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Rick

Rick H.

Murrieta, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

144
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 112 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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28

  • Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (91)

    Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord.

    Rick says: "Another Fantastic Story by Philbrick"
    "Another Fantastic Story by Philbrick"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Phlegm, Bile, Black Blood and Red Blood. My God! How did we ever make it as a race let alone a country? That little tie bit is just a taste of some of the rocks Mr. Philbrick has overturned to give us the story behind Bunker Hill and the hardships the American Patriots overcame to become the United States. People like (Dr.) Warren, and Church, Washington and Adams as well as countless other took on the 18th century just as ardent as the themselves. The redcoats were really no match then, were they?

    I'm never disappointed when I read a Philbrick book. Whether he tells of the wooden whaling ships on the high seas or the same on an expedition. The story behind the Mayflower or Custer's last stand, he never lets the reader down. Bunker Hill is just another fine example of the writer sharing a story in a way that makes sense to the reader without dumbing it down, and without the endless ramble of how we got from page 1 to page 2..

    This book was enjoyable, finishing it in about a weekend. And a big part of that goes to Mr. Chris Sorenson whose even tone and inflection made the book even easier to read/listen to. For a moment, I thought I was hearing Dylan Baker (Steve Jobs) which I read/listened to 3 times. Very easy on the ears. Well done!

    This book is a credit well spent, and well worth the 12 hours to hear. Traveling in a few weeks, I may pop it in again!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donnie Eichar
    • Narrated By Donnie Eichar
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (170)

    In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

    Madeleine says: "Engaging and Creepy"
    "I was hoping for something more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really thought Dead Mountain was going to turn into something more than it was. I kept waiting, and hoping but the story never really got off the ground. The suspense just wasn't there. And when the explanation for the missing hikers finally comes around, the author had my interest, but only for a moment.

    I think part of how I felt comes about because of the way the story jumps back and forth, back and forth which really hurt the continuity of the story telling. It seemed like the story could've been better told if the hiker's perspective was told in it's entirety in the first few chapters, explaining where they came from, what they did and where they stopped without the repetition of reverting back to 2010. Maybe not.

    And the reader almost put me to sleep with his somber, monotone delivery. Maybe he was the best choice to convey the cold, miserable isolation of Siberia, and to pronounce the Russian names. He was just so vanilla with little inflection and no excitement when the story reaches its climax.

    The final hypothesis by the author and the scientists he recruits is believable. Though the story might've been more exciting if aliens, or the Yeti, or Russian KGB were the culprits I was content with what he came up with and how it's told in the (literally) last 3-5 minutes of the book. I don't regret the purchase since it was only 6-7 hours so it was easily completed. it will keep your attention for at least that long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life on the Mississippi [Blackstone]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (75)

    The Mississippi River, known as “America’s River” and Mark Twain are practically synonymous in American culture. The popularity of Twain’s steamboat and steamboat pilot on the ever-changing Mississippi has endured for over a century. A brilliant amalgam of remembrance and reportage, by turns satiric, celebratory, nostalgic, and melancholy, Life on the Mississippi evokes the great river that Mark Twain knew as a boy and young man and the one he revisited as a mature and successful author.

    Ben says: "Whispersync deal"
    "I tried to give this "Classic" a chance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried to give this "Classic" a chance. I really did. When I made the selection, it was because I had a feeling I should. C'mon! It's a classic! Mark Twain! Samuel Clemmons and the allure of the Mississippi. The Mighty Mississip! Steam Boats and life on a River Boat!

    Well, after about 1/3 of the way into the book I became bored and at about the half-way point I just couldn't take it any more. I kept asking myself how this book was a classic and what made Mark Twain such an important literary figure. Maybe the Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County or Huck Finn can straighten me out because this one sure didn't I was bored to tears.

    Grover Gardner of course does a superb job of (trying to) keep the listener entertained, His voice inflection and pronouncement of each character once again is second to none. He is simply pleasant to listen to which is probably why I hung on so long. He truly gives this book the little life it has.

