Pulitzer Prize, General nonfiction, 2016. When Jordan granted amnesty to a group of political prisoners in 1999, it little realized that among them was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a terrorist mastermind and soon the architect of an Islamist movement bent on dominating the Middle East. In Black Flags, an unprecedented account of the rise of ISIS, Joby Warrick shows how the zeal of this one man and the strategic mistakes of Presidents Bush and Obama led to the banner of ISIS being raised over huge swaths of Syria and Iraq.
this well written and wonderfully read book will help you understand the lead up to ISIS, the failures of US policy, particularly Bush et al, and the role if Iraq, Syria, and Jordan in where we have ended up...so far. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?
The Goldfinch was so good that I listened to some parts more than once. Donna Tartt weaves a coming of age story that starts with a tragedy and ends with redemption. Sound trite? It's not. Theo and his buddy Boris lie, cheat, steal and do prodigious amounts of drugs and alcohol. Despite all of this, you can't help but love them, particularly Boris - one of the all time great characters - a self-admitted alcoholic and drug addict, he is faithful to his long time friend in a way that will surprise you. Hobbe, Theo's guardian and mentor, is so lovable that you want to have him over for dinner. David Pittu's reading, including the varying voices of the characters, makes the book come alive. I highly recommend this book to anyone who love to get lost in a good story and fall in love with its characters.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but it's long, so had to spread it out over a week of walks.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
This powerful and breathtaking novel is the story of four cadets who have become bloodbrothers. Together they will encounter the hell of hazing and the rabid, raunchy and dangerously secretive atmosphere of an arrogant and proud military institute. They will experience the violence. The passion. The rage. The friendship. The loyalty. The betrayal. Together, they will brace themselves for the brutal transition to manhood... and one will not survive.
One of the things I like about Pat Conroy's story telling is you fall in love with his characters - even if you don't like them. When the story is over, you feel an emptyness, a longing to have them back in your life again. My favorite Conroy book in that respect is Prince of Tides (the book, not the movie). I couldn't stop listening even when I was so tired I should have been asleep. Lords of Discipline is the same - a compelling tale, especially when you realize that at least parts of it are autobiographical. I went to university at UC Berkeley during the same time frame that the Lords were attending "The Institute" - an amazing contrast in life choices.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.
Stieg Larson spins a great story. In fact, several great stories in this wonderful novel. The characters come to life and provide you with great entertainment. Some of them you will miss once the novel comes to an end, but I understand that the "Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" returns to us in Larson's sequel. Can't wait to read it.
With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways, and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....
I have so many wonderful books on my iPOD that it distresses me to click on one that doesn't work for me. I am an eclectic reader, but don't like books where I don't connect with the characters, find the story dull or repetitive, and worst of all, can't wait until it is finished so I can move on to the next book. This was one of those books that just did not engage me.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful
Just as Calvin Trillin and Joan Didion gave readers solace and insight into the experience of losing a spouse, Christopher Buckley offers consolation, wit, and warmth to those coping with the death of a parent, while telling a unique personal story of life with legends.
Chris Buckley describes what it is like to grow up with famous, eccentric, and,yes, difficult parents. But he doesn't whine and he doesn't complain. Most importantly he doesn't blame. He simply tells the story of his Mum and Pup in their glory years and in their decline. It felt like an honest, loving story of his relationship with his parents and trials of losing them both over a short period of time. I loved this book. I could feel the emotion, but I could sense Buckly trying to be objective. It worked. Read it. You will like it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful