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Joan

Palo Alto, CA, USA

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 58 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror, 1801-1805

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Joseph Wheelan
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    Two centuries ago, without congressional or public debate, a president who is thought of today as peaceable, Thomas Jefferson, launched America's first war on foreign soil, a war against terror. The enemy was Muslim; the war was waged unconventionally, with commandos, native troops, and encrypted intelligence, and launched from foreign bases.

    Donald says: "A Great Read"
    "Could have been better"
    Overall

    The writing is frustratingly confusing and meandering at times. But the story is fascinating, especially if you're at all interested in the early history of the American navy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2298)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (554)

    In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of an impoverished Pakistani village, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time: Greg Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban.

    Karl says: "An education and inspiration"
    "Amazing - a real page-turner!"
    Overall

    Experiencing "Three Cups of Tea" and the harrowing story of Greg Mortenson's passionate endeavors to build schools in remote parts of Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan, against all odds, is to share in the remarkable experiences of a modern-day hero. The obstacles are so extreme and dangerous, and the outcomes so extraordinary that the story becomes embued with almost mythical qualities - and yet it is all true! The writer, David Relin, is an unabashed fan of Mr. Mortenson's (as he openly confesses in the introduction) and the sparkling narrative reflects Mr. Relin's passion for his subject. Nevertheless, events in the story that seem almost beyond belief are carefully validated and cross-referenced by the author, making this a very satisfactory read. The reader, once he gets into a story-telling mode, does a fine job and is adept at applying different voices to characters as they emerge in a way that contributes to the listener experience.
    An absolutely wonderful book!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Washington's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Hackett Fischer
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (610)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (229)

    This New York Times best seller is a thrilling account of one of the most pivotal moments in United States history. Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.

    William says: "Particularly Good Military History"
    "Wonderfully written and told-print version a must!"
    Overall

    Brilliant cross-blend of popular history with scholarly research. Previously undiscovered first-hand accounts of the amazing 31 days of December 5, 1776 to January 5, 1777 lend a sparkle to Mr. Fischer's narrative and add color and context. Nelson Runger's reading is vibrant and thoroughly absorbing. (Tip: Get the print version of this wonderful book for the first-rate maps and bibliography it contains!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1165)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (407)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "If you like David McCullough . . ."
    Overall

    . . .you'll LOVE Ron Chernow! Chernow is every bit McCullough's equal as a story teller, but with breadth and depth to his approach that takes this remarkable book way beyond the realm of pop-history. This is an extremely well-researched, up-to-date, and thoroughly satisfying telling of the brilliant mind and ultimately tragic life of Alexander Hamilton. I could go on at length listing the high points of this book, but one real standout for me was Hamilton's prescient writings in the "Federalist Papers" and his visionary role in broadly defining the political essence of the U.S. Constitution. Chernow vividly recreates the context of a time when many of the rights and protections we take for granted today were novel, controversial, and all-too fragile. But the author uses primary sources throughout and, in doing so, firmly establishes Hamilton as progenitor of the most resilient political-socioeconomic system ever devised. (And for anyone who needs convincing: Thomas Jefferson was indeed a rogue and scoundrel!)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Frank Lloyd Wright

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ada Louise Huxtable
    • Narrated By Carrington Macduffie
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for The New York Times comes an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of the world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In this book, Huxtable looks at the architect and the man, exploring the sources of his tumultuous and troubled life and his long career as a master builder, as well as his search for lasting, true love.

    Stephen B says: "Wonderful book! Excellent reader!"
    "Sparkling Biography - Full of Wit and Insight!"
    Overall

    I LOVE this book!! It's a great telling of the strange life of a quirky genius. Ms. Huxtable is brilliant at describing Wright's unique and wonderous creations. Also, Ms. Carrington, the reader, really adds value to the narrative! HIGHLY recommended!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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