    I'm not not recommending this one, I'm simply saying I couldn't get thru it. Maybe you'l have a better go at it. And if you do, try and parlay that attention with Herman Melville's Moby Dick!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bloody Spring: Forty Days That Sealed the Confederacy's Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Joseph Wheelan
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    In the spring of 1864, Robert E. Lee faced a new adversary: Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. Named commander of all Union armies in March, Grant quickly went on the offensive against Lee in Virginia. On May 4th, Grant's army struck hard across the Rapidan River into north central Virginia, with Lee's army contesting every mile. They fought for 40 days until, finally, the Union army crossed the James River and began the siege of Petersburg. The campaign cost 90,000 men - the largest loss the war had seen.

    Rick says: "Better than Bruce Catton?"
    "Better than Bruce Catton?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most of what I read and study about the Civil War has to do with the western theater. To me, Sherman’s Army always had a certain romance to it, which I could never find in reading about the army of the Potomac. Even after countless visits to Gettysburg and Antietam, Spotsylvania, and Fredericksburg, I just didn’t see the fascination. It was Sherman’s Webfeet who won the war, not a bunch of paper-collar feather beds, whom found themselves in winter quarters each autumn only to emerge no less refreshed the following spring. This book helped me in that regard. It helped me understand how 1864 was so pivotal for the armies in the east and how Grant brought it all together. So, I guess I never gave Grant enough credit.

    If you’re a student of the war like I am you’ll find this an excellent read, and even if you’re a history buff, you might find yourself immersed. There is almost a Bruce Catton tone to Bloody Spring, which lends to the authenticity though I always found Catton to be too romantic. There are times when I feel the book bogs you down with “Battles and Leaders” type dialog but Wheelen does an excellent job of keeping you engaged by citing accounts and anecdotes from soldiers in both armies. You will not be bored.

    I also have been finding myself selecting books that are read by Grover Gardner. Not all but it seems the last several anyway. I like how he reads and I like the sound of his voice. The tone and manner in which he tells the story keeps my interest and will not disappoint. Now, if he could only take over for the Wall Street Journal Morning Read.

    Do yourself a favor and put this one in your library. And follow up with Jay Winik’s April, 1865 (I didn’t see on Audible though I have in my collection). It will help bridge your desire for closure and the end of the war when this one is complete because ending the book 5 months short doesn’t do the reader, or the author justice.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Four Agreements

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By don Miguel Ruiz
    • Narrated By Peter Coyote
    Overall
    (2082)
    Performance
    (1160)
    Story
    (1164)

    In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

    Yvonne says: "Wonderful"
    "Ripoff!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't waste your time. This was recommended to me by a colleague. As early as the first chapter proved that this was nothing more than a regurgitation of philosophies taught by many, many better known, and higher regarded teachers.

    I was disappointed to say the least.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne, from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Tim Jerome
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (331)

    Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. Band of Brothers is the account of the men of this remarkable unit.

    Christopher says: "Greatest Generation"
    "Simply the Best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review has been a long time coming. I remember seeing this book on the shelf in Barnes and noble 2-3 years before the HBO mini-Series came out and I opted for Ambrose's D-Day. Not a bad choice, but hind sight told me that I chose...Poorly!

    We as Americans, and I as a veteran owe these men a great deal. These ordinary men, came from all walks of life to defeat Hitler's Army, and did so as humbly as one could, without a parade, without accolades of any sort until their story came to the forefront 60+ years later. Far later than it should have.

    I cannot go into detail nor can I paraphrase the countless acts of valor and heroism, without in some way discounting someone. Pick this one up if you haven't already. It's well worth the time, money, effort and whatever else. You'll be doing both yourself a favor as an amateur historian, and you'll be doing these men a service by again, hearing the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne.

    (Hand Salute!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Doug Harvey, Peter Golenbock
    • Narrated By Robert Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In the pageantry of baseball, one select group is virtually unknown in the outside world, derided by fans, faced with split-second choices that spell victory or defeat. These men are up-close observers of the action, privy to inside jokes, blood feuds, benches-clearing brawls, and managers’ expletive-filled tirades. In this wonderful memoir, Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey takes us within baseball as you’ve never seen it, with unforgettable inside stories of baseball greats such as Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Whitey Herzog.

    Rick says: "The Best? Possibly."
    "The Best? Possibly."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This one peaked my interest because of a few reasons. I lived in San Diego for many years and knew the history of Doug Harvey, I mean heck! He is in the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. And the fact that I umpired for many years making my way up to the college ranks, so I have sort of soft spot for Umpires. I was looking forward to this biography.

