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Julie

la vernia, TX, United States | Member Since 2015

38
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 299 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2015
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  • What It Is Like to Go to War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (435)

    In 1969, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience.

    Lynn says: "Destined to become a Classic"
    "A must read for anyone questioning his/her sanity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of What It Is Like to Go to War to be better than the print version?

    Mr. Marlantes segues quite a bit in this book, and sometimes I had difficulty switching mental gears. I think I might have understood the change in thought if I'd seen a paragraph break or something. Overall, the listening was enjoyable, but I really could not tell the voice belonged to Bronson Pinchot!


    What other book might you compare What It Is Like to Go to War to and why?

    A Rumor of War by Phil Caputo. He wrote his book before PTSD became a diagnosis; however, his descriptions of the "blank stare" and the soul-crushing effects of war were right on the mark.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Oh holy cow, yes. PTSD is one of the things that one either associates with crazy vets strung out on drugs and alcohol, unable to keep a job or a home, or a label one hides behind to excuse poor behavior. NOTHING prepared me for Iraq or GTMO. In both deployments I was on a detainee health mission. I wasn't in combat (well, minus rockets fired at us). I didn't experience any of the raw trauma my fellow nurses did in the early years of the war and during the surge. My unit jokingly called what we were traumatized from was the Groundhog Day effect (referencing the Bill Murray movie). However, it was no joke. When I got home, I was lost. I sought help. I answered honestly the millions of questionnaires the Army had us fill out.... over and over and over. Yet, if I wasn't suicidal, which I wasn't, no one cared too much to figure out what was wrong with me. Overloaded behavioral health system, I guess, and I kept getting the, "You're a nurse, you'll seek out help if things get worse, right?" Mr. Marlantes hits the core of the problem of PTSD in that unless one is prepared physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, the effects of war will suck the life right out of you. It was a year and a half after I redeployed (means to go home for you non-military folk, not go back to theater) that I finally got the help I needed. It didn't take much- therapy, meds, and going to church- but I'm finally at peace with Iraq. As I prepare to head to Afghanistan this spring, I know more, but trust me, I WILL be talking about what I'm feeling and I WILL be attending church. This book is a must read for any person who has been to the Gulf during OEF or OIF. Even if you think you don't have PTSD and you're just crazy, you might feel differently after reading this book.


    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1366)
    Performance
    (1229)
    Story
    (1225)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Jen says: "Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way"
    "Nothing ordinary about this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. I thought it was more of a mystery, but it turned out to be a story of love, healing, and forgiveness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5184)
    Performance
    (2781)
    Story
    (2815)

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Two parallel stories intersected by a fair"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting and informative story that is really two stories in one. I doubt nothing I write hasn't already been captured in the numerous other reviews here, but unlike some of the mediocre or negative reviews, I found this book fun, captivating, creepy, and thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Day of the Jackal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Frederick Forsyth
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (868)
    Performance
    (603)
    Story
    (597)

    One of the most celebrated thrillers ever written, The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of an anonymous Englishman who in, the spring of 1963, was hired by Colonel Marc Rodin, operations chief of the O.A.S., to assassinate General de Gaulle.

    Darwin8u says: "Tight & fantastic political/cat-and-mouse thriller"
    "Really glad I never saw the movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thrilling up to the last sentence, and I'm glad I never saw the movie to spoil the ending! Now I'm wondering if the Jackal was British or not!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Center: A Marine Sniper's Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Ed Kugler
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Raw, straightforward, and powerful, Ed Kugler's account of his two years as a Marine scout-sniper in Vietnam vividly captures his experiences there - the good, the bad, and the ugly. After enlisting in the Marines at 17, then being wounded in Santo Domingo during the Dominican crisis, Kugler arrived in Vietnam in early 1966. As a new sniper with the 4th Marines, Kugler picked up bush skills while attached to 3d Force Recon Company, and then joined the grunts.

    brent marsingill says: "Awesome!"
    "Light years beyond the American Sniper book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Only complaint was the constant reading of time as "oh" instead of "zero". That's it for negative comments.

