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Derek

Norman, OK, United States | Member Since 2008

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 77 ratings
  • 254 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • People of the Book

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1019)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (469)

    This ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in 15th-century Spain.

    When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding - an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair - only begin to unlock its deep mysteries.

    Yvette says: "Amazing, fabulous, wonderful!!!"
    "interesting tale"
    Overall

    I thought the reader did a fairly good job of depicting all the various accents represented by the diversity of characters from different parts of the world.

    I did find myself wishing that more time had been spent on Hannah's life and experiences. The fictionalized account, of the life stories which take place surrounding the journey of the Sarajevo Haggadah, though, kept me in tune wondering what would happen next.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6814)
    Performance
    (3181)
    Story
    (3187)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "I am Babcock...we are..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Passage in three words, what would they be?

    I am Babcock


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alisha, or known as Leish. She's a get it done kind of girl.


    Any additional comments?

    2 credits now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nineteen Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2181)
    Performance
    (809)
    Story
    (822)

    Jodi Picoult delivers the riveting tale of one small town's entanglement with high-school violence.

    New York Superior Court Judge Alex Cormier is assigned to preside over the case of the alleged Sterling High School shooter. Lawyer Jordan McAffee represents Peter, the boy who, on the day of the shooting, was found in the corner of the gymnasium holding a gun to his head with a shaky hand. Detective Patrick DuCharme has one star witness, but her story keeps changing. And then there's the biggest problem of all: the star witness happens to be Judge Cormier's daughter.

    Suze says: "Mesmerizing"
    "horrors"
    Overall

    Five stars because it is so well done and left me hanging on for the next chapter to see what unfolded.

    "Horrors" because it is horrific, terribly disturbing, sad, and depressing in many ways. The Hollywood ending, though, kind of took the sting off a little, kind of bringing you back to reality by realizing that this is just fiction. I don't think that's saying too much.

    That could be interpreted in any number of ways and I still don't think most will be able to figure it out. And it's not the kind of book where you are trying to figure out the ending, but you're surprised when you get there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Await Your Reply: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Dan Chaon
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    Three strangers who are trying to find their way in the wake of loss become entwined in an identity theft scheme, which has a resounding impact on them all. A gorgeously written psychological study, and a meditation on identity in the modern world, this is a literary novel with the haunting momentum of a thriller.

    Scott says: "Beautifully Written, Beautifully Read"
    "very original"
    Overall

    I have not read any Chaon books so did not know his style, but I enjoyed the way he told this story. It is not about "identity-theft" but rather the personalities of those who find themselves entwined in the lives of these identity thieves. They could have just as well been common criminals, but the fact they are identity thieves makes it more interesting and relevant to our time. The three main characters are involved, in one way or another, with these thieves in some dysfunctional manner because of a character flaw of his or her own.

    It is a book that could studied, and essays written, about the characters and all of the symbolic references and so forth, upbringing, and what have you, about their lives and what leads them to become what they are. It is close to a five star on my scale.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Charm School

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1583)
    Performance
    (839)
    Story
    (832)

    Something very strange -- and sinister -- is going on in the Russian woods at Borodino. In a place called Mrs. Ivanova's Charm School, young KGB agents are being taught by American POW's how to be model citizens of the USA. The Soviet goal -- to infiltrate the United States undetected. When an unsuspecting American tourist stumbles upon this secret, he sets in motion a CIA investigation that will reveal horrifying police state savagery and superpower treachery.

    Char says: "Incredibly Good"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall

    Enjoyed almost every minute of it. Excellent story, excellent storytelling. I loved the details.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret History

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By Donna Tartt
    Overall
    (816)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (541)

    The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.

    John says: "Not everyone's glass of Scotch Neat"
    "1980's ish"
    Overall

    If you grew up in the 1980's, came from a mid to upper-class family, maybe attended a private high school, or went to an exclusive college, you will probably find much to relate to in this book. Especially if you were of the type that hung out in the smoke holes and ran with the wrong crowd.

    Not to say that anything of this dark tragedy ever occurred in my experiences, but I can definitely relate to the characters and a lot of their experiences.

    I enjoyed the narration. At first I was annoyed by Edmond's, "Bunnie's," voice but after awhile I began to look forward to when he would speak. There was a very slow part during an event I cannot let onto without being a spoiler. But way too much time was spent at this event that didn't seem to serve much purpose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bottom of the Sky: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By William C. Pack
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    The Bottom of the Sky is an aching rags to riches family saga that surges from rural squalor into the opulent power chambers of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. The story contrasts the 30-year struggles of an abused sister and brother who seek to reclaim themselves from their abhorrent past. One is abandoned to a life of sexual desecration and addiction. The other escapes with his demons to wield fragile, uncanny genius and unrelenting ambition to amass staggering wealth.

