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Anne

Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

83
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 79 ratings
  • 936 titles in library
  • 114 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By Henry A. Crumpton
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (171)

    A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert here tells the spellbinding story of his high-risk, action-packed career while illustrating the growing importance of America's intelligence officers and their secret missions. The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Henry Crumpton's espionage and covert action exploits to explain what America's spies do and why their service is more valuable than ever.

    Anne says: "Looking for a place in History?"
    "Looking for a place in History?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting but not fascinating. This book contains details of the CIA's involvement in various world events but these are muddied by the author's use of acronyms and un-necessary descriptions of the physical attributes of his characters. It would have been much more rewarding to learn more about their interactions with others and less about whether they could 'growl, spit' etc. That the author was flattered by the fact that George W. Bush put his hand on his back is, perhaps, understandable but self-aggrandizing and his recall of conversations had with various people is either a result of perfect recall or that they were all recorded - both of which are unlikely. Still, there are lessons to be learned and the author points out some of these very clearly. It is to be hoped that politicians and public servants have taken note and action.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (849)
    Performance
    (772)
    Story
    (767)

    Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

    David Walker says: "Back in 3 Pines"
    "Part of a wonderfully clever series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Inspector Gamache strikes again - written by the a unique classical, generous. person.

    Louise Penny is as generous she is genious. Her characters are deliberately and carefully drawn allowing the reader to learn as learn the story. I''m still feeling a slight overwhelmed with all the clever complications an permutations. I hope to see many more
    Louise Penny books which are not just crime novel but true literature with exquisite
    attention to detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killer Ambition: A Rachel Knight Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Marcia Clark
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood's most popular and powerful talent managers - and best friend to the victim's father. With the director vouching for the manager's innocence, the Hollywood media machine commences an all-out war designed to discredit both Rachel and her case.

    Cynthia says: "It's a Perfect (Rachel) Knight"
    "Generally a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was the first (and probably last) Marcia Clark for this reader. Almost from the beginning, a rather arrogant tone from the author was evident and the level of the writing seemed aimed at an audience of her supposed inferiors. The tone was pervasive throughout and could not be attributed to the narrator. The plot was thin and tiresome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

    • UNABRIDGED (66 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (318)

    Robert Caro's monumental book makes public what few outsiders have known: that Robert Moses was the single most powerful man of our time in the City and in the State of New York. And in telling the Moses story, Caro both opens up to an unprecedented degree the way in which politics really happens - the way things really get done in America's City Halls and Statehouses - and brings to light a bonanza of vital new information.

    jeff says: "AMAZING read"
    "Caro is amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author will leave a very valuable legacy in US political history. He can't be faulted for his research and readily admits what he surmises but can not prove. There was a bit too much repetition in the book. It could have done with a good edit. Nonetheless, the information is both revealing and disconcerting. One would like to believe that the USA was mainly built by honest men with good intentions but there is too much evidence proving graft, corruption and deceit were involved. The book is certainly not one which loyal Americans would want to hold in reverence but if they fail to recognize the truthfulness of the writing, the future does not bode well.

    The narrator does an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jerusalem: The Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Simon Sebag Montefiore
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (148)

    Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of three thousand years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on earth.

    Ethan M. says: "In-depth and gripping history of 3,000 years"
    "History at it's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Seekers of genuine historical fact (interspersed with a bit of knowledgeable opinion) will find this an amazingly valuable contribution. It is far too much to digest in a first listening but very worthwhile to listen in smaller doses. The points of view of all major players are well presented throughout. This reader will find it invaluable in sorting out all the current opinions which are expressed daily by the press or by those actually involved in making policies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death on a High Floor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charles Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (815)
    Performance
    (715)
    Story
    (721)

    On the 85th floor of a glittering high-rise in Los Angeles, Robert Tarza steps into the lobby of the Marbury Marfan law firm to discover his partner Simon Rafer lying in a pool of blood - an ornate dagger plunged into his back. Robert had worked with Simon for decades, and their relationship was fraught with conflict. But he never imagined he would wind up as the prime suspect for his colleague’s murder. As the evidence stacks up against him with frightening speed, he quickly falls from his respected position to that of a criminal dragged through the tabloids.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Excellent Mystery, Brilliant Narration"
    "Clever and Refreshing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The protagonist is a wonderfully drawn character with the narrator doing a truly excellent job of reflecting of his fall from grace (sorry about that). You are introduced to this self-satisfied, older than usual, lawyer who is humanly self-deluding. The other characters are equally interesting with ongoing revelations which let the listener get to know them and become suspicious of their motives. The trouble with this book is that you can't comment too much without giving the plot away. A very worthwhile change from the usual. Deserves a high rating.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Betty Medsger
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Betty Medsger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (88)

