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Gillian

Austin, TX, United States
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  • Leadership in the Crucible

  • The Korean War Battles of Twin Tunnels and Chipyong-ni
  • By: Kenneth E. Hamburger
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

At the pivotal battles of Twin Tunnels and Chipyong-ni in February 1951, UN forces met and contained large-scale attacks by Chinese forces. Colonel Paul Freeman and the larger-than-life Colonel Ralph Monclar led the American 23rd Infantry Regiment and the French Bataillon de Corée, respectively, in the fierce and dangerous battles that followed the precipitous UN retreat down the Korean Peninsula.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Korean War History Story

  • By Cycletrash56 on 07-15-19

The Korean War Finally Gets A Bit More Air Time

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

Reviewed: 07-04-19

This is a scholarly work that somehow manages to capture the humanity of men at war. Kenneth E. Hamburger obviously did a tremendous amount of research, gathered information and anecdotes from veterans, stayed away from interjecting opinions even when certain engagements were controversial. I appreciated the balanced view.
I've come to be quite fond of Nevitt as a narrator. He seems to have a very good voice for the more scholarly works of military history, one of my favorite subjects. I must admit, however, that I don't know that much about the Korean War (It's a tragedy, but they didn't even touch upon it in high school!), so I don't know whether the pronunciations of battles and words for Korean geography are correct. Nevitt blows right through them with nary a stumble.
I'm very glad to have listened to this, and it's rather made me want to listen to the more comprehensive works of the Korean War as a whole.
I was given this audiobook free at my request for a fair and honest review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Belgium Building

  • By: R. J. Johnson
  • Narrated by: Andy Packard
  • Length: 3 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Bewildered by the mysterious death of an apartment building owner, a veteran detective is assigned to the case. Harlan Foster sets out to solve a presumed routine homicide which is intended to make a positive impact on the upcoming election for mayor. Mrs. Johana Belgium, owner of Belgium Building, is thought to have been murdered by someone in the apartment complex. A quarrel or dispute with a tenant is suggested.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good story

  • By timj26 on 05-21-19

Well, It Wasn't the Narrator's Fault...

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

Reviewed: 06-01-19

If you've read the Publisher's Summary, you've pretty much read mooooore than what's in the book. That thing about the big mystery of What Happened to the Bodies? Never really looked into. Could it have been a miffed tenant? Dismissed in a sentence. The hubbub of the city in an uproar? Mmmmm, kinda sorta, just an itty bitty bit.
I had to keep reminding myself that Belgium Building is a novella, so things are SUPPOSED to come and go without much being delved into. So lightning fast character and relationship development is SUPPOSED to happen. I tried getting over it, really I did. But when you add to the flimsy story some pretty weak writing (EVERYtime a murder happens, there are "pools of blood" this, "pools of blood" that, "pools of blood" "pools of blood" "pools of blood"), you've got 3 1/2 hours of I-Want-That-Time-Back.
Andy Packard, tho' he has a really smooth voice for a gritty story, at least gets excited as the story clips along. Plus, he does a great job at pretty fearlessly giving a huge cast characters each their distinct voices. So he did what he could.
I know this is an unpopular review, that everybody else loved it, so perhaps I just went in with far too great expectations? I dunno. I'm just glad I didn't use one of my Credits for it...
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Live Ablaze

  • And Light Up the World
  • By: Sarah Davison-Tracy
  • Narrated by: Sarah Davison-Tracy
  • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Are you searching for belonging, feeling uninspired, worn out with self-help attempts that don't last, or longing for more peace in your daily life? Kindle a life beyond what you have dared to dream, make a powerful difference, and discover new ways to connect and find community.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really good

  • By TU on 05-03-19

If You Want To Make A Difference...!

