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Ken Mitchell


Edina, MO USA | Member Since 2006

  • 7 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 976 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • The Johnstown Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

    Susan K Donley says: "A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel"

    The story of the Johnstown Flood is the story of America in the late 1880's... robber barons, the industrial revolution, a careless disregard for human life and safety, railroads and telegraphs, the power of nature overwhelming the works of man, heroism and cowardice, disaster on an unimaginable scale followed by compassion on an even greater level.

    This is the quintessential book about the flood, read by Edward Herman, one of the great actors of our day. It is detailed, fascinating and sobering.

    This book is for you.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey

    Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result.

    Amazon Customer says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "Like a fine wine, this story ages well"

    A Town Like Alice is as much a snapshot in time as it is anything. It's written in a style of the period, by one of the great authors of his day.

    It's a narrative of WWII and the post-war period during the end of the great British empire.

    Listen to the preview, if you like the preview spend the credit. If you don't, well then you probably won't like the book.

    I did, Nevil Shute is one of my favorite authors. Excellent narrator as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Decisive Battles of World History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gregory S. Aldrete

    Throughout history, military engagements have altered the course of historical events. In these 36 dynamic lectures, Professor Aldrete leads you in discovering the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of events and defining our world. Across 4,000 years of history, you'll explore nearly 40 key military engagements, from the milestone battles of Western civilization to their counterparts in the Middle East, India, and Asia.

    IRP says: "Excellent Course- Needs Battle Maps"
    "Excellent survey of decisive battles in history"

    This is an excellent survey of some of the most important/decisive battles in world history.

    This is an overview of battles that made a difference, whether that means they were a turning point in the history of empires, or the introduction of a game-changing technology, or whether they were the most important/indicative of a series of battles that changed the fate of the world.

    You could argue that some battles not included might have been more important, but this is a survey, not a compete history of all important battles.

    Professor Aldrete does a good job of explaining both the battles, and why they were on his list as key decisive battles in history.

    Folks, let me be concise in this review. Spend a credit on this if the topic interests you. It's worth your credit.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Diving into the Wreck: Diving Universe, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck

    Boss loves to dive historical ships, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between the stars. Sometimes she salvages for money, but mostly she's an active historian. She wants to know about the past--to experience it firsthand. Once she's dived the ship, she'll either leave it for others to find or file a claim so that she can bring tourists to dive it as well. It's a good life for a tough loner, with more interest in artifacts than people.

    Pascal Scheffers says: "Scubadiving... in space."
    "A space soap take off of Shadow Divers.. sort of.."

    This story is based off of, in part, the true life story of John Chatterton and Richie Kohler's exploration of the "U-Who?", an unidentified German U-Boat off the US coast... to the point that some of the ships involved are named after the boats that were really used in the book (Chatterton and Kohler's dive boat was "The Seeker")

    While I am not in any way opposed to "borrowing" from one type of story and moving it to another in science fiction (reference Jack Campbell's "Lost Fleet" retelling of Xenophon's long march retreat of the 10,000 as told in Anabasis, or David Drake's borrowing heavily from Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin books in Drake's excellent RCN series) I have REAL trouble with a science fiction series that has, at it's heart, flawed science.

    I am a technical diver, certified in diving both caves and wrecks. I have dove deep wrecks in the ocean, and have quite a bit of experience in gas-management. I am also a writer, and I understand the concept of "time-locks" in a story...

    The biggest problem I have with this story is that the time locks used "diving the wrecks" is patently silly.

    In REAL diving, both wreck and cave, you reserve one third of your gas for the way in, one third for the way out, and one third for "trouble" as the author did in this book. That makes sense. What makes NO sense, however, is the amount of "gas" or gas delivery system used by the author. Let me explain briefly without getting into too much details. When I cave dive, I generally dive sidemount with two high-pressure tanks when filled to their absolute safe maximum give me two hours worth of bottom time at 130 feet of depth. These tanks weigh 45 pounds each filled. So far, that sounds very similar to the math used in the book, except for the fact that air compresses... and that when at 130 feet, we use gas at the rate 5 times of that of the surface. So what lasts 2 hours at 130 feet should last about 6ish hours on the surface. Space suits would have the same air pressure as the surface, one atmosphere.

    My two tanks are QUITE manageable in size, and people go into TINY places with them. In space their weight wouldn't matter (only their mass).

    Additionally, rebreathers used in today's technical and military diving are very similar to the air delivery system of modern space suits. With today's technology, people could go for literally DAYS at one atmosphere with a slightly but easily managed design change. I suspect the NASA units could probably push out to a day or beyond right now.

