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Jean

I am an avid eclectic reader.

Santa Cruz, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

3978
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 722 reviews
  • 759 ratings
  • 1417 titles in library
  • 223 purchased in 2014
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  • The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gerald Blaine, Lisa McCubbin
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (451)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (286)

    Even today, almost five decades after John F. Kennedy was slain, the public continues to be captivated by the "Kennedy Curse" and new theories about what really happened on that fateful day in 1963. For nearly 50 years former Secret Service agent Clint Hill has lived with the unimaginable guilt of losing a president on his watch and has obeyed an honor code of silence, refusing to contribute to any books about the assassination. Until now.

    Vidoloff says: "A must "read" in my opinion"
    "The Kennedy Detail"
    Overall

    This was an interesting story. I have lived through it all and remember the day like it was yesterday. It was nice to hear an insider view point. The narration could have been better. The author repeated several points over and over but at least he got the information across. The information on Jackie Kennedy was interesting and confirmed other stories about her. Like any book it has it good and bad part but it is well worth a listen. It was about time the secret service agents provided their view point of that horrible day in Dallas.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse in Scotland's Western Isles

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Mary J. MacLeod
    • Narrated By Gwen Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod and her husband, George, encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud and startled owners of a near-derelict croft house - a farmer’s stone cottage - on “a small acre” of land. Mary assumed duties as the island’s district nurse.

    Sara says: "A 1970's Visiting Nurse on Rural Scottish Island"
    "Encapsulates Hebridean life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always been interested in the Outer Hebrides Islands so when I saw this book I grabbed it. “Call The Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle” by Mary J. MacLeod tells a tale of an English family going to live on a remote Hebrides Island. MacLeod gave the island a fictional name to protect the privacy of the Island and its people. She called the island Papavray.

    The author states her husband’s grandfather was born and raised on the island but left as a young man to find work. They decided to return to the island to live in 1969 after her two older children had left home and only the two teenage boys were left to care for. She worked as a nurse and her husband found contract work as an electrician and electronics technician.

    The author’s description of the island, their way of life and medical problems is a reminder of a vanishing way of life. She describes the land and seascape in vivid and glowing terms. The description of the wild rugged island is super. The island being far north, her description of the Northern lights was magnificent. I loved her tales of island lore. Gaelic is the native language but the people also spoken English; therefore she used a lot of old Scottish words as they were used on the island. Thank goodness Kindle has a dictionary build it; I used it frequently while reading the book.

    The book is well written. Macleod has kept the chapters short and fast moving. She has done an excellent job capturing the nuances of island life. On the Nursing side she traced many stories across the seasons of a year, from births to deaths, survival and tragedy. The author also provides us with some humor in the story. I am left with a feeling of wanting to go visit the Inner and Outer Hebrides for a different type of vacation. It is a wonderful memoir to read. I used whispersync with this e-book on the Kindle app for my iPad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Season of the Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Kerry Newcomb
    • Narrated By Joel Richards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    While their family’s wagon train stops for a rest, Jacob Milam goes hunting with his younger brother, Tom. They are hoping for a rabbit, a deer, or even a buffalo, but they haven’t managed to catch anything bigger than a rattlesnake when they see the Indian raiding party galloping over the plains. Jacob races back to camp, desperate to warn his parents, but it is already too late. Betrayed by their Indian guide, the settlers have been slaughtered. Jacob and Tom are the only survivors.

    Jean says: "Magnificently told tale of adventure"
    "Magnificently told tale of adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I stumbled across this historical fiction published in 2003, while I was wandering around in Audible.com looking for something different to read. Technically this book would be classified as a western.

    The story starts in 1829 when four families left Virginia for St. Louis and a voyage up the Platte River to the land of the big sky. Their guide was a half breed named Coyote Kilhenny. Kilhenny was part of a renegade band that ambushes them. Only two boys survived the ambush. This book is about the lives of these two boys, one was taken by the renegade band that ambushed them; the other was raised by a shaman of the Blackfeet nation.

    This book is well written and substantially researched. The book is multidimensional as you are exposed to both viewpoints. The bother’s fates are credibly related, though Newcomb burdens the story with subplots that are unnecessary. The Indian lore is handled respectfully and intelligently. Unfortunately the ending was predictable. The book was a nice change of pace from what I have been reading recently. Joel Richards narrated the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • When I Was a Young Man: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Bob Kerrey
    • Narrated By Bob Kerrey
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Bob Kerrey grew up outside Lincoln, Nebraska, in the 1950s, and in his trademark style - serious, sometimes wry - he tells of his journey from that heartland to the dangers of Vietnam, to the hospitals where he recovered from his grievous injuries, and finally to the Nixon White House where he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

    Jean says: "Compelling"
    "Compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this was going to be an easy short book to read. I noted that reviews were all over the place for and against. I decided to read it to see what all the controversy was about. I always like to read books about recipients of the Medal of Honor.

    This is a short memoir of a young man from Nebraska. It covers his early life in his home state. He graduated from the University of Nebraska as a pharmacist. He joined the Navy went to Officers Candidate School and then joined the Navy SEALs. He was shipped to Vietnam. The part of the book covering the War is short and not too detailed. He tells of several actions he took part in. He tells of a midnight commando raid on a remote village called Thanh Phong in the eastern Mekong Delta on February 25 1969. He says they were caught in a deadly crossfire and unfortunately some Vietnam civilians were killed. He received the Bronze Star for this action. In his last action he describes very little. His platoon was sent to an island in the Mekong River to wipe out a group of sappers. They were caught unexpectedly and a fire fight started. Kerrey said he was caught in the leg by a grenade, and remembered very little of the action. For this action he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

    The majority of the book describes his convalesce after have a below the knee amputation. He also briefly recounts some problems with flash backs after returning to Nebraska. The book ends here telling nothing after his convalesces.

    I discovered he went on to be a small businessman, governor and then senator from Nebraska. I also learned that after this book was released the government of Vietnam has charged Kerrey with war atrocities.

    Overall I found it an easy fast read that was written in a matter of fact way. The author was the narrator of the book.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • An Awkward Commission

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Donachie
    • Narrated By Peter Wickham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    John Pearce's recent promotion means that he is finally free to follow his own wishes. But the same can't be said for his trio of closest friends, who are shipped off to the Mediterranean. Pearce vows to liberate them from the brutal tyrant they are serving under. His application to William Pitt finds him sailing off with secret dispatches for Admiral Lord Hood. But when Captain Ralph Barclay puts the lives of his crew at risk, Pearce must embark on a dangerous mission before he can free his friends.

    Jean says: "Engaging"
    "Engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book three in the 1790 naval series of John Pearce. In book one John Pearce and friend were illegally caught by a press gang in London at a Pub called the Pelican. So the group called themselves the Pelican from there on. The Napoleonic war has started and Britain’s navy is short of men. At the end of book two, Pearce is separated from his friends and made a Lieutenant by the King.

    In this book he is hunting for his friends on the HMS Leander commanded by a flogging captain. The HMS Brilliant captained by Ralph Barclay has been send to the Mediterranean. Pearce is sent to the Mediterranean to be an 8th lieutenant on HMS Victory the flag ship of Admiral Lord Hood. The action moves to the port of Toulon, the tension between crews and Captains intensifies coming to a brilliant head when HMS Leander is detached from the fleet under orders of Captain Horatio Nelson bound for North Africa.

    The book is well written and has some exciting sea battles. The author obviously knows his history and the book is well researched. The story is complex and at times filled with power plays, plots twist and suspense. My only complaint is the author leaves too many unresolved threads to carry forward to the next book.

    For anyone who is enthusiastic about seafaring stories as I am will enjoy the book. Peter Wickham does a good job narrating the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Cochrane: The Life and Exploits of a Fighting Captain

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Robert Harvey
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    The life and adventures of Thomas Cochrane, a young man who rose from midshipman to admiral, are so extraordinary that, to paraphrase Patrick O'Brian, one has to suspend disbelief. In fact, O'Brian admitted to using Cochrane as the model for his character Jack Aubrey. Second only to Nelson among the heroes of the Royal Navy, Cochrane became a household name in Britain during the 1800s as the Admiralty called upon his extraordinary skill as a sailor, his mastery of gunnery, and his daring use of ruses...

