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Member Since 2013

  • 6 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015

  • Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Alex von Tunzelmann
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the British Empire withdrew from India, igniting the exhilaration and turmoil of a newly free society. In this vivid, atmospheric popular history, Alex von Tunzelmann chronicles these times through the most prominent figures.

    Diego says: "Such an interesting piece of History made easy"
    "A Great Primer On A Subject I Knew Little About"

    I was aware the subcontinent was partitioned at independence and little else. I had heard of Lord and Edwina Montbatten and was faintly aware of rumors of Nehru and Edwina's special relationship. Of course, who has not heard of Mahatma Gandhi. "Indian Summer" gives background to the events of 1947 in terms of personalities, geography and historical events. It also provides insights into how Pakistan has developed from what was intended to be a secular nation into what we see today.
    I am certain there is more to learn, but "Indian Summer" is a great beginning and a solid base to build on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Columbine

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dave Cullen
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

    Book reader says: "Truth and heartache"
    "A comprehensive report"

    I was suprised how little I knew about the two teenagers who perpetrated the crime we have come to know simply as "Columbine" and what efforts were made by the local authorities to avoid admitting the two were clearly on law enforcement's radar screen prior to the event. The author makes it clear there are many things we will never know about the 2 teenagers, but they left a record in the form of videos and at least one journal. The most interesting character is an FBI hostage negotiator whose son went to Columbine and became involved in the investigation almost immediately. His training and insights are a major contribution to the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Dan Balz, Haynes Johnson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill

    The election of 2008 shattered political barriers; illuminated undercurrents of race, gender, and class; and ignited an extraordinary battle among some of the most formidable rivals ever to seek the presidency: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. It was an election that played out against a backdrop of war, economic collapse, and deep pessimism about the future.

    A User says: "The best of the genre"
    "The best of the genre"

    I have read several books about the 2008 election and books discussing what the election might say about America. I found "The Battle for America 2008" among the best in both categories. Although the authors focused on the Clinton v Obama battle, they also address the Republican primary, the selection of Palin and the general election. I found an obvious effort to provide a balanced report, sometimes more successfully than others. Republicans might pick up some pointers about how they went from a ruling party to back benchers in 6 years and Democrats might learn what they need to do to hold the center of the country in future elections.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Les Miserables

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

    Amazon Customer says: "I love this book - one of the best of all time"
    "I thought it was great"

    I picked this particular version of Les Mis because it was unabridged and, inspite of all the digressions, it was worth it. However, I am getting the abridged version for a friend whom I know is more interested in the story than in the full flavor of the period. I enjoyed the reader with his French pronunciation and his failed attempts to sing. This is a reminder why I love the classics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Phil Jackson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye

    Nine-time NBA Champion coach Phil Jackson knows all about being in the spotlight, about high-profile, high-pressure seasons coaching gigantic personalities through adversity and controversy in the middle of a media hothouse in which every move is another headline, another installment in the soap opera. But nothing had quite prepared him for the only-in-Hollywood high-wire act of the Lakers' 2003-2004 season.

    A User says: "If you are interested in the NBA"
    "If you are interested in the NBA"

    I must begin by confessing (1) I love the Lakers of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar; (2) I love the Bulls of MJ, Dennis Rodman and Scotty Pippen; (3) I find the current crop of NBA players, typified by Kobe and Shaq, overpaid underperformers with a startling sense of entitlement.
    I was interested in hearing what Phil Jackson had to say about The Last Season. He did not disappoint me. When he wrote about his former Bull team and team members, you could sense the love and longing in his tone. His heart was (and might always be) with them. When he writes about the Lakers, he is writing from the outside, as an observer, a hired hand. He admits that he felt an outsider, he refers to "The Laker Organization." He does not refer to "us." This lends some objectivity to his observations and comments.
    He confirms my preconceived ideas about Kobe, but has forced me to re-evaluate my opinion of Shaq. Last week Kobe scored 41 points in a game and the Lakers lost. Based on what I heard in The Last Season, Kobe must be very happy. He is the star, there is no one around him competing for the limelight and he can say to one and all, as many three years olds like to do, "You are not the boss of me." Oh, the Lakers are losing? Who cares, its all about me, me, me.
    I would recommend this book to any who is a fan of the NBA and is curious about what can cause a team with seemingly limitless talent to fail to reach its potential. For Phil Jackson, winning is not the most important thing; striving, doing your best, those are the things that count.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By George Crile
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.

    Chuck says: "Best Non-Fiction Book - Extremely Compelling!!!"
    "One of the best books I have ever listened to"

    This book is both informative and entertaining. It provides insights into the operations of Congress, the CIA and our relationship with Pakistan during the 1980's. Charlie and Gust come to life with the voice of the reader who does an outstanding job. There is a brief epilogue that attempts to tie the events of the book to the events of 9/11. I wish this section had been more fully developed. This is a must read for anyone interested in world events.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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