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Lori

Working mom (HRMgr/healthcare) in western Michigan. INTJ. Red Vines. Disneyfreak.

Member Since 2012

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 248 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • And Then the Roof Caved In: How Wall Street's Greed and Stupidity Brought Capitalism to Its Knees

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By David Faber
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (45)

    And Then the Roof Caved In lays bare the truth of the credit crisis, whose defining emotion at every turn has been greed, and whose defining failure is the complicity of the U.S. government in letting that greed rule the day. Written by CNBC's David Faber, this book painstakingly details the truth of what really happened with compelling characters who offer their first-hand accounts of what they did and why they did it.

    Jonnie says: "Best book explaining the recent economic collapse"
    "Tx for TRYING to teach me what a synthetic CDO is"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Faber does a pretty decent job attempting to paint the landscape before going into excruciating detail about how the mortgage industry's role in the financial meltdown of 2008.

    My degree is in Finance and my husband is in the mortgage industry, but I *still* felt out of my depth when he was describing and defining "synthetic CDO's" and "credit default swaps".No worries. I will likely listen to it again. Narrator is easy to listen to, and although there are better "stories" about the financial crisis, this was to me very clear and straightforward in its attempt to treat me as an adult. I don't think that everyone involved in the financial crisis is completely evil, and this book did not treat everyone that way. This was a comparatively objective view.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It would be a considerable struggle to listen to this in one sitting. There are a host of concepts. However, I did listen to most of it on a five hour road trip, and it make the time FLY. But that is because I was very interested in the subject and this book was trying hard to make it understandable. I did not find my mind wandering... very unusual after four hours of driving!


    Any additional comments?

    It gave me the confidence to continue to read about the subject, whetted my appetite for more of the same, and I do think I will go back to re-hear it. Now I feel challenged to understand it all a bit better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Queen: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (394)

    Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness.

    Karin says: "Good book, unsympathetic heroine"
    "Others in this series are better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Admittedly, this was wonderful as far as bringing history to life.
    But the main character was so unappealing, that it was not as enjoyable as I had hoped. Philippa's writing style is also a bit trying from time to time.
    I'm sure that's part of the message - the fanaticism of this character - but it came off as tired and gratuitous.
    I loved other books in this series better, but I do love the glimpse into this side of the whole story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Highland Surrender

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tracy Brogan
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (675)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (618)

    Defiant Highland beauty Fiona Sinclair is shocked by her brothers’ treachery. To seal a fragile truce, they have traded her hand in marriage to their sworn enemy, a man she has never met, a man she was raised to despise. With no choice but to wed, Fiona makes her own private vow: Though she may sacrifice her freedom, she will never surrender her heart. Commanded into marriage by the king, Myles Campbell is no more willing than his reluctant bride. Still, she is a rare beauty, passionate enough to warm even the coldest marriage bed.

    Karen says: "I couldn't stop listening!"
    "I could not finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reviews had described that it is more than halfway before the heroine Fiona even begins to thaw towards her hero husband Miles (?Myles). I could not make it that far. She came across petty, stupid, and unworthy of her situation, much less his constant devotion and lust. If there had been a better backstory for the first half of the book, perhaps I could have lasted through her neverending tantrum, but the sub-plots were just not all that interesting. The characters were not all that interesting. I was seeking a diversion from reading some books on the financial crisis, and historical fiction such as Phillippa Gregory. I think this may just have been too big of a culture shock. It doesn't help that Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) has ruined me, of course, haha.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Lanchester
    • Narrated By James Langton
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (17)

    The wildest story in the world these days is not fiction; it's what's really happening all around us as the world's global economy has gone into freefall. How did we get here? What does it all mean? How could so many smart people be so dumb and believe their own hype? Accessibly, cleverly, and with mordant humor, journalist John Lanchester trots the globe in search of the answers to these questions.

    R. Sippel says: "Economics for dummies"
    "Unbelievably Well Done."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel as though I have listened to them all ... Too Big to Fail, On the Brink, The Big Short, and several others. The global economic crisis of 2008 is so interesting on so many levels. John Lancaster's treatment is the perfect blend of the technical details with the common sense reaction. "How is this even possible that all of these factors could play out this way?" "How did NO ONE but EVERYONE not see this coming?" "Why can't we FIX this?"

    I love the British thinking and turn of phrase - irreverent, cheeky, and just a fun romp through a crazy garbage dump. I was entranced and will listen again when I need to be both challenged intellectually and entertained with one-of-a-kind wit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1490)
    Performance
    (1348)
    Story
    (1347)

    During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

    FanB14 says: "Eagles Victory"
    "Breathtaking. Eye-opening. Grabs you."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I ordered this without reading other reviews - a first for me. Loved the author's style, structure, character development, and story. I can't wait to see the movie now, but I have a feeling this will be one where I love the book better. I fell in love with the characters and the pacing was just perfect. Could not 'put it down'. Wonderful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Edward Klein
    • Narrated By John McLain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (616)
    Performance
    (549)
    Story
    (547)

    It’s amateur hour at the White House. So says New York Times best-selling author Edward Klein in his political exposé The Amateur. Tapping into the public’s growing sentiment that President Obama is in over his head, The Amateur argues that Obama’s toxic combination of incompetence and arrogance has run our nation and his presidency off the rails.

    Anastacio says: "Fascinating. Couldn't stop listening"
    "Well, I couldn't even finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping to hear some intellectual rationale for Obama's performance issues, not a rant from folks who seem to react very personally to Obama's slights. I found little substance, little objectivity, and lots of sensationalism. I love a good celebrity rag - have a home subscription to "OK" magazine. That is what this felt like, and I just was not expecting that. Will keep looking for a more robust approach to what I believe is a valid topic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Roger Lowenstein
    • Narrated By Roger Lowenstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (548)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (130)

    When Genius Failed is the cautionary financial tale of our time, the gripping saga of what happened when an elite group of investors believed they could actually deconstruct risk and use virtually limitless leverage to create limitless wealth. In Roger Lowenstein's hands, it is a brilliant tale peppered with fast money, vivid characters, and high drama.

    Pankaj says: "Informative and interesting, full of suspense"
    "The Ten Year Heads Up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What to make of the fact that the dress rehearsal for the sub-prime bailout occurred in September 1998? What did we know then that we did not learn from? How can we prevent this from recurring or are we simply doomed to continue this? So many questions ...

    Roger Lowenstein narrates his own book. I'm from the midwest and so, to me, he sounds distinctly northeastern. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a couple of chapters, I was fine.

    The story was a bit overwrought, especially in the middle. But I was very engaged in the early beginnings of the creation of something so spectacularly successful as Long Term Capital Management, the incredibly quick demise, and whether we learned anything from the whole thing.

    Lowenstein does a fine job describing some fairly complex concepts such as bond arbitrage, volatility, and leverage. It helped me grasp many of the underpinnings. The characters were incredibly interesting to me - each genius and mad in their own individual way. They seemed to simultaneously bring out the best and the worst in each other.

    This book is especially interesting in light of the subprime and global financial crises of 2008-2010. I can't help feeling as though we failed to heed a lesson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Greg Smith
    • Narrated By Greg Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (213)

    On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell op-ed in the New York Times titled Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs. The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society - and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago.

    Michael Moore says: "Engaging Story; Raises Highly Important Issues"
    "A Culture Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Greg Smith describes how an organization's evolving values make their way into everyday behavior which over time become personally intolerable (both the behaviors and the values).

    appreciated the level of detail in his descriptions of the characters and Wall Street life. It does not read like a rant. It reads like a sad break up story.

    He seems hard working and smart; maybe not the warmest guy on the planet...I enjoyed his intelligent thinking and phrasing.

    I learned a lot about Wall Street, which was one of my objectives. I am not delusional that he is entirely blameless, at the end of the day, but it is also obvious that there is plenty of blame to go around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (4100)
    Performance
    (1599)
    Story
    (1612)

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jay says: "Informative and Engaging"
    "Great Story. Smart Author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    How have I never heard of this author before? Where have I been? I am so excited! Cannot wait to seek out more of his books.

    I loved his smart approach to this subject, and I felt challenged by the material. That keeps me engaged.The characters are compelling ... Lewis chooses to depict them in really interesting ways. But even without finding the six most unique guys in the saga, I think the drama itself is an unbelievable story.

    I appreciate his attempt at teaching "structured finance" and "financial products calculus". I still feel woefully ignorant about the difference between most of those acronymed killer financial offerrings, but I can't help feeling that the CEO's of those investment banks were any better informed.

    Bonus Material interview at the end adds even more perspective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2407)
    Performance
    (2029)
    Story
    (2032)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Arken says: "Great storytelling"
    "Sweeping and Scenic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

    I was amazed at how the characters came to life. Very vivid. Some of the plotlines felt a bit predictable, but I thoroughly loved the phrasing and pace.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Winds of War?

    I absolutely loved the technique of describing the pre-war scenario from the German perspective through one character's translation of a German military officer's memoirs. This book gives a sweeping view of the time just before WW II from so many perspectives. I feel as though I learned so much about such a large part of history in a very exciting way.


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Pariseau – was your favorite?

    Pug Henry is a wonderful character. He is written as a classic military man, but having come from a military family myself, it didn't feel unrealistic. People like this really exist, and they are a big part of the American story.


    Any additional comments?

    Hearing this story made me appreciate the 'smallness' of the stresses in my everyday life. I am so thankful that I do not have the same life and death issues of this story or of wartime in general.

    The story made me appreciate modern day communications as well!

    I can't wait to hear the 'rest of the story'!! (War and Remembrance)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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