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Jean

I am an avid eclectic reader.

Santa Cruz, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
626
REVIEWS
589
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
548
HELPFUL VOTES
3068

  • Motion to Suppress

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Perri O'Shaughnessy
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Leaving her ex-husband and old job in San Francisco, attorney Nina Reilly opens a practice in Lake Tahoe hoping to start life over. As she waits for a big case, Nina decides to help Misty Patterson divorce her abusive husband. When said husband is found murdered, Nina agrees to defend Misty against murder charges.

    Snoodely says: "Legally Soap"
    "Motion To Suppress"
    Overall

    Have read a few books in this series and have enjoyed them. Unlike other series each book is a stand alone and you have no problems starting any where in the series. In this book she moves to Tahoe and starts her law practice. We get to meet Sandy for the first time. Enjoy how she works the feeling of the place/city into the stories. Story moves right along and in this book there is lots of court room drama. The ending did not leave you hanging like some books do.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Fire in the East: Warrior of Rome, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Harry Sidebottom
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    A.D. 255. The Roman imperium is stretched to the breaking point, its authority and might challenged throughout the territories and along every border. One man is sent to marshal the defenses of a lonely city and to shore up the crumbling walls of a once indomitable symbol of Roman power, a man whose very name means war: a man called Ballista. So unfolds an epic drama - a story of empire, heroes, treachery, courage, and most of all, of brutal, bloody warfare.

    Jean says: "Book started a bit slow"
    "Book started a bit slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Harry Sidebottom is a fellow in ancient history at Oxford. His expertise shines though this book of historical fiction. The book is set for the most part during the Sassanid siege of Dura Europos (thinly disguised as the City of Arête. In the third century AD, the Roman Empire was in turmoil as civil war tears Italy apart and emperor follows emperor in rapid succession. The protagonist is Marcus Clodius Ballistra, a barbarian prince. In 255 AD the Persian Sassanid Empire attacks Rome’s eastern territories, Ballistra, now a Roman citizen, is appointed to post as dux Ripae. In charge of the defenses along the banks of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates all land between, he is empowered to hold the lands of the Empire.

    The novel is a master class in ancient warfare. The information appears to be historically correct and the story is skillfully constructed. The characters are well defined and realistic and illuminate the different nationalities and passions prevalent in the empire at the time. The siege of Dura Europos was one of the greatest sieges in history. The book was narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Thomas Goetz
    • Narrated By Donald Corren
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In 1875, tuberculosis was the deadliest disease in the world, accountable for a third of all deaths. A diagnosis of TB - often called consumption - was a death sentence. Then, in a triumph of medical science, a German doctor named Robert Koch deployed an unprecedented scientific rigor to discover the bacteria that caused TB. Koch soon embarked on a remedy - a remedy that would be his undoing. When Koch announced his cure for consumption, Arthur Conan Doyle, then a small-town doctor in England and sometime writer, went to Berlin to cover the event.

    Jean says: "thought-provoking"
    "thought-provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is primarily about Robert Koch and his discovery of first Anthrax bacteria and then Tuberculosis. In many ways this is the history of the germ theory and tuberculosis. The middle part of the book is about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle traveled to Berlin to hear Koch present his findings of a cure for tuberculosis. Doyle wrote a newspaper article that exposed the treatment a failure. Goetz pointed out that Doyle’s wife died of TB. The author also covers the battle between Koch and Pasteur, both who won the Noble prize in medicine. Goetz covers the success of hygiene and public education in the control of infectious disease as well as access to clean water and sewage control. The epilogue is about the first success of antibiotics against TB and now the problem of drug resistance TB. It is a reminder that the ancient disease of tuberculosis is still with us and still one of the leading causes of death worldwide. “The Remedy” is well written, well researched, highly entertaining, interesting and thought-provoking book. Donald Corren did a good job narrating the book

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Shot: V.I. Warshawski, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sara Paretsky
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    V.I. Warshawski isn't crazy about going back to her old south Chicago neighborhood, but a promise is something she always keeps. Caroline, a childhood friend, has a dying mother and a problem - after 25 years she wants V.I. to find the father she never knew. But when V.I. starts probing into the past, she not only finds out where all the bodies are buried - she stumbles onto a very new corpse. Now she's stirring up a deadly mix of big business and chemical corruption that may become a toxic shock....

