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Cynthia

Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States Member Since 2012

Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!

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6
  • "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"

    Overall
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    Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, published "The Deadly Choices at Memorial" in the New York Times on August 30, 2009. I read it on line, and, when I found an abandoned copy at a Starbucks, I read it again. It was a great article, and I wished for more details - why did the hospitals generators fail? - why didn't the hospital's emergency plan have procedures in place for a catastrophic failure? - why didn't the doctors who administered fatal injections wait for rescue that, in hindsight, was just hours away? That article won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting; and this lengthy book (576 pages on paper) answers those questions, and more.

    Fink has the rare gift of understanding how complex systems work and fail, and the ability to explain them in a lively, intriguing narrative that weaves history, culture, engineering, medicine, medical ethics and people and companies together into a compelling story. She doesn't draw conclusions: she gives the conclusions reached by the government; the American Medical Association; the people that survived Memorial and the family members of those who didn't; law enforcement; expert witnesses; criminal attorneys and civil attorneys; and ethicists.

    As a reader/listener, I reached my own conclusions about why Memorial failed as a physical building, and how and why Dr. Anna Pou, did what she did - she apparently euthanized patients, and was arrested for second degree murder. A grand jury declined to indict Dr. Pou or the two nurses that helped her, years after Katrina.

    Would I have made the same kind of decision in an analogous situation? It's easy to pass moral judgment sitting in my comfortable backyard, well rested, enjoying a Sunday croissant and strong, black coffee. I don't think I would have, especially as to patient Emmett Everett, Sr., but I really don't know.

    Fink's epilogue makes a strong recommendation: guidelines need to be in place for medical priorities when medical resources are short, and those decisions need to be made well before natural or man made mass casualty events happen, not in the middle of a catastrophe.

    The book was so well narrated, I realized I was up at 1 a.m., after repeatedly setting the Audible sleep timer, listening. I had to switch to a book I'd already heard so I could sleep.

    [If this helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

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    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (428)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (377)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Sharon says: "A Must Read"
  • "The Fighting Season"

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    In Afghanistan, the fighting season starts in the spring and lasts until the winter snows freezes the land. The Taliban stages firefights, tries to assassinate its enemies, lays Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and sends suicide bombers to crowded marketplaces. US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates' fighting season started on December 18, 2006, with George W. Bush as his Commander-in-Chief, and ended, at Gates' firm insistence, with his long planned retirement from the cabinet of President Barack Obama on July 1, 2011.

    Bush 43 (as Gates referred to in his book, to distinguish him from his father, George H.W. Bush, Bush 41) was the 7th president Gates worked for. Bush 43 dragged Gates from his well loved job as president of Texas A&M, convincing Gates his duty to the country he loves was not finished. Gates was there for the wars in Iraq (2003-2011) and Afghanistan (2001-present); the January 12, 2010 Haitian Earthquake relief effort; the July 2010 Pakistan floods; and the Arab Spring, which began December 18, 2010. These events, and so many others that occurred during his tenure were tumultuous and Gates had to carefully balance resources to succeed with demanding missions.

    Gates was also fighting other battles, particularly against a Congress that was, and remains, indifferent, muddled and sometimes hostile to military needs. Yes, it's great to fund all of those cargo planes that the Air Force didn't ask for and can't even find a place to put, but what the troops really needed in 2007 was Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs). Gates pushed that through, and they saved countless lives. And how about decent hospitals and care for wounded warriors? Canceling boondoggle projects and investing the money to help them heal should been something Congress leapt at, but Gates had to jump so many hurdles he could have qualified for an Olympic track team.

    Gates had a particular dislike for some people he dealt with on a regular basis. I think he would have been grateful if Nancy Pelosi retired and took a vow of silence. He is a firm supporter of Israel, but Benjamin Netanyahu really bugs the hell out of him. George Newbern, the narrator, conveys Gates' unwritten glee when Obama, apparently no fan either, left Netanyahu cooling his heels in the White House while Obama had dinner with his family. Afghan president Hamid Karzai was another issue. Gates didn't particularly like him, but he understood him better than anyone else in either the Bush or Obama administrations.

