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Steven

Liberal, retired, special ed teacher teacher from California (quite the cliche ) now living near Montreal. I love to play and watch tennis

Saint-Hubert, Quebec, Canada | Member Since 2001

392
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 53 ratings
  • 597 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
7

  • Child 44

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Rob Smith
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1824)
    Performance
    (702)
    Story
    (701)

    It is a society that is, officially, a paradise. Superior to the decadent West, Stalin's Soviet Union is a haven for its citizens, providing for all of their needs: education, health care, security. In exchange, all that is required is their hard work, and their loyalty and faith to the Soviet State. But now a murderer is on the loose.

    Melvin says: "Terror from all sides."
    "Be Prepared Be Forewarned"
    Overall

    A stark, harrowing, intense portrayal of the of Stalin's murderous reign and legacy in the Soviet Union. Complex characters and story telling in this unique setting made for a compelling listen to the end. An outstanding first novel with appeal to fans of historical novels, thrillers, and perhaps true crime. My highest recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Through My Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Tim Tebow, Nathan Whitaker
    • Narrated By Tom Wayland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (142)

    Over the course of the last five years, Tim Tebow established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of college football and a top prospect in the NFL. During that time he amassed an unparalleled resume - winning two BCS national championships; becoming the first sophomore in NCAA history to win the Heisman trophy; and in the face of massive public scrutiny, being drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

    Michael says: "The ultimate role model for your son"
    "I love football but....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love football and Tim Tebow has been a compelling player to watch since entering the NFL. Many times in the last 2 seasons I have found myself rooting for him (even though I'm a diehard Colts fan) but it was not hard not to root for such an unconventional player achieving success against long odds. However, In My Eyes is nothing short of nauseating in it's self serving immodest style. Tim Tebow is a world class braggart and his book is the antithesis of a compelling sports biography like Open: An Autobiography, where Andre Agassi is human and shares his successes, failures, doubts and flaws. This is not a story about a person who just happens to be a world class athlete, it's a preening Tebow looking at himself in the mirror and liking what he sees. Putting aside his right wing Christian take on everything, Tim Tebow is an extremely shallow person that I'll never root for again.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Joe McGinniss
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    Just in time for the kickoff of the 2012 presidential campaign, Joe McGinniss, the author of the classic account of the packaging of a presidential candidate, The Selling of the President; of the acclaimed search for the essence of Alaska, Going to Extremes; and of the best-selling study of the dark family secrets of an American patriarch, Fatal Vision; presents his already controversial investigative chronicle of Sarah Palin as an individual, politician, and cultural phenomenon.

    Glorianne says: "Thoughtful account, contrary to popular belief"
    "Deft Storytelling Corrects The Record And Gets It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although Joe McGinniss mentions the 10th grade mean girl analogy that is often repeated in both print and visual media, by the end of his book he makes it crystal clear just how lacking and incomplete that analogy of Ms. Palin really is. With deft storytelling, if slightly too much gossip regarding Wasilla, Bristol, Levi etc. mixed in, Mr. McGinnis lays out a very complete and compelling portrait of Sarah's political rise and her astonishing desent from political relevance. Along the way Mr. McGinniss introduces us to a variety of truly compelling Alaskans, and their stories, all while laying out a clear and convincing case that as a ruthless political opportunist with amazingly disproportionate luck, Sarah has had no equal. In the end it becomes clear that as political grifters neither Sarah or Todd had the intellectual capacity nor political judgement to realize that you can only break so many ethic laws before it will all catch up to you. Add to that, Sarah's willingness to quit so that she could sell herself and her children in plain sight of both the press and the public, which is something real politicians know to do that behind closed doors. Maybe someday the Republican party will push the privitization envelope far enough that they will try to convince us all that using your children and family as props for profit is just part of being a good capitalist, but for now not even the media will buy that fable, and according to McGinniss that seems to have been a large part of Sarah's undoing.

    My fear is that someday soon an evangelical politician, that is NOT AN EXTREME EDUCATIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL DOLT like Sarah, will actually rise to challenge for the presidency. If they are good looking, God help us. As Mr. McGinniss makes clear, except for the blogs, our media will not examine the religious part of our candidates resume, as long as they are "Christian", with any critical eye. For god's sake let us all pray that we have the wisdom to give the evangelicals enough incentive to keep all their children at home for schooling so that they can school them with their anti science, anti educational poppycock. The same educational gibberish that helped undo Sarah Palin. After having read Going Rogue by Sarah Palin, I believe The Rogue by Joe McGinniss appropriately corrects the record. I highly recommend the book.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Open: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Andre Agassi
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (983)
    Performance
    (483)
    Story
    (480)

    From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned.

    Patrick says: "Just an Incredible Story!"
    "Aller Andre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book for it's honesty, introspection, warm/rich characters, and storytelling. Andre's inner dialog throughout the book puts you right there with him. As the french said go Andre go.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann, Dick Cheney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (432)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (368)

    In his unmistakable voice and with an insider's eye on history, former Vice President Dick Cheney tells the story of his life and the nearly four decades he has spent at the center of American politics and power. In My Time is truly the last word about an incredible political era, by a man who lived it and helped define it - with courage and without compromise.

    A User says: "Eye Opening, Insightful and Honest"
    "How did we get HERE?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In My Time is an interesting, detailed, expansive look at the life and political career of one of America's most controversial figures. The book is well written, the narration is easy to listen to and I recommend it regardless of your like/dislike of Mr. Cheney. However, after reading his story it still remains a mystery to me how a young (Volkswagon driving) Dick Cheney, raised by new deal democrats, employed as union labor, and the beneficiary of many assistance programs begun in the new deal and furthered by the great society, goes to Washington to work in the moderate Republican administrations of Nixon and Ford and ends up as the most radical, partisan politician of our time. In telling his story Mr. Cheney takes time to tell us about the nuisance of W.I.N. (whip inflation now), Abscam, the election campaigns of Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr., Bush Jr. (no Dole) and of course endless details of war, intelligence, his love and fascination with all things military, 9-11, and his denial of torture. I found it amazing the he wrote not a single word regarding the Project For A new American Century (the bible for the NeoCons), nothing on the rise of right wing think tanks (Cato, Heritage, American Free Enterprise, Club for Growth) and their influence on the Republican Party, and mum on the rise of the evangelical right and the ever increasing pandering by Republicans to that religious right. His silence on the inaction of the Reagan administration and congress during the hiv/aids crisis, I expected that, it probably didn't even register on his radar of important events. It's not your father's Republican party anymore and Dick Cheney didn't become Gerald Ford even though he professes to have held him in highest regard.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Decision Points

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George W. Bush
    • Narrated By George W. Bush
    Overall
    (1018)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (389)

    In gripping, never-before-heard detail, President Bush brings listeners inside the Texas governor's mansion on the night of the hotly contested 2000 election; aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America's most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for numerous historic and controversial decisions.

    shirley K. Bigham says: "straight forward"
    "Catapult The Propaganda"
    Overall

    Selected decisions from the 8 years of George Bush's presidency presented in the voice of the ex-president himself. Each decision heroically made (by W) and supported with every Republican talking point, justification, excuse, and half truth and carefully framed with just the right Frank Luntz vocabulary from the 8 years of Bush's presidency. If you are a Bush sycophant you're gonna love it. As for me UGH! As Mr. Bush once said back in the day: "See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." Well that's what this book is. Kudos to the narration by Mr. Bush as it is nicely done (that's why I have to give it 2 stars).

    10 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (625)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (221)

    The best-selling author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven delivers a stunning, eloquent account of a remarkable young man's haunting journey. Like the men whose epic stories Jon Krakauer has told in his previous bestsellers, Pat Tillman was an irrepressible individualist and iconoclast. In May 2002, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the United States Army.

    Daniel says: "Good book, painful narration"
    "Spellbinding Start To Finish !"
    Overall

    As the subtitle suggest this book is mainly about the "odyssey" of how and why an NFL football star ended up in on the front lines of two middle east wars. Unlike world war two where famous actors and athletes alike fought shoulder to shoulder with "regular" Americans from all walks of life, Pat Tillman served in a time when the famous and rich generally did not serve. The book keeps a good even pace moving forward and back in time to mix the interesting details of Pat Tillman's growing up, his family life, his football career and his service in the Army. Pat Tillman was neither an iconoclast nor a hero making the actions of both the Army and the Bush administration nothing short of criminal in covering up his friendly fire death for their own gain. Unlike the impression given by several of the one star reviews posted here, the book is neither a polemic against the Bush administration or the Army and really levels no criticism at either until the last quarter of the book when the FACTS surrounding the cover up and cynical political use of Pat's death for propoganda purposes make the truth of what happened into a damning inditement. My guess would be that if you were a middle east war cheerleader the truth written here probably hurts pretty bad but this is a well written, accurate book able to withstand a few one star reviews.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John P. Avlon, Tina Brown (foreword)
    • Narrated By John P. Avlon, Tina Brown
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    Whats a wingnut? A wingnut is someone on the far-right or far-left wing of the political spectrum professional partisans, unhinged activists, and paranoid conspiracy theorists. Barack Obama campaigned as an antidote to the politics of polarization, promising to transcend the old divides of left and right, black and white, red states and blue. But in the first year of his presidency, he is presiding over an eruption of hate and hyper-partisanship that threatens to mock the promise upon which he was elected.

