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J. Lee

Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.

California | Member Since 2009

70
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 422 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
82

  • Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By H.W. Brands
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (106)

    The most famous American of his time, Andrew Jackson is a seminal figure in American history. The first "common man" to rise to the presidency, Jackson embodied the spirit and the vision of the emerging American nation; the term "Jacksonian democracy" is embedded in our national lexicon. With the sweep, passion, and attention to detail that made The First American a Pulitzer Prize finalist, historian H.W. Brands shapes a historical narrative that's as fast-paced and compelling as the best fiction.

    Eric says: "Very Thorough"
    "Enjoyable and Enlightening and sometime sad."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book covers a momentous and disturbing time in our history. The man, Jackson, was a product of his time and if we judge him by our morals based on today's realities, he will be found wanting. Mr. Brands does a good job of putting the listener into the shoes of the subjects and gives us the context with which to judge these the formers and shapers of our nation and national personality. One can never excuse our treatment of the aboriginals of this land, and yet, based on the nature of the world at that time, one cannot escape the inevitability of what happened. I feel I know a lot more about our natures, today and back then, for having spent the time in this book. The narration is sharp and clean. Mr. Mayer does a fine job with this book. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (4985)
    Performance
    (4396)
    Story
    (4420)

    In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago.

    Cynthia says: "The Art of (Unconventional) War"
    "Look again from a fdifferent angle."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Malcolm Gladwell is a genius. He looks at life from a different angle and gives us the ability to do the same. Good is bad. Weak is strong. Last is first. Believe it. Don't think that blond hair and blues eyes is the E-ticket. Listen to this book and you will know, you have a better chance than you thought.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2706)
    Performance
    (1419)
    Story
    (1424)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "People put up with a lot of bad stuff in the past!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! We live in a great time. There were no, "good old days" . I thank god we did not live in the days of old, with all of the terrible things people took for granted back then. Read this book and you will be 79% happier about your life today than you were before you listened to it. Trust me!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7219)
    Performance
    (3004)
    Story
    (3014)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Fill your brain before you go to another party."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! Facts, facts, fact, Listen to this three time and you may be a genius. At least you will be a respected know it all. So much information in so little time. Amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (143)

    How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators. Introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today’s United States, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree.

    Andy says: "deserves seven stars"
    "A little slow but worth sticking it out."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters are unknown to many and little remembered in history but one comes away with a deep appreciation of the greatness of our country and it's amazing people. Another great history of our of the USA from a different angle.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sam Kean
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (2222)
    Performance
    (1428)
    Story
    (1433)

    Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

    Ethan M. says: "Excellent, if unfocused"
    "Fill your brain with great stuff."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sam Kean does an excellent job of making a mountain of information interesting and engaging. I think I will listen to this book three times and still not get everything in it. If you want to stretch your brain, this is the gym you need to go to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Naoki Higashida
    • Narrated By Tom Picasso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (842)
    Performance
    (751)
    Story
    (752)

    Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, The Reason I Jumpis a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

    Janice says: "Cracking the code"
    "just Amazing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anybody who knows or is involved with a child with autism must listen to this book. A beautiful look from inside out in the most simple and clear terms one can imagine. Please get this book an listen to it with care.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James T. Patterson
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (42)

    Restless Giant provides a crisp, concise assessment of the 27 years between the resignation of Richard Nixon and the election of George W. Bush, in a sweeping narrative that seamlessly weaves together social, cultural, political, economic, and international developments.

    D. DOMINGUE says: "Why We are the Way We Are"
    "Too Soon? Maybe, but still a good listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    History is best looked at from a great distance. We are still so close to these events that political passions can sway our opinions. Mr. Patterson does a fine job of chronicling this most recent period of our history, but I could not help but notice that he had a horse in the race. I am not saying that it is a bad thing or a good thing but that it just is. He may be a little too proud of his progressive cohorts, but I suppose he can't be blamed for that that. Having noted that, I enjoyed the book very much. Anybody who loves history will enjoy it as well.
    The author touches on most of the important events during the period. The Nixon episode is very interesting. Every time I hear about it from a different angle I get just a bit better understanding of it. This book also shines a revelatory light on our world just before everything changed after 9/11. That alone made it worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (7785)
    Performance
    (2492)
    Story
    (2488)

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Liz says: "encore!"
    "Life changing book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are few concepts that can change ones life or perceptions as easily and quickly as those Mr. Gladwell so clearly lays out in this book. We already practice, on an instinctive level, many of them. If however, he is correct, then we can do much more to heighten our ability to see our world more clearly than we ever thought possible. I think I will look at everyone and most situations differently from now on. To find out what you are missing everyday of your life, listen to this book and "watch different".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10427)
    Performance
    (4860)
    Story
    (4877)

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
    "Eye Opening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is amazing that most of us think we know the story of success and it's components. In this book, Mr. Gladwell, looking from a different perspective, shines a whole new light on the process. From hockey to billionaires, His theory posits that it takes more than skill or a genius mind to find the pinnacle of success. Timing and opportunity seem to play a larger role than we may have suspected. As I listened though, the truth seems to be quite clear. It takes a lot of things to line up just right to make a world changing individual. This is a great wake up call for parents, teachers, coaches or anybody else that might be in a position to guide, train or support a young aspirant in any field or endeavor. Are we missing out of 50% of the worlds talent? Listen to this book and decide for yourself. It is time well spent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Temple Grandin, Richard Panek
    • Narrated By Andrea Gallo
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (135)

    Temple Grandin teaches listeners the science of the autistic brain, and with it the history and sociology of autism. By being autistic--by being able to look from the inside out and from the outside in--the author's insights are not just unique, they're groundbreaking. According to Temple, our understanding of autism has been perhaps fundamentally wrong for the past 70 years.

    Cynthia says: "So Much More than the Title. Listen to this book!"
    "Excellent! I now have more questions to ask."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an amazing look into the mind and more importantly the brain of people diagnosed with Autism. We are finally finding some answers, but of more interest are the questions this book raises. Temple Grandin gives a look behind the curtain of Autism from the point of view of an eye witness. Are we missing a great resource in specialized thinking? What have we to learn about the power of our brains from the anomalies of the Autistic brain? Most fascinating might be that behind the facade of the non-verbal person with autism, might be a high functioning, communicating individual, that is trapped inside an uncooperative outer shell. Would you treat a nonverbal person with autism the same, if you knew they understood everything you said, but were just unable to get their response past the wall of their muscles and vocal cords. Being close to some people with Autism makes me attune to these questions, but I think that we all have something to gain when we have the answers to these questions and more. This book is a good place to start.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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