    Our current astronaut service rebreathers HAVE gone 9 hours (8 hours 56 minutes, March 11, 2001) so we are to assume the people thousands of years in the future, who can build spaceships, can't duplicate this technology? Just silly.

    If your remove this time lock the entire story falls apart, people should be able to spend DAYS doing what she has people only allowed 30 minutes to do.

    If you want great adventures, check out the audiobook Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson (be sure to get the UNABRIDGED version!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crescent: A Helium-3 Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Homer Hickam
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Crescent is a crowhopper - a genetically modified mercenary programmed for ruthless warfare. When she’s taken prisoner by Crater Trueblood instead of being killed in battle, she thinks it’s a disaster. Crater is weary of war. He’s a miner, not a soldier. He’d rather be mining Helium-3 than battling the infernal crowhoppers. But after he captures Crescent and brings her to Moontown, he’s surprised how much he enjoys her company. When she’s falsely accused of murder, he becomes an outlaw to help her escape.

    Jase says: "Fun & easy: perfect for tweens, teens, and adults"
    "Excellent middle book in the trilogy"

    Excellent character development, some really original ideas. Since Mr. Hickam actually is a rocket scientist as well as a fine writer, the science it the book is very realistic without being overbearing.

    Often the middle book ends up being the weakest in a trilogy, but I suspect this will not be the case in this ongoing series.

    This is a "different" type of coming-of-age story, it's accessible to younger readers, and while there's a lot of fun in the books, parents don't have to worry about their children reading a book that glorifies questionable ethical values.

    This is a war story, of a sort... but it's also a story of growth of understanding between totally different (and sometimes alien) beings...

    If you liked the first book, Crater, you will definitely like this book. If you didn't read Crater, I would buy that book and read it then follow up with this one.

    Homer Hickam is a good storyteller, most famous for his Coalwood series, who's volume Rocket Boys was the basis for the movie October Sky. He's written several genres, including non-fiction (the EXCELLENT must-read Torpedo Junction for WWII history buffs), WWII fiction (the Josh Thurlow series), plus other fiction ranging from SF to coal-mining fiction to murder-mystery archeology in the Dinosaur Hunter. as well as his memoirs in the Coalwood series (Rocket Boys, Sky Of Stone, The Coalwood Way, We Are Not Afraid).

    I've read everything he's ever published because he's one of those authors you don't need to worry about. If he publishes it, then It will be good.

    Try this out, if you haven't read Crater, then get that one as well and read them in order.

    GOOD production value on both Crater and Crecent's audio books. Good performances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sails on the Horizon: A Novel of the Napoleonic Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jay Worrall
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    With his first historical high-seas adventure chronicling the exploits of Naval Commander Charles Edgemont, Jay Worrall sets sail in the rousing tradition of C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian.

    Andrew says: "Muster and Commandeer"
    "Good listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Sails on the Horizon the most enjoyable?

    It's a good listen, if you like age of sail books. Waiting for the next in the series...

    What other book might you compare Sails on the Horizon to and why?

    Aubrey, Hornblower

    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Excellent overall

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Day Trade Online: Start Trading for a Living TODAY!

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Christopher A. Farrell
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman

    The explosive growth and low cost of online trading has created a new class of investor who can now make a living buying and selling stocks over the Internet in a way that was once reserved for Wall Street's most powerful brokerage firms and investment banks. Before taking to this fast-paced, high-risk playing field, it's absolutely essential that you have a firm grasp of the rules and a solid game plan.

    Ken Mitchell says: "Some Good, Some Bad, Lots Out Of Date"
    "Some Good, Some Bad, Lots Out Of Date"

    The basic premise of this book is how to trade for the "Teenie", or a fraction of a point in the bid/ask spread. If you are a beginner, you may have no idea what that means, and that's ok... you don't have to.

    The good news is that the author does an EXCELLENT job of explaining the workings of the bid/ask spread, the role of the Market Maker/Specialist in making the market work and how a day trader can use many trades a day to "scalp" money at very low risk.

    The bad news is that this is an early 2000's era book, from back in the days before decimals replaced the fractions that are used in the book. A "Teenie" in the day the book was written was 6.25 cents... now trading is done in actual cents, and the bid/ask spread is often as low as a penny... meaning it is a whole different ball game. Money can still be made, but not just by following this book's formula.

    Also, the author of this book had only been trading as a day trader for only two years when it was written, and that was a time of the great tech bubble.

    Pros: Excellent basic information about the stock market and a stellar explanation of the workings of the bid/ask spread. Well narrated, clearly written and easily listen-able.

    Cons: The book is designed as a step-by-step how-to guide, which may well have worked when it was published... but now that information is quite dated.

    35 of 36 people found this review helpful

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