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Donald

Arlington, VA, US
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 57
  • helpful votes
  • 271
  • ratings
  • Still Foolin' 'Em

  • Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys
  • By: Billy Crystal
  • Narrated by: Billy Crystal
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,778
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,441
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,438

Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disarmingly Honest

  • By David Shear on 09-12-13

Not Anymore

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-19-17

Yes, he's older. Aren't we all. Too bad he's replaced the funny with the common/vulgar. Just not funny anymore.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Circle of Treason

  • CIA Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed
  • By: Sandra V. Grimes, Jeanne Vertefeuille
  • Narrated by: Janet Metzger
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 288
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 265
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 267

Circle of Treason is the first account written by CIA agents who were key members of the CIA team that conducted the intense "Ames Mole Hunt." Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille were two of the five principals of the CIA team tasked with hunting one of their own and were directly responsible for identifying Ames as the mole, leading to his arrest and conviction.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The hunt for a mole

  • By Jean on 01-15-14

Bureaucratic Reporting

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-18-16

If you're looking for a mildly interesting - not even to hope for exciting - story on the Aldrich Ames spy case, this isn't it. At best this is an unexciting tome of names and places that could (maybe) serve as a good text book for someone who wanted to study the affair. I stuck with it hoping that the activities leading to and culminating in the arrest might quicken the pace. No such luck. Any piece of the case that might have some dramatic interest are tossed off in a sentence at most. We owe great thanks to the authors for their work that uncovered Ames, but an editor somewhere should have helped them weave this dry-as-dust re-telling into something of a story that had a narrative, didn't drone on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on, and let the reader feel some of --any of-- their emotions during their work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Go the F--k to Sleep

  • By: Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortes (cover illustration)
  • Narrated by: Samuel L. Jackson
  • Length: 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,378
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,241

Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson ( Pulp Fiction) rocks this mock bedtime story, capturing a hilarious range of emotions as the voice of a father struggling to get his child to sleep. Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Read the F--king REVIEW!

  • By Darwin8u on 05-21-12

Oooh - he says the F word a lot!

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-27-14

Stupid. Just not funny, unless you this it's hilarious to hear the F word repeatedly. Just silly.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Power of Negative Thinking

  • An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results
  • By: Bob Knight, Bob Hammel
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 141
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 123

Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, a classic best seller, has inspired an optimistic perspective for millions of Americans. Now, in an inspirational and entertaining rebuttal, the legendary basketball coach Bob Knight explains why "negative thinking" will actually produce more positive results, in sports and in daily life. Coach Knight, the second-winningest coach in NCAA history with 902 victories, explains that victory is often attained by the team that makes the fewest mistakes. His coaching philosophy was to instill discipline by "preparing to win" rather than hoping to win.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The book is much better than the ratings indicate!

  • By Wayne on 03-31-16

Simplistic

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-28-13

Nothing about Knight's background, what made him who he is. I was looking forward to hearing his thoughts given his success. This is a lot of "Know when to fold 'em", "Know thyself", "Prepare to win", "Sweat is better than hope" trite crap. And, even worse, clearly the publisher tries to aim at the business market, so the book is replete with attempts to draw parallels between "Knight's Nuggets" and the business world - just in case you're too stupid to draw the parallel on your own. Just kind of silly.

Mike Leach's book Swing Your Sword is much better and succeeds not only as being interesting to the football fan but also as being relevant to anyone's goal of leading a group. It was after reading Leach's book I started looking for books by and about coaches. The Landry Lombardi book wasn't as good, and neither is this one. Next up: Summitt's.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Known and Unknown

  • By: Donald Rumsfeld
  • Narrated by: Donald Rumsfeld
  • Length: 30 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310

With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Donald Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inside view of five decades in politics

  • By Brooks on 02-19-11

Excellent History

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-19-11

Excellent history from an incredibly capable manager and public servant. This man understands and demonstrates that strategic direction flows from a myriad of individual details. He is rare in that he finds a passion for both.

This book takes you into his thinking and the information on which he based his decisions without being defensive or trying to convince: It is what it is, here is what it was at the time, and here is what that led me to do.

His attention to detail and commitment to thoroughness gets a bit tedious at times for the casual reader, but I suspect future leaders and students will be glad the details of so many incidents are included. His assessment of others is pointed and frank but respectful.

This man has been vilified in the press. Read this and decide for yourself: villainous tyrant or patriot to whom the US owes much for his decades of public service?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Righteous Indignation

  • Excuse Me While I Save the World
  • By: Andrew Breitbart
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Guskin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,435
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,224
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,223

Known for his network of conservative websites that draws millions of readers everyday, Andrew Breitbart has one main goal: to make sure the "liberally biased" major news outlets in this country cover all aspects of a story fairly. Breitbart is convinced that too many national stories are slanted by the news media in an unfair way. In Righteous Indignation, Breitbart talks about the key issues that Americans face, how he has aligned himself with the Tea Party, and how one needs to deal with the liberal news world head on.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please get this book!

  • By MacGregor on 07-09-11

Disappointing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-19-11

Any additional comments?

Downside: A right wing rant that rehashes the Clinton-Lewinsky affair and goes behind the scenes with the Acorn affair.

Upside: Chapter 6 provides some interesting beginning points for more reading into the origins of the left in the US. I listened to that Chapter again after reading more about the Frankfurt School, Markuse, and Saul Alinsky. He doesn't say that everyone on the Left is a Marxist --- not quite.

