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Jean

I am an avid eclectic reader.

Santa Cruz, CA, United States | Member Since 2015

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  • 799 reviews
  • 836 ratings
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  • 74 purchased in 2015
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  • Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By James Carl Nelson
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Blaisdell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Delving deep into the motivations, horrific experiences, and ultimate fates of this Harvard-educated quintet - and by extension, of the brilliant young officer class that left its collegiate and postcollegiate pursuits to enlist in the army and lead America’s rough-and-ready doughboys - Five Lieutenants presents a unique, timeless, and fascinating account of citizen soldiers at war and of the price these extraordinary men paid while earnestly giving all they had in an effort to end "the war to end all wars."

    Jean says: "Educated men at War"
    "Educated men at War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a non-fiction book about World War 1. I have been reading every thing I can find about WW1 for the past year and a half, from non-fiction, fiction, all the way to poetry and music. This is a newly published book that is well research looking into the lives of five young men that are Harvard grads. Most are master or Phd grads, most are from better off families and probably could have found away to avoid military service. Each had their reasons for going off to War. Nelson researched diaries, uncensored letters and memoirs as well as the usual resources about the war. The story is more about each of the young men rather than a detailed account of the military action. Each became an officer and leds men into battle. Because of their education and sensitivity they saw events a bit different than some of the uneducated men they led. Enjoyed some of the poems that were read in the book. For one studying WW1 this book helps give insight to the individual officer and the effects of the War on them post war. Geoffrey Blaisdell did a good job narrating the story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Working Stiff: Mattie Winston Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Annelise Ryan
    • Narrated By Jorjeana Marie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (224)

    When Mattie Winston catches her husband Dr. David Winston receiving some very special loving care from R.N. Karen Owenby, she quits her job and moves out. Mattie's best friend Izzy offers her a place to stay and suggests she'd be a natural as deputy coroner. Now, instead of taking patients' pulses, Mattie's weighing their hearts and livers. But Mattie's first homicide call turns out to be for none other than Nurse Karen, and even though she saw her ex in a heated argument with the newly deceased the night before, she refuses to believe David could be a killer.

    Kathy says: "A Combo of NCIS, Bones and Physical Comedy!"
    "An easy read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a new author and narrator for me. Ryan tells the story of Mattie Winston who has caught her husband David Winston, M.D., having an affair with Karen Owenby, R.N.

    Mattie moves out, quits her job, files for divorce and moves in with her gay friend Izzy, who is the Chief Medical Examiner. Izzy suggest Mattie apply for a job as a deputy coroner investigator. Mattie does and is hired and the first homicide call turns out to be the murder of Karen Owenby. Detective Steven Harley is assigned to the case. Mattie sets out to learn how to be a deputy coroner investigator by trial and error and some book learning and instructions, a sort of on the job training.

    The author writes in a humorous way considering the subject matter. The book is light and easy to read. This book makes a great get a-way from it all read. Jorjeana Marie narrated the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • With the Possum and the Eagle: The Memoir of a Navigator's War Over Germany and Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ralph H. Nutter
    • Narrated By Ed Altman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    From the beginning, it was clear that Ralph Nutter was an exceptional navigator. Rapid promotion followed when he was assigned as Maj. Gen. Curtis the Eagle LeMay's personal navigator. Later, he was picked by Maj. Gen. Haywood Possum Hansell, the 20th Air Force Commander, to be his personal navigator. The author's vivid recollections of those halcyon years make for exciting, informative listening.

    Jean says: "Nutter writes with candor and clarity"
    "Nutter writes with candor and clarity"
    Overall
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    The author, Ralph Nutter, had an interesting war. In his memoirs he tells of his time as the group navigator in B-17s for Brig. General Haywood “Possum” Hansell and then as Col. Curtis “Eagle” Le May in the Eighth Air Force. Hansell was chief planner for the 8th Air Force under Gen. Carl Spaatz, and Le May replaced Hansell in the job. The attrition rate for bombers flying over Germany in daylight without fighter escorts in 1942-1943, was so high that, statistically, it was nearly impossible to complete a tour without injury or death.

    Nutter tells the stories of his full complement of missions as group navigator in Europe, and then as the war winds down he transfers to the Pacific. He again is the navigator for Hansell flying B-29 Super fortress with Hansell, then with Le May when he took over from Hansell again.

    After the War Nutter went to law school, practiced law then became a Judge. As his unit was beginning to die he decided to write his memoirs. The author did some research but he must have kept a detailed diary.

    Nutter uses as a foil for discussion the two men he served under, Hansell and Le May. One was unable or unwilling to abandon high-formation, target specific bombing, even as it repeatedly demonstrated its unworkability. The other made the transition and came as close as anyone to proving that bombing alone can defeat the enemy.

    The B-29 super fortress was the most expensive plane of its time. I was interested in Nutter’s comment about the Truman Commission and its investigation of the B- 29 particularly the engines which never seemed to work. Nutter goes into detail about the problems with the B-29 and with the problem of obtaining fighter cover for the bomber in Europe and Pacific.

    This book reiterates the importance of encouraging WWII veterans to tell their stories while there is still time, for their perspective contains insights and lessons that extend well beyond the preservation of memory.

    The book is relatively small volume, is easy to read and packed with lots of information. I enjoyed reading this book. Ed Altman narrated the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Furious: Kris Longknife, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (343)

    Having used unorthodox methods to save a world - and every sentient being on it - Lieutenant Commander Kris Longknife is wanted across the galaxy for crimes against humanity. For her own safety, she’s been assigned to a backwater planet where her Fast Patrol Squadron 127 enforces immigration control and smuggler interdiction. But Kris is a Longknife, and nothing can stop her from getting back to the center of things - not when all hell is breaking loose.

    Jean says: "Exciting Action"
    "Exciting Action"
    Overall
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    In the last episode Kris Longknife was sent to a backwater station of Madigan’s Rainbow to command the fast patrol squadron 127 on immigration control and hunting pirates.

    Kris learns that her Grandfather Al, the family business mogul, is sending out a merchant fleet to attempt to trade with the new aliens Kris discovered in the last book.

    She runs away from Madigan’s Rainbow to go to Wardhaven to talk to Grandpa Al. She reunites with her bodyguard Jack and they nearly die in an attempt on Kris’ life. She is hunted by everyone, her accounts are frozen, Nelly and kids are unable to connect to the net and both military and civilian authorities are after her. Kris decides to turn herself over to the government of Musashi. There are still repeated assassination attempts on Kris. She is placed on trial. Shepherd does a great job with the trial. Kris also wants to know what happened to the planet they saved and stop Grandfather Al’s merchant fleet. Can she? The ending is a bit of a surprise and a good set up for the next episode.

    The book is well written and moves at a very fast pace. Shepherd’s quirky characters make the story seem more real. We have new characters in this book to replace those who died or are missing from the last book. The humor offset some of the assassination attempts. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Dina Pearlman does a great job narrating this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel's Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Daniel Gordis
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Reviled as a fascist by his great rival Ben-Gurion, venerated by Israel’s underclass, the first Israeli to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a proud Jew but not a conventionally religious one, Menachem Begin was both complex and controversial. Born in Poland in 1913, Begin was a youthful admirer of the Revisionist Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky and soon became a leader within Jabotinsky’s Betar movement.

    Jean says: "Thought-provoking"
    "Thought-provoking"
    Overall
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    Last fall (2014) I re-read Lawrence Wright’s book “Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David” I thought this might be a good book to provide more information about Begin.

    Begin had run for prime minister eight times when in 1977 he won on his ninth try. Apparently Begin was extreme right wing, he helped formed the Herut party. Begin was despised by the ruling establishment. Begin’s Herut party platform called for Jews to rule in all of Palestine. The Egyptian and Syrian attack in 1973 set up the change to help Begin win in 1977.

    Gordis in his biography of Begin starts with his childhood and adolescence in a Polish Shtetl. Begin was an active Zionist. Begin graduated from University as an attorney. Gordis tells about Begin and his wife Aliza flight from Poland in 1939 to escape the Nazis, only to be imprisoned in Siberia by the Russians. They finally arrived in Palestine in 1942.
    The author tells of Begin’s life in the Irgun, the underground fighting force in Palestine, following their arrival in 1942. Begin lost his family in the Holocaust and that had a major influence on his belief in a homeland for the Jews.

    Gordis covers in depth Begin’s life as prime minister; he covers Begin’s liberalization policies that hastened the end of Israel’s semi-socialist economy. In 1981 Begin bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor to prevent them from making a nuclear bomb. Begin welcomed Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The author discusses the peace treaty with Egypt and the 1982 war in Lebanon. Begin won the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for the peace with Egypt.

    According to Gordis, Begin’s most important legacy is the restoration to Israeli’s public life of a fundamental sense of Jewish purpose that was missing from it during the long years of Labor hegemony. The author says Begin was a person whose Jewish soul dictated virtually everything he says; every action he took. Gordis states that Begin remains the, most Jewish prime minister that Israel has ever had. Walter Dixon narrated the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Warspite: Ark Royal, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (205)

    The First Interstellar War is over, but the Royal Navy still has plenty of work to do. As Earth struggles to recover from the bombardment, Captain John Naiser is placed in command of HMS Warspite - an experimental heavy cruiser - and ordered to escort a squadron of colony ships to a star system of immense strategic importance. But as the crew struggle to survive hundreds of light years from Earth, they find themselves dealing with the legacy of the war.