    The epilogue, written in 1999, pushes the button on continued failures to adopt "lessons learned" for the GWOT. This is a must read for anyone who wore the uniform and went into theater. No lessons in American Sniper, but this book is crammed full of them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Chris Kyle, Scott McEwan, Jim DeFelice
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13370)
    Performance
    (11494)
    Story
    (11490)

    From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head.

    Allen T. says: "Amazing"
    "Ho hum.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel like a traitor for not liking this book especially being a soldier, but golly this book was boring. Knowing the "true" end to Chris Kyle's story, it seems terrible to say this, but no one can ever say he was an intellectual giant.

    I tried. I truly tried, but compared to Karl Marlantes' books, this was just not a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Certainty

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Victor Bevine
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth - he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

    Gerard says: "Brilliant!!!"
    "10.5 hours of brilliance- tell your friends!"
    Overall

    Tell me a story that flawlessly weaves all the things we think or feel about a myriad of social mores, phobias, and taboos. Add in the beautiful voice of the storyteller (who happens to also be the author!), and we have a perfect audiobook.

    This story, although filed under "legal thriller", is not what I expected. No "You can't handle the truth!" No shocking twist with a surprise witness. No clever legal maneuvering by a cunning young gun lawyer. Instead, it's a story of what drives us- whether it be the lives we're born into or the ones we choose in order to escape those mistakes of birth- to do the right thing even if the right thing is following bad orders. Image conscious senior partners, vendetta-driven chief petty officers, poor Irish immigrants starving for a new life, sexually confused Midwestern boys, or men with eyes on the presidency... all make choices that lead to terrible consequences.

    If you're looking for a clean wrap up in the final moments of a compelling trial, this is not your book. Go read Grisham instead. If you're looking for a story that makes you spellbound and leaves you with the need to examine your soul, read this book.

    Then tell your friends because this book needs word of mouth review since big time bestseller list compilers forgot this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nina Teicholz
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (339)

    Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?

    Ted says: "Great book. Challenges your belief system."
    "I'm horrified"
    Overall

    As a healthcare provider, I'm hanging my head in shame that I've propelled the low fat diet forward. Despite a sensible grasp on anatomy and physiology, I've only recently come around to understanding that insulin is THE anabolic hormone that we've ratcheted up to the point of a death sentence. Add the inflammatory effects on our vessel intima, and we have a perfect combination for CV disease, DM, and obesity.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bag of Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2958)
    Performance
    (1519)
    Story
    (1529)

    Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. He moves into his isolated house by the lake, which becomes the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

    Amazon Customer says: "My Favorite King Novel"
    "Thoroughly Enjoyable Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought the hardback version of this book off the clearance shelf in a used bookstore last summer, and try as I may, I fell asleep within minutes of reading. It on my nightstand for months collecting dust, so I gave up and bought the audio version.

    For me, hands down, Bag of Bones is Stephen King's best story, and his narration along with the music brought the story to life. There are pregnant pauses in the narration- sometimes between paragraphs, sometimes between chapters- that just potentiate the tension of the story.

    I was sorry when the story ended, but delighted in the interview between the producer and Mr. King that followed. If I could give more than 5 stars, I certainly would!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (194)

    A strange plague called the "Gets" is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget - small things at first, like where they left their keys... then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily - and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia" has been discovered - a universal healer, from initial reports.

    Charles says: "Troubling"
    "Nonstop Nightmare"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh please. If the Boogeyman is watching us all the time, why in the heck does anyone need to go to the bottom of the ocean and unleash it (them?)? I feel cheated that Luke spent the entire novel fighting the unknown forces only to capitulate at the end. This reminds me of the movie Seven. Had Brad Pitt's character NOT given in, the ending would have been oh so much better.

    5 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22056)
    Performance
    (18367)
    Story
    (18351)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Not Really the Brit "Gone Girl""
    Overall

    This was an enjoyable read, but minus any enjoyable characters, all I came away with is how seriously messed up people are.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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