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Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

los angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2013

  • 81 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 814 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Modern Scholar: Fundamental Cases: The Twentieth-Century Courtroom Battles That Changed Our Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Alan M. Dershowitz

    It was Alexis de Tocqueville who, when he visited the new republic for the first time, said that America was a unique country when it comes to law. Every great issue eventually comes before the courts. With this in mind, esteemed professor and civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz looks at history through the prism of the trial, which presents a snapshot of what's going on in a particular point in time of the nation's history.

    Amazon Customer says: "I'd rather be able to rate each section."
    "Very good, Basic education on Trials"

    For how politically biased Alan can usually be, I think he did an EXCELLENT job of getting across the basic pros and cons to each of mthese cases. Very informative, for anyon wanting to know more about the most important cases in this nation's history.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Katy Crumpton says: "Very enjoyable (but a slight warning)"
    "Genius. And I usually HATE the fantasy genre!!"

    Ok, this will be quick, since there are something like five MILLION reviews of this book on here, and the odds are good that NO ONE will read this mine.

    Truth is, I felt obligated to write this because I usually can't stand fantasy stories... I LOVE sci-fi, but for some reason I could just never get into an fantasy pieces, and believe me, I've tried.

    This book, however, just converted me!

    To say this book is "genius" for a fantasy book is an understatement. This book is genius, period. I rank it with the greatest books EVER written... EVER. I'm not kidding. It's up there with War and Peace, Ulysses, Winds of War, Lolita, and the Bible.

    Sanderson's mind is capable of creating worlds and characters which I could not even conceive of being possible to create. So much depth in every little thing; from the rocks to the clothing. This guy is incredible.

    Here's to hoping you never die, Mr. Sanderson. May the world be blessed with your incredible works of literary art for decades to come!

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dave Grossman, Loren W. Christensen
    • Narrated By Dave Grossman

    On Combat looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle and the impact on the nervous system, heart, breathing, visual and auditory perception, memory - then discusses new research findings as to what measure warriors can take to prevent such debilitations so they can stay in the fight, survive, and win. A brief, but insightful look at history shows the evolution of combat, the development of the physical and psychological leverage that enables humans to kill other humans, followed by an objective examination of domestic violence in America.

    Phil says: "if you carry a gun - you must listen to this"
    "Warning: Far-Right hit piece on Hollywood!!"

    First off, this book is GREAT when it actually sticks to the content associated with its title (and synopsis on Audible). When it talks about the physiology and psychological affects of combat on our soldiers, it is top notch.

    However, this book is a wolf in sheep's clothing for the far right wing. About 2/3 of the way through the book, it decides to become a hit piece against pretty much EVERYTHING that pisses off the far right wing in this country. It squarely sets its sights mostly on Hollywood.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I agree there is a debate that needs to take place here, and in fact I actually agree with some of Grossman's opinions on media violence. HOWEVER, I did not get this book to be lectured on (what I consider to be) a far right wing agenda. Had I wanted a book like that, I would have PURCHASED a book like that. The author (Grossman) isn't even remotely objective about it, seemingly failing to recognize that the far right could actually be wrong about anything. He even goes so far as to give religious advice, which I found to be ridiculous, and uncalled for, especially considering the fact that his tone was preachy enough without it.

    I'm not going to list point-by-poiint where Grossman is wrong, because I'm not being paid to write this review or debate him. Bottom line is, the book's title and synopsis (on Audible) is VERY misleading. This is a far-right wing propaganda piece, for a large section of it, and had I been warned of this in either the synopsis or title, I would have NEVER purchased it.

    If you are a far right winger, and you're interested in this subject, this book is for you. I mean that sincerely. You will actually enjoy it quite a bit. However, if you are a free-thinking, rational minded moderate, that doesn't feel like being lectured on things like; why we should take Draconian measures in censoring our country's art, why ALL drugs should be illegal (even harmless ones like marijuana), and why YOU should believe in and worship the Christian God, then my advice is to stay as far away from this book as possible.

    I feel it necessary to add this postscript - the anecdotes in his book, referring to the BRAVE men and women that serve this country's military are outstanding. This review IN NO WAY is meant to take away from or disparage the sacrifices they have made in serving our great country. I give thanks for them every day I am alive. This includes the author, who has served this country for many years. This review should only reflect the fact that I am incredibly disappointed with how misleading the title and synopsis of the book are.

