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Always listening ...


  • A History of Warfare

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Keegan
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Starting with the premise that all civilizations owe their origins to warmaking, Keegan probes the meanings, motivations, and methods underlying war in different societies over the course of more than two thousand years. Following the progress of human aggression in its full historical sweep, from the strangely ritualistic combat of Stone Age peoples to the warfare of mass destruction in the present age, his illuminating and lively narrative gives us all the world's great warrior cultures.

    Dan says: "Complete, Informative, and Insightful"
    "Tough read (listen)"

    The structure of the book from afar is a sensible walk through military and warlike history. As written however, Keegan seems to spend so much time referring to and battling against the writings of Clausewitz (a writer from long ago who wrote "On War" - "war is the extension of policy (or politics)"). I, as the reader, wanted to learn and review the evolution of war, but grew bored and lackluster about the progress due to these constant efforts to refer to and contradict Clausewitz. When Keegan was truly discussing military history and the causes of different evolutionary changes, it was enjoyable, but the book could have been 1/2 as long and twice as enjoyable if he stuck to the substance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • President Me: The America That's in My Head

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Adam Carolla
    • Narrated By Adam Carolla

    In President Me, Carolla shares his vision for a different, better America free from big issues like big government down to small problems like hotel alarm clock placement. Running on an anti-narcissism platform, President Carolla calls for a return to the values of an earlier time when stew and casserole were on every dinner table and there were no “service dogs” on airplanes. President Me hits right at the heart of what makes our country really annoying, and offers a plan to make all of our lives, but mostly Adam’s, much better.

    Tommy says: "Hilarious and Painfully True"
    "Classic Carolla"
    Would you listen to President Me again? Why?

    No, because its stand-up comedy on paper.... but I'd recommend it to others.

    What other book might you compare President Me to and why?

    Any good comedian's humor book.

    What does Adam Carolla bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    No one can deliver a comedian's words like the comedian themself. Carolla read by anyone else would be bad.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His logical politics , they match up so easily with my own ... and they are both humorous and revealing in contrast to real politicians.

    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoyed either of his first two books, or his podcast, its a must read.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932 - 1972

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach

    This great time capsule of a book captures the abundant popular history of the United States from 1932 to 1972. It encompasses politics, military history, economics, the lively arts, science, fashion, fads, social change, sexual mores, communications, graffiti...everything and anything indigenous that can be captured in print.

    Paula says: "Fabulous book, good narration, bad recording"
    "Great first 40 hours ... then Kennedy dies"
    Where does The Glory and the Dream rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Bottom 50% of history books

    What other book might you compare The Glory and the Dream to and why?

    Don't Know Much About History ... reviews so much but only skin deep, and tries to be humorous.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The intersection of the stand-up Eisenhower and the bottom-dweller Joe MCarthy in the early 50's.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but it did disappoint in the 1960s. Focuses on nothing but sex, civil rights, and the counterculture.

    Any additional comments?

    Its a solid survey history from 1932-1962, with interesting focus throughout on social and cultural history but then it loses its direction, ... possibly the fact that such "history" was too close in time to the book's publication affected its substance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Information Frontier

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By James Gleick
    • Narrated By Dan Cashman

    As one of our leading science writers, James Gleick has always been ahead of the curve. He chronicled the genius of the great physicist Richard Feynman and explained chaos theory in a way all of us could understand. Now, in a collection of previously published pieces, he muses on the Internet revolution that has taken place all around us.

    Stephanie says: "Past it's prime"
    "Too Out of Date to Enjoy ..."

    Probably a fine read in 2000, or listen in 2002. Do not waste your time in 2011, as I groaned too often through the first half of the book about the claimed novelty of word processing font innovations or PDAs - while listening to the book on my 2011 I-Pad. I did not listen to the end (something I have done on only one other occasion), and don't regret it at all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Top Ten Military Fiction Read ..."

    The book truly brings you inside the heads of the various military participants. Instead of reading like a Stephen Ambrose novel of war-time first-person overviews, it takes you deeper into the true emotional and sensory experiences of the soldiers and the officers - and you appreciate the war (and the experiences of our military personnel) even more.

    There is an unnamed extra character in the book at all times - due to the times and the forced mixing of races in the theater of military operations - and that is the racism of the participants. It is presented in such a stark and seemingly accurate way that you appreciate the authenticity of all of the interactions that much more.

    Buy it to learn more about the Vietnam Conflict, and sit back and truly enjoy the ride into the lives and minds of all individuals put in harm's way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sh-t My Dad Says

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Justin Halpern
    • Narrated By Sean Schemmel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, 28-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his 73-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is “like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair,” has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him.

    Michael says: "Really Funny! Should Be Up for an Audie Award"
    "It is some simple fun Sh*t"

    I knew what I was about to listen to, and it delivered on those expectations. The one surprising element was how much I learned to like the father and son dynamic despite the brashness of the father. There is definitely great underlying love between them that comes through, and that made it extra enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew
    • Narrated By Tony Roberts

    No espionage missions have been kept more secret than those involving American submarines. Blind Man's Bluff reveals for the first time how the Navy sent subs wired with self-destruct charges into the heart of Soviet seas to tap crucial underwater telephone cables, as well as other secrets as deep as the sea.

    Al May says: "Hero's ALL"
    "Good info, interesting stories, but ..."

    ... it is more like a set of story pieces from the 60 year history of the use of subs in military intelligence gathering.... and less like a truly connected tale (or even history). The book basically lacks an arc. Also, the audiobook is abridged, and I think the connectivity across the years may get further disjointed as a result. Lastly, at almost every step it seemd as if both the author(s) and the narrator tried too hard to interject slightly heightened (yet transparent) drama whenever possible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By David Chandler

    Maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb had an illustrious career on Wall Street before turning his focus to his black swan theory. Not all swans are white, and not all events, no matter what the experts think, are predictable. Taleb shows that black swans, like 9/11, cannot be foreseen and have an immeasurable impact on the world.

    Kenneth says: "Brilliant, Obnoxious, Narcissistic, Brilliant"
    "Interesting analysis, ... but so what ..."

    The topic is well developed (in some ways repetitively) and certainly allowed me to consider the previously unappreciated effect of the randomness aspect of life's turns - personally and globally. At the same time, after the issue is supported, there is very little "as a result of this conclusion, we should ..." Left me wanting.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Freakonomics: Revised Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner

    Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life, from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing, and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this audiobook: Freakonomics. Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

    Shackleton says: "Good, but be careful"
    "Enjoyable entertaining walk through life ..."

    The book addresses so many great interesting headline worthy topics, and each from a novel perspective. In turn, its a great audiobook listen, as it is broken down into interesting mini-lectures and issues. There is something for everyone. My one limited beef is that when a list is read in an audiobook, as compared to viewed in a paper book, it can sometimes be annoying to hear, and the lists included in the book (such as popular children's names, or crime statistics) gets tedious at times in those subjects. Not sure there is much for an audiobook producer to do if they are providing an unabridged reading, but I guess its a good time to hit 3X on the app when they begin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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