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Mark C Walker

Toney, AL United States | Member Since 2005

97
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 56 reviews
  • 309 ratings
  • 425 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jon Meacham
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann, Jon Meacham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (811)
    Performance
    (696)
    Story
    (681)

    In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

    Darwin8u says: "A Man and Biography Relevant to Our Day"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fascinating and informative book on one of the most complicated and complex individuals of the founding fathers of the United States. You get a real picture of the immense talents and shortcomings of not only Jefferson but many of the other founding fathers such as Adams, Madison and Hamilton – they seemed to be the perfect counterbalance to each other at a time when had either the Federalist or the Anti-Federalist factions been exclusively in power this country might never had survived to become the country that it is today. Washington must have truly been an amazing leader to have been able to marshal the talents of Jefferson, Hamilton and Adams in one cabinet during the most critical time in the fledgling countries development, especially since they all were fundamentally opposed to each other’s vision and philosophy of Government. Jefferson’s steadfast opposition to Monarchy certainly was a factor in ensuring that this country did not eventually drift back towards the British model during some of the challenging periods of the post revolutionary period. Mr Meacham does an excellent job in presenting a realistic portrait of Jefferson, flaws and strengths. Ed Herman is one of the better narrators for bios and he does an outstanding job in this one. I would strongly recommend this book if you enjoy American History.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Robert E. Lee and His High Command

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gary W. Gallagher
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Few events have captivated students of American history like the Civil War. Its most striking personalities seem somehow outsized, magnified beyond the ability of books or even legend to contain them. And few among those personalities have ever held our attention like General Robert Edward Lee.With his Army of Northern Virginia, Lee came to embody the cause of the Confederacy itself

    Brad says: "Excellent Review of Lee's High Command"
    "Excellent Course"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed several offerings of the Great Courses Lectures on Historical events and this was one of the more interesting ones.

    Professor Gallagher has done an excellent job in detailing all of these interesting leaders within Lee’s high command. I especially like the balance he utilizes in showing both the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals. With very few exceptions the assessments are even handed, although there are one or two officers that his take seems to be more of a personal like or dislike than one of looking simply at the facts. A few things in the book really stuck out – first was the incredible attrition rate of the officers in the Army of Northern Virginia due to deaths/wounding in battle. There were rarely back to back battles in which the same command structure was actually in place, other than Lee himself. There was a constant need to reshuffle leadership following the engagements. Another interesting analogy made by Professor Gallagher was his comparison of Lee’s role with that of Dwight Eisenhower, who also had to deal with strong, aggressive and competitive personalities of subordinates such as Patton and Montgomery, with Lee that role was even a greater necessity as a large number of his Senior Leaders seemed to stay in perpetual conflict with each other. On numerous occasions there were officers arresting other officers for what seemed to be more out of a competition than any real military error. Lastly, it was really amazing to see how successful many of the officers were at one level, then as they gained rank they become ineffectual or only marginally successful – the Peter Principle.

    If you are interested in the make-up of the officers in the book then you will really find the book interesting. I will say though, if you are more interested in details of their actions taken in famous battles; this book may not be what you would be looking for. The Battles are only described in the most general of terms.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unstuff Your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Andrew J. Mellen
    • Narrated By Andrew J. Mellen
    Overall
    (857)
    Performance
    (713)
    Story
    (686)

    Arguably the most organized man in America, Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for a client list that includes attorneys, filmmakers, and even psychologists. With Unstuff Your Life! he puts his powerful program in the hands of his widest audience yet.

    Angela says: "My lightbulb moment"
    "Thorough, informative and practical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping to glean some ideas for organizing and uncluttering and this book delivered in a big way. Have already started applying some of the principles from the book and can see real value in so many of the ideas that he presents in the book. The length of the book was about right, it moved at a fairly fast pace and the narration was very enthusiastic. The book is very comprehensive – goes over everything from photos, cars, keys, gifts and a great deal more than just clutter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Shot: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2330)
    Performance
    (1613)
    Story
    (1628)

    Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: "You got the wrong guy". Then he says: "Get Reacher for me". And sure enough, from the world he lives in - no phone, no address, no commitments - ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. In Lee Child's astonishing thriller, Reacher's arrival will change everything - about a case that isn't what it seems, about lives tangled in baffling ways, about a killer who missed one shot - and by doing so gives Jack Reacher one shot at the truth.

    Carol says: "Reacher said..."
    "like a Bruce Willis action movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book to be implausible and predictable but somewhat entertaining. The Reacher character is really closer to a Superhero than a detective. I think if you are a fan of this series then you would not be disappointed in this one. The books in this series that I have read all seem to have somewhat preposterous story lines so if you prefer more realistic detective books then I wouldn't recommend using a credit on this one. This may be a case where watching the movie is the better alternative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dan Jones
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (169)

    The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights.

    Benoibe says: "A rare and amazing look at the Plantagenets."
    "Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From the beginning of the Plantagenet Dynasty thru the end of the reign of Richard, the history of the Plantagenet’s is simply riveting. These leaders, though called Kings of England, were actually French Norman until well into the 14th Century. The marriage alliances, the intrigues, the betrayals, the pure brutality, the military campaigns, the plagues and ultimately the advances towards modern day governing all contribute to make this a fascinating book. The Kings and leaders were certainly not gentle people, yet many of actions they took played a significant role in how England, and ultimately Europe developed into what it is today. I guess I thought there was more National identity during these times than there actually seemed to be – the spheres of influence were in actuality more aligned with ruling families than nationalistic. Most of the coastal areas of modern day France were frequently under the rule of the Plantagenet Kings, until nearly the 15th century. Through each ensuing reign, you can see small advances in curbing the ultimate power of the Kings to the point of removing later Kings Edward II and Richard II. And while the Kings power was slowly being curtailed, the power of the legislative part of Government slowly grew – from the inception of the Magna Carta during King John’s reign until the removal of King Richard II. If you enjoy History of the middle Ages you will enjoy this book. Well worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3553)
    Performance
    (3167)
    Story
    (3178)

    The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices are not appeased....

    Daniel says: "History Made Interesting"
    "Very Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Regardless of what one think's of Bill O'Reilly, this is a fascinating book. The only negative thing aspect for me was that it did start a little slow, bogging down in detailing some of the final battles/skirmishes of the Civil War, but once the book began detailing the personalities involved in the plot it became fascinating. O'Reilly is a polished narrator from his time on the Factor, and he is very gifted in making strong arguments. I don't agree with all of the perspectives that were presented in the book, but there were truly a lot of strange coincidences for it to have been solely the work of the conspirators that were ultimately found guilty. Equally strange were some of the post war incidents that involved so many of the people closely involved with the investigation. I would certainly recommend this book as it is immensely entertaining. Judge for yourself what parts that you deem plausible and which seem conjecture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2081)
    Performance
    (1837)
    Story
    (1827)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Jane says: "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."
    "And the verdict is - another winner for Connelly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Gods of Guilt may be the best book of the series so far. Very riveting story, well read by Peter Giles. It is clear Connelly envisions Mickey Haller to be Harry Bosch’s alter ego. While on opposite ends of the legal process, and with perspectives from both of those extremes, both view their jobs as missions for justice, neither character will not stop in their pursuit of what they perceive to be justice and both seem haunted by their shortcomings as a result of it. While he is not as likeable as Connelly’s other main character, this series has developed into one that I look forward to reading each new installment in the series. If you have enjoyed any of the other Lincoln Lawyer books then you will enjoy this one. As I am a commuter listener, the story was a little difficult to follow at the beginning but quickly picked up to finish with a bang. The ending was very satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Jesus: A History

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (946)
    Performance
    (820)
    Story
    (834)

    Millions of people have thrilled to best-selling authors Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard's Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln, works of nonfiction that have changed the way we view history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly 2,000 years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God.

    Kimberly says: "The Jesus story in context"
    "Poignant and thought provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, not being a huge fan of O’Reilly, but I must admit the book captured my attention right off the bat and kept my interest throughout the entire book. I listen to audio books as I commute and this was one of those books that I could not wait to get back to at the end of the day. While I would not agree with many of his assertions in the book, I would say the book is incredibly interesting and in many ways very informative. He narrates the book in the same manner that he does his talking points memo from the factor and it works for this book. He does an incredible job in my opinion of presenting an idea of what life must have been like in that region at that time. The end of the book was especially poignant and thought provoking – I did not realize that all of the Apostles except John were gruesomely martyred as they preached the Gospel following the Crucifixion of Jesus. I plan to try one of his other books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Gibbon's masterpiece on Rome is a monument of literature and a model of modern historical research. There has never been anything quite like it since its publication between 1776 and 1788. Although some of Gibbon's views are considered controversial today, there is no doubt that his research and patient devotion to scholarship produced one of the most valuable and renowned histories of all time.

    Mark C Walker says: "the standard"
    "the standard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you enjoy Roman History then you will love this book. Gibbon goes into excruciating detail to describe slow decline of the empire and the monumental steps toward the eventual fall.

    There is a span of time before Diocletian that almost no Emperor was able to remain in power, or alive for that matter, for more than a year or two after assuming the purple.
    It was very interesting to see the slow loss of impact that the city of Rome itself had on the empire. Several of the Emperors rarely if ever, even visited Rome. And I was amazed at how many non Italian born Roman Emperors that there were. With the emergence of Constantinople, Rome continued to slide somewhat into irrelevance.

    The impact of Religion, particularly of the role of Christianity is discussed in great detail.
    Even with the eventual fall of the empire, Europe, both Western and Eastern, to this day retains some striking resemblances to the Roman Empire.

    Charlton Griffon is one of the premier narrators of audio books and he performs magnificently in this lengthy and detailed book.

    Well worth the credit

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2564)
    Performance
    (2377)
    Story
    (2380)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Mystery Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Certainly not a thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I rely heavily on customer reviews when using my credits and when I saw this Stephen King offering with such stellar reviews I figured it was a can't miss selection. The story is decent, borderline mediocre. Really this one is closer to the short stories King has done like "the body", which they used for the Movie "Stand By Me". I think if you are looking for a thriller you will be sadly disappointed. Big name authors sometimes get a pass on the reviews and I think that is the case here. I am a big Stephen King fan, loved 11-22-63, but this one was almost boring. Narration was average. The primary storyline is simply about a young man coming of age. A subplot about a serial killer makes up a very small portion of the book and ties to a ghost make up an even smaller and almost unrelated aspect of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (4807)
    Performance
    (4378)
    Story
    (4388)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "What a debut for a new genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Cuckoo's Calling is one of the best detective books that I have read in several years. The writing is clever; the main characters are likeable, complex and yet flawed. The chemistry between the primary characters is outstanding – the story itself is funny, suspenseful and interesting. Rowling shows that she can master a completely different genre from the Harry Potter series. This is the first listen that I have for Robert Glenister but I must say his narration was first rate. There were a fairly large number of characters in the book and Mr Glenister was able to give each a distinct vocalization. It just all came together nicely to make a great book that I would strongly recommend, well worth the credit. Hopefully this is the beginning of a series and future offerings will bring back the main characters and also the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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