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Derek

Loganville, GA, United States | Member Since 2002

44
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 39 reviews
  • 231 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Need You Now

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By James Grippando
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (59)

    The New York Times best-selling author returns with a gripping, new stand-alone novel ripped from the headlines, in which a young financial advisor and his girlfriend uncover a conspiracy that reaches from Wall Street deep into the halls of government. Abe Cushman, the evil genius behind a $60 billion Ponzi scheme, has killed himself and taken his secrets to the grave. For Patrick Lloyd, a young Wall Street advisor at the world’s largest Swiss bank, Cushman’s fall has unexpected - and deadly - repercussions. Lloyd’s girlfriend, Lilly, is directly tied to billions of dollars in losses....

    Ed says: "Good but convoluted"
    "Started good...but fizzled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this book in the early going but by the middle point it devolved to a muddled, over-complicated plot that required more thoughtful consideration than I wanted to give it. The narrator did little to help by soundeing very laid back and poorly suited to the story as well as having poor voice-acting that that only slightly differentiated between some of the male characters. While I love Wall Street/high finance novels, by the end of this one, I was ready to wrap it up and move on to my next book.

    1 of 2 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
    (13)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    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 3 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
    (815)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (198)

    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
    Overall
    (1287)
    Performance
    (1142)
    Story
    (1145)

    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
    (824)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (761)

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • King and Maxwell

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    Overall
    (1437)
    Performance
    (1249)
    Story
    (1259)

    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
    (2321)
    Performance
    (1322)
    Story
    (1346)

    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
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7704)
    Performance
    (6956)
    Story
    (6956)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Best Grisham in 15-20 years!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Absolutely, the best John Grisham has written since his earliest books 15-20 years ago. In Sycamore Row we are reunited with the cast of characters from his first novel, A Time to Kill. The story is compelling and engrossing and grasps you from the outset and does not let go. I don't want to spoil anything, so I will only say the twist in the end was very predictable and the fact that the main characters were surprised by it seems a little hard believe. But that small criticism does little to take away from the magnificence of this book. If you love John Grisham, especially his early work, then run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore or e-reader download story and get this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joseph J. Ellis
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    The summer months of 1776 witnessed the most consequential events in the story of our country’s founding. While the thirteen colonies came together and agreed to secede from the British Empire, the British were dispatching the largest armada ever to cross the Atlantic to crush the rebellion in the cradle. The Continental Congress and the Continental Army were forced to make decisions on the run, improvising as history congealed around them. In a brilliant and seamless narrative, Ellis meticulously examines the most influential figures in this propitious moment, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Britain’s Admiral Lord Richard and General William Howe. He weaves together the political and military experiences as two sides of a single story, and shows how events on one front influenced outcomes on the other.

    Revolutionary Summer tells an old story in a new way, with a freshness at once colorful and compelling.

    Derek says: "If you like American history, you will enjoy"
    "If you like American history, you will enjoy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought the first half of the book was good. I am more into the political side than the military of the American Revolution. As such, I personally felt that the last third got bogged down in military detail. I did like how the book, especially in the first half, married the political and military into a coherent , unified story. If you enjoy American history, you will like enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33889)
    Performance
    (25078)
    Story
    (25422)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "Really good even for adults!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Really good book! My sister recommended it and I am glad she did. I normally don't read teen fiction but this is one of those books that is good for adults. No, it is not quite as sophisticated as adult fiction but that does detract from the story. I found the novel to be a bit darker and more grim than the movie about the tyranny surrounding the Hunger Games. I was so anxious to find out what happened next, I have jumped straight to the next book in the series, Catching Fire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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