    Jean says: "absorbing"
    "absorbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book picks up where the Ark Royal trilogy ended. This could be a standalone book or a beginning of the new series.

    The first interstellar war is over. The Royal Navy is rebuilding and has lots of work to do. The earth is struggling to recover from the war. Our new protagonist is Captain John Naiser who is Commander of HMS Warspite, an experimental heavy cruiser. HMS Warspite is ordered to escort a squadron of colony ships to a star system of strategic importance to Earth.

    Nuttall provides us with space pirates; tension building among the colonist in what might become a civil war. The story provides action, humor and some interesting developments for future stories. The story has both space battles and ground battles. We are introduced to a new human like aliens that are still in a primitive state.

    Nuttall has made in my opinion a couple of gross mistakes that would never happen in any military in the world , and as far as I am concerned not even in military Sci-Fi. The first error is a corporal never out ranks a sergeant and the other error; never would a civilian been given a military rank and made the executive officer of a ship.

    It looks as if Nuttall is launching another series. I will be in line to buy the next book if this becomes a series. Nuttall has created a couple of interesting characters I would like to learn more about. Ralph Lister narrated the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Beam, Straight Up: The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Fred Noe, Jim Kokoris
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Written by the 7th generation Beam family member and Master Distiller, Frederick Booker Noe III, Beam, Straight Up is the first audiobook by a Beam, the family behind the 217-year whiskey dynasty and makers of one of the world's best-selling bourbons. This audiobook features family history and the evolution of bourbon, including Fred's storied youth "growing up Beam" in Bardstown, Kentucky; his transition from the bottling line to renowned global bourbon ambassador; and his valuable business insights on how to maintain and grow a revered brand.

    Jean says: "Highly Entertaining"
    "Highly Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a short book about the history of Bourbon in the United States and the history of the family of the Jim Beam Distillery. It is also the autobiography of Fred Noe. He starts with his early life with his famous father Booker Noe. The author goes into his life at college and then touring the country with a band. Then his return home to carrying on the family business.

    Noe also goes into the business of distilling and how the family runs a famous business. Fred is the seventh generation Bean Master distiller, following in the footsteps of his legendary father Booker Noe. The author tells about the various brands at Beam and he also discusses other distillers which are his neighbors and friends.

    Some of the stories in the book are humorous others provide enlightenment about the business and history of Bourbon. There is even a section of Fred’s favorite cooking recipes in the written and e-book format. I did not even know you could add bourbon when you were cooking, so I am not a cook.

    Fred is an excellent story teller and the book makes for a delightful read.
    Nick Sullivan narrated the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Honour Redeemed

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By David Donachie
    • Narrated By Gerry O'Brien
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    With his fiery Irish blood and well-known reputation for trouble, Lieutenant George Markham leads his embattled Royal Marines against the French in Corsica. His mission: to seize the island. Markham ventures across the island to persuade the veteran war hero Pasquali Paoli to unite the Corsicans behind him. But their loyalty remains torn by a heritage of vendettas, French bribery, and cross and double cross.

    Jean says: "Highly Entertaining"
    "Highly Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book number two in the Markham of the Marines series.

    Connery (pseudonym for David Donachie) still has the story set in the first years of the French Revolution. Lieutenant George Markham is now on Corsica. The book opened with the Royal Marines making an amphibious landing on a beach under fire. After days of battle Markham and his men are sent off with a Royal Army Major to take a message to General Pasquale Paoli the leader of Corsica about treachery. The Corsican clan, known as the Bonapartist, is trying to assassinate Paoli. We meet in this book the famous women soldiers of the Corsican Army so silent and deadly with their knives. In this book we are introduced to a new character, Bellamy, an educated free Black man who is ordered by the Commander of the troop of Corsican women to carry the Corsica banner (A black Moor with white headband holding a banner) to lead the troops. Markham and troop flee and fight the French trying to get Paoli to Lord Nelson’s Ship before the battle to make sure the Corsica Army fights with the English against the French.

    The book is well written and moves at a fairly fast pace. There is no sea action; all action takes place on shore. The book has lots of suspense, back-stabbing, spies, and treachery as well as cavalry charges and infantry action along with some history of Corsica.

