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Edward C. Charbonnet

Memphis, TN | Member Since 2006

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 46 reviews
  • 132 ratings
  • 183 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (623)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (270)

    The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the 19th century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.

    Kimberly says: "Good book, poor editing ..."
    "What a fabulous true story!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about In the Heart of the Sea?

    I most enjoyed the section in the book that covered the 89 days of survival at sea. The biggest surprise bonus in the book was the great history of Nantucket during the hay day of whaling. I like the way the book starts when the survivors were found and then goes back and tells how they got into the predicament. The author gives so much great detail about life in those days and life aboard those ships for 2 and 3 years as well as how whaling started even before we had those large ships. And as another bonus he covers many years after the Essex's disaster going into the details of how and why Nantucket declined.

    And the author adds to the book by referencing other similar sea disasters that have occurred since and how they were similar and different. And he also adds insights from modern knowledge of whales.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Heart of the Sea?

    When the did battle with the giant sperm whale that rammed them twice. And then the tough decisions they had to make to survive. I was particularly moved by the Australian Captain who went out of his way to find the 2 survivors on the island when he had been told the wrong island but decided to search other islands after the first one had no survivors.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    So very hard to choose but the scenes when they were struggling against the extreme weather elements were exciting.


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

    When most of the main city on Nantucket burned down - fueled by the whale oil - as the author called it "The Revenge of the Leviathan".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jon Meacham
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann, Jon Meacham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (924)
    Performance
    (797)
    Story
    (785)

    In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

    Darwin8u says: "A Man and Biography Relevant to Our Day"
    "Loved the Great Detail I have never read before"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power the most enjoyable?

    I loved the way the book started with a summary of what was to come. And then I very much enjoyed the great detail about his youth, his early political years, his time as Governor - good, bad and ugly - the details about his various philosophical ideas about life and religion, his time in France, is time as Secretary of State, VP and the Prez. And then the 18 years period after he was president.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    TJ himself - the book is about him. But I also enjoyed the insights into Washington and Adams.


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

    When Jefferson was running to hide from the British during the War.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Not Exactly What I Had in Mind

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Roy Blount
    • Narrated By Roy Blount Jr.
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    "It's my belief that sanity lies in realizing that reality is not exactly what we had in mind," says Roy Blount, Jr. in this witty collection of essays. With humor that's wry, dry, and warm, he delights and provokes us by confronting the reality of American life compared to the way we thought it would be. With his characteristic drawl (or "oral resonance," as he calls it), he reflects on John Wayne, the federal deficit, women's underwear, and more.

    Tim says: "Genuinely funny--like a Southern Thurber"
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I found it silly and tiresome. Just didn't find anything funny or enjoyable about his ramblings.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Letter of Marque: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (168)

    In The Letter of Marque, Jack is once again aboard his beloved Surprise but stripped of his post captaincy for a crime he did not commit. Bought by Stephen, the Surprise has become a privateer. Sailing into French waters, the two concoct a desperate mission which, if successful, may redeem Aubrey from his state of disgrace.

    Farlow says: "Two Patricks"
    "Captain Aubry is now a Privateer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having been unjustly stripped of his Navy commission, Jack was now doomed to be ship-less until his good friend Dr. Matchurin buys Jack's beloved schooner Surprise at a Naval auction and makes Jack the skipper. They have some most extraordinary and profitable adventures ridding Jack of his huge debts and making him a public hero because of the enemy chips he captures in a very daring night raid. For me, this is one of the best books of the series and I particularly enjoyed seeing the navy now from the privateer perspective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Parmy Olson
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (301)

    In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault by Anonymous on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Splinter groups then infiltrated the networks of totalitarian governments in Libya and Tunisia, and an elite team of six people calling themselves LulzSec attacked the FBI, CIA, and Sony. They were flippant and taunting, grabbed headlines, and amassed more than a quarter of a million Twitter followers.

    Ulrike says: "Good book but horrible performance"
    "Eye opening and scary look at the internet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the middle section of the book seemed to drag I throughly enjoyed most of the book. I was left feeling very sympathetic for some of the people who were naively sucked into commiting felonies that at the time they thought were harmless pranks. It was stricking and un-nereving to see how easy these people can disrupt internet commerce or hack into private information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9092)
    Performance
    (4803)
    Story
    (4875)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Wonderfully complex plot full of surprises"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love well written stories that keep me guessing. I enjoyed each character and came to know them well and found this book hard to put down. As long as it is, it never felt long. Instead of just one reader there were 15 readers so it was more like a radio performance. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Craig Ferguson
    • Narrated By Craig Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1612)
    Performance
    (997)
    Story
    (996)

    In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark - as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

    Diane says: "Unabashedly Honest"
    "Articulate immigrant who LOVES America and why"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Early in this book he cleverly refers to America as the "Land of Failure". But he means this in a VERY positive way. He says it is the only place he knows where you can fail over and over again until you finally get it right and succeed. He sure did. Due to severe alcohol and drug problems he actually plotted his own suicide and almost pulled it off. But friends helped him find treatment and recovery. As of the book's writing he has been sober for 17 years.

    I loved the stories of his family, his Uncle who is so dear to him, and his comedy and acting friends. As for his marriage failures he blames no one but himself and he sure seems to have it all together now. After reading this I enjoy his late night TV show even more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (144)

    The very young men who flew the B24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were an exemplary band of brothers. In The Wild Blue, Stephen Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship. Stephen Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and chose those few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war.

    jud says: "Terrific book."
    "Heart warming stories of Courage and endurance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you really wish to know how hard life was for these guys, I highly recommend this book. They would fly for 6 to 12 hours in 20 degree below air with little heat and only hard steel seats to sit on. On many days "at the office" 30% of their co-workers would not return home. The stories are deeply moving mixed with some good humor. I could not put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1793)
    Performance
    (1484)
    Story
    (1496)

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "A non-political review of the 2008 crash"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Lewis travels much of Europe, especially the PIIGS countries - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain - researching the problems leading up to the financial crash and the aftermath. He is both serious and witty. I highly recommend this book. He also travels up into Scandinavia and then into Germany. Lastly he travels into the "next Greek-like economy" - California. Do you know there are a number of cities in CA that spend 50 or 60 percent of the annual budgets on retirement expenses? This cannot be sustained. And as sympathetic as I want to be for the Greeks, Lewis points out serious problems such as massive cheating on taxes and entitlement to retirement at 55 by so many. Your eyes will be opened!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Colin Powell
    • Narrated By Colin Powell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (374)

    It Worked for Me is filled with vivid experiences and lessons learned that have shaped the legendary career of the four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. At its heart are Powell's "Thirteen Rules" - such as "Get mad, then get over it" and "Share credit" - that introduce his principles for effective leadership: conviction, hard work, and, above all, respect for others. A natural storyteller, Powell offers warm and engaging parables with wise advice on succeeding in the workplace and beyond.

    Jean says: "Great Story Teller"
    "Great stories written and read by Colin Powel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    He starts with his 13 rules and tells motivating stories of leadership that have served him well. They are inspirational and funny stories. Too bad this man did not become president. Do you know what year he graduated for West Point? He did not! He is not only the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he is the first ROTC man to reach that lofty status. He attended CCNY - City College of New York. He is an amazing story of hard work and attitude leading to great success.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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