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dr Frank

Lover of life and lover of books! I read/listen to a wide range (many) but my favorite non fiction are self-help and autobiographies.

Coraopolis, PA, United States | Member Since 2011

51
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 55 reviews
  • 202 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
20
FOLLOWERS
7

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14043)
    Performance
    (12821)
    Story
    (12891)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Great story line but the language!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know I am an odd one out with this review but I am writing this as a grandfather of five grandchildren and my eldest granddaughter is a prolific reader. (Second place in her school last year for AR.) She fell in love with John Green and his writing and I felt the need to read a few of his books. The language in this book is better than others but I do not feel it is appropriate for a 14 year old and unfortunately the young adults category includes this age group. If you are a Christian, you might find the negative comments and the context of some of the statements anti-God. (I did)

    However, with all of that stated, the thesis behind the book is outstanding and the message about young (or old) people with cancer or similar diseases needed. I wish the book wasn't filled with all of the cussing (f-bombs) and more because I believe it should be read by YA but I cannot recommend it to them.

    There are multiple references to sex but nowhere as many as "Looking for Alaska" which is filled with enough vulgarity to move it to R in my ratings.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 41: A Portrait of My Father

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By George W. Bush
    • Narrated By George W. Bush
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (372)

    George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, has authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st president. Forty-three men have served as president of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a president told the story of his father, another president, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and intimate biography, the book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career.

    Marie says: "Heartwarming and Honoring"
    "A must read - filled with love and compassion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is more than a biography but a story of love by the son to the father. Even if you have no interests in politics or the Bush family, this is a must read book. It is written with much admiration by George W. that it seems impossible not to enjoy the book.

    As George W states, he wrote it with bias and isn't ashamed to admit it. However, what makes the book more than a bragging platform, George W goes to the beginning of his father's life and explains who and what influenced him to become a true statesman.

    I was very impressed with everything George H.W. did in his life including his business adventures, political, and non public roles. I learned so much about our 41st president that made me respect him even more.

    The fact that the Bush's became friends with the Clinton (especially Bill) after Bill Clinton defeated H.W. amazed me beyond words. There were other facts clarified in the book that I did not realize H.W. completed in his life and a few I thought were done by others. This is a testimony to the humble life H.W. lived and portrayed.

    George W. does a tremendous job reading the book and does it with so much passion and compassion that it seems impossible not to enjoy it.

    I never knew that George H.W. was shot down in 1944 serving our country as the youngest pilot in the Navy and celebrated his 90th birthday with a skydive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The President's Pilot

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robert Gandt
    • Narrated By Thomas Block
    Overall
    (470)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (423)

    A year and a half into her first term as President of the United States, Libby Paulsen is in a world of trouble. Her controversial agenda has placed her in a doomsday clash with a right wing cabal led by an enigmatic Air Force general. The conspirators will stop at nothing - including assassination - to remove Libby Paulsen from office. When the cabal targets Air Force One, Libby's Presidency - and her life - rest in the hands of a maverick pilot named Pete Brand, a man with whom the President shares a long-smoldering secret.

    Matthew says: "Gives a whole new meaning to Snakes on a Plane!"
    "Narrator destroys a 'decent' story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is the story better than the narrator? It might be but most of the voices sounded as if the characters were drunk. There were many parts of the story that were very believable and other parts beyond belief. However, it did keep me intrigued and thinking throughout the novel. Could a group within the military, political groups, and civilian life attempt to take over a president that went against 'their' core values? No doubt it could happen in today's environment.

    I have a difficult time believing that Air Force One flies without an escort by at least one or more fighter jets.

    The story is filled with different types of patriotic acts which brings some warmth and character to the story but most of the story was blanketed with the narration.

    There are a few parts which kept you thinking and created a nice twist to the story line.

    Before purchasing - listen to the sample to determine if you can tolerate the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Loving Frank

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nancy Horan
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (792)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (363)

    I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current. So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them.

    Eva Gannon says: "Fascinating"
    "intriguing Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    intriguing Historical Fiction - Do NOT read anything online about their affair before listening to the book if possible. It will spoil a climatic ending.

    Multiple times during the first 30% of the book, I was ready to stop it and delete it from my iPhone. This is due to my heart breaking over the children's loss as the two main characters began their love affair leaving their families behind. There were times when I wanted to shout out to both characters, "Grow - up and be a responsible parent!"