    I struggled a bit with the over emphasis on how good Mr. Harvey said he was. Yes, he is in the BHOF, but a little bit of humble pie might make this story easier to stomach. Other than that, it was interesting to learn how Doug Harvey was brought up, how he got started, and how he lasted so many years in the Big Leagues. People like him often amaze me.

    The oration was excellent! Robert Brown did a great job conveying the passion of the writer into the ears of the listener. It was enjoyable and easy to stay focused.

    I recommend this book to any baseball fan or Umpire looking to get an inside view of what it might be like behind the mask, or better yet, what it is like working as an umpire and dealing with all the personalities on and off the field as well as on the home front. I think to get a better sense in that regard, one might pick up "As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels in the Land of the Umpires." A much better book I thought which explains not only the history of umpiring, but how an umpire is made, and what life is actually like on the road in the low minor leagues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John Feinstein
    • Narrated By John Feinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (70)

    John Feinstein is one of the most influential sportswriters of the last three decades. In his masterful new audiobook, Where Nobody Knows Your Name, Feinstein delivers a fascinating account of the mysterious proving ground of America’s national pastime, pulling back the veil on the minor leagues of baseball.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Living on the Cusp of a Dream"
    "A great way to start the season!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was drawn to this title simply put, because I'm a baseball fan and was looking for something to kick-start the 2014 season. I just finished "56" and can only say...I was underwhelmed! Reading about 'Joltin' Joe just didn't do it for me. Where Nobody Knows your name peaked my interest because I've always been fascinated by the minor leagues having done my very best as a younger man to get there myself.

    I'f you're not a baseball fan or have never played the game at a competitive level, you'll never know what boys will do to make it in the game and to keep the dream alive. And I'm not just talking about the players. I was an NCAA umpire for many years. In 2009 I made a trip to Tucson for Umpire camp where I had the privilege of meeting Umpire Mark Lollo, one of the people featured in the book. He was an excellent instructor and always had time to explain what he knew about officiating. You could really tell he loved the game. Feinstein does an excellent job sharing this insight along with the countless others (players) featured inside.

    Though I never played nor umpired professionally, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many of those who have. A few were really good, and some, not so. But they all had the same drive to do what they had to do to stay in the game and make the dream of playing a kids game for money last as long as possible. The author is able to keep the reader turning pages with the countless anecdotes of those fortunate few. And he does a great job in narrating too!

    If you are like me and are looking for a way to start the season off or you just want a very good book about the side of baseball where every player starts, but is rarely written about, then don't hesitate in adding this title to your library. Enjoy the season!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Gabor Boritt
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (87)

    The literature of the Gettysburg Address tends to fall into one of two extremes. At one end are those books that maintain that Lincoln wrote his speech hastily, even on a scrap of paper on the train en route from Washington to Gettysburg. In this version, Lincoln delivered his remarks to an uncomprehending public, which applauded politely, failing to appreciate his genius. Many of the books that argued this point of view are out of print today, but the myths and legends live on.

    D. Littman says: "add this to your Lincoln bookshelf"
    "Not just another novel about Gettysburg..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This one kind of caught me off guard and I'm pleased to say, was very surprising and refreshing. It in fact is NOT another novel about Gettysburg but rather the aftermath and then the arguments about when and how the Gettysburg Address was written and delivered by Lincoln. For me, a Civil War enthusiast, learning about the aftermath, and how the townspeople dealt with the cleanup from the battle was remarkable and captivating and the author does an excellent job of conveying the feeling of the citizens and their depth of their despair to the reader.

    When I saw the title I was a bit nervous. I mean, how many different ways can you slice and dissect the battle? Moreover, how many countless stories does one must read about Lincoln to get the gist of what happened in Pennsylvania in 1863? It was huge relief to learn what the author had to share without being bored. There were a few moments when he almost lost me but by and large the book had my attention. And the narrator, Kramer does a great job in telling the story which adds to the enjoyment of this title.