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

Reviewed: 04-28-19

I wasn't sure I was going to like Live Ablaze at first. I mean, it starts off a tad disjointed and wanders. Davison-Tracy starts with mostly purely personal topics/subjects such as her eating disorder. It's a study in shame and regret and, at first, I thought I was listening to a work by Brene Brown (whom she quotes). I thought I might as well go for Brown instead as the woman also brings in-depth research, goofball Texas storytelling, major insight into the studies of shame and vulnerability.
But then Live Ablaze got going with how we can find our place in the world. And I mean: The WORLD, not just your neighborhood area.
Davison-Tracy has walked the talk. As a teenager, she jumped at the chance to live in India and had some hard lessons about suffering, poverty, the plight of little beggar children that left her weeping. But it left her determined also, and she and her family continue to travel the world, doing good works.
If you've ever wondered how you can make a difference, give Live Ablaze a listen. It is packed with chances to find points of peace, chances to dig deeper into your thoughts and dreams. It also gives examples of how people have turned their talents into good works (Okay, so there is an example of working in your own corner of your hometown: A hairdresser who took his scissors to the street to provide free grooming to the homeless). One woman even turned her love of fashion into a chance to educate others on fair trade and the plight of workhouses.
I'm not ready to go that big in my own life just yet, but I appreciated the opportunity to be inspired and to really think about the world around me!
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • One Frosty Christmas

  • The Holiday Series, Book 1
  • By: Laura Hesse
  • Narrated by: Leslie Howard
  • Length: 3 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

This is a charming, hankie-waving Christmas classic for girls who love horses, ages 8 and up. Teased by the local kids for being a city girl and an amputee, Hannah Storey feels alone and isolated, just like the old mustang she sees on the way to and from school every day. Hannah vows to save the pony the local kids have cruelly nicknamed Frostbite from freezing to death or being sent to slaughter, but events spiral out of control. Will Hannah be able to save the pony?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very sweet Holiday Story

  • By blueskies982 on 04-29-19

Sweet Story Of Friends Saving Friends

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

Reviewed: 12-15-18

One Frosty Christmas was just what I was looking for so close to the holidays. Hannah is a brave young girl, and I liked how she was in no way thwarted by the fact that she's an amputee, and even if other kids call her "Pegleg", she never comes across as one to feel sorry for herself. She is quite capable.
Through her concern and later care for the unhappy horse, Frostbite, she finds that she's no longer alone, no longer an outcast but has comrades who will help her save him.
There is quite a bit of action at the end, and several sweet and empowering scenes throughout, and there's even some Native wisdom that comes from Hannah's friend Joe, who speaks to and seeks help from The Grandfathers.
Leslie Howard does a capable job with the narration, carrying many and varied characters, carrying action, carrying joy, and even absolute distress with aplomb. She sounds like a young girl but never turns One Frosty Christmas into a little kid's book. It definitely is for a younger audience, but as an adult, you won't be bored at all if you listen to it when your children do.
And nothing brings people together like doing the right and courageous thing. It's a really, really happy ending!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Victory Fever on Guadalcanal

  • Japan's First Land Defeat of World War II
  • By: William H. Bartsch
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

Following their rampage through Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the five months after Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces moved into the Solomon Islands, intending to cut off the critical American supply line to Australia. But when they began to construct an airfield on Guadalcanal in July 1942, the Americans captured the almost completed airfield for their own strategic use. The Japanese Army countered by sending to Guadalcanal a reinforced battalion under the command of Col. Kiyonao Ichiki.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Action Punctuated By The Dry, The Drudge

  • By Gillian on 11-25-18

Action Punctuated By The Dry, The Drudge

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

Reviewed: 11-25-18

I suppose I expected more in the way of humanity and the experiences of the men who lived the combat of this, the first several weeks of Guadalcanal, seeing as the Publisher's Summary cites so many resources, especially diaries and memoirs. And while it does have the memories of many men, Victory Fever on Guadalcanal doesn't have many of them.
For instance, a line will tell us about gnats swarming into eyes, suggesting hell to walk through, but we don't get anything about what the men actually experienced, how it felt to be walking through that.
And there are many men. Many, many men. So many that I found it somewhat confusing at times. And there's planning for battles and engagements. Much, much planning. So much that I'd get somewhat bored at times (especially since hey! when has something ever gone according to plan?).
Still, when the listener gets to the actual engagements, there's plenty of action to carry you through and Victory Fever on Guadalcanal delivers. It's really good there.
Bill Nevitt does an admirable job, especially gamely running through the many Japanese names (tho' I'm no expert on Japanese, so I can't 100 per cent guarantee that it's all correct). And he does well in griping when someone gripes, elevating his voice when someone else shouts. I can't tell you how key this is if you're keeping a listener hooked in a book that could be considered dry at points.
A good listen, enough to make me wonder about seeking out Guadalcanal Diary to find out the rest of the history.

I received this audiobook free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Immigration and the American Backlash

  • By: John Tirman
  • Narrated by: Jim Sartor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Illegal immigration continues to roil American politics. The right-wing media stir up panic over "anchor babies", job stealing, welfare dependence, bilingualism, al-Qaeda terrorists disguised as Latinos, even a conspiracy by Latinos to "retake" the Southwest. State and local governments have passed more than 300 laws that attempt to restrict undocumented immigrants' access to hospitals, schools, food stamps, and driver's licenses.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Human Dignity--Left or Right Wing Issue?!?

  • By Gillian on 11-25-18

Human Dignity--Left or Right Wing Issue?!?

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

Reviewed: 11-25-18

I walked into Immigration and the American Backlash thinking I'd be hit with a barrage of left-wing arguments, something that I, as a slightly left-of-center person might find to be a slight affront (and perhaps I should say here that I swing more to the right the older I get). And it certainly does make some arguments that someone who thinks from the right might find infuriating, but overall one finds that the book is mostly about humans making their way.
Make no mistake: The Left gets some heavy-duty whonking on the head, as the problem comes across as starting off from neo-Liberal policies of the 90s (think NAFTA and super cheap labor depressing a living wage), and it goes on to slight it as being a lot of hand-wringing now.
Still, I can see where the people on the Right would dislike the book: It's heavy on immigrants keeping some of their culture alive and well even as they live in this country. It suggests that Mexican-American studies aren't all that bad (and what other way to introduce the culture to citizen students to immigrants so that they aren't perpetually viewed as The Other?). It asks that we look at how our own policies, economic, social, political, have undermined the fabric of society in the countries that are seeing the most emigration. This is never fun stuff to listen to, I assure you.
But the book really highlights the immigrants as human beings. It over and over shows people working truly wretched jobs for truly wretched wages.
Jim Sartor does a capable job narrating the book, and while I sometimes found his narration to be over-enthusiastic, it never got in the way of the whole shebang.
Mostly the book just reminds us of one salient fact: We're talking about people here, and since when have human dignity, human rights been an awful thing? (okay! okay! since forever--still--worthy of a listen!)

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Eva's Story

  • A Survivor's Tale by the Stepsister of Anne Frank
  • By: Eva Schloss, Evelyn Julia Kent
  • Narrated by: Ann Richardson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 43

Many know the tragic story of Anne Frank, the teen whose life ended at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. But most people don’t know about Eva Schloss, Anne’s playmate and stepsister. Though Eva, like Anne, was taken to Auschwitz at the age of 15, her story did not end there. This incredible memoir recounts - without bitterness or hatred - the horrors of war, the love between mother and daughter, and the strength and determination that helped a family overcome danger and tragedy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Story! Listen to this audiobook.

  • By Jesus on 05-29-18

Uplifting, But European Narrator, Please!

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Ann Richardson does a fine job with the narration, turning in a warm and heartfelt performance, but it was mighty, mighty, MIGHTY strange hearing an eyewitness account of the Holocaust in the voice of a young American girl. While it is a strong story, it could have been stronger with a different narrator. But that is the only problem I have with the narration. So sue me; it kept jumping out at me as she, Eva, recounts her time in her hometown then Amsterdam, then Birkenau, then traveling after the liberation of the camps by the Russians.

This is one of those survivor accounts where the victim has no hatred or malice for the victimizers. Throughout, there is faith, friendship, the love of family, hope for the future, even a sort of peace made with what is happening to her at the time. Even though there is always, always such fear. Eva suffers typhus and frostbite, but she will not seek medical help because that could get her sent straight to the showers. (By the way, there is one horrible scene where a large group of them are sent to the showers and nobody knows, will it be water? or will it be gas?)

Eva is the stepsister of Anne Frank only by the remarriage of her mother much later on to Otto Frank. But they were sort of playmates at a time, though Eva feels Anne was far more mature than she at the time. Just do not go into the audiobook thinking there will be lots of peripheral/lateral stuff about Anne Frank.

Still and all, on its own, it is a good story, a hopeful one. Even though there is plenty of fear and tragedy thrown in

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Perhaps Dying

  • The Medical Backstory of Spinal Tuberculosis Hidden in the Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham
  • By: Dennis A. Rasbach MD FACS
  • Narrated by: Ben Collins
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Invalid teenager Leroy Wiley Gresham left a seven-volume diary spanning the years of secession and the Civil War. He was just 12 when he began, and he died at 17, just weeks after the war ended. LeRoy’s diary offers an inside look at a fateful journey that robbed an energetic and likeable young man of his youth and life. I Am Perhaps Dying adds considerably to the medical literature by increasing our understanding of how tuberculosis attacked a young body over time, how it was treated in the middle 19th century, and the effectiveness of those treatments.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic content and narrator!

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-23-19

Mostly As A Companion to The War Outside My Window

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

‘Cause if you haven’t read that, you might be dead in the water with I Am Perhaps Dying. This book by Dr. Rasbach chronicles LeRoy’s many illnesses, primarily his tuberculosis (at least that’s his diagnosis based on the “cures” LeRoy was undergoing, and his journal entries of symptoms). It can get pretty technical, not exactly for the layman, but if you already know LeRoy Wiley Gresham from his diaries, it’ll be of interest to you. The poor kid went through a lot in his desperate and short life. If you haven’t heard of him, you might think he’s a total whiner as the only parts of his diary that are narrated here are of his ailments, not his take on history and the ongoing Civil War.

It can get pretty repetitive too. Alum water as a cure is mentioned in the first part, then in the second section, then it’s explained again. Same goes with alcohol and with opium and with many other medicines used. Then there are diary entries read in part as they relate to what Rasbach is discussing which go on to be read in full for the last two hours of the book where every single day has been mined to find LeRoy’s complaints for that day.

I guess I should say: that gets to be pretty sad, and one wonders what living with so debilitated an individual did to his parents who had to stand by and watch. Plus, they never told LeRoy about his diagnosis (for, though there was no understanding of TB, there certainly was the understanding of the death sentence consumption doled out), so he was unaware of his fate. There are many, many entries where he speaks: I hope this soon goes away; I wonder when I’ll be better, etc. etc. It’s not until eight days before his death that he comes to realize what the title of this audiobook states.

Ben Collins does a good job with the narration. The litany of complaints could come off as whiny, but instead, we feel LeRoy as a confused boy/young man, one who is very tired of being exhausted and of living in pain. Plus, there is a rather amusing section where the text from advertisements for the “cures” of the day are read, and you kinda get that snake-oil salesman feel from his tones.

As a companion to LeRoy’s diaries, I Am Perhaps Dying is fairly interesting. But you HAVE to read that first or justice will not be done to LeRoy’s work and memory.

I received a free book in exchange for this honest and unbiased review

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Deep Six

  • Just Cause Universe, Book 4
  • By: Ian Thomas Healy
  • Narrated by: Leslie Howard
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

When criminals are convicted, they go to jail. When they have parahuman abilities, they go to Deep Six, the most secure prison facility in the world. Six thousand feet underground, nobody has ever escaped from the maximum security facility. Until now. A parahuman terrorist called Misrule engineers a mass breakout, and it falls to a pair of prison guards to stop the world's most dangerous criminals from reaching freedom.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better then I expected.