    Jean says: "exciting action"
    "exciting action"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Blood shot is book five in the Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski series. V.I. is an attorney turned private investigator in Chicago. In this book Paretsky gives us a tour of Chicago with all the sights, sounds, smells and history of Chicago’s South side. This book was written in 1989 when computers were just starting to be common place but cell phones were rare and expensive. V.I. is hunting for phone booths while searching for change and is using a word processor in her office. Vic returns to the South side to her high school basketball team’s 20th re-union of winning the championship as the current team is on the brink of winning. Carolyn who had lived next door to Vic wants her to find out who her father was. Carolyn’s mother is dying of kidney cancer. She had worked all her life at the local Xerxine plant. In hunting for men her mother knew from work Vic finds many have died of kidney or liver cancer and discovers how toxic Xerxine is. The author juggles wisecracks, tenderness, and grit in a fast pace action filled story. Paretsky always has created great characters and this book is no exception. The book has a great plot and numerous sub plots that keep the readers on their toes. Susan Ericksen does an excellent job narrating the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ottoman Age of Exploration

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Giancarlo Casale
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (24)

    In 1517, the Ottoman Sultan Selim "the Grim" conquered Egypt and brought his empire for the first time in history into direct contact with the trading world of the Indian Ocean. During the decades that followed, the Ottomans became progressively more engaged in the affairs of this vast and previously unfamiliar region, eventually to the point of launching a systematic ideological, military and commercial challenge to the Portuguese Empire, their main rival for control of the lucrative trade routes of maritime Asia.

    Jean says: "Ottomans in the Indian Ocean"
    "Ottomans in the Indian Ocean"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In many ways this book reads like a textbook but it is highly readable. The news from the Middle East recently triggered me to learn more about the history of the area. Giancarlo Casale, a professor of history, proceeds chronologically, weaving together political and intellectual history of the Ottoman Empire throughout the 16th Century. He focuses on a number of high officials among them were the Grand Viziers Ibrahim Pasha, Hadim Suleiman Pasha, Rustem Pasha, the one Grand Vizier opposed to the whole Indian Ocean enterprise, and Sokolla Mehmed Pasha, probably the strongest supporter. They were aware of what advantage a strong Ottoman presence in the Indian Ocean could be to the profitable Spice trade. The Ottoman controlled the area from the Red Sea to Atjeh in Sumatra. In response to the Portuguese global claims the Ottoman declared that the Sultan was the “Caliph of all Muslims”. The Caliphate united all Muslims under the same religious authority, much as the Papacy did for Christendom. The author shows that shifting priorities and bitter personal rivalries at the Ottoman court hampered the development of a long term global policy. Slowly the conviction grew that tax income from land was preferable to the profits made from the government controlled spice trade.

    Casale’s aim is to show the achievements of the “Ottoman age of exploration” not only the military and commercial but the intellectual and political ones. He does so in a convincing manner, making both sides, the Ottoman and the Portuguese, come alive in their negotiations, their self views and perception of their opponent. The book is well researched. Casale speaks Turkish, Portuguese and Italian, enabling him to consult all the relevant archives and secondary literature. James Adams narrated the book. I would have given this book a 3 1/2 , there is no halves so I rounded it up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • QB VII

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Leon Uris
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    In Queen's Bench Courtroom Number Seven, famous author Abraham Cady stands trial. In his book The Holocaust - born of the terrible revelation that the Jadwiga Concentration camp was the site of his family's extermination - Cady shook the consciousness of the human race. He also named eminent surgeon Sir Adam Kelno as one of Jadwiga's most sadistic inmate/doctors. Kelno has denied this and brought furious charges. Now unfolds Leon Uris' riveting courtroom drama - one of the great fictional trials of the century.