    George says: "Long Overdue ....Great Listen!"
    "Disturbingly disappointing"
    Overall

    This book addresses the ever increasing trend towards hyper-partisanship that occurs by both media personalities and politicians of the "left" and the "right". The author labels the purveyors of this hyperbolic speech as "Wingnuts" and is willing to names names (Cindy Sheehan, Orly Taitz, etc.). After the author advances this idea the rest of the book is nothing more than examples of hyperbolic speech by those on the left and right and a call for everyone to return to the center and bipartisanship, essentially the book is a one note wonder. What the author does not do is a critical examination of the hyper-partisan speech of various Wingnuts to explore exactly how far will a Glenn Beck go to advance his selected narrative (let's say global warming is a hoax). Mind you, I don't care what GB truly believes, does GB's hyperbolic speech about climate change really have the same negative impact on society as Cindy Sheehan's hyperbolic speech about George Bush or Orly Taitz's hyperbolic speech about O'bama's birth certificate. The author implies that Hyperbolic speech is all the same.....but it's not. The world will pay a real and destructive cost for our continuing delay in addressing global climate change but I doubt any excess in speech by Sheehan or Ms Taitz will amount to personal negative consequence for any of us. As for the politicians named as wingnuts (Alan Grayson is a wingnut Dick Cheney is not?) I would suggest that if the author wants a return to bipartisan governance, that we need to critically examine which politicians have embarked on hyper-partisan policy (let's start with the passing of bills by the use of the reconciliation process as a benchmark) and label those politicians as wingnuts. The problem of hyper-partisan media is more critically addressed in the book True Enough, by Farhad Manjoo and I would recommend this book over "Wingnuts".

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Going Rogue: An American Life

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Sarah Palin
    • Narrated By Sarah Palin
    Overall
    (764)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (167)

    In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska; meeting her lifelong love; her decision to enter politics; the importance of faith and family; and the unique joys and trials of life as a high-profile working mother. She also opens up for the first time about the 2008 presidential race, providing a rare, mom's-eye view of high-stakes national politics - from patriots dedicated to "Country First" to slick politicos bent on winning at any cost.

    Mike & Jan Geihsler says: "Needed unabridged"
    "Autobiographical Pap"
    Overall

    Going Rogue lacked the essential element that I look for in a good biography, critical self examination. Throughout, Sarah explores the actions of others, identifies mistakes and wrongdoings, and assigns lots motivation(s)to others, all the while explaining that her actions are always motivated by principle and god. In regards to the 2008 presidential campaign the book is nothing short of one long "whine" regarding how unfairly she was treated and how inept McCain staffers were in their management of the campaign and Sarah's role. There is not one ill word of Mr. McCain, as if McCain had nothing to do with limiting her role, I felt left to wonder if it had even occured to Sarah that she was not Mr. McCain's first choice (maybe Lieberman or Ridge?). Was Sarah Palin choosen for the vice presidential running mate as concession to the Christian right of the GOP, a choice made to garner right wing money and votes? We don't know, like the rest of the book Sarah doesn't explore anything with a critical eye. Of her political career Sarah says she was not driven by ambition, nor by any particular goal, like power, wealth, or fame. Sarah tells us she was driven by purpose (as in the purpose driven life?). If the book reveals anything at all about the real Sarah Palin it's about her religious beliefs, which I found chilling and disturbed. Throughout the book, Sarah tells us she always prayed on decisions large and small and then waited for god to give her "signs". I've seen the video of hands being laid on Sarah in her Church while prayers were said for her political success, I would have liked to have read about this in her book. I am unsure of Sarah's exact belief's regarding the role of religion in politics, having to speculate is disturbing. I can't recommend this book.

    117 of 182 people found this review helpful
  • Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Glenn Beck
    • Narrated By Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, Steve "Stu" Burguiere
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (221)

    Idiots can't be identified through voting records, they can be found only by looking for people who hide behind stereotypes, embrace partisanship, and believe that bumper-sticker slogans are a substitute for common sense. If you know someone who fits the bill, then Arguing with Idiots will help you silence them once and for all with the ultimate weapon: the truth.

    James says: "Good facts...average humor"
    "Classic Glenn Beck"
    Overall

    "Arguing with Idiots" an aptly titled book in which Glenn Beck perfectly voices the part of the liberal "straw man" and has his co-narrators bat down his inane arguments (surprise, Glenn plays the idiot). Essentially this is more of his daily show and if you like his show you're sure to like this book. Glenn's topics seem to be most of the right wing talking points from Reagan to now, but "why in god's name?", has he left out "trickle down economics", my all time favorite (tear running down my cheek without the aid of Vick's VapoRub)). Seriously I found it juvenile, sophomoric, absent any pretense of intellectual honesty (just like his show). If this is your thing, then Idiots enjoy (don't hurt yourselves).

    13 of 45 people found this review helpful

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