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Zbodhimama

spiritabroad

San Diego, CA USA | Member Since 2001

36
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 149 ratings
  • 424 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jim Lehrer
    • Narrated By Jim Lehrer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    From the man widely hailed as “the Dean of Moderators” comes a lively and revealing book that pulls back the curtain on more than 40 years of televised political debate in America. A veteran newsman who has presided over 11 presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections—and with them the course of history.

    carole says: "Jim Leher is a jewel of a journalist."
    "Not Just About Presidential Debates"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Tension City? What did you like least?

    Jim Lehrer is one of the most important news anchors of my lifetime and hearing his anecdotes about the Presidential debates he was involved with was a window into the backstage story. This book is also partly about his philosophy of being a moderator, and about some of his experiences moderating discussions other than Presidential debates.Listening to this book is definitely the best way to go, since he includes audio clips of actual debates and interviews with participants that would just not be as rich if you read them on the page.


    Would you recommend Tension City to your friends? Why or why not?

    This is a light and easy listen. Enjoyable, though the research is thin and the depth is not great. Still, if you like Jim Lehrer and you're interested in political inside baseball, this is fun.


    What about Jim Lehrer???s performance did you like?

    Not only is he a good reader - of course - but he is also merciless about his own shortcomings, which was humble and charming.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4273)
    Performance
    (2800)
    Story
    (2829)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Outstanding and important book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I were to create a list of the top 10 most important books I've ever read, this would be one of them, because the story is so profound and did so much to raise my consciousness about the type of medical treatment, if you can call it that, and medical exploitation many Black people have experienced in this country during our history. At the same time, this is about an important discovery in medical history that continues to impact all of us every day. The author does this while weaving into the medical history human stories that will tug at your heart and make vivid the ethical issues at stake. On a personal note, one of my daughters got the same rare kind of cancer that Henrietta Lacks had, and this story showed me how aggressive and horrendous that cancer might have been if it had not been treated properly and early.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18858)
    Performance
    (12960)
    Story
    (12856)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Good story, but too much sex for my preference."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The basic story of the this classic novel is a fun fantasy period piece and I would have enjoyed it very much, except that the plentiful sex scenes are so graphic, with borderline S&M, that I didn't enjoy it. A lot of people seem to have enjoyed that, but I didn't. I wish I had read the paper version instead, so that I could skip the parts I didn't want to read.

    Also, if you're reading this book hoping that it will come to some satisfying resolution in the end, remember it is the beginning of a series, and it doesn't do that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 44 Scotland Street

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (440)

    The brilliant Alexander McCall Smith became an international sensation with his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. His award-winning wit, made famous through that series, is fully on display in 44 Scotland Street.

    J. Rogers says: "Smith's answer to Maupin"
    "Maybe you have to be from the UK to enjoy this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Miraculously, I have made it through chapter 4 of this book, but I can't continue listening. I keep waiting for something to happen, and it never does. The narrator's treatment of women's voices is irritating beyond belief, which is unfortunate, because the main character is female. They sound like breathless squeaky children who always finish each line with an upward inflection, which grates on my nerves. So far, I haven't found a single character interesting enough to care about. Too bad. So many people have enjoyed this book. Maybe you have to be British to get the so-called subtle "humor" that is supposed to be in this story. It reminds me of a mindless sitcom with jokes that aren't funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Alter
    • Narrated By Jonathan Alter
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (99)

    In The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies, Jonathan Alter uses his unmatched access and deep knowledge of politics and history to produce the first full account of America at the crossroads. He pierces the bubble of the White House and of the presidential campaigns with exclusive reporting and rare historical insight. More than a campaign book, this is the epic story of an embattled president facing a historic moment he considered more pivotal than 2008.

    Mike says: "The Best Telling of the 2012 Campaign So Far"
    "Brain candy for political junkies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is hard to "put down," with lots of inside information and insights into how the Obama administration functions and how the President thinks, as well as an intelligent recap of facts a well-informed reader probably already knows, but it's an interesting refresher to see it organized in one place.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Narrated By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (399)

    It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

    loix says: "A fun and inspiring civics lesson"
    "Interesting look into the world of restaurants"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Marcus Samuelsson's memoir is a fascinating look into the behind-the-scenes strategies, politics and practices of kitchens in fine dining restaurants, as well as an honest, endearing (without being sentimental), and revealing memoir about the career and life of this famous multicultural chef.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Thomas J. Craughwell
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    In 1784, Thomas Jefferson struck a deal with one of his slaves, 19-year-old James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along for a particular purpose - to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James's cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom. Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history

    blake says: "Someone owes me a credit"
    "Interesting, but thin on food history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're interested in Colonial America, the Founding Fathers, etc., you may learn something from this book about Jefferson's tastes in food and where he sourced his farms. Unfortunately, the author spends more time giving historical context, much of which can be found in any other book about Jefferson, and less about food, much less crème brulee, and not enough information about James Hemings. Still, it is a fun read with an excellent narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels - A Love Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ree Drummond
    • Narrated By Ree Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (113)