    If you're a Civil War buff like me, interested in Lincoln, or history as a whole and want to learn something different about Gettysburg, the people, and the speech made by Lincoln for the cemetery dedication now inscribed on his Washington Memorial, then don't hesitate in picking this one up. It's well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 56: Joe Dimaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kostya Kennedy
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Seventy baseball seasons ago, on a May afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Joe DiMaggio lined a hard single to left field. It was the quiet beginning to the most resonant baseball achievement of all time. Alongside the story of DiMaggio's dramatic quest, Kennedy deftly examines the peculiar nature of hitting streaks and with an incisive, modern-day perspective gets inside the number itself, as its sheer improbability heightens both the math and the magic of 56 games in a row.

    Roy says: "A fascinating look at both DiMaggio and the streak"
    "Excellent story...Painful oration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It goes without saying by any baseball fan or sports historian that "56" needs no explanation. You don't have to be a Yankee fan to understand the significance of the streak, and what it would take to break it and you don't have to be a baseball fan to understand that there is little if anything in any other sport that mirrors this accomplishment. It's awe-inspiring! It humbles the average man and probably every ball player past and present to think of how magnificent this total really is.

    There are a few numbers, at least for me, that need no explanation. .402, 756, 61 (yes, still the records in my mind), and of course 56. But of all those marks, 56 is the one that stands out. That is the mark that will most likely never be broken, at least in my life time and will always evoke some sort of passion among baseball fans even if they didn't personally witness any part of it being made. I didn't but still know what it means to baseball. And to think what it take to get there is astounding. The author does a very good job throughout the text drawing comparisons between former and current players and among other athletes. He also does and excellent job of showing the math behind the streak, showing the reader exactly how improbable it really was.

    I enjoyed most of the dialog though I'm not a Yankee fan by any stretch and after reading the countless other stories about DiMaggio and how he acted toward others both in and around baseball rubbed me the wrong way. He's always seemed like sort of a jerk, plain and simple.

    The oration was atrocious! Kevin Collins does a horrible job of pretending to be Ken Burns with his over-emphasis on every syllable and his over-worked effort to make the story sound more dramatic than it actually is. 56! I get it! Lose the inflection and read the book! Sorry, painful is all I can think to describe his reading. If you want a better read on the subject which captures the entirety of 1941, take a look at "Real Grass, Real Heroes".

    I liked the story and will never get enough of the subject so I recommend the book to any baseball or sports fan who wants to compare what "Joltin' Joe" did. It is well worth the credit if you can get past the painful narration.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Alvin Townley
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    The story of the indomitable American POWs who endured "Alcatraz," the Hanoi prison camp where North Vietnam locked up its most dangerous and subversive prisoners, and the wives who fought to bring them home. As these men suffered in Hanoi, their wives launched an extraordinary campaign that would ultimately spark the POW/MIA movement. When the survivors finally returned, one would receive the Medal of Honor, another became a U.S. Senator, and a third still serves in Congress.

    Rick says: "Wow! All I can say is Wow!"
    "Wow! All I can say is Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    I truly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in US history, Military History, or anyone looking to learn about the Vietnam War, the Hanoi Hilton, and the Americans who would call it home for 8+ years. What a read!

    From the start, this book had my attention. I couldn’t put it down! This is the comprehensive history of POW servicemen during the Vietnam War and how they endured thru torture and mistreatment, eventually returning home as (mentally) strong and courageous as they were when they were taken prisoner. Each one of these men and their wives who were stalwart fixtures on the home front should be honored as heroes and patriots, and should be saluted by each American. They’ve earned it!

    When captured, provide only your name, rank, and service number. That’s what these men did only to be tortured and beaten beyond human endurance. And even after the many beatings and deprivation, each one of them was able to endure solitary confinement (for some, as many as 8 years) without giving in to their Vietnam captors, defiant to the end. And in that time they were able deceive the camp authorities by creating a form of communication “Tap Code”, which allowed them to keep up with one another while in confinement.

    After I completed the book I went online and was able to view a couple of YouTube videos from some of the veterans who survived as POW’s in Vietnam and the dialog was just as fascinating. To actually see the “Tap Code” being performed, and then to comprehend that another could easily decipher what was being said will floor you! This innovation is just another way of defining the resilience of American servicemen in captivity during the Vietnam War.

    The orator did a good job with voice inflection and accents and was able to keep me listening. This is an excellent book, cover to cover and will give a mere glimpse of what these men went thru while the government took their time in gaining their release. Do yourself a favor and add this to your library. You will not be disappointed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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