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P. Strayer

Oakland CA | Member Since 2010

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 180 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By David R. Montgomery
    • Narrated By Tim Lundeen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Dirt, soil, call it what you want - it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are - and have long been - using up Earth's soil.

    Dan says: "Turns out there's a lot to learn about dirt"
    "Fascinating History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations in three words, what would they be?

    Fresh Take on History


    Any additional comments?

    This is a completely fascinating topic - a long neglected and yet absolutely essential part of history. I was amazed, surprised and constantly engaged by the ever intriguing twists and turns. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sicily:Three Thousand Years of Human History

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Sandra Benjamin
    • Narrated By Fred Filbrich
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Emigration of people from Sicily often overshadows the importance of the people who immigrated to the island through the centuries. These have included several who became Sicily's rulers, along with Jews, Ligurians, and Albanians. Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Hohenstaufens, Spaniards, Bourbons, the Savoy Kingdom of Italy and the modern era have all held sway, and left lasting influences on the island's culture and architecture.

    Neil Chisholm says: "It improved with time"
    "Surprisingly compelling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am planning a trip to Sicily and bought the print version of this book to read. I spend so much time (3 hours a day round trip) commuting in terrible traffic, I was delighted to see that it was also available in audio, so I listened to it instead of reading it. I am happy to report the audio version was outstanding.

    The writing is simple and straightforward - totally appreciated - and the story of the island is fascinating. It's made learning about Sicily fun and interesting. I think the book is great background for anyone planning to travel to Sicily. I only wish the author had written more books. I think this is the best basic introduction to the island's history. I feel it's better than any guidebook I own (and I own pretty much all of them) - very focused and easy to follow...better than spending a fortune on tour guides!

    Again, if you are planning a trip, this is ESSENTIAL background - and well delivered. Highly recommended

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Neruda Case: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Roberto Ampuero
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Roberto Ampuero's novels starring the wonderfully roguish Cayetano Brulé are an international sensation. In The Neruda Case, listeners are introduced to Cayetano as he takes on his first case as a private eye. Set against the fraught political world of pre-Pinochet Chile, Castro's Cuba, and perilous behind-the-Wall East Berlin, this mystery spans countries, cultures, and political ideas, and features one of literature's most beloved figures-Pablo Neruda. Cayetano meets the poet at a party in Chile in the 1970s.

    Peregrine says: "OK combination of historical fiction & mystery"
    "Loved the book, loved the audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Neruda Case again? Why?

    I read the first half of The Neruda Case but then a long car ride awaited, so I was very happy to find the audio version available on audible.com. The premise is engaging, and I enjoyed the audio version all the way on my journey home.


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

    Great narrator. He does the voices, too, but I mainly appreciated his voice as the regular character .


    Any additional comments?

    This is a wonderful story, vividly told, with a wonderful literary premise. It kept my interest from beginning to end. The author is very talented - and this is the first of his many books to be translated into English. I hope some of the others will also be translated now.

    Highly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (844)
    Performance
    (696)
    Story
    (692)

    The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: "From Powerful to Powerless"
    "Fantastic Epic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed all 30+ hours of this magnificent book - it was compelling material and the narrator's style was engaging. Highest recommendation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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