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Exeter, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 6 reviews
  • 163 ratings
  • 513 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By John Ferling
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Award-winning author John Ferling is a leading authority on the American Revolution. His entertaining and enlightening histories have greatly improved our understanding of early America and the Founding Fathers. Now Ferling opens a window to the past and explores the contentious presidential election of 1800.

    D. Littman says: "Outstanding work of interpretive history"
    "(Comparatively) A balanced account"

    The vitality of the two hundred year old political feuds in current history has impressed me in my reading (seven books on the 1790s now) it. Evidently its force is such that not only do we anticipate drama and bile from its scholars, we reviewers and I myself often begin to consider a book to our fellows in precisely the context of which of well known sides is it on.

    But while, especially in the epilogue--isn't it wonderful when scholars show appreciable consideration in treating a sensitive area of history, only to gush all over the epilogue with how messianic one side was from the final tally?--Mr. Ferling may be described as "Jeffersonian," and other reviewers are correct that his tour drives past several popular attractions of villainy, I think the book very well satisfies its purpose of tracing the important election.

    If Mr. Ferling is gentle and personally favors Jefferson, then it must be admitted sporting and professional that he is comparably gentle to the other contenders in the election. He gives the benefit of the doubt to Adams' and Burr's shenanigans as he does to Jefferson's and he says fair play to Hamilton (who, not being a candidate in 1800, does not need the same treatment as the others here, and whom ever Mr. Chernow does not say is at his best on the date in question) on several relevant occasions, including a review (presumably motivated by the trends of the recent history) of some of Hamilton's nationally formative contributions once Jefferson has ascended into the epilogue. The presentations in authorial style and reader performance did not impact my experience (good or ill).

    I would recommend this book to someone who was only going to read one book to learn about the period. It draws gently positive but not totally indulgent composites of each of the major figures and at least familiarizes its attentive reader with the overview of their doings, personalities, significances (again, with respect to 1800 of course), and points of controversy. High drama, dirty pool, and epic villification certainly were and are integral aspect of the era of the subject, but Ferling admirably keeps his course to that subject though he traces several decades over all: that is, he keeps to matters relevant to the election of 1800 rather than the whole movement in political opera. On that note, it covered the election of 1800 rather well; I had very few notes of unanswered details.

    If you have read some on the era, mostly this offers a review, perhaps good details on biographies whom you have not read yet, or perhaps a more nearly neutral, to any figure neither overly acidic nor apologist, consideration of the events. It does, of course, have fine details on how the electoral machine stalled and a professional assessment on what famous and little known events did or did not cause the outcome. Concluding, if you're bothering to read the reviews, I think you're interested enough and the history is well done enough that you wouldn't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Watership Down

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard Adams
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos.

    B. Cable says: "Still one of the best!"
    "I'll probably be reading this book forever"

    My father could not get interested in rabbit protagonists. He rates the audiobook 3/3/2. I changed his rating because I reckoned with that opinion he probably didn't have much stock in the matter either way, where my stronger opinion on the subject might be of more help to readers.

    Meanwhile, I've listened to or read this book 4-5 times in the past fourteen years. The book didn't really speak to me when I first read it about age 12, but something stuck with me such that when I thought about it years later I wanted to read it again. And then again. And then again... I think what calls me back every time is the characters' interplay and how they handle themselves together. Quite notably to a professional historian and life-long fan of video games, I have argued that the climactic battle of this work is one of my favorite battles in any medium.

    But I cannot put such a fine point on why I keep rereading this book; maybe I'll think more about that this go around. Overall the work has a distinct flavor which I have wanted again when I've thought about it every few years. I think this is my 5th go with it, so I think it will now or soon be the book I have read the largest number of times. I don't know why I will stop rereading it in years to come. I don't feel like I will stop wanting to reread it anymore than I expect that after a certain number of meals I will not want to go again to that one memorable restaurant. Since I would not think to call it a "favorite," that fact seems the more significant to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Science of Fear: Why We Fear the Things We Should Not - and Put Ourselves in Great Danger

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel Gardner
    • Narrated By Scott Peterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From terror attacks to the War on Terror, bursting real-estate bubbles to crystal meth epidemics, sexual predators to poisonous toys from China, our list of fears seems to be exploding. And yet, we are the safest and healthiest humans in history. Irrational fear is running amok, and often with tragic results. In the months after 9/11, when people decided to drive instead of fly - believing they were avoiding risk - road deaths rose by 1,595. Those lives were lost to fear.