    "I'll never forget that night. It was like a romance novel, an old Broadway musical, and a John Wayne western rolled into one. Out for a quick drink with friends, I wasn't looking to meet anyone, let alone a tall, rugged cowboy who lived on a cattle ranch miles away from my cultured, corporate hometown. But before I knew it, I'd been struck with a lightning bolt... and I was completely powerless to stop it."

    Elizabeth Lyle says: "Real Life Romance and Humor"
    "Fun romance for Pioneer Woman fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Since the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has a television show, it's fun to hear this book with the real Marlboro Man in mind. If you've ever found the love of your life, this book will remind you of what it was like. If you just love a fun chick lit book, this is definitely one. I can't imagine anyone else reading it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Al Gore
    • Narrated By Al Gore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (133)

    Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world....

    savi says: "Who said a book should be easy? Demanding but Amaz"
    "Should be required reading for all citizens."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Former Vice President Al Gore has done an important public service by consolidating many of the major issues and trends facing this country and the planet into one utterly depressing, but necessary, fact-based book. Even if you are very well-informed and know something about each of the issues in this book, you will probably learn something you didn't know. I enjoyed his putting issues in historical context and demonstrating, not only his technical knowledge, but also his philosophical perspective. Not so much a call to action, it is a call to sanity.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Barack Obama: The Story

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Maraniss
    • Narrated By David Maraniss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    In a groundbreaking work based on hundreds of interviews, including with President Obama, and a trove of letters, journals, and other documents, one of our pre-eminent journalists presents a richly textured account of Barack Obama and the forces that shaped him. This book begins in Kansas and Kenya, decades before Obama was born, and ends as he prepares for a political life. The listener gains a deeper insight into the first black president of the United States, revealing as never before the arc of his history.

    Darwin8u says: "Solid Work @ Debunking Fairy-Tales & Dark Fantasms"
    "Maraniss tries to do too much, but worthwhile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed previous books by David Maraniss, but in this one, he tells us way too much about the lives of people who were layer upon layer distant from President Obama. He presents a lot of raw material for future historians, but as a read, I found it occasionally tedious. In between stories about the politcal and marital relationships of Barack Obama senior, however, we do learn a lot about the early life of the President, and I found the descriptions of Stanley Ann Dunham very interesting, since she had a much greater impact on her son than his father did. The window into the developmental life of the young Obama and his journey toward finding his own identity make this book well worth listening to, all the same. If for no other reason than to utterly debunk the insane claims of fear mongerers about the President, this book is an important addition to history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Christopher Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Hayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (356)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (321)

    Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another - from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball - imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters. How did we get here? Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer.

    Matt says: "Listen To This Immediately!"
    "Gives names to important issues."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Chris Hayes, editor at large of The Nation, and host of his own show on MSNBC, identifies some serious issues, and makes a sound case for them, without offering serious solutions, though giving a problem a name is the beginning of a discussion about possible solutions. His primary point is that our nation has come to be based on meritocracy rather than inherited aristocracy, i.e., being able to rise competitively from whatever class we are born into to elite status by being identified as exceptionally intelligent and having access to elite education at exclusive schools or being so successful in business as to accumulate exceptional wealth, but those considered elite do not always act competently or in the best interests of society. Being smart or a good businessperson is not necessarily accompanied by good character, good citizenship, or good judgment.

    Further, the privilege of elite status has not come with accountability for performance commensurate with that status, and therefore extreme failures by the elites are not corrected and are in fact perpetuated, compounded, or even rewarded. Elites depend upon other elite "experts" for guidance about major issues, and their life experience becomes so far removed from that of those affected by their decisions that they make decisions they might not make if they or their loved ones had to experience the consequences themselves. His excellent examples range from the White House to the world of sports. As for a solution, he points to the Occupy movement. This is unsatisfactory [imho], since the Occupy movement lacked leadership sufficient to press its causes politically, but his point is really that a revolutionary way of viewing and exercising power and merit in our society is needed, short of revolution in the streets.

    Hayes narrates his own book, and even though his voice is not sonorous, it is easy to listen to, and his emphasis adds to the meaning of his points. In general a good "read."

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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