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Graham

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

ratings
54
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8
HELPFUL VOTES
70

  • Double Down: Game Change 2012

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Mark Halperin, John Heilemann
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (502)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (454)

    Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier.

    Tony says: "Game Change 2.0"
    "Fairly good job of reliving the election of 2012"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book does a fairly good job of reliving the election of 2012 going all the way back to the earliest republican primary battles. There are allot of new and interesting bits. The kind of stuff that one says "I can't wait until the book is written on this to really know what happened behind the scenes." For example, how did Obama prepare for the first debate and what was the cause of his poor performance? Or how did the whole Clint Eastwood speech at the RNC go so wrong? But all together this is really just a recap of the media's portrayal of the election as a neck and neck fight all the way to the finish just with some extra insider perspective. There is no real explanation for how Obama won by such a landslide in electoral votes. I don't feel like I'm getting the real inside scoop, just a more in-depth version of what was portrayed in the media at the time. What about some insight into how new technologies where applied and what did the Romney campaign do to miss out?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer, Cindy S. Spitzer
    • Narrated By Christopher Kipiniak
    Overall
    (239)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (186)

    While the "experts" want us to believe that all is well (or will be soon), nothing could be further from the truth. The worldwide financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 was just a sneak preview of what is to come. But for those who act quickly and correctly, there is still time to protect yourself, your family, and your business in the next global money meltdown.

    David M. Weprin says: "Interesting, convincing, and well narrated advert."
    "Their Multi-Bubble Theory Deserves A Noble Prize"
    Overall
    Performance
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    The Multi-Bubble Economy Theory expounded in this book may sound simplistic and ridiculous but it is actually a brilliant Economic theory, that perfectly models all the complexities of the modern free market economy. It may not be supported by confusing Mathematics, but the idea of multiple bubbles expanding is so intuitive and easy to visualize it must be correct. This is the most groundbreaking work since the contributions of Adam Smith. Multi-Bubbles are so comprehensive an explanation they can be applied to just about anything. In fact if you look as hard as the authors have for things to label as bubbles you will be seeing bubbles everywhere. Not only was there an internet bubble, and a housing bubble, there was also a government bubble, a bond bubble, a military bubble, a bubble bubble and a gangman style bubble. Its so exciting, i’m in a lather just thinking about it.

    Now, to the core prediction of the Bubble Theory, the absolute certainty of out of control inflation, greater than 10%, as a result of massive government stimulus and money printing. The authors were able to pinpoint exactly the time it takes for the inflation to begin after the money printing begins. The crystal bubble ball says that it can never take more than two years for the inflation to appear. Now since it has been over four years since quantitative easing began, and inflation has been quite stable, one might say that this book's bubble must have popped. But I say no, I say perhaps if you look more deeply you will see more bubbles. A bubble of lies, and a bubble of deceit by the government bubble.

    Now that we know that high inflation is certain (and has already begun in a bubble of secrecy), and that all of our money will lose much of its value shortly. Let us review the fantastic two pronged approach the authors propose to help protect ourselves. First we should sell all of our real estate and other hard assets and deposit our rapidly devaluing money into savings accounts. Second we should invest our money in the authors’ financial service products. The authors’ advice to stress savings as a hedge to inflation may seem counter intuitive, but it is actually brilliant. How else would they have sold so many of these books?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Racketeer

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By J.D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4020)
    Performance
    (3388)
    Story
    (3379)

    Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.... Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

    Ed says: "Grisham Light"
    "Both Dull and Not Belivable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Usually a novel is either full of unrealistic action, suspense and over the top plot twists or it is very realistic, believable and boring. But this book manages to both.

    Spoiler Alert -- If two Americans who are traveling alone on a private jet deplane in Jamaica, the first one gets caught with 2 kilos of cocaine and a fake passport and the second one vanishes before anyone can question him, how is it that we are suppose to believe the second one is not going to be immediately suspected by the Jamaican authorities of having been involved or at least be sought for questioning?. Of course this is the somehow the best scheme the main character could come up with to get the first one in trouble but the second one who is the main character, while somehow not even being concerned that it might not work.The plane, the cocaine and even Jamaica all had nothing to do with anything except to fulfill this ridiculousness plan. It took half the book to set this up and this is the payoff?

    Anyways, this read is very disappointing. I will definitely think twice before buying another Grisham novel again.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Price of Politics

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Bob Woodward
    • Narrated By Boyd Gaines
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (198)

    Based on 18 months of reporting, Woodward's 17th book The Price of Politics is an intimate, documented examination of how President Obama and the highest profile Republican and Democratic leaders in the United States Congress attempted to restore the American economy and improve the federal government's fiscal condition over three and one half years. The Price of Politics addresses the key issue of the presidential and congressional campaigns: the condition of the American economy.

    Graham says: "Making the Sausage"
    "Making the Sausage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Even though this book is about as gripping as watching C-Span, I still rank it as one of my favorite reads because of how much it reveals not only about Washington politics, but the true depth of the US debt crisis. I have been reading other books such as The Real Crash by Peter Schiff and Endgame by John Mauldin that have been panned as being too alarmist and radical for suggesting the possibility of future weakness is the US government bond market. Bob Woodward's account reveals that by the end of the debt ceiling debate in 2011, Timothy Geithner was warning that we were literally hours away from a market panic, followed by the failure of a US bond auction that would set off a worldwide financial meltdown and a depression that would be worse than in the 1930's and the effect would resonate for generations. The deal that finally averted this disaster resolved nothing and simply kicked the can down the road until after the election. Round two is known as the fiscal cliff.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang, Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (536)

    Chronicling his embodiment of the American Dream, Total Recall covers Schwarzenegger's high-stakes journey to the United States, from creating the international bodybuilding industry out of the sands of Venice Beach, to breathing life into cinema's most iconic characters, and becoming one of the leading political figures of our time. Proud of his accomplishments and honest about his regrets, Schwarzenegger spares nothing in sharing his amazing story.

    smartchickdina says: "Read by the author, my eye!"
    "Just what you would expect."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This autobiography offers no more or no less than what you would expect. The book provides a complete and satisfying account of his rise to fame and accomplishments. You can really get a sense of his mindset. He describes his poor rural life in Austria, coming to America, his body building days, Conan the Barbarian, Hollywood success, life in the Kennedy family, and finally his governorship. All the while he puts a strong emphasis on the virtues of hard work and salesmanship. Near the end he admits to cheating on his wife with the nanny, and says there was no excuse for it. He doesn't mention any other kinds of infidelity. He claims also that he is not trying to be a role model when he rides his bicycle in Santa Monica without a helmet. But at the same time he frames this book as a rich source self-improvement nuggets such as "do more reps", "don't be lazy", "your brain is like a muscle, exercise it" etc.

    The first and last chapters are narrated by the author. The narrator of the other chapters however is not Schwarzeneggerish in any way and refuses to use any accents at any time even though he almost slips a couple times when delivering some classic Schwarzenegger one liners.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Banks: How Broken Banks and Debtor Nations Are Crippling the Global Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yalman Onaran
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    An in-depth look at the essential issues surrounding zombie institutions and their effect on the global economy. Zombie banking has become standard operating procedure for big debtor nations. They prop up failing institutions, print money, and avoid financial corrections. But in an attempt to prolong the inevitable, bigger problems are created. The approach used now has not, and will not, work. This timely book reveals why.

    Kier ONEIL says: "Boomerang covers this topic much better"
    "Snoozathon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My wife loves this book because it helps her to fall asleep. I agree with the other reviewer that Boomerang covers the same ground in a much more engaging way.

    0 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
    (664)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (590)

    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.

    Michael says: "Obama Fans Aren't Going to Like This Book!"
    "White House Gossip"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess it goes without saying that this book does not offer a balanced perspective. But the level of animus and hatred that oozes out of every paragraph is absurd. In the authors desperation to find stuff to complain about, he spends half the book raging not against Barack but rather against Michelle Obama, painting her as some sort of evil puppet master. Most of his evidence is in the form of “He said, she said” White House gossip, such as what Bill Clinton was overheard saying to Hillary at a White House dinner. Apparently Bill told Hillary that Obama was an Amateur, and that Hillary should run as the Democratic Nominee in 2012. This supposed view of Bill Clinton’s is the foundation of the whole book, hence the title “The Amateur.” But this little tidbit of gossip was very clearly debunked at the Democratic National Convention when Bill Clinton gave the most rousing and full-hearted support behind Barack of any speaker by a factor of four.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kurt Eichenwald
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (77)

    In 500 Days, master chronicler Kurt Eichenwald lays bare the harrowing decisions, deceptions, and delusions of the eighteen months that changed the world forever, as leaders raced to protect their citizens in the wake of 9/11. Eichenwald's gripping, immediate style and true-to-life dialogue puts readers at the heart of these historic events, from the Oval Office to Number 10 Downing Street, from Guantanamo Bay to the depths of CIA headquarters, from the al Qaeda training camps to the torture chambers of Egypt and Syria.