    Jean says: "Based on true story"
    "Based on true story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    According to my records I read “QB VII” in 1979 with a comment about how good it was. I have read all of Uris’s books except “Battle Cry”. My favorite Leon Uris books are “Exodus,” “Mila 18” and “QB VII.” It was after I had read QB VII I discovered the book was a fictionalization of a libel suit which grew out of the publication of the book “Exodus”. On page 155 Uris named a Polish physician Wladislaw Dering M.D. whom he asserted performed experimental surgery on human guinea pigs for the Nazi’s in Auschwitz. In “Exodus” Uris states Dering performed castration and removed ovaries that had been subjected to radiation treatment. Uris claimed he did experiments in surgery without anesthetics on 17,000 inmates primarily Jews. The libel trial, Dering v Uris & others, was held in London in 1964. The verdict by the jury was for Dering but only awarded him a half penny the smallest coin in the realm. Uris proved his information was correct with only a slight discrepancy in the number of cases.

    Queen’s Bench Courtroom Number Seven (QB VII) is a master fictionalization of the Dering v Uris libel suit. Uris divides the book into four gripping sections. One is the story of Polish physician Adam Kelno, a brief review of his childhood and the anti-Semitism of Poland at the time. Then goes into his capture and life in the Jadwiga concentration camp. The book then goes into his life after the war in England and Borneo and after 20 years his return to England. The next part of the book tells the story of author Abe Cady, his childhood, life as a British pilot during WWII his injuries, marriage and writing career ending with the publication of his big book called “Holocaust”. The next part tells about Cady’s hunt for key people that were in Jadwiga concentration camp. The last and most exciting part tells the blow by blow action of the court trial. Uris explains about the pomp and circumstance of the British Court system and British common law. I found this education about the British legal system not only informative but entertaining. As in the real trial the verdict was for the plaintiff but only a half penny was awarded. I believe I enjoyed the book more in this second reading than in the first, maybe because I now know it was based on a true story. I enjoyed the melodious voice of one of my favorite narrators John Lee, who did his usual great job narrating the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Tim Russert Interviews Supreme Court Judges (04/21/05)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 6 mins)
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Tim Russert, host of NBC's Meet the Press, moderates a panel with three members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Antonin Scalia join in a conversation hosted by the National Constitution Center, The National Archives and the Aspen Institute.

    Jean says: "Educational"
    "Educational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The National Archives have an educational component to it duties. As part of the education it sponsored a first time in history discussion by three U. S. Supreme Court Justices on the Constitution and their jobs. Tim Russert, host of NBC’s Meet the Press moderated the panel with Justice Stephen Breyer, Sandra Day O’Connor and Antonin Scalia. It was great to listen to the three Justices discuss their views on the Constitution and various famous cases. Tim Russert who is also an attorney asked some key questions about the separation of powers. O’Connor expressed her desire to see civics to be taught in high schools again. She and Scalia pointed out most people did not understand the role of the legislature, the executive branch and the court. Scalia told of standing in line and asking the people around him “what is the bill of rights” no one knew. In response to a question by Russert Scalia explained the case of Cherokee Nation v Georgia. He said the Supreme Court up held the Federal treaties. Then the Southern states went to President Jackson and the Congress and had the Indian Removal Act of 1830 passed. Then the Southern tribes were removed to Oklahoma. He used this to say the Courts interpret the laws and Constitution but the Congress makes laws. I was amazed at how witty the Justices are. I laughed at some of their stories. Breyer told of how the Chief Justice removed the title Mister Justice to just Justice when O’Connor came on the court. They described a typical day and how they work. Russert asked O’Connor what she did all day and the court. She said I read, read, read, then think and write.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Peter Hart
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    The Somme: these words conjure the image of war rigidly fought by traditional means even when catastrophe clearly loomed. Relying on personal testimonies never before published, this study of those who survived the first day of battle (July 1, 1916) captures this epic conflagration from all angles. Follow the action as soldiers crawl across No Man’s Land in the face of German guns, struggle with the conditions in the trenches, and survey the scene from the air as the RFC tries to control the skies above the battlefield.

