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Lynda Rands

  • 27
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  • 86
  • helpful votes
  • 46
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  • Fire and Fury

  • Inside the Trump White House
  • By: Michael Wolff
  • Narrated by: Michael Wolff, Holter Graham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,006
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,907

With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as credible as one would like.

  • By Jerry R. Nokes Jr. on 01-29-18

Entertaining and some useful insights

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

Reviewed: 01-27-18

This book moves along nicely and has several jaw-dropping anecdotes which you've probably already heard. Who knows what's true, especially since the primary source is Steve Bannon, who plays as fast and loose with facts as does the current inhabitant of the White House. The bits on process and staffing were more interesting to me and are more likely true since nobody really thinks to lie about this stuff. Worth your time.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Birth of Britain

  • A History of the English Speaking Peoples, Volume I
  • By: Sir Winston Churchill
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 934
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 613
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 615

The English-speaking peoples comprise perhaps the greatest number of human beings sharing a common language in the world today. These people also share a common heritage. For his four-volume work, Sir Winston Churchill took as his subject these great elements in world history. Volume 1 commences in 55BC, when Julius Caesar famously "turned his gaze upon Britain" and concludes with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Birth of Britain

  • By Terry Pettengill on 02-11-07

Phenomenal Trip Through Early History

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

Reviewed: 05-16-17

I have my differences with the idea of Churchill as a great leader. His gifts were many and so were his faults and a lot of the myth surrounding him drives out consideration of his darker qualities. But boy oh boy, he could write.

History as presented here is clearly on the side of the "great man" theory and there is little discussion of how the rest of the folks live. Despite this view, the story of England's early years is told in a compelling and highly interesting way.

For those looking to have an overview of how things progressed through the War of the Roses, this is the book. Narrator does a very fine job with some great prose.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream

  • The Most Revealing Portrait of a President and Presidential Power Ever Written
  • By: Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman, Jim Frangione
  • Length: 17 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 246

Doris Kearns Goodwin's classic life of Lyndon Johnson, who presided over the Great Society, the Vietnam War, and other defining moments in the tumultuous 1960s, is a monument in political biography. From the moment the author, then a young woman from Harvard, first encountered President Johnson at a White House dance in the spring of 1967, she became fascinated by the man - his character, his enormous energy and drive, and his manner of wielding these gifts in an endless pursuit of power.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Unfortunately simple slant.

  • By Lynda Rands on 01-22-17

Unfortunately simple slant.

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

Reviewed: 01-22-17

Ms. Goodwin is a wonderful writer. This book suffers from her viewing the life of LBJ through a purely psychological lens. I simply couldn't listen very long because everything discussed was related back to LBJ's need for acceptance, based (in the author's view) on his early yearning for his mother's love.

For those interested in this very interesting man, take the time to read Robert Caro's four volumes.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Fleet at Flood Tide

  • America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945
  • By: James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by: Pete Larkin
  • Length: 23 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 704
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 650
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 648

One of America's preeminent military historians, James D. Hornfischer has written his most expansive and ambitious book to date. Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts of Americans and Japanese alike, here is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the US invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it triggered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding history

  • By adam on 11-27-16

Not his best effort.

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

Reviewed: 01-13-17

James Hornfischer has written some exceptional books - starting with Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, a phenomenal effort. He is a lucid and graceful writer who generally is able to weave enough personal narrative into his work to give a touch of human interest to the overall story he is telling.

I expected the Fleet at Flood Tide to focus more on the fleet. The book spends a great deal of time on the various landings undertaken by our forces in the Pacific - mainly Saipan and Okinawa. These sections did not do much for the overall narrative.

The decision to spend more time on individuals in this book made it less appealing for me. Others might think differently. Hornfischer focuses on the founder of the Navy's UDT force, the pilot of the first atom bomb drop, a Japanese nurse, and Raymond Spruance, the Fifth Fleet commander. I could have done without all of them except Spruance, a truly remarkable and underappreciated hero of our country's Pacific war effort.

With all this said, my disappointment in this book is entirely because of my own expectations. For people who enjoy human interest stories of wartime and a good, solid overview of the US effort in the last year of the war in the Pacific, this is a fine book. For those looking to a more intense look at the naval effort, look elsewhere.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Going Clear

  • Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
  • By: Lawrence Wright
  • Narrated by: Morton Sellers
  • Length: 17 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,740
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,335
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,315

A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scared the Hell Out of Me

  • By Chris Reich on 02-02-13

Personality, not narrative-driven

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

Reviewed: 08-03-15

Lawrence Wright is an excellent author. His "Looming Tower" should be read by everyone with an interest in the Middle East and its problems. This book was not in the same league. As a mini-bio of L.Ron Hubbard, it was interesting. The rest of the book got sort of tiresome, due to the fact that the disaffected members of this cult seemed to have pretty much the same issues. The stuff about the Hollywood folks was mildly interesting, in terms of Entertainment Tonight kind of gossip.

