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Bookworm

ratings
42
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
22

  • The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael Hastings
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (116)

    An explosive, behind-the-scenes look into the workings of the U.S. war in Afghanistan that lifts the curtain of the world stage to reveal the devastating greed, waste, and failure surrounding this unwinnable war.

    Professor says: "VERY INTERESTING STORY"
    "Bring our Troops Home"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is about the author's investigation into writing a Rolling Stone article (June 2010) on Gen. Stanley McChrystal who was in charge of the war in Afghanistan as well as the fallout after publication of the article.

    Now that I have finished the book, I'm dying to read the RS article. The author never realized what a sh*tstorm the article would create - and it did.


    The middle part of the book is a little boring but stick with it. The end where the sh*t hits the fan and the fallout at the White House is fantastic.

    The story is also interesting knowing about Gen Petraeus' recent scandal in Florida.

    The sad part about the book is that you realize we have no business in the war. We aren't winning, they don't want us there, they don't even want democracy and our soldiers are risking the lives for nothing. It's time to bring our troops home.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Rich Roll
    • Narrated By Rich Roll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (777)
    Performance
    (707)
    Story
    (698)

    An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever

    In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he saw where his sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich.

    J. Camara says: "Insightful conquering life's challenges"
    "OMG - My new hero"
    Overall
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    Story

    I absolutely LOVE Rich Roll and this book. I bought it on a recommendation from a triathlete coworker and I was so impressed, I bought the hardback. I can't say enough good things. This is about his transformation from an alcoholic, out of shape lawyer who ate trash to one of the fittest men in the world who cleaned up his mind and lifestyle. It's a perfect book to inspire you to become more. I can't even imagine doing the Epic 5 - 5 Ironman triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands over 6 days. Insanity. He has a podcast and sells a few nutritional products on his Jai lifestyle website. This is a must read for every fitness advocate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sanctum: Guards of the Shadowlands, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Sarah Fine
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    A week ago, 17-year-old Lela Santos’ best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance - hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone - she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife. As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets.

    Bookworm says: "Exciting story, cliche characters"
    "Exciting story, cliche characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started reading this book before knowing anything about it so I was surprised when the story went from her regular school life to falling off a cliff and dying very early on in the story.

    I generally like books/movies with strong female characters so this had promise. The main character Lela started out as physically and emotionally strong in the beginning, became wimpy, foolish and lovestruck towards the middle and deteriorated into a weak Disney princess at the end. She was so self-absorbed thinking everything was about her and constantly apologizing. Get over yourself - the world does not revolve around you. Her character started out as a 10 and ended up as a 2.

    The supporting character who commits suicide, Nadia starts out interesting but ends up like a boring zombie. I had no interest whether she stayed in purgatory forever or not.

    I would have liked the characters to be less cookie-cutter and more internally conflicted. The good guys are all good, the bad guys are all bad - there is nothing complex about them. The most interesting characters have a bit of both (think Breaking Bad).

    Aside from the teenage melodrama and angst, the concept of the underworld was very interesting and the description of the houses, the people and how things worked were fascinating. The story line was exciting and moved quickly.

    I was a little confused at the end of the book - like why the characters ended up where they did with that particular job. I like stories being wrapped up so that was good but I definitely had a moment of "Wait. What?" It seems like the finale was crow-barred.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (80)

    In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world's hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands.

    C. Telfair says: "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"
    "Painful to listen to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to like this book because I love history and current events. Maybe my opinion of the book would have been different if I had read it instead of listening to it as an audiobook. The narration was so painful. He would stop in the dead center of a sentence so it sounded like this: "The mountains kept forces at bay." (stop) .......... (extremely long pause) "and this affected the type of army that the county would build." He especially did this after the word "which" and as you can easily imagine, that inappropriate pause broke up the entire train of thought.

    The theory behind the book is that geography affects countries which affects war which affects current events. But the book is very disorganized - shooting from one country to another, with ancient history followed by current events. There has to be a better way to organize the topics.

    This is the first time I have not finished a book but I couldn't take it anymore. I intend on making another effort but the fact that I consider reading this to be a chore says plenty.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 36 Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Cathy Davidson
    • Narrated By Alexandra Bailey
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In 1980 Cathy N. Davidson traveled to Japan to teach English at a leading all-women’s university. It was the first of many journeys and the beginning of a deep and abiding fascination. In this extraordinary book, Davidson depicts a series of intimate moments and small epiphanies that together make up a panoramic view of Japan.

    Bookworm says: "Fun book, insightful and informative"
    "Fun book, insightful and informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book makes me want to visit Japan.

    The book discusses the author's 10 visits to Japan and how her view of the country changes over time. Because of this book, I bought another one about Japanese culture.

    She described how women and men are treated differently in Japan and how an added complication arises when the woman is an American and a professional. I felt sad for the salarymen and the endless studying for students. Her description of the island of Oki sounds wonderful - swimming around collecting glass balls used in fishing. This is in contrast with the Practice House - a house associated with a women's college where women students are taught how to behave in America. The only problem is that the Practice House is stuck in the 1960's, which matches the assumption that women's role in America is to cook, clean and make crafts.

    I understand that an experience in a different country is individualistic. It is not fair to criticize the book because it doesn't match another person's experience. Just appreciate it for what it is - a retelling of events that happened to that person, at that time, in the place.
    I enjoyed learning about the author's experience in Japan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By David Herlihy
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In the late 1880s, Frank Lenz of Pittsburgh, a renowned high-wheel racer and long-distance tourist, dreamed of cycling around the world. He finally got his chance by recasting himself as a champion of the downsized "safety-bicycle" with inflatable tires, the forerunner of the modern road bike that was about to become wildly popular. In the spring of 1892 he quit his accounting job and gamely set out west to cover 20,000 miles over three continents as a correspondent for Outing magazine. Two years later, after having survived countless near disasters and unimaginable hardships, he approached Europe for the final leg. He never made it....

    Bookworm says: "Crazy story"
    "Crazy story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun book especially if you have an interest in cycling. First - you can't imagine how those people could ride so far on the old style bikes, fully loaded with the old heavy cameras. It's hard enough riding on top-of-the-line bikes. Second, the feats are tremendous - traveling all over the world at a time when people rarely traveled to another state.

    The story is about a man who wanted to ride around the world and ended up being killed in Turkey. Another cyclist was sent to uncover the mystery and he tried his best to bring the culprits to justice.

    The book is a little slow in the beginning as it jumps from one set of characters to another and you don't understand the overlay. The book puts it together at about the midway point. It gets so frustrating towards the end because of all the political bs that the rescuer had to deal with - some things never change.

    Stick with the book - you'll be happy you did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    Overall
    (1260)
    Performance
    (688)
    Story
    (697)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Laurie says: "more than grapes of wrath"
    "Eyeopening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We have all heard about the Dust Bowl in grade school but the horribleness never really sunk in. I didn't know it lasted years and the extent to which the area was destroyed. The book takes you on a journey from when the land was beautiful prairie for the cowboys and American Indians and then discusses how the cultivation of the land led to a fantastic bounty which led to its demise. And as bad as things got, people wouldn't leave - some out of choice and some because they refused to let go of their dreams. We learn about things that are so heartbreaking and we hope nothing this horrible ever happens again.

    One of the best books of the year - highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Basque History of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky has drawn enthusiastic praise for his books, which are sharply-focused studies as well as glorious celebrations of their subjects. In The Basque History of the World, he turns his eye toward Europe’s oldest surviving culture - a culture as mysterious as it is fascinating. Settled in the western Pyrenees Mountains of France and Spain, the Basque nation is not drawn on maps and the origin of their forbidden language has never been discovered.

    Robert says: "Fills a gap in most folks' historical knowledge"
    "Fascinating culture"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is about one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world - the Basques.

    The book discusses Basque language, cooking (including some recipes), culture, historically significant people, graffiti (3+4=1), sports (pelota), internal conflicts among the Basques themselves, the Spanish Civil War (the German bombing of Guernica), art, WWII, religion (Catholic versus secularism) and current issues. I didn't realize the Spanish government was so dictorial towards this culture.

    The author is supportive of a Basque nation but that doesn't seem possible now. He almost justifies Basque violence by saying the Spanish government also engages in violence. The author thinks it is realistic for the Basques to follow their own laws but still be a part of Spain/France. That is not logical.

    I gained so much knowledge and understanding of this culture. I wish I knew more about the people when I was in Spain so I could have been on the lookout for cultural references.

    There is a question-answer session at the end of the audiobook. I would have liked to have heard how the Basque language sounded.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Fundamental Cases: The Twentieth-Century Courtroom Battles That Changed Our Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Alan M. Dershowitz
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    It was Alexis de Tocqueville who, when he visited the new republic for the first time, said that America was a unique country when it comes to law. Every great issue eventually comes before the courts. With this in mind, esteemed professor and civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz looks at history through the prism of the trial, which presents a snapshot of what's going on in a particular point in time of the nation's history.

    Amazon Customer says: "I'd rather be able to rate each section."
    "Fascinating learning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm really enjoying this book. I'm about 90% finished but the book is so enjoyable, I am not worried about my review changing.

    Dershowitz discusses the cases that have influenced our law and politics. This book is especially interesting in light of the recent Supreme Court hearings on DOMA and same sex marriage. You don't have to be a lawyer to appreciate this book, but it does make it easier.

    Dershowitz discusses cases including OJ, Mike Tyson, Klaus von Bulow, and Bush v. Gore. Keep in mind that he was personally involved in some of the cases so his opinions are different than the average person. I definitely got the feeling that he thinks OJ did it - big shocker, I know.

    Keep in mind that he is very left wing so take his opinions with a grain of salt if you are not.

    This is like listening to a fascinating law school lecture - and that's a good thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1139)
    Performance
    (1020)
    Story
    (1008)

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "Wow. Just wow."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My only knowledge about Scientology was driving by their building in Los Angeles and seeing tabloid gossip.

    I had NO idea what a crazy group this was.

    The book takes you from the beginning of L Ron Hubbard's life to when he wrote science fiction, to when he decided to start a new "religion," to the rise of the "church," to Tom Cruise's marriage with Katie Holmes. (I wonder how the book would have addressed the breakup.) I didn't realize there was a Scientology group who rode the high seas and that there were different "bases" in the United States.

    Although their beliefs aren't much different than any other religion, the group is friggin' scary. They hold church members "prisoner" if they do not follow certain standards and they chase down members who leave.

    The book gives good examples of how normal people would get caught up in this craziness and crazy became normal.

    Highly recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghost Map

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Steven Johnson
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (184)

    This is a thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

    D. Littman says: "a entertaining polymath book"
    "A Story of Poo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Diseases can be so interesting. This book takes you on a trip back to Victorian London where people dumped crap in their basements, threw buckets of it out the window and let it sit around in open cesspools.

    The story starts with a sick baby's soiled diapers and goes on to describe how Baby Lewis' waste infected water from the Broad Street Pump and killed an enormous amount of people in eight days. Dr. John Snow and the Rev. Henry Whitehead started on two separate paths to solve the mystery as to what was killing the population and ended up combining their efforts to produce a treatise on the dangers of contaminated water.

    I loved the description of people who made their living collecting poo and how this process is good for society in general. The most boring part was when the author recited every question that was listed in the Board of Public Health questionnaire.

    The last chapter is dedicated to what the cholera outbreak in London has to do with us now and for our future. That part is very scary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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