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Derek

Loganville, GA, United States | Member Since 2002

49
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 237 ratings
  • 380 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Associate: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1818)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (407)

    Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father's small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn't want, even if it's a job most law students can only dream about....

    JoAnn says: "Good, but not nearly as good as The Firm""
    "Great story, ending leaves you wanting"
    Overall

    This is a great John Grisham story that is set in the high-paced world of a top Wall Street law firm. Much of the action takes place in Manhattan. I found the story more engrossing than last year's Grisham book, The Appeal (but to be fair, I have a huge personal fascination with Wall Street). Kyle McAvoy is caught up in a situation that seems implausible but is written in a fairly believable manner by Grisham. However, as with so many Grisham novels, the ending fall flat and leaves you wanting. It builds and builds and as you near the end you realize the ending is just going to dissipate like a mist (mainly because you can look and see how much time is left in the recording!). However's Grisham strength is always the story as a whole, and he is not known for his mind-blowing ending like an author such as Harlan Coben. Overall, I definitely recommend this. The change from the small town country lawyer is a nice mix-up of styles. With a better ending I think I could put it among his best, but that aspect places it mid-pack.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    Overall
    (320)
    Performance
    (293)
    Story
    (293)

    For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past - and get away with murder. Peter Straub's classic best seller is a work of "superb horror" (Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time - and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

    Jaimie says: "Great Story! The Best of Peter Straub"
    "Not exactly scary and slow at first but not too ba"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think stories like this translate better to film where special effects, sound and imagery really create the creepy mood better than mere words on a page. The book is not terrible, but the first two-thirds can be pretty slow in places. It picks up in the last third if you can make it there. Reading this book in 2014, the 70s setting is very nostalgic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Mars: Long Earth, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
    • Narrated By Michael Fenton Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (122)

    2040-2045: In the years after the cataclysmic Yellowstone eruption there is massive economic dislocation as populations flee Datum Earth to myriad Long Earth worlds. Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang are all involved in this perilous rescue work when, out of the blue, Sally is contacted by her long-vanished father and inventor of the original Stepper device, Willis Linsay. He tells her he is planning a fantastic voyage across the Long Mars and wants her to accompany him. But Sally soon learns that Willis has an ulterior motive for his request....

    W. Seligman says: "A disappointment"
    "A pretty ho-hum plodding narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series has never been a page-turner. It is more of a plodding story documenting various storylines which converge to a degree of the Long Earth universe. There are definitely some interested exploration themes here, but nothing that is edge-of-your-seat. There appears to be no major driving plot but rather episodes in a far longer arc exploring this new world paradigm. It's not a bad series, but if you are looking for a thriller that drives hard to a conclusion, you will be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspicion

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Joseph Finder
    • Narrated By Steven Kearney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (184)

    When single father Danny Goodman suddenly finds himself unable to afford the private school his teenage daughter adores, he has no one to turn to for financial support. In what seems like a stroke of brilliant luck, Danny meets Thomas Galvin, the father of his daughter’s new best friend, who also happens to be one of the wealthiest men in Boston. Galvin is aware of Danny's situation and out of the blue offers a $50,000 loan to help Danny cover his daughter's tuition. Uncomfortable but desperate, Danny takes the money, promising to pay Galvin back.

    Amanda says: "How did this get published?"
    "Best Finder in a while!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The best Joseph Finder book in a while. The plot moves right along and keeps your engaged. I did think that some of the scenarios of how our protagonist winds up close to the Galvin family was a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, it did not significantly detract from the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1789)
    Performance
    (855)
    Story
    (846)

    Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress.

    Ethan M. says: "A mostly successful and interesting history"
    "Good but would be better to actually read it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good overview of the history and evolution of money, banking and finance. I think it would be better as a book to read. Some of the material is a little dry even for someone like me who is fascinated by finance. The book is a little out of date and was written just as the recession of 2008 was beginning to emerge so some of the discussion seems be missing content had it been written post-2010 or so. If you are interested in this type of material, I definitely recommend it, but I would suggest you read it rather than listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Word Exchange: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alena Graedon
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert, Paul Michael Garcia
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted "death of print" has become a reality. Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language, where he is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used e-mail to communicate - or even actually spoke to one another. One evening, Doug disappears, leaving a single written clue: ALICE - a code word he and Anana devised to signal if one of them ever fell into harm's way.

    John says: "Never got into it."
    "Long-winded and tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The summary looked great! I moved this book up to the top of my "Next Read" list. And boy was a disappointed. From the start, I had a very hard time focusing on this book. My mind wandered with easy because it was just not engaged. I was finding other things to listen to when commuting. I decided I would give it a little more time but when it shifted to the perspective of another character with a different narrator, it devolved into a long-winded recollection that might eventually have some relevance to the novel but at the time was utterly boring and uninteresting. I understand this is a book about people who love words but that is not a license to use them indiscriminately just to for the sake of using big words.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ben Mezrich
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (833)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (214)

    The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook. The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost, and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.

    Charles E. Grant says: "Infotainment, poorly written"
    "Liked the movie better but not bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book. The book leaves you with the same impression though - Mark Zuckerburg is a bit of a jerk. And Sean Parker is a first class moocher. Whether these are completely accurate in real life, I can't say. I am sure Parker provided more value than one might think from the story (book or movie) and I am sure that, from Zuckerburg's perspective, there is another side of the story. Good book. I would like to read/listen to another book on the early days of Facebook to see if the portrayals of these two are consistent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Missing You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1884)
    Performance
    (1667)
    Story
    (1678)

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben set huge sales records with last year’s Six Years - and he’s poised to do it again in his next breathtaking stand-alone thriller. Harlan Coben, author of six consecutive instant number-one New York Times best sellers and a total of 24 award-winning, best-selling, and internationally acclaimed novels, returns with another ripped-from-real-life thriller full of impossibly high emotional stakes and the real-to-life characters for which he has become famous.

    Susan says: "I Ain't Missing You"
    "Good story lessens with liberal propaganda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Harlan Coben writes engrossing books. Unfortunately, his ability to throw you with a twist has been missing for a very long time, though to be fair, when his original twists were so mind-blowing, the bar is very high. My biggest problem is that he continues to push his hard-left liberal agenda in his books. This seems to get worse with each book and in this one he doubles down on pro-homosexual spin. His "hard sell" for his political and social views does sully what would otherwise be an entertaining book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1103)
    Performance
    (998)
    Story
    (1008)

    When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid, just not great social network dystopia"
    "Terrifying look at a techno-destruction of privacy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    [NOTE: Mild spoilers below.]

    A terrifying look into a future where companies like Google and Facebook leverage the power of Big Data to obliterate privacy and track every minute aspect of our lives. The Circle is quite obviously a fictionalized portrayal of largely Google but with aspects of Facebook and Twitter thrown in. The ability of the company in the novel to destroy privacy and position itself to establish totalitarian control of our future is a bit of a stretch but not as much as you might think. The novel also gives a glimpse into the naivete of the millenials and other young people whose "progressive" thinking on information, collectivism and social interaction empower this risk to all of our privacy. The term used late in the book - infocommunism - perfectly summarizes the result of this dangerous lurch toward tracking, recording, monitoring, datafying and analyzing all aspects of our lives.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • King and Maxwell

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1821)
    Performance
    (1590)
    Story
    (1598)

    It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father...after his supposed death. Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target? Sean and Michelle soon realize that they've stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined.

    JR Parrow says: "Come on guys, lighten up! This was a good book!"
    "Baldacci can be hit or miss - this is mostly a mis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of Baldacci's King and Maxwell books (as well as some of his series in general) are hit or miss. Unfortunately, this book is more on the miss side. It's not bad, but, without giving spoilers, some of the situations that private investigators, even ones that are former Secret Service agents, find themselves in are just not realistic or plausible. For me, that gross lack of realism detracts from the story. Baldacci's books are generally not in the "realistic" strain as are many of Clancy's book. To make such stretches in the credibility of his plots really reduces my enjoyment of his books. Specific to the audiobook format, there are too many cheesy sound effects in the audio version of some Baldacci novels. While this is not always unwelcome, how these are done should be handled with care. I thought they went a little overboard with "King and Maxwell."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (2422)
    Performance
    (1411)
    Story
    (1435)

    Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards, and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: What if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen?

    Anthony says: "Best of the Best"
    "A fascinating look at Woz's life!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Really good overview of Steve Wozniak's life and accomplishments. He comes across a little arrogant in this book, but in a personable, lovably innocent way. The book is written in a very informal, conversational style. For example, the book is peppered with "Wows!" and "Oh my gosh!" The narrator does a very good job of conveying this style to the listerner.

    Woz's stories on developing the Apple I and II computers as well as the remote control for his CL9 venture can get a little mired in technical detail. But for a former electrical engineer, there was serious nostalgia as he talked of circuits, gates, binary numbers and chips. If you are an Apple fan or interested in computer engineering, I highly recommend iWoz!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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