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Mike Zinni

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • El Narco

  • The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels
  • By: Ioan Grillo
  • Narrated by: Paul Thornley
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 358
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 334
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333

The world has watched stunned at the bloodshed in Mexico. Thirty thousand murdered since 2006; police chiefs shot within hours of taking office; mass graves comparable to those of civil wars; car bombs shattering storefronts; headless corpses heaped in town squares. The United States throws Black Hawk helicopters and drug agents at the problem. But in secret, Washington is confused and divided about what to do. "Who are these mysterious figures tearing Mexico apart?" they wonder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book ruined by bad narration

  • By Robert Pitman on 08-17-12

Ignore the Narrator

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

It’s difficult to imagine, but if you can somehow simultaneously listen to the story while ignoring the medium, you’ll enjoy this book.

It sounds like the narrator has one method of delivery - international man of mystery and snide sarcasm. And when attempting American accents, everyone is suddenly a southern bell, whether it’s Nixon, Bush, or Reagan.

  • When the Air Hits Your Brain

  • Tales from Neurosurgery
  • By: Frank T Vertosick Jr. MD
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,768
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,565
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,552

With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick, Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick's patients and unsparing-yet-fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sensitive and Enlightening

  • By Largactil on 02-03-17

Mostly Great

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

As a medical Speech-Language Pathologist, I really enjoyed this book (well, I have about an hour left). It was fascinating to get an unadulterated and honest perspective from a neurosurgeon.

But one thing really bothered me. The author describes aphasia (a neurological communication disorder) in false terms. He says you can’t recover from it. This is patently false, almost comedically.

“Taking care of patients with Aphasia (inability to speak) pushes the envelope of difficulty. Rounding on him was torture.”

That’s my job. I love it. Persons with aphasia still have extremely rich lives and don’t “waste away in nursing homes” (usually).

But, maybe this is indicative of how neurosurgeons actually are - only concerned with the things within their control and know very little of anything else. ;)

  • Insomniac City

  • New York, Oliver, and Me
  • By: Bill Hayes
  • Narrated by: Stephen Bel Davies
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92

Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at 48 years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city's incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Addicting

  • By Espanolish on 05-04-17

Required Reading for Any Sacks Fan

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

Reviewed: 07-17-17

If you're a fan of Olivar Sacks, then you'll enjoy this book. Hayes provides a perspective of the man that only he could have known. It's wistful and dreamy, but not without intention. Expect to find all the humor and beauty you would from anything Sacks touched. But expect more.

  • Language Guy - Easy Spanish Grammar 1

  • 5 Hours of Natural Grammar Learning
  • By: Mark Frobose
  • Narrated by: Mark Frobose
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

With Easy Spanish Grammar 1, you learn how Spanish sentences are constructed through clear examples spoken by native Spanish speakers and with simple explanations in clear English given by Mark Frobose, the Language Guy. Whether you hate grammar, fear it, or simply want to be able to use it effectively to speak better Spanish, then Language Guy's Easy Spanish Grammar is for you.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First Time I Understood Spanish

  • By Maria on 02-03-16

Soooo Basic

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

Reviewed: 03-15-17

If you know your subject pronouns, both "to be" forms, and a handful of verbs, don't bother with this first book. Maybe the second in the series will be more challenging, but judging by the extremely slow pace of this first one, I'm not hopeful.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Story of Human Language

  • By: John McWhorter, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John McWhorter
  • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,045
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,764
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,725

Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You'll Never Look at Languages the Same Way Again

  • By SAMA on 03-11-14

Very Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 09-17-16

Great on so many different levels and entertaining to boot. It is memorable and enjoyable. McWhorter has a way with words.

  • Pimsleur Spanish Level 2 Lessons 1-5

  • Learn to Speak and Understand Spanish with Pimsleur Language Programs
  • By: Pimsleur
  • Narrated by: Pimsleur
  • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163

Spanish Level 2 Lessons 1-5 builds on material taught in prior lessons. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I'd rate it higher but materials are missing .....

  • By SkySurfer on 07-08-11

For The Skeptics

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

Reviewed: 09-14-16

I've used Rosetta Stone (so far, 85% complete), Duolingo (95% complete) and Pimsleur. I can't say that Pimsleur is a silver bullet, but it's definitely brought my studies to the next level. Worth a purchase, for sure. One of the best features is the ability to slow it down and speed it up (so far, I'm just at the normal speed...). Fully recommend it as one important part of an arsenal.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • NeuroTribes

  • The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
  • By: Steve Silberman
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,430
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,284

What is autism: a lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is both of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Contrast to "In a Different Key"

  • By Gadget on 06-01-16

Great Overview

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

Reviewed: 07-12-16

Whether you're a parent or a specialist (SLP, here), you'll find this book to be a fairly comprehensive review of the literature, the controversies, and the development of autism, as we know it today. Fully recommend it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11

  • By: Salim Yaqub, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Salim Yaqub
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 440
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 399
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398

At the dawn of World War I, the United States was only a rising power. Our reputation was relatively benign among Middle Easterners, who saw no imperial ambitions in our presence and were grateful for the educational and philanthropic services Americans provided. Yet by September 11, 2001, everything had changed. The United States had now become the unquestioned target of those bent on attacking the West for its perceived offenses against Islam. How and why did this transformation come about?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hulk Smash! Hulk sorry :(

  • By David Larson on 08-10-15

Excellent! But...

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

Reviewed: 06-17-16

This was a great lecture series, and I fully recommend it with one caveat: at times, the speaker uses complex sentence structures that further complicate the already complex nature of the material. It's not incomprehensible, but when absorbing materially aurally it helps the listener when sentences are put forth simply. Now I love a good dependent clause as much as the next person, but when you're getting up to four or five, and you're offering parenthetical asides - and interjections here and there - and we have unfamiliar names and less than familiar settings (which even a decent knowledge of middle eastern geography (disregarding the many changes to the boundaries (vacillating as they do))), cogent delivery is key. <--satire. Don't let this dissuade you though. It was a very revealing overview. Just don't expect to listen at 1.5x speed.

  • History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration

  • By: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,097
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 994
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 984

Mutiny. Disease. Starvation. Cannibals. From the ancient wayfarers to modern astronauts, world explorers have blazed trails fraught with danger. Yet, as History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration vividly demonstrates, exploration continues to be one of humanity's deepest impulses. Across 24 lectures that unveil the process by which we came to know the far reaches of our planet, you'll witness the awe-inspiring and surprisingly interconnected tale of global exploration.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating from start to finish!

  • By Quaker on 04-19-15

So much fun!

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

Reviewed: 02-24-16

The author achieves a great story arc even though each lectures tackles a different explorer, a different time. I learned about well known travelers and obscure trail blazers. Easy to listen to. Clear sentence structure, almost conversational.