  • By cosmitron on 10-11-18

Die Hard in the Superhero's Universe!

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

I received a free copy in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. There, that explains why I most happily chose a genre that I'm unfamiliar with, and I'm quite delighted to have dived into this book!
While I thought the superheroes were a bit of a feckless lot (Couldn't negotiate strongly, had a tendency of being overcome by gases then required very special doses of something to bring them back to consciousness), I was very happy with our heroine, Katie, who baaaarely has a super-power (her fingertips sprout itty bitty flames) but who uses that power incredibly well when everything hits the fan. And she and a fellow Corrections Officer, who also has an almost power, use what they have on hand with cutting intelligence to great effect whilst behind enemy lines, ala Die Hard. It's pretty fun.
The greatest weakness was Leslie Howard's narration. I listened to the sample long and hard, and even though her tones are quite whispery and feathery, I thought I could handle it. Alas, for two-thirds of the book, such tones are maintained, and she makes no distinction between characters which kinda throws off their dialogue, especially when Healy throws in clever bantering. Throws the fun off. But, and this I wipe my brow with relief, she revs it up for the final third of the book, and when our super-villain bellows, Howard bellows. When a character whines, she whines. It jazzes the ending up, and we're privy to the drama as the drama unfolds in a quick-paced fashion.
I don't know that the superheroes were good enough for me to seek more of the Just Cause Universe, but Katie and her cohort made this a fine and fun stand-alone book. After all, I listened to it in a single day, couldn't put it down because she's so clever, and the stakes were high!
Misrule was a clever and heartless villain, and Katie was a sharp-witted woman full of heart: a great match in a book!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Teeth

  • The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America
  • By: Mary Otto
  • Narrated by: Suehyla El'Attar
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 199
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 181

Teeth takes listeners on a disturbing journey into America's silent epidemic of oral disease, exposing the hidden connections between tooth decay and stunted job prospects, low educational achievement, social mobility, and the troubling state of our public health.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Mouth--The Body, The Wallet, The Class Lines

  • By Gillian on 07-10-18

The Mouth--The Body, The Wallet, The Class Lines

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Growing up in a family of six, a cavity would've meant violence and a six-week grounding: we simply couldn't afford anything beyond basic care for such a large family. As I grew older, lacking dental insurance, I went across the border for shoddy service, but service nonetheless. Now, I have dental insurance, but out-of-pocket expenses are mind-boggling. Over zealous brushing as a child, otc medications that cause dry mouth and require synthetic saliva, prescription medications that cause teeth grinding all come together to make continuous dental care an absolute must. I'm at the mercy of the system.
This makes Teeth a truly captivating listen as I find that I'm not alone in feeling under the gun. In the book you'll find forays into those compelled to seek cosmetic dentistry, those compelled to simply hope for the best in buying pain medication as opposed to antibiotics they can't afford.
I can see where the book might anger those who decry Socialism! Socialism! But the book's many anecdotes are harrowing, and really: You don't find the well-heeled sporting rotting teeth. I urge listening to the book as it's an eye-opener and it expands ones awareness of the world that is around us, what the masses go through (do YOU want your restaurant hostess flashing a brown smile with gaps where teeth used to be? Is that who you want welcoming you into your doctor's office or serving your food?).
Teeth could've been edited some as it can be a bit repetitive, plus it relies heavily on Maryland's practices, plus there's quite a bit on the history of dentistry that can go on a bit too long. Still, it's a definitely worthwhile listen. By the way, I gave the narration only three stars because I thought El'Attar was a tad too enthusiastic, and you can sometimes hear the booing and jeering in her voice, which I don't need if the content of the book carries it without such additions.
Worth the time, worth the credit.

63 of 69 people found this review helpful