Maybe it was the punctuated drama of the reader, maybe it was Breitbart's words, but this just comes across as a right-wing rant against anything left. Left is evil, therefore we on the Right must oppose that evil with all our might, using the media, the arts, all social outlets - just like they do - or they will win.

I prefer a little less hyperventilating against the Left, but I'm likely the kind of conservative that Breitbart would think is losing the war he is waging. He might be right.




3 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Brothers, Rivals, Victors

  • Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnership That Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe
  • By: Jonathan W. Jordan
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 23 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 326
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261

Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, General George S. Patton, and General Omar N. Bradley engineered the Allied conquest that shattered Hitler’s hold over Europe. But they also shared an intricate web of relationships going back decades. In the cauldron of World War II, they found their prewar friendships complicated by shifting allegiances, jealousy, insecurity, patriotism, and ambition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best tri-hero book in years!!

  • By aaron on 04-17-11

WWII Generals - Up close and personal

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-27-11

A terrific book detailing the early personal relationship between Ike and Patton, the later personal relationship between Bradley and Ike, Bradley and Patton, the African campaign, and the European theater's operations. Drawn from scores of diary entries, personal conversations, the book gives a personal description the pre-war lives of each, of the time in North Africa, of the Sicilian campaign, of the Normandy invasion without Patton, of Bradley's Cobra push using Patton, and of crossing of the Rhine with unbelievable infighting among the allied generals, including especially Monty. What a complex love-hate-love-despise-admire-denigrate-on again-off again-on again relationship among these three (and other minor characters in this book, e.g. Montgomery, Smith, Hodges, Churchill, Roosevelt, et al.). Personal spats, tirades against one another, two against one, then a different two against the other one. The book gets a little tedious with the hammering on Patton's ego, and may make a few points a couple times too many, but what an insight into the personal relationships and into the personal experience of each of these generals in theater.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • On the Brink

  • Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System
  • By: Henry M. Paulson
  • Narrated by: Dan Woren
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 205

From the man who was in the very middle of this perfect economic storm, On the Brink is Paulson's fast-paced retelling of the key decisions that had to be made with lightning speed. Paulson puts the listener in the room for all the intense moments as he addressed urgent market conditions, weighed critical decisions, and debated policy and economic considerations with of all the notable players.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Depth than "Too Big to Fail"

  • By Michael Moore on 02-22-10

A Bland Retelling

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-15-10

Compared to "Too Big to Fail", I found "On the Brink" a superficial recounting of the financial markets meltdown of 2008. It has none of the color and context of TBTF, none of the behind the scenes flavor. Paulson criticizes no one and walks on eggshells when discussing the actions of others. Even if you sensed some disagreement, his words carefully pulled punches: "Sheila understandably defended her agency." Read TBTF to know what the players *really* thought of other players.

I am glad I read this, though. It confirmed what I felt from reading the press accounts and TBTF: The Lehman bankruptcy was not the root cause of the financial meltdown, but avoiding it would certainly have mitigated the impact on the world markets. And it *could* have been avoided. Paulson to this day says it couldn't have been avoided, but it's clear even in this book that Geitner and Paulson expected early in the crisis that the government would have to rescue/bail out (depending on your political persuasion) Lehman. At the end, though, Paulson had so publicly said the government would *not*, that he painted himself into a corner, and he *could* not. At the time I felt we were lucky to have Paulson at Treasury. I think history will confirm that is not true. He worked hard, tried hard, but in the end, because (I believe) Dick Fuld was running Lehman, Hank Paulson let it go under. That wreaked havoc around the world. Too bad.

The book did have interesting insights into Paulson's interactions with both Obama and McCain, as well as the House and Senate leaders. Again, no insight into how he really felt about most of them, but interesting, matter-of-fact retelling of those interactions.

And I found the Afterword to be the best part of the book. Paulson thoughfully outlines the key issues facing the smooth operation of global financial markets.

In short, listen to this. But to get the "real" story of what was going on behind the scenes, listen to "Too Big to Fail."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blink

  • The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,083
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,908
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,884

In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting read with contradictory messages

  • By Danny on 04-21-05

Some Ado about Little

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-09

As usual with Gladwell's stuff, a few interesting anecdotes and observations gussied up as "cutting edge" psychology. He certainly has a knack for turning a two page article into a book. Synopsis: we have an unconscious mind, it makes very quick decisions (in a "blink"), some are good, some aren't. Uh, ok, got it.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Man Who Owns the News

  • Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch
  • By: Michael Wolff
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

If Rupert Murdoch isn't making headlines, he's busy buying the media outlets that generate the headlines. His News Corp. holdings, from the New York Post, Fox News, and, most recently The Wall Street Journal, to name just a few, are vast, and his power is unrivaled. So what makes a man like this tick? Michael Wolff gives us the definitive answer in The Man Who Owns the News.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Impossible to follow

  • By Donald on 02-13-09

Impossible to follow

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-13-09

Non-chronological, meandering, and tedious. Read Ted Turner's instead, or Gerstner's, or Weill's. No insight into Murdoch's business style, approach, views. No real behind the scenes intrigue. Just a hatchet job on the man; none of his perspective. A real disappointment. I wish I had listened to the abridged version, though I see even it is over 6 hours long. Two would have probably been about right.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful