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Jonathan R. Zeko

San Diego
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • Black Box Thinking

  • Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes - But Some Do
  • By: Matthew Syed
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412

Nobody wants to fail. But in highly complex organizations, success can happen only when we confront our mistakes, learn from our own version of a black box, and create a climate where it's safe to fail. We all have to endure failure from time to time, whether it's underperforming at a job interview, flunking an exam, or losing a pickup basketball game. But for people working in safety-critical industries, getting it wrong can have deadly consequences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A multi-level message, well written and well read

  • By Loren on 11-16-15

This is the best book that I have read in the last six months

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

Reviewed: 02-23-19

The premise, that we should embrace and study area, is excellent and well presented in terms of scholarly writing combined with specific examples.

The narrator, who was British, gave an extra bit of class to the excellent writing by speaking clearly, with style but not over-the-top and had a good, walking pace.

Another aspect of the book I liked, was that I was able to pause it for several days at a time and restart it without losing my memory of what was being presented. I was able to “find my place,“ by hitting the “back button“ for 20 or 30 seconds. I attribute this to the well-engineered writing style of the author.

  • Make Your Bed

  • Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World
  • By: William H. McRaven
  • Narrated by: William H. McRaven
  • Length: 1 hr and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,095
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,053

On May 21, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university's slogan, "What starts here changes the world," he shared the 10 principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves - and the world - for the better.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Watch the YouTube video

  • By A. Yoshida on 01-31-18

Uplifting & Full of Wisdom

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

Reviewed: 12-28-17

This book is another example that brevity is the soul of wit. The admiral who wrote this book derived it from a commencement speech he gave at his alma mater, the University of Texas, in 2014.

Thankfully he edited the book into 10 brief chapters with simple themes, but with wonderful illustrations from his life as a Navy Seal who rose to the rank of an admiral which gave him witness to hardship, grief, heroism and accomplishment by himself and others.

I would recommend this book to anyone at any stage of life, because the lessons are universal. Those of us who have experienced life, are able to recall our own experience that matches the admiral‘s lessons as well and assess when we have measured up and when we have not.

This is one of those audiobooks where I am so happy that the author narrated his book. It takes the confidence acquired by a military man who rose to a high level to have the voice and power to give meaning to the words.

Bravo Admiral McRaven!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bismarck

  • The Final Days of Germany's Greatest Battleship
  • By: Niklas Zetterling, Michael Tamelander
  • Narrated by: Charles Constant
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106

The sinking of the German battleship Bismarck - a masterpiece of engineering, well-armored with a main artillery of eight 15-inch guns - was one of the most dramatic events of World War II. She left the port of Gotenhafen for her first operation on the night of 18 May 1941, yet was almost immediately discovered by Norwegian resistance and Allied air reconnaissance. British battlecruiser Hood was quickly dispatched from Scapa Flow to intercept the Bismarck, together with new battleship Prince of Wales.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must read for any WWII Naval Historian!

  • By Rick on 10-14-13

Well-researched and written book on a famous naval battle.

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

Reviewed: 07-02-17

A very good book on the famous battle between the British and German Navies and during the earlier part of the war.

  • The Twilight of the Bombs

  • Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons
  • By: Richard Rhodes
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 13 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

The past 20 years have transformed our relationship with nuclear weapons drastically. With extraordinary depth of knowledge and understanding, Rhodes makes clear how the five original nuclear powers—Russia, Great Britain, France, China, and especially the United States—have struggled with new realities. He shows us how the stage was set for a second tragic war when Iraq secretly destroyed it's nuclear infrastructure and reveals the real reasons George W. Bush chose to fight a second war in Iraq.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Definitive Series ends with warnings but also Hope

  • By Richard on 10-21-10

Another spectacular history by Pulitzer winning Richard Rhodes

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

Reviewed: 05-28-17

This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of the world where nuclear weapons still remain abundant.

Rhodes' research is impeccable, and his writing style flows like water. There is probably no author who knows more about the subject of nuclear weapons than Rhodes.

The narrator, Robertson Dean, has a rich voice and reads the story at a very good but varied pace. I feel like Dean always takes time to learn the subject matter of the books he reads so that he understands the nomenclature and makes his reading a "performance."

Well done to the author and the narrator!

  • The Last Days of Stalin

  • By: Joshua Rubenstein
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 156

Joshua Rubenstein's riveting account takes us back to the second half of 1952, when no one could foresee an end to Joseph Stalin's murderous regime. He was poised to challenge the newly elected US president Dwight Eisenhower with armed force and was also broadening a vicious campaign against Soviet Jews. Stalin's sudden collapse and death in March 1953 was as dramatic and mysterious as his life. It is no overstatement to say that his passing marked a major turning point in the 20th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely interesting

  • By L. Abraham on 06-10-16

What happened after Stalin died?

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

Reviewed: 07-05-16

What did you love best about The Last Days of Stalin?

It was efficiently well-written and well read.

Would you recommend The Last Days of Stalin to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes if they have some knowledge about Stalin's importance.

Have you listened to any of Arthur Morey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. He is a good narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's not the kind of book that moves you. Most of the people are Soviet thugs.

  • The Life of Thomas More

  • By: Peter Ackroyd
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 18 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

The Life of Thomas More went straight to #1 on the London Times best seller list when published in the United Kingdom. It remained in that position for over a month, garnering the kind of praise that is rarely given. Thomas More was not only a great man of the church, he was also arguably the most brilliant lawyer the English-speaking world has ever known.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic novel; passable narration

  • By Bryan on 08-02-13

A very important biography

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

Reviewed: 07-02-16

I hesitated in purchasing this book at first because one of the reviewers was critical of the narration. I thought the narrator did a very good job with a proper British accent, and while his pace seemed a little slow at first, it was necessary given the length of the book and the need to explain the type of English spoken during the relevant period and that there were Latin phrases.

Sir Thomas More needs no introduction. I enjoyed hearing about his life because it gave me insight to how people lived 500 years ago. As a lawyer, it was interesting to learn how lawyers practiced law 500 years ago.

Perhaps the most important thing to take away from the book is that the abuses of power in those days form the basis of why our founding fathers prepared a written constitution.

While I recommend a book unconditionally, I will warn you that you have to be patient in listening to it because it is a rather long work. But, it needs to be because the subject of the biography was an accomplished person and prolific writer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Quantum

  • Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
  • By: Manjit Kumar
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 882
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 679
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 673

Quantum theory is weird. As Niels Bohr said, if you aren’t shocked by quantum theory, you don’t really understand it. For most people, quantum theory is synonymous with mysterious, impenetrable science. And in fact for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly written account of this fundamental scientific revolution.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Biographic facts not explanations.

  • By Terezia on 07-11-11

A scientific quandary

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

Reviewed: 06-12-16

The author presented an excellent historical analysis of the conflict between Einstein's theories and quantum mechanics.

The narration was first class. I appreciate it when the narrator takes the time to properly pronounce people's names and scientific nomenclature.

The subject matter can be somewhat difficult to understand for a person that does not have a firm grasp on the historical evolution of physics.

  • Thomas Cromwell

  • The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
  • By: Tracy Borman
  • Narrated by: Julian Elfer
  • Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302

Thomas Cromwell has long been reviled as a Machiavellian schemer who stopped at nothing in his quest for power. As Henry VIII's right-hand man, Cromwell was the architect of the English Reformation, secured Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and plotted the downfall of Anne Boleyn, and upon his arrest, was accused of trying to usurp the King himself. But here Tracy Borman reveals a different side of one of the most notorious figures in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Behind the Scenes" of Wolf Hall!

  • By JMP on 11-23-16

Excellent biography on Cromwell

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

Reviewed: 05-23-16

Thomas Cromwell achieved superlative power while serving Henry VIII. This book is very enjoyable, because in hearing the story, one learns about the daily lives of people nearly 500 years ago. The narration is first class.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Racing for the Bomb

  • The True Story of General Leslie R. Groves, the Man Behind the Birth of the Atomic Age
  • By: Robert S. Norris
  • Narrated by: Peter Johnson
  • Length: 23 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

Revealed for the first time in Racing for the Bomb, Groves played a crucial and decisive role in the planning, timing, and targeting of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki missions. Norris offers new insights into the complex and controversial questions surrounding the decision to drop the bomb in Japan and Groves' actions during World War II, which had a lasting imprint on the nuclear age and the Cold War that followed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating

  • By Jean on 04-22-15

A necessary book about General Leslie Grove

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Racing for the Bomb to be better than the print version?

Yes. The book is so long and full of technical details that having it read, is much more pleasurable than reading.

What did you like best about this story?

Most of the books on the Manhattan Project concentrate on the scientists' contribution to the success of the project. This book focuses on the engineering and industrialization required to make the bomb work. Without Groves' contribution the program would have fizzled.

Which scene was your favorite?

When General Groves contacts the Secretary of Treasury to borrow tons of the US Mint's silver needed to build the magnets to purify Uranium. Anyone wanting to know the story of the Manhattan Project should read this book and Richard Rhoads "The Making of the Atormic Bomb." Both are superb.

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

The heroic and stoic life of a dedicated patriot.

Any additional comments?

I've always had respect for the Army Corp of Engineers, but this book, which tells the story of a member of that corp. So it tells the story of West Point, the story of the Army Corp and the story of the massive industrial logistics that were necessary to put the great scientific theory into reality.

  • Beethoven

  • Anguish and Triumph
  • By: Jan Swafford
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 39 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100

Jan Swafford's biographies have established him as a revered music historian, capable of bringing his subjects vibrantly to life. His magnificent new biography of Ludwig van Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get to the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world's most iconic music.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Huge book - musical reader appreciates best

  • By Don Middleton on 01-20-15

Wonderful Biography of A Supreme Artist

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

Would you listen to Beethoven again? Why?

Yes. You cannot separate the music from the person. The author told the story of Beethoven and wove in the analysis of his music synchronized with his life.

What other book might you compare Beethoven to and why?

There are other masterpiece books about Beethoven, but this one gave the most expert analysis of the music.

Which scene was your favorite?

Beethoven's writing the Heiligenstadt Testament and his death bed.

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

No film could do justice to such a person.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Pritchard is an experienced and excellent narrator. His narration was wonderful, except he mispronounced "Pianoforte" 100s of times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful