In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.
If you would like to hear about Thomas Jefferson's opinions and observations about the happenings of his life without an ounce of context, this book is for you. The book basically amounts to a recitation of letters to, from, or about Mr. Jefferson and little else. The history happening in the background is either painted with extremely broad strokes or ignored all together. You learn nothing about the man, apart from his writing style and his thoughts on very vague ideas apparently unrelated to any of the immense happenings of the revolution or the formation and practice of a Democratic Republic. Just a ridiculous waste of time masquerading as history.
The narrative follows Alberto's boyhood in New England, his rise to stardom at the University of Oregon, his dramatic victories in the New York City and Boston Marathons, his long malaise due to injuries, which resulted in a near-suicidal depression; his resurgence due to intense spiritual experiences and discipline; his close alliance with Phil Knight and the Nike corporation; and describes his numerous near-death experiences.
Alberto Salazar, though born in Cuba, was raised in the Northeast in America and has the accent of an average American from that area. This story is told from Mr. Salazar's perspective. Does his inner voice have this much trouble with his native language?
Danny Pardo (the narrator) has, at best, a weak grasp of the English language. His reading sounds more like the hopeless fumbling of words spoken without any understanding of their meaning. Like someone in a high school language class reciting a dialog for the first time, complete with incorrect emphasis on most words and often totally ignoring punctuation. This so monumentally distracting, it is impossible to judge this book on any other merits.
Maybe it's a well written book with a great story about an interesting guy, who knows.
Purchase at your own risk.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Running for My Life is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible: faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more. Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable.
Lopez Lomong's story of success and triumph in spite of ridiculous odds will move you to tears every ten minutes or so. If it doesn't, you may not be able to cry.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
The Bartender' s Tale stars Tom Harry and his 12-year-old son, Rusty, who live alone and run a bar in a small Montana town in the early 1960s. Their lives are upended when Proxy, a woman from Tom's past, and her beatnik daughter, Francine, breeze into town. Is Francine, as Proxy claims, the unsuspected legacy of her and Tom’s past? Without a doubt she is an unsettling gust of the future, upending every certainty in Rusty’s life and generating a mist of passion and pretense that seems to obscure everyone’s vision but his own.
David Aaron Baker reads this story extremely well. As well written as it is, and how well each character is developed, I doubt I would've been nearly as interested without Baker's telling, his great and distinct voices (with the exception of one ridiculously Mickey Mouse sounding voice), and the heart that lies behind everything he says. Ivan Doig describes each character and surrounding so well it's easy to imagine the town, and the people. The story itself isn't particularly memorable, but I still cared about the characters.
Overall, worth a listen, just not something that'll stick with you very long after.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
This co-written YA book alternates chapters between John Green's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by an understated and very enjoyable Nick Podehl) and David Levithan's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by a ridiculously overacting MacLeod Andrews). It took a lot to continue listening after Macleod Andrews' second chapter and book's fourth. While Levithan's first few even chapters are written about as cliche as a teenage character can be, MacLeod does the material no favors by insisting on overemphasizing just about every word he says with the most ridiculous inflection imaginable. John Green's Will Grayson is decidedly more relatable and better read by Nick Podehl. Green's Grayson isn't the most intriguing character John Green has ever written, but he comes across as real and I found myself caring about him. Green's best character is Will's best friend Tiny Cooper who really ends up being a main character in both stories.
Even as Levithan's chapters even out and the story comes together, there's nothing particularly memorable here.
During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.
Very well done but absolutely nothing like the movie. Same characters, only more real and flawed, with a similar story although drastically differring in parts. Both versions are good, it's easy to see why the broad changes were made to these hard to like characters in an effort to appeal to more people, but be clear before you get started, THIS IS NOT THE MOVIE. If you can get past this truth, as it took me awhile, you'll enjoy yourself very much.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.
Bill Bryson isn't the most talented narrator, perhaps he should leave this to someone else, but he sure is a charming writer.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a top seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its 15th year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new foreword and afterword written by Covey that explore whether the 7 Habits are still relevant and answer some of the most common questions he has received over the past 15 years.
While the author's narration leaves something to be desired, his messages are universal and extremely helpful in every day life. I listened to this book 6 months ago and since then, things just seem better. Listen, be happy.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.
The characters are wonderful and their world is one often overlooked in stories of war.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....
Just listen to the first minute. If Tina Fey's sense of humor doesn't strike you by then, you are hopeless. If it does, welcome to a wonderful world of happy self-deprecation that will go by all to fast.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful