LISTENER

Kyle Johnson

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 29
  • ratings
  • The True Flag

  • Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire
  • By: Stephen Kinzer
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319

How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat - until the cycle begins again. No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Timely and important

  • By Joshua C. Packard on 02-20-17

Somewhat misleading title, biased, but interesting

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

Reviewed: 08-01-18

Interesting history of US foreign intervention, and interesting to see how the arguments presented to the public haven't changed all that much. Except for the racist arguments for and against, which have been abandoned or thickly veiled.

The title is a bit misleading since Mark Twain is scarcely mentioned before the final ¼ of the book, and the anti-imperial bias gets really really blatant towards the end when it gets to the Philippine war. Makes a good argument though, provides some interesting facts, and it's a good starting point for more reading on 20th century American foreign policy.

  • Great Mythologies of the World

  • By: The Great Courses, Grant L. Voth, Julius H. Bailey, and others
  • Narrated by: Grant L. Voth, Julius H. Bailey, Kathryn McClymond, and others
  • Length: 31 hrs and 36 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,588
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,410
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,399

The deep-seated origins and wide-reaching lessons of ancient myths built the foundation for our modern legacies. Explore the mythologies of Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Learn what makes these stories so important, distinctive, and able to withstand the test of time. Discover how, despite geographical implausibilities, many myths from across the oceans share themes, morals, and archetypes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • mostly awesome

  • By Dan on 03-16-16

Great stuff, but consider skipping lectures 25-36

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

Reviewed: 07-17-18

The lectures give a good overview of the myths they discuss: enough to give a solid plot summary and comment on the cultural significance and implications, but light enough on detail to spark interest and leave the most fun bits to your own reading (e.g the story of the giant who built the wall around Asgard).

The second lecturer though, who covers African myths, picks a topic and then tells incomplete versions of stories from around the continent that address the theme. It feels like reading the first page of a dozen books, and having the core point he's trying to make hidden in a random spot in there. It's unfortunate, because what he does say hints at a lot of great story traditions with lots to dig into, but the way his lectures are organized doesn't do them Justice. At least he name drops some sources for further reading.

I'm not done listening to this, because it's an ordeal to get through the second lecturer. I'll update this when I'm done with the whole series.

Update:
yeah, lecturer 2 was the low point. 3 and 4 were great. Better than lecturer 1, though that may be because I find the subjects (East Asian and American myths, respectively) more interesting than familiar European myths.

  • Food: A Cultural Culinary History

  • By: Ken Albala, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Ken Albala
  • Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,733
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,466
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,437

Eating is an indispensable human activity. As a result, whether we realize it or not, the drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Epicure Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it best: "Gastronomy governs the whole life of man."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my top 3 favorite courses!

  • By Jessica on 12-28-13

Good, but eurocentric

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Interesting. Well worth your time. My only complaint is it focused on Western Europe heavily. Never revisited India, China, etc. after ancient cuisine, or south America/Eastern Europe in any significant detail.

Still well worth your time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Tao of Pooh

  • By: Benjamin Hoff
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 2 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,674
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,175

Author Benjamin Hoff shows that the philosophy of Winnie-the-Pooh is amazingly consistent with the principles of Taoism and demonstrates how you can use these principles in your daily life. Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Robert on 01-09-14

Interesting introduction to Daoism for novices

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

Reviewed: 06-27-18

Entertaining premise, interesting introduction to Daoism, but annoyingly sanctimonious at times. Worth a few hours.

  • Verbal Judo, Updated Edition

  • The Gentle Art of Persuasion
  • By: George J. Thompson PhD, Jerry B. Jenkins, Lee Fjelstad - foreword, and others
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,094

When you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you’re in control. Verbal Judo is the classic guide to the martial art of the mind and mouth that can help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation, whether you're talking to a boss, a spouse, or even a teenager. For more than a generation, Dr. George J. Thompson's essential handbook has taught people how to communicate more confidently and persuasively in any situation.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Kept thinking it was already started

  • By Kim Dushinski on 05-24-17

This should be taught from kindergarten

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

Reviewed: 06-09-18

So simple, yet so powerful. Should be part of basic education, every year, through highschool.

  • Forensics

  • What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime
  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Sarah Barron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,762
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,622
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,607

The dead talk - to the right listener. They can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Crime Seen

  • By Mark on 09-02-16

Could have been organized a little better

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

Reviewed: 06-08-18

Some chapters could have been split for better organization. Great narrator. Her accents are excellent.

  • Minecraft: The Island (Narrated by Jack Black)

  • An Official Minecraft Novel
  • By: Max Brooks
  • Narrated by: Jack Black
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 565
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 490
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491

The first official Minecraft novel! In the tradition of iconic adventures like Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island, the number one New York Times best-selling author of World War Z tells the story of a hero - stranded in the world of Minecraft - who must unravel the secrets of a mysterious island in order to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Max Brooks and Jack Black does it get any better..

  • By Dave Norris on 07-22-17

Better than you would think

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

Reviewed: 06-05-18

Jack Black has excellent emotional range in his voice and the story perfectly captures the adventures of your average player discovering the world of Minecraft.

Absolutely worth a listen. The only bad thing I can say about it is this is the only book Jack Black has narrated (as of this writing).

  • When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain

  • History's Unknown Chapters
  • By: Giles Milton
  • Narrated by: Giles Milton
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 191

The first installment in Giles Milton's outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters: colorful and accessible, intelligent and illuminating, Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from the past. There's the cook aboard the Titanic who pickled himself with whiskey and survived in the icy seas where most everyone else died. There's the man who survived the atomic bombs in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there are many, many more.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Quite entertaining

  • By Michael on 08-05-16

Entertaining, but very light on details

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

Reviewed: 06-01-18

A lot of entertaining and interesting nuggets of history, but a lot of the stories read like summaries. I was hoping for more details, particularly for stories like the 160 people who survived the nukes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This book only tells us a little about one of them.

Still worth reading, just leaves a bit of legwork up to the readers to get the whole stories.

  • Everything I Never Told You

  • A Novel
  • By: Celeste Ng
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,202
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,380
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,405

Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.… So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Family Secrets Abound

  • By Jami on 10-30-14

I hate it because it's perfect

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

Reviewed: 01-30-18

I've never empathized with any character in any media like I have with this family. And the narration just adds to it. The slight impatience, the unintentional layers of expectation on what was meant to be encouragement, the cracking when a character is on the verge of tears, the unspoken plea in a single word.

It hurts and I hate it but I love it. Really shouldn't have listened to this when I've got things to do today. 10/10 would recommend but wouldn't read again. Not until I've said some things to my family.

  • The Home Front: Life in America During World War II

  • By: Audible Original
  • Narrated by: Martin Sheen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,902
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,531
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,517

[Contains some explicit content] Narrated by award-winning actor Martin Sheen, The Home Front: Life in America During World War II takes listeners into the lives of Americans at home who supported the war effort and sustained the country during wartime. The war brought immediate, life-changing shifts; from the rationing of butter, to an explosion of war-related jobs, to mixed-signals about the role of women in society. Feel what living in the United States was like for everyday people during this disruptive and uncertain period of American history in the newest Audible Original series. Martha Little is the Executive Producer. Dan Gediman is the Series Producer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent! But incessant breaks with credits along the way.

  • By Bradley Justice on 09-11-17

Interesting book. Slightly misleading title.

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

Reviewed: 12-18-17

Title was a little misleading. This is not a series of vignettes about daily life among Americans at home while war raged. It is a very interesting look at the social, political, and economic challenges faced by the US government/people leading up to, and during, the Second World War. And it does feature interviews and some 'dear Mr President' radio broadcasts, which I greatly appreciate.

Only problem is the modern political party bias being applied, subtly, to the major political choices of the war (i.e, they mention a few laws pass along party lines, with no mention of the significant percentages of Democrat and Republican senators who voted across party lines.) Though, given I'm writing this in December of 2017 where 'along party lines' means 'nobody at all from the opposing party voted in favor', that may be my own interpretation of the phrase clouding the author's original intent.