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Jean

Santa Cruz, CA, United States | Member Since 2018

10877
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1475 reviews
  • 1507 ratings
  • 1504 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2018
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  • 747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Joe Sutter
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    Overall
    (431)
    Performance
    (393)
    Story
    (394)

    747 is the thrilling story behind "the Queen of the Skies" - the Boeing 747 - as told by Joe Sutter, one of the most celebrated engineers of the 20th century, who spearheaded its design and construction. Sutter's vivid narrative takes us back to a time when American technology was cutting-edge and jet travel was still glamorous and new. With wit and warmth, he gives an insider's sense of the larger than life-size personalities - and the tensions - in the aeronautical world.

    Jean says: "What a beautiful plane"
    "What a beautiful plane"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book fascinating but, of course, I love airplanes. I enjoyed reading about all the details about designing and building the 747. I remember when I first saw the Constellation I thought it was one of the most beautiful planes I had seen. When I saw the 747 I knew this one was absolutely the most beautiful. Joe Sutter tells about his youth growing up near Boeing Field and his desire as a child to design planes. He also tells about his summer jobs at Boeing when he was at University of Washington then going into the U.S. Navy in WWII. The majority of the book is about the 747. I found it interesting that Juan Trippe played such a key role in the design of the plane. I had read a few years about the battles between Howard Hughes (TWA) and Juan Trippe (Pan Am) for control of commercial aviation. I wondered why Hughes did not take an active role with the design of the 747 but maybe he was too busy with Hughes Aviation. I noted Sutter frequently credited his wife’s support in helping him succeed at his job. Paul Boehmer did a good job narrating the book. If you are interested in aviation and history you will enjoy this book.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Claire L. Evans
    • Narrated By Claire L. Evans
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Women are not ancillary to the history of technology; they turn up at the very beginning of every important wave. But they've often been hidden in plain sight, their inventions and contributions touching our lives in ways we don't even realize. VICE reporter and YACHT lead singer Claire L. Evans finally gives these unsung female heroes their due with her insightful social history of the Broad Band, the women who made the Internet what it is today. Evans shows us how these women built and colored the technologies we can't imagine life without.

    Jean says: "Inspiring"
    "Inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting book about the history of women coders, engineers, mathematicians, entrepreneurs as well as visionaries who helped create and shape the internet. Evans even discusses Ada Lovelace, the mathematician daughter of Lord Byron.

    The book is well written and researched. Evans is a journalist so the writing style is that of a journalist. Evans reviews the stories of women scientists such as the famous Grace Hopper, who worked on Harvard Mark One, to more recent women such as Stanford University scientist Elizabeth Feinler. She also includes programmer Brenda Laurel, a gamer entrepreneur. I found the story about Radia Perlman most interesting. Perlman invented a protocol for moving information to the way computers are networked. I had no idea so many women have achieved so much with so little recognition. I highly recommend this book.

    The book is nine hours. The author narrated the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Trial of Callista Blake

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Edgar Pangborn
    • Narrated By Jack Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    As mostly science fiction writer Edgar Pangborn switches to the detective genre; we get this successful and suspenseful novel of a murder case against our female protagonist Callista Blake... Meticulously detailed, the story flashes back and forth in time, framed in the classical style of the "courtroom drama" we have come to know so well by now.

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

    I was familiar with Edgar Pangborn (1909-1976) as a writer of science fiction. I was curious to see how he did when he changed genre. This is the story of 19-year-old Callista Blake who is on trial for murder.

    The book is well written. The story is told via four people: the judge, the defense attorney, a character witness and from Callista. Some of the issues discussed in the book are capital punishment and how society relates to those people who skirt the edge of its norms. This book was originally published in 1961. I found it interesting, but it really did not grab me.

    The book is almost thirteen hours. Jack Brown does a good job narrating the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Eleanor Roosevelt
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (139)

    The daughter of one of New York's most influential families, niece of Theodore Roosevelt, and wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt witnessed some of the most remarkable decades in modern history, as America transitioned from the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and the Depression to World War II and the Cold War. A champion of the downtrodden, Eleanor drew on her experience and used her role as First Lady to help those in need.

    Margaret M. Bell says: "What a woman!"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was originally published in 1946. I first read it in 1960 just after I attended a lecture by Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962). Over the years I have read everything I could get my hands on about Eleanor. I was reviewing some notes the other day and decided it was about time I reread “Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt” by Eleanor Roosevelt.

    The book is well written but it must be taken in the age it was written, by a woman of the 19th century. The book is written in the reserve style of that era. Eleanor reviews her early life in the large Roosevelt family. She goes into details about her life as first lady and at the end of her life her hopes for the United Nations. (Last section was added to new edition issued just before her death) I could see how Eleanor rose to the challenge of first lady and the need for her to be the eyes and ears for her invalid husband, the president. Many former first ladies were overwhelmed with the role but it brought out the best in Eleanor. Mrs. Roosevelt was a complex woman and to begin to understand her it is necessary to read a wide range books about her from all points of view. For anyone wanting to learn about Eleanor Roosevelt or about first ladies, this is a must-read book.

