This book was written in 1946 and like all of C. S. Forester's books it seems to be better in audio version than written. It flows like the old fashion story telling while sitting around the fireplace. There is less sailing in this book but there is some sailing action. Most of the battles take place on land while Commodore Hornblower is the governor of an area of France. This book covers the fall of Napoleon and his return from Elba. Hornblower is made a Lord in this book and Lady Barbara joins him in France. More information about etiquette of the peerage in this book. Christian Rodska does a gread job narrating the story.
This is the fifth book in the John Pearce Pelican series. Please note you should read this series in order as each book builds on the next.
The series is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution in 1794. We learned in prior books that Pearce and a group of men from the Pelican Pub was gang pressed into the Royal Navy by Captain Ralph Barclay. Pearce and the Pelican claim to have been illegally seized in an area that was off limits to press gangs. Pearce due to his ability and bravery was appointed a lieutenant by the King which caused some hostility from officers who have worked their way up the ranks. In this story the British are starting to lose the battle for Toulon as a new commander has taken over the French artillery. Hurrah! I knew Napoleon would be showing up in this battle.
Pearce’s main assignment in this book is to take a message to Naples, an Italian State ruled by Spanish Bourbons with a Hapsburg Queen (sister of Marie Antoinette), to seek assistance to help the British and the French Royalist hold Toulon.
As with the prior episodes in the series we have feuding senior naval officers’ striving for political sponsorship and battle honor. Each naval battle is well written and gripping to read. The historical detail is accurate and makes the story absorbing and exciting to read. Donachie’s ability to write realistic and historically accurate naval battle is improving with each book. He is becoming to naval battles what Bernard Cornwell is to land battle scenes. Peter Wickham narrated the book.
This is book four in the Empire’s Corps series. You really need to read the books in order to fully enjoy the series.
The Empire has collapsed. On Avalon, Captain Stalker and his Marines have tried to establish a Democratic Republic. Avalon is arming as fast as possible, building modern starships for defense, and the Marines are training a local militia. We even find there is romance budding between Stalker and President Gaby Cracker. We get to renew the relationships with the regular characters in the series such as Jasmine but this book provides us with some new characters chief among them is a villain.
Commodore Rani Singh had been passed over for promotion. When the Empire collapsed, Singh was in charge of a Fleet Base and had under her control several capitol ships as well as support vessels and a Logistics Base. She sets out to create her own Empire until she tries to conquer Avalon. Stalker’s Marines must stop her. Lt. Jasmine goes into a covert operation to dismantle Singh’s Empire. There is lots of action and suspense in the story.
The book is well written and fairly fast paced. In many ways it is a typical military sci-fi story. Overall the story makes a good fun relaxing read. Jeffrey Kafer has narrated the series.
Karma Kitaj chose twenty-six successful women who made their mark in the early twentieth century when the roles of women in most fields were more limited than they are today. She writes about the factors that contributed to their success and the hurdles they had to overcome. These women were all prominent in their fields of science, art, music, education. I was most interested in the science women particularly the two in physics and the physician that won the Nobel Prize.
The book is well written and informative. I enjoy learning how people over come challenges and use their gifts to success in their professions and Kitaj provided me with interesting examples.
I understand Kitaj turn her academic studies into work readable by the average reader. The book is narrated by Paige Allison.
I understand this is the first book for the author and she did manage to come up with a different idea for the book. It is interesting that I find myself able to observe this book in the manner I think the author had intended and find the author’s approach to the book interesting. As a reader, I did not feel the book pulled me in nor did I become involved in the story; I stayed an observer of the story. I am not sure why I could not become involved in the story but I am sure it’s me, not the author’s fault.
The girl on the train is Rachel. She is divorced, an alcoholic, and unemployed. Her daily commute into London on the commuter train is a sham. The train passes through the neighborhood where her ex-husband lives with his new wife Anna.
One day Rachel sees a glamorous young couple in a house a few doors from Anna’s home. She creates a fantasy about them to help compensate for her own life. One day she sees something. Megan is the young women she is fantasizing about. The question the reader needs to solve, is did she really see what she thought she saw or was it an alcoholic hallucination or was she so drunk she confused what she saw.
The book is well written and ingeniously constructed. The first person narration goes between the three main female characters Rachel, Anna and Megan. The book uses three different women narrators to enhance the effect; they are Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher.
The portrait of Rachel as a chronic drunk who just might save herself by playing detective is intriguing. The ending had a twist which could catch one off guard. The book dragged at times but the suspense kept me reading. The book did have some profanity which I was not aware from other book reviews or from the publisher. I normally avoid books with profanity. Otherwise I found the book quite interesting and a nice break from reading non-fiction.
I have always had a fascination with cars. Back in the fifties I use to think the car’s looked beautiful but now they all look the same. I remember in High School I was furious because the administration would not allow me to take auto shop, they said only boys could take the course. I do enjoy reading about automobiles planes and ships and now no one call tell I cannot read the book.
Americans are a nation of car cultures, plural. Automobile racing is a popular spectator sport. The early adoption of the automobile for private transportation and the restoration of old cars to the making of street rods are popular.
It is surprising that there are few authoritative scholarly histories of automobile companies written. Last year I read the biography of Henry Ford and found it most interesting. So when I saw this book on Chrysler displayed on Audible, I bought it.
Hyde tells the story behind Chrysler- its products, people and performance over time with particular focus on the company’s management including Lee Iacocca. The author begins with the story of Walter P Chrysler in 1925 and ends with the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz in 1998. I was hoping this was a biography of the Chrysler brothers but it is primarily a business history book. Hyde discusses assembly line production and the architecture of automobile plants and their management. Hyde is an economic historian and an industrial archaeologist. He is a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1974.
The book is balanced and Hyde does not shy away from making critical observations. I found the book an interesting story of the smaller component of the big three American auto companies. Dave K. Lawson narrated the book.
It is amazing that J. D. Robb still has some fresh ideas for the 40th book in the Death series. Most authors have burned out before ever reaching this many books in a series.
In this book Lt. Eve Dallas and Officer Peabody are investigating the murder of Leanore Bastwich a well known criminal defense attorney. Bastwich appeared in prior issues in this series. There is a message written on the wall to Dallas by the killer and signed “your true and loyal friend.” Then Ledo an illegal substance dealer and pool player is killed, poked to death with a pool cue in his chest, and there is another message for Dallas. Then the killer fails to kill the next victim providing Dallas with more clues. The Killer decides to focus on Dallas’s friends trying to decide which one to kill, will it be Charlotte Mira, M.D. or Nadine Furst.
The killer’s obsession with Dallas is a different plot than the other books in the series. The book has lots of futuristic tech along with suspense, there is less mystery involved in this story. Robb’s plots and characters are larger than life. They provide melodrama, snappy dialogue to the plot. I find I enjoy Robb’s short tight sentence, fast pace, and gripping style of writing; it works great in the audio format. Susan Ericksen is the narrator for the series.
William McKinley (1843-1901) was president from 1897 until his assassination in 1901. He was the twenty-five president of the United States. McKinley was a strong governor of Ohio and a decisive president whose stern looks hid a thoughtful and gentle man. William McKinley was a Civil war veteran and a Lincoln Republican.
Phillip details how McKinley presided over the emergence of the United States as a world power in the Spanish-American war. McKinley’s election in 1890 ushered in approximately forty years of Republican political dominance.
Phillip points out that McKinley was one of eight presidents, who either in the White House or on the battlefield, led the nation in successful Wars; and he was among the six or seven to take office in what become recognized as a major realignment of the United States’ party system. McKinley was among the sixteen United States presidents elected to two terms, and avoided the tarnish of major scandal.
The author points out that McKinley was a “hinge president,” whose first term ushered in the 20th century, and who ‘presided over the fruition of the Northern or Yankee version of U.S. expansionism, a commercial manifest destiny tied to increasing American exports.’
In 1901 McKinley was assassinated by a deranged anarchist’. McKinley’s vice president Theodore Roosevelt took over the presidency and carried on McKinley’s moderate platform. Roosevelt’s charisma overshadowed McKinley over historical time.
This book is more of a political analysis of William McKinley rather than a biography as Phillips tell what other historians have written about McKinley and argues with many of them. The book is narrated by Richard Rohan.
This is book 6 in the Longknife series. It is advisable to read this series in order or else it is easy to be lost. At the end of the last book Kris was being returned to the Rim of Homan Space to her former command; to the ship she had acquired as a prize by capturing the pirates that had her. Kris re-equipped the ship and re-named it the Wasp. Kris is back to hunting for pirates and exploring space as a science ship. In this story Kris comes across a plan to assassinate a member of the Peterwald family and blame Kris. Shepherd has the relationship between Victoria Peterwald and Kris changing.
In this episode Shepherd has Kris fail. That is a nice touch and makes her human, it is very well done. The book has lots of action both space and ground pounding action with the marines to save a world of independent farmers. I note that the enemies are becoming more nebulous and changeable. It is obvious this book is setting up some important relationships for the future episodes. I am fascinated with Kris’s computer “Nellie.” The book is well written and keeps the banter going between characters along with the humor. I cannot wait to start the next book. Dina Pearlman narrates the series.
February is Black History Month. I usually attempt to read a book about black history or read a book written by a black author or both. This year I decided to read a novel I read back in 1971 when the book first came out. Since then the book has become a classic. A movie was made in 1974 starring Cicely Tyson. I sort of remember the movie was good. I think I shall check to see if Amazon has the movie and will watch it after I finish the book.
The book is fiction but is written in the style of oral history. The author’s brilliantly crafted book interweaves historical references and recollections into an overall framework of the life of a woman born into slavery who survived to the point of the beginning of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The story is told as seen through the eyes of a 110 year old woman who had lived though it all; with simplicity and immense dignity Jane Pittman speaks of the Reconstruction period in the deep South, with its struggles for black self determination and betterment. The constant terror of the Ku Klux Klan to thwart those efforts, and the legacy of racism that white Americans use right up to the present day.
Gaines’s description of the plantation is authentic and spellbinding. The story gripped my attention right from the beginning and kept it throughout the story. This is a book that I enjoyed the first time I read it and have enjoyed it even more on the second reading. Gaines was born on a Louisiana Plantation but was educated at San Francisco State and Stanford University. This is a must read book for everyone. Lynne Thigpen did an excellent job narrating the story.
I have read several biographies about Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) over the years. Jackson was such a controversial and complex man that I thought I would read this new biography by historian H. W. Brands.
Jackson was born into poverty and orphaned at an early age; Jackson was a fighter since he was a preteen. Jackson’s courage under fire was an inspiration to those who fought under him, particularly at the Battle of New Orleans. When Jackson was elected to the presidency he had less education than the prior six presidents and many considered he had less manners also. Jackson received a sporadic education. He read the law for two years and became a lawyer in Tennessee. His legal education was scanty but he knew enough to be a country lawyer on the frontier.
Brands states that Jackson was the first man elected from Tennessee to the House of Representatives. He served briefly in the Senate. Jackson had been active in forming the state of Tennessee; he helped write the State’s constitution and he gave the State its name after the Indians in the area. The author tells about Jackson’s time as a circuit Judge and head of the Tennessee Militia where he was elected Major General.
The author does a wonderful job explaining political concepts that easily could be dull. Jackson’s military success coupled with his love for American augured well in his political aspiration. He was called “the man of the people.” Jackson was the first president to be elect by the popular vote. Jackson was the first president to invite the public to attend the White House ball honoring his first inauguration. Brands makes Jackson come to life with a combination of action-packed heroics and an easy to read style. The author points out that Jackson vetoed more bills than all six of his predecessors combined, the sort of trivia information that I love.
Brands meticulously revels Jackson’s life, his ugly massacres of Indians as well as his triumphs, with unflinching detail. The author shows the brass-knuckles politics of Jackson time. Brands discusses Jackson’s belief that the common man should elect and have a direct voice in government. He was the founder of the Democratic Party. The newsmen and his enemies called him a jackass so he took that as the symbol of his Democratic Party. The book is well written and meticulously researched, it is also unbiased. Brands is a professor of history at the University of Texas, Austin. The book is narrated by John H. Mayer.
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