Sykesville, MD | Member Since 2011
Yes, I would listen to Battle Ready again. This memoir held particular interest for me because it dealt with a wartime medic. The book detailed how Mark Donald accomplished this specialty, in order to serve his comrades on the battlefield. Mark had begun his career by enlisting in the Marine Corp. He successfully completed basic training and was on his way to becoming a Marine. Mark found himself thinking, not about becoming a Marine but wanting to become a SEAL. Mark was steadfast and did not abandon his quest. He eventually transferred to begin his training toward becoming a medic in the SEALS. This book includes what it takes to become a SEAL. The men who begin training can start with a group of 220 men and women. But by the time their training is complete there may be 20 left who will graduate as a SEAL. There have been times where there were no graduates. Yes, that number was zero graduates. Surviving the excruciating ordeal of becoming a SEAL and having the honor of earning the most coveted Trident, that affirms their being a member of the SEALS, are few. When members of the military see the Trident affixed to the uniform, they step aside and many will even salute that person even though that SEAL is of lower rank.
The memoir is well written and the narration is excellent. I would enjoy listening again because Mark Donald's journey from a young boy of 18 to becoming a distinguished member of the elite community, known as the SEALS, the best of the best, was a great listen and needs another listen. I would like to encourage my friend's to read or listen to Mark Donald's memoir, explaining to them that the book was indeed worth a second listen for me and is definitely worth the first time.
My favorite character was Mark Donald. Mark struggled while growing up in a community where there were gangs, fights, guns and other disturbing attributes, that led many to being killed or living behind bars. Mark had worked very hard to avoid becoming a part of that world and realized that moving away from home and family would be the only chance that could help him to succeed. With the help of a Marine recruiter, who understood, after talking with Mark, that he was an excellent candidate for the Marine Corp. Listening to his memoir was an inspiration. I listened as Mark made a success of his life but not without determination, commitment and a lot of hard work. Listening to his journey was riveting. His courage on the battlefield was described so clearly that I felt as if I was a part of that world. His fears, accomplishments, defeats and tears made Mark evolve into the man that he is today.
Fred Berman's performance made the words come alive. The character's were well done, allowing me to distinguish one from the other. The emotions Berman was able to project were done with forethought. He made the book a very enjoyable listen.
There was a moment in the book that particularly moved me. SEAL Team Six were in the mountains of Afghanistan, I believe, in the Kandahar Kush, doing reconnaissance, when their men were ambushed. Mark had to pull one of his friend's off of the battlefield dead and another friend, Mark held in his arms and held his hand, and had to watch him die.
Mark became a medic for SEAL Team Six, which involves more education than other military services. However, he went on to become a Physician's Assistant, which required more education and responsibilities. Mark was the man who fixed the wounds of other soldiers, helped to save the lives of other men with life saving interventions and, yes, to be there for those who died. He was also trained to hoist his gun, aim it and shoot to kill the enemy, which he had to do. While serving in the SEALS, Mark began to have nightmares, relating to his actions in the war. He would wake up drenched in sweat, sit up and try hard to bring himself back to his surroundings. Mark began to have hallucinations, reliving the war. He would go into his own world, not hearing anything or anyone. Mark would stand by a window and stare down at the parking lot. But instead of a parking lot, Mark would see the battlefield and the altercation taking place, as if in real time. He understood that he was having problems but Mark was certain that in order to be a SEAL he had to remember that SEALS do not voice that there are issues that he needs help with. No, SEALS were taught that there was nothing that a SEAL couldn't do. Therefore, Mark continued to struggle, that was until his superior's, friend's and family began to notice the changes taking place. A superior officer took him aside and discussed his awareness that Mark was having serious problems with functioning normally. After this meeting, Mark did as superior officer had suggested and sought help. He had PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a disorder that many men and women of the military suffer from. Mark required a therapist to help him to learn how to deal with PTSD.
Mark served for 25 years as a SEAL. When he was honorably discharged from the SEALS, Mark wanted to help others who also suffered from the same disorder as he did. Mark reiterates that PTSD is not an illness but a disorder. Mark pulled together a nonprofit organization, with the help of friends and others, to assist other men and women who also had PTSD. His objective was to help those with PTSD to return to society and be able to function as normally as possible. There were those he would integrate into his organization to help them with their need for further help. There is no cure for PTSD, it is a disorder that men and women will have to learn how to survive with and not allow the disorder to overwhelm them. Hopefully, with help, they will once again begin to function in a way that may be different than before but not disable them so severely that the world that surrounds them, they cannot be a part of it because of PTSD. Mark is a caring, loving and supporting man who knows what it like to have PTSD. He struggles everyday, just like those he is helping. I don't profess to be an expert on PTSD. I only know that there is a man, Mark Donald, who wants to assist others.
Martin was a healthy and normal boy until he became sick at age 12. His body became his own enemy. When the illness was over, Martin's body never regained its before illness status. Martin was unable to walk, talk, feed himself and was unable to hold his body upright. He had to wear disposable underwear because of urinary and bowel incontinence.
Martin had no function left whereby he was able to let anyone know that his brain was alive and working well, except, maybe through his eyes. However, no one looked into Martin's eyes to see if there might be a need for more testing.
Throughout those approximately seven year's, before it was found that Martin could hear and understand language, he stayed at a daycare center for the severely mentally impaired. Martin's father refused to institutionalize him. Therefore, Martin's dad dropped him off before work and picked him up after work.
Martin's dad performed most of Martin's home care. He had two sibling's, a brother and a sister. Martin's mother had a very difficult time having him at home and his parent's would have arguments that would become heated. She contested that Martin's care interfered with the rhythm of their home life and his sibling's were not being given their needed share of being cared for.
Care givers at the, Center, where Martin stayed when his dad went on business trips or family vacations took place, was like hell on earth. He was physically, mentally and sexually abused for the duration of his stay. Staff treated him and other individuals as inhuman beings.
Martin lived in a body where he had no voice. He would disappear into his fantasy world of imagination. Martin strongly believed in God and would talk to Him. To Martin, God was real and around him. He would ask Him to protect him. Martin knew God existed and was comforted.
I experienced a mere 15 minute episode of hearing every word and noise around me but my body could not move and I could not speak. I had been given too much of a narcotic drug that induced this episode. I was given an antidote, Narcan, which brought me back. To live in that world for seven years is unthinkable.
The book about Martin was emotional. The book was very well written and the narrator, Simon Bubb, was excellent. The most important event in the book occurred when a massage therapist, Verna, who always gave Martin eye contact when she spoke to him, fought and won the battle to have Martin tested for the understanding of the spoken language. Many struggles laid ahead for Martin in order to try and assimilate with the world and those around him and continues until this day. The characters were well developed. The book was definitely a learning experience. The technology of today has given those with disabilities of all kinds the ability to challenge the world around them, to become a member of that world and to make others realize that they are people just like them. ALS is a disease where it is understood that after the body cannot do for itself, the brain does continue to function. How many other medical conditions are out there whereby this possibility occurs but we are unaware. That has been a fear of mine, even before reading this book.
A Thin Dark Line revealed to the listener just how difficult it can be to find enough evidence to convict a suspect. There were many character's who appeared to be the murderer of Pam Boussard.
The actions of so many made the listener quite sure that person was the killer. However, another character made the listener think, no, he's not the one. Therefore, maybe Marcus Raynard, the man who was believed by most of the people in the small town, including the police, actually did commit the murder. He had a trial but due to lack of evidence, Marcus was a free man again. His actions after he was released were ones that made me believe that maybe Marcus was the killer after all.
The mystery definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. There was action and suspense throughout the book. The narrator, Karen Peakes, did an excellent job with the many character's that were relevant to the story. She was able to express the many emotions that the characters felt, such as fear, anger, hate, compassion, etc. What I liked best about the story was the difficulty figuring out who did kill Pam. I've enjoyed reading Tami Hoag books and A Thin Dark Line was another purchase that was a good decision.
I had difficulty keeping track of the character's names. The author interchanged the first and last names of every character and there were many. I had to think hard about who was who while I listened. That is the reason I did not give the book five stars.
Barry Eisler has done it again. Redemption Games was an edge of my seat listen. The book was filled with continuous action and suspense. He did a great job narrating his own book. John Rain is one of my favorite character's. The characters in the book were well developed. I would have liked to finish the book all in one day but took two. I've told friends about the John Rain novel's. I realize that being a mercenary isn't that rare in today's world with wars, assassinations, etc.
John Rain had called Dox to come with him on the mission. Dox was more than happy to be a part of the operation. They were to kill, Manny because, having been a chemist, he had defected from Israel and now made bombs for anyone that was in the market. As the bombs were purchased, he would attribute learned information and try to improve on the next bomb made to increase the number of people killed.
Rain and Dox botched the job and were given another opportunity in Bangkok to not only take Manny out but two other men who were corrupt.
Delilah had recommended John Rain awhile back when they had done a job together. Therefore, when the mission was botched, she was to go back and put Rain in a compromised position whereby their assassin, Gil, would take him out.
I read the first series of John Rain when he was younger. This series is a continuation of the other series but when John has aged. He has found that having Dox as his partner proved invaluable. Start this new series from the first book if possible. However, the author, Barry Eisler, brings the reader up to date with what has happened in the past. I'm sure if you would start to read the series you would pleased. Redemption Games is worth the purchase. The book was a great listen. Enjoy!
Web London was someone who would never betray his country. The mission had been approved and seven men were sent out to bring down a drug operation. The undercover FBI agent, Randall Cove, had provided the information to Buck Winters. who was the head of HRT, Hostage Rescue Team. The mission turned out to be a glorified dope house raid, remote control ambush. A laser beam device, controlled by someone nearby, pressed a remote button, and the firing began. Six men died and one man survived, Web London. Web survived because he stood frozen and could not move. Therefore, Web did not attempt to enter the building. Web was eventually able to move and shot out every window with a machine gun firing. However, he was thought of as a traitor and until proven otherwise, the other member's of HRT refused to associate with him except Ramano, the head of Hotel Team and Percy Bates, Web's mentor.
The book, Last Man Standing, was a great listen. There was action, suspense and edge of your seat listen from start to finish. Yes, I wanted to listen to the book all in one sitting but it was too long. The character's were so well developed that it was as if I knew them. The narrator, Jason Culp, did and excellent job. I knew them by their voice. The intonations were appropriate. Jason Culp brought, Last Man Standing, alive. I've listened to many of David Baldacci's books and Last Man Standing, was as good or better than the others. I'll definitely continue to listen to his books. I hope that those who enjoy this genre of book, purchase this one. Your credit will not be wasted.
The bus would arrive at summer camp and lots of kid's would hop down the steps of the bus, eager to start their summer vacation. The camp was owned by Olivia's grandparents.
Olivia and Conner had sat next to each other on the bus. Therefore, as a team of two, they climbed up a hill, stopping now and again to look around and talk. Olivia was over weight, wore big glasses, her hair was braided into pig tails and thought that no one liked her. She would be having a tougher time this year because her cousin's were going on a road trip with their parent's to California. Olivia felt lost without them because now she wouldn't have anyone to hang around with. Olivia wasn't good with stranger's. She didn't know what to say and when she did speak, her words were unkind.
The camper's would reunite each summer and that was how Olivia and Conner made a connection. However, the last summer they spent at the camp there was a misunderstanding about their feelings towards each other. Each went their own way and found their themselves away from one another.
The camp had been closed for many years. Olivia's grandparent's had been married at the camp and wanted to renew their vows on the same spot as they had done fifty years before. However, there was a huge problem. The camp needed someone to orchestrate refurbishing it, due to its lack of use. Olivia was called by her grandmother and asked if she could spend her summer doing just that.
Olivia now owned her own business, Foundations. The purpose of Foundations was to refresh homes to look nicer than they actually were, for a quick sale. Olivia and her employees would buy furniture and such to inspire those who were looking to purchase a home. They may buy a painting, antique tables or rearrange things that were already in the home and the homes sold faster because Foundations had renewed the spirit of the home. Therefore, knowing this, was why Olivia's grandmother told her she'd be the perfect person to get the camp in shape for renewing their vows.
The language was fairly tame. The word f#### seems to appear in every book that I've been reading lately and the lead character, man/woman, has red hair. The book was a smooth and easy listen. The character's were not very developed. The story was calm and predictable, it was a gentle love story. This genre of book is enjoyed by many and they would not be disappointed if they purchased this book. The narration was very good and that always makes for a good read.
I have never read or listened to a Josh Lanyon novel. When I started to listen, In From the Cold, I thought, what is this book about? I didn't realize it was a book about two male partner's that would include the listener with the many explicit sexual scenes. However, I'll have to say, I listened to the book and what a learning experience.
The theme of the spy was indeed dealt with. Mark left for Afghanistan and participated in many ops before coming back to the US after two years. When Mark had left, he was supposed to not be gone for very long. He called his partner, Steven, and wanted to know if he could come "home?" Steven had already moved on. And the plot moved forward and continued until the book was finished.
The book was short and definitely gave this reader an awakening. The writer remained on target with the three short novella's within the novel. The narrator, Alexander J. Masters, did an excellent job.
There is a stalker on the streets of Minneapolis, who chooses the women he kidnaps. He tortures them alive. His first victim was placed in her car, already dead, when her car was torched. Her teeth were gone, making her identification a tedious task that needed and would be done.
There was a witness, Angie DeMarco, a 16 year old runaway. Kate Conlan, a victim/witness advocate for the Minneapolis Police Department, was called in to assist with the witness. Kate's first reaction was to back off because she has no experience with children, only adults. The reason for this, was that Kate lost her daughter from a rare form of influenza and finds that dealing with kid's brings back the guilt and sorrow experienced years ago, with the death of Emily. However, she had only two choices, do her job or be fired.
The stalker's methods of torture were heinous. He would make stab wounds near the heart and removed the nipple and surrounding tissue around the breast while the woman was alive and removed a chunk of flesh, deep, if necessary, thus removing the muscle where a tattoo was. This was also done while the woman lived. He thrived on hearing them scream. He would put a thumb drive into his computer to listen to, at a later time.
John Quinn, a specialist in profiling serial killers, was sent from the FBI. Kate and John knew one another. Kate had worked as an FBI agent in Quantico, Va. but had left a little over 5 years ago to make a fresh start.
Remember to listen closely, when the woman next door calls the police about a man who lives next door to her.
The book, Ashes to Ashes, is fiction but I have read and heard, that when boys, growing up, enjoy killing animals, could be a precursor to more violent crimes. The serial killer in this book did commit this atrocity, without remorse. There are very descriptive scenes throughout the book. However, I could envision a man without a conscience, who is hateful and cruel committing these crimes. The book kept me on the edge of my seat. There was suspense and action. The book also had many other character's, whose development was intense and these character's were a vital part of the story. The author, Tami Hoag, was able to keep the pace moving while at the same time remaining steady with the plot. I've listened to the narrator, David Colacci, before and he did a great job. The book was inexpensive and well worth the money. I didn't listen to this book in one sitting but in two. My need to know the ending kept me listening. The reviews were good and bad but having read Tami Hoag before, I figured, why not? I wasn't disappointed.
Paul Copeland is the acting DA who is prosecuting two young boy's who belong to a fraternity at a nearby college, for the rape of an eighteen year old girl, who has a 15 month old child, taken money for sex and performs as a stripper. Both boy's parents are rich and have offered the DA a settlement, if the accuser will drop the charges. The girl would not concede to consensual sex, reiterating that she had been raped, even when cross examined by the defense attorney and they were brutal, she did not break. Copeland doesn't make her aware of the monetary offer because he wants the boy's to pay for their crime. Copeland believes his client, even with her history. She didn't lie to him nor the prosecutor. She was not proud of her behavior but told them she knew the difference between consensual sex and rape. And she had been raped.
This rape trial begins to unravel crimes that occurred 20 year's ago at a summer camp and this is why Paul Copeland, who attended this same camp when these crimes occurred, doesn't want to accept a monetary settlement. Copeland became a DA due to the crimes that had happened those twenty odd year's ago.
The belief was that two girl's and two boy's had been killed. One boy and one girl had been found buried in shallow graves. The other boy and girl, the girl was Copeland's sister, had never been found. A counselor had been questioned but was not arrested. The murderer had never been caught and prosecuted. Copeland's mother had left his father and son shortly after the occurrence because she could not deal with the loss of her daughter. Copeland grew up thinking that his mother didn't love him as much as his sister because he was left behind.
The defense begins to delve into the past of Paul Copeland and other people involved with the DA. The parent's hope is that this will create problems for the DA and Copeland will encourage his client to accept the money. The parent's continue to tell Copeland that the boy's are good and they don't want them to have a record. The DA put his investigator, Muse, to start searching for information that involved members of the defense and those affiliated with the defense. His client was truthful and had already admitted to her own incriminating evidence.
The Woods, was a great mystery. There was intrigue, suspense and it kept me very interested as to what would happen next. When I noticed that the narrator was Scott Brick, I was sure that with his narration and the reviews, the book would be a good one. I wasn't disappointed. I've listened to Harlan Coban before and liked his previous novels which added a bit more confidence that, The Woods, would be a good choice. The character's were well developed and I was given information that proved relevant to his/her actions. I didn't waste my credit when I purchased this book and I don't think that you will either. Your interest will be initiated from the beginning. You won't have to wade through chapter's before enjoying the book. I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did.
Kate had quit her previous job of investigating sex crimes. The last sex crime she had solved, proved to be her undoing. Kate retreated to a cabin, further into the wilds of Alaska, that her father had left to her.
Jack Morgan, ex-FBI, now the DA, knowing Kate's good investigative skills, approaches Kate to ask for her help in tracking down two men who have been lost in the forest. Kate and Jack were ex-lovers and their relationship ended 14 months ago, at the same time that her job ended.
Kate reluctantly agrees to search for the lost Park Ranger and an investigator, from the FBI, who went into the dense forest to search for the Forest Ranger.
The mystery was good but not filled with action nor suspense. The book was short but not one that I finished in one sitting. I'm accustomed to series written by Tom Clancy, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Daniel Silva and Brad Thor, to name a few. These books keep me on the edge of my seat, wanting to listen for more. The Kate Shugak Mysteries are good but lack the drama and adrenaline rush I'm used to. The language is definitely not as bad as other books but that's not to say it doesn't have any four letter words sprinkled throughout the book. The narrator did a good job but he lacked enthusiasm. I was given the beginning's of a learning experience about Alaska and the beginning's of industry trying to invade its wilderness. The book was a soft mystery that had a good story-line and the ending was good.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. I've read the reviews that reference this book with Gone Girl. I don't see the comparison because the protagonist is not psychotic. Amy Dunne's and Mia Dennett's last names start with the same letter, D, but that is where the comparison ends.
Mia has gone to a particular bar and is waiting for Jason. He is supposed to meet her at the bar after work. Jason has never been dependable and tonight, he isn't dependable once again. Mia swivels around on the bar stool and stands to finish her drink before leaving. However, Owen approaches Mia and she is coaxed to sit down with him.
Upon leaving the bar, Mia and Owen walk quickly to his apartment, which isn't too fancy but will do for a one night stand as far as Mia is concerned. You see, Mia is rich because her father, James, has money to burn, he has so much.
Mia is about to have, what she considers a cruel joke in the beginning, the worst night of her life and continues to become someone she never knew lived inside of her. The night turns into many, many nights. Mia no longer considers her plight a joke. The money that she had thought about before will do nothing for her now.
The story held my interest from the beginning until the end. The use of several narrator's added credence to the book. The emotions, of which there were many, came through loud and clear. The book had action and suspense throughout.
My most likable character was Mia's mom, Eve. Throughout the long ordeal she grew in mind and spirit. Eve was done with allowing everyone to walk all over her. Eve finally understood, that she was capable of making sound decisions of her own. She would forever be different, for the good. My least liked character was James, Mia's father. He was self-centered, egotistical and thought that the world owed him everything and than some. No one was to ever question him. The man had no compassion.
I would encourage other listener's to purchase, The Good Girl. You will be able to understand what makes a good person. To be good can take a whole lot of hard work. Allowing people the room to grow and become someone who is good is hard for some to understand. Success has different meanings for different people. Reading this book will give you a new perspective on how to look at life. Enjoy.
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