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J. James-Long

PortlandBookLover

Portland, OR United States | Member Since 2002

ratings
204
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
24

  • Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Dan Rather, Digby Diehl (contributor)
    • Narrated By Dan Rather
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (129)

    Rather - who has won every prestigious journalism award in his distinguished career - discusses all the big stories from his decades of reporting. This very personal accounting includes (but is certainly not limited to) his dismissal from CBS, the Abu Ghraib story, the George W. Bush Air National Guard controversy, his coverage of the JFK assassination, the origin of "Hurricane Dan", as well as inside stories about all the top personalities Dan has either interviewed or worked with over his remarkable career.

    J. James-Long says: "Excellent first-hand exploration of media today"
    "Excellent first-hand exploration of media today"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished reading this book. I recommend it to anyone who wonders how corporations influence the media. What I took away from the book is the following:

    The fourth part of checks and balances in this country is a free press. It is enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and is an integral part of informed voting and participation in our democracy. The public is entitled to receive information, despite making angry those who don't wish certain information to be known. Oftentimes, it is precisely that hidden information that MUST be known. The corporatization, trivialization, politicization of the press is a serious national problem that continues to grow worse. The problem is that the public is becoming more and more desensitized to the sensationalistic corporate "news" being aired today.

    Lots more than that, but you'll have to listen for yourself.

    A most excellent book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Walk Two Moons

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sharon Creech
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (78)

    In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

    J. James-Long says: "Assigned Reading for School"
    "Assigned Reading for School"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My son was assigned this book for school, starting this week. I went ahead and listened beforehand and found myself sucked into a book that neither of us would normally listen to. He normally listens to books like Harry Potter, the Percy Jackson series, and books by Jonathan Stroud. I usually listen to science fiction, historical fiction and non-fiction. While the main character in this book learns many life lessons (her friend Phoebe reminds me of a friend I had when I was a girl), I found myself nodding my head about the manner that she learns them. It's a very interesting way in which the author is able to grasp the social influences in this age group. The scenes with the English teacher made me smile when the kids completely missed the point of the exercise, though I admit that the teacher went a bit overboard and was not careful in choosing the passages he read. I won't give away the end, but as an adult I could see it coming after only the first quarter of the book. I don't think my son will see it coming.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5008)
    Performance
    (2809)
    Story
    (2844)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "Slow at first, but picks up after 3-4 hrs"
    Overall

    This started out as one of those books that would put me to sleep. It seemed like nothing was ever going to happen. After starting and stopping a few times I went to read the reviews and see what folks had to say. What I found was that the book does, indeed, pick up at some point. So I decided to stick it out, and I'm glad I did! While the story's current time is 2005, the flashbacks to 1905-1913 and 1975 make you forget that these characters are are gone. The author does a great job at breathing life into them as their descendant in 2005 uncovers their story. Because these events have already happened, there is a pervasive sense of futility against a larger power, an inevitable sense of fate -- no matter how much it is struggled against. It's like watching a historically-based film where you forget how it ends because you've fallen in love with the characters. I especially liked how Fairy Tales were worked into the story and how they were developed by the Authoress and their relevance in her life. I didn't really understand or appreciate it until about half way through, but when I finally caught on... wow! Great! I also really enjoyed the way the storyline developed -- the interplay between past and present. Whenever you got an inkling for the truth, the timeline would shift and it would play out in front of you. Great story!! Definitely worth trudging through those first couple of hours! Thank you Kate!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Breakout Principle: Maximize Creativity, Athletic Performance, Productivity and Personal Well-Being

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Herbert Benson, William Proctor
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (9)

    In The Breakout Principle, Dr. Herbert Benson delivers the ultimate self-help principle - simple instructions to activate a powerful biological trigger that converts conflict and confusion into clarity and extraordinary performance, a state athletes refer to as "the zone."

    J. James-Long says: "A forward-thinking scientist"
    "A forward-thinking scientist"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only does he give good advice on how to achieve a breakout, but he also provides examples of scientific research and other methods to educate the listener and help them envision one so that it doesn't sound like hokus-pokus. In response to the reviewers who didn't like the mixing of religion and science, it isn't often you hear a scientist come to the conclusion "there must be something else at work here beside physiology." I thought it was an interesting addition, but it wasn't a central part of the audiobook. The first two reviewers would do well by looking into string theory. There was a great 3-part program on NOVA called "The Elegant Universe". String theory is still just that: a theory. However, doers understand that everything starts out this way. Critics sit back and wait... now that I think of it, they probably have no need for a breakout. ;-)

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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