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Mark Hommerding

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 62
  • ratings
  • The Second World War

  • By: Antony Beevor
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 39 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 802
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 724
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 722

Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of World War II. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, The Second World War. Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on World War II.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It Fills in Gaps I Didn't Know Existed

  • By DJM on 07-31-12

Epic in scope; intimate in details

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

A powerful and sweeping narrative of WW2, with plenty of intimate and horrific details that illustrate the depth of the tragedy. As a one-volume history, you can’t go wrong by starting with this.

  • Rabbit

  • The Autobiography of Ms. Pat
  • By: Patricia Williams, Jeannine Amber
  • Narrated by: Patricia Williams
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,507
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,292
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,290

One of five children, Pat watched as her alcoholic mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At 12, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior; by 13, she was pregnant. By 15, Pat was a mother of two. Alone at 16, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story but dry reading

  • By SpazzyMaggee on 11-03-17

Thank you for sharing your life story!

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

The culture that you describe is right in my backyard and I did not know about it. I’m grateful that you have shared your story with the world, and that you were able to give me a guided tour of it. Well you might be known as a comedian, what you have done as a mother has been truly inspiring. Props to your life partner as well. The two of you are a great team.

  • The Argonauts

  • By: Maggie Nelson
  • Narrated by: Maggie Nelson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 746
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 656

Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family making.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A relaxing meditation on identity, gender and art

  • By redhidari on 10-01-15

Strange, beautiful, thoughtful, alien

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

Reviewed: 09-14-17

The book sort of starts, and a few hours later sort of ends. In between is a dense, non-frivolous, thought-provoking extended essay on sexuality, gender, pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. It is not autobiography. It is using autobiography as a springboard for thought and reflection. I live in what the author might term a "hetero-normative" world, and was glad that she took me on this tour of this alien land. An interesting and powerful listening experience. Bravo.

  • Born to Run

  • By: Bruce Springsteen
  • Narrated by: Bruce Springsteen
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,336
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,847
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,816

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to this audio the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Boss demonstrates his strong work ethic and dedication to excellence as he tells his story.

  • By Tim on 12-21-16

More literature than "tell all"

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

Reviewed: 12-19-16

I've never been a big fan of the music of Springsteen. I didn't approach listening to this book as a "fan", but just to somebody who is interested in hearing about his story. I have read/listened to many biographies/autobiographies. I can't think of a better one.

This was incredibly well-written, and approached from the standpoint of giving a thoughtful interpretation of a life rather than re-living glory days.

As I write this, in December 2016, on the heels of Bob Dylan winning the Nobel prize for literature, I can't help but think that they gave the prize to the wrong person.

  • A Guide to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

  • By: Robert Crayola
  • Narrated by: Stephen Paul Aulridge Jr.
  • Length: 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 4

A guide to Slaughterhouse-Five.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not much more than a summary of the plot line, such as it is.

  • By Mark Hommerding on 08-30-16

Not much more than a summary of the plot line, such as it is.

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

Reviewed: 08-30-16

The great novel, distilled into a summary, without the style of the original. Essentially, the cliff notes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Good to Great

  • Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't
  • By: Jim Collins
  • Narrated by: Jim Collins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,701
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,979
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,923

Built To Last, the defining management study of the 90s, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning. But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good info, over-the-top narration

  • By Anaxamaxan on 08-31-10

A coherent synthesis of essential business ideas

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

As of this review, this book is now 15 years old -- ancient history in the "business book industrial complex". Yet this one still worth your time. The book is thoroughly researched, and the business anecdotes illustrate the concepts well.

Other reviews comment on how much of this book is common sense. It is. And I am not sure if the book has not influenced what is now -- 15 years later -- business common sense? Another great seller from the 1980s, In Search of Excellence, introduced the concept of MBWA (Management by Wandering Around). And for a while, that became "common sense". Over the past years, I have heard the term BHAG (pronounced "bee - hag") used. It stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I was introduced to this in Good to Great.

With all great business books, I find that they help me to understand and articulate what is already known and to be able to pursue that myself. For instance, "Confronting the Brutal Facts" as a business concept is not revolutionary, but it is essential. The "shut down the mills" decision of Kimberly Clark, told in this book, informed some difficult decisions I have made in my career.

You will find this book a great synthesizer of business concepts that are essential for any well-run organization. And in the end, the findings and concepts in this book are not surprising. What is surprising is that more firms do not adhere to these principles.

Put this on the list with Peter Drucker and other must-read/listens. You will not regret it.

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Book 4

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 21 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 39,818
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 36,517
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 36,441

The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter - but that doesn't stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe'en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons, and dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through - alive!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best of a Brilliant Series

  • By Gretchen SLP on 11-21-15

The Harry Potter story takes on a darker tone

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

Reviewed: 03-31-16

What made the experience of listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Book 4 the most enjoyable?

Each book introduces new characters, histories, and plot twists -- this one includes some awesome ones -- Mad Eye Moody, the dark mark and death eaters, the yule ball

What was one of the most memorable moments of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Book 4?

Dumbledore's speech, at the end, when he asks the students at Hogwarts to remember Cedric Diggory when deciding on what course of action to take.

What does Jim Dale bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The personality behind the words. He is brilliant.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book took me down both emotional paths. J.K. Rowling is great at interspersing little elements of humor throughout these books. The ending was emotional, but well done.

Any additional comments?

This book is the turning point. The stakes are getting higher in the series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 45,678
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 41,806
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 41,759

Harry Potter's summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors - and then the attacks start.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Of all the trees, we get one that hits back!

  • By Andrew on 11-20-17

Book 2 is a good transition

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

Reviewed: 03-31-16

What made the experience of listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2 the most enjoyable?

The expansion of the Potter universe to include both new characters (Moaning Myrtle, for example), new potions (polyjuice), new creatures (house elves), and new "knowledge" (who is Tom Riddle?)

Who was your favorite character and why?

The most annoying and disturbing characters also are my favorites because they also the story to take shape. They allow the heroes to push against something: Dobby, Lockhart, Lucius Malfoy, and Tom Riddle.

The most awesome character is Fawkes.

Which character – as performed by Jim Dale – was your favorite?

Hagrid.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Don't trust anything intelligent if you can't see where it keeps it brains

Any additional comments?

This book is like book 1 -- almost a warmup for bigger things to come. Many characters and ideas that will follow in later books are introduced here.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Book 3

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 41,523
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38,117
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 38,072

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves.... But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim Dale at his best

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-12-16

The Harry Potter story starts to take shape

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

Reviewed: 03-31-16

What made the experience of listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Book 3 the most enjoyable?

Learning about an important part of Harry's backstory.

What did you like best about this story?

I like the character of Lupin, and how he helps Harry to grow into his destiny as a great wizard.

What does Jim Dale bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jim Dale is phenomenal, bringing each character to life in a unique way.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Of course -- the Potter books are both well written and well narrated. A very enjoyable experience.

Any additional comments?

Unlike the first two books, this is the first that starts to seriously explore the backstory of Harry's parents, and how he became "the boy who lived".

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Faith of Our Fathers

  • Why the Early Christians Still Matter and Always Will
  • By: Mike Aquilina
  • Narrated by: Greg Willits
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37

Getting to know the Church Fathers means getting to know our own roots. It means knowing more deeply who we are as we learn more and more about who they are. The early Christians are our ancestors, our common genealogy, our family. When we look to our roots, what do we see?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Places the Fathers in Context

  • By Barbara on 07-09-15

Early Christians and their writings

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

Reviewed: 03-26-16

Where does Faith of Our Fathers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Within the religious books to which I have listened, it is high. The book is enjoyable. The material is historical relevant. The author writes in a style that is easy to understand for the lay person, and the style translates well into the audio format. It is a book of early Christian history, written by a prolific and respected Catholic author.

What did you like best about this story?

The expositions on the Didache and the Apocrypha.

What does Greg Willits bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His tone is one of respect. There is never a hint of doubt or a hidden sneer behind his reading of the material, the quoted writings from the ancient Christians, or from the Bible. He stays true to the spirit of the material. A small hiccup: pronouncing Elaine Pagels as rhyming with "haggles" rather than "bagels". All-in-all, a solid narrator.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had no extreme reaction. I enjoyed the the author's weaving of early church history and how to tie that into our own living Faith of today.

Any additional comments?

I wish that more of Mr. Aquilina's books were available on audible, especially "Mass of the Early Christians", "The Fathers of the Church", and his trilogy written with Cardinal Wuerl: "The Mass", "The Church" and "The Feasts".