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Edo

Hirosaki, Japan | Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 59 ratings
  • 132 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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  • The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter Beinart
    • Narrated By John Morgan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (38)

    In The Icarus Syndrome, Peter Beinart tells a tale as old as the Greeks—a story about the seductions of success. Beinart describes Washington on the eve of three wars—World War I, Vietnam, and Iraq—three moments when American leaders decided they could remake the world in their image. Each time, leading intellectuals declared that history was over, and the spread of democracy was inevitable. Each time, a president held the nation in the palm of his hand.

    Paul says: "Review of America's Foreign Interventions"
    "Thought-provoking!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great history lesson and interesting perspective on the lead-up to America going to war and how the leaders of the time made decisions. I thought the piece was well-researched and presented in a very interesting format. I'd say it's one of the better non-fiction books I've read recently and very engaging.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David Greene
    • Narrated By David Greene
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    Through the stories of fellow travelers, Greene explores the challenges and opportunities facing the new Russia: a nation that boasts open elections and newfound prosperity yet still continues to endure oppression, corruption, and stark inequality. Set against the wintery landscape of Siberia, Greene’s lively travel narrative offers a glimpse into the soul of 20th century Russia: how its people remember their history and look forward to the future.

    Sara says: "Long String of NPR Short Reports"
    "Excellent and Exciting Story; Average Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This expose of life in post-Soviet Russia and Siberia was insightful and very interesting to listen to. The interviews of real people who had dealt with both fortunate and unfortunate events in their lives showed a true picture of the Russian people I have gotten to know in 20 years working as a Russian translator and teacher. I, myself, hope to replicate the author's journey across Siberia via the Trans-Siberian Railroad seeing the sights and meeting the people described herein, and this book will serve as an excellent travel guide for my trip.

    Unfortunately, in trying to remain true to the author's perspective, he chose to narrate the book himself. Even though Greene is an excellent NPR personality, his narration seemed hurried and in some areas, confusing. Instead of letting the words express the feelings he meant to share, he relied too much on his enunciation and speech to convey excitement or anxiety. There were a few places throughout where the author also repeated sentences that were missed in the editing process. It would have been better to hire a professional audiobook narrator to share this interesting story of a journey most of us will never have the fortune to experience.

    Overall, the story is worth listening to and I will be recommending it to my fellow Russophiles so that they can share in this wonderful story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Peter Finn, Petra Couvée
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (33)

    In May of 1956, an Italian publishing scout took a train to the Russian countryside to visit the country's most beloved poet, Boris Pasternak. He left concealing the original manuscript of Pasternak's much anticipated first novel, entrusted to him with these words from the author: "This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world." Pasternak knew his novel would never be published in the Soviet Union, where the authorities regarded it as an assault on the 1917 Revolution, so he allowed it to be published in translation all over the world.

    D. Littman says: "wonderful book"
    "Excellent History of Pasternak and his Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the inside look at the life of an amazing writer and literary legend in Soviet times. Along with Fifty Russian Winters, it portrays the life of the artistic elite and their struggles to create and express themselves within the boundaries--or sometimes outside of them--imposed by the Communist Party and Soviet leaders. This story is an inspirational tale of perseverance in the struggle for what the author thought was right and his struggles to survive and see his life's work emerge from behind the Iron Curtain. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in Pasternak, Soviet and Russian history, or literature in general. The reading was well done; the pronunciation of Russian names and places was accurate (I'm a Russian-speaker); and the story was engaging. Be sure to check it out and then read Dr. Zhivago with this new knowledge in mind!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1218)
    Performance
    (1080)
    Story
    (1078)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
    "Excellent Insight into SecDef Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bob Gates' memoire about his life as the SecDef provides amazingly detailed insight into the behind-the-scenes inner-workings of DC politics on both sides of the aisle. His unique perspective of having worked for Presidential administrations of both parties really captures the nature of America's divided house. From the honest appraisals of American leaders and their attempts to influence how the military is used, to the heartwarming stories of a Secretary and his soldiers, this book keeps the reader engaged and wanting to hear more. As the end drew near, I felt myself hoping that Gates would have stayed the SecDef longer--for the sake of both the Commander-in-Chief and the troops under them. However, the demands of the job that he eloquently laid out without complaint, but in a matter-of-fact style, are understandably difficult for anyone and their family to endure for an extended length of time. Having served in the military under Secretary Gates (and under 4 others prior to his appointment), I can say that most troops really don't see any difference in the people who sit in that chair. However, seeing him engaged with the troops regularly demonstrated that he truly cared for the well-being of those under his charge as well as being willing to do what was necessary to fulfill the orders of our CinC.

    This book was interesting, engaging, and detailed in its portrayal of the SecDef's life. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in DC politics, military leadership, or the inspiring stories of those who serve their country when asked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral - Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! - in America's Gilded Capital

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mark Leibovich
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (570)
    Performance
    (490)
    Story
    (482)

    The great thing about Washington is no matter how many elections you lose, how many times you're indicted, how many scandals you've been tainted by, well, the great thing is you can always eat lunch in that town again. What keeps the permanent government spinning on its carousel is the freedom of shamelessness, and that mother's milk of politics, cash. What Julia Phillips did for Hollywood, Timothy Crouse did for journalists, and Michael Lewis did for Wall Street, Mark Leibovich does for our nation's capital.

    John S. says: "They're out of touch ... and how!"
    "Interesting Peek Behind the Political Curtain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Leibovich provides an interesting look into the world of politics in Washington, D.C. with the perspective of an insider who's usually an observer of those who wield the power. The story flowed well and did a very good job of explaining how everything and everyone in D.C. are (incestuously?) related and connected. For political junkies and lovers of the TV Series, The West Wing, this book will provide a thrill that shows what makes Washington tick.