    Gerry O’Brien does a good job narrating the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Women Physicians and Professional Ethos in Nineteenth-Century America: Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Carolyn Skinner
    • Narrated By Caroline Miller
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Women physicians in 19th-century America faced a unique challenge in gaining acceptance to the medical field as it began its transformation into a professional institution. The profession had begun to increasingly insist on masculine traits as signs of competency. Not only were these traits inaccessible to women according to 19th-century gender ideology, but showing competence as a medical professional was not enough.

    Jean says: "Interesting look at women's education"
    "Interesting look at women's education"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is definitely an academic essay. I was impressed by the amount of research Skinner did for this book. The research is both comprehensive and exhaustive. Skinner exams women’s medical text and speeches from the 19th century from “a range of genres appropriate to the women’s status as physicians,” and is most interested in their strategic uses of ethos in their efforts to influence popular and medical discourse.

    The genres were divided into chapters with the first chapter covering the debate of the time about the character of women physicians. Skinner covers questions such as could women physicians not only be competent but maintain their femininity. Other chapters were on education of women and children on anatomy, sex and hygiene.

    I was most impressed that the author also included American Indian women and African American professionals and their special difficulties to be accepted.

    Skinners claims in each chapter are based on solid textual analysis with her support anchored in the choices.

    This is an excellent analysis and review of the problems women faced to be educated and accepted in their profession of choice. It is only recently that we are seeing more and more women physicians and in the most part they are not only accepted as competent physicians by fellow physicians but also by the public.

    Caroline Miller narrated the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Welcome Home/Go Away: A Kris Longknife Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (100)

    An original novella in the "fast-paced, exciting military SF series" featuring Kris Longknife. Kris Longknife is back home from her galactic adventures, but her entire Fleet of Discovery has been annihilated. Now, humanity finds itself at war with an alien race more monstrous than anyone could have possibly imagined. General Terrance "Trouble" Tordon, Kris’s great-grandfather, is given the task of calming the panicked politicians, some of whom blame Kris for the disaster and would like to eliminate the ever-bothersome Commander Longknife.

    Jean says: ""Trouble""
    ""Trouble""
    Overall
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    This is book nine and half or a novella in the Longknife series. It comes right after “Daring” book number nine. You must read these books in order otherwise you are lost.

    This is a background novella telling what problems Kris’s family has been caused by her battle with the aliens. The novella focuses on Kris’s great grandfather General “Trouble” Tordon. He has been tasked with the job of calming the panicked politicians, who blame Kris for the disaster and pending war. The want to court marshal Kris for Crimes against humanity.

    The book looks at the ending of “Daring” book number nine from a different point of view than from Kris’s. It is great to get a boarder insight into the politics of Wardhaven and the plants of human space.

    The book is well written and this story provides some back story to some of the other characters. The question I have is can grandpa Trouble help save Kris or not? I enjoyed learning more about great grandma Ruth and great grandpa Trouble. We first met Ruth when Kris went to New Eden, Ruth was teaching at the college. Dina Pearlman does an excellent job narrating the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Craig L. Symonds
    • Narrated By James Lurie
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (218)

    There are few moments in American history in which the course of events tipped so suddenly and so dramatically as at the Battle of Midway. At dawn of June 4, 1942, a rampaging Japanese navy ruled the Pacific. By sunset, their vaunted carrier force (the Kido Butai) had been sunk and their grip on the Pacific had been loosened forever. In this absolutely riveting account of a key moment in the history of World War II, one of America's leading naval historians, Craig L. Symonds, paints an unforgettable portrait of ingenuity, courage, and sacrifice.

    Jean says: "Excellent"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost skipped over this book as over the years I have read so many books about the Battle of Midway; I thought to myself do I want to read another book on this subject. I am glad I did decide to read this book as I learned more about the battle from it.
    Midway was a pivotal battle of WWII. Symond is a professor emeritus from the U. S. Naval Academy.

    Many historians including Symonds have compared the Battle of Midway to that of Lord Nelson’s win at the Battle of Trafalgar. The comparison is apt as both battles had far-reaching effects on the course of the conflict during which they occurred.

    The U.S. Navy was on a defensive position after Pearl Harbor. At the battle of Midway the Japanese lost four of the largest aircraft carriers with their crews and aircraft. The U.S. Navy gained a strategic initiative that it maintained for the rest of the War.

    Symond insist that victory was the result of decisions and actions taken by certain individuals. He proceeds during the book to build his case. Symond recounts and explains the events of the battle both from the Japanese and American viewpoint.

    Symond also covers the story of the Navy code breakers and how critical that was to the success of the battle as the Navy knew the Japanese intentions. At the end of the book Symonds reviews what happened to each of the key people after the War.

    Symond provides a lucid, intensely researched account of the battle of Midway. If you are interested in WWII history this is book you must read. James Lurie narrated the book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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