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DJM

Franklin, TN USA | Member Since 2006

310
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 42 reviews
  • 291 ratings
  • 703 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
36

  • Time for the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (567)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (480)

    Travel to other planets is now a reality, and with overpopulation stretching the resources of Earth, the necessity of finding habitable worlds is growing ever more urgent. There’s a problem though—because the spaceships are slower than light, any communication between the exploring ships and Earth would take years.

    Tom and Pat are identical twin teenagers. As twins they’ve always been close, so close that it seemed like they could read each other’s minds.

    DJM says: "My First Heinlein"
    "My First Heinlein"
    Overall

    I think I must have been around 12 or 13 and just starting Jr High School when my twin sister checked "Time for the Stars" out of the school library. She was disappointed that we weren't telepathic, but I was curious about the book and picked it up. It was the first of many hours enjoying the worlds of RAH. Although this was one of the series of books that Heinlein wrote for young people, it was, and still is, an engaging story for people of any age. Heinlein is at his best when describing ordinary people struggling with extraordinary situations. If you are a Heinlein fan, you won't be disappointed. As with so many of Heinlein's books, I look forward to listening to this one again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By John Toland
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (189)

    This Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened - muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."

    Matt says: "Phenomenal account"
    "A Different Perspective, Not a Justification"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this historical account truly fascinating. As I listened to the history I realized that I was as ignorant about the culture of Japan as any of the players in the West at that time. I have read extensively about WWII from a western and European perspective but I really hadn't spent much time considering the Japanese. Such people as Tojo and Yamamoto were mostly one dimensional for me. Toland does an excellent job of pulling back the curtain and giving us a view of what was happening in the Pacific. He also offered some new perspectives on such things as the Bataan Death March. He does not seek to justify what happened but I feel that I have a better understanding of why it happened the way that it did.

    There are some omissions. Korea is barely mentioned and there is no discussion of the germ warfare experiments that took place in China. If History and WWII is an area if interest I'd definitely recommend this book. Much like Anthony Beevor, Toland does an excellent job moving from the macro to the micro so you have a real sense of what it was like to be in the trenches on the pacific Islands or flying a torpedo plane at Pearl Harbor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5246)
    Performance
    (4969)
    Story
    (4951)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Each Book Better than the Last"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I rate audio books primarily on the basis of whether I'd listen to them again. I've long since lost track of the number of times I've listened to the books in this series. By the time the next comes out in 18 months or so I'll probably have listened to this one three to five more times. (I'm currently on the second play through).

    Butcher has created such a rich universe that it's hard to guess which thread he will choose to pick up next. But, even after 15 books, he continues to weave interesting and engrossing stories that end in ways that are unexpected. And, all his characters are so well conceived that I want to spend time with them. This book opens up an entirely new and unexpected story involving Harry and a very unique character, a story that has just barely started.

    The only thing keeping me from giving the story five stars is a very glaring continuity error. It was jarring enough to bounce me out of the Harry Dresden universe for a few minutes but I'd largely forgotten about it by the end of the story. It appears early on and does not affect the overall story.

    If you have not yet started this series you are denying yourself many hours of enjoyable listening. Why would you do that to yourself?

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • After Worlds Collide

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Philip Wylie, Edwin Balmer
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (286)

    After Worlds Collide picks up the story of its predecessor When Worlds Collide. This sequel tells the story of the survivors' progress on the new world Bronson Beta after the destruction of planet Earth by a rogue planet.

    Colby says: "LOVED IT!! Exactly what I needed in the sequel!"
    "Should Have Left Well Enough Alone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed When Worlds Collide. It ends where this one begins. The authors would have done better leaving the story to our imaginations. The plot is very contrived and predictable. The authors set up a huge potential conflict and then disposes of it in a short narrative section that can be summed up as "all the bad guys die and everyone else lives happily ever after." It's almost as if the authors got tired of the story or the publisher told them they couldn't have sufficient word count to tie things up. My advice is to stick with the first volume and give this one a pass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Worlds Collide

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Philip Wylie, Edwin Balmer
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (494)
    Performance
    (437)
    Story
    (438)

    A runaway planet hurtles toward Earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed Earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans.

    Cynthia L. Walker says: "Still as good as I remember!"
    "Very Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read this one as a teenager in the sixties. An early but effective "end of the world" novel. Characters are well done and the story moves along. Give this one a listen but skip the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Earth Afire

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, Stefan Rudnicki, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1538)
    Performance
    (1408)
    Story
    (1413)

    One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston is the story of the First Formic War. Victor Delgado beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. Not soon enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat. They didn’t believe that until space stations and ships and colonies went up in sudden flame. And when that happened, only Mazer Rackham and the Mobile Operations Police could move fast enough to meet the threat.

    DocJim says: "This is a GREAT adventure Sci-Fi Book. Masterful!"
    "Ending is Very Contrived"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't buy Earth Unaware so it took me a bit to pick up the back-story, but the authors did a decent job with that. The story was pretty engaging until it got to the last hour or so. Then it was like the authors suddenly realized they were running out of paper and had to finish. After providing endless detail about matters of moderate interest the final battle was reduced to a few unconvincing paragraphs. Very contrived. A very minor character at the end sacrifices his life to win the day. Who cares? I didn't have any idea who he was let alone care about him. There is obviously a third book coming, but I doubt I'll invest the time to read or listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (579)
    Story
    (585)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
    "Haunting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is easy to say that those of us who were not there could never understand and should not judge. But if we are ever to learn we must try to put ourselves in these terrible places and we must be willing to judge. Fink has done an outstanding job providing a balanced and detailed account of what transpired during those hellish five days that so many of us remember watching unfold on television. She speaks for the medical workers, the families and the patients. As a pastor and a lawyer the questions she leaves me with are not related to whether the physicians did the right thing, but how we can help others the next time this happens, and the time after that.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Into Thin Air

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Philip Franklin
    Overall
    (2136)
    Performance
    (944)
    Story
    (958)

    The definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of Into the Wild. Read by the author. Also, hear a Fresh Air interview with Krakauer conducted shortly after his ordeal.

    David says: "Being There"
    "Sit Down With Krakauer and Hear His Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very powerful book. It is clear that this experience still haunts the author.

    When we approach a book like this we want to find some answers, we want to form judgments, we want to know how the tragedy could have been prevented. The reality is that there often are no answers. Sometimes events overtake us. The story is in the striving to come through the events and survive and then to live with the memories. I couldn't make a steady diet of such stories. They hit me too hard. But this story, told by one of the people who lived it, is worth the time and the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Days: The Dresden Files, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5945)
    Performance
    (5530)
    Story
    (5529)

    After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long.

    Ethan M. says: "Thwarts Every Expectation - In a Good Way"
    "Another Unique and Startling Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The danger with any long running series like the Dresden Files is that it will fall into a formula where the variations from book to book amount to little more than moving the pieces around through the same story on different days. In contrast, Butcher continues to deliver unique stories that reveal new aspects to the universe he has created and new dangers and possibilities for the characters. The only frustrating thing, and this is not a criticism, is that the universe created over 14 books has grown so rich and complex that some books cannot contain all the characters that you would expect to see. I wanted to know where several of them were and what they were doing but I’ll now have to wait a couple of years to find out.

    It’s not possible to say much of anything about the story not already included in the description. It would be too easy to include a spoiler. Suffice to say that rather than getting tedious, this series keeps me wanting more. On a side note I, too, was glad to have James Marsters back. I have to agree with those who say that he is Harry Dresden. John Glover did an outstanding job with Ghost Story but, after 12 books read by Marsters, it just wasn’t the same.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • All Clear

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1673)
    Performance
    (1116)
    Story
    (1140)

    Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Rescued by the second half"
    ""I'd Listen Again (but with reservations)""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Blackout and All Clear.

    I liked these books, but don't start the first one unless you are prepared to listen to the second. I would listen to these books again sometime which is my primary standard for any written or audbile book. I go back to the stories I like to walk around in the world the author created. Willis created characters that I liked, that I cared about and that, overall, acted believably.

    All that said, I think that these books could have benefited from better editing. Willis, at times, becomes very tedious describing the characters' angst over changing time or each others' welfare. In the second, all clear, there are stream of consciousness sections of characters who have suffered traumatic injuries and who can't keeep events and times separated. Although generally well done, these started to get so tedious that I wanted to slap some sense into the character. However, since I wanted to slap the character instead of the author, I guess Willis did a good job suspending disbelief.

    The narration is superb.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2124)
    Performance
    (1373)
    Story
    (1381)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Monica says: "Double review - Blackout and All Clear"
    "I'd Listen Again (but with reservations)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked these books, but don't start the first one unless you are prepared to listen to the second. I would listen to these books again sometime which is my primary standard for any written or audbile book. I go back to the stories I like to walk around in the world the author created. Willis created characters that I liked, that I cared about and that, overall, acted believably.

    All that said, I think that these books could have benefited from better editing. Willis, at times, becomes very tedious describing the characters' angst over changing time or each others' welfare. In the second, all clear, there are stream of consciousness sections of characters who have suffered traumatic injuries and who can't keeep events and times separated. Although generally well done, these started to get so tedious that I wanted to slap some sense into the character. However, since I wanted to slap the character instead of the author, I guess Willis did a good job suspending disbelief.

    The narration is superb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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