    Bob says: "Harrowing Story Badly Produced"
    "A fateful day"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Peter Hart is the oral historian of Britain’s Imperial War Museum. Hart has written a well research book and has dissected the battle in detail. Hart mixes facts and figures with direct quotations from participants to help establish “the face of battle”. This narrative/analytical backdrop contextualizing the personal experiences makes for dramatic reading of the battle. Because of his job at the War Museum Hart has unrivaled access to relevant source material. The author vividly presents the run up to the “big push” expected to end the war, instead resulted in the disaster of the first day July 1, 1916. The British suffered nearly 60,000 casualties, the greatest one day lost in the history of the British Army. Hart does make a point that General Douglas Haig (British Army) wanted to start the 1916 campaign in Belgium but French General Joffre the overall commander insisted on the Somme. The battle lasted for four deadly months.

    The British had only a small army as it always relied upon its navy to fight its wars. Prior wars in Europe the British primarily control the ocean and relied on its allies to fight on land. In World War One the British had to quickly build an army so it depended heavily on its colonies to man the army. The 1st Newfoundland Regiment of the Canadian Army was virtually wiped out at Beaumont Hamel on the first day of the battle July 1, 1916. The Canadian army lost 24,713 men at the Somme. Most people have never heard of Delville Wood, but if you mention it in South Africa you will find it is still a place of fame, only 780 out of 3153 men in the South African Regiment survived the battle. A comprehensive study of the battle of the Somme (1916) found that a million combatants were killed/wounded. The British Army learned to fight in the campaign with numerous innovations such as walking artillery fire, and tanks were used for the first time.

    The Somme occupies a hallowed place in British memory comparable to Gallipoli for Australians or Gettysburg for Americans, but on a much bigger scale. With just under a half million causalities this was the costliest battle the British Army has ever fought. As I listened to this as an audio book, I used the internet for maps and pictures of the battle of the Somme. I understand the actual book contained many pictures and maps. Mark Ashby did an excellent job narrating the book. This is a must read book for anyone studying the battle of the Somme.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nancy Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Peter FitzSimons
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (319)

    In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was a young woman enjoying a bohemian life in Paris. By the end of the Second World War, she was the Gestapo's most wanted person. As a naive, young journalist, Nancy Wake witnessed a horrific scene of Nazi violence in a Viennese street. From that moment, she declared that she would do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazis. What began as a courier job here and there became a highly successful escape network for Allied soldiers.

    Simone says: "Who The "BLEEP" is Nancy Wake??"
    "a Hero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    “Nancy Wake: A Biography of our Greatest War Heroine” by Peter FitzSimons was published in 2010. FitzSimons is an Australian journalist. Nancy Wake was the most decorated women from World War II. FitzSimons’ well-paced and compelling biography is well-documented. FitzSimons drew his research from earlier biographies such as Russell Braddon’s “Nancy Wake: the Story of a Very Brave Woman” published in 1956 and Wake’s autobiography “The White Mouse” published in 1985. FitzSimons also had many interviews with Nancy Wake as well as fellow agents, resistance fighters and Colonel Buckmaster. Buckmaster was head of the British Special operations (BSO).

    Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1912. The book covers her early childhood in New Zealand and Australia. After she finished school she moved to England where she learned to be a journalist. She obtained a job as a European correspondent for the Hearst Newspaper and was stationed in Paris. In the 1930’s she witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement. She reports seeing roving Nazi gangs beat Jewish men and women in the streets of Vienna.

    In 1937 Wake married wealthy French industrialist Henri Edmond Fiocca (1898-1943). They were living in Marseille, France when Germany invaded. Nancy became a courier for the French Resistance, then help set up the escape network to help escaping allied soldiers and Jews. The Gestapo called her “The White Mouse”. She became the most wanted person by the Gestapo with a reward for her capture. She had to escape to Britain herself where she was recruited by Colonel Buckmaster. She was trained by the British Special Operations and parachuted into Auvergne, France in 1944. She led over 7000 Maquis, equipping them with the latest arms from England, training them and leading them on assigned (BSO) attacks against the Germans. At the end of the war Wake learned her husband was tortured and killed by the Gestapo because he would not reveal her whereabouts.

    FitzSimons’ narrative authentically captures the tone and atmosphere of Wake’s hazardous life. He breathtakingly describes her escapades against the Germans. Wake died in a Veterans home in England on 7 August 2011. For those of you who read German, I understand German author Michael Jurgs wrote a biography of Wake called “Nancy Wake and her fight against the Gestapo in France”. It was published October 2012. Stephanie Daniels did a good job narrating the book and pronouncing all the French names. If you are interested in history and women in war you will enjoy this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Like a Mighty Army: Safehold, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (404)

    For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new - no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud - a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth.

