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Simca

Alexandria, VA | Member Since 2006

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 415 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
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  • A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Amanda Foreman
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    Even before the first rumblings of secession shook the halls of Congress, British involvement in the coming schism was inevitable. Britain was dependent on the South for cotton, and in turn the Confederacy relied almost exclusively on Britain for guns, bullets, and ships. The Union sought to block any diplomacy between the two and consistently teetered on the brink of war with Britain. For four years the complex web of relationships between the countries led to defeats and victories both minute and history-making.

    Daniel says: "excellent narrative history"
    "A Stunning Accomplishment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is endlessly fascinating. Amanda Foreman takes a unique approach not only in her focus on the role of the British government and British subjects, but also in her treatment of American participants, both famous and obscure. The the breadth and volume of research is stunning, and Foreman distills it down to beautiful and insightful prose. I've read about the Civil War for years, and didn't think there was much new to learn - boy was I wrong. Foreman is well served by the narrator. A real treat.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Narrated By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (619)
    Performance
    (548)
    Story
    (542)

    It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

    loix says: "A fun and inspiring civics lesson"
    "A Love Letter to Family and Food"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a beautiful memoir by a remarkable man. Yes, Chef addresses the areas that most other "celebrity chef" autobiographies hit - the discovery of flavors, the rigors of the professional kitchen, etc. What distinguishes this book is its heart - it's like a love letter to his family, to his craft, and to his community. And definitely an example of a book where the reading by the author makes the audio experience far richer than reading the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Thomas B. Allen
    • Narrated By Jeremy Gage
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    The American Revolution was not simply a battle between independence-minded colonists and the oppressive British. As Thomas B. Allen reminds us, it was also a savage and often deeply personal civil war, in which conflicting visions of America pitted neighbor against neighbor and Patriot against Tory on the battlefield, the village green, and even in church.

    James says: "Mediocre Story, Poor Narrator"
    "Interesting Material, Terrible Narration"
    Overall

    Listening to Ron Chernow's excellent biography of Washington prompted a desire to learn/recall more about the loyalists during the American Revolution. The content here is interesting - but the narration is poor to the point of distraction, and impedes the continuity of the book. Very disappointing - especially after the outstanding narration of the Washington audiobook.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Ruhlman
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (77)

    Ruhlman propels himself and his readers through a score of kitchens and classrooms, from Asian and American regional cuisines to lunch cookery and even table waiting, in search of the elusive, unnamable elements of great cooking.

    Justin says: "Interesting subject, terrible presentation."
    "A Travesty"
    Overall

    I read this book several years ago, along with its successor "The Soul of a Chef" - thoroughly enjoyed both, have recommended them to friends, and purchased several as gifts. What a disappointment to hear the audio version. This narrator is TERRIBLE - there are awkward pasues throughout the narration, and inexcusable mispronunciations of basic cooking terms and place names (Barnard College pronounced as "Bernard" eg) For a book that so passionately conveys the pursuit of perfection, its a shame that the narrator didn't bother to do minimal homework. Read the books, skip this audio. And a note to Mr. Ruhlman: if "Soul of a Chef" is going to be made into an audiobook, please narrate it yourself or get a food professional to do it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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