Lakewood, CO, United States | Member Since 2011
This is a book that I wish I'd borrowed from the library, photocopied the two or three really good chapters and never wasted my time with the rest of it. Some of the book was very well researched and highlighted some really interesting insights, while other was anti-capitalist, liberal blather (and I'm a democrat, so this isn't coming from a social conservative) that I could barely listen to without fast forwarding. The reader is atrocious and so many times you can't tell if it's a first person story she's delivering or citing a quote from a source. Sorry, but without some change in inflection, cadence, or pitch, it's impossible to follow without 100% attention (which I don't do when I'm driving).
No, absolutely not. Probably the single most difficult readers to listen to of anything I've ever bought on Audible.
Nope, not without a more well rounded author.
While there were several very interesting insights into this book, I'd rather have not wasted my time or money for what I got out of it. The reader is just about the most painful thing I've ever listened to, with no changes in pitch or inflection so I could never tell if she was talking about a story about herself or quoting from a source. For a research-oriented book, that's a fatal flaw and makes it difficult to hold the author as credible.
The author would be well advised to keep to the research and stop interjecting her AGW, anti-gun, anti-capitalist agenda into a book on a serious subject.
Admittedly, when I started the series I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into. I've never read novels that weave in snippets of historical events, no less from the more undertold side of the story. W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear do a respectful job and create and entertaining and interesting story that compelled me to complete the series. I strongly recommend the series for those who have both an intellectual curiosity about Native American history and who enjoy a good entertaining story that is definitely fiction, but brings up some interesting thoughts about Desoto's losses in the US when he was so victorious in Mexico.
In early July 1994 my girlfriend at the time and I were fighting a small 65 acre fire near Dotsero, about 40 miles from Glenwood Springs. Our incident commander was Butch Blanco. When he was redeployed to South Canyon, we begged to go with him as our fire was winding down and as young, broke Forest Service employees, it was our best chance to stay in overtime and hazard pay status. In hindsight, I consider it a stroke of unimaginable luck that we didn't get sent to South Canyon.
This book brought a lot of things home for me. I remember that summer with vivid details. I drove a load of smoke jumpers to the hospital in Glenwood to visit Eric Hipke, perhaps the last man to make it out of that box canyon alive. This book brings all those stories to life. It brings back the stories of those courageous fire fighters to life in a way that yields both compelling drama and lessons that need to be heeded. I'm devastated that these lessons have been learned before and these events continue to happen. I'm deeply saddened at the events in Arizona this summer and wish for God's sake that John MacLean would run out of stories to tell. But if anybody is going to tell the story it's John and his father (Young Men and Fire). They tell the story honestly, respectfully, and in a manner that entertains as it educates.
If you work in wildland fire fighting or live in the Wildland Urban Interface, this is a must read. Seriously, I wouldn't trust anyone I worked with who didn't read it. It's a compelling story that is rich with lessons that really should never have to be re-learned again.
I'll admit it. I'm a changeling/shifter addict. Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series; been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Thea Harrison's Elder Race Series; burned through them in under a month of listening. But this had them both beat, IMHO. More intensity, more alpha female, and of course, more sex. While Storm's Heart remains my favorite of all shifter series books (Thea Harrison), this was a very close second and beat out the Psy-Changelings hands down.
Overall, fun and interesting characters, entertaining plot line, great leading female character, and hot sex. What more could you want to make your commute a little more interesting?
Anytime an author attempts to create characters and a storyline from a time in history they're taking a chance. There's no doubt that there are things that are way out of whack with this book like any other of the genre, but for the casual reader who's looking for entertainment and not historical accuracy, it's clear the authors took the time to learn enough that the setting comes across as real. The characters are appropriately flawed and gifted to lend to its readability and by the end you're certainly cheering for them to succeed.
Personally, I was looking for something a little racier after reading the Psy-Changeling series and the Elder Races series, but this romance is definitely less explicit and subdued. There's nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't what I was expecting and overall the storyline is enjoyable enough to have me purchasing the next book in the series.
Where the book succeeded was in the construction of several complex characters driven by different motivations coming together toward a common end. Particularly, the Black Shell and Pearl Hand characters are deep in their complexity, making them more realistic and pulling the reader into the story deeper.