    The book is eighteen and a half hours. Tavia Gilbert does an excellent job narrating the book. Gilbert is an actress, voice-over artist and audiobook narrator. Gilbert won the Audie Award for the Best Female Narrator for 2017.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Dick Francis's Damage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Felix Francis
    • Narrated By Michael Neilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (128)

    Undercover investigator Jeff Hinkley is assigned by the British Horseracing Authority to look into the activities of a suspicious racehorse trainer, but as he’s tailing his quarry through the Cheltenham Racing Festival, the last thing he expects to witness is a gruesome murder. Could it have something to do with the reason the trainer was banned in the first place - the administration of illegal drugs to his horses?

    Jean says: "I was on Tenderhooks"
    "I was on Tenderhooks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I believe this is Felix Francis’s first book of a series about Jefferson Roosevelt Hinkley. Hinkley is an investigator for the British Horse Racing Authority. He is investigating a banned horse trainer, Mathew Unwin.

    The book is well written. The plot twists and turns. The characters are interesting. The book was hard to put down. The suspense kept me reading even when I should have gone to bed. I was a big fan of Dick Francis and enjoyed Felix’s return to the horse racing story line. I shall be looking for more Felix Francis books to read.

    The book is almost ten and a half hours. Michael Neilson does a good job narrating the book. Neilson is an actor, singer, voice-over artist and audiobook narrator.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Yaakov Katz, Amir Bohbot
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    From drones to satellites, missile defense systems to cyber warfare, Israel is leading the world when it comes to new technology being deployed on the modern battlefield. The Weapon Wizards shows how this tiny nation of 8,000,000 learned to adapt to the changes in warfare and in the defense industry and become the new prototype of a 21st century superpower, not in size, but rather in innovation and efficiency - and as a result of its long war experience.

    JBF says: "Good Overview, May Overstate Level of Innovation"
    "Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has been sitting on my “to read pile” for some time. I am glad I read this book after I read the biography “The Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel” by Francine Klagsbrun. After reading about Golda’s struggles to obtain weapons, it paints the background for this book. This book discusses the evolution of Israel’s military weapons. It tells how the military had to create and manufacture its own weapons and also how they had to modify purchased weapons for their particular type of warfare and desert conditions. The author tells about testing the French Mirages to building drones, handguns and machine guns to cyber warfare.

    The book is well written and researched. The authors not only tell the history of weapons but also the current state of research and development. It tells of the mindset of the people who are under constant pressure from surrounding countries that want to annihilate them. I found the section about drones fascinating. This book is not for everyone; but, for those interested in the research and development of military weapons, it is a fascinating book.

    The book is about nine and a half hours. Paul Boehmer does a good job narrating the book. Boehmer is an actor, voice-over artist and audiobook narrator.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Victim: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Phillip Margolin
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (169)

    A woman stumbles onto a dark road in rural Oregon - tortured, battered, and bound. She tells a horrific story about being kidnapped, then tortured, until she finally managed to escape. She was the lucky one - two other women, with similar burns and bruises, were found dead. The surviving victim identifies the house where she was held captive, and the owner, Alex Mason - a prominent local attorney - is arrested.

    Wayne says: "Excellent legal thriller!"
    "Absorbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read a number of Margolin’s books over the years. Most of them take place in Oregon as does this book. Margolin frequently has the hero as a female defense attorney as is the case in this book. Our protagonist is Robin Lockwood. She has obtained her dream job working for Regina Barrister, Oregon’s most famous defense attorney. Regina is defending a fellow local attorney, Alex Mason, who is charged with kidnapping, torture and battery. Robin Lockwood is second chair to Barrister in this case.

    The book is mostly well written with a multiple twisting plot. This book is not for everyone because of the descriptions of torture and abuse. Margolin provides not only detective work but courtroom drama. I do not believe this book is up to the usual standards of Margolin, as in my opinion, it is jerky in the flow of the multiple plot lines. But over all I did enjoy the book. I enjoyed the interview with the author at the end of the book.

    The book is eight and a half hours. Therese Plummer does a good job narrating the story. Plummer is an actress, voice-over artist and an award-winning audiobook narrator.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Carol Berkin
    • Narrated By Tara Hugo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    From the award-winning historian: the remarkable life of "the most beautiful woman of 19th-century Baltimore", whose marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political 19th-century histories of the United States, France, and England.

    Jean says: "Impressive"
    "Impressive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting biography of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879). It has been sitting on my “to read pile” for some time.

    Elizabeth married the younger brother of Napoleon. His name was Jerome and they had a son together. Napoleon ordered Jerome back to France and annulled the marriage. After Elizabeth was successful in making money by her own investments, she divorced Jerome in Baltimore. Berkin points out that if she stayed married to Jerome the monies would be his; but as a single woman she could control her own money. She never remarried.