    32 of 67 people found this review helpful
  • Prodigal Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives in southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches them from an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and her solitary life.

    Lily says: "Amazing!"
    "Never has someone TRIED so hard to sabotage..."

    First off, the reviews praising this book, the story (content) of this book, are spot on... it's GREAT! The story takes us into a world so filled with detail and stories about life and love, that you can't help but be sucked in. The book is borderline genius, plain and simple.

    Now comes the part that truly amazes me about this audiobook. The publisher/producer decided to do 2 HUGE things to sabotage the success of this audiobook...

    First, between each chapter there are LOUD, annoying bird "songs". Yes, birds chirp, seemingly out of nowhere, right in your ear when you're trying to listen to WORDS. This is annoying, jolting, and pointless. It literally adds NOTHING positive to the book, and only serves to annoy the heck out of you at times when you're really invested in this amazing story.

    Second, and this is the big complaint... For some unknown/unexplainable reason, the author is unaware that there are "professional readers" out there that read (perform) many of the books on Audible. She's either unaware of this fact, or worse, she actually considers HERSELF a "professional reader". In my opinion, the latter is unforgivable, if true. Trust me, she's not anywhere close to being a "professional reader". She's terrible. Her character voices are laughable. Her inflections are usually misplaced and nonsensical. It's like having a child (an untalented child) read a book to you, and it sucks. You don't want this author reading ANYTHING to you , ever.

    What this supreme misstep does do, however, is show just how incredible the story of this book actually is. Even with (what I would consider) one of the worst narrators in the history of Audible, the story still remains interesting, intriguing, and unique. I loved it from start to finish, and the author deserves ALL the credit for that. If the producers ever acquire the much-needed skill of common sense, they'll hire one of the many "professional readers" out there, remake this, and it will be 5 stars across the board, hands down.

    As for now, the best I can say is, if you're willing to go through a bit of torture, a great story awaits you at the end.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John E. Finn

    The civil liberties and constitutional rights possessed by our nation's citizens-not only in theory, but in the courtroom, where the state can be forced to honor those liberties-are a uniquely American invention.And when we were taught history and learned about the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, we were always made aware of that uniqueness, of the extraordinary experiment that gave to every citizen of this new nation a gift possessed by no others.

    aaron says: "Great Course. Good Narration."
    "Great Course. Good Narration."

    I'm only writing this review because I saw where another review stated how terrible the narration is. While it's true, the professor does correct himself here and there, I found it no more irritating than any other college lecture course I've taken over the years. He's human. He makes mistakes. He corrects himself. Get over it.

    The substance of the course is EXCELLENT. If you're interested in the cases that have shaped our Bill Of Rights, this is the course for you. Prof. Finn knows this subject like the back of his hand, and educates you in a clear, entertaining manner that I found to be very enjoyable.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Radley Balko
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Rise of the Warrior Cop traces the arc of US law enforcement from the constables and private justice of colonial times to present-day SWAT teams and riot cops. Today relentless "war on drugs" and "war on terror" pronouncements from politicians, along with battle-clad police forces with tanks and machine guns, have dangerously blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. Balko's fascinating, frightening narrative shows how martial rhetoric and reactionary policies have put modern law enforcement on a collision course with the values of a free society.

    Christopher says: "Scarier than any horror book. Because it's true!"
    "Every Patriotic American Should Read This!"

    This book absolutely blew me away. It details the evolution of how today's "bullies with badges" came to be. Let's face it, cops are not liked by a vast majority of citizens in this country, and for VERY good reason. A high percentage of cops suffer from "little penis syndrome" (they feel the need to pick on those whom they deem weaker, in order to build themselves up in their own head), have an ax to grind with one or more segments of the population (i.e. they're racist, anti-women, anti-homeless), and/or they're just outright PSYCHOPATHS. This book does a fine job of detailing this behavior in a historical context, while integrating various political motivations.

    What it only briefly touches on, however, is how to fix the system. Psychological evaluations by INDEPENDENT EXPERTS (not inter-department shills) once a week for EVERY cop on the force is a good place to start. Every cop should also be equipped with "Google Glass" type cameras that record every move, for months BEFORE they're given their badge and gun (as well as 24/7 after they become armed). Review boards of unbiased citizens, with ZERO LINK TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, should be the ones looking over the complaints received from the public, NOT internal affairs (who are just cops, themselves!!). It sickened me to learn that around only 1% of all public complaints against LAPD cops are ever truly taken seriously. That department takes "corruption" to levels that even Al Capone would be proud of.

    Further, the book makes a compelling case as to why cops deserve to be punished MUCH harsher than the average citizen, if they break certain laws. Cops are given an ENORMOUS amount of power and trust in our society. They are the only armed people, roaming amongst the unarmed sheep, for 99.9% of the calls they respond to. So, if they break the public's trust, they should be severely punished, right? 60 years for each instance of officer misconduct, even for small offense, would be fine with me.

    The book makes the iron-clad assertion that cops in this country need to be reigned in. I agree there are some very good cops out there... some heroes, even. But, most of the ones I've seen are power-hungry psychopaths, looking to exact vengeance on a society that never truly appreciated the magnificent "gifts" they brought to the table. There is very little, if any, oversight, when it comes to monitoring their interactions with the public. We've given them their power, and as a society we must control this monster before it's too late. Today's LAPD, for example, is becoming more and more like the Nazi Gestapo with each day that goes by. Is a Nazi-like America really what we ultimately want for our grandchildren? I think not.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • From Here to Eternity

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By James Jones
    • Narrated By Elijah Alexander

    Diamond Head, Hawaii, 1941. Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt is a champion welterweight and a fine bugler. But when he refuses to join the company's boxing team, he gets "the treatment" that may break him or kill him. First Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden knows how to soldier better than almost anyone, yet he's risking his career to have an affair with the commanding officer's wife. Both Warden and Prewitt are bound by a common bond: the Army is their heart and blood...and, possibly, their death.

    aaron says: "Genius on Every Level"
    "Genius on Every Level"

    The reviews currently on Audible seem to be all over the place, in regards to this book, so I hope to make things clear. For what this book is, it is GENIUS.

    It tells the stories of some of the "lowest men on the totem pole" in the US Army, prior to the US entering the war. You're not going to get the big battles, the big personalities (like MacArthur or Patton), or the big action. What you will get is TONS of tension and human conflict! Jones' ability to make these characters real is remarkable. The situations they find themselves in, while not the most exciting, are filled with drama.

    The stakes are high in almost every scene, and the character are so fleshed out that we actually care what happens to them. The writing is some of the best I've ever read, in terms of transporting the reader into the gritty, terrible world that these men occupied on a daily basis. It wasn't pretty, but it was real.

    The narrator was a mixed bag for me. Some of the time he seemed to be whispering, which was a bit odd and unnecessary. However, his different voices help the characters stand out, which is greatly needed when there are this many to keep track of.

    Overall, if you enjoy WWII historical fiction, and want something that delves deeper into the human psychodrama of soldiers, instead of just the battles, this is the book for you.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Invasion: Alaska: Invasion America, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this controversial book, Vaughn Heppner explores the theme of a shattered America facing the onslaught of the new colossus in the East: Greater China. The time is 2032, and the Chinese are crossing the polar ice and steaming through the Gulf of Alaska. They have conquered oil-rich Siberia and turned Japan into a satellite state. Now a new glacial period has begun, devastating the world’s food supply. China plans to corner the world’s oil market and buy the needed food for their hungry masses.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "THE AMERICANS ARE NOT SIBERIANS"
    "Publishers, LET US KNOW if it's a kid's book!!"

    This book is for children. Well, either it's for children or VERY slow adults. Truth be told, for the young adult (early teens) market who's into military history and tech, this book is probably not so bad. However, I am an adult, and I saw no warning anywhere in the description, letting me know who this book was written for.

    Where to begin with this steaming pile... The dialogue is so unimaginative and stale, it comes across like a high school kid wrote it. The plot is so utterly unrealistic that it's cringe-worthy. The author seems to be guessing as to much of the military tactics and strategy throughout. You won't care about any of the characters. None are unique, memorable, or likable.

    I'm not a fan of Tom Clancy, but I've seen where other reviewers compare this guy to him. That's rubbish. This guy makes Clancy look like the greatest writer to have ever lived... and, again, I'm not a Clancy fan. This writer is just that bad.

    The worst part about this book are the characters. The leaders of China and the US are retarded. I mean that literally. They come across as mentally deficient to the point of retardation. Everything from the decisions they make, to the way they speak, to the way they are constantly talking to themselves, all of it is completely retarded.

    What may be worse than the retarded characters is the fact that the author "played it safe" by making some of the leaders on both sides racist. Really? Racists in the White House, and running China? Really? It would be laughable how contemptible this author considers China, if it wasn't so sad. Obviously, this clown believes more in stereotypes from the 1980's than he does in actually researching his subjects.

    I could go on, but this should suffice. This book is a complete waste of time and money for any adult with an IQ over 80.

    The narrator is good.

    16 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • Scary Monsters and Super Freaks

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Mike Sager
    • Narrated By George Orlando

    Mike Sager is to drugs, porn, and crimes of desperate delusion what Dominic Dunne is to the society murder. In addition to his long-classic Rolling Stone story "The Devil and John Holmes" (which helped inspire the Val Kilmer film Wonderland) and his groundbreaking GQ piece about murdered Irish investigative reporter Veronica Guerin (also the subject of a major film starring Cate Blanchett), Scary Monsters and Super Freaks is a wonderful rogue's gallery of up-close pieces about the most public failures of the American dream.

    aaron says: "Terribly misleading title."
    "Terribly misleading title."

    First of all, if you're going to have a title like "Scary Monsters and Super Freaks", you'd better have some INCREDIBLE stories contained therein. There aren't any. Not one.

    The "Super Freak" is a reference to Rick James. Ok... seriously?! I was expecting stories about all sorts of depraved, terrible individuals that committed unspeakable acts....and you give me RICK JAMES??!! That joke would ALMOST be funny, if i didn't value my time and money.

    There are some good stories in here. Nothing great, and certainly nothing that lives up to that title. There's one about Rodney King which was interesting, and a few about cult figures, that I found noteworthy.

    Overall, I feel incredibly misled by the title of this book. It takes every ounce of self control I have for me NOT to give this 3 stars. Based on the fact that the narrator is good, and some of the stories were actually memorable, I'm giving it 4. In truth, it's a 3.5. Had I not been misled so badly by the title, I'm sure my view of this book would've been more favorable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Ray Monk
    • Narrated By Michael Goldstrom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Robert Oppenheimer was among the most brilliant and divisive of men. As head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he oversaw the successful effort to beat the Nazis in the race to develop the first atomic bomb – a breakthrough that was to have eternal ramifications for mankind and that made Oppenheimer the “Father of the Atomic Bomb.” But with his actions leading up to that great achievement, he also set himself on a dangerous collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch-hunters. In Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center, Ray Monk, author of peerless biographies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, goes deeper than any previous biographer in the quest to solve the enigma of Oppenheimer’s motivations and his complex personality.

    david says: "Nearly Perfect"
    "One of the BEST biographies on Audible!!"

    Oppenheimer was one of the most important people in the history of mankind, when you consider how he contributed to science, and the development/harnessing of atomic energy. Talk about a world creator/destroyer; this was that guy! A genius like him comes around but once every century or so. Monk does a superb job in researching the complex life of a complex man.

    It easily could've gotten bogged down in meaningless details, but never did. It held my interest throughout. If you care at all about physics, science, or the history of nuclear weapons, this is the book for you.

    As far as biographies go, this is top 5 of the ones I've read. I've read over 50.

    Narrator is outstanding!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jeremy Scahill
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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"
    "Non political BUT very anti-violence"

    First off, this is a GREAT book. Very well researched, full of new information, and written in a way that will hold your attention; especially if you enjoy CIA/black ops/ SEALs stuff.

    Now for the negative, and it's not really a negative, just something you should keep in mind.

    This author comes across as VERY anti-targeted strikes/ anti-drones. In fairness, he does present both sides of the argument, but he presents much more of the "innocent civilian casualties" side than perhaps is necessary.

    He tends to disregard the mindset of most Americans, which is "if people are hanging out with terrorists (IE in the same car with them), then they are probably people that are a threat to the US" I'm not saying I agree with this, and there are always exceptions, but it's certainly a stance that deserved more weight in the book. Let's face it, other than journalists, there aren't many "innocent" people riding around in cars in the desert with the leaders of Al Qaeda. There just aren't.

    This didn't paint my enjoyment of the book, however. The author doesn't beat you over the head with one particular opinion or the other, he just simply spends a bit too much time talking to the family members of suspected terrorists. For the most part, he sets out all the facts and lets you decide. I'd give this book 5 stars, simply based on the classified information and incredible interviews that are inside. The story and narrator make it outstanding.

    29 of 35 people found this review helpful

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