    Casey says: "The Real Jack Aubrey"
    "A Complicated Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Second only to Horatio Nelson, Lord Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860) is considered the most successful Captain in the British Naval history. Cochrane was the tenth Earl of Dundonald. He was from a noble Scottish family.

    Harvey covers the three aspects of Cochrane’s career: fighting Captain in the British Navy, radical politician, he was a Member of Parliament and expatriate military genius who after suffering disgrace in England, helped South American countries and Greece battle for independence.

    Cochrane’s exploits were the inspiration of C. S. Forrester, Patrick O’Brian and Frederic Marryal. As you read this book you can discover the various exploits these authors used in their books.

    The author shows how Cochrane used deception, tactical strategy and expert seamanship to win battles against supposedly unbeatable opponents. His strength was such that Napoleon dubbed him “Le loupdes mers” (the Sea Wolf)

    Harvey captures the excitement of his daring do with gripping prose. The section about his career in Parliament and exploits in South America I found interesting which surprised me as other reviews complained about this section. In keeping the biography balanced Harvey did cover Cochrane’s feud with the Admiralty and the alleged involvement in a stock exchange scandal. Later in his career he was made an Admiral in the British Navy.

    Cochrane inspired a 1967 collection of poems by Pablo Neruda “Lord Cochrane de Chile” which was set to music by Chilean composer Gustavo Becerra-Schmidt. I most enjoyed the section about the Napoleonic wars. The book was narrated by Richard Matthews. If you are interested in the Napoleonic Naval Wars or British Naval history this is a book for you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragons of Dorcastle: The Pillars of Reality, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (263)

    The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of Dematr behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

    Benjamin says: "Interesting if somewhat stereotypical"
    "Inviting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of Jack Campbell so when I saw he had a new book out I got it. Then I started to have doubts, when I discovered it is in the fantasy genre. I normally do not read fantasy books.

    The story is about two great guilds that control the world of Dematr: the mechanics and the Mages. The two guilds are in constant opposition and the only thing they agree on is that the world must not change. A storm approaches that could sweep away everything and only one person has a chance to unit humanity to stop the storm. The Guilds will try to stop her.

    Alain is a young Mage who learned at a young age how to change the world with his mind. Mari is a brilliant young Mechanic who is able to run steam locomotive and repair sophisticated computers. They must learn to work together to save the world.
    Campbell is an excellent writer and is a master of the plot. This book is well plotted out and flows smoothly. This is the first book of a new series so there is a lot of character development as Campbell slowly introduces the new world to us readers. There is no huge battle scene that Campbell is famous for but maybe that will happen in a future episode. I found this book interesting enough to look forward to the next episode release.

    This book is only being released in audio format. The book was released 2 December 2014 in time for the Christmas gift season. Macleod Andrews narrated the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Thunder Below!: The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Eugene B. Fluckey
    • Narrated By Corey Snow
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (169)

    Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey.

    This is a gripping adventure chock-full of "you-are-there" moments. Fluckey has drawn on logs, reports, letters, interviews, and a recently discovered illegal diary kept by one of his torpedomen.

    Jean says: "Riveting"
    "Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great story; it is one of those books that grab your attention immediately. Eugene B. Fluckey and the USS Bark sank 140,000 tons of Japanese shipping from April 1944 to the end of the War.

    Admiral Fluckey takes his own memories and weaves it together with a crewman’s illegal diary, reports, letters, ship logs, and interviews as well as archival documents from the Japanese Navy to provide a detailed account of the U.S.S. Barb’s eight through twelfth War patrols. Apparently Fluckey was a brilliant, courageous, fair Captain most concerned about bringing his men home safe. Not a man was wounded onboard Barb while he was the Captain.

    “Lucky Fluckey” pioneered new submarine tactics that are still used today. The high point in the book is a night surface attack through miles of shoal water to attack two Japanese convoys in a harbor in China. Fluckey won the Medal of Honor and the Barb was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Fluckey won the Navy Cross four times, the Navy Distinguish Service medal with one gold star and many more medals. Eugene B Fluckey was a 1935 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. In 1989 the Navy honored him by naming the Nuclear Submarine Combat System Training Center after him. The only building named for a living person.

    The narration is clear, concise and vivid. Admiral Fluckey is a good writer and the story is not just about him but all the crew of the Barb. The book is well researched. The hardcover book also has lots of photographs. The book is an excellent study of sub warfare tactics and naval leadership. If you are looking for an excellent book about submarines in World War II this is a book for you. I read somewhere that Steven Spielberg has purchased the movie rights to the story. Corey Snow narrated the book. Corey Snow does an excellent job narrating the book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • When the Bough Breaks: The Empire's Corps, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    The Galactic Empire is dying. In their high towers, the Grand Senators plot and struggle to grasp a larger share of power while on the streets, the poor struggle to survive just one more day. Chaos and anarchy are running through the megacities of Earth, while giant corporations tighten the screws and colony worlds plot to declare independence and escape the Empire's increasing demands for resources. Centuries of mismanagement are finally catching up with the human race.

    Jean says: "A great new series"
    "A great new series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book three in the Empire series. It appears this book is being used as background filler about the decay of the Empire. Avalon and the Rim colonies are not part of this story.

    Instead we have Marine pathfinder, Specialist Belinda Lawson who survived the fighting on Hon, and is now assigned to serve as a bodyguard to the child Roland, the heir to the Imperial throne. Nuttall portrays him as a puppet and a spoiled brat and a possible addict. Roland is starting to realize the Empire is collapsing but is he too late and too little power to change things? The Grand Senators plot and struggle to gain more power, mega corporation tighten their grips on power, the Empire is corrupt and falling apart. A plot is discovered to assassinate Roland can Lawson protect him?

    The author appears to be creating a world of good guys and bad guys. The character development in this episode is poor. What is going to happen to the Marines? What is going on at Avalon? Guess I will have to listen to next book to find out. Jeffrey Kafer narrated the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, United States, and the World

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwell, Ali Wyne
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie, Francis Chau
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (30)

    Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama have welcomed him to the White House.

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

    Until I read this short book I did not know much about Yew except that he took over Singapore after World War II and is the founding father of modern Singapore. Yew was Prime Minister from 1959-1990.

    Graham Allison and Robert Blackwell two leading strategic thinkers asked Yew questions and also put together information from his voluminous writings and speeches. The book is mainly in a question and answer format, the result is this concise, but important book.

    I found myself engrossed in the incisive wisdom presented by Yew. I really enjoyed the following comment in the book. “China tells us that countries big and small are equal, that it is not a hegemon; but when we do something they do not like, they say you have made 1.3 billion people unhappy. So please know your place.” When asked if India will match China’s rise? Yew said “Not likely, India is not a real country. Instead, it is 32 separate nations that happen to be arrayed along the British rail line.” I think Yew’s comments about China are right on the mark. When asked by the authors will China accept its place within the postwar order created by the United States? Yew answered, “No. It is China’s intention to become the greatest power in the world—and to be accepted as China, not as an honorary member of the West.” One comment he made has got my attention. Yew said “The United States focuses on individual rights but has failed to pair this with individual responsibility.

    Yew is 90 years old and his comments on the United States are pertinent to many of the debates in which we are enmeshed today. This book has triggered my interest to learn more about this most insightful man. Michael McConnohie and Francis Chau narrated the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Defiant: Kris Longknife, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (363)

    Born into a family of wealth and political power, Kris Longknife turned her back on high society and followed a different family tradition by joining the Marines. But now she finds herself relieved of duty. She's gotten in the way of someone's agenda - to bring down her father, the Prime Minister of Wardhaven.

    Mariya says: "How many of them can we make die?"
    "A page turner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book three in the Longknife series. In this episode Kris faces the imminent threat to her planet. Kris is accused of stealing fund that were to go to farmers, while on leave awaiting a hearing her great grandfather King Al sends her to see an old friend of his dying on a different plant. She returns to Wardhaven as an invasion is pending. She skirts the law and organizes a flotilla to defend Wardhaven against a force of hostile warships.

    In this book we see Kris develop her command skills as she takes command of a large force of her own. The humorous prose adds delight to a fast pace, action packed suspenseful story. On the negative side I am getting tired of Shepherd’s constantly repeating the phrase “one of those Longknife’s.” I am beginning to enjoy “Nelly” Kris’s computer. I find Nelly’s development fascinating. Dina Pearlman narrated the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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