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R. MCRACKAN

Raleigh, NC
  • 426
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  • 427
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  • 440
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  • WAR

  • By: Sebastian Junger
  • Narrated by: Sebastian Junger
  • Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,559
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 996
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 993

Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat - the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why we fight re-visited

  • By J on 09-20-10

Understanding soldiers

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

Reviewed: 01-21-19

This book does not take sides about war, nor will it help you understand war. Not in any large sense. What it helps you understand is troops on the ground. Their struggles, their values, their thoughts, and their sacrifices. And in all of these areas, it may not be what you initially expect. I knew there would be something valuable here after hearing another book by the author (Tribe) which deals with similar topics albeit not focused on combat. I recommend both of these books.

  • The Art of Invisibility

  • The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data
  • By: Kevin Mitnick
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,974
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,679
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,681

Like it or not, your every move is being watched and analyzed. Consumers' identities are being stolen, and a person's every step is being tracked and stored. What once might have been dismissed as paranoia is now a hard truth, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand. In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick illustrates what is happening without your knowledge - and he teaches you "the art of invisibility".

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Limited value for the average person

  • By James C on 10-14-17

Great info, wrong format

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

Reviewed: 01-18-19

As many others have stated: 1) this doesn't work as well as audio as with print 2) there's no clear audience. I'm very security minded and there were very few surprises for me although there were a couple of reminders that 'whoops, yeah I really should be doing that.' But I can't recommend this to my parents, siblings, spouse, or less technical friends.

The chapters are divided cleanly into subjects which is nice. The next logical step should have been to further divide each chapter into Bare Minimum, Basic, Moderate, Advance, and Black Belt. Or something similar. This way people like me could hand it to my privacy-minded senior citizen parents and say, "you really want to read the Bare Minimum and Basic sections of each chapter, but ignore the rest."

Another negative is that the super detailed accounts of how we're always at risk slide easily into fatalism. If we're always vulnerable no matter what, why bother? The message of enabling a sense of control if often at odds with this message of, sorry you're just screwed.

The narration was wonderful. Information this dry is hard to keep engaging but this narrator pulled it off.

  • Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

  • The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made
  • By: Jason Schreier
  • Narrated by: Ray Chase
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,057
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,057

Developing video games—hero's journey or fool's errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today's hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes listeners on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Behind the Scenes

  • By SAMA on 11-27-17

Excellent look at the industry behind the fun

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

As great as Masters of Doom is, and it really is great, it doesn't capture the real life experience of the video game industry as a whole. Blood Sweat and Pixels does exactly this with 10 examples of well known games and their grueling paths through development hell. I recommend this book to anyone interested in how the digital sausage is made. And I think it should be mandatory reading for anyone considering going into this industry.

  • The Butchering Art

  • Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
  • By: Lindsey Fitzharris
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,150

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of 19th-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation. She conjures up early operating theaters - no place for the squeamish - and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. They were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. A young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not one boring moment!

  • By WRWF on 12-22-17

Time traveler's nightmare

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

The Butchering Art is a mostly engaging story of the horrors of the state of medicine before germ theory. Our debt to Lister and his ilk could never be repaid. Parts drone on a bit with needless levels of detail, but all in all this was a fascinating and enlightening look at this period.

  • Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp: Retelling

  • Fairy Story Shorts
  • By: Clive Johnson
  • Narrated by: Clive Johnson
  • Length: 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

A richly embroidered retelling of the classic tale from One Thousand and One Nights, imaginatively described for children. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of Arabian Nights

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 01-15-19

The best of Arabian Nights

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

The Arabian Night stories are hit and miss at best. Most of them are horrible and are filled with violence against women and mustache twirling evil but corny villains. Aladdin is one of the few stories which is consistently fun. Also, even though modern culture has inexplicably forgotten all about the slave of the ring, there are few images more iconic than the slave/genie of the lamp.

I enjoyed the narration. The recording quality is a bit muffled but it doesn't take away from the story and you get used to it quickly.

This was a good translation. Certainly a better version of the story than from disney. But let's face it -- Robin Williams all but ruined us for anyone but him :)

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mindhunter

  • Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
  • By: John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker
  • Narrated by: Richard M. Davidson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,701
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,359
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,348

Discover the classic behind-the-scenes chronicle of John E. Douglas’ 25-year career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, where he used psychological profiling to delve into the minds of the country’s most notorious serial killers and criminals - the basis for the upcoming Netflix original series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I have purchased every book J.E.D. Has made available

  • By leelee8888 on 10-29-17

Extraordinary true crime

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

Not only has John E. Douglas led an interesting life, he co-founded modern criminal behavior profiling as we know it. There are parts of the book with are a bit braggy, but if anyone's earned it, this guy has. The entire book was a page turner from the first to the last. Some parts were certainly difficult to listen to, but the experience was more than rewarding. Highly recommended to true crime fans.