    Definitely worth reading if you're interested in American politics!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Colin Powell
    • Narrated By Colin Powell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (536)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (479)

    It Worked for Me is filled with vivid experiences and lessons learned that have shaped the legendary career of the four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. At its heart are Powell's "Thirteen Rules" - such as "Get mad, then get over it" and "Share credit" - that introduce his principles for effective leadership: conviction, hard work, and, above all, respect for others. A natural storyteller, Powell offers warm and engaging parables with wise advice on succeeding in the workplace and beyond.

    Jean says: "Great Story Teller"
    "Great Advice from an Amazing American"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was full of Gen. Powell's advice and anecdotes for everything from family to work to leadership to life. I learned a great deal from his discussions of his 13 Rules of Leadership. There were bits of information that I can apply immediately. I thought this book was so useful that I will buy the print version just so I can have it to more easily refer to. The General does a great job reading the book and the stories he tells have much more impact coming from his own lips. I have recommended this book to my friends in the military and out, and highly recommend it as required reading for anyone in a leadership role. You'll take away a great deal of life lessons from this book - it's definitely worth the time, money, and effort!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jake Adelstein
    • Narrated By Jake Adelstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (185)

    At 19, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquility. What he got was a life of crime reporting at the prestigious Yomiuri Shinbun. For 12 years of 80-hour workweeks, he covered the seedy side of Japan, where extortion, murder, human trafficking, and corruption are as familiar as ramen noodles and sake.

    Steven says: "Memoir, crime story and travelogue in one package"
    "A Look Behind the Chrysanthemum Screen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jake Adelstein gives an engaging and interesting look into life in the underworld of Japan's capital--something that few Japanese reporters are willing to expose and even fewer foreigners are allowed to glimpse. Having lived in Japan for over 15 years, I remember some of the things Adelstein reports on and it was great to get the real story behind the news.
    The author's narration was not as gripping as a professional narrator may have produced but the large number of Japanese words might have given a non-Japanese speaker trouble. Adelstein's choice to ensure that words and names were pronounced correctly overcame any deficiencies which came up due to his amateur narration. (Personally, hearing words or names pronounced incorrectly seriously distracts from my focus on the story.)

    If you're interested in Japan or in journalism, this book is a must-read. I strongly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Chris Kyle, Scott McEwan, Jim DeFelice
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13896)
    Performance
    (11930)
    Story
    (11929)

    From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head.

    Allen T. says: "Amazing"
    "Very Informative Look into SEAL Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An excellent overview of life as a Navy SEAL and a touching story of a true American hero. I worked alongside other SEALs and they are all as upstanding and patriotic as Chris Kyle. This book gave me more insight into the innerworkings of the SEAL Teams and provides an informative look at the real toll of war: what it does to our military members, their families, and how it affects everyone's physical and psychological wellbeing. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's interested in seeing what goes into making our nation's elite fighting forces and what their lives are really like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Philip Carlo
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (120)

    Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, the boss of New York's Lucchese crime family, was a Mafia superstar, responsible for more than 50 murders. Currently serving 13 life sentences at a federal prison in Colorado, Casso has given journalist and New York Times best-selling author Philip Carlo the most intimate, personal look into the world of La Cosa Nostra ever seen.

    Mark C Flynn says: "Not very good or thought provoking"
    "Chilling Insight into the Underworld"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An amazing story about a man's journey through the innerworkings of the NY Mafia with names most people will remember from the headlines. I thought this was an excellent account of what it really takes to become a made man. In the end, I thought Gaspipe ended up sounding a little sympathetic but then I remembered all of the people he admitted to "taking care of" and I got over it.

    If you loved the Henry Hill story, mob or Mafia movies or tales of secret societies, you'll enjoy this enthralling story of life in the mob.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Columbus Affair: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (390)

    Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when a controversial report from a war-torn region is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile - haunted by bad decisions and the shocking truth he can never prove: that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes....

    p says: "I second the 'Meh" - disappointing and boring."
    "Thrilling Tale of Piracy on Homeland Shores"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a long-time Steve Berry fan, I grabbed his latest as soon as I saw it on the shelves. While I found this book interesting and the plot very captivating, I don't think it was one of his best. I liked the story and the characters very much; the references to characters in his other novels brought a smile to my face.

    I did fly through this book and the story kept me guessing at how it would end. I did think that The Columbus Affair followed too closely to some of his other works where the prodigal son returns to follow the path set for him and becomes the hero in the end. Even expecting this to happen, there were plenty of twists and surprises in the plot which kept me reading. If you're a fan of historical fiction, I'd highly recommend this book.

    Also, the author's explanation of what's real and what's fiction was a great addition and it led me to his related novela - The Admiral's Mark. It was worth a quick read as well. Now I have to wait for Berry's next foray into history..."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Conquests and Cultures: An International History

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (167)

    This book is the culmination of fifteen years of research and travels that have taken the author completely around the world twice. Its purpose has been to try to understand the role of cultural differences within nations and between nations, today and over the centuries of history, in shaping the economic and social fates of peoples and of whole civilizations.

    Mark says: "Time very well spent"
    "Great Information but Too Dense for Audio?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this topic and the information provided was superior. I found the content to be well-researched and the flow of the information was very smooth. The historical content explained a lot of things about how different cultures affected others and interacted with others through exploration and conquests.

    I did, however, feel that because this book is packed with details and facts, I had to rewind sections to relisten to them if I became distracted by something or if a stray thought popped into my mind. As much as I enjoyed this, I think it would have been better to have read the print version instead of the audiobook.

    Regardless of the media you choose, this book is highly insightful and worth reading if you're interested in world history, cultural interactions or world conquests. I'm recommending it to my friends!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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