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Chief Break Everything

Bethesda, MD, United States

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 138 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Dan Charnas
    • Narrated By Kevin R. Free
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (58)

    An original journalist for The Source, Dan Charnas built a celebrated career in the rap industry. In The Big Payback, he chronicles the rise of the hip-hop culture and shows how it became so powerful in a matter of decades. Charnas also profiles many of the movers and shakers in this burgeoning cultural movement, offering unprecedented access to an industry that continues to shake the globe.

    Chief Break Everything says: "So much love"
    "So much love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have any interest at all in hip hop, you'd be doing yourself a huge favor by listening to this book. It's incredibly detailed, offering snapshots of pivotal moments in the rise of hip hop from beats in clubs and kids rapping on the street to the extremely successful and ubiquitous art form it is today. Although it's over 27 hours and nearly 700 pages in print, I only wish this was longer. The drama between some of the industry's leading figures not only gives context to lyrics that might not otherwise make sense, and imparts a deeper understanding of artists' identities - it's also makes for a lot of interesting narratives. Even if you think you know a lot about hip hop history already, you will almost certainly learn something new, and there's a perspective here you can only get from hearing it all in the context of the time and place in which it happened. Oh, and it's really well-written and narrated. Definitely recommend this one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Dirty Job

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4338)
    Performance
    (1611)
    Story
    (1622)

    People start dropping dead around Charlie, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death.

    colleen says: "I loved it!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this because of the many rave reviews, and because I was ready for some light-hearted fiction after reading some much more sobering book lately. It certainly turned out to be a break from anything educational, but I wouldn't say I really got anything else out of it. Where to begin...

    -The humor, by and large, is cheesy and predictable - think Diablo Cody one-liners.
    -The plot is so outrageously far-fetched that it almost achieved a sort of dream-like imagination at times, and for that I give it some credit, but this fictional world ends up being too silly to get lost in it.
    -Charlie is the ONLY character with any shred of nuance and believability, so I have to give credit for that as well. The beta male theme isn't so much an undertone as a slap in the face, but it does lead to some funny situations. All of the other characters are either over-the-top (often racist) stereotypes with absolutely no substance, or silly monsters with boring, repetitive dialogue.
    -The major plot twist (the real Death) will be immediately obvious to anyone with half a brain. It was almost painful to listen to the whole book knowing that it was going to be "revealed" in dramatic fashion at the finale.
    -Okay - the narrator did a decent job.

    Adding this to my list of things that are inexplicably popular. The more I think about it, the more I hated it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting Eichmann: Chasing Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Neal Bascomb
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (674)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (388)

    Best-selling author Neal Bascomb has garnered critical acclaim for such riveting nonfiction as Higher and Red Mutiny. Based on extensive interviews and previously classified details, Hunting Eichmann is a compelling account of the relentless hunt for the nefarious Adolf Eichmann.

    Scott says: "A Fascinating Story of Eichmann's Capture"
    "Thrilling and sober"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is much more than the story of a hunt for one man. I don't even want to trivialize it by trying to sum up everything it covers, so I'll say only that this is another, very revealing, very significant facet of the effects of the Holocaust. You don't have to be Jewish to find it profoundly moving and thought-provoking. It reads like a political thriller, but never in a melodramatic way. Definitely worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12958)
    Performance
    (8831)
    Story
    (8881)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Annie M. says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Some great parts, but preachy at times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked this up after it was recommended to me by some friends and family. The first third or so was disappointing. I really did not care for Louie Zamperini, based on the description of his life and personality, and I was expecting more than a detailed account of his childhood. Things picked up a bit when he competed in the Olympics, but it was still very much the Louie show. I considered abandoning the book at a few points, but I had already committed quite a bit of time to it, so I pressed on.

    I was very glad I hadn't given up when the war started, and the author finally started talking about some other people's lives for a change. I don't want to give too much away here, but the real survival story begins about halfway through, and the book suddenly becomes both gripping and emotionally moving. I was wary at the first mention of religious dogma, but it was relatively brief, so I gave it a pass and moved on.

    My favorite section by far was the recounting of the POW experience. It's unbelievably detailed, offers both an immediate picture and a summary of the war's progress worldwide, and just very well written overall. If was the whole book right there, with nothing before or after, this would be one of my favorite books. I gave it four stars on that basis alone. However, the war eventually ends and then it's back to the Louie show, and he's even less likable or relatable now. When Billy Graham is introduced at the end of the book as a grassroots messiah, I could see that everything was going to be wrapped up in a nice little package of faith, and I stopped listening with only about an hour left.

    In summary: you'll probably love this book if you're a pious type. I can certainly handle discussions of religion in general, but I don't like being told what to think. This is truly a remarkable story of a remarkable life; it just rubbed me the wrong way.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Leonard Mlodinow
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2619)
    Performance
    (1547)
    Story
    (1522)

    In this irreverent and illuminating audiobook, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, chance, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.

    Joshua Kim says: "Very Very Smart"
    "Never would have thought I'd like a book on math"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As someone who has never liked math or found it particularly applicable to my own daily life, I wish I had read this book a long time ago. Not only did it clarify some of the concepts of probability and statistics that never really made sense to me, it also planted seeds of interest in fields of study I'd never heard of, such as forensic statistics. Mlodinow does a fantastic job of exploring the balance between order and randomness in popular arenas like Hollywood and the sports world, and somehow manages to make the history of these branches of mathematics interesting and humorous. I plan to revisit this book in the future to see whether its lessons will hold a different meaning at a different point in my life and in the world.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Gavin de Becker
    • Narrated By Gavin de Becker
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (228)

    Seattle Customer says: "Try Unabridged Version"
    "Brief, accessible, useful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This should be a must-read for pretty much everyone, especially women. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way - I'm a woman myself - it's just in assault or abuse situations, we tend to be the victims rather than the perpetrators. There are many important lessons to be found here, and it dispels a lot of the ideas we think of as common sense. It's like a lifetime of experience in a single, short book. I also appreciate that the author doesn't waste too much time telling stories, which would be an easy trap to fall into. It's interesting and engaging, but everything has a purpose. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brain: A Very Short Introduction

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Michael O'Shea
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    The Brain: A Very Short Introduction provides a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research, and gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain and the mind. It includes chapters on brain processes, perception, memory, motor control and the causes of "altered mental states".

    Mirek says: "Small book about greatest mistery."
    "A good introduction to discussions about the brain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's a good amount of technical discussion in this book, which is exactly why I got it (to supplement my psychobiology class). If you don't know much about brain anatomy, you might find yourself opening up the dictionary pretty often. But it's all very interesting, and it's read slowly enough that I don't think it's impossible to follow. If you're looking for more of a real life-application type of book, this probably isn't it, but it's a good primer for those books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2013)
    Performance
    (1193)
    Story
    (1197)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"
    "Something for everyone"
    Overall

    I have to say, the title of this book was a little misleading - there's a section on black holes toward the end (where I'm at now) and a few mentions earlier, but this is not a book about black holes. That said, I think it's a great introduction to astrophysics for anyone who is curious about science but maybe has (like me) a few gaps in their knowledge of the universe. It's not dry at all - in fact, it's surprisingly funny at times, and very...human. Down-to-earth, you might say (har har). It has really piqued my curiosity about many things and made me want to explore them further.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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