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Steve

Ventura, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 151 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (378)

    America has a huge problem. It faces four major challenges, on which its future depends, and it is failing to meet them. In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, analyze those challenges - globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption - and spell out what we need to do now to rediscover America and rise to this moment.

    Soudant says: "We have met the enemy and it is us.... Pogo"
    "Too preachy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made That Used to Be Us better?

    More facts


    What could Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    More facts


    Did Jason Culp do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Can't tell - put book down after three chapters


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    If you are interested in what the authors have to say you might like this book. I was not interested in all their personal opinions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story: North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Chuck Gross
    • Narrated By Gerry Burke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Rattler One-Seven puts you in the helicopter seat, to see the war in Vietnam through the eyes of an inexperienced pilot as he transforms himself into a seasoned combat veteran. Soon after the war, Gross wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as he experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.

    Steve says: "Worth Reading"
    "Worth Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent and poignant description of what it was like to serve in combat in Vietnam, in this case as a helicopter pilot. The story is a reminder of the sacrifices made by our troops in that war, what it was like and the effect it had on them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Absolute Friends

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By John le Carré
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    By chance and not by choice, Ted Mundy, eternal striver, failed writer, and expatriate son of a British Army officer, used to be a spy. But that was in the good old Cold War days when a cinder-block wall divided Berlin and the enemy was easy to recognize.

    Ann says: "Le Carre has a point of view"
    "Confusing and hard to follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Normally, I do not like books read by the author. However, in this case, John LeCarre did an excellent job of narration. Unfortunately, I found the book itself to be confusing and difficult to follow, especially the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robert K. Massie
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (605)
    Performance
    (493)
    Story
    (489)

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

    Elizabeth says: "Loved everyone minute!"
    "Worth Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Not as good as Peter the Great, but an interesting followup to that book and worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The AIG Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Maurice R. Greenberg, Lawrence A. Cunningham
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    A legendary CEO tells the inside story of building the world's largest insurance company—and the dramatic tale of its near-destruction after he left in early 2005, as successors transformed AIG and drove it to the center of the financial crisis of 2008. The AIG Story captures an impressive saga in business history—one of innovation, vision and leadership at a company that was nearly destroyed with a few strokes of governmental pens.

    PHIL says: "You might not agree with Mr. Greenberg ..."
    "Worth Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Even though this book is Hank Greenberg's highly biased version of his successes (all his endeavors were successful in this book) and endeavors (in which he was somehow always right and prescient), it is worth reading to get his side of the story and an insight into his organized, methodical, analytical, egotistical and assertive mindset. In spite of the bias, I do believe Greenberg was a remarkable CEO and AIG would not have imploded if he had not been unjustly kicked out.

    Unfortunately, the narration was very poor, with the narrator speaking in a sing-song voice and emphasizing the oddest words in the sentence. HIs voice imitations were sometimes LOL funny they were so ridiculous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O'Malley

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael D'Antonio
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Reviled in New York and beloved in Los Angeles, O'Malley is one of the most controversial owners in the history of American sports. He remade major league baseball and altered the course of history in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles when he moved the Dodgers to California. But while many New York critics attacked him, O'Malley looked to the future, declining to argue his case. As a result, fans across the nation have been unable to stop arguing about him - until now.

    HappyCustomer says: "Great Dodger History"
    "A must read for Dodger fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I found this book very interesting, both because Walter O'Malley is someone worth learning about because he accomplished remarkable things and because I am a Dodger fan and it was enjoyable to know more about their history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lords of the Sky: Fighter Pilots and Air Combat, from the Red Baron to the F-16

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Dan Hampton
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    The New York Times best-selling author of Viper Pilot and retired USAF F-16 legend Dan Hampton offers the first comprehensive popular history of combat aviation - a unique, entertaining, and action-packed look at the aces of the air and their machines, from the Red Baron and his triplane in World War I to today's technologically expert flying warriors in supersonic jets.

    Znapel says: "Great history, but ending goes off-topic"
    "Interesting, but very technical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you are very familiar with all types of airplanes, flying jargon, military anachronisms, flying formations and military terminology, you will like this book. If, like me, you are not so well versed in these things, you will find this book a slow read and a bit hard to follow. I would have preferred to see the author pick out a few key, milestone advances in fighter planes and to have developed those in detail rather than cover so many different types of planes and training evolutions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fallen Giant: The Amazing Story of Hank Greenberg and the History of AIG

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ronald Shelp
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In Fallen Giant, author Ron Shelp - who worked within the AIG organization for more than a decade - sheds light on AIG, the company, and Hank Greenberg, the man. Through in-depth research, candid interviews, and firsthand experiences, Shelp provides a detailed look at how AIG was originally created and reveals how Greenberg's unrelenting drive to be the best may have led to his untimely departure from AIG.

    Steve says: "Poorly written and poorly narrated"
    "Poorly written and poorly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It is not hard to believe that the authro is not a writter, but an ex-insurance executive. This story is disjointed and lacks any compelling pace. Additionally, the narrator voice is too sugary and lacks depth. The book does a good job of telling about CV Starr, Also, because it is the only book about Hank Greenburg, other than a book Mr. Greenburg wrote, it might be worth reading. Also, way too much about all the lawsuits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (341)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (288)

    Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "The "Real" Story"
    "Worth Reading but Slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed reading this book because it gave me a much better understanding of the Middle East and the role T.E. Lawrence played there during WWI. However, it was a slow read rather than a page turner. It was also a little hard to follow all the characters. I thought the narrator did a good job. Would recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kissinger: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    By the time Henry Kissinger was made secretary of state in 1973, he had become, according to a Gallup poll, the most admired person in America and one of the most unlikely celebrities ever to capture the world’s imagination. Yet Kissinger was also reviled by large segments of the American public, ranging from liberal intellectuals to conservative activists. Kissinger explores the relationship between this complex man's personality and the foreign policy he pursued.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A dissapointment"
    "OK, but too long and critical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed finding out more about Kissinger, although it seemed like the author found fault with almost everything he did, with much of the criticism from the perspective of a Monday morning quarterback. It definitely could have been shortened. For example, we do not need to know the name of every dinner guest at Kissinger's parties. However, the book did give a good account of our getting out of Vietnam and what it was like working with Nixon. It also presented a moral dilemma for consideration. Is it better to work secretly and get things done like Kissinger and Nixon did, or be open and seek consensus in the democratic way and get little done or what does get done is watered down.

    I thought the narrator did a good job. At first I did not like his voice imitations, but they grew on me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Nicolo Machiavelli
    • Narrated By Ian Richardson
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (129)

    How remarkable that an Italian living in the 15th and 16th centuries should lend his name to a word still in common usage in the English language today. Nicolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote only one major work as a gift for his ruling Prince, Lorenzo de Medici. Machiavelli held office as a senior civil servant for 14 years until the downfall of the Republic in 1512. No longer officially employed to impart advice, instead Machiavelli poured out his ideas and resentment in his writings.

    Adam says: "The perfect narrator"
    "Must read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Everyone should read this book so they know what someone is talking about when they say someone is Machiavellian.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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