    Although Gates never had a winter break from his wars, he had strong allies, ardent supporters, and dedicated support from military and civilian Department of Defense employees. His relationship with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was remarkable. They did not always agree, but he admired and respected her statesmanship, and she changed his mind from time to time.

    Gates gratefully acknowledges the Washington Post for exposing deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital that he fought hard to start to fix. He also mentions many, many people, from enlisted soldiers to heads of state, that made what he did possible. "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (2014) was a "Yes, I was in charge, but hundreds of people were key and this is who they are and what they did" book, not an ego trip.

    Gates has Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Degrees in History, and "Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (2014) was written with a historian's eye for complex detail and accuracy. The differences between Bush 43 and Obama as president are stark. Gates got along better with Bush 43, whose previous military service - although limited - made him innately comfortable with the military mindset. Taking an oath to protect and defend your country, knowing that your oath may lead to your death, and then learning how to accomplish that duty in extensive military training fundamentally changes a person, in part, because you learn you must trust your noncommissioned and commissioned officers with your life. Obama is not a veteran, and inherently distrusts senior military officers. Both men are decisive and made decisions Gates didn't always agree with. Obama is analytical and deliberative, where Bush 43 shot from the hip and was too easily influenced by his advisors, including a hawkish Dick Cheney. Obama considers other opinions, but isn't unreasonably swayed by them - which, considering Joe Biden's unique way of seeing the world, is a good thing. Gates opposed Obama's decision to send Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, but applauded both the courageous decision and its results, comparing it to some of the hardest and loneliest decisions made by Abraham Lincoln.

    Gates memoir isn't remotely introspective, but it is clear that by the time he was at the end of his service, he was about to lose it. He cared more personally for the troops than perhaps anyone in a similar position since Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. Writing this memoir expressed the frustration and anguish he felt, but couldn't say, as SecDef.

    "Memoirs of a Secretary at War" is 600 pages long, and almost overwhelming in scope. Gates writing style, after 40 years in government, is dry. He jumps from topic to topic, but to be fair, Gates was always jumping from crises to crises. The audio narration was good at differentiating the change in topics. This is a book that I wouldn't have had time to read on text for a very long time, and I'm glad it was available on Audible.

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

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    Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (414)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
  • "Review by former Army SGT"

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    I started out the year listening to the 9/11 Commission Report, which was extremely detailed and chilling. I was left wanting more, even though I, of course, "knew the ending".

    Unlike the 9/11 Report, which was written by a committee in the third person, "No Easy Day" is a first hand narrative of the raid that killed 'UBL', in the preferred acronym of the Seal Team that conducted the operation. The author details his extensive training and previous mission experience, as well as that of some of his fellow Seals, to show how what to ordinary Americans appears to be an extraordinary feat was the product of years and years of training, working as a team, and practice. The raid that killed UBL was "No Easy Day", but the author makes it clear that other missions were much harder. In fact, the subsequent loss of secrecy and publicity was much harder on 'Mark Owen' than the actual mission.

    This book does not discuss the morality of any side in the conflict, and it makes clear that even at the line level, military service members know there are more than two sides. 'Mark Owen' makes it clear that Seals kill - but also that they are careful to avoid injuring or killing non-combatants. However, combatants can and do include women and children.

    'Mark Owen' shares the credit for the mission's success so generously that I was left wondering if he has endangered the lives of the other people involved in the mission, and their families - especially since actual identity is generally known. Since 'Mark Owen' often describes having very short term goals - such as making it to lunch - as a necessary mechanism to make it through difficult situations, and compartmentalizing missions and his life, his ability to be a good front line Seal may have made it impossible for him to see far enough into the future to anticipate the consequences of writing this book.

    I have some criticism of the writing, and that is the use of acronyms, unexplained jargon, and the sometimes failure to explain some military weaponry and equipment. I served in the US Army from 1982 - 1986. For example, I know what an AK-47 is, what it sounds like, why they are common in the Middle East, but a reader new to this genre might have to Google that, which is disrputive. The AK-47 is easily explained in a sentance or two, without disrupting the flow. There were a few acronyms that threw me, either because they weren't explained, or they were explained much earlier in the book and I'd forgotten what they meant.