    Eric says: "Fragmented, uncommented, style gets annoying"
    "Gory Details of Torture, Not An Unbiased History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this book, the author tries to show how the Bush administration acted with ignorance, stupidity and outright maliciousness leading up to and in response to 9/11. Most of the book is spent describing in great detail newly available details of the torture of terrorist suspects and the decisions of officials that lead to it. In particular a narrative that runs throughout the whole book is that of Kuwaiti Ahmad El-Maati. He is supposedly a completely innocent Canadian Muslim truck driver and family man who as a result of bumbling by the Canadian and US intelligence services was sent to Syria for some very intense and brutal torturing. All the gory details of these torture sessions are weaved into the narrative throughout the book to disgust you and to keep the sometimes dull story interesting. The author argues that torture as a interrogation technique never works. And that as one study has shown, being nice to and empathizing with terrorists is the most effective way to get them to talk.

    The author does have a unique perspective on Tony Blair’s role. He presents him at first as making wise and practical choices, and suggesting to Bush in private that he was making the wrong choices. Knowing on the other hand that any disagreement with Bush in public could damage the relationship and even make it more difficult to persuade Bush not to invade Iraq. However, it seems that after a few friendly and intimate meetings, Blair drank the cool aid and became a true believer in the Bush doctrine.

    The narrator does a great job with this audio book. He had unique and convincing accents for all the characters ranging from President Bush, Dick Cheney, the Muslim terrorists, and even Tony Blair and his staff. Amusingly though, he makes Blair sound allot like Oliver Twist.

    Overall I would say that if you were angered about the decision to allow torture in the “War on Terror”, than this book is definitely for you. On the other hand if you are looking for a historical perspective that reports the facts without the bias than much of this book will disappoint because the details of many of the successes are ignored.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By David Wessel
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (30)

    In a sweeping narrative about the people and the politics behind the budget, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter David Wessel looks at the 2011 fiscal year (which ended September 30) to see where all the money was actually spent, and why the budget process has grown wildly out of control.

    Graham says: "An Eye Opening Introduction to the National Debt"
    "An Eye Opening Introduction to the National Debt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great introduction to the US debt problem. It reveals where the US debt came from, how big it is and why it is such a difficult problem to solve. In this short book Wessel paints a fairly clear picture of what America is spending its money on. He shows how entitlements such as social security and medicare as well as the military contribute greatly to the debt problem. He shows that the only way to solve the problem is to both significantly reduce spending and increase taxes broadly. Small changes, however, such as raising the eligibility age of social security or increasing taxes only on the rich can not resolve the issue. Without large substantive changes, the debt problem will only continue to get worse.

    The book lacks a discussion of what would happen eventually if nothing is done. Instead it focuses on the current stalemate between the republicans and the democrats. He shows how the plans of those on the right, such as Paul Ryan, differ from those on the left, such as President Obama.

    All together this is a very good introduction at explaining what the debt problem is. But if you already know some of what it is, maybe you would be more interested in a book that examines the consequences of not fixing it, such as "Endgame: The End of The Debt Supercycle And How It Changes Everything" by John Mauldin

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3495)
    Performance
    (3130)
    Story
    (3159)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
    "An engaging but unsurprising narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, the narrator was great. It’s easy to believe his emphasis and intonations are the same as the author would have used himself. The author does create an engaging narrative about his experiences as a Navy Seal that is hard to put down.

    The book starts with a teaser introduction to the helicopters arriving at the compound. It then digresses to the training and combat history of the author. Then only the last third of this short book is about the preparations, raid and the aftermath.

    Unfortunately, this book does not add too many details about the raid than was already known generally. In the days after the raid I had read a few news articles and watched Obama’s speech on YouTube. But the book doesn’t really add too many details that I did not already know.

    The main revelations and surprising nuggets are the details of how Osama’s Corpse was handled by the Seals. This is about the only aspect of the raid the author seems to have no qualms with reveling the shocking details. These details are what I suspect upset the pentagon the most. The only other new information that he provides about the raid is very terse and otherwise there is a distinct lack of details. It is easy to tell that the words where crafted very carefully not to reveal too much. The chapter detailing the encounter with Osama Bin Laden is the shortest in the book at only 6 minutes long.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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