What I wanted was a good book to follow up one of my favorite reads of the year, The Art Of Racing In The Rain. What I got was all of the crying and torture of the tough parts without the deeper philosophy stuff and with way too few highs. My wife couldn't stand to see me come into the house after listening on my drive home. Heck, she told me to stop reading it several times.
It's well written, but instead of the lead human in the story suffering the most, it's the poor dog that goes from bad situation to bad situation with a handful of good moments. Be prepared for a tear-jerker.
While I knew this was going to be a romance novel, what I didn't know is how damn much I'd enjoy it. Take 50 Shades of Grey, substitute Sebastian Grey with a 1,500 year old dragon and add in a wicked sense of humor by a really talented author and you have the formula for Dragon Bound. It's light, playful, and doesn't take itself too seriously where the Psy-Changeling series sometimes does. While it has some of the same predictability that all romance novels tend to, the ability of the author to be playful and laugh a little really brought this book home for me.
I think I've found a new series.
I'll admit, I wouldn't have even thought about picking this book a year ago before I read The Hunger Games, but I enjoyed that series so much I decided to give myself a little more latitude in my selections and be open to other genres. So in reading this book I had a pretty high bar to compare it to, rating the Hunger Games as a solid 5/5. And while I've heard a movie deal is in the works, I won't be completing the trilogy and I'll be waiting for the movie to see how the story ends.
The strengths--Interesting story line, develops fairly logically, easy to get into the idea (a dystopian Chicago of the future), and lead character is likable.
The weaknesses--I really wanted a lot more from this story than the author could deliver. While some characters are richly developed, others shut me down as their multi-dimensionality is unrealistic and hard to believe. The author's scene descriptions aren't vivid enough for me and don't have the depth and texture I need to be drawn in to the setting. The descriptions of pain and challenge by the lead character didn't work for me. I wish I could do a better job pulling up examples, but I can't; I can just say that I was disappointed in the writing around how she described the sensations and it kept me from really getting sucked in. I need more texture.
Alright, I'll admit it, I'm hooked on the whole series, but this one was definitely the best so far for me. Great passion, a few interesting complications in the story-line, and characters I really enjoyed learning about.
I really enjoy the twists and turns of the power dynamics in this series. It fascinates me and always has me looking for deeper insights while mostly enjoying the fluff, too.
I'll admit, book 3 was the most challenging for me, but this more than made up for it with the passion starting off hot and heavy followed by so many interpersonal hurdles to overcome.
It seems like Rich has had an amazing life, but I wouldn't want to walk a mile in his shoes. His self-centric universe, starting with his high school swimming turned to alcohol-infused blur and was only replaced by an addiction to endurance sports in a life horribly out of balance. While his new addictions seem a lot healthier and safer (for the rest of us on the road), his life is a story of the extremes that had me cringe at both ends of the spectrum. I can see why he turned to alcohol; there were times when I was listening that I thought I could use a drink, too.
Maybe an alcoholic in early recovery looking for a role model would get more out of this book, but I can't even imagine a life lived at his extremes. Coming from a rather middle of the road, middle-aged athlete who occasionally likes a good audiobook for inspiration and motivation, this book wasn't the ticket for me. I found a lot more pleasure reading Born To Run, Ultramarathon Man, Wild (Cheryl Strayed), and even The Art of Racing In The Rain (albeit, I never did develop a taste for kibble). There are plenty of books that inspire me and get me high that don't require me to live at the extremes as the bipolar necessities of life.
I won't argue with him that a plant-based diet can extend life and give you greater health over the course of your life, but sometimes there's no sin in a nice juicy steak and garlic mashed potatoes. If you want a more complete version of the benefits of a plant-based, vegan lifestyle, the documentary, Forks Over Knives is about as good as they come. It's not for everyone, but then again, neither is this book and I'd happily sit through Forks Over Knives over listening to nine hours of Rich Roll talking again.
Well written, well read, but if you're looking for a well rounded perspective of economic theory, this is not the book for you. Rickards was the secretary of treasury during the Clinton administration, so what you get is a 'government can fix it' perspective of economics.
Coming from a relatively libertarian, Austrian economics perspective this was not an easy listen for me, but never the less, I appreciated the perspective of someone who obviously feels passionately about his perspective. What is lacking is the mere mention of any other theory (i.e. Austrian economics) in his 'education' of the audience.
These guys really have drunk the coolaid and believe their own stuff. All interesting in theory, but only time will tell just how long this house of cards can stay standing.
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