    The narration was one of the best I've heard on Audible, and the audio editing was excellent.

    I'm at the Audible Professional Level rating, and this is my first 5/5 rating.

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    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3234)
    Performance
    (2912)
    Story
    (2936)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
  1. Five Days at Memorial: Li...
  2. Duty: Memoirs of a Secret...
  3. No Easy Day: The Firsthan...
  4. .

A Peek at Frances's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
167
 
Garland, Texas, United States 95 REVIEWS / 159 ratings Member Since 2009 54 Followers / Following 0
 
Frances's greatest hits:
  • The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

    "Sitting In A Fish Bowl"

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    Performance
    Story

    Here it is the wee hours of the morning and I just finished this book and I am searching for words for this review. The ANA reminded very much of the ARVN in Viet Nam; that our young men and women are even sent out alongside men that are cowards such as the ANA in this book really made me angry. Tapper did not pull his punches. He gave a bold.truthful look at situational SNAFU's the men of Camp Keating had to endure. Endured from the land, the enemy, the villigers,and the fools somewhere up the Chain of Command who thought this was a good location even for an Outhouse much less an Outpost. Tapper introduces us to real people and true events not invented characters and made up missions.
    This narrator is new to me but I thought his voice was pleasing and his style of delivery smooth. I am very glad he did not try to give these men 'voices' for that would have distracted from the meat of the story.
    If you are looking for a Vince Flynn or Brad Thor type book then "The Outpost" is not for you but if you want a honest account of this one slice of the Afghan War then you will really appreciate this book.





















  • Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan

    "Wild Ride"

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    Story

    I can not even imagin riding those mountain trails and then into battle. I thought this book was very well written and well read. Today when we think of Cavalry it's usually 1st Air Cav sweeping in to save the day not men on actual horses. Warfare on a horse seems like it would be something those who put together this engagement would have to go back a 150 years or so and relearn. It was a good thing in this book to see the modern American Soldier and a Afgan man and his horses come together for a common purpose. I thank Mr. Stanton for doing this book otherwise these men and their story might have been lost to us. I was not familiar with this narrator but I thought he did a great read and I would enjoy hearing more from him.

  • No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah

    "Excellent"

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    Performance
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    This was a very enlightening read. I learned much that the press never covered. I felt frustration at the indecision that came from the Brass out of Washington DC who sat in comfort instead of the hot desert sands The narrative flows at times like a documentary and like at times like a novel but the two come together without distraction. The narration was very well done. At the limited times of 'combat conversation'' Mr. Dean did not try to give voices to each person which in this case I thought was the best approach. I thought it very well worth a credit. And at some later date will probably listen to it again just to keep the facts straight.

  • SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden

    "Learned Aot"

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    Story

    Pfarrer gives us a great in-depth history lesson written so well that you could feel like you are listening to a novel. He gives us a great look at some of the inside workings of the SEALs from their inception until now. This book also contains a over-all look at the decades of turmoil in the Middle East. Here you might be thinking "yawn, ho hum." Think Again! The media has always painted bin Laden as great warrior and leader of men. When really neither is true. There seem to be two things he had an abundance of : money and the ability to get others to do the killing and the dying.

B.J.

B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2007

I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

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  • "Emerald City aka Audacity"

    7 of 8 helpful votes

    I need to say two quick things about this book before I comment on content. #1: Ray Porter is amazing as a narrator. #2: The author does a great job with "just the facts, ma'am" even though his opinions are clear. Look up any number of the things he talks about and you will find supporting facts. I value that with non-fiction.

    This is NOT a feel-good book about America's export of democracy or freeing the Iraqis from Saddam Hussein. It is a harsh look at the mechanical parts of occupation and the responsibility you assume when you decide to take over another country. It's too bad the word "hubris" has already been used by another book. This could have been titled the same way.

    There are many things I do not understand and this book didn't help. How could we as a country allow bridges to fall into rivers due to infrastructure neglect yet support the billions of dollars it took when we decided to rebuild Iraq? How do lawmakers justify their support of the billions of dollars for this and not for education and health care in our own country? When you look for skills during a crisis, why would political party even matter? And what does it take to put down your political party affiliation and just do the right thing?

    There are two particular people in the book who are incredibly effective at carrying out their tasks. Their effectiveness has nothing to do with politics and all to do with pure competence. Reading about them and their M.O. is a great lesson in how to get things done. I was impressed at the odds against them and what they achieved.

    More

    Imperial Life in the Emerald City

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (494)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (192)

    The Washington Post's former Baghdad bureau chief, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, takes us into the Green Zone, headquarters for the American occupation in Iraq. In this bubble separated from wartime realities, the task of reconstructing Iraq is in the hands of 20-somethings chosen for their Republican Party loyalty. They pursue irrelevant neoconservative solutions and pie-in-the-sky policies instead of rebuilding looted buildings and restoring electricity, angering the locals and fueling the insurgency.

    Rick Grant says: "A stunning work and performance"

What's Trending in 21st Century:

  • 4.5 (4109 ratings)

    The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (4109)
    Performance
    (1607)
    Story
    (1622)

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jay says: "Informative and Engaging"
  • 4.3 (3234 ratings)

    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3234)
    Performance
    (2912)
    Story
    (2936)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
  • 4.4 (1837 ratings)

    Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1837)
    Performance
    (700)
    Story
    (702)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Joe says: "Best Audiobook of 2010!"
  • 4.4 (1093 ratings)

    The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1093)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (385)

    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
  •  
  • 4.3 (360 ratings)

    The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jake Tapper
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (320)

    At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp.

    Jason says: "A must read!"
  • 4.3 (282 ratings)

    Generation Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Evan Wright
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam.

    Brett says: "Politically Neutral??.....Not."
  • 4.3 (279 ratings)

    The Greatest Trade Ever: How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregory Zuckerman
    • Narrated By Marc Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (71)

    In 2006, hedge fund manager John Paulson realized something few others suspected--that the housing market and the value of subprime mortgages were grossly inflated and headed for a major fall. Paulson's background was in mergers and acquisitions, however, and he knew little about real estate or how to wager against housing. He had spent a career as an also-ran on Wall Street. But Paulson was convinced this was his chance to make his mark. He just wasn't sure how to do it....

    David says: "Better Books Now Available"
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (4109)
    Performance
    (1607)
    Story
    (1622)

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jay says: "Informative and Engaging"
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (414)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3234)
    Performance
    (2912)
    Story
    (2936)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
  • Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jo Becker
    • Narrated By Jamie Leonhart
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A tour de force of groundbreaking reportage by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring follows the historic legal challenge mounted against California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a remarkable lawsuit that forced the issue of marriage equality before the highest court in the land. For nearly five years Becker embedded with the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, was given free rein within the legal and political war rooms where strategy was plotted, and attended every day of the trial and every appellate argument.

  •  
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (428)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (377)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Sharon says: "A Must Read"
  • American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ann Scott Tyson
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.

  • Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jeremy Scahill
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (231)

    From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen, Somalia, and beyond, Scahill speaks to the CIA agents, mercenaries, and elite Special Operations Forces operators who populate the dark side of American war-fighting. He goes deep into al Qaeda-held territory in Yemen and walks the streets of Mogadishu with CIA-backed warlords. We also meet the survivors of US night raids and drone strikes - including families of US citizens targeted for assassination by their own government - who reveal the human consequences of the dirty wars the United States struggles to keep hidden.

    Lanlady says: "fantastic book -- and disturbing"
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Eric Blehm
    • Narrated By P.J. Ochlan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (151)

    The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the most important mission in the early days of the Global War on Terror, when the men on the ground knew little about the enemy - and their commanders in Washington knew even less. With unprecedented access to surviving members of ODA 574, key war planners, and Karzai himself, award-winning author Eric Blehm cuts through the noise of politicians and high-level military officials to narrate, for the first time, a story of uncommon bravery and terrible sacrifice.

    Charles says: "The only thing worth dying for."
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  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1093)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (385)

    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
  • The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mark Mazzetti
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (79)

    Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Mazzetti examines secret wars over the past decade, tracking key characters from the intelligence and military communities across the world. Among the characters we meet in The Way of the Knife are a young CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played; an Air Force test pilot who fired the first drone missile in the Nevada desert; and a chain-smoking Pentagon official who ran an off-the-books spying operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Dennis says: "Telling us what the government and media won't."
  • Too Big to Fail

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Andrew Ross Sorkin
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1064)
    Performance
    (435)
    Story
    (439)

    A real-life thriller about the most tumultuous period in America's financial history by an acclaimed New York Times reporter. Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true, behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami.

    Laura says: "Surprisingly Revealing"
  • Dance of the Reptiles: Rampaging Tourists, Marauding Pythons, Larcenous Legislators, Crazed Celebrities, and Tar-Balled Beaches: Selected Columns

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen, Diane Stevenson (editor)
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    If you think the wildest, wackiest stories that Carl Hiaasen can tell have all made it into his hilarious, best-selling novels, think again. Dance of the Reptiles collects the best of Hiaasen's Miami Herald columns, which lay bare the stories - large and small - that demonstrate anew that truth is far stranger than fiction. Hiaasen offers his commentary - indignant, disbelieving, sometimes righteously angry, and frequently hilarious - on burning issues like animal welfare, polluted rivers, and the broken criminal justice system as well as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Bernie Madoff's trial, and the shenanigans of the recent presidential elections.

    Leon says: "Don't Waste Your Money"
  • Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jo Becker
    • Narrated By Jamie Leonhart
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A tour de force of groundbreaking reportage by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring follows the historic legal challenge mounted against California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a remarkable lawsuit that forced the issue of marriage equality before the highest court in the land. For nearly five years Becker embedded with the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, was given free rein within the legal and political war rooms where strategy was plotted, and attended every day of the trial and every appellate argument.

  • Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Scott Helman, Jenna Russell
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Long Mile Home will tell the gripping story of the tragic, surreal, and ultimately inspiring week of April 15, 2013: the preparations of the bombers; the glory of the race; the extraordinary emergency response to the explosions; the massive deployment of city, state, and federal law enforcement personnel; and the nation’s and the world’s emotional and humanitarian response before, during, and after the apprehension of the suspects.

    Thug4life says: "Faithful Retelling of tragic event"
  • The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Pew Research Center, Paul Taylor
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    America is in the throes of a demographic overhaul. Huge generation gaps have opened up in our political and social values, our economic well-being, our family structure, our racial and ethnic identity, our gender norms, our religious affiliation, and our technology use. Today's Millennials - well-educated, tech savvy, underemployed twentysomethings - are at risk of becoming the first generation in American history to have a lower standard of living than their parents.

  • Unwanted Visionaries: The Soviet Failure in Asia at the End of the Cold War

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Sergey Radchenko
    • Narrated By Ken Kliban
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The failure of Gorbachev's Asian initiatives has had dramatic consequences, by the late 1980s, the Soviet Union was in full retreat from Asia, and since the Soviet collapse, Russia has been left on the sidelines of the "Pacific century." In this exceptionally wide-ranging and deeply researched audiobook, Sergey Radchenko offers an illuminating account of the end of the Cold War in the East, tracing the death of Soviet ambitions in Asia.

    aria says: "Everything is great. But somehow it is not."
  •  
  • American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ann Scott Tyson
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.

  • NY Chess Since 1972: A Guide Book of Places to Go and People You Will See Around NY Chess (Volume 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Peter Julius Aravena Sloan
    • Narrated By Chris Brinkley
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Bobby Fischer won the world chess championship in 1972 and the chess boom started. The Village Chess Shop opened on Thompson Street, Washington Square Park chess tables turned into a regular venue, Times Square 42nd Street opened chess tables not only at Bryant Park but also on Broadway and several indoors clubs. Chess was every where. This book covers 40 years of history of the NY Chess scene. Great reading for tourists and locals alike.

  • Zero Six Bravo: 60 Special Forces. 100,000 Enemy. The Explosive True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Damien Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael Fenner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling modern classic: A Bravo Two Zero for the Second Gulf War. They were branded as cowards and accused of being the British Special Forces Squadron that ran away from the Iraqis. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ten years on, the story of these sixty men can finally be told. In March 2003 M Squadron - an SBS unit with SAS embeds - was sent 1,000 kilometres behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps.

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