    Kristopher says: "A rational assessment of the world we live in"
    "Get your head into your fears!"

    Mr. Gardner is not a psychologist, or a sociologist, and that is great. He is an investigative reporter/writer. And as one who has done a lot of research, from all angles of the science of fear, he does not write from a particular view point. Therefore he is able to write about fear from many viewpoints without the bias that would be present from another type of writer.
    The author has layed out fear, and it's drivers in our thoughts, feelings and actions in modern life. And how the politicians and corporations use fear to manipulate how we think of what they do, or what we should buy. He also points out the many things that are not done because of fear can and do costs many lives. As well as huge amounts of money every year. If people used their head more often and less of their gut in making life's decisions we all would be much better off. I think this book is a must read for anyone wanting to take more control of their thoughts of the world around them; and their lives.
    Mr. Peterson does a very professional job with the narration. I did not find him having anything that would interfere with listening to his narration. I enjoyed it, and would listen to him again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Mel says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "bobbing and weaving thought time and Texas"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because it is well written and read. A story of that transcends time and place, to come together as a cohesive story about a remarkable set of characters. That brings the reader into a bond with them that must be seen though to the end. And read by a great cast of people that brings it to life in so much better way than if I ear it myself.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The great variation of the kind of characters. Both in personalities and times.

    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I have not. However I would look forward to listening to any of them read any of my future books.

    If you could take any character from The Son out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Eli McCullough. To meet and get to know a man that is such a survivor, and man who has seen so much change in his life.

    Any additional comments?

    I have read other books that weave characters in time and place in the past. And many times I have not enjoyed them. But this author does it so well and with all the right times and places that it really works well. And in the end it seems that this is the best way to bring all these characters together, and make it work as an epic journey though the journey of several generations of a family.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Francona: The Red Sox Years

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Terry Francona, Dan Shaughnessy
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From famed manager Terry Francona, a lively, unvarnished narrative of his tenure with the storied Boston Red Sox... From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, the most talked-about, scrutinized team in all of sports. In Francona the legendary manager opens up for the first time about his eight years there, as they went from cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history. He takes listeners inside the rarefied world of a 21st-century clubhouse.

    Sean says: "I enjoyed it a lot,"
    "Even Non- Red Sox fans will love this book."

    Writing of problems and experiences that are unique to managing a big league club. Francona was not afraid of telling like it was, those problems that happened to him during his tenure in Boston. That brings the reader new insights into what goes on in the head of the manager. Yet he does not betray the club house trust of his players and coaches. These little things that Francona does a great job of conveying, is what make this book a must read baseball book.
    I was hesitant at first of buying this book, because I am no fan of the Red Sox; but I am a huge fan of the game. So I went a head with this book, and am so glad that I did. I have read many baseball books over the years. Including Joe Torre’s recent book about his managing the Yankee’s. I found Francona’s book just as interesting, and enjoyable. In many ways Francona is better at putting down the nuances of his thoughts while managing than Torre.
    So, if you are a fan of the game of baseball and have wondered “what was he thinking” of a managers decision. This book will go a long way in answering that question. Jeff Gruner’s narration of the book is a joy to listen to. His pacing and inflections are good, and he never has any of those annoying moments or things. Over all between the authors and the narrator, they make a five star listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "A brilliant story of a true genius and patriot."

    Ron Chernow writes about a man in US history, in such a way that t kept me always wanting to come back to it; and find out what was going on. The biography of a man that had an unbelievable ability to say and do the right things at the right time. Except the last thing he did.

    I found Hamilton's story interesting for his foresight of what was needed, and the incredible ability to get what was needed done in so many ways. I loved his fantastic writing and use of the English language, that is amazing in it's brilliants and sure volume. I found his story unique, because it tells of one of a few men in our early government that never owned any slaves. Yet still rose to greatness and made a living in the city.

    The author writes a very well researched book. About an honest servant to his country and a true patriot. Something very rare in government today and yet is so much needed.
    Scott Brick’s reading is spot on in his use of variation or speed and intensity that kept me enjoying every minuet of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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