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James

Olathe, KS, United States | Member Since 2008

64
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 184 ratings
  • 284 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
1

  • The Immortal Game

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David Shenk
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Why has one game, alone among the thousands of games invented and played throughout human history, not only survived but thrived within every culture it has touched? What is it about its 32 figurative pieces, moving about its 64 black and white squares according to very simple rules, that has captivated people for nearly 1,500 years? Why has it driven some of its greatest players into paranoia and madness, and yet is hailed as a remarkably powerful intellectual tool?

    bob oneill says: "a must-read for all chess lovers"
    "Great Book for Chess Nerds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Being a Chess nerd myself, I can say that this book is great! If you only read 2 books about chess make them this book first and then Kasperov's "How Life Imitates Chess".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Masterpieces of Western Music

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Lependorf
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Lependorf
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (40)

    This lecture series focuses on the very best of Western music, and as we progress through these lectures, the following are two important questions that we will seek to answer as we examine the various musical selections: What makes these works masterpieces? Why highlight these works?

    ESK says: "Excellent and solid listen"
    "Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator swallows saliva more audibly than I care to hear, but the lectures were great!

    More importantly THERE IS MUSIC IN THIS RECORDING!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Music 101

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Fred Plotkin
    • Narrated By Fred Plotkin
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In clear and entertaining prose, Plotkin explores a thousand years of music, introduces listeners to more than 100 great works, and profiles in depth many significant composers, including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Dvoxak, and Mahler. He describes all the musical instruments in the orchestra, defines major musical terms, and makes music theory comprehensible for the uninitiated. There are also conversations with important musicians who offer fascinating insights about their art.

    Kenneth says: "Musical lecture"
    "Cant take it any more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fred Plotkin is probably a very knowledgeable music lover. I say probably because I wasn't physically able to listen to his book for more than 4 chapters. He narrates the book himself and he is AWFUL. It sounds like he has a cold. I wanted to like this book. I made a very concerted effort to stop being a weak listener, and just get over whatever was bothering me, but I just couldn't.

    There is an adjustment period at the begining of any audiobook, to get used to the narrator. I assume that Mr. Plotkin would just require of me a longer adjustment period. I don't have the patience to go on. I lived and died with every gulp of saliva and mispronounced "n".

    Also, there is no actual music in the recordings. This seems like such an easy principle: If you convert a book about an auditory experience to an audiobook, then you should include the subject matter!

    A failure on multiple levels!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Rick Shenkman
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Americans of all political stripes are heading into the 2008 election with the sense that something has gone terribly wrong with American politics. But what exactly? The only thing everyone seems to agree on, in fact, is that the American people are entirely blameless. InJust How Stupid Are We?, best-selling historian and renowned myth-buster Rick Shenkman takes aim at our great national piety: the wisdom of the American people.

    John says: "Cynical but accurate"
    "More importantly, how stupid do you think I am?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lets begin on a positive note. The narrator is great! buy books that are read by this guy, just not this one.

    The author is a Journalism professor in Seattle. I can accept that most journalists are left leaning. The "profession" attracts that type of person by design. It makes sense. However, I would also like to believe that your average Journalist is smarter than the average person. The more I read the more I find that it is not the case.

    This book is full of errors of logic. This book is actually an assault on logic. When the author does, perhaps mistakenly, make a cogent point, his premises are entirely false.

    If you are looking for a philosophically titillating argument about democratic politics, this is sadly not the book you are looking for. I had such high hopes that it was. But I was, alas, crestfallen.

    However, if you are looking for a baseless attack on the Bush administration and a petulant rant about the ignorance of southern "hicks" (eg Republicans), than this is the book for you!

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mere Christianity

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2697)
    Performance
    (1255)
    Story
    (1268)

    Mere Christianity is C.S. Lewis' forceful and accessible doctrine of Christian belief. First heard as informal radio broadcasts and then published as three separate books, The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity brings together what Lewis sees as the fundamental truths of the religion.

