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J.B.

Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
  • 258
  • reviews
  • 956
  • helpful votes
  • 263
  • ratings
  • Christmas Eve, 1914

  • By: Charles Olivier
  • Narrated by: Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, Cody Fern, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,747
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,525
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,522

In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had - in reality - only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spirit of Christmas

  • By john83146 on 12-21-14

OK, its a story, just not much more than that.

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

OK, its a story, just not much more than that. The characters are difficult to hear and distinguish clearly. The plot is obvious and not displayed very well. Its redeeming characteristic is it reminds us to some extent of the horror of the style of fighting that evolved into WWI. Actually, that was stupid. All war is horrid. The novel does depict the horror, but also the miracle of that one famous night of Christmas when the British and Germans stopped killing each other and decided to celebrate Christmas together. God Bless the Western Alliance.

  • Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft

  • By: Brooks Landon, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Brooks Landon
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 554
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 490
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 475

Why do some lengthy sentences flow effortlessly while others stumble along? Why are you captivated by the writing of particular authors? How can you craft sentences that reflect your unique outlook on the world? This lively, 24-lecture course introduces you to the myriad ways in which we think about, talk about, and write sentences. Reviving the sentence-oriented approach to studying writing, Professor Landon provides a greater context for what makes sentences great - and how you can apply these methods to your own writing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I appreciate long sentences more now

  • By Kazuhiko on 09-22-13

I Am Not As Bad A Writer As I Thought

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

Reviewed: 11-23-18

Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft, a course by Brooks Landon. I suppose you can determine the effectiveness of the course in direct relationship to the quality, depth, and rhythm to the interesting nature of my written communication herein, or then again not.

The learning thread communicated in the course is antitypical. It makes the case that short sentences are not necessarily superior to involved, balanced, serial and other complex sentences. I do leave the study with a pronounced feeling that it has freed me from the inane strictures of The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White; the question is will that be a good thing.

I am one of those Americans who was detrimentally harmed by a total lack of any explanation of grammar in my elementary and middle school educations. Perhaps, as a result, I had a difficult time following Professor Brooks Landon. Yet, his clear speaking, enthusiastic dialogue and make sense explanations kept me involved, and as a result, I do believe I came away with value.

  • Law School for Everyone

  • By: The Great Courses, Edward K. Cheng, Joseph L. Hoffmann, and others
  • Narrated by: Edward K. Cheng, Joseph L. Hoffmann, Molly Bishop Shadel, and others
  • Length: 25 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 754
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 664
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 654

Over the span of 48 lectures, four experienced lawyers and teachers recreate key parts of the first-year law student experience, introducing you to main areas of law most every beginning student studies. Enriched with famous cases from the annals of American law and powerful arguments by some of history's most successful lawyers, these lectures offer access to an often intimidating, surprisingly accessible, and civically important field.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eye opener

  • By Dustin Wilson on 04-15-18

A Good Survey of Legal Concepts

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

Law School for Everyone, By: The Great Courses, Edward K. Cheng, Joseph L. Hoffmann, Molly Bishop Shadel, Peter J. Smith. I am an attorney at law, have taught law (pretrial practice), a litigator and writer. I thought it would be interesting to review some of the core principals of law. I was rewarded. What a pleasant analysis of law and its principals. What a demonstrative statement on the primary concepts that make up the rule of law.

This is, though, not just for the legally educated. This is, as the title states, for Everyone. Want to get a good, yet easy to follow listing of the concepts of litigation, civil procedure, criminal law, and torts, this is it – and it will keep your attention even if this is your first delve into what law is about.

There is much in law to disgust. There is also the magnificence of how, when deployed correctly, it can provide order to our society and protection from dictatorial injustice. Take a read; and lean a little more about our Madisonian system of justice.

  • Biology: The Science of Life

  • By: Stephen Nowicki, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Stephen Nowicki
  • Length: 36 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 811
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 688
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 697

One of the greatest scientific feats of our era is the astonishing progress made in understanding biology-the intricate machinery of life-a progress to which the period we are living in right now has contributed the most.As you read these words, researchers are delving ever deeper into the workings of living systems, turning their discoveries into new medical treatments, improved methods of growing food, and innovative products that are already changing the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great for starters to biology

  • By Eran on 07-11-13

Stunningly Well Structured/Educationally Spot On

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

Reviewed: 11-12-18

Biology: The Science of Life, By Stephen Nowicki, The Great Courses. I cannot praise this course sufficiently using English, as adaptable as it is to communications. This course was spectacular. First, the last time I outright studied biology was high school. Now to be honest I am in the social sciences, and more particularly law. I do read often articles and books on the Cosmos, Quantum Mechanics, the Earth Sciences, Disease, and Genetics. I do that for enjoyment and to broaden my horizons. So, I generally knew of the progress of science since those American Pie days.

Dr. Nowicki is terribly good at talking and his excitement for his field of study is marvelous. His breadth of knowledge is stunning. He takes us from chemistry to the origins of life, its matriculation into living organisms and societal functioning. Some parts of the Course were excruciatingly difficult to follow; because of the sophisticated knowledge, one must traverse. No matter, it was a thrill to take in what Dr. Nowicki has to offer. If you want to understand the science of biology. This is your magnificent read.

  • Fear

  • Trump in the White House
  • By: Bob Woodward
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,855
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,007

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files, and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One, and the White House residence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This gave me a nightmare

  • By Jean on 09-25-18

Fear, Fiasco and Mental Fragility

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

Fear; Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward, and read by Robert Petkoff. Woodward takes us on an interlude into the presidential management of the affairs of state by Donald J. Trump, and his administration. The story is simply a depiction without comment of interactive incidents in the management of national issues by the President and his staff. The author lets the reader draw her/his own conclusions thereupon. A natural incidental of the display of the organization being undertaken on our behalf as citizens is a deep look into the psyche and morals of President Trump. Again, no conclusions are drawn. But for the fact that the title has been taken by another author, the book could have been entitled Fiasco.

About the title, itself, it is a double entendre. President Trump has spoken that power is fear. Perhaps meaning to achieve and keep power one must have others fear him. It could also mean one must be fearful in that this administration is so incompetent (and does not have the wherewithal to get corrected); we, the public should be fearful. If you are political this is a must read.

It is not the best read as the wriitng style is not conducive to a flowing read, and the story is choppy. Its contents and your understating of just who is our president is enlightening and, yes: Frightening.

3 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • English History Made Brief, Irreverent, and Pleasurable

  • By: Lacey Baldwin Smith
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 696
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 697

Here at last is a history of England that is designed to entertain as well as inform and that will delight the armchair traveler, the tourist, or just about anyone interested in history. No people have engendered quite so much acclaim or earned so much censure as the English: extolled as the Athenians of modern times, yet hammered for their self-satisfaction and hypocrisy. But their history has been a spectacular one.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoroughly enjoyable history

  • By Dennis K. on 11-23-17

Island's, Political and Monarchy's History

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

Reviewed: 09-09-18

English History Made Brief, Irreverent, and Pleasurable, by Lacey Baldwin Smith, and Narrated by Peter Noble. If you are one who enjoys history, and if you are one who particularly finds our heritage in the English, of extra interest, this would be a good read for you. There is not much said on any subject but sufficiently said on ALL subjects of the history of England to amount make this as the title said a pleasure to listen to. It gives a good understanding of that magic land called England.

You will be amazed at how it managed to survive, and yet it has survived several dozens of time better than one should have anticipated. You will be fairly amazed to realized, it should have encompassed about one-third of France as well. Not from the French point of view though. Yet, this book lists the history of the island, tells about its politics and then goes back and gives you a second short running history of the monarchy. There seems to be much Smith does not like about its monarchs and politicians and there is no holding back. This is not Sir Winston Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples, but not a bad listen to if you fit all the above criteria.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,951
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,646

