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S. Hewitt

Sofia Bulgaria | Member Since 2007

  • 3 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 176 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Anne Applebaum
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell

    At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system. In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete.

    jackifus says: "Important story, imperfectly executed"
    "Lots of NE Europe, not much about SE"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The title, subtitle, and publisher's notes give the impression that the book covers all of Eastern Europe. Not far into the book, I came to realize that the Balkans, my particular area of interest, are barely covered. Had I known this, I probably would not have purchased the book. It is primarily a book about Poland and East Germany, not Eastern Europe.

    I agree with other reviewers that the author goes into much detail but gives almost no analysis or synthesis. A downside of listening to rather than reading this book is that it is difficult to keep all of the different individuals straight. I don't think of myself particularly as a visual learner, but I found it difficult to remember who was who.

    Was Iron Curtain worth the listening time?

    Definitely for those with an interest in postwar Germany and Poland. For myself--no sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Steven Johnson
    • Narrated By George Newbern

    In this volume, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes - from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

    Max says: "some interesing history"
    "Human history from a unique angle"
    What did you love best about How We Got to Now?

    Fascinating book! Johnson tells stories that show how today's technology influenced and has been influenced by cultural changes. Read it and you'll look at the world differently -- not to mention your refrigerator. And your glasses. And your toilet.

    What about George Newbern’s performance did you like?

    Great job - held my intention, but didn't overpower the text. Just the right tone for a book like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
    "Insightful, constructive, affirming!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Quiet to be better than the print version?

    Can't say, but the narration was just excellent. Kathe Mazur *inhabited* the author's role. I had to keep reminding myself that this *wasn't* Susan Cain speaking.

    Have you listened to any of Kathe Mazur’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


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

    The book helps to put 20th century American popular and management culture in a new perspective. Raises the question of *why* we have come to believe that extroversion is normal, introversion not quite so good or even abnormal. Gave me a new perspective in looking at the organizational behavior in my field.

    Any additional comments?

    Saw myself in it--the quiet little girl in the corner with the book ;-> And I remember my mother saying that another mom had gossiped that there must be something wrong with me, just not normal for a healthy child to be like that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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