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EM Goodkind

Menlo Park, CA | Member Since 2009

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 321 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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  • The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gene Roberts, Hank Klibanoff
    • Narrated By Richard Allen
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    Drawing on private correspondence, notes from secret meetings, unpublished articles, and interviews, veteran journalists Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff go behind the headlines and datelines to show how a dedicated cadre of newsmen - first black reporters, then liberal Southern editors, then reporters and photographers from the national press and the broadcast media - revealed to a nation its most shameful shortcomings and propelled its citizens to act.

    Ron says: "A fascinating inside look at history"
    "Civil rights in perspective"
    Overall

    In dramatic form that mirrors the best of the journalism described in the book, the authors put the civil rights movement into a perspective that would probably require reading volumes of scholarly research to replicate. I now believe I have a more insightful view of an era I lived through as a spectator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (970)
    Performance
    (882)
    Story
    (893)

    When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid, just not great social network dystopia"
    "Tongue in cheek with a real life bite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an over-he-top spoof with tragic overtones, and Dion Graham's often tongue-in-cheek reading really shines. The action moves quickly and doesn't give you too much time to notice some lapses in logic and realism. But the underlying truths are spot on all the way to the reversal at the end.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Boyfriend

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (592)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (505)

    Jack Till, who has retired from the LAPD after a respected career as a homicide detective, now works as a private investigator, comfortable chasing down routine cases while visiting his 24-year-old daughter, Holly, who has Down Syndrome. But when the parents of a recently murdered young girl, about Holly's age, ask for his help when the police come up empty, Till reluctantly takes the case.

    Opule says: "Typical Thomas Perry"
    "Exciting story kept me going despite flaws"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had really mixed fillings. The action is really well written and kept me listening, but there were flaws that at best made me feel that this might have worked better as a comic book. It was hard to believe the young villain could be so functional yet pathologically detached, for one thing. Sure he was angry about the circumstances leading to his first murder, but would a young teen be able to hit the road running like that? Also the efforts at omniscient narration describing the detective's thoughts -- would a sex ad really remind him, a man with no stated art experience, of a pre-raphaelite painting?. The dialogue among the detectives was wooden as the author used that dialogue to provide background about plot pointsthe cops wouldn't have needed to talk about among themselves. Nevertheless, some elements were really creative. The "chick book" style intro was a great tease.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1569)
    Performance
    (1324)
    Story
    (1360)

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "Worth the effort to learn so much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is no way so many insights and so much knowledge could be gained so pleasurably, but there is no getting around that this very long book requires attention. For anyone who remembers Lincoln as a string of cliches from elementary and high school, this book is a revelation. Lincoln is still a hero, but he's personalized and flawed, grappling with political realities in a challenging time. I listened to this book prior to seeing the new movie, and I'm glad I did, because the two complemented each other nicely. LIncoln is human and the cliches are no longer cliches but intriguing lessons that aren't that different from the intrigues in the daily news today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2013)
    Performance
    (1708)
    Story
    (1692)

    In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Narrator lends authenticity to this rogue cop stor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite some strong criticisms, I really like Michael McConnohie's narration. Harry Bosch sounds as if he's from LA, not some indefinable eastern city. Harry's kickbutt style is definitely back, and even his politically incorrect dealings with his daughter are a welcome return. People who enjoy the series will find some fresh stuff to enjoy here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Relic: Pendergast, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4183)
    Performance
    (2619)
    Story
    (2646)

    Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who - or what - is doing the killing.

    Snoodely says: "Non-Perishable"
    "Kept thinking this was a young adult novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish I had a bright high school kid teetering on the edge of a scientific career to give this book to. Dedication, courage and integrity from scientists, law enforcement and even quality journalism triumph over the evils forces of self-serving public relations, law enforcement and museum management. The book's introduction of forensic DNA was undoubtedly quite fresh at the time Relic was written, but now reads a bit like an historical novel. Still clever and interesting, but most of us have been there, read that. Yet, the doings in the catacombs of the museum, although reminiscent of the approximately contemporaneous Poseidon Adventure, are well paced. David Colacci's great reading, with just a touch of irony during the most melodramatic passages, makes this a fun, if not memorable, listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Yellow Birds: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Kevin Powers
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (178)

    "The war tried to kill us in the spring," begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, 21-year-old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. Bound together since basic training when their tough-as-nails sergeant ordered Bartle to watch over Murphy, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.

    Buzz says: "Sad and Unforgettable"
    "Literary novel, Not a "buddy book""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This books deserves to rank among the top modern war novels, but listeners looking for a war adventure or listeners looking for a triumph of spirit will be disappointed. But this well narrated book drills down to capture the alienation of thoughtful soldiers and veterans. I was emotionally and intellectually transported back to my Vietnam days. The plot is in fact a modest mystery that unfolds ingeniously as the narration moves back and forth between the war and the narrator's return to the states. Descriptions are often poetic, dialogue simple and raw. Holter Graham does a great job for me of capturing the young voices (they were all young) of the troops in Afghanistan and the accents of the narrators and his ill fated "charge," Murphy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (869)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (334)

    Considered by some to be the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina contains two plots: the tragedy of Madame Karenina, in love with a man who is not her husband; and the story of Konstantine Levin, a sensitive man whose personal philosophy is Tolstoy's reason for writing about him.

    D. Littman says: "A classic, classically read"
    "Accessible, clear and eerily resonant to our time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was pleasantly surprised how accessible this 150-year-old novel was, and despite the enormous cultural gaps, I was hooked by both the story and the fate of most of the characters. Nadia May differentiated characters and I think, despite some criticisms by others, provided pitch perfect dramatization. We do have to make some adjustments when we read period novels. The pacing is noticeably slower, which personally I find therapeutic in a high paced world. the world view as espoused primarily by Levin is especially poignant when espoused after we understand the context of his life. For those of us who are going back to classic literature after years or decades of doing other things, this novel would serve well as a beginning -- or a relaxing break from some of the denser, more esoteric novels of the 19th century. As others have pointed out, there are technical glitches involving the recording, including some background sound as if the recording had been made over a tape or file that hadn't been completely erased. Audible in a few minutes could go back and remove the "change the disc" messages, a residue of the pre-MP3 recording I listened to. There were at least two of these distracting messages, not fatal in a recording of this length, but unnecessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Feast Day of Fools: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1128)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (921)

    Celebrated crime master and two-time Edgar Award winner James Lee Burke returns with a gorgeously crafted, brutally resonant chronicle of violence along the Texas-Mexico border. Sheriff Hackberry Holland patrols a small Southwest Texas border town, meting out punishment and delivering justice in his small square of this magnificent but lawless land. When an alcoholic ex-boxer named Danny Boy Lorca begs to be locked up after witnessing a man tortured to death by a group of bandits, Hack and his deputy, Pam Tibbs, slowly extract the Indian man’s gruesome tale.

    Melinda says: "Shoot Out at the More-Than-OK Corral"
    "Brighton Beach, LA or Texas border?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For sure you don't have to be from Texas border country to identify with the characters from this book. In fact it may help if you're from a city with a multiplicity of diverse and flawed characters. Hackberry Holland has a law degree, epiphanies and suffers the angst of a college professor's son. Every elderly reader's dream is this nearly octogenerian's involvement with his chief deputy who has only a few premature gray hairs. Russian criminals, country club degenerates, an Asian former CIA affiliate and more abound in this superbly paced novel which is magnificently read by Will Paton. There are some nice descriptions of the border environment, including Burke's apparent fondness for rain, but did I think I was reading about 2012 Texas-Mexico border reality? Not so much.The iconography of a mystic underground are certainly present, as is the violence without the grit of a hardscrabble part of the country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1446)
    Performance
    (1315)
    Story
    (1309)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Where did our country go wrong?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rachel Maddow supplies scads of evidence about how we have lost the American people have lost the moral and practical buy-in to make tough choices, notably going to war. As scholars have pointed out, some of the evidence may be missing, and hence, the issue is far more complex than this compelling and tightly written book. But this is about the best place for an overview on the implication of how and why we have gone to war and lost our way in foreign policy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale of Two Cities

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Michael Shallenberg, Andy Sirois, Kara Osborne, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    A Tale of Two Cities is a historical novel by Charles Dickens; it is moreover a moral novel strongly concerned with themes of guilt, shame, redemption and patriotism. The plot centers on the years leading up to French Revolution and culminates in the Jacobin Reign of Terror. It tells the story of two men, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, who look very much alike but are entirely different in character.

    Jess says: "A Surprise!"
    "Great value, valiant narration"
    Overall

    This version is certainly good value and a clear rendering of the book, but the alternating narration is reminiscent of a class project in which the top students get to read the book for the rest of the class. The shift alternating (vs. planned) shifts from American to Canadian to British accents is a little distracting. I'm going through Dickens novels one by one, and I've been spoiled by some of the "more famous" readers who help me make sense of the dialogue for the first time since I read these novels a half century ago.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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