    Roy J. Meek says: "A long suffering reader ploughs on"
    "The War continues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When “Like A Mighty Army” #7 in the Safehold series by David Weber was released on 4 Feb 2014 it hit the New York Times best seller list on the first day. It caught my attention as I had just put the book in my “wish list” on Audible. Anyone who wants to start this series I recommend you begin with book #1 “Off Armageddon Reef” or else you will be lost. The premise of the series is that a powerful and xenophobic alien race, the Gbaba, attacked and destroyed Earth. The survivors fled to planet, they called Safehold, where a faction of religious fanatics, the Church of God Awaiting, seized power and, in the name of keeping humanity hidden, buried all evidence of advanced technology and introduced a repressive medieval regime, complete with the inquisition to deal with dissenters. After about 900 year, a cybernetic avatar, Merlin Athrawes appeared and stealthily began to introduce advanced technology to the Island Empire of Charis, hoping this would lead to a war with the church. Weber has created a complex and fascinating epic about change, identity, and the nature of faith. Fans know Weber’s formula: plenty of rousing battle scenes, characters that gradually, over many pages, come into focus, along with seemingly endless torrent of detail, some rich and illuminating. In this book Merlin realized he cannot be everywhere. So he chooses to create another cybernetic avatar, loaded with a previous instantiation of his personality: the one he had when he first woke up to the world of Safehold, Terran Federation lieutenant-Commander Nimue Alban. The prior book ended with a war in Siddarmark and it is continued in this book with a long winter campaign. The book ends with no end it site to the war in Siddarmark, guess we need to wait for the next book in the series. Oliver Wyman is back narrating the series; he did the first two books of the series. Gave this three stars as it is average.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Randall Balmer
    • Narrated By James Lurie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (4)

    Evangelical Christianity and conservative politics are today seen as inseparable. But when Jimmy Carter, a Democrat and a born-again Christian, won the presidency in 1976, he owed his victory in part to American evangelicals, who responded to his open religiosity and his rejection of the moral bankruptcy of the Nixon Administration. Carter, running as a representative of the New South, articulated a progressive strand of American Christianity that championed liberal ideals, racial equality, and social justice - one that has almost been forgotten since.

    Jean says: "Interesting"
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Redeemer by Randall Balmer is a biography of Jimmy Carter from childhood to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Balmer is a professor of American Religious History at Dartmouth University. Balmer appears to be reasonably adjective and unsentimental about Carters record as President. Balmer treats the details of Carter’s life succinctly and fairly. Balmer said Carter appointed an unprecedented number of women and minorities to his administration. The author points out that Carter was the only President in modern time that did not send troops into war. Balmer says Carter’s greatest success in the White House was the Camp David accords; bringing peace between Israel and Egypt. The author articulates Carter’s religious beliefs throughout the book. He states Carter followed the 19th Century progressive evangelist who interpreted the prophetic call for justice as a mandate for racial reconciliation and gender equality. The author contrasts this to the modern day evangelist who have become extremely conservative and in most ways the opposite of the 19th century viewpoint. Balmer points out toward the end of the book that Carter left the Southern Baptist Church over this difference in basic philosophy.
    Carter brought religion into the national government more directly and intensely than any President before him in the 20th century. Balmer sees this as a redemptive response to the cynicism and venality of the Nixon years, and unquestionably there is some truth to that viewpoint. Balmer does indicate that Carter was his own worst enemy: self-righteous, humorless, and haughtily and aloof. Balmer says Carter never understood how to talk to the American people illustrated by his July 1979 address to the nation “Crisis of Confidence” speech. Balmer sets himself a clear task in the biography: to examine how faith influences the career of a man and to explain when an evangelical President fell out of step with voters so that a divorced Hollywood actor handily defeated him four years later. He fulfilled his task in an interesting an easily readable manner.
    Balmer says Carter has done his best work since he left the Presidency, under the aegis of the Carter Center he and Rosalynn have become world-renowned humanitarians and fighters for women rights. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. James Lurie did a good job narrating the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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