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"Rose goes in the front big guy."

Waltham, ME, USA | Member Since 2006

  • 5 reviews
  • 329 ratings
  • 987 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By William Roberts

    A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

    Marius says: "Superbly whimsical"
    "Torn on this one..."

    I will first admit that I really like Bill Bryson and own all of his books - even "Palace Under the Alps". With that in mind, it won't be a surpise when I tell you "A Short History" is something pretty magical - it's helped to open my eyes to much in the world around me.

    So why am I torn? Normally I detest Abridged books - I like books I can get deeply involved in and enjoy over a period of time. However, as with his other books, Bryson himself reads only the Abridged version of "A Short History" - and if you haven't heard him read his own material - well you really should. His droll, dry wit is best delivered by his own tounge.

    So, my solution was to acquire both versions of "A Short History" and I've enjoyed both - but I leave the Bryson read Abridged version in my car and listen to it from time to time - I don't see myself doing the same with the Unabridged version.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Command Authority

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    There's a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan.

    Marci says: "Great story with a couple of flaws"
    "An Extremely Flawed Effort"

    First the little thing - the continuity editor should be spanked. For example, at one point, Jack Jr drives to Crowley in a Mercedes (the brand is mentioned twice), then after an action scene, the car has morphed into a BMW (mentioned twice) for the drive home.

    Now the bigger issue. No disrespect to Lou Diamond Phillips here, but they completely blew the production of this book. The story line moves back and forth (principally) between

    1. Present day Jack Jr in England, dealing with Russians and Brits,
    2. 30 years ago, Jack Sr in England dealing with Russians and Brits.

    As well as some present day military action and a little bit of President Jack Sr, dealing with Russians and Brits.

    Because both protagonists are named 'Jack Ryan' and the majority of the action for each is cited in England and both are dealing with Russians and Brits, I found it EXTREMELY difficult to keep the narrative straight. I found myself moving back several chapters about a half dozen times trying to figure out where we were.

    While I don't normally care for multiple readers, I think this might have been a case where Jr and Sr should have had noticeably different voices.

    Given the confusing timeline and several silly but noticeable continuity errors, I was disappointed in this Ryan effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life Itself: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Roger Ebert
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer.

    loix says: "mixed feelings"
    "An Owner's Manual for Living a Fulfilled Life"

    Roger Ebert might just have been the happiest man alive – I know that’s not true, but it may be close. He’s either the greatest liar or luckiest man who ever lived; I believe the later.

    He shares with us his life – though he doesn’t pat himself on the back for doing some of it right or wallow in misery for the things he did wrong (particularly alcoholism) – he really does celebrate all of it in these pages. I sincerely thank him for that.

    This is a book that clearly demonstrates that it’s the little things in a life that make it grand – he spends more time telling us about his inability to rid himself of a single one of the books he’s owned in his life than he does aggrandizing the life of the most celebrated movie critic ever.

    He shares the love he had for the people in his life – the newspaper friends, his parents, and his beloved wife. He shares the joy he felt in revisiting the little places he had found and loved in cities around the world. He shares the wonder found in books, movies, and life in general.

    This really is a book that makes me want to be a better person – and one that shows me the way to go about it. I can’t recommend it more enthusiastically. Listen to it twice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rabbit

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tom Clancy returns to Jack Ryan's early days, in an extraordinary new novel of global political drama. Ryan's first days on the job at the CIA put him into a high-stakes game, playing for the life of the Pope and the stability of the Western world.

    Jerret says: "Combined review"
    "Jack Ryan at his bleating, whining worst"

    I enjoy the John Clark / Jack Ryan series - but really had to drag myself through this one.

    Clancy has always used the long rambling mental 'aside' as a tool to set the stage, but it felt like three quarters of this one was mental navel pondering.

    All the main characters take part in this literary chore – Jack and Kathy Ryan make it a high art. The biggest problem though, all that stream of consciousness is just whiney crap. Kathy Ryan – the strong doctor – has about three snits (totaling about 15 minutes) because Jack has to go out of town for an assignment he can’t talk about. Then Jack bleats about having to actually sleep away from his wife - and how outrageous that is - for another 15 minutes. And that's just the mildest of subject the characters whine about.

    Also, this installment is a Clancy soapbox for his right-wing propaganda/bleating about social issues. While he doesn’t have the opportunity to slam ‘tree huggers’ in this book – he spends pages smearing England’s medical system – something he sneers as ‘socialized medicine’.
    My favorite exchange (paraphrased):

    Jack: “Kathy is telling me about how horrible the British medical system is. (sneer) Socialized medicine. I get all my medical work done by Kathy’s colleagues at Hopkins.

    Admiral Greer: Yeah – I’d hate (sneer) socialized medicine. Thank goodness I have access to Navy benefits at Bethesda.”

    Apparently, Clancy doesn’t realize the irony here – Jack doesn’t have to avail himself of a more ‘public’ option in the US and Greer doesn’t realize that he is actually using socialized medicine in the form of military hospital services.

    Pass on Red Rabbit.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Like Jazz: Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Donald Miller
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Donald Miller's early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God.

    Kiel West says: "The author's voice made annoying by narration?"
    "Completely misleading. 1 star because..."
    Overall can't give 0.

    I don't even remotely understand where the subtitle comes in - there are no 'non-religious' views in this book; it's yet another blind-faith manifesto for christians, written by a christian, written to christians. I made it through 1.5 disks then shut it off, disgusted in myself for giving christian propaganda yet another try.

    Yuck. An hour and a half of my life I can't get back.

    1 of 18 people found this review helpful

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