    The never-before-told full story of the history-changing break-in at the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, by a group of unlikely activists - quiet, ordinary, hardworking Americans - that made clear the shocking truth and confirmed what some had long suspected, that J. Edgar Hoover had created and was operating, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, his own shadow Bureau of Investigation.

    Susie says: "Forget Ocean's 11"
    "Interesting but not outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It continues to amaze me that Hoover was kept as Director for all those years and that no one had the courage to dislodge him even though he threatened 'blackmail'. Too bad, he certainly ruined the reputation of law enforcement in the U.S. This book seems to be one that would benefit from editing. Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile book and seems to be more honest than most of its type. It would have benefitted from more personal information about Hoover.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Carthage: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen, David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (53)

    Zeno Mayfield's daughter has disappeared into the night, gone missing in the wilds of the Adirondacks. But when the community of Carthage joins a father's frantic search for the girl, they discover the unlikeliest of suspects…a decorated Iraq War veteran with close ties to the Mayfield family. As grisly evidence mounts against the troubled war hero, the family must wrestle with the possibility of having lost a daughter forever. Carthage plunges us deep into the psyche of a wounded young corporal haunted by unspeakable acts of wartime aggression, while unraveling the story of a disaffected young girl whose exile from her family may have come long before her disappearance.

    Anne says: "A Major Disappointment!!"
    "A Major Disappointment!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been a Joyce Carol Oates fan until now but will certainly have to be convinced of the value of any future books. The characters are superficial, the ?heroine could be autistic, borderline, schizophrenic or just badly behaved and selfish - but her upper-middle-class parents don't bother to have her assessed and/or treated. The structure of the book is no structure - it wanders all over the place with the voices of the individuals providing a confusing mish mash of points of view and life experiences - not to give it away but there is the human cost of U.S. wars, alcoholism, cancer, violence, confused sexuality, mental illness, poverty, affluence, an evil potential mother-in-law, religion, a questionable legal system and an individual able to influence politicians, many philosophical references and altogether too much fainting. The narration has been poorly edited with much repetition, and script-induced pseudo-hysteria. There are grammatical errors and misuse of words which could be either the author's or the narrator's problem. I could believe that this was written by someone else. It was a lot of time to waste in hope of improvement.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Mole: The Cold War Memoir of Winston Bates

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Peter Warner
    • Narrated By David Ledoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Recruited by a foreign power in postwar Paris and sent to Washington, Winston Bates is without training or talent. He might be a walking definition of the anti-spy. Yet he makes his way onto the staff of the powerful Senator Richard Russell, head of the Armed Services Committee. From that perch, Bates has extensive and revealing contacts with the Dulles brothers, Richard Bissell, Richard Helms, Lyndon Johnson, Joe Alsop, Walter Lippman, Roy Cohn, and even Ollie North - to name but a few of the historical players in the American experience Winston befriends - and haplessly betrays for a quarter century.

    Anne says: "An excellent read (listen)"
    "An excellent read (listen)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well-crafted, chatty novel which intricately mixes fact and fiction. Mr. Warner is gifted in character development and description. His protagonist is an interesting character who is not altogether likeable but for whom the reader will have reason for admiration.
    This will be particularly interesting to those who are familiar with the Cold War era.

    The narration is perfect!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (579)
    Story
    (585)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
    "Should be Required Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unquestionably a book which should be read and discussed by those who are involved in emergency preparedness programs as well as the general public. Well researched, well documented description of conditions at an aging but vital hospital in New Orleans during Katrina as well as historical and subsequent developments and the players involved.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • W Is for Wasted: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1367)
    Performance
    (1203)
    Story
    (1197)

    Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue. The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

    karen says: "Well worth waiting for...."
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Circuitous plot with interesting characters - some well developed, others not so much. Homelessness is a difficult and complex topic and Grafton has chosen representative characters, except for the severely mentally ill who comprise a major percentage. This certainly could have been two books - a good listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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