    Tim says: "A Classic That Gets Better & Better With Time!"
    "Pillar of Christian Philosophy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book because I am an avid fan of Peter Kreeft, who is a convert philosophy professor at Boston College. Dr. Kreeft teaches this book in a couple of his courses, and suggests that all Christians should read this book on a regular basis. Truth is revealed by God in scripture and holy tradition, but the same truth can also be revealed by reason. This book is a brilliant attempt at the latter. My only critique is that this narrator is apparently running while narrating as evidenced by his audible gasps before every sentence.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Herman Cain
    • Narrated By Herman Cain
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (118)

    Growing up poor in the segregated south, Herman Cain describes how he pulled himself out of the depths of poverty and became successful. In this memoir, Cain answers his most often-asked question: Who is Herman Cain?

    W. Max Hollmann says: "Boring and self-indulgent"
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have the Herman Cain bumper-sticker on my car. I have supported his run for the presidency long before Rick Perry even made it into the race. However, I must say, the performance on this audio book was awful. I am perfectly fine with the fact that this was probably ghost written. I think we all know about speech writers. Also, I don't expect that a candidate for President has the time to write a novel version of his stump speech.
    Herman Cain narrated this book as though he had never read it before, let alone written it. surely he could have taken a few moments before each chapter to skim the reading and plan out his inflection. It was really painful to listen too. That said, the subject matter was great. The background was impressive. I have nothing but respect for this honest and hard working business man. CAIN 2012!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Timothy Ferriss
    • Narrated By Zach McLarty
    Overall
    (995)
    Performance
    (568)
    Story
    (572)

    Is it possible to Reach your genetic potential in 6 months? Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better? Lose more fat than a marathoner by bingeing? Yes, and much more.

    Joshua says: "I knew this was abridged, but......."
    "Self aggrandizing drivel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of the information in the first few chapters was helpful and correct. The rest is on such shaking ground, from a research standpoint that it is comical to listen to. I have no doubt that Ferriss is an incredibly motivated and brilliant tech specialist. And I can sympathize with the data collection fetish that he has, as I am also similarly motivated. But he is no scientist, and it is hard to "take his word for it" as we are so often asked to in this book.

    I really have a lot of admiration for the author, but this book is not worth your time.

    On a side note: When possible, avoid this narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann, Dick Cheney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (434)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (370)

    In his unmistakable voice and with an insider's eye on history, former Vice President Dick Cheney tells the story of his life and the nearly four decades he has spent at the center of American politics and power. In My Time is truly the last word about an incredible political era, by a man who lived it and helped define it - with courage and without compromise.

    A User says: "Eye Opening, Insightful and Honest"
    "Great Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a republican who was prone to liking the author regardless. That said, this book really took it to a different level. What President Bush and Vice President Cheney did in their second term was brilliant. They wasted all of their political capital, because they knew they didn't need it. President Bush chose a running mate who had no ambition to run again, so they had nothing to lose. They ended their term as the butt of every joke and everyone's favorite whipping boy.

    They did what they thought was right even when it was unpopular. There are issues of such importance and secrecy that the american public cannot make an informed decision. That is why the great drafters of our constitution saw fit to make us a REPUBLIC and not a democracy.

    Dick Cheney, thank you for your years of service and not seeking populist fame while serving the President. Your selfless service made this a safer and more prosperous nation.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James Surowiecki
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (842)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (177)

    In this endlessly fascinating book, New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant. Groups are better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

    G Barth says: "Very worthwhile listen!"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    #1 book on crowd sourcing. This book was not too technical, nor was it a fanciful notion unsupported by facts. This was an efficient introduction to crowd sourcing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Annie Jacobsen
    • Narrated By Annie Jacobsen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1454)
    Performance
    (1020)
    Story
    (1029)

    Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

    A User says: "Reality, always more interesting than fiction."
    "Exellent read"
    Overall

    I am not a huge fan of conspiracy theory books, but this is a great read. It is nothing like i was expecting. This is merely interpretation of declassified files. Nothing too nuts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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