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Sandy McMahon

Placitas, NM
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 91
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings
  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,496
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55,512
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 55,366

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A ferrari with no motor

  • By will on 11-18-17

Very entertaining book!

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

Well written and told. More complex and faster paced than The Martian. Great material for a movie.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing

  • By: Delia Owens
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 20,543
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,866
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,785

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Seattle blues on 08-17-18

Wonderful Book and Story

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

I grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, about 5 years younger than Kaya - the main character, and spent the summers of my youth on the North Carolina shore, frequently in poor fishing communities like Barkley's Cove. The book brought this all back to me through the story of Kaya.

Few would recall that in the North Carolina of the 1950s and 60s the only people who were considered lower class than blacks were poor whites. Prejudice was rampant, and what Kaya experienced was frequent. Yet the description of the bonds that Kaya was able to build with a few good-hearted people is wonderful.

My wife is putting this book on the list of books for her reading group. I'm sure that they will enjoy it.

  • The Essential Talmud: An Introduction

  • By: Adin Steinsaltz
  • Narrated by: Shlomo Zacks
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 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 11

The Essential Talmud is a masterful introduction by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz to the great repository of Jewish wisdom, the Talmud. A book of profound scholarship and concise pedagogy, The Essential Talmud succinctly describes the Talmud's history, structure, and methodology. It summarizes the Talmud's main principles, demonstrates its contemporary relevance, and captures the spirit of this unique and paradoxical sacred text as a human expression of divine law. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I didn't know what to expect

  • By Michael on 12-02-18

Excellent Overview of the Talmud

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

An excellent overview of the Talmud. Including its purpose, history, structure, and a concise summary of the main topics covered in the Talmud.

It is not a substitute for the full Talmud, but presents a framework for those interested in the study of the larger work.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Astoria

  • John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
  • By: Peter Stark
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,095
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 988
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 992

At a time when the edge of American settlement barely reached beyond the Appalachian Mountains, two visionaries, President Thomas Jefferson and millionaire John Jacob Astor, foresaw that one day the Pacific would dominate world trade as much as the Atlantic did in their day. Just two years after the Lewis and Clark expedition concluded in 1806, Jefferson and Astor turned their sights westward once again. Thus began one of history's dramatic but largely forgotten turning points in the conquest of the North American continent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Daring, greedy men take on nature and natives

  • By Pamela on 06-20-14

A Forgotten Story that Should Be Remembered

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

A very entertaining telling of John Jacob Astor's efforts to build a city and empire on the Oregon coast, and of the events that destroyed this dream. A great read.

  • American Nations

  • A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
  • By: Colin Woodard
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,860
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,647
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,655

North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of a Kind Masterpiece

  • By Theo Horesh on 02-28-13

A wonderful explanation of the regions of the US

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

Insightful and well-written, this book uniquely contributes, in language that is readily accessible, to our understanding of the regional political forces - the nations - that compose America. Once you've gone through Woodard's analysis, it becomes far easier to understand both historic and current conflicts in political and social views in the country.

  • Cave of Bones

  • A Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Novel
  • By: Anne Hillerman
  • Narrated by: Christina Delaine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 326
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325

When tribal police officer Bernadette Manuelito arrives to speak at a program for at-risk teens, she discovers chaos. Everyone is concerned about a beloved instructor who went out into the wilds of the rugged lava wilderness bordering Ramah Navajo Reservation to find a missing girl. The instructor vanished somewhere in the volcanic landscape known as El Malpais. The instructor's disappearance mirrors a long-ago search that may be connected to a case in which the legendary Joe Leaphorn played a crucial role.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fun Trip to the Southwest

  • By Jean on 06-17-18

Another Wonderful Hillerman Novel!

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

Anne Hillerman continues her father’s superb Manuelito, Chee and Leaphorn series of Navajo police mysteries. Taking the feminine perspective of Bernadette Manuelito, she adds extra personality and richness to her father’s stories. Highly respectful of Navajo culture and perspective, this book, like its predecessors, is a joy to experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Smartest Guys in the Room

  • The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
  • By: Bethany McLean
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,073
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 910
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 907

The definitive volume on Enron's amazing rise and scandalous fall, from an award-winning team of Fortune investigative reporters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent book, but with a missing chapter

  • By Augustus T. White on 03-07-12

A great lesson in the consequences of hubris

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

Reviewed: 05-02-18

Well researched, written and read. Good lessons for any in the business world. Especially if you know anyone who worked at Enron!

  • Hidden Figures

  • The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  • By: Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,855
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,260

Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space. Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Subject

  • By Jami on 02-05-18

Far better than even the great movie

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

I collaborate with many NASA minority employees as PI of a NASA Grant. Our first PI meeting was in Hampton VA. Before listening to this book I had no idea of the critical role that Langley Research Center had played, not only in the space race, but also and perhaps more importantly in the eradication of segregation and the birth of the women’s equal rights struggle. A wonderful listen!

  • The Death of Expertise

  • The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters
  • By: Tom Nichols
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 456

People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything and all voices demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By iKlick on 09-10-17

Thoughtful Discussion of A Critical Challenge

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

Reviewed: 03-22-18

This book is a thoughtful discussion of how social media and media bias become supporters of our own preconceptions and lead us to believe that we are more expert than we are. Equally critical of the right and left, the discussion is well balanced.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Friends Divided

  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
  • By: Gordon S. Wood
  • Narrated by: James Lurie
  • Length: 17 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy's champion, was an aristocratic Southern slave owner while Adams, the overachiever from New England's rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Read

  • By Jean on 12-22-17

A masterwork in early American history

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

Reviewed: 03-14-18

Beautifully conceived, researched and written, Friends Divided describes how two of the Founding Fathers of the United States worked to establish, reestablish and maintain a friendship of over 50 years. Prof. Wood artfully describes both the similarities and differences in viewpoint between Jefferson and Adams and how the debate over these differences stayed alive over decades of correspondence. Wood explains why one of the two remains revered over the centuries while the other, despite his significant contributions to liberty remains more difficult to appreciate.