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harsh critic

  • 29
  • reviews
  • 89
  • helpful votes
  • 37
  • ratings
  • Ender's Game

  • Special 20th Anniversary Edition
  • By: Orson Scott Card
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,307
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,052

Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Enderverse

  • By Joe on 06-13-05

Great story, great performance, great leadership lessons

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

Wonderful performance brought this sci-fi world of the future to life. On just about every page there’s something learn about leadership. Loved this book 18 years ago, happy to re-read it again this week.

  • Everything Under the Heavens

  • How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power
  • By: Howard W. French
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Hormann
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dense, Long, Necessary

  • By harsh critic on 12-11-18

Dense, Long, Necessary

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

Reviewed: 12-11-18

A great voice reads a lengthy, comprehensive review of Chinese history to explain current geostrategic facts in and around China specifically, and concerning Chinese interests globally.

  • World Order

  • By: Henry Kissinger
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Hormann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 915
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 802
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 798

Henry Kissinger has traveled the world, advised presidents, and been a close observer and participant in the central foreign policy events of our era. Now he offers his analysis of the twenty first century's ultimate challenge: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historic perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More retrospective than future oriented

  • By Scott on 10-23-14

My favorite book of the year

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

I set a goal to read two books a month this year. It’s October. This is my favorite. A dense but necessary summary of world geopolitical history ending with an exploration of new media and its effect on affairs of state. I learned a lot of facts. I was challenged by new words & phrases. I had to rewind and re-listen many times. But it’s a book I’ll buy in print so I can have an underlined reference for future discussions. MUST READ.

  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu

  • Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
  • By: Mark Adams
  • Narrated by: Andrew Garman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 911

Writer for the New York Times and GQ, Mark Adams is also the acclaimed author of Mr. America. In this fascinating travelogue, Adams follows in the controversial footsteps of Hiram Bingham III, who’s been both lionized and vilified for his discovery of the famed Lost City in 1911—but which reputation is justified?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good book for history enthusiasts

  • By Elizabeth on 08-26-12

Don’t read before going to MP. Or do. It’s your spirit walk

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

Reviewed: 08-18-18

Wonderfully researched. Humorous. Relatable. Awful accents. Just read in whatever your mother accent is.

Recommend not reading before doing the Inca Trail. While you’ll learn things you maybe wish you had known before your journey, you will also be unable to approach the ancient natural, archaeological, historical & spiritual journey with a clean mind. Plenty of “packing list guides” exist to get you ready.

That said, I totally agree his best piece of advice about planning a trip—don’t fly all the way to Perú and rush the Inca Trail. The less popular 5 day, 4 night hike is absolutely the best travel decision I made about Perú.

  • The Soul of America

  • The Battle for Our Better Angels
  • By: Jon Meacham
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders, Jon Meacham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,713
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,426
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,410

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and LBJ, and illuminating the courage of influential citizen activists and civil rights pioneers, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. Each of these dramatic hours have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • He takes the long view, displays pattern,Hopeful

  • By zachary on 07-04-18

A lot of quotes, still worth the read

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

In the beginning this book seemed more like a whole bunch of quotes rather than a crafted storyline peppered w a few supporting quotes. A few chapters in though the author really finds his own voice, using quotes as support for his points. Another engaging read explaining the very clear fact 2018 politics may not be exact copies other the politics of earlier years but they are exquisitely painted replicas. This point gives me hope & helps me understand my nation & the leaders that have gotten us here & will take us into tomorrow. May I be in that number.

  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • By: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, full cast, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,523
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,548
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,483

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

  • By ambER on 04-20-17

Fantastic performance & extras!

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

Reviewed: 06-03-18

Captivating story & beautiful prose. The extras after the book like the Atwood essay & the fictional future academic discussion on the book are really eye opening. Devoured in a long weekend. Thank you, Margaret, for such a wonderful look into the mind of a heroine during a time of societal madness.

  • A Diary from Dixie

  • By: Mary Chesnut
  • Narrated by: Mary Baker
  • Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

This is the original diary of the wife of Confederate General James Chesnut, Jr., who was an aide to President Jefferson Davis. It is a fascinating narrative of all the years of the American Civil War. It focuses on the daily lives and hardships of all who suffered through the war, from ordinary people to the Confederacy's generals and political elite. Mary Chesnut's prose has lost none of its provocative bite through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Must read—unique view of Antebellum, bellum & post bellum Southern life

  • By harsh critic on 05-31-18

Must read—unique view of Antebellum, bellum & post bellum Southern life

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

A students of the Civil War, I highly recommend this book. Nowhere else is captured the trials, sentiments, & intimate insight to Southern life in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The annotations wrt the prominent military & government figures as well as battles is masterfully woven into the diary.

No other Civil War account covers the ground that this one does.

What’s missing? More perspectives of the poor black & white people during this time. Mary Chestnut was the wife of a senator and confederate officer which must be remembered as she gives her thoughts & assessments of the time. Even so, this is a must read if you endeavor to understand the American Civil War & its aftermath which is still felt today in the groundwater of the nation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mission to Paris

  • By: Alan Furst
  • Narrated by: Daniel Gerroll
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 450
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 372
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 369

At the center of the intrigue is Hollywood star, Frederic Stahl. September 1938. On the eve of the Munich Appeasement, Stahl arrives in Paris, on loan from Warner Brothers to star in a French film. He quickly becomes entangled in the shifting political currents of pre-war Paris - French fascists, German Nazis, and his Hollywood publicists all have their fates tied to him. But members of the clandestine spy world of Paris have a deeper interest in Stahl, sensing a potential asset in a handsome, internationally renowned actor.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Cary Grant Goes to Paris

  • By Darwin8u on 06-18-12

A yummy taste of pre-WWII Europe

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

Nice story, perhaps too many characters but fine. Lovely mix of spy work & French romance. One large critique is of the “automatic pistol.” That is not a thing. Made me question other things in the book the author seemed to know about.

  • Radical Inclusion

  • What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership
  • By: Martin Dempsey, Ori Brafman
  • Narrated by: Alex Hyde-White
  • Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127

Forty-one-year Army veteran General (Ret.) Martin Dempsey and 41-year-old UC Berkeley associate professor Ori Brafman have been friends for almost 10 years. Though they have almost nothing in common, their collaboration has produced a powerful message. Their new book, Radical Inclusion, examines today’s leadership landscape and describes the change it demands of leaders. The nature of power is changing and should not be measured by degree of control alone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great team.

  • By Jordan Morris on 09-02-18

So nice I read it twice!!!

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

If you want to build a successful team, family, friendship, pick up this book ASAP!

  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

  • A Novel
  • By: Fannie Flagg
  • Narrated by: Lorna Raver
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,641
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,472
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,471

Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Here is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s; of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women - of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth - who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Curious What was Left Out of the Movie

  • By Scott on 04-21-12

Wayyyyyy better than the movie

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

You’ll feel wholly Christened into the culture of the early 1900s American South when reading this. Wonderful performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful