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cshapiro

Wayne, NE, United States
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 78
  • ratings
  • Marshal Josip Broz Tito: The Life and Legacy of Yugoslavia's First President

  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
  • Length: 1 hr and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

The World War II era produced many leaders of titanic determination, men whose strengths and weaknesses left an extraordinary imprint on historical affairs. Josip Broz Tito, better known to history as Marshal Tito, was undoubtedly one of these figures. Originally a machinist, Tito leveraged his success in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) and a number of extraordinary strokes of luck into dictatorial rule over Yugoslavia for a span of 35 years. World War II proved the watershed that enabled him to secure control of the country.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very short but says a lot

  • By cshapiro on 03-28-18

Very short but says a lot

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

Reviewed: 03-28-18

Tito's life's highlights are presented in a straightforward manner. The introduction seems to indicate that maybe it is from a 'communist' perspective, but I did not get that feeling when listening to the book. The paradox that transcends the specifics is how can we feel comfortable with a man who was at the same time so ruthless and yet fought the Nazis, kept the Soviets from controlling his country (one that his force of will created). The people of Yugoslavia lived under a dictator, but they were in a better state than many of their neighbors. He fought against the tribalism that seems not to be too far hidden under our 'civilized' exterior. What we learn is forcing it undercover is not the same as destroying it.

  • The Drunken Botanist

  • The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks
  • By: Amy Stewart
  • Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 736
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 657
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 649

Every great drink starts with a plant. Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley. Gin was born from a conifer shrub when medieval physicians boiled juniper berries with wine to treat stomach pain. The Drunken Botanist uncovers the surprising botanical history and fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, and fruits (and even a few fungi).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • No more cheap tequila!

  • By Cynthia on 03-23-13

You will need a hardcopy to use the recipes

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

Reviewed: 07-27-17

If you could sum up The Drunken Botanist in three words, what would they be?

Need to experiment.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bitters, seems to be useful in many situations. This is a book about alcohol and plants, the characters are the plants and their transformations into flavorings for cocktails.

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

While I did not remember the details, she made each plant interesting. In the end she was reading an encyclopedia, but it did not seem so bad.

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

Definitely not, one would ideally come across a drink one wanted to try, go out get the ingredients, make the drink, then either linger or go on. I would think this could not happen more than once a day, and it would be close to a year before you were finished. As a good cocktail, it should be savored, preferably with friends.

Any additional comments?

I bought a hard copy for the library.

  • Bringing Home the Dharma

  • Awakening Right Where You Are
  • By: Jack Kornfield, Daniel J. Siegel MD (foreword)
  • Narrated by: Jack Kornfield, Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

If you want to find inner peace and wisdom, you don't need to move to an ashram or monastery. Your life, just as it is, is the perfect place to be. Jack Kornfield, one of America's most respected Buddhist teachers, shares this and other key lessons gleaned from more than 40 years of committed study and practice.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not Read by Jack Kornfield

  • By Roger on 05-18-17

Do something and sit there!

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

Reviewed: 02-16-17

Other reviews explain that this a compilation of previous essays. A fact I missed if it was in the introduction. That explains a lot about the 'flow' the book. Putting that aside the book gives a mixture of biography and analysis with some hints about practice. I liked the narrator's voice, it was calming and soothing. It made me realize that there was a wealth of variety in Buddhist practice and described the goals of Buddhist practice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • My Antonia

  • By: Willa Cather
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings, Ken Burns (introduction)
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,330
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,940
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,959

Through Jim Burden's endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland, with all its insistent bonds. Guiding the way are some of literature's most beguiling characters: the Russian brothers plagued by memories of a fateful sleigh ride, Antonia's desperately homesick father and self-indulgent mother, and the coy Lena Lingard. Holding the pastoral society's heart, of course, is the bewitching, free-spirited Antonia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • applause for a classic

  • By Western Canada on 04-19-08

People on the praire transcend stereotypes

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

Reviewed: 11-25-16

Would you consider the audio edition of My Antonia to be better than the print version?

I did not read the print version, so can't comment. The reader makes an effort at what I would say are Czech accents, they are certainly somewhere in Eastern Europe, and I found them a nice addition to the experience.

What did you like best about this story?

At this point in our history (fall 2016) with the middle of the country decidedly Trump country, we need a more nuanced view of the people in the middle. This book written around 100 years predates the present political-cultural divide, but it does allude to the tough life on the plains, the movement of some away from the hard life, some that stay and the various stories that go along with individual decisions.

Which scene was your favorite?

I think the last part of the book was the most moving with the reunion of two old friends. Many questions remain about the principles, their underlying motives are lost forever, we never really know what motivates them, but we know the value of friendship, and how the prairie shapes a person to value the friends they have.

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

The harsh life on the prairie and the people who live on it.

  • Gut

  • The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ
  • By: Giulia Enders
  • Narrated by: Katy Sobey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,978
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,782
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,766

Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain, yet we know very little about how it works. Gut: The Inside Story is an entertaining, informative tour of the digestive system from the moment we raise a tasty morsel to our lips until the moment our body surrenders the remnants to the toilet bowl. No topic is too lowly for the author's wonder and admiration, from the careful choreography of breaking wind to the precise internal communication required for a cleansing vomit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Susie on 06-23-16

Easy pill to swallow

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

Reviewed: 11-15-16

As the author describes, we use many metaphors that imply the importance of everything in terms of our alimentary canal. This book is a winding journey through that channel with some twists. It is difficult to absorb all the information presented. The author is from Germany and uses that nation for her examples. The reader has a strong British accent.

  • Girls of Riyadh

  • A Novel
  • By: Rajaa Alsanea
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 193
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 122

In her debut novel, Rajaa Alsanea reveals the social, romantic, and sexual tribulations of four young women from the elite classes of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Originally released in Arabic in 2005, it was immediately banned in Saudi Arabia because of the controversial and inflammatory content, though black-market copies circulated widely.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Book

  • By Kathy Daniels on 09-07-07

I know this is asking a lot

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

Reviewed: 10-10-16

Most of the blame for the disfunction is put on the men, however, the role of the mothers is suscribes but not taken as a serious part of the problem. These yong women will be 'enforcers' in 20 years and hence will propagate the problem.

It would have been interesting to get the men's view of all these relationships.

The insight into Saudi society is interesting and the fact that the book was banned speaks loudly about that society.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

  • By: Francis Fukuyama
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,833
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,816

Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Summary of Political History I've Read

  • By blah on 05-12-13

Must read if interested in world affairs

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

Reviewed: 09-19-16

What made the experience of listening to The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution the most enjoyable?

The hypothesis that is presented is explained in detail with many examples.

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

This is a clear narrative of non-fiction. It probably would be much more tedious without an excellent reader.

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

Every citizen needs to read/listen to the beginning and the end of this book to realize how our nation state, with all its problems, is so much more functional than most of the rest of the world.

Any additional comments?

This book gave me new appreciation for the role of the church in the development of western Europe.

  • Britt-Marie Was Here

  • A Novel
  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,649
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,069
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,057

Britt-Marie can't stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. But at 63, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless 40-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ha! (Listen to the book and you will understand!)

  • By Jodie on 07-22-16

Why 'A Novel"?

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

Reviewed: 09-08-16

If you could sum up Britt-Marie Was Here in three words, what would they be?

Character Grows Up

What was one of the most memorable moments of Britt-Marie Was Here?

There is a point in the novel when one of the boys, who is a terrible soccer player, aims and hits someone with the soccer ball. This is bad behavior but Britt-Marie is excited by the improvement in the player's ability.

What about Joan Walker’s performance did you like?

The pace kept moving, and it was authoritative.

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

I did both, more laughing then crying. Mr. Backman can develop strong, odd characters with an internal compass that is consistent, yet not totally socially acceptable. Britt-Marie learns to recognize her natural reactions, and then chose to over-ride or not. When she does go with her own instincts, she creates funny situations with the 'rest of the world.'

Any additional comments?

I have read Mr. Backman's three novels, and I like the way the young people interact with the adults, that they are presented as seeing the genuine inner 'adult' even if it is a bit odd. In this book, the children are impoverished in many ways, and Britt-Marie's ways may humor them, but they 'get her' and appreciate her.

I am not sure why Mr. Backman had to add 'A Novel' to the title.

  • Behavioral Economics

  • When Psychology and Economics Collide
  • By: Scott Huettel, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Scott Huettel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 697
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 679

Behavioral economics is the study of decision making, and of the related themes of valuation, exchange, and interpersonal interactions. Using methods from psychology, sociology, neurology, and economics, behavioral economics sheds light one of the most fundamental activities of human life: the decision process. In 24 insightful lectures, you'll learn how behavioral economists look at decision making and explore a set of key principles that offer deep insight into how we evaluate information and integrate different factors to make decisions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stating the Obvious

  • By SAMA on 01-12-14

How we decide, how we can improve our decisions

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

Reviewed: 08-30-16

Where does Behavioral Economics rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the best social science books I have read on the mind and how we are hard wired to make decisions. Each lecture is well organized and most lectures end with suggestions on how to improve one's decision making and not be manipulated.

What does Professor Scott Huettel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The lectures are focused and packed with information. I could read the pdf, and probably will, but I like to listen to books while driving and this kept my attention.

If you could give Behavioral Economics a new subtitle, what would it be?

How to be aware of the unseen forces that influence your decision making process.

Any additional comments?

You might want to listen to it twice; there are many concepts that one can incorporate into one's analysis system. Commit to doing so, now.

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,999
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,560
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,462

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Laughed and I Cried

  • By Bill on 08-22-15

A book for on the road.

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

Reviewed: 03-17-16

Once you accept Ove for who he is, and you are OK with his straight in narrow ways, you end up rooting for his humanity to emerge. I like books where the characters improve. This has a lot of humor and warmth. It takes place in Sweden, so I am sure I missed some of the cultural satire, but it was a fun listen.