  • The Reformer

  • A Screenplay Based on the Life of Martin Luther
  • By: Maysam Yabandeh
  • Narrated by: Joseph Bevilacqua
  • Length: 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

What Nazi Germany did to the Jews did not happen overnight. The foundation for it was built in German culture over the centuries, arguably started by the writings and deeds of perhaps the most influential reformer of the millennium, Martin Luther. This screenplay is a journey through his life to give us insights of how a movement, no matter how pure in its intention, could go terribly wrong.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting study of origins and motivations

  • By Anonymous User on 12-15-18

Unlikely beginnings

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

Of all of the places to find the underpinnings of the holocaust, I did not expect to hear about Martin Luthor. The drama feels a bit forced, however the message and its importance comes through clear and strong.

The Reformer was a well written screenplay with great narration. It's not usually the kind of thing I go for; I'm glad I gave it a chance.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

  • Whitney Wallace and the Wacky Wednesday Wash-Out

  • For 4-10 Year Olds, Perfect for Bedtime & Young Readers (Whitney Learns a Lesson, Book 2)
  • By: Susan G. Charles
  • Narrated by: Marlene Markos
  • Length: 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Mrs. Munchum's class is having a special fund-raiser, and Whitney Wallace is chosen to be in charge! Only, here's the problem. Whitney's classmates can't decide on what to do to raise money for their school. As captain of the fund-raiser, will our heroine Whitney Wallace be able to bring her friends together and find a way to lead her classmates to victory and raise lots of money for their school? Or will it be up to someone else to save the day?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cute

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 01-14-19

Cute

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

Another cute morality tale about money and work. This is the 2nd book I've heard in this series and this one has all the same charm of the other -- both in story and narration. I look forward to hearing more from this author and narrator pair.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

  • The Complete 5:2 Fast Diet Recipe Cookbook: Fast Diet Cookbook Lose Weight Program Recipes

  • By: Charlie Mason
  • Narrated by: Catherine O'Connor
  • Length: 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

The 5:2 fast is one of the easiest and quickest ways for you to lose weight. It works with your body, helping you to burn fat and weight without counting all the calories. It's a diet that works around your schedule. The idea behind this diet plan is that you will pick two days during the week where you will keep your calories low, usually under 500 to 700 for the whole day. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • yummy recipes

  • By CNBA on 01-21-19

Good resource

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

I actually feel bad giving this book such a good review. The 5:2 diet itself is a colossally bad idea on so many levels. However, using this book as a resource for small healthy alternative foods is still a valuable resource. And since this book is about the food and not the philosophy, I feel it's earned its marks. Also, the narration is quite engaging, especially for a cookbook.

My only complaint is about format. I'm an avid audiobook reader, ranging from a few per week to one per day. However even I find that cookbooks are very hard to follow as an audiobook. While the content is good, it would benefit from also including the recipes as a pdf download.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bodyweight Training: How to Use Calisthenics to Become Fitter and Stronger: Bodyweight Training Books

  • By: Charlie Mason
  • Narrated by: Elliott Jolly
  • Length: 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of heavy equipment, free weights, or machines to get the results you’re so longing to see. The human body can provide enough resistance on its own to make a change. Power, endurance, speed, flexibility, strength, coordination, balance and a whole host of other biomotor abilities can be built and developed over time by using the power of your own body to do it. Bodyweight training is growing in popularity. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bodyweight training intro

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 01-14-19

Bodyweight training intro

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

This book is an encouraging introduction to the unique benefits of bodyweight training. Certainly in my space-limited house (and on my generally limited budget), it's discouraging to think through buying and storing exercise equipment. And for anything more involved than a stationary bike or treadmill, there's the worry that I'll use it incorrectly, or worse, dangerously. Bodyweight training eliminates all of these concerns and significantly lowers the barrier to entry in all of these areas.

This is an informative book with many instructive passages. As such, it's important for the narration to be crisp and clear. This narrator certainly succeeded in this and kept the focus on being clear about the information, not trying to make it artificially more exciting. I was impressed.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.