Mainly, this book struck me as a very good magazine article that was lengthened into a book and suffered from the additions.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Killing of the Tinkers

  • By: Ken Bruen
  • Narrated by: Gerry O'Brien
  • Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 75

Jack Taylor, a disgraced ex-cop in Galway, has slid further down the slope of despair. After a year in London he returns to his home town of Galway with a leather coat and a coke habit. Someone is systematically slaughtering young travellers and dumping their bodies in the city centre. Even in the state he's in, Jack Taylor has an uncanny ability to know where to look, what questions to ask, and with the aid of an English policeman, apparently solves the case.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • What a waste

  • By Lynda Rands on 10-06-14

What a waste

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

Reviewed: 10-06-14

Ken Bruen writes wonderfully. Jack Taylor is a very interesting character. I get great references to authors who I've not read and will truly enjoy. And yet ... These stories are an unremitting slog through the life of a bad alcoholic. I really don't see the point in revistiting, time and time again, the depths to which Jack can descend while he's ruining his life with drink. It's so unfortunate - I love the location, I love the characters - I barely finished the first book and I could not finish this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Five Came Back

  • A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War
  • By: Mark Harris
  • Narrated by: Andrew Garman
  • Length: 20 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214

It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios’ control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. But the industry’s relationship with Washington was decidedly uneasy - hearings and investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values and causes. Could an industry this powerful in shaping America’s mind-set really be left in the hands of this crew?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Had a lot of fun with this book!

  • By Detail-oriented on 08-11-14

Great stuff for the movie/history buff

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

Reviewed: 06-15-14

If you like movies you'll like this book. Great discussions of how these various directors worked in the field or in Washington during the runup to WWII and during the war itself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Nixonland

  • The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
  • By: Rick Perlstein
  • Narrated by: Stephen R. Thorne
  • Length: 36 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 853
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 617

From one of America's most talented historians and winner of a LA Times Book Prize comes a brilliant new account of Richard Nixon that reveals the riveting backstory to the red state/blue state resentments that divide our nation today. Told with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America's turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A 5-Star Book Injured by the Narrator

  • By Frank on 08-12-09

Excellent overview of the 60s and how we got there

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

Reviewed: 06-15-14

The divisions in our country played upon so expertly by Richard Nixon continue to plague us. The various cultures of resentment that developed throughout Nixon's career are nicely brought out in this work. The narrative is a bit uneven, due to the author's fondness for lists of contemporaneous events. Aside from that, the overall story is compellingly told and really does make clear the damage done to our nation by Nixon in his never-ending quest to get even.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Motor City Blue

  • An Amos Walker Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Loren D. Estleman
  • Narrated by: Mel Foster
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

Marla Bernstein is a pretty, dark-haired teenager who also happens to be the ward of Ben Morningstar - a semi-retired mobster who prefers to keep family business out of the newspapers. When Marla suddenly disappears, the gang boss is forced to call in private eve Amos Walker, who quickly learns his new employer doesn't take "no" for an answer when he offers a job opportunity. Unfortunately, the only clue to Marla's whereabouts is a pornographic photograph that clearly proves that she's become part of a world that disgusts even her criminal guardian....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great intro to Amos Walker

  • By ZUrlocker on 12-06-18

Good characters, pat ending

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

Reviewed: 04-13-14

Since is the first in the series, it's not too surprising that the ending of this book sounds as though the author ran out of paper and had to wrap everything up. Still, the writing is good and the characters are nicely drawn. The narrator, not so great. He fails to convey any of the sense of a hardbitten private dick and the vocal characterizations are off-putting enough to keep me away from the rest of the series, which he also narrates.

  • Lay Down My Sword and Shield

  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 959
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 948

Against the backdrop of growing civil rights turmoil in a sultry border town, the hard-drinking ex-POW attorney Hackberry Holland yields to the myriad urgings of his wife, his brother, and his so-called friends to make a bid for a congressional seat - and finds himself embroiled in the seamy world of Texas powerbrokers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • sets the stage for all of JLB's books

  • By Stevon on 08-12-13

Thoroughly unappealing protagonist

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

Reviewed: 03-08-14

Watching a bad drunk be a bad drunk is no fun in life or literature.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful