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John N. Berg

buddhapop

Portland, Oregon | Member Since 2014

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 122 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • George Washington: The Founding Father (Eminent Lives)

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    By far the most important figure in the history of the United States, George Washington liberated the 13 colonies from the superior forces of the British Empire against all military odds, and presided over the production and ratification of a constitution that (suitably amended) has lasted for more than 200 years. Yet today, Washington remains a distant figure to many Americans, a failing that acclaimed author Paul Johnson sets out to rectify with this brilliantly vivid, sharply etched portrait.

    Miranda says: "Ideology interferes with story line"
    "ENJOYABLE AND INFORMATIONAL"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved learning about the father of our country and, as always, Paul Johnson makes history entertaining and approachable. When you finish this book you'll appreciate what a great man Washington was and how fortunate America was to have his leadership. For the amateur historian there was just enough detail to understand his life and times.

    I found the narrator a bit irritating to listen to. He seemed to read every single sentence the exact same way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14864)
    Performance
    (13537)
    Story
    (13611)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Good Story (not great), Great Narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story and appreciate that it brought a lot of thought and philosophical ideas into the tale. The Hazel Grace character was, at times, annoying, but probably true to how teenagers are. I think the story should have ended a bit earlier. I won't tell the moment in case the reader of this review hasn't read the book. Some of the dialogue is really fun. I wish I was that clever! Kate Rudd does a first rate job as the reader.

    I listened to this book at the recommendation of my 11 year old niece. As much as I loved aspects of the book, I did not appreciate the fact that the young characters had sex, mock religion and mock another character for testicular cancer. I'm not a prude (I swear!) The book doesn't handle these important issues very well. The sex is not explicit, but there is no reflection on it by the characters and it seems incidental and a throw away in the story. One of the characters doesn't want to die a virgin (the horrors!!). My niece is an advanced reader. I don't like to think that she would be greatly influenced by these parts of the story because the rest of the story is so good and the characters so much fun.

    The characters do reflect on what happens after death which is interesting, but the return to the joke of the "literal heart of Jesus" was tiresome. I get it that the meeting place in the church wasn't "literally" the heart of Jesus. You'd think that there might have been some greater reflection on religious belief beyond mocking it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Johnny Carson

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Henry Bushkin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (454)

    From 1962 until 1992, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show and permeated the American consciousness. In the ’70s and ’80s he was the country’s highest-paid entertainer and its most enigmatic. He was notoriously inscrutable, as mercurial (and sometimes cruel) off-camera as he was charming and hilarious onstage. During the apex of his reign, Carson’s longtime lawyer and best friend was Henry Bushkin, who now shows us Johnny Carson with a breathtaking clarity and depth that nobody else could.

    JW717 says: "Nails on a chalkboard"
    "Yes, Carson could be an jerk, but an interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are of a certain age you know how big of a star Johnny Carson was. For years he was one of the most important cultural figures around. Well, his lawyer tells some interesting stories about his business and personal dealings with the star. The story was interesting, but I was left with the feeling that there was more than just Bushkin's side to events. Its an entertaining listen. I didn't care for the narration, though. Too slow and it sounded like the narrator had consumed some of the cocktails mentioned in the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3838)
    Performance
    (3422)
    Story
    (3430)

    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
    "Great Book, Great Reader!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always loved this book. It's one of the few that I've read repeatedly. In a certain way, such as knowing certain characters, the story reminds me of my childhood growing up in a small rural town. If you haven't read this charming book that sheds light on human goodness and evil as well as pettiness you should.

    Sissy Spacek really makes the story come alive. She does a phenomenal job. After listening to her I can't imagine anyone else as narrator.

    When all is said and done this audiobook is a work of art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Tim Birkhead
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (121)

    What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other.

    Alessandro says: "If you did not love birds before you will!"
    "I learned a lot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought the book was quite interesting and I learned a lot about birds. This is one of the few books that I'll probably re-listen to because there is so much good information that I want to retain.

    The reader, however, is not my favorite. He is a bit too slow so ended up listening to the book on 1.25 or 1.5 speed. He also has a "smokers" voice which to me, is not completely pleasant. Nevertheless, the book is good.

    BTW, don't Google the bird "cock on a rock" at work. Just saying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2247)
    Performance
    (1961)
    Story
    (1963)

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Mel says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Great Story/Great History."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, I think all Americans should be proud that our nation created a man like Garfield. The story of his life is one of virtue (except for one occasion) and hard work. Even if he served as president for a short time, he was an amazing man.

    This book does a great job of telling Garfield's story, the story of his times and the medicine at the time in an entertaining and very interesting way.

    I recommend this book highly and the narrator did an excellent job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (822)
    Performance
    (747)
    Story
    (738)

    The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed 20 million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today. World War I is unique in the number of questions about it that remain unsettled. After more than 90 years, scholars remain divided on these questions, and it seems likely that they always will.

    Andrew Pilecki says: "Excellent Overview of the "Overshadowed" War"
    "A Heartbreaking, Fascinating and Riveting History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Great War can be hard to understand because the world was so different just 100 years ago. This war seemed so unnecessary. Millions of lives lost and yet it is still hard to understand the purpose of so much carnage. This book will leave the amateur historian with a much better understanding of events.

    The author does a great job with his various background segments. More than just a history of what led up to the war and the war itself, this book gives the reader an idea of what Europe in 1914 was like, information on the main players and events.

    This book doesn't get too bogged down in the minor details of each battle, but instead talks about the overall strategy of the combatants and how the battles played out. He also does an excellent job of bringing many of the main characters to life.

    It changed and enriched my view on the war. I think Germany is less responsible for the outbreak of the war than previously thought - there's plenty of blame to go around - and was much to harshly treated at its end.

    The narrator was a bit of a slow reader so I played him at 1.5 speed on my Kindle Fire. That seemed to work just fine.

    I highly recommend this book!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Socrates: A Man for Our Times

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Acclaimed historian and best-selling author Paul Johnson’s books have been translated into dozens of languages. In Socrates: A Man for Our Times, Johnson draws from little-known resources to construct a fascinating account of one of history’s greatest thinkers. Socrates transcended class limitations in Athens during the fifth century B.C. to develop ideas that still shape the way we think about the human body and soul, including the workings of the human mind.

    Megan Hewins says: "Plat-Soc-Paul"
    "Great Story About a Great Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We all know the name Socrates, but often time we think philosophers are insufferable know-it-alls. Socrates was not. Although this book only generally touches upon his philosophy it does a great job in describing what sort of man Socrates was and the times he lived in. The author does a great job in making the information accessible and interesting and the narrator was excellent.

    0 of 0 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
    (7995)
    Performance
    (3693)
    Story
    (3704)

    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"
    "Full of Fun Facts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This really was an entertaining and educational 17 hours. The book covers everything from the creation of the planet and life to the extinction of the dodo. The writing has a certain sense of humor to it which makes what could be a dry topic entertaining. Ultimately you'll be amazed that life, let alone human life, is here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Blaine Harden
    • Narrated By Blaine Harden
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (662)
    Story
    (667)

    North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped - but Shin Dong-hyuk did.

    Amanda says: "Worthwhile, but difficult on many levels."
    "Fascinating and Horrifying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't stop listening to this story. Its horrible to imagine that between 150,000 and 200,000 people are currently living in North Korean prison camps today. That the prisoners were physically abused is horrible, but what they go through emotionally is even more astounding. I have several friends who have read or listened to this book and without an exception we all found it fascinating. I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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