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Gerardo

Austin, TX, United States
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  • 207
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  • American Ulysses

  • A Life of Ulysses S. Grant
  • By: Ronald C. White
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 27 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,902
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,760
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,746

A major new biography of the Civil War general and American president, by the author of the New York Times bestseller A. Lincoln. The dramatic story of one of America's greatest and most misunderstood military leaders and presidents, this is a major new interpretation of Ulysses S. Grant. Based on seven years of research with primary documents, some of them never tapped before, this is destined to become the Grant biography of our times.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Absolutely Superb Work

  • By Michael J. Nardotti, Jr. on 11-05-16

Fantastic - one of the best audiobooks

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

American Ulysses is a fantastic book: insightful, personal, deep and masterfully narrated.
It's a long book at over 27 hours, yet I was never bored. The level of detail is perfect, the narrator keeps it always interesting. I learned a lot about history and about Grant himself, probably the best president in the history of the United States.

  • Infidel

  • By: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Narrated by: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Length: 16 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,676
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,898
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,904

This New York Times best-seller is the astonishing life story of award-winning humanitarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A deeply respected advocate for free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali also lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Tough, Candid Assessment

  • By Paul Mullen on 02-18-08

Inspiring. Educational. An incredible book

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

Her story is unique, very valuable and enlightening. It's a book that touches on many important and controversial personal, religious and social topics. Whether you agree with her views or not, it's a great read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dare Not Linger

  • The Presidential Years
  • By: Nelson Mandela, Mandla Langa, Graça Machel - prologue
  • Narrated by: Adrian Lester
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

In 1994 Nelson Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa. Five years later he stood down. In that time he and his government wrought the most extraordinary transformation, turning a nation riven by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy in which all South Africa's citizens, black and white, were equal before the law. Dare Not Linger is the story of Mandela's presidency, drawing heavily on the memoir he began to write as he prepared to finish his term as president but was unable to finish.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • No story, just a bunch of information

  • By Gerardo on 05-13-18

No story, just a bunch of information

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

I had just finished Mandela's first book, which was inspiring. I eagerly listened to this one, but I was disappointed.
First, the narrator speaks in this low, monotone voice. Maybe he thinks it make him interesting, when it actually makes the read boring and difficult to hear.
Second, there is no story. no drama, no lessons. It seems like somoene collected all the info they had on Mandela and grouped it in a 'book' organized by topics. Sure, there are a couple interesting nuggets, afer all it is Mandela we are talking about. It's just not a good book on which to spend 13 hours.
I fast forwarded maybe half of the chapters.
Get a better book, there are plenty.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Finding My Virginity

  • The New Autobiography
  • By: Richard Branson
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 818
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 743
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 747

In Finding My Virginity, Sir Richard Branson shares the secrets that have seen his family business grow from a student magazine into a global brand, his dreams of private citizens flying to space develop from a childhood fantasy to the brink of reality, and his focus shift from battling bigger rivals to changing business for good.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than a story of money.

  • By randell carlson on 05-31-18

I was expecting a lot more

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

Reviewed: 11-21-17

Fun and engaging read. Sir Richard Branson is an incredible person and an accomplished businessman. This book could have been called Sir Richard's incredible list of feats. And that's great, but I felt like there was not enough focus on the person, not many stories of failing and learning, no life lessons. Just stories of success after success. Maybe it's my fault. I wanted to learn more about Richard the human, how he thinks, how he learned, how he matured. My biggest criticism is for the narrator. Especially for a guy who started in the recording industry, for a book about passion and excitement, why would he choose a narrator that sounds like a politician with no emotion? It took away from the book, for sure. At the end, it's an OK read, but there are probably better books in your wish list.

  • The Swerve

  • How the World Became Modern
  • By: Stephen Greenblatt
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,267
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,980
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,973

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis

  • By Ethan M. on 05-01-12

A long read on a failed premise

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

Reviewed: 10-09-17

First, this book has an excellent narrator. It's a long book, but it is well written so it is interesting most of the time, except it goes into too much detail into many aspects, as if the author wanted to prove its knowledge by the number of pages.

If you have never read anything about the 15th Century or the Renaissance, you may find all these detail interesting, including long descriptions about how monks were dedicated to copying and maintaining books.

Listening to this audiobook you will probably spend a couple hours learning about the failings of the church during this era, which are well documented, which starts to set the tone for the fundamental point of the book: The poem On the Nature of Things, written in the first century, re-discovered in 1417, an event that is overly over-documented in the book.

The poem’s central idea is that the world is made of random events, the universe was created randomly, by chance. It’s interesting because it accurately describes scientific facts like atoms many centuries before they were scientifically discovered. However, it has an aspect of pseudoscience, which is not surprising coming from a poet in ancient times.

The whole book is centered on the idea that this God-less reality where everything is physical and random will set you free from superstitions and allows humanity to focus on the Epicurean pursuit of pleasure. It’s a very long stretch any way you look at it.

The author claims the poem influenced the modern world, but I find those links very weak. In fact, the while he claims De Rerum Natura influenced Einstein, while he wrote about the invisible architect whose work is evident in how things, from atoms to galaxies, work. Einstein wrote "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." recognizing the matter is not black and white and that science and religion converge.

If you want to learn about the Renaissance, the book The Medici, by Paul Strathern is a much more accurate, much richer account of the Renaissance, including the failings of the Church, and its role in the creation of our modern World.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • City of Fortune

  • How Venice Rule the Seas
  • By: Roger Crowley
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 201

The rise and fall of the Venetian empire stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. In City of Fortune, Roger Crowley, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author of Empires of the Sea, applies his narrative skill to chronicling the astounding five-hundred-year voyage of Venice to the pinnacle of power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Wonderful Listen

  • By Scot on 06-12-14

A military history of Venice

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

Reviewed: 04-26-17

I was a little disappointed in that this book covers mostly military history. but it is good. There is a lot of detail of battles and military actions, but it was always entertaining and insightful. The details add context and color to the stories. feels like a well researched book.
It left me wanting more. more stories, especially as it focuses on a somewhat narrow time frame. I was left wanting a book that would cover Venice's art, culture, architecture, and society - most of which are not talked about in this book.

  • The Power of Broke

  • How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage
  • By: Daymond John, Daniel Paisner
  • Narrated by: Daymond John, Sway Calloway
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,949
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,936

Here, the FUBU founder and star of ABC's Shark Tank shows that, far from being a liability, broke can actually be your greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur. Why? Because starting a business from broke forces you to think more creatively. It forces you to use your resources more efficiently. It forces you to connect with your customers more authentically and market your ideas more imaginatively.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book for those who need inspiration.

  • By ddsharper on 10-28-16

Inspirational entrepreneur- with a caution...

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

Reviewed: 01-05-17

Daymond is a good guy. He is a solid entrepreneur. The book is very personal, very real. It includes some very interesting points about Damond's life and his guerilla marketing tactics, which I loved, along stories for other entrepreneurs including some featured in Shark Tank.

Any Shark Tank fan will find this book entertaining, interesting and useful. Now to the caution...

Like most books on entrepreneurship, this one talks about following your dreams, ignoring critics and the value of persistence. The reality is that more often than not entrepreneurs have failed ideas, or don't have the right business plan, to make a business successful. And they would be better off closing the business than continuing to pursue a dream that will never come.

Entrepreneurs need more financial discipline, need better ways to test the potential of ideas, understand the profit potential of every business, have a financial plan if not a full business plan, and know when to pull the plug.

26 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Panzer Commander

  • The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck
  • By: Hans von Luck, Stephen E. Ambrose (introduction)
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,786
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,667
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,665

A stunning look at World War II from the other side.... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front - von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Reads like Forrest Gump ( a fiction )

  • By Randall on 11-08-16

Interesting but I wanted more

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

Reviewed: 12-03-16

Hans Von Luck was a good soldier. He fought with Rommel in Poland, Russia, Africa and defended French Territory during D-Day. He had incredible war experience, but very little experience writing, and it shows.

What I mean is that the book has very little in terms of military strategy. It also has very little in terms of explaining the mindset of a German colonel in the context of Hitler's Third Reich. It is not a good story. There is no magic in the story.

It's more of a detailed account of events.That does not mean it is not interesting to understand a little bit of how the war was fought from the other side. While I was tempted to skip a chapter or two, I listened to the entire audiobook.

It also lacks an apology. The battles he lost were because of lack of resources, there is no admitting defeat. Von Luck claims he disagreed with the Third Reich and was not even aware of concentration camps (highly implausible) but he does not give a good reason why he did not give up at Normandy, when he accepted the war was lost, and instead continued to fight a lost war for a year, resulting in destruction and many lost lives on both sides.

Even with all these limitations, it's a book I can recommend.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Outsider in the White House

  • Special Audio Edition
  • By: Bernie Sanders, Huck Gutman, John Nichols - afterword
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett, Brian Sutherland
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

Bernie Sanders' campaign for the presidency of the United States has galvanized supporters all over the country, drawing attention to issues of economic, racial, and social justice and spotlighting one of the most interesting and unconventional candidates in decades.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Vital listening for all people.

  • By andy on 02-24-16

A political ad for Bernie's ideas

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

Reviewed: 11-13-16

I love Bernie, He is such an authentic guy, who I believe genuinely fights for what is good for the greater good. We need more politicians like him, more people like him.

Having said this, this is a very one-sided political ad. It's more a recount of how he got there and all the effort to win his senate race, which was honestly a bit boring. I wanted to learn more about his policies, and his thoughts - but they account for a fraction of the book.

Further, while his heart is in the right place, his strategy is flawed. Yes, we need to hold Wall Street accountable, Yes, we need everyone to pay taxes, especially by closing loopholes for the rich. But we can't say that all rich people and all entrepreneurs are bad, they money is unjustly achieved and they should give it all back to everyone else, including people who don't make an effort or a contribution to the community.

Great questions, bad answers in a boring book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Shoe Dog

  • A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
  • By: Phil Knight
  • Narrated by: Norbert Leo Butz, Phil Knight - introduction
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 25,011
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,493
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22,489

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company's early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world's most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must listen to book- It's the perfect biz memoir

  • By Brock on 06-02-16

Wonderful,must-read Very entertaining & insightful

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

Reviewed: 11-13-16

There are some audiobooks so good, that often when I arrive to my destination (I listen on the car) I want to stay a bit more in the car to continue listening. It feels like this was the case with She Dog every time.

It's written by the author (surely with the help of a really good professional writer) in a very human, very sincere, very interesting way. It's like watching a movie when you don't want to go to the restroom because you want to see what happens next.

More importantly, it's a story of entrepreneurship and dedication. A an account of the challenges of running a business. It is also story of passion, a quest for a 'crazy idea', a group of men and woman that were dedicated to their cause, their business, and to each other.

On top of that, it is a very human book. I shed at tear at one point, got angry in another, and throughout was rooting for Blue Ribbon shoe company.

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