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Debra B

Member Since 2009

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 49 reviews
  • 121 ratings
  • 370 titles in library
  • 65 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
30
FOLLOWERS
2

  • SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1991)
    Performance
    (1509)
    Story
    (1509)

    When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. In this dramatic, behind-the-scenes chronicle, Howard Wasdin takes listeners deep inside the world of Navy SEALs and Special Forces snipers, beginning with the grueling selection process of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL - the toughest and longest military training in the world.

    Allan says: "unique among these books"
    "Straight up, no fluff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Isn't that what you want?
    This is a fascinating look at a career the vast majority of us simply couldn't do. The author seems interested in exploring his own psychology, and recognizes he has done something highly unusual in becoming a Seal Team member. So, he has the self-awareness to write about his experiences in a meaningful way. I was pretty impressed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Station Eleven

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Emily St. John Mandel
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

    Stacy says: "gah!"
    "Post apocalypse show biz"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good book! I liked the idea of the traveling entertainers in a bleak, primitive world. They were a bright spot in post apocalypse times, and on the whole, Station Eleven wasn't that depressing. You expect a certain bleakness when you pick up a book like this, and on the dismal scale, the author didn't get overly carried away. The plot moves along pretty well, and the back and forth in time was effective. There were a few times when it seemed the book was about to evolve into a full fledged what is the meaning of life kind of a book, but I'm happy to say that it didn't. The story carried the day, leaving the reader to ponder such esoteric things without feeling forced into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By James McPherson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (464)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (253)

    James M. McPherson, professor emeritus of U.S. history at Princeton, is one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War. In this informative and meticulously researched masterpiece, he clarifies the differing ways of life and philosophy that led to this shattering conflict. Abraham Lincoln wondered whether "in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government". And Jefferson Davis felt "forced to take up arms" to guarantee states' rights.

    Brian says: "Incredible audio book"
    "Comprehensive, detailed, fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    (This review is for both Volumes 1 and 2.) This is a stellar work. McPherson starts the story many years before the war, and in fact most of the first volume covers events that precede the Civil War. This book is an even-handed account, but it is also an unsparing one that avoids sentimental attitudes. There is a lot here about the attitudes of the people of the time, which helped me to better understand my own fore-bearers, who lived in different parts of the country. The battles are presented in some detail, but not intricate detail, which was fine with me. I imagine the written book supplied maps, and since there are none in this format, I sometimes pulled maps up from the internet. It was hard to put this one down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Classic Tales of Hauntings

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker, Ambrose Bierce, Lafcadio Hearn, and others
    • Narrated By Hayward Morse, Liza Ross, Garrick Hagon, and others
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Sixteen classic stories from masters of the genre: "The Judge's House", by Bram Stoker; "A Jug of Sirup", by Ambrose Bierce; "The Reconciliation", by Lafcadio Hearn; "The Woman With a Candle" by W. Bourne Cooke; "The Ebony Frame", by E. Nesbit; "On the Northern Ice", by Elia W. Peattie; "The Haunted Doll's House", by M. R. James; "The Old House in Vauxhall Walk", by Charlotte Riddell; "The Underground Ghost", by John Berwick Harwood; "Haunted", by Anon (from Tinsley's Annual); plus five more....

    Robert says: "Great Stories and Narration!"
    "Classic vintage ghost stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These stories were more fun than seriously creepy. They were probably pretty creepy in their time, though. The characters and situations are all pretty stock by present day standards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach: One Woman's Trek of the Perimeter of Lake Michigan

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Loreen Niewenhuis
    • Narrated By Loreen Niewenhuis
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In 2009, Loreen Niewenhuis walked completely around Lake Michigan. This audiobook chronicles that journey, a 1,000-mile walk around the world's fifth-largest lake. The audiobook explores both the geology of the lake and the measure of a person - a woman, married, mother of two sons (who joined her for portions of the walk). But most of the walk was done solo, an adventure in discovery of self and place. Niewenhuis conveys a sense of the magnitude of the lake she loves, a place so elemental to the four Midwestern states that form its shores.

    John S. says: "Impulse purchase that paid off"
    "Not edgy, but enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As someone who has spent a lot of time around the Great Lakes, I found Loreen Niewenhuis's trek interesting. She was strongest when she spoke about ecology and environmental issues. I say this not to raise the flag for this important cause, but as someone who has always been curious about what I was seeing out there. This book filled in some blanks for me. All in all, this book has a pleasant, friendly tone, especially since it's read by the author. And while this was a hearty trek, it's not fraught with the kind of peril encountered on the Appalachian Trail. So, not a lot of drama.

    For my tastes, there could have been more description of the many moods of the lakes, and of the scenery. Sometimes I wasn't even sure how close she was to the lake. But I'm glad she did it, and it's a little crazy that we don't have more of a hiking path for people who want to do the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hold the Dark: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By William Giraldi
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    At the start of another pitiless winter, the wolves have come for the children of Keelut. Three children have been taken from this isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old son of Medora and Vernon Slone. Saken with grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings.

    Debra B says: "Alaska is the star of this book"
    "Alaska is the star of this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is set in Alaska, and the author does a terrific job in bringing the land to life. I'm not always able to see the surroundings in other books as well as I did in this one. The characters and the story did not pull me in quite as much, although the book did start out strong. It's about primal, animal natures (in humans and wolves), and the author takes this very interesting underside of the human condition in a direction that may not please everybody. What is primal to some may seem senseless to others. I wished some of the characters had their beliefs challenged more - not to change them, but just to make it more interesting. At the end, there could be more resolution, so if that bothers you, you might not like this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just After Sunset: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King, Jill Eikenberry, Holter Graham, Geor
    Overall
    (1053)
    Performance
    (397)
    Story
    (401)

    Just After Sunset - call it dusk, call it twilight, it's a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It's the perfect time for Stephen King.

    J says: "King scores another coup"
    "At last! Short stories that aren't boring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good collection of stories of everyday life, but naturally, with a macabre bent. Stephen King knows how to take middle class/upper-middle class problems - almost boring by definition - and give them the twist that will fill you with unease. Things are not what the seem. None of the stories were gory, but all of them messed with your mind. The sheer volume of blood spilled in horror stories usually keeps me away, but this one wasn't so bad. The stories all had a long buildups, but mostly, I was only aware of the mounting tension, and of an intense desire to know the outcome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David Miller
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (511)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (467)

    In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. Listeners are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning.

    Phillip says: "Most Informative Book on the AT"
    "Adventure and endurance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book inspiring, and never boring. I don't want to make a big thing of it, but like other commenters, I sometimes wanted to know more about what was going on inside of his head. It's quite a feat walking the entire trail like he did, and I couldn't help but be very curious about his mind-set. But still, he is forthcoming enough, and in general, he seems to know what the reader would want to hear about. The narrator didn't seem quite right (a tad stodgy?), but it didn't get in my way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Shafer
    • Narrated By Bernard Setaro Clark
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (63)

    The Committee, an international cabal of industrialists and media barons, is on the verge of privatizing all information. Dear Diary, an idealistic online Underground, stands in the way of that takeover, using radical politics, classic spycraft, and technology that makes Big Data look like dial-up. Into this secret battle stumbles an unlikely trio: Leila Majnoun, a disillusioned non-profit worker; Leo Crane, an unhinged trustafarian; and Mark Deveraux, a phony self-betterment guru who works for the Committee.

    Michele says: "A Light-Hearted Paranoid Thriller"
    "Lots of wry humor, and some techno-intrigue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was more a humor book than edge-of-the-seat thriller. I loved the mix of characters, and how keyed in the book was to contemporary life and all the inherent tensions. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention, but the three main characters all screamed out "Mellennials!" to me. Prototypes of a generation or not, they seemed to have grand-ish expectations that were fated to run smack dab into cold reality, which was part of the humor of the book. It also helped that the narrator was totally on board with the tenor of the book. Things move along at a good pace, which is surprising because there isn't that much going on in terms of thriller intrigue.

    One thing, though - I was expecting more of a focus on the struggle between the bad guy Committee people and the good guy Dear Diary people. As it turned out, there is a long build up to it, and even then, things are not entirely resolved. Will this book be part of a series?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (179)

    Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

    Michael Eaton says: "The Greatest Spy -- Ever Discovered"
    "Some answers to a shocking deception"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fascinating book, and answered a number of questions I'd always had about Kim Philby. For one thing, just how does that work, exactly, going to MI6 everyday and pulling a lie of that magnitude over everybody's eyes, day after day? This book lays it out as well as any I have read about real-life spies, and it goes a long way to connecting the dots of character and action. It read like a spy novel, although it was unexpectedly depressing in parts, because unfortunately, this is all real.

    Ben Macintyre did a good job keeping an objective tone throughout. He challenged some of Philby's beliefs and assumptions, but when he did, it came across as reasonable inquiry.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1722)
    Performance
    (1574)
    Story
    (1574)

    Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

    Margaret says: "A fun listen"
    "A perfect little comedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually try to stay away from stories billed as "heart-warming," and worse, "feel-good," but there is no resisting this one. The author does a great job showing the world through the protagonist's eyes (who has Asperger's, we are all but straight out told), while at the same time, giving the reader a pretty good idea of how things surely must look to everybody else. I laughed out loud in parts, and got choked up in others. It's a funny, light book, but I never found it silly; I would have stopped reading it if I had. Also, it doesn't treat Asperger's as a completely negative condition, and we are invited to look at the other side of that coin, as entertaining a lesson as I've ever had. Good narrator, with an ear for the subtleties that are moving the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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