change your life. It consists of a summary of the book, the author and her family who are mentioned therein and 10 key takeaways for you to use.

Author Marie Kondo’s main premise is that we tidy up by confronting our belongings and determining what brings us joy and discarding the rest. Tidying up is a one-time change in attitude and approach that changes our life and prevents us from falling into clutter again. We should work by categories, such as all of your books, then your clothes, not room by room. You act as if your belongings want to be used and to be sent to someone else if you do not need them. What we hold on to tells us something about ourselves as well as cluttering our homes.

I chose this book because I need major help in tidying up. I have found some Instaread summaries to be helpful because they have introduced me to a work and inspired me to read it. This one is different. While I am skeptical of Marie Kondo’s system, this summary did provide takeaways that may help me tidy up. This Instaread summary is helpful because I think that I got most of the possible benefit from reading the summary without having to read Marie Kondo’s whole book. I recommend reading the summary and make up your own mind as to whether to go on to the whole book. You may decide that you have learned its essentials with a smaller investment of time and money. The go tidy up!

I did receive a copy of this book to read and review.


Solar Light,URPOWER® 8 LED Outdoor Solar Powerd,Wireless Waterproof Security Motion Sensor Light for Patio, Deck, Yard, Garden,Driveway,Outside Wall with 2 Modes Motion Activated Auto On/Off(1 Pack)
Solar Light,URPOWER® 8 LED Outdoor Solar Powerd,Wireless Waterproof Security Motion Sensor Light for Patio, Deck, Yard, Garden,Driveway,Outside Wall with 2 Modes Motion Activated Auto On/Off(1 Pack)
Offered by COCO-VISION
Price: $18.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Motion Detector and Good Lighting!, January 25, 2016
I am very pleased with this Solar Powered Sensor light. It is compact, recharges from the sun, detects motion easily and emits a moderately bright light that illuminates at least 15 feet without blinding. The motion detector picks you up from several feet away. It only works in the dark. It comes with screws for easy mounting. You cannot beat it!

I did receive a free sample of this item to test and review.


Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pen, Fine Point, Dark Blue (1953520)
Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pen, Fine Point, Dark Blue (1953520)
Price: $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Pen For Special Notes, January 22, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am very pleased with this Paper Mate Gel Pen. It is an attractive blue color and has a sort of rubbery exterior with round depressions for a firm grip. The ink is a moderately vivid blue that rolls on the paper easily. I could not smear it even when I tried. It is the kind of pen you will want to use for special signatures or personal notes.


234 Supporter w/AirCore Soft Cup Adult L, WHITE/CAMO
234 Supporter w/AirCore Soft Cup Adult L, WHITE/CAMO
Price: $28.91
4 used & new from $21.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Was Expecting, January 13, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This supporter fits well and has a covering around the cup for comfort. I was disappointed when the description of a soft cup turned out to be inaccurate. I was expecting a cloth part that would be suitable for workouts in the gym. In fact the “soft” portion is merely the cloth covering of the plastic cup. Washing instructions are to wash cold and air dry, which would not work for my gym laundry program. This would be good outside contact sports but not for routine workout gear.


Custer's Gold
Custer's Gold
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Western Novel Laced With History, January 12, 2016
This review is from: Custer's Gold (Kindle Edition)
“Custer’s Gold” is western fiction laced with history. Set in 1873 Montana and elsewhere, it carries the reader back to Northern Pacific surveying crews, Indian Wars and enough love and tragedy to make it a human tale. Along the way we become acquainted with (George) Armstrong Custer, Phil Sheridan and Confederate General Tom Rosser. All is complicated by a cache of stolen gold and those who seek it in a turbulent land.

I do not want to give away much of the details because this is a novel, a mystery and a really good story. Instead I will just tell you what I like about it. I like the way it introduces the reader to life in the Old West when the railroads were being built and the way it treats its historical characters. I recently read one historical novel in which I felt that the author was infusing 21st Century social thinking into 19th Century characters and I really was not confident that they were accurately portrayed. I felt none of that here. I always had the impression that author M. John Lubetkin let the historical figures play their roles as they lived them and enables us to be confident that we are meeting the real thing. Any fan of Western novels or a Western history buff who wants a little lighter read will enjoy “Custer’s Gold”.

I did receive a free copy of this book for review.


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