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  • A Changed Man

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Francine Prose
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Vincent Nolan, a young neo-Nazi, walks into the Manhattan office of World Brotherhood Watch, a human rights foundation headed by a charismatic Holocaust survivor, Meyer Maslow. Vincent announces that he wants to make a radical change in his life. But what is Maslow to make of this rough-looking stranger who says that his mission is to save guys like him from becoming guys like him?

    Loyd Phillips says: "A Changed Man is unpredictable"
    "Character Study"

    This isn't a page-turner. It tells its story by way of each character thinking out loud, so we know a great deal about their perspective on the storyline. However, I never really felt like I believed Vincent or his reasons for changing. The author had some insights spread throughout the book, but it wasn't riveting, engaging, or one that I was sad to see end. The whole book felt flat to me.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Woodcutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Wolf Hadda's life was a fairytale - successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there's a mysterious period in Wolf's past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge...

    Diana says: "One of my favorite Reginald Hill books!"
    "Not a Thriller"

    After reading other reviews, I was expecting a better story to carry me through so many hours of listening. It was not to be. The plot was predictable and flat. Nothing new here. The narrator's performance with his variety of voices was well-done, and the author's character development made me care enough about Wolf to hope he got his justice, but I just cannot recommend this book to others. It is unlikely that I will read another Hill novel.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Simon Baron-Cohen
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cowley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Borderline personality disorder, autism, narcissism, psychosis, Asperger's: All of these syndromes have one thing in common---lack of empathy. In some cases, this absence can be dangerous, but in others it can simply mean a different way of seeing the world. In The Science of Evil, Simon Baron-Cohen, an award-winning British researcher who has investigated psychology and autism for decades, develops a new brain-based theory of human cruelty.

    Douglas says: "A fine primer..."
    "Good, until the end"

    The author presents the scientific, brain-based view of lack of empathy as the source for various personality disorders, some of which are associated with cruelty and mistreatment of others. He differentiates positive and negative types of zero empathy. This helped put a realistic view on the concept of "evil", away from a religious definition, which is nebulous at best.

    His polemic at the end was unnecessary and detracted from the scientific basis for the book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
    "The Epitome of Denial"

    Denial actually IS a river in Egypt - at least if you listen to this book. Full of ego, euphemisms (social engineering = scamming) and lack of remorse, Mitnick portrays himself as a genius who was made miserable by laws and a government who just didn't understand him. The only reason I made it all the way through the book was to see if he would finally take responsibility and realize that every bit of what happened to him was due to his hacking addiction. Alas, no. He sets himself above the law because he claims he never made any money off his hacking skills. If you trust a guy who revels in his con artistry, maybe that's true. He still earned every bit of the jail time he served.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Wonderful Story"

    I've read or listened to many Stephen King books. This is one of his best stories. The characters, the well-researched history, the vehicle of the "rabbit hole" were all expertly wound together in a way that wouldn't let me stop listening. I don't often choose a book this long for listening, but time went by too fast and I found myself wishing for more. I only finished the story a short while ago, and already I miss Jake and Sadie. I am still pondering the lessons learned about the possibilities of time travel.

    The narrator was superb. His varied voices helped the story along in just the right way, never interfering with or upstaging the action. Mr. Wasson is a very talented man.

    Well done, Mr. King!

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

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jaycee Dugard
    • Narrated By Jaycee Dugard

    "In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen. For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation. On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I dont think of myself as a victim. I survived...."

    Daniel says: "Terrific"
    "Thank you, Jaycee"

    Thank you for sharing your story, your courage, your honest examination of a stolen life. I applaud the strength you convey in taking back your life and reconnecting with your true family. I hope that writing this book is helpful to your healing. You are an inspiration to all.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Lisa J. Shannon
    • Narrated By Lisa J. Shannon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lisa J. Shannon had a good life: a successful business, a fiance, a home, and security. Then, one day in 2005, an episode of Oprah changed all that. The show focused on women in Congo, the worst place on earth to be a woman. She was awakened to the atrocities there - millions dead, women raped and tortured daily, and children dying in shocking numbers. Shannon felt called to do something. And she did. A Thousand Sisters is her inspiring memoir.

    Patricia says: "Moving story"
    "Moving story"

    I disagree with the previous reviewer. The book begins with the author's own story, but only to help us understand the motivation behind her later work for the women in the DRC. Her travels through Congo, her efforts to help women who have suffered unspeakable tragedies are framed in the context of one American woman's attempts to offer help when so much more is needed that she cannot hope to give.

    The atrocities described in this book are heart-stopping, yet so commonplace in Congo that they come across as mundane. The stories of heroism and courage are striking. It's a tough book to get through, but you have the option of taking action. I've been a Women for Women International sponsor for many years. This book gave me a perspective on how my small donation every month helps.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghosts of Belfast

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Stuart Neville
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fegan has been a "hard man" - an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by 12 ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. As he's working his way down the list, he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too.

    David P. McGivern says: "What an unexpected good read!"
    "Gritty - over and over and over"

    There is no mystery to this book - the idea of it winning a mystery award astounds me. Lots of killing, maiming, and guilt is what you'll find here. The main character tries to redeem himself - perhaps the mystery is whether he succeeds. I found my mind wandering, and when it returned to the story, it was only to hear another bout of torture. I found myself wishing to learn more about the characters' motivations, but just when I thought that was coming, you guessed it-more killing.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization's Best Bits

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Steve Wiegand, Erik Sass
    • Narrated By Johny Heller

    About 60,000 years ago, the first Homo sapiens were just beginning their move across the grasslands and up the ladder of civilization. Everything since then, as they say, is history. Just in case you were sleeping in class that day, the geniuses at mental_floss magazine have put together a hilarious (and historically accurate) primer on everything you need to know---and that means the good stuff.

    Batman says: "History can be entertaining."
    "Mental Floss this book"

    I love history and the opportunity to hear it from a different/funny perspective enthralled me. I was greatly disappointed with this book. It seems as if the writers were on a stream of consciousness kick. There was no logic to how the material was presented - no ongoing theme, nothing chronological, no mental paradigm to guide the reader. Once in awhile a funny point emerged which left me thinking, "Is that it?" Don't bother with this one.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Power Play

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Joseph Finder
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When a band of backwoods hunters crash a corporate retreat in the wilderness, executives find themselves held hostage by men who will do anything to get the largest ransom in history. The corporate big shots hadn't wanted junior exec Jake Landry there. But now he's the only one who can save them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Power Play A Must Read"

    If you've read enough in the thriller genre, this book will come across as interesting in parts, but not really one you look forward to getting back to. It's easy to figure out what will happen. The twist really isn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner

    Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?

    Shane R Massey says: "What it's really about"
    "Don't bother"

    At least one thing that the author of this book says is true - there truly is no overall theme of this book. He tries to exhort the reader to give up on conventional wisdom, yet proceeds to substitute his own, with little sound research. He purports to present "data" for each of his conclusions, yet we hear little about each study upon which his conclusions are based. One can find a study to support just about anything one wants to believe. He contradicts his own conclusions several times throughout the book. This book did leave me thinking - but my thought was, "Why did I waste my time?"

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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