    A User says: "A MUST READ!"
    "good"
    Overall

    I found myself getting angry at times for not getting more info about various things which cannot be mentioned to avoid spoilers. But it is hard to turn this one off. Just because it is a page-turner, though, doesn't automatically make it excellent. So I gave it a good. I really would have liked more literary dialogue and description.

    I thought I knew how it was going to end, for the most part, with a few different scenarios. But I was wrong. The ending was quite the surprise and I was glad for that, though, sad it is.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Unincorporated Man

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    The Unincorporated Man is a provocative social/political/economic novel that takes place in the future, after civilization has fallen into complete economic collapse. This reborn civilization is one in which every individual is incorporated at birth and spends many years trying to attain control over his or her own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares. Life extension has made life very long indeed.

    Rachelle says: "Hmm"
    "One Free Man!"
    Overall

    What a concept of people being incorporated from birth. Very original if this had not been thought up before. I can't remember anything similar being portrayed in book or film. As long as the book was, it would need to have been much longer to cover all the detail for me to give it 5 stars. But I was very glad I used my monthly credit to get this one.

    The "virtual museum" was almost terrifying. I almost had to pull over to listen to that. Sorry, can't give any clues about it or would be a spoiler.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Expert

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Lee Gruenfeld
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (6)

    Computer mogul James Perrein has been arrested on the charge of selling world-shaking encryption technology to the Chinese. For criminal attorney Rebecca Verona, it's an opportunity to advance her career, but it also means defending a man she doesn't trust. Perrein is her former lover, for whom she once left David Zuckerman, the prosecuting attorney who has just been assigned to the case.

    Melissa says: "tedious and repetitive"
    "enjoyed it"
    Overall

    It's full of legal language, motions, sidebars, etc. but I found it to be interesting for someone not involved in that world. I tried this once before with a book about a Supreme Court clerk and it failed miserably. This one mixes court room drama with a complex subject. Having the legal and technical knowledge to write such a book was great.

    Sometimes I spend more than a couple of hours trying to decide which book I'm going to get with my monthly credit. It's always a big decision. It's difficult taking into consideration the different reviews. Assuredly, some books that have bad reviews I have liked very much. What I have to do is consult reviews of the print edition of the books from newspapers like the NYT Book Review. But they are not always reliable for my discernment as well. I have to take all of it into consideration when coming to a final decision. It is somewhat painful but rewarding to find good reads and know my credit was not wasted. I literally have to set aside an hour or two to find a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4417)
    Performance
    (1718)
    Story
    (1719)

    To survive in a game with no rules at all, John Corey must invent a strategy that includes no luck at all. He and the Anti-Terrorist Task Force must stop "The Lion," an alleged Libyan terrorist with the instincts of a wild animal, the bloodlust of a carnivore, and the boldness and speed of a cat of prey.

    CoCo says: "Excellent and engaging"
    "really enjoyed it"
    Overall

    As horrible as the enemy was in this book, I found myself wanting to hear what "The Lion" would say or do next. His cool and meticulous behavior is as entertaining as the fun humor exhibited in the main character of anti-terrorist task force member John Corey. A former NYC cop who works along side FBI and CIA agents kept me laughing at every turn. And the story is serious, but Corey is just one of those tragic comedian heroes.

    If you are well-read in spy and detective stories you will especially find the humorous comparisons Corey draws between the behaviors and habits of FBI vs cops vs. CIA, entertaining. And it's not a major part of the story. Just little things he throws in here and there. I had to hold onto the wheel as I drove a few times from laughing. But as I said it is a serious book, and is ominous in light of the fact that it was written before 9/11.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ethical Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Michael Gazzaniga
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Will increased scientific understanding of our brains overturn our beliefs about moral and ethical behavior? How will increasingly powerful brain imaging technologies affect the ideas of privacy and of self-incrimination? Such thought-provoking questions are rapidly emerging as new discoveries in neuroscience have raised difficult legal and ethical dilemmas. Michael Gazzaniga, widely considered to be the father of cognitive neuroscience, investigates with an expert eye some of these controversial and complex issues.

    Derek says: "interesting stuff"
    "interesting stuff"
    Overall

    While I don't agree with all of the author's conclusions, implied as they may be, I learned much from this book as a left brain. And while I am what would be called "pro-life," on the abortion issue, Dr. Gazzaniga presents the debate in a way that really forces one to think it through without emotion.

    The question of when life begins, in terms of the brain is really out there. It's kind of like looking up at the stars on a clear night and wondering how it all began.

    But the book covers many other aspects of the brain, behavior, and ethical implications which are well thought out and presented. If anybody thinks that George Bush was "anti-science" they should take a listen to this by a man who was appointed by Bush to his Council on Bioethics.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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