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Mark

I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.

Lakewood, CO, United States | Member Since 2013

72
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 117 ratings
  • 253 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Eric Greitens
    • Narrated By Eric Greitens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (912)
    Performance
    (704)
    Story
    (709)

    Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference. During college and afterward, he traveled to the world's trouble spots, working in refugee camps, serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta, among others. Yet he could not prevent violence or save anyone from becoming a refugee; he could only step in afterward and try to ease the damage. So Eric joined the Navy SEALs and became an elite warrior....

    Theodore says: "Unforgettable"
    "Honest and engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His honesty about his own personal failings with his grandfather while aiding refugees in Rwanda is character and humanity rarely written about outside of the most personal journals. I've had moments like that in my own life, but never had the courage to share it with anyone. Greitens' story is powerful and compelling.


    Any additional comments?

    If you read Sole Survivor and were a bit disappointed with the arrogance, religious overtones, and lack of believability, and were left longing for an honest accounting of what makes a true warrior, this book is not to be missed. Simply one of the most amazing soldier stories I've read (and I'm partial to the genre).

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Dan Schultz
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    On a sunny May morning in 1998 in Cortez, Colorado, three desperados in a stolen truck opened fire on the town cop, shooting him 20 times; then they blasted their way past dozens of police cars and disappeared into 10,000 square miles of the harshest wilderness terrain on the North American continent. Self-trained survivalists, the outlaws eluded the most sophisticated law enforcement technology on the planet and a pursuit force that represented more than 75 local, state, and federal police agencies with dozens of SWAT teams, U.S. Army Special Forces....

    Karen says: "Sounds like fiction...but it's not! Great Listen!"
    "A fascinating and well researched true crime book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    True Crime is not my normal genre, especially since the victims of the crime include members of law enforcement and the story reveals the incredible ability of the bad guys to evade capture despite one of the largest manhunts in the history of the West. The author did a remarkable job researching not only the facts, but separating facts from individual opinion and compelling theories. From re-interviewing key witnesses to taking a critical eye to the evidence of record, Schultz drew me into the story and gave me a new perspective on a story I loosely paid attention to over the last 18 years.

    Despite some of the author's personal opinions turning me off initially, as he settled in to tell the story I was truly pulled in and compelled to read on. Unexpected twists emerging out of out-of-fashion theories supported by an abundance of evidence put an entirely different spin on what you've been told about this story if you followed it in the main stream news. Schultz's research connects the dots that just don't add up if you try to swallow the official story fronted by police in 2007. That doesn't make the bad guys any less evil for their actions in 1998, but it does give a more complete and complex story when you look at all of the facts and evaluate all of the evidence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Extra Mile: One Woman's Personal Journey to Ultrarunning Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Pam Reed
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (25)

    One year after her astonishing victory at the Badwater Ultramarathon, Pam Reed again made distance running history when she braved the hottest weather in years - 135 degrees - to successfully defend her title. How does this 100-pound mother and stepmother of five muster the endurance and courage for the 28-hour climb from the hottest desert floor on Earth to the shadow of the continental United States' tallest point?

    Mark says: "Interesting, entertaining, and inspiring"
    "Interesting, entertaining, and inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first time I heard Pam Reed's name was in 2003. The story of her being the first place winner of the Badwater 135 barely made news in even the running magazines, while I think it should have made national news. It served as an inspiration for my own endurance cycling and led me into the crazy world of 24 hour mountain bike racing.

    The book fills in many of the gaps that anything less that a full time stalker would know about her racing, training and personal life. It's honest, sometimes brutally so, in her telling to personal challenges, racing life, and her reluctance as a sports personality. Her accomplishments are amazing, her path unusual and her story is fascinating. Definitely a must read for any endurance athlete who loves a good inspirational story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John Michael Greer
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    The decline and fall of America's global empire is the central feature of today's geopolitical landscape, and the nature of our response to it will determine much of our future trajectory, with implications that reach far beyond the limits of one nation's borders. Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America challenges the conventional wisdom of empire, using a wealth of historical examples combined with groundbreaking original analysis.

    Mark says: "Not a good reader, tough start, good finish"
    "Not a good reader, tough start, good finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Throughout the first couple chapters I almost gave up on this book. The reader's voice was a little too nasal for me and the cadence didn't flow that well. Couple that with I disagreed with some of the author's interpretations of pre-World War I/post-World War I history and I struggled to get through those first 90 minutes to two hours, but I agreed with the premises and by the end I was convinced the author shared some valuable insights with his readers. I think the author lays out a good road map for the future even if I didn't necessarily agree with how we got to today. That makes it a book worth reading, in my opinion, but be prepared for a reader that was a bit tough to listen to. You might want to sample before buying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • T-Rex Troubles: Dinosaur Beast Erotica

    • UNABRIDGED (35 mins)
    • By Christie Sims, Alara Branwen
    • Narrated By Pepper Laramie
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Warning: This is a tale of monster sex. This story was written to unlock your darkest fantasies and innermost desires. It is not for the faint of heart and is not your mother's erotica. All of the sexual descriptions found in this book are very explicit in nature. It's not suitable for someone under 18 years of age. Read at your own risk.

    Mark says: "Yep, embarrassed to write a review..."
    "Yep, embarrassed to write a review..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alright, I'll take one for the team. I read it, it was total fluff erotica with no link to reality. Steamy stuff, well read by the narrator, and good erotic entertainment. Doesn't take itself seriously at all, which is good.

    The only reason I even heard about this book was on At Midnight when they were panning the heck out of it. Well deserved to say the least. Anytime you have dinosaur erotica with women having sex acts with lethal predators that died off 65 million years before the first modern humans were born, well, you can't expect National Book Award. What you can expect is some readers who enjoyed it for what it was, and I blush as I say this, but I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Surviving Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Laurence Gonzales
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    The shark attacked while she was snorkeling, tearing through Micki Glenn’s breast and shredding her right arm. Her husband, a surgeon, saved her life on the spot, but when she was safely home she couldn’t just go on with her life. She had entered an even more profound survival journey: the aftermath. The survival experience changes everything because it invalidates all your previous adaptations, and the old rules don’t apply. In some cases survivors suffer more in the aftermath than they did during the actual crisis. In all cases, they have to work hard to reinvent themselves.

    Mark says: "Well written, compelling and honest to the end"
    "Well written, compelling and honest to the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Deep Survival, but I was sorely disappointed with Everyday Survival, so it was with some hesitation that I burned a credit on another Laurence Gonzales book, but I'm so glad I did. As someone who's faced both personal challenges with PTSD from a near-fatal car crash and from time in law enforcement and as a volunteer firefighter, this book should be required reading for those in the field. Survival never stops when the helicopter comes, backup arrives or the patient is loaded into the ambulance and you're left to roll up the hose and put it back on the truck. Surviving survival is a process; a period of time that has a starting point from the moment of trauma, but doesn't have a clearly defined ending point. It might be that you get through one horrendous incident without so much as a flash of concern, but six weeks later have a relatively minor close call that sends the alarm bells off in your mind.

    This book gets that; Gonzales gets that and he does an excellent job of describing it, explaining the process, explaining the why's and how's and then talks about some of the things that have worked, some of the challenges that remain, and in the end, does one of the most courageous things an author of biographical stories can do; he revisits the survivors and tells the honest truth about their current lives. Some stories continue on, what may have seemed like resolution was only remission and the cancerous thoughts in the mind can return with seemingly no reason at all. I commend Gonzales for his honesty, because for those of us who've been there, the lies that things can just be put behind us at some point just add gasoline to the fire that's already burning inside us.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sam Kean
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (293)

    From New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean come more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own DNA. There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking.

    Traci says: "So much to think about!"
    "What a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to a couple of episodes of Radio Lab with Sam Kean that featured stories from this book, I had to read it. I wish I had just stuck with the stories I'd heard on Radio Lab and saved myself the credit. While I love learning about the latest developments in the field genetics as we reveal more from the Human Genome Project, this book has two interesting chapters and the rest is historical background told in a manner that puts you to sleep. I expected to be drawn in and instead the stories seemed drawn out, trying to give too many meaningless details and not bringing in enough interesting new developments and discoveries. Surely, with all the research Kean did to write this book he ran across more interesting stuff than this... or perhaps not. In any case, I can't in good conscience recommend this book to a friend who values their reading/listening time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Divine Tarot: An Elder Races Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (208)
    Story
    (207)

    Alice Clark, a Wyr and schoolteacher, has had two friends murdered in as many days, and she's just found the body of a third. She arrives at the scene only minutes before Gideon Riehl, a wolf Wyr and current detective in the Wyr Division of Violent Crime - and, as Alice oh-so-inconveniently recognizes at first sight, her mate. But the sudden connection Riehl and Alice feel is complicated when the murders are linked to a serial killer who last struck seven years ago, killing seven people in seven days. They have just one night before the killer strikes again. And every sign points to Alice as the next victim.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "Can't go wrong with Elder Races!"
    "Another great book by Thea Harrison"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been hooked on Thea Harrison's writings since I started reading the Elder Race series almost two years ago. This particular book follows a tarot card set from owner to owner and looks and the people it draws together and the lives it changes along the way. An interesting twist by an author who likes to have fun with the romance/sci fi genre. Thea's sense of humor and playfulness continue in this book, which is what makes the whole series so addictive to me. Sure, I'm looking for a little titillation in her writings, but so many of these kinds of books take themselves too seriously (Nalini Singh, are you listening) and it just gets old. I'm looking for the next Elder release.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3404)
    Performance
    (2512)
    Story
    (2553)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Nikki says: "This guy's mouth makes some serious noises..."
    "Along the same lines as Divergent and Hunger Games"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a fan of the dystopian society genre and this one didn't disappoint. Good character development, interesting observations that can be seen in any society with the battle between the good of the individual vs. the good of the society at large, and wraps up tightly at the end. The narrator was good, the dialog and scene descriptions, while not quite as good as the Hunger Games, was definitely more realistic and drew me in more than Divergent. I was a little disappointed that the book was so short and wasn't a series, but it didn't need to be and stretching it out to make a series would have ruined it. Overall, a book worthy of a read if you like the YA dystopian genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4233)
    Performance
    (3796)
    Story
    (3819)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Admittedly, I was looking for something a little edgier when I first picked it up. After walking in on my wife watching the TV series by the same name and overhearing some discussion of lesbian prison sex, I figured this might be a fun and naughty read. I was wrong and I'm so glad. It had none of that. What it had was an honest, sincere ownership for her past transgressions, an accounting for what brought her to that point, an expression of every emotions she had on her trip into, through and out of the federal prison system, and the people who helped her make it through it all. I haven't enjoyed a book this much since The Art of Racing in the Rain. Everything about this book drips sincerity to me and as a result, I followed along with her highs and lows, her daily routine, and the things that helped her get through the day.

    35 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Hunter S. Thompson
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (171)

    “Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone showcases the roller-coaster of a career at the magazine that was his literary home.

    Shaun says: "Buy the ticket...this is a great compilation."
    "Great reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're a Thompson fan, there's some real gems in here, from the 1972 elections and his time in the limo with tricky Dick talking football to his last articles written for Rolling Stone in the late 90s early 00s. This is a collection of unpublished works that bounces around a bit with some useful editor's notes to help understand the context. At its core, it's Thompson and his random ramblings. What a brilliant mind and bizarre perspective.

    The reader on this one is perfectly matched. Just the right amount of stop-start cadence when it's demanded with the ability to read 50 word sentences without stopping for a breath.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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