A natural storyteller and raconteur in his own right - just listen to Paddle Your Own Canoe and Gumption - actor, comedian, carpenter, and all-around manly man Nick Offerman ( Parks and Recreation) brings his distinctive baritone and a fine-tuned comic versatility to Twain's writing. In a knockout performance, he doesn't so much as read Twain's words as he does rejoice in them, delighting in the hijinks of Tom - whom he lovingly refers to as a "great scam artist" and "true American hero".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fall in Love All Over Again

  • By Doug - Audible on 07-05-17

Old Wives’ Tales and Boyhood

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

Reviewed: 08-29-18

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, By: Mark Twain, Narrated by: Nick Offerman. When one gets to the core of the story it’s about how myths, or old wives’ tales mislead us. That is about every day folk’s beliefs, usually superstitious or erroneous, passed on by word of mouth as a piece of traditional wisdom. The myths are always absurd and lead the boys (and their parents) into troubles. A traditional Mark Twain theme was the lack of rational insight versus false pitch lines to confront life’s issues.

In a way, the success that reaches Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, is unexpected. Their luck in getting out of what they should not have gotten into is beyond belief. Yet, belief is not necessary to enjoy this unique look into boyhood. Oh yes, and girlhood in the form of Becky Thatcher, Tom’s true love. The Sawyer/Thatcher romance is modeled after the Twain/Olivia Landon romance, Samuel Clemons’ real-life wife.

This is not the monumental tale of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but it is a pleasant tour of Americana. Yet, although not as severe as in Huck Finn, there is vehement racism presented, that is so harsh the book should be sold only to social researchers. Was this indicative of Mark Twain or was it his effort to reveal the cruelty of it? I believe he was attempting to show its horrors, but its depiction of the under-trodden is harsh.

  • Fascism

  • A Warning
  • By: Madeleine Albright
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Albright
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,265
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,061
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,036

At the end of the 1980s, when the Cold War ended, many, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, believed that democracy had triumphed politically once and for all. Yet nearly 30 years later, the direction of history no longer seems certain. A repressive and destructive force has begun to reemerge on the global stage - sweeping across Europe, parts of Asia, and the United States - that to Albright, looks very much like fascism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Jean on 07-04-18

Why Do People Give Up Their Freedom

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

Fascism, A Warning. Written and spoken by Madeleine Albright. I had wrongly anticipated what I was purchasing; expecting another condemnation of Trump. Professor Albright is not a fan of Trump, and she does point out his flaws against her teaching, but this is a course on Fascism, not a political document written on behalf of the Democratic Party. Professor Albright, occupied a front row seat to the rise of Fascism, as an infant, a father who saw what was happening in Europe and moved his family away from the heinous effect of Fascism before they had to personally suffer, other than the loss of close family members. She, of course, was/is a professor of International Relations at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and when not there served several presidents advising on diplomacy. She was also the first woman Secretary of State Under President Clinton. As a professor she has studied fascism, and as a diplomat had to face and negotiate American interests around fascist interests.

I expected a diatribe against Trump. Not so. This is a history course about fascism in the 20th and now 21st centuries. She explains how most fascist regimes, stumbled into being, what was their pitch to the public, and how they all argued for abuse of others, the outsiders. There are always plenty of people who want to hate others as a method of giving themselves feigned status against those to whom the hatred is cast. This is a brilliant breakdown of what fascism is, why it becomes popularized, how it sows the seeds of its own destruction and its inner workings. You will see that analysis applied to two dozen dictators from Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and more to modern day tyrants, including Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and compare them to persons such as Nelson Mandela and George W. Bush.

Oh yes, and she does have some comment on Trump.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Plot to Destroy Democracy

  • How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West
  • By: Malcolm Nance, Rob Reiner - foreword
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 785
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 706
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 702

In the greatest intelligence operation in the history of the world, Donald Trump was made president of the United States with the assistance of a foreign power. For the first time, The Plot to Destroy Democracy reveals the dramatic story of how blackmail, espionage, assassination, and psychological warfare were used by Vladimir Putin and his spy agencies to steal the 2016 US election. It will show how Russia and its fifth column allies tried to flip the cornerstones of democracy in order to reengineer the world political order that kept most of the world free since since 1945....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • OH NOOOO

  • By Becky on 07-18-18

Trump Ain’t No Johnny

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

The Plot to Destroy Democracy, How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West. By: Malcolm Nance and Narrated by: Peter Ganim. Horror confronts our democracy. It comes to us in the form of Donald J. Trump.

First, I am a longtime admirer of our author, Malcolm Nance, listening to his tv appearances and listening to him talk: his patriotism, his knowledge of covert operations, his past protecting our nation and its people (brown, white, yellow and red), and how well he lays out an issue and provides how the intelligence community takes these ominous problems and work for all our benefit. Yet, this is the only book or other writing of Mr. Nances that I have read, and I am again, impressed with the clear cogent and inciteful information on a jeopardy our nation faces. Because, if Mr. Nance’s information is correct, Mr. Trump has sold his soul for the presidency. Trump is Webster and Putin is the Devil. (The story by Stephen Vincent Benét.)

First Mr. Nance educates you about Russian intelligence, how it operations, how it organizes and deploys. Next, Mr. Nance provides you with Trump’s history, the provides you with how that history fits into Russian strategy. Then he reports on known facts that have become public of Trump Russian contacts and compares those encounters to Trump and his frailties and Putin and his strengths. Frightening.

There is a negative in reading or listening to this history. Mr. Nance provides you with endless, and voluminous reported facts that throw the weight of probabilities to the conclusion that Trump has conspired. I do mean a voluminous number of facts. If you wade through those facts; you will be disgusted the Congress has not protected us better from a compromised president.

Magnificent read.

And the Devil jumped up on a hickory stump and said,
"Boy [Johnny] let me tell you what:
I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player too,
And if you'd care to take a dare,
I'll make a bet with you
Now you play a pretty good fiddle,
Boy, but give the Devil his due
I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul
'Cause I think I'm better than you"

Charlie Daniels, Devil Went Down to Georgia. Unfortunately, Trump ain’t no Johnny.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Assault on Intelligence

  • American National Security in an Age of Lies
  • By: Michael V. Hayden
  • Narrated by: Michael V. Hayden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 769
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 712
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 706

In the face of a president who lobs accusations without facts, evidence, or logic, truth tellers are under attack. Meanwhile, the world order is teetering on the brink. North Korea is on the verge of having a nuclear weapon that could reach all of the United States, Russians have mastered a new form of information warfare that undercuts democracy, and the role of China in the global community remains unclear. There will always be value to experience and expertise, devotion to facts, humility in the face of complexity, and a respect for ideas, but in this moment they seem more important, and more endangered, than they've ever been.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Edifying

  • By Jean on 07-13-18

Being a Replicator to the Russian Strikes at Us

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

The Assault on Intelligence, written and read by Michael V. Hayden. Gen. Hayden measures the Trump person, campaign, and presidency against Trump’s words, actions and results; against a timeline of coming down the escalator, through the 2016 election campaign, transition and presidency. He detects the man’s inner workings and frailties, its effect on international relations and the intelligence community, and what that may (and has) mean (meant) for the American way of values and our position in the world. His prognosis for America under Trump is not hopeful.

Gen. Hayden is an intellectual, and his analysis here is brilliant. He provides a situation that has occurred by the Trump march to his presidency, explains the caliber of spoken words and resulting actions by the candidate/president, and outlines its effect on our society and position in the world order. He then usually, introduces a social science study by a professor, writer, or Nobel laureate, as a guideline for measuring Trump’s history and displays Trump and his effects by applying the study's analysis to Trumps speach or acts. He then explains the results Trump is having on United States security and world order. If you are wondering about Trump the fiasco, this is a good read to help you understand.

One key point brought out in this work. It is beyond chance that every degenerative accusation made by Trump is always matched in time by the same untruthful, but hatred full assertion made by the Russians. Theirs attack on America is replicative with Trump's derogatons. Why is that?

Gen. Hayden tells you when Trump is doing well, but that is minuscule compared to all the harm Trump is doing to our economics, safety, and influence in the world. This book is magnificent as a learning and assessment tool. Read it soon though. Its facts are becoming old history.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful