Lakewood, CO, United States | Member Since 2011
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the last couple of years I've really been getting into various shifter series. Nalini Singh, Thea Harrison and Suzanne Wright, along with a few others. This was the first big miss for me. Maybe it's just my own sexism in that female writers just tend to be better at writing erotica, but I'm ok with that. The story just didn't do it for me and the reader was not the right one for the book either. He made the voices of most of the characters sound, well, a little light in the loafers.
This is going to be one of the only series I've started that I see no chance of going on to read the entire series (including the entire psy-changeling series in under a year). Personally, I'd recommend one of the above authors if you're looking for a good shifter book (my personal favorite being Thea Harrison's Elder Race series) rather than spending your credits on this one.
While I've enjoyed the entire Elder Race series, this quickly became my favorite. That Harpy is something else and it was a great read to see her character fully developed. The tension in this one builds beautifully and makes the climax oh-so worth it. Great author, great reader, great series.
While I really did enjoy the book and gained a lot of useful information, there were a lot of times when it was difficult to tell when the reader was transitioning from explaining something to citing examples and quoting from survey respondents. This gave it a bit of a jumbled feel while listening. I'm not sure whether to blame the reader or the authors for the way the book was formatted, but I was left thinking that I might have gotten more out of the print version.
In any case, the book was highly informative, written at a very readable level and I found it a very quick read that wasn't overly technical. The author avoided jargon, but didn't talk down to readers.
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