    However, as the story unfolded and Mamah's character developed, the book took on a new and better direction. (Not that their affair was/is right but the fact she began seeing lfie in a different perspective.) Mamah's character demonstrated a women best suited to never having children. There are many people who are great people but are better served never to have children and/or marry. The book was centered around their scandalous affair and it making the newspaper on a regular basis. Times are different since this type of life is positioned by Hollywood as normal and as I type this review, 50 Shades of Grey is hitting the box office to rave reviews.

    I downloaded the book to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright since both my wife and one of her brother's always were fascinated in his work and the fact we visited Falling Waters multiple times. The book told an interesting tale of how Frank's skills developed. If he was as arrogant and non-committal to his family as the book outlined, then it is a shame he ever married and had children. The book covers some of the behind the scenes into Wright's architectural life, the bulk of the time is spent on Mamah and Frank's relationship.

    The writer did a great job putting information together into a historical fictional account of this period in Frank Llloyd Wright's life. The best part of the book - after the story was over and the author explained how she came about writing the book and where she gathered her information. The book flows and is well written. After finishing the book I did some research on Mamah and was surprised to find the number of books written detailing this point in Wright's life.

    The narrator did a good job on the women and children's voices. If Frank Lloyd Wright's voice was a nauseating in real life as in the audio book then I am surprised he wasn't shot long before he finished any of his famed work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God in the Marketplace: 45 Questions Fortune 500 Executives Ask About Faith, Life, and Business

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby
    • Narrated By Wayne Shepherd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Revolutionize your approach to business! As a Christian businessperson, you live in a corporate pressure cooker. Yet you want your life to affect more than your company's bottom line. You want to hear what God says about leading your family. You want to use your business skills to strengthen your church. You want to explore how the Holy Spirit's presence in your life can affect how you work, manage, and lead within your company.

    Joseph says: "Excellent Food for Thought"
    "Great reminder of a Christian's role in Business"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have been in church any length of time, no doubt you heard many of the items discussed in this book. However, it is good to get a new perspective from others especially those who climbed the corporate ladder and admitted they have the same struggles as others regardless of their status in life.

    An underlying message that I took from the book is to 'guard your walk with God and protect your family!'. Too often it is easier to pursue and develop a career in the business world than to walk with the Lord and do the steps necessary to watch over your family.

    I recommend this book to everyone and especially those who are bombarded by the strains put on from a busy work/business life.

    My only 'complain' is the book seemed to drag on in a few areas and almost became a drone like noise in my head. Very similar to the drone or monotone sound illustrated in many of the Charlie Brown cartoons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chiefs

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1877)
    Performance
    (1254)
    Story
    (1252)

    In 1919, Delano, Georgia, appoints its first chief of police. Honest and hardworking, the new chief is puzzled when young men start to disappear. But his investigation is ended by the fatal blast from a shotgun. Delano's second chief-of-police is no hero, yet he is also disturbed by what he sees in the missing-persons bulletins. In 1969, when Delano's third chief takes over, the unsolved disappearances still haunt the police files.

    karen says: "In my 'Top Ten' books of all time!"
    "Slow start but worth finishing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book starts slow in a small southern town and there are times when I wonder how/if this book will get to the point. At first, I continued because of the reviews but as the story developed, I kept finding ways to listen to it.

    The author builds the characters in such a manner that their meaning and usefulness is seen later in the book.

    I grew up and lived in the north all my life but have traveled many times to the south and Woods paints a picture that many told me existed but I only experienced through the words of older people during the 60's. The racial tension along with the life of living in a small town are painted in such a manner that I felt as if I were living it with some of the main characters. There were times when I listened that my heart hurt since we have many friends of different races.

    Throughout the book many instances of poetic justice take place along with a few laughable moments.

    The narrator did a good job of telling the story almost in the manner of a grandfather telling the story to his grandchildren and their friends over a course of many visits.

    I recommend the book especially if you want something different than what is common in 2014-2015.

    I can understand why Woods won many awards with it and at first didn't understand/like the ending but then I noticed this is the first in a series.

    I recommend the book if interested in a good detective novel wrapped in history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4608)
    Performance
    (4102)
    Story
    (4104)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "Much different than anticipated!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I expected a book much different and was thrilled with the content. After the first few chapters it was apparent the direction it would take. However, what wasn't apparent was the ending.

    Throughout the book, I kept thinking, Officer James is either a rookie (which he wasn't) or a complete goof when it comes to investigation and general observation techniques. However, it became apparent the main character was Maggie (in my mind) and the role she would play in the entire novel.

    I kept rooting for her versus Officer James who she was partnered with in their 'recovery'.

    As others stated, it is more a book of healing than crime drama and the early chapters set-up the entire book. If you read many crime novels in the past, the 'villains' become obvious 2/3 into the book.

    This is a book that I kept turning on and hoping my 'trip' wouldn't end so I could finish it.

    Again, not your normal crime novel but more of a book of healing and value.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Ice: Harry Bosch Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3190)
    Performance
    (2037)
    Story
    (2054)

    Narcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with his head in several pieces and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "Good Listen"
    "Slow at times but overall enjoyed the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, I enjoyed the book and as it played out, I listened to it with more interest. There were chapters where I became 'bored' with the story but as it progressed and the story unfolded, I understood why each character was introduced. There were many characters in the story which played a significant roll causing the story to bounce around like a ping pong match. Unfortunately, about 80% of the way into the book, the plot unraveled fast and the book ended as I figured.

    Bureaucracy and politics were painted as villains (as most perceive them) and Bosch's character builds showing some 'honor' when he attempts to make a situation better (I won't do a spoiler) by paying for a room or when he feels bad for lying to honest characters in the book.

    Bosch must be a serious ladies man as he continues his Casanova style with some of the most unlikely women.

    Will I listen to another Bosch - yes, but not immediately.

    Michael Connelly has an interesting way in painting characters and the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Rorke Denver
    • Narrated By Rorke Denver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (500)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (457)

    Rorke Denver trains the men who become Navy SEALs - the most creative problem solvers on the modern battlefield, ideal warriors for the kinds of wars America is fighting now. With his years of action-packed mission experience and a top training role, Lieutenant Commander Denver understands exactly how tomorrow’s soldiers are recruited, sculpted, motivated, and deployed. Now, Denver takes you inside his personal story and the fascinating, demanding SEAL training program he now oversees.

    AXiD says: "Wonderful autobio,but sort of deadpan delivery"
    "Into the mind of a Navy Seal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Since I was a child I always admired tried and true 'warriors' and those successful in their chosen career path, regardless if business, sports, writing, or warrior.

    If you enjoy listening and learning about the behind the scenes or the making of special ops then this is a book for you. I enjoyed how Rorke described what led him to being a seal and more important the perseverance it took to become a seal. Then the same drive which put him into a leadership role. I enjoyed the part when he outlined the importance of being a leader versus the 'doer'. Similar to the management statement in other books - if you are doing then you are not leading. Let others do so you can lead. If you are doing, then why do I need you as a leader.

    Rorke describes some of the characteristics of the fallen heroes that he served with and knew. Additionally, he outlines in brief some of what goes on in the lives of the spouses and the difficulties they face.

    There are two points that jumped out at me.

    1. As he described the making of the movie - Uncommon Valor - many of the scenes now make sense since he outlined the 'true' part that went into making each aspect of the movie and why the movie is so important in telling the story of special ops.

    2. Toward the end of the book he outlined the politics of what is taking place in recruiting seals and it is apparent he isn't in favor of some of the changes.

    Both of these items moved the book up one notch for ranking. Overall, I enjoyed the book but it wouldn't have been a 4 star except these two vital parts which tells the positive character of Rorke. As others noted, his narration ability is not the best but it isn't the worst that I heard when an author decides to narrate his own book.

    This isn't a book I would recommend to everyone since not everyone enjoys learning or listening to books about warriors. However, if you want to read a book about character building, leadership, and more important some of the how, then this is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Tomorrow: Victor the Assassin, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (317)

    When Victor is called to meet with an old friend who ultimately betrayed him, what he thought was an ambush is in fact a plea for help. As a Russian gangster, Norimov is accustomed to death threats, but now an unknown enemy wants more than his life. They intend to kill everyone he cares about, including his missing daughter Gisele. This time, Victor's job is not to kill but to protect. Unfortunately, locating Gisele is his first mistake - because someone is watching his every move.

    Kathryn says: "Continuous Action Without Feeling Forced"
    "Listen carefully - New characteristics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first in the series that I wanted to go back to the beginning and listen to the first part since it made sense after listening to the entire book.

    This book attempts to reveal a potential different side to Victor. (I always find the name interesting since he comes out the victor at the end. Play on words?) Spoiler alert?

    Carefully, listen to the first part of the book then when you hit the ending, make note. It will make more sense.

    Victor continues to display a person attempting to repress 'life' and remain cold, hard, neutral but in this book a different side continues to rise to the surface then gets pushed back. No doubt he never wants anyone close to him for various reasons beyond the obvious that their life would be in danger.

    I am surprised that Tom Wood isn't reviewed more in line with other books in this genre except the fact Victor is a known assassin and the other books highlight the work of CIA agents, police officers, etc. However, lately, it seems Victor is protecting the law as much as he ins't. I find it very ironic. My thought is if Victor were a law enforcer (working outside the boundaries of the law, this series would be more popular). No doubt many folks have a difficult time 'cheering' for an assassin or in this case a bodyguard. A bodyguard who is protecting a young woman because of the young woman's dead mother's impact in his life many years before this story took place. He protects her not for a fee but because of a debt he feels that he needs to fulfill? Another positive characteristic in this tormented character.

    What role did the mother of the person Victor is protecting play in his life? What did she do for Victor?

    This is the first in the series where the book takes on a few different twists and Victor's attention to detail and the author's writing style makes it apparent that Victor does more than notice what is going on around him.

    Victor displays a characteristic missing from many people in today's world. "I always keep my word." - Not only does he keep his word but he goes beyond the 'call of duty' risking his life to keep his word. A very interesting characteristic in a criminal. Another characteristic I find interesting in his character is the fact that Victor wants to live another day and seems genuinely thankful for it. Even knowing the fact that he could never 'settle down' without the risk of being found.

    As I noted in other reviews, Victor is more akin to a super hero from Marvel Comics (not a bad thing). Similar to a cross between Captain America (maybe captain Europe) minus the shield and spider man.

    Victor is always planning and in this book his spinning mind for planning doesn't stop. I love the details around 'why' - why the multitool, why did he pick-up the lighter. It all comes together when you think back.

    I find the writing of Tom Wood very interesting as he weaves various characteristics and attributes into the characters. The narration of Shapiro is top notch as always which brings the characters to 'life'. I can almost envision standing before the steroid laden men as described or near the wicked woman behind all of the scheming.

    Would I listen to this again? Only the first part -

    I travel often and this is one of those books I listen to when on a plane or driving and don't listen to something more akin to self-help or business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Game: Victor the Assassin Series, #3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (408)

    Victor the assassin is living a solitary, peaceful life in Iceland when he's drawn into a job for an unidentified Swiss broker. Having passed the test, he's introduced to a group of mercenaries and killers who are tasked to perform the ultimate assassination.In this group, Victor meets someone from his past, someone who recruited him to the life he now knows-someone he thought was dead. And when he wants out, it's too late-his former mentor has other plans for him...

    John says: "1 Review for 3 books in series"
    "Best of the series but it takes time to get moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike the first two, it takes more than half of the book before any 'strong' action is taking place. There are some action scenes but nothing that would keep the reader/listener engaged like previous books.

    Had I not listened to the two previous, I might not have listened enough to get to the main part.

    I kept attempting to figure out what the lady and little boy had to do with the plot but it all fits in later.

    As others stated, the narrator is excellent and makes even the most boring parts, exciting. There are a few parts where it seems Victor is beyond Superman and entered into a cross between many different Superheros including Spiderman but overall, it is an entertaining listen.

    The author does an amazing job building the characters and describing them in a manner that the mental picture is more real than any movie could display. It becomes very easy to despise the ruthless killers and feel the pain of the captives. What I continue to find interesting is that although Victor is a hired assassin, the picture is painted so well that I root for his victory {pun intended}.

    Through the three books, Victor has gone from an assassin to someone comparative to a CIA agent. {Maybe he actually is one.}



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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