Milwaukie, OR, United States | Member Since 2011
This was my first McCollough book, so I didn't know what to expect. I am a huge Barbara Tuchmann fan and he writes like her. The story flows with such interest that you forget this is history and are enveloped in the narrative. Nelson Runger was wonderful as the reader.
I read a book about Polk recently and these would be comparable, but I would have to say this one though much longer was that much better.
He has a wonderful voice and becomes the characters he is reading. Love him!
I was very surprised at the depiction of Thomas Jefferson in this book. You would have to call him Adams "Arch Enemy", but they were able to remain in touch until their deaths on the same day.
Jefferson was sneaky, cunning, a real liar and one of the most despicable characters that ever lived and yet, he was human and was also able to write beautifully and helped make our country what it is today.
I don't think I will ever look at him with the hero worship of previous days, but I do plan on reading the Meacham book about him, because he was so complex.
Jefferson made me very angry and it's always hard when someone you admire gets taken off their pedastal. That was my most extreme reaction, that and the tender love John and Abigail Adams had for each other. They really had an ideal marriage.
HBO made a mini series from this book, and I plan on watching it.
I don't know if this truly is a "complete" collection, but the ones that are here are great.
The stories that standout for me are some classics, "The Last Leaf", "Ransom of Red Chief" and "The Gift of the Magi".
Others were new to me:
"The Princess and the Puma" was a delightful western tale of cowboys and girls to be rescued or vice versa.
"Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled" is the story of a shopgirl looking for fun and a rich guy to latch on to. She has to be able to recognize what they actually look like to succeed.
My favorite was early on in this collection "Jimmy Hayes and Muriel" the western story of a young cowboy and his pet horned frog (toad) named Muriel. This story was such a delight I listened to it twice.
O'Henry's stories are often humorous and always witty and very human. He was able to see how real people lived at the same time F. Scott Fitzgerald was documenting the rich of the lost generation.
Each section starts with the title of the story and then "read by Bob Thomley". By the end of the book Bob feels like an old friend. His reading is great!
This is a lovely story about Molly Gibson, daughter of the town doctor and Cynthia Kirkpatrick, her new stepsister who is much more worldly than dear Molly.
We all have known women like Cynthia; they are so charming that men and women love to do things for them. My sister is like this. Once she had a date and hadn't done her housework so I volunteered to do it for her so she wouldn't miss out on her date. Only later, when I was doing her work, did I say to myself, " Why did I let her do this to me? She is out having fun and I am cleaning up her messes." Does that sound familiar?
Molly does end up cleaning some of Cynthia's messes and it could be catastrophic for her, had she not made some important friends along the way who clear her name.
Hyacinth Kirkpatrick is the one you love to hate. Although not an "evil" stepmother, she is probably the most self involved narcissist I have read about in many years.
This was Mrs. Gaskell's last book, left unfinished at her death, but the story winds down enough that you can see where she is going and who ends up with who at the end.
Mrs. Gaskell always writes wonderful characters and even Cynthia, who was neglected as a child is sympathetic and believable. Mrs. Kirkpatrick Gibson is harder to like but you can understand how she came to be who she came to be. Molly is the most enjoyable person in the book and there is no way you can't come away with an admiration of her character's ethics and likeability.
The men play a good part of the story and for the most part they are original and beautifully drawn.
This is a good story and it will capture your heart.
This is book one of a trilogy about the Fab 4. It takes in the early years, including a bit of genealogy into the grandparents up to the first recording contracts.
What I liked about the book? Lots of tidbits that I never knew and no whitewashing of their image. It was quite an eye opener to me to know how much they stole and were pretty angry young men. However despite that their talent and drive for success saved them and gave the world the Beatles.
What I didn't like about the book? A little too much information. I really didn't need to know when George lost his virginity or every conversation they had with their fan club members. Better more than less though I suppose the author thought.
If you are looking for a definitive biography of the Beatles than this is it. You can tell the author was a huge fan and yet he was truthful and straight forward in his story.
The narrator was very good and look forward to hearing more from him.
Can't wait for volume 2!
I liked this book even more so than the first! This is the story of Winston Churchill outcast and on his own. Most people would quit politics and find something else to do, but not Churchill.
