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William T. Katz

Ashburn, VA USA | Member Since 2000

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (60)

    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!"
    "Highly Informative and entertaining"
    Overall

    This is a fascinating account of the formation of Israel that puts the current Middle East crisis in some perspective. In short, this period of time was remarkable due to the clash of cultures, widely different approaches to war, superpower influences, and incredible stakes. The prelude to the British pullout was very interesting as each side positioned themselves for the start of a certain war. The narrator used to play Tevya in "Fiddler on the Roof," so his voice provides a strong reading with pronounciations that I'd never get on my own in the book format. Highly recommended.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5932)
    Performance
    (2091)
    Story
    (2100)

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "Fun, gripping, well drawn out characters"
    Overall

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I'm not usually a fantasy fan, but Lian Hearn's trilogy introduces just a bit of magic to spruce up an otherwise pseudo-historical Japanese setting. The characters are strong and we follow the training and awakening talents of the protagonist, Takeo. Throw in the most beautiful girl in the three countries, ninja-like espionage, samurai and a vivid setting. The audiobook has good performances and keeps you riveted.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance of the Moon: Tales of the Otori, Book Three

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2119)
    Performance
    (652)
    Story
    (658)

    In the final installment of the Tales of the Otori, the young Takeo meets his destiny, fulfilling the prophesy: "You were born into the Hidden, but your life...is no longer your own."

    William T. Katz says: "Good trilogy. Book 3 is weakest."
    "Good trilogy. Book 3 is weakest."
    Overall

    I enjoyed the Tales of the Otori trilogy. The story has good pacing, interesting characters, and just a bit of magic that doesn't put it too far into the fantasy genre.

    Of the three books, I thought the last, Brilliance of the Moon, was the weakest. Good action to be sure, but the book tried to cover too much ground. There was some plot resolution by Deus Ex Machina. Perhaps my preference for the first book is that I first learn about a strange new world and characters that live larger than life. By the third book, it's less about showing us this strange world and more about tying up loose ends.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken
    Overall
    (2063)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (311)

    Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Al Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.

    Peter says: "Franken's One Sided View"
    "Thought-provoking & funny with occasional problems"
    Overall

    This was a funny, thought-provoking, well-constructed audiobook from the reverb sound effects of God to the actual clips of Limbaugh shows. [Was amazed they could include right-wing clips legally] It uses the audiobook medium to its full advantage. Al Franken presents a damning fact-filled argument against the notion that conservatives are fair and the media has a liberal bias. The chapters on anti-terrorism efforts under the Clinton vs Bush administrations is particularly troubling.

    I have recommended this audiobook to other friends but must also append a caveat: Al goes overboard occasionally and it hurts the acceptability of his important message. One example is his comparison of John Walker Lindh and confederate army soldiers. Franken says anyone who fought on the confederate side of the Civil War was a worse traitor than John Walker Lind (the American Taliban), but unfortunately, such reductionist ways of looking at complex issues is similar to the conservative mindset that Franken skewers. Was the Civil War a simple black-and-white racial struggle or were there at least elements of state/local outrage against what they perceived as heavy-handed federal intrusions? Is there any difference between a few who plot against the many versus millions who want to secede and form a new state? There were other examples of Franken being a bit dogmatic or too flippant, and this detracts and possibly prevents this work's consumption by Americans who *should* get Franken's message.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Best of Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Swanwick, Adam-Troy Castro, Jerry Oltion, and others
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Analog Science Fiction & Fact Magazine has provided four edgy stories about heroism, each exploring emotional dimensions uncommon in this or any other genre.

    William T. Katz says: "Highly entertaining"
    "Highly entertaining"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful collection of short stories that riveted my wife and I during a car trip along the East Coast. As mentioned by another reviewer, "The Astronaut From Wyoming", is worth the price of this collection: deep, vivid characters; occasionally emotional and hilarious prose in a near-present time setting.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Randall E. Stross
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    The first inside account of life within a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, eBoys is the fascinating true story of the six tall men who backed eBay, Webvan, and other billion-dollar start-ups that are transforming the Internet and setting a new pace for the economy - an audible.com audio exclusive!

    Sean says: "Entertaining but misinformed"
    "Entertaining look at one VC firm"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to eBoys. The audiobook doesn't attempt to be a treatise on Venture Capital. Instead, it gives you a glimpse at a new "democratic" VC firm, Benchmark, and describes some of the more interesting ventures like Ebay and Webvan. It gives you the venture capitalist perspective on those ventures, and how the standards of investing changed during the dot-com mania. This is not a textbook on venture capital, but it is an entertaining peek at how some of the big internet deals went down.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dot.Bomb

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By J. David Kuo
    • Narrated By J. David Kuo
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    Dot.Bomb is the amazing story of the Internet gold rush as it could only be told by an insider. As SVP of Communications at Value America, David Kuo saw it all: sky's-the-limit optimism, hundreds of millions of dollars spent in a grab for eyeballs and market share, investors slavering to be on the inside, and the belief that there really were new rules. But Value America's plan to sell merchandise directly to manufacturers over the Internet fell apart in the blink of an eye...

    William T. Katz says: "A look at Net Mania at its worst"
    "A look at Net Mania at its worst"
    Overall

    As a former long-time resident of Charlottesville, I'm all too familiar with the rise & fall of the area's only billion+ $ net venture. So it was very interesting to get an insider's look at Value America through David Kuo's eyes.

    First and foremost, this is a case study of a fast-moving dot.com with a "flexible" business plan. Value America was heralded for its inventory-less business plan, but eventually the major flaws in the model were revealed, especially on the B2C side. This book provides mostly cautionary tales. It describes the infighting and power struggles among the executives. It details the inability of the CEO to rein in the founder Craig Winn, the "visionary" promise-now/deliver-later salesman. And it touches on the operational failures that led to thousands of delayed orders and a general technology break down. Because Kuo was in PR and bus dev, we don't get an in-depth look at the information technology infrastructure, supposedly the crown-jewel of this company's assets. Instead we see the excessive and sometimes irresponsible deal-making that occured with little executive knowledge of the technological requirements.

    It is an entertaining book that depicts how a company can blow through hundreds of millions of dollars that result in little salvageable value. Like the "startup.com" movie, dot.bomb also shows the emotional fallout at the executive level.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Tech Score: A Wall Street Analyst Reveals Ten Secrets to Investing Success

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Mike Kwatinetz, Danielle Kwatinetz Wood
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This informative and engaging primer from Mike Kwatinetz, one of Wall Street's leading tech analysts, offers a practical, step-by-step game plan that will give you the tools to make informed decisions about the market.

    And for understanding the big financial picture behind the Bush tax cut plan, don't miss Paul Krugman's Fuzzy Math.

    William T. Katz says: "A blueprint for a personally managed portfolio"
    "A blueprint for a personally managed portfolio"
    Overall

    I liked this book enough that I've bought multiple hardcopies for friends and myself. The book provides a blueprint for personally managing a small number of stocks. This stock portfolio should be hedged by other diverse investments including safe money (i.e. fixed interest) and mutual funds.

    There is a lot of good advice throughout the book. They cover, in part, (1) why you should concentrate on a few stocks and know them inside and out, (2) metrics for determining an appropriate value for a stock, (3) effective screening tools in finding the gems, and (4) some no-nonsense views of how the stock market really operates with respect to analysts.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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