    The book was well written and meticulously researched. Berkin quoted frequently from letters received by Elizabeth as she had a habit of writing comments in the margins of the letters. Apparently, Elizabeth kept most of the correspondence she received. This habit must make historians happy. Berkin does a good job of painting a picture of life in Baltimore as well as in England and France in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The author also covers the legal rights of women in those years. I enjoyed learning about an American connection to the Bonaparte family. Carol Berkin is the Presidential Professor of History at Baruch College.

    The book is almost nine and a half hours. Tara Hugo does an excellent job narrating the book. Hugo is an actress, singer and audiobook narrator.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Summer of the Sioux: Matt Tierney Westerns, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Tim Champlin
    • Narrated By Jeff Moon
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Matt Tierney was a rather ordinary young man. His first big assignment for the Chicago Times Herald was the Big Horn and Yellowstone expeditions of General Daniel Buck. He stepped right into one of the most crucial and bitter confrontations between Whites and Indians in the the history of the Territory, and Matt Tierney learned that even an ordinary young man can be a hell of a fighter in the stress of battle.

    Jean says: "Absorbing"
    "Absorbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this historical novel about the Indian War of the late 1870s. After gold was discovered, the white prospectors were invading the Black Hills in violation of the treaty.

    Champlin used an interesting twist from the standard western in that our protagonist is a newspaper reporter. His name is Matt Tierney; he is with a Chicago paper. He is originally from Ireland. Tierney is traveling with the force led by General Bush. I think Bush is the fictional character to represent Brigadier General George Crook. In May 1876 General Bush lead a force of 1051 man from Fort Fetterman. They were traveling along the Rosebud Creek in June when they were attacked. Of course, this was really the famous Battle of Rosebud.

    The book is well written and researched. There is lots of action and suspense. The author appears to be building some characters for a possible series. In using an embedded reporter to tell the story of a famous battle during the Sioux War it allowed Champlin to tell the story from a variety of angles and viewpoints. This is a great historical novel. I definitely am going to look for more books by Champlin.

    The book was just six and a half hours. Jeff Moon does an excellent job narrating the book. Moon is a voice-over artist who specializes in audiobook narration. This is my first experience with both the author and narrator and it was most delightful.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing: History of Computing

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Marie Hicks
    • Narrated By Becky White
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, labor problems grew into structural ones, and gender discrimination caused the nation's largest computer user to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole.

    Jean says: "A look at Gender in the Workplace"
    "A look at Gender in the Workplace"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have recently read a number of books along this topic line such as “Hidden Figures, Rocket Girl, etc.”. This book deals with the United Kingdom. According to Hicks Britain was the leader in electronics field at the end of World War II. The author chronological reveals the history from Bletchley Park to the collapse of the UK-sourced IT industry in the late 1970s. Hicks also details the rigid Civil Service attitudes and strictures to constrain the role of women in the workplace.

    The book is well written and meticulously researched. The author spent many hours in the British archives. Hicks displays scholarship in her excellent use of original sources and extensive supporting notes and references. Hicks delves deep into the gender discrimination in the UK. The writing style is easy to read but is very academic. I found this book fascinating. It reinforces the need and benefits of a diversified work force. Marie Hicks is associate professor of history at Illinois Institution of Technology.

    The book is eleven hours. Becky White does a good job narrating the book. White is a voice-over artist and audiobook narrator.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Brand of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Johnston McCulley
    • Narrated By Jack Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Harrington Strong (pseudonym of Johnston McCulley and creator of Zorro) gives us one of his typically effective and suspenseful detective stories: our hero Sidney Prale returns to New York from Honduras after ten years. He has made a fortune and now wants to invest it on Wall Street... Things don't go smoothly from here on. He finds himself sabotaged at every moment and accused of murder. With a hired private detective, he intends to get to the bottom of the mess he is in.

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

    Wow! This book could have been written today instead of one hundred years ago.

    Johnston McCulley (1883-1958) wrote many novels across numerous genre and under a variety of pseudonyms such as Harrington Strong, Raley Bries, George Drayne, Monic Morton, Rowena Raley, Walter Pierson and so on. McCulley also was a prolific screen writer of film and television. He is also famous for creating Zorro.

    This book will soon be one hundred years old. It was originally published in 1923. This book is one he wrote in the detective genre using the nom-de-plum of Harrington Strong. Our protagonist is Sidney Prale. He has returned to New York after making a fortune. He is surprised to find everyone hates him and that he was framed for murder. The plot is most interesting and the suspense keeps building throughout the story. The characters are realistic. I sort of figured out right away who and why Prale was being set up; but the excitement was could he figure it out with two different groups after him with different goals. Nothing points to this book being written almost one hundred years ago except one million dollars is no longer a lot of money. I am going to keep my eye open for more of McCulley’s books.

    The book is almost seven hours. Jack Brown does a good job narrating the book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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