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Antioch, CA, United States

  • 13 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 195 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • Slumdog Millionaire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Vikas Swarup
    • Narrated By Christopher Simpson

    Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales, Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.

    J. Wigfall says: "Powerful"
    "Engaging story, educational and enriching."

    Emotional adventure, educational regarding the life conditions of many in India. A brilliant and original concept for telling this amazing story. This story describes an extraordinary child's overcoming of political, social, and moral corruption in India.

    6 of 6 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

    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"
    "A survey of astrophysics and astronomy"

    This book is a series of essays that constitute a broad review of what has been learned about our solar system and the cosmos since early civilization and right through to nearly the present. It is fascinating and written so that anyone with a moderate background in chemistry and physics can follow. I do not think it would be well understood without a comfortable familiarity with the periodic table of the elements, Newton's laws of physics, thermonuclear fusion, the electromagnetic spectrum from microwave radiation to cosmic rays and everything between and the significance of Einstein's seminal...e=m(c)squared.

    I was fascinated to learn that all matter on earth (and elsewhere other than Hydrogen) was created in dying stars and the we are "all made of stardust".

    Great narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness [Expanded Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt

    Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we are all susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.

    Jay says: "An overly long Nudge in the right direction"
    "Boring and obvious. Nothing original."

    This is a poor attempt at riding the wave of interest in Malcolm Gladwell's style. This book combines grating narration with lessons including: eat healthy food, save more money for your future and other obvious suggestions that need no explanation. You would be better off re-reading any of Gladwell's books and skipping Nudge. I love Audible but this book is down-right boring; I finished it on principle but my wife (smarter than me) stopped after 45 minutes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Entertaining and historically informative"

    A combination of historical fiction and mystery. Very suspenseful and engaging. A detailed description of the late 1950's and early 1960's incorporating a detailed biography of Lee Harvey Oswald into the story. Find out if you can change the future according to Stephen King.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Japanese fantasy with great characters & narration"
    What did you love best about 1Q84?

    The character development and their voices.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of 1Q84?

    The imagery related to the moon(s)

    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Multiple narrator's with wonderful acting ability.

    Who was the most memorable character of 1Q84 and why?

    Tamaru with his quiet and controlled power and insight and difficult upbringing.

    Any additional comments?

    This book is delightfully rare (almost unique) in its style of relating a story through multiple character's voices sequentially. This aspect is similar to The Help.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Melinda says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Fascinating biography told as an engaging story"
    What made the experience of listening to Destiny of the Republic the most enjoyable?

    The story is easy to follow and fascinating. It intertwines closely related accounts of contemporary giants, Dr Jospeph Lister (pioneer of sterile surgery) and Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone)

    What did you like best about this story?

    James Garfield is an ideal human being and a rare politician since he is intelligent, honest and was essentially forced into politics without any desire to control other human beings. He was intensely honest, brave and a self made family man with great respect for Black Americans at a time spanning slavery and emancipation. President Garfield is an inspiring human being. The biography reads like a captivating novel. You will not be able to put it down once you are through the second chapter.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The centennial world's fair which was attended by Garfield, Dr Lister and Alexander Graham Bell.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    James Garfield's dramatic promotion from janitor to assistant professor at Western Reserve.

    Any additional comments?

    Great narration. James Garfield is well worth knowing. His life and story will enrich any listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
    • Narrated By Po Bronson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    NurtureShock is a groundbreaking collaboration between award-winning science journalists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. They argue that when it comes to children, we've mistaken good intentions for good ideas. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, they demonstrate that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring - because key twists in the science have been overlooked.

    Carin says: "I liked it and I don't even have kids."
    "All parents should read this book"

    This book is required reading for parents. I was doing a lot wrong. I am so glad to have read this book while my children are young enough to benefit from my correction. My wife completely agrees as well. Kind, well-meaning parents may create many counter-productive incentives for their children without the knowledge and insight afforded in this easy to read book. Please excuse the embarrassingly crass introduction and skip right to chapter one. Everything but the introduction is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandy Tolan
    • Narrated By Sandy Tolan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian 25-year-old, made a long-imagined journey to what is now the city of Ramle in Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it that his father had planted, that he and his family had fled 19 years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house and rang the bell, a young woman welcomed him in.

    Matthew says: "A Must Read -but deeply flawed"
    "Very readable"

    An excellent introduction for those interested in understanding the historical grievances that are sadly perpetuated more than sixty years after the events. Readers who want to delve much further back may consider Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary in addition to The Lemon Tree.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael B. Oren
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Israel and the West, it is called the Six Day War. In the Arab world, it is known as the June War or, simply, as "the Setback". Never has a conflict so short, unforeseen, and largely unwanted by both sides so transformed the world. The Yom Kippur War, the war in Lebanon, the Camp David accords, the controversy over Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the intifada, and the rise of Palestinian terror are all part of the outcome of those six days.

    Patrick says: "Great overview of Middle East troubles"
    "A dramatic and suspenseful historic account"

    A detailed account of the interplay of cold war superpowers posturing over the menacing and goading threats of Egypt's Nasser. Nasser entwines Jordan's Hussein while Syria taunts Israel with cross border artillery barrages complacent in its deep Soviet backing. Israel reaches a psychological and tactical breaking point and plunges into the stunning Six Days War. The US sadly suffered horrible and tragically accidental casualties as well in the Israeli offensive when a US ship stationed "between" Israel and Egypt is nearly sunk after mistaken identity. This book is a compilation of statesmanship, military build-up and tactical successes and failures that comprise the Six Days War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • O Jerusalem: Day by Day and Minute by Minute the Historic Struggle for Jerusalem and the Birth of Israel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre
    • Narrated By Theodore Bikel

    O Jerusalem! is the epic drama of 1948, when Arabs and Jews fought for control of the city of Jerusalem. This story traverses centuries and continents, covering the time between WWII and the creation of the independent state of Israel. Based on five years of intensive research and thousands of interviews, this is a story of courage, terrorism, heroism, and ultimately, war.

    Aaron says: "Excellent book!"
    "A very detailed account of the formation of Israel"

    I was surprised at the level of detail in this truly "day to day" account of Israel's formation. The book covers the Zionist movement and the interplay between American and European governments and the United Nations to facilitate the declaration of Jewish Independence within a segment of Palestine to the dismay of the neighboring Arab states. The military and paramilitary preparations and clashes are described seemingly to the last round fired from every gun in the territory. I enjoyed the narrator as well. This book certainly allows one to appreciate the seeds of the ongoing conflict over occupancy of the territory called Israel. The long duration of this conflict however is not explained by the origins of it. To understand the duration of the conflict to the current day one must study the subsequent politics and narratives that have prevented the countries in the region from behaving as sovereign and cooperative neighbors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    Blake says: "Explains the clash between Islam and the West"
    "Clear, captivating and excellent narration"

    The history and legends that Muslims are taught and have been taught for 1400 years. This book allows people outside Islamic society to understand the history and development of the Islamic world in a far more comprehensive and thoughtful context than most other sources. This book has satisfied its promise to educate me and also sparked an interest to read further and deeper into more current accounts of the Islamic internal and external struggles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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