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CHET YARBROUGH

Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States | Member Since 2014

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 270 reviews
  • 681 ratings
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  • 28 purchased in 2015
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5

  • Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Elaine Pagels
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (194)

    Elaine Pagels explores the surprising history of the most controversial book of the Bible. In the waning days of the Roman Empire, militant Jews in Jerusalem had waged anall-out war against Rome’s occupation of Judea, and their defeat resulted in the desecration of the Great Temple in Jerusalem. In the aftermath of that war, John of Patmos, a Jewish prophet and follower of Jesus, wrote the Book of Revelation, prophesying God’s judgment on the pagan empire that devastated and dominated his people.

    Diane says: "Revealing "Revelations""
    "END TIMES"
    Overall
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    Story

    Elaine Pagels is a Professor of Religion at Princeton University. One can draw different conclusions from Pagels’ history of religion but end times holds a high place in Pagels’ research and opinion about “Revelations”.

    “Revelations” is the second Elaine Pagels’ book reviewed in this blog. From her chosen profession and the previous quote, one presumes Ms. Pagels is a spiritual person but a review of her work seems to challenge bed-rock Catholic beliefs. The first review in this blog, “The Gnostic Gospels”, shows Catholic religion and its hierarchical organization as more man-made than divinely inspired. That sentiment is equally drawn from her history of “Revelations”; which is not to diminish Pagels’ spirituality but to infer that her scholarly histories of religion are interpretations of mankind’s divine belief rather than manifestations of a supreme being.

    Are Pagels’ books an endorsement of humanism or religion? One draws their own conclusion; however, her scholarly pursuit of religious’ history is, at the very least, fascinating and informative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Steven Brill
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (118)

    America's Bitter Pill is Steven Brill's much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing - and failing to change - the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. Brill probed the depths of our nation's healthcare crisis in his trailblazing Time magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest.

    Andrew S. Breza says: "Great history, questionable solutions"
    "AN AMERICAN CITIZEN'S NIGHTMARE"
    Overall
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    Story

    “America’s Bitter Pill” is a policy wonk’s dream and an American citizen’s nightmare. It reveals the role of money and politics in American government. Steven Brill indicts a political process that seems freighted with more venal self-interest than good will. Brill overwhelms readers, which are not policy wonks, with disgusting political backroom deals and entrenched private and non-profit interests that affect the federal legislative process. The disgust comes from the distortion of the most important legislation passed by the American’ Federal Government since the New Deal.

    What Brill shows is that the value of high profits to private and non-profit insurance and medical facilities is more important than offering reasonably priced health care to the general public. What every special interest lobbied for in the Affordable Care Act depended on improving or maintaining profit. “America’s Bitter Pill”, the Affordable Care Act, is laced with greed. The Affordable Care Act has extended insurance to more people in the United States than ever before, but it continues to rankle knowledgeable Americans because it is based on the false belief that it will cure an incurable disease, human greed.

    An optimist chooses to believe America’s flawed legislative system will, in the long run, serve its public better than any other known form of government. The optimist believes the Affordable Care Act will be improved over time and will mitigate increased health care costs. The pessimist believes the Affordable Care Act is a boondoggle. The pessimist believes American government is accelerating its move toward tyranny. A realist suggests the Affordable Care Act is Democracy in action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1357)
    Performance
    (1165)
    Story
    (1154)

    Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

    Mark says: "A History of the Ancient Geeks"
    "DIGITAL REVOLUTION"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Walter Isaacson offers a whirlwind history of the digital revolution in “The Innovators”. Isaacson raises the question of whether revolutions come from extraordinary leadership of geniuses or societal imperatives. Tolstoy suggests the former while many biographers infer the latter. In the end, Isaacson’s history of “The Innovators” places one squarely on the fence. (Fence-sitting is not Isaacson’s intent, but his argument for collaborative invention discounts geniuses like Isaac Newton and Paul Dirac, who were notorious loners.) At times, one concludes geniuses are the prime movers of the digital revolution but listening to Isaacson’s explanation of the contributions of an Ada Lovelace, William Shockley, or Andy Grove (among others), suggests genius is subordinate to societal imperatives.

    Isaacson may be wrong in his assessment of “The Innovators” in the history of digitization but quite right about its revolutionary categorization. This is an enjoyable and informative audio book, well worth listening to, or reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Burning Room

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Titus Welliver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2336)
    Performance
    (2089)
    Story
    (2078)

    In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not up to par"
    "COPS AND CRIMINALS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    “The Burning Room” is an entertaining cops and criminals’ story set in Los Angeles by its author, Michael Connelly. Not having read any of Connelly’s books, Hieronymus Bosch is a recurring figure in many of Connelly’s novels. Without background in the series, Connelly writes a self-contained story of a police detective nearing the age of retirement. Harry Bosch is handling cold cases with a rookie police woman.

    In general, the dialogue of the story makes a listener feel the tedium and thrill of being a cop in a big city. With few exceptions (one being the hackneyed comment, “copy that”), Connelly’s dialogue is crisp, informative, and absorbing.

    As in real life, solving Bosch’s and his acolyte’s two cold cases is a mixture of satisfying resolution and frustrating irresolution. Some justice prevails but injustice reasserts itself. The arbitrariness of society and the nature of human beings continue to allow some criminals to go free and some institutions to punish the wrong people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The House of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Walter Covell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (21)

    The House of the Dead is a fascinating portrait of life in a Siberian prison camp - a life of great hardship and deprivation, yet filled with simple moments of humanity showing mankinds ability to adapt and survive in the most extreme of circumstances. Dostoevsky tells his story in a chronological order, from his character's arrival and his sense of alienation to his gradual adjustment to prison life.

    James says: "In the Prison House"
    "LITERARY GENIUS"
    Overall
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    Fyodor Dostoevsky’s writing and psychological insight seduces admirers into reading or listening to his lesser known works. Seduction comes from wanting to know the source of Dostoevsky’s human insight and literary genius.

    Dostoevsky spent time in a Siberian prison, was scheduled for execution by firing squad, received a last-minute reprieve, suffered from a gambling addiction, and lived to write two of the greatest masterpieces of all time, “Crime and Punishment” and “Brothers Karamazov”. Long before Freud’s theories of the unconscious mind, Dostoevsky understood and wrote about subconscious human motivation. (He also wrote a lesser known work, “The Idiot”, that rivals his masterpieces in character development.)

    Prison is sometimes home to the innocent that are victimized by life because of their pacific nature. The innocents seek to please everyone. They are like Prince Myskin in “The Idiot”, or Alyosha in “The Brothers Karmazov”. These innocents are drawn to violent or dominant characters, either as supplicants or enablers. The Prince Myskins become servants to intellectuals in the prison. The Alyoshas are the intellectuals, the aristocrats, the educated, the wise men; in some respects the enablers, that are sought by the insecure for advice, guidance, knowledge, or forgiveness.

    “The House of the Dead” is not a well written book but it is a useful primer on character development in literature. It shows that great writers develop over time and that their development is based on experience recollected, and disciplined observation in quietude; i.e. in prisons of their own making.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Judy Melinek, MD, T. J. Mitchell
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    Overall
    (582)
    Performance
    (520)
    Story
    (517)

    Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband and their toddler holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation-performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking listeners behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple.

    R. Milam says: "Great story - but not for the faint of heart!"
    "FORENSIC PATHOLOGY"
    Overall
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    In Judy Melinek’s and her husband’s book titled “Working Stiff”, a perspective on careers in forensic pathology is drawn in the light of history’s worst single incident of lost American’ lives. Two months before 9/11, Doctor Melinek is working at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City at East 26th Street and 1st Avenue. Melinek remembers seeing a commercial plane on an odd flight path in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. American Airlines Flight 11 is the first plane to hit the World Trade Center.

    The final chapters of “Working Stiff” suggest the New York Office of Chief Medical Examiner (Dr. Charles S. Hirsch) is an unsung recovery’ hero of the 9/11 Trade Center tragedy. The competence of the Chief Medical Examiner is revealed by Melinek in a speech the CME gives to his staff before bodies begin to arrive. He notes that the focus of the department’s job in the 9/11 tragedy is to identify victims; not determine specific causes of death. Each body part is to be bagged and tagged with its own number. He explains that duplication of body parts that belong to the same body is irrelevant. Any body parts that offer clues to identity; e.g. fingers, dental work, skin tattoos, bone pins, etc. are to be separated and numbered. The CME explains that the most important thing for everyone to understand is that all victims must be identified so families will know of their relative’s death. He goes on to explain that each body part is to be treated as an individual death, with dignity and solemnity.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Children of Henry VIII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (260)

    New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir is one of the most popular chroniclers of British and European royal history. In this fascinating book she sheds light on the scheming, backstabbing and brutality that plagued England after Henry VIII’s death. Filled with remarkable and sometimes shocking details, The Children of Henry VIII is an arresting narrative that brings the past to life and infuses it with all the flair of a riveting novel.

    Neil Chisholm says: "A very dysfunctional family!"
    "ROYALTY, RELIGION, AND RULE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Royalty, religion, and rule, like the three heads of Cerberus, protect 16th century England, after the death of Henry the VIII. Cerberus defends royalty. Alison Weir tells the story of England’s royal succession. Weir explains that 3 children, from different mothers, succeed Henry the VIII. The youngest, and first in line, is King Edward VI. Young Edward is nine years old when King Henry dies.

    King Henry identifies the order of succession in his will; first is King Edward, then Queen Mary, and finally Queen Elizabeth. King Henry designates King Edward VI as first successor because he is a male. However because he has not reached the age of majority, Edwards rule is subject to a guardianship that will govern the Empire until he reaches the age of 18. As fate (or poison) would have it, King Edward dies at 15. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth are next.

    Queen Elizabeth survives a multitude of accusations, threats, and imprisonments to finally succeed to the throne at 25 years of age when Queen Mary succumbs to pneumonia at 42. Elizabeth goes on to be ruler of England for nearly 40 years. She is considered by most to have been a highly successful monarch with excellent skill as statesman and ruler of an independent nation that shed the shackles of a Roman Papacy, and the seductive temptation of alliance with stronger nations.

    Royalty, religion, and rule are watchwords for understanding the history of 16th century England. Weir does a nice job of explaining what happened in England after the death of King Henry the VIII.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5150)
    Performance
    (4421)
    Story
    (4396)

    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
    "AMERICAN HOMGENIZATION"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Both “Coming Apart” and “Quiet” are disquisitions on America that have an apparent appeal to a consuming audience. “Coming Apart” points to a belief that America has become an aristocracy of education and money. “Quiet” makes the sociological case that human beings are either extroverted or introverted and that extroverts rule American government and business because they talk the most, and argue the best. Both books infer american cultural homogenization.

    If Murray is right about the homogenization of American management and Cain is right about being misled by too much extroversion and not enough introversion, maybe America is “Coming Apart”. On the other hand, maybe Murray and Cain are just selling books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Charles Murray
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (138)

    In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

    Brent says: "great insights to today's culture wars"
    "AMERICAN HOMOGENIZATION"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Both “Coming Apart” and “Quiet” are disquisitions on America that have an apparent appeal to a consuming audience. “Coming Apart” points to a belief that America has become an aristocracy of education and money. “Quiet” makes the sociological case that human beings are either extroverted or introverted and that extroverts rule American government and business because they talk the most, and argue the best. Both books infer american cultural homogenization.

    If Murray is right about the homogenization of American management and Cain is right about being misled by too much extroversion and not enough introversion, maybe America is “Coming Apart”. On the other hand, maybe Murray and Cain are just selling books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Them: Adventures with Extremists

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (659)
    Performance
    (598)
    Story
    (596)

    Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and more.

    aaron says: "Dated but VERY Good... and FUNNY!"
    "WING NUTS AND CONSPIRACY THEORISTS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wing nuts and conspiracy theorists are the subject of Jon Ronson’s “Them”. With the exception of Ronson’s treks into the woods of an American’ Ku Klux Klan camp, Ronson’s adventures seem benign more than dangerous.

    They, who are called “Them”, all have followers that threaten freedom of choice; i.e. that freedom which does not infringe on freedom of other’s. They all say “It is my way or no way”. The truth is–the only controller of our future is human nature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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