He certainly wasn't a perfect person. He was a notoriously bad boss, treated everyone that worked or him as servants but they still loved him. He was a chauvinist pig but he also was in awe of women. He was a man of his generation and did not trust blacks but did champion Jews. He had such a superior attitude that if he encountered a traffic jam, he would drive on the sidewalks to get past it.
With all that said, he was one of the only men to see the threat of Hitler and kept speaking his mind even when constantly booed and accused of warmongering. Knowing what we do now, the reader can't help but wonder what was His Majesty's government thinking with appeasement? Again and again they gave in to Hitler's demands and more countries disappeared into the German Reich. According to this book it was the fear of Communism and the fact that a lot of people in the British government liked what Hitler was doing in his country. Anti-Semitism was the norm in Europe and only after the war when they realized what Hitler had done with the Jewish people did they realize it could go to far.
This book takes Churchill to his being asked to form a government in 1940 by the King. It was a long listen but so interesting the time went by quickly. The narration by Richard Brown was well done and added to the book.
This is a good trivia book on the Middle Ages. Any book on so large a subject tends to be a "trivia book" because you can't go into any depth and not end up with an encyclopedia. That said, it was well done and well read.
My only complaint would be the music and chanting in the background which took me quite awhile to get used to. (In fact at one point I gave up on this book because of this.)
There are several sections that are touched upon in this volume. Christianity and Islam are well represented as well as country histories of France, Germany, Turkey, Britain, Russia and the Mongols.
I felt this was a balanced book on the Crusades and the Byzantium Empire. I do think if you want to know more about these subjects there are better books but this is a nice overview for those with a casual interest.
Not really. I wanted to know the ending but I wasn't enjoying the book. It tended to drag and was not very thrilling to listen to either.
I would tell my friends to pass this one by. Not worth the listen.
She was adequate given the material she had to work with.
No, can't see myself enjoying this as a movie either.
The story revolves around a young woman waking up in a madhouse in Victorian England. She is told she is not who she thinks she is and the story goes meandering from there.
As a short story this might have been successful.
I enjoyed this book and thought it was a great listen.
There is so much going on in the world that we never hear about in the newspapers or on television. Science is alive and well around the world.
The book takes you through several categories: water, transportation, medicine, longevity, etc. and tells you what scientists are working on.
Some of the things I remember are a compostable toilet, clean water makers, solar panels in your windows, stem cell work so that drugs will be made just for you, and a smaller battery so that storage of solar and wind would be more feasible.
They even changed my thoughts on nuclear power. The 4th generation is a lot safer than I ever imagined.
Great book that makes you want to learn more, always an excellent outcome on any non fiction work.
What a wonderful book!
Keith Stewart is a bit of an everyman. He doesn't need lots of money or power to feel accomplished. He enjoys making tiny models of machines and writing articles for a small magazine to help others make the same.
When he and his wife take on the trusteeship of his niece, they realize that they won't be able to bring her up in the manner she was accustomed. He decides to take a chance and make a trip around the world because he takes his job of raising little Janice very seriously.
The people he meets along the way and the ones he had already touched in his work for the magazine make this an absorbing story of the human heart doing the right thing.
Fantastic story of a quiet little man who in all things is a real hero.
Nevil Shute is a wonderful writer and he really knows how to bring people to life in his characterizations.
The character of Alice Vavosar was so realistic and a truly wonderful person, that you really cared about what happens to her.
I suppose the Elizabeth Gaskell books about small town life are similar but this deals mainly with the upper classes and politics. The women are very similar.
He does both men and women's voices wonderfully. His Mr. Grey and Mr. Palliser voices were my favorites.
When Mr. Grey again asks Alice to be his, tells her he will never give up on her and she finally relents. You want this to happen so badly at this point that you feel like cheering, however if you are listening long into the night when this comes up, I advise against it, as your partner may get upset with you!
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Dashiell Hammett books and a good narrator. This book also combines truth with fiction in the perfect blend of name dropping.
I guess anything by Hammett or Cain. Hard boiled detectives going after bad guys, what's not to like?
He did a perfect Reagan imitation and his Nitti was Brando's Godfather and Ness reminded me of the guy who plays Arnold Rothstein on Boardwalk Empire. He did credible females and his hero Nathan Heller was believable and lovable.
Yes, but it took me three. Can't do it all in one sitting, have to do other things.
This is the first book in the series and I believe I will read more. Nathan Heller is an interesting character that you want to learn more about.
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