I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, not being a huge fan of O’Reilly, but I must admit the book captured my attention right off the bat and kept my interest throughout the entire book. I listen to audio books as I commute and this was one of those books that I could not wait to get back to at the end of the day. While I would not agree with many of his assertions in the book, I would say the book is incredibly interesting and in many ways very informative. He narrates the book in the same manner that he does his talking points memo from the factor and it works for this book. He does an incredible job in my opinion of presenting an idea of what life must have been like in that region at that time. The end of the book was especially poignant and thought provoking – I did not realize that all of the Apostles except John were gruesomely martyred as they preached the Gospel following the Crucifixion of Jesus. I plan to try one of his other books.
I picked up the Great Commanders primarily because the title seemed to cover such a diverse group of Military Leaders, many of whom I knew little about. The book was very enjoyable and one that I would recommend for World History buffs. The author treated each of the Commanders in a very even handed manner - noting good and bad character traits that they appeared to exhibit. Of particular interest to me was what seemed to be the motivating factor for each of the Commanders that are detailed in the book - some were fighting simply for glory, some for their very survival, and some for an ideal or a particular vision that they held. The book was enjoyable and one that I would recommend, but I will say that the content is high level and not incredibly detailed. If you are looking for detailed information of the individual commanders themselves then I would probably recommend reading biographies in lieu of this one. The narration was enthusiastic and for the most part above average.
I stumbled onto this one as I was searching for books narrated by Frank Muller, one of my favorite narrators. What I found was a wonderful yarn about a humble, but determined Engineer that is singularly focused on doing the right thing, even at the peril of himself and his family. If you are looking for mystery, suspense, or jaw dropping plot twists then I would say that this isn’t the book for you. However, if you are looking for an excellent human interest story with likeable characters then I would highly recommend this one. I had never heard of Nevil Shute before reading this book but I found this book to be so enjoyable that I plan to try another one of his. The narration was exceptional.
There were portions of this book that were scary, but the vast majority of it wasn't. This book reminded me of the adage "hours and hours and hours of total boredom interrupted every now and then with a few moments of stark terror". After listening to it I wished I had skipped many sections as they seemed to be a total waste of time. This Audio book would probably lend itself more to an abridged version, if one existed. Narration was above average. If you like Stephen King Books you probably wouldn't be too disappointed in this one, but be prepared - it is an extremely long book that develops very, very slowly. I was very underwhelmed by the book.
While there is actually very little in this book about the conversion of Europe, it is nevertheless an interesting portrait of Constantine. The book focuses on Constantine's conversion and his subsequent push towards making Christianity the formal religion of the Empire. The book has a few sections that get a little dry when it focuses on the schisms and sects that began to emerge within Christianity is it grew within the Empire. Most of the focus in this book is actually on North Africa and the near east.
Constantine, and the actions that he took had huge impacts that can be felt to this day. His decision to make Constantinople a Capitol for the Eastern Provinces I believe created a divide in Europe that can still be seen. Western Europe and the religion that evolved there is to this day very different from the Orthodox Christianity that exists in Easter Europe. And the fact that the Roman Empire, and later Europe became the bastion of Christianity was certainly impacted by the actions of Constantine. The book points out many flaws and strengths that he seemed to have, certainly he was no Saint but he was markedly different from previous Emperors.
Charlton Griffin is one of the premier narrators for audio books and does an outstanding job in this one. I would recommend this book if you enjoy Roman History, it is however very slow in some parts, particularly those focused on the various infighting among the sects.
I had read this book years ago and forgot how intense it really was. There is no slow build up, this one is a thrill ride for the entire book. And in the end, you are left wondering. I found myself looking forward to my commute to hear more. Really, it is one of Dean Koontz' best books, along with "Lightning" and "the Watchers". The narration takes some getting used to, it was almost annoying at the beginning but ended up decent. If you are a fan of Dean Koontz then I would say this is one you will really enjoy.
I read the first offering in this series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and thought it to be the best new detective series I had read in several years. The chemistry between the characters was top notch. This book, the Silkworm, is the second book in the series and was kind of a disappointment. I still like the main characters, the chemistry between them is in the same league as Mulder & Scully or Kirk & Spock, but the storyline on this one can best be described as being weak and farfetched. It had so many characters and potential suspects that it really didn’t lend itself well to an audio version in my opinion. The narration was again top notch, there just simply wasn’t a lot to work with and that is why it fell way short as compared to Cuckoos Calling. I would probably still recommend it to people that enjoyed the first one simply to keep up with the evolving interactions between Strike and Robin. I hope the next one is closer to the original.
The four hour work week by Timothy Ferriss is an extreme and somewhat inspiring book – lots of incredible ideas and a few that would seem to be unwise and very likely to get one fired. He obviously is a smart, motivated person that has an optimistic perspective and wants to live life to the fullest. One theme that resonated throughout his book was not putting life off, not waiting until you are too old to enjoy retirement to retire – in fact he recommends mini retirements throughout your life. He points out so many areas in the modern career that are very unproductive and unnecessary – I think that is essentially how he came up with the title of his book, by eliminating a lot of the routine and unproductive activities in a typical work week, there is not a lot left. Another takeaway was his separation of stuff from substance – focusing on experiences in lieu of toys and objects obtained just to associate a person with affluence. The parts of the book that I found to be the most challenging was when he would go into long discussions on website after website after website, and I figured those would be better suited for a regular book. I will probably re-listen to it again in the future.
The narration by Ray Porter was exceptional, I believe he is one of the best narrators in the business.
I wasn’t sure that I wanted to waste one of my credits on this novelization of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The middle of part I started to get a little dry, but the pace picked up very quickly in the second part. The second part has all of the elements of a good suspense novel. For a large portion of part 1 I didn’t really like any of the characters, but as the story progressed you could empathize with several of them. It kind of reminded me of Game of Thrones in that regard.
The narration was well done and I loved the afterward with the authors talking about the evolution of this timeless story and how the modern day renditions are probably quite different from the story that was probably used during Shakespeare’s time. I plan on trying one of their other novelizations. This one is worth the credit.
The Harry Bosch series is probably my favorite detective series and the Narrows may be the most enjoyable of the entire series. It has some very funny stuff, a really interesting story line that is suspenseful and fast paced and it has great chemistry among the characters. Len Cariou is the best of the Bosch narrators and he does an excellent job in this one. The character development and interaction is exceptionally well done. This one is so good that I have listened to it multiple times - if you are a Harry Bosch fan you will really enjoy this one, I would recommend listening to City of Bones, Lost Light and the Poet first to better understand the plot of the Narrows.
Empires of the Sea is an excellent book, well worth the credit. I found it to be interesting, informative and well written. I had no idea of the magnitude of the slave trade that was perpetuated by the Ottomans and the Barbary Corsairs from their raids of Italy and Spain. Entire populations on some islands and towns were captured and taken away into slavery. The book is actually very suspenseful as it goes into very detailed descriptions of people and soldiers undergoing a siege. The leadership of the defenders at Malta was another aspect that I found to be incredible.
I also found it interesting that the author suggests that economic impacts from gold and silver discoveries in the New World may have been one of the greatest factors in the decline of the Ottoman war machine.
Narration was top notch.
If you enjoy European history you will enjoy this book. I would also recommend the great siege by Ernie Bradford as a complementary book to this one
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