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Steve

Ventura, CA, United States
  • 63
  • reviews
  • 84
  • helpful votes
  • 69
  • ratings
  • Charles de Gaulle

  • By: Don Cook
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 22 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

This magnificent volume by veteran European correspondent Don Cook is the first major biography of de Gaulle written by an American from an American perspective. Rich with new anecdotal material, it offers fresh evaluations and sheds new light on Europe's most controversial and enigmatic general, politician, and statesman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great book about a complex person

  • By Wallen on 04-20-11

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

This is a well-written, well-read book. I was sorry to have it end. I knew very little about Charles de Gaulle before listening to this book, but now feel I know him intimately. He was a very contrarian, difficult person, but always had the interests of France at heart, as he saw those interests. In this day of nationalism in the US and around the world, we only need to look back to de Gaulle to see a nationalist with vision.

  • Angle of Repose

  • By: Wallace Stegner
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 22 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,201
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 986
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 988

Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, and husbands and wives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not too many novels written about marriage

  • By Barry on 08-18-12

Real Downer

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

I am 75% of the way through this book and cannot stand it for one minute longer. It is the biggest downer I have ever read. The husband, Oliver Ward, is the biggest looser in history and I am sick of all his mishaps, errors in judgement and just plain stupid decisions he makes that work for his high principals, but make all those around him suffer. He is so egocentric it is sickening. Poor Susan to get stuck with this dud, but she should have known he was a self-righteous, self-centered jerk when he put his revolver and knife on her dresser when courting her in her delicate, aristocratic, eastern enclave. She should have used it to shoot him instead of marrying him.

  • The New Tsar

  • The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin
  • By: Steven Lee Myers
  • Narrated by: René Ruiz
  • Length: 22 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,442
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,297
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,286

The epic tale of the rise to power of Russia's current president - the only complete biography in English - that fully captures his emergence from shrouded obscurity and deprivation to become one of the most consequential and complicated leaders in modern history, by the former New York Times Moscow bureau chief.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A retelling of facts without much added info

  • By A. M. on 03-07-16

Must Read for Anyone Interested in Russian History

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

Reviewed: 03-11-18

Any additional comments?

Great expose on how Russia devolved into a totalitarian state, in spite of having too many Russian names.

  • American Sphinx

  • The Character of Thomas Jefferson
  • By: Joseph J. Ellis
  • Narrated by: Susan O’Malley
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 307
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 223

For a man who insisted that life on the public stage was not what he had in mind, Thomas Jefferson certainly spent a great deal of time in the spotlight, even in his retirement. In American Sphinx, Ellis sifts the facts from the legend to find the heart of the man who, at the grass roots, is no longer liberal or conservative, agrarian or industrialist, pro- or anti-slavery, privileged or populist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New Download - Audio is GREAT!

  • By BP on 01-19-13

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 01-28-18

Would you listen to American Sphinx again? Why?

No. Why would I listen to a book I have already listed to? There are too many other good books I want to get to.

What other book might you compare American Sphinx to and why?

His Excellency George Washington

What does Susan O’Malley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nothing. She was only an OK reader. When a book is written by a man, you should have a man read it, and visca versa.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No

Any additional comments?

Joseph Ellis thoughtful biography of Jefferson was excellent. He did not just regurgitate facts, like so many historians (Meacham and Isaacson), but analyzed the facts to weave patterns and make sense of those facts, In too many historical biographies, you can tell that the authors are writing for their fellow historians rather than the reader. They are loathe to express an opinion. Not so with Mr. Ellis, thank goodness.

  • Turtles All the Way Down

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,459
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,889
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,887

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly small amount of actual turtles.

  • By Meg on 11-03-17

Adolescent

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

Reviewed: 01-05-18

This is a book my 19-year-old granddaughter would like. Can’t say I found it worthwhile.

  • Darkness Visible

  • A Memoir of Madness
  • By: William Styron
  • Narrated by: William Styron
  • Length: 2 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is William Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intimate and revealing

  • By S. Yates on 01-31-18

I had no idea.

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

Reviewed: 12-28-17

A friend of mine who is suffering from depression recommended this book, and I am so grateful that he did so. I had no idea depression was so horrible.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Undoing Project

  • A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,850
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,739
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,724

Forty years ago Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred systematically when forced to make judgments about uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made Michael Lewis' work possible.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Behind the scenes of amazing science

  • By Neuron on 10-16-17

Not Up to Par

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

Reviewed: 12-28-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes. Better description of why scientific and academic community thought Tversky was superior to Kahneman. More real-life examples like had in first chapter. Less description of details of research.

Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Lewis? Why or why not?

Yes. I like his writing style and his books are generally interesting.

Which scene was your favorite?

First chapter

Do you think The Undoing Project needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Not enough there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Incognito

  • The Secret Lives of the Brain
  • By: David Eagleman
  • Narrated by: David Eagleman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,703
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,332

In this sparkling and provocative new book, the renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries. Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence, and visual illusions, Incognito is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Take....

  • By Douglas on 10-30-13

Horrible

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

Reviewed: 06-28-17

Would you try another book from David Eagleman and/or David Eagleman?

No

What was most disappointing about David Eagleman’s story?

Him reading it.

Would you be willing to try another one of David Eagleman’s performances?

No

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger

Any additional comments?

An author who reads his own book has no credibility as a reader and also looses any credibility as an author. I might have enjoyed the book a little if read by a professional reader.

  • Wilson

  • By: A. Scott Berg
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 32 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 504
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 510

A hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, and one of the most enigmatic. And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson - the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th President. This is not just Wilson the icon - but Wilson the man.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well Written & Narrated But Too Much Hero Worship

  • By IRP on 11-17-13

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 06-01-16

Any additional comments?

One of, if not the best, presidential biographies I have read. The part of the book from the date Wilson had his stoke in Pueblo, CO to his death are heart wrenching and poignant.

  • James Madison

  • A Life Reconsidered
  • By: Lynne Cheney
  • Narrated by: Eliza Foss
  • Length: 18 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 486
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 442
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 438

This majestic new biography of James Madison explores the astonishing story of a man of vaunted modesty who audaciously changed the world. Among the Founding Fathers, Madison was a true genius of the early republic. Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states - so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers - helped shape the country Americans live in today.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too much suggestion instead of reality

  • By ckllp on 08-21-16

Worth reading

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-16-15

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book and thought it was very informative. The narrator really did a good job. Unfortunately , I felt like the author was unable to capture the essence of James Madison. She captured the history and environment around Madison more than Madison himself. After finishing the book, Madison was still a vague and distant character to me. I thought the author did a better job of bringing Dollie Madison to life.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful