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Kate

Santa Barbara, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
52
REVIEWS
24
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Betty Medsger
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    The never-before-told full story of the history-changing break-in at the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, by a group of unlikely activists - quiet, ordinary, hardworking Americans - that made clear the shocking truth and confirmed what some had long suspected, that J. Edgar Hoover had created and was operating, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, his own shadow Bureau of Investigation.

    Susie says: "Forget Ocean's 11"
    "Fascinating story but overdone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Not sure--I was fascinated by the topic but bored by most of the book. It was overly detailed and strayed too much. It seemed that the author had spent so much time on the burglary and its outcomes that she had to include everything on the topic. If I had been reading the book I would have skipped many parts.


    What other book might you compare The Burglary to and why?

    I just also finished "Flash Boys" by Michael Lewis. The only comparison is that I wanted to meet each of the characters in Lewis' book (even the "bad" guys) but could not really care about any of those in this book. There was something missing from this book--I never got engaged in spite of being interested in the subject.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Bronson Pinchot is an adequate narrator but not a performer for this topic. I found that he made the book boring and I was tempted to stop listening (although I think part of the problem was that the book itself was boring). It was like listening to paint dry.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hiltons: The True Story of an American Dynasty

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By J. Randy Taraborrelli
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (65)

    The Hiltons is a sweeping saga of the success-and excess-of an iconic American family. Demanding and enigmatic, patriarch Conrad Hilton's visionary ideas and unyielding will established the model for the modern luxury hotel industry. But outside the boardroom, Conrad struggled with emotional detachment, failed marriages, and conflicted Catholicism.

    Jenna Frye says: "American Dynasty"
    "Surprisingly good and interesting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Hiltons again? Why?

    I don't listen to books more than once because I have so many new ones to listen to.


    What other book might you compare The Hiltons to and why?

    The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy--an in-depth look at these men in their times.
    Both were self-made men who had a tremendous impact on society and those around them.


    What does Robert Petkoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was a compelling listen.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but I was surprised by two things. First, the extent to which Zsa Zsa Gabor, as Hilton's ex-wife, stayed in his life until his death. Second, how his heirs (including Paris and her siblings) got so rich in spite of Conrad Hilton's insistence that his fortune be left to charity. He believed strongly that everyone should earn their own fortune.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this might be a gossipy-type book, but it was well- researched and written. I was fascinated by the life and story of Conrad Hilton and his family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader's Tale of Spectacular Excess

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Turney Duff
    • Narrated By Turney Duff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (142)

    A remarkable writing debut, filled with indelible moments, The Buy Side shows as no book ever has the rewards – and dizzying temptations – of making a living on the Street.

    Courtney says: "Fascinating, honest tale of life on the "Street""
    "Good book, badly read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Buy Side the most enjoyable?

    It was a fascinating story, told from the first person perspective.


    What other book might you compare The Buy Side to and why?

    A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers--another insider story, but more about the industry than the individual


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Turney Duff?

    Almost anyone! I understand why someone who writes a book about his own life would like to read it, but his narration really detracted from the book. I almost stopped listening, although he did a bit better by the end. He was flat and boring.

    Steven Hoye or Sean Runnette would have been great.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really, I just felt bad for those around him who were hurt by his actions.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (121)

    Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

    Michael Eaton says: "The Greatest Spy -- Ever Discovered"
    "Reads like a spy novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Spy Among Friends again? Why?

    Probably not--I do not listen to books again (because I have so many new ones to read!)


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a thrilling book. I wanted to listen to the entire book in one sitting because I wanted to know what happened (even though I knew the story). It really was written like a spy novel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It was not so much a scene as a theme that was compelling. The idea that Philby was "one of them" in background and status and therefore was treated with kid gloves which allowed him to continue to commit treason even after he was brought back into MI6 because he was "cleared". And that even when they knew he was guilty, because of who he was, he somehow deserved a lighter punishment than others who were not as bad as he was.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The epilogue by the author John LeCarre, who had been in MI5 for a period--he met with Elliot (Philby's close friend and MI6 colleague) when they were both older. Elliot's continuing nonchalance about what he allowed to happen, and his recollection of how much he enjoyed being with Philby (Elliot's loose lips when they were drinking allowed Philby to know many secrets) was amazing. It was frustrating to see how the good old boy's club allowed so many to lose their lives.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • JFK Jr., George & Me: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Matt Berman
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    The Kennedys - their poise, the family secrets, and their grace in the face of unimaginable tragedies - have captured the imagination and interest of the public for more than fifty years. Now colleague and friend of JFK Jr. Matt Berman offers us a unique look at John's life as both a professional and "regular guy." When talented creative executive Matt Berman took a meeting with John Kennedy Jr. in 1995, he was immediately hired to serve as George's creative director, thus beginning an unforgettable journey, both personal and professional.

    Kate says: "A different perspective on JFK Jr's life"
    "A different perspective on JFK Jr's life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about JFK Jr., George & Me?

    The author told the story from his perspective as creative director for George Magazine. He talked about what he knew best--how the covers were chosen, designed, and shot. It was a fascinating way to weave in what he knew about JFK Jr (and his wife Carolyn).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author--after I read the book I went back to follow up on how his career has unfolded after he left George.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Daniel Schulman
    • Narrated By Allen O'Reilly
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    Like the Rockefellers and the Kennedys, the Kochs are one of the most influential dynasties of the modern age, but they have never been the subject of a major biography... until now. Not long after the death of his father, Charles Koch, then in his early 30s, discovered a letter the family patriarch had written to his sons. "You will receive what now seems to be a large sum of money," Fred Koch cautioned. "It may either be a blessing or a curse."

    Jean says: "Interesting family"
    "The Koch brothers and their squabbles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Sons of Wichita in three words, what would they be?

    Family, money, power


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    William, one of the twins--he had 5 children with 4 women, and 3 wives. He had serious issues with his brothers and it seemed to taint his entire life. I wanted to know more about what was going on inside his head.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction except that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (766)
    Performance
    (683)
    Story
    (684)

    Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.

    C. Telfair says: "Wow! Patience Rewarded!"
    "You understand Roosevelt and Taft"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes--I learned so much, especially about Taft and his relationship to Roosevelt.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bully Pulpit?

    Taft continually giving up the opportunity (his life-long dream) to be on the Supreme Court because he felt a duty to do something else.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great performer--it was a very long audiobook but I did not get tired to listening to him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    My only complaint is that is was less about journalism and more about Roosevelt and Taft. The title is misleading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • America at War: Concise Histories of U.S. Military Conflicts from Lexington to Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Terence T. Finn
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    War-organized violence against an enemy of the state-seems part and parcel of the American journey. Indeed, the United States was established by means of violence as ordinary citizens from New Hampshire to Georgia answered George Washington's call to arms. Since then, war has become a staple of American history. Counting the War for Independence, the United States has fought the armed forces of other nations at least twelve times, averaging a major conflict every twenty years.

    Kate says: "Fabulous history of US wars"
    "Fabulous history of US wars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes--interesting and concise look at wars/conflict. I was not generally interested in wars, but this book was a perfect description of how the wars started, how they progressed, and how they ended. More importantly, the author summarized and gave his opinion on who won and who lost and what other outcomes were significant.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of America at War?

    I was struck by the author's determination that dropping the atomic bomb in Japan actually saved lives because the Japanese would not otherwise have given up and more would die in battle.


    What does Sean Pratt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent performer--perfect way to present this material.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was struck by the author's determination that dropping the atomic bomb in Japan actually saved lives because the Japanese would not otherwise have given up and more would die in battle. Every story had a interesting perspective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (2068)
    Performance
    (1839)
    Story
    (1858)

    Michael Lewis returns to the financial world to give listeners a ringside seat as the biggest news story in years prepares to hit Wall Street....

    Darwin8u says: "Making the system deliver on its promise."
    "Another Great Book by Michael Lewis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Flash Boys in three words, what would they be?

    crazy Wall Street


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    What Lewis describes, in only a way he can, what has been happening with high-frequency trading. I was completely drawn into the characters and the story. The way he describes each character makes you want to meet them personally, whether they are "good" or "bad".


    Which character – as performed by Dylan Baker – was your favorite?

    Ronan--I loved his irreverent language and approach to the business.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Too many to list! I learned so much from this book and will be more cognizant of what is going on in the market.


    Any additional comments?

    I will read/listen to anything Michael Lewis writes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Robert L. Wolke
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Arranged in a question-and-answer format, What Einstein Told His Barber is for anyone who ever pondered such things as why colors fade in sunlight, what happens to the rubber from worn-out tires, what makes red-hot objects glow red, and other scientific curiosities.

    William says: "Majority of Info NOT information from Einstein"
    "Another great Wolke book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about What Einstein Told His Barber?

    As with all of Wolke's entertaining books, I learned a lot about everyday things that are fascinating


    What other book might you compare What Einstein Told His Barber to and why?

    Wolke's other books about everyday science explained in plain terms


    What aspect of Stephen Hoye’s performance would you have changed?

    I listened to his work on a book about Scientology and he did a great job, but I did not like him for this particular book. For this book I wish they had used Sean Runnette, who narrated Wolke's other books. Runnette has the perfect voice--I felt like I was listening to the author, who is clever and funny, narrate his own book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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