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Jean

Santa Cruz, CA, United States
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  • Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney

  • Slavery, Secession, and the President's War Powers
  • By: James F. Simon
  • Narrated by: Richard Allen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

The clashes between President Abraham Lincoln and Chief Justice Roger B. Taney over slavery, secession, and Lincoln's constitutional war powers went to the heart of Lincoln's presidency. Lincoln and Taney's bitter disagreements began with Taney's Dred Scott opinion in 1857, when the chief justice declared that the Constitution did not grant the black man any rights that the white man was bound to honor.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • a rehash without much new

  • By D. Littman on 11-25-06

Excellent Look at the Legal Veiwpoints

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

Reviewed: 05-19-19

Roger B. Taney (1777-1864) succeeded John Marshall (1755-1835) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Taney served at Attorney General for Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) before being appointed as Chief Justice. Taney was a southern aristocrat but had freed his slaves. Apparently, he did not believe in slavery.

Lincoln and Taney were in constant disagreement over the interpretation of the Constitution. Simon provides more in-depth discussion of both men’s viewpoints. Both men appear more complex than what I have read about in other books. Simon focuses on the key legal quandaries from the Missouri Compromise to the constitutionally of Lincoln’s naval blockade. Simon spent some time on the conflict concerning the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. I was most interested in the discussion regarding the conflict between the two men about the War Powers Act. At the end of the book, Simon discussed the different presidents from Lincoln (1809-1865) to Bush (1946-) and their use of the War Powers. I found the review of Lincoln’s use of the War Powers by Sandra Day O’Conner (1930-) most interesting. Simon’s discussion about Nixon and his claims over the War Powers was unsettling. It is obvious that Congress needs to take control of the War Powers Act and rescind the presidential resolution that had no end date.

The book is well written. Simon ‘s manner of writing allows a lay person to easily understand complex issues. I learned a great deal about these controversies. I have read biographies of both men, but this book concentrates on the key legal issues. I have read several of Simon’s books. I am impressed enough to want to read all his books.

The book is eleven hours and twenty-six minutes. Richard Allen does an average job narrating the book. Allen is a stage actor. He has five Audie Awards nominations for narration and four Earphone Awards. He was voted Audiophile’s Best Voice in 2008.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Hyperspace Trap

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Jelsema
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 214

A year after the Commonwealth won the war with the Theocracy, the interstellar cruise liner Supreme is on its maiden voyage, carrying a host of aristocrats thrilled to be sharing in a wondrous adventure among the stars. Then a collision with a pirate ship leaves the cruiser powerless and becalmed in hyperspace. And they’re not alone. Now, the mysterious force that’s living on this floating graveyard is coming for Supreme’s crew and passengers. As madness starts to tear at their minds, they must fight to survive in a strange alien realm.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Okay, but not great

  • By Jean on 05-16-19

Okay, but not great

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

Reviewed: 05-16-19

This might be a new series being launched from the Whirlwind Series. In this story we have a luxury Space Liner on its maiden voyage. A hyperspace trap is sprung by aliens and the story begins.

The book is well written. The basic idea of the story is ageless. I don’t think the story is up to the usual Nuttall standard. The owner of the ship and his two daughters are aboard the vessel and they are the key people in the story. Later in the book, the action is good. There was more foul language in this book than I can remember in all Nuttall’s other books. Ove all it is an interesting story.

The book is thirteen hours and fifty-nine minutes. Jennifer Jelsema does a good job narrating the book. Jelsema is a new narrator for me. Jelsema is an actress, voice actor and audiobook narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Her Fight. Her Work. Her Life.
  • By: Antonia Felix
  • Narrated by: Suzie Althens
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

Nevertheless, she persisted. These three words became an inspiring battle cry across the United States in 2017, but the woman to whom they refer has been fighting passionately all of her life. Raised in a tough working-class home in Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren went on to become a revered scholar, a law professor, a US Senator, and an unlikely political star.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling

  • By Jean on 05-12-19

Compelling

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

Reviewed: 05-12-19

I have been attempting to read about each of the people running for president. I have read most of the books by Elizabeth Warren (1949--), but this is the first biography about her I have read. I have read other biographies by Antonia Felix and have noted she writes equally about women leaders from both parties.

The book is well written and researched. The book cover Warren’s early life, her family life, education and work including her research. Senator Warren comes off as a fighter for the middle class. Since Trump was elected, I have kept a quote by Thomas Jefferson on my desk. The quote is “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people”. I also have been evaluating candidates on their truthfulness. I just finished reading about Abraham Lincoln and his demand of himself to always tell the truth. So far, I have found Warren truthful, but she may exaggerate as many politicians do.

Felix did not cover that much negative material about Warren but did debunk some myths about her Native American bloodline. There is not a lot of negative material available about Warren; but, I felt Felix could covered more about the controversy regarding Warren’s recent trending to the left. Overall, this book provides a good overview of Warren’s life to date.

The book is eight hours and twenty minutes. Suzie Althens does a good job narrating the book. This is my first experience listening to Althens narrate. Althens is a voice artist and audiobook narrator.




3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Tide Rising

  • By: Anne Perry
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135

Harry Exeter doesn't want the aid of the Thames River Police in tracking down the men who kidnapped his wife, Kate. He only asks them to help him navigate Jacob's Island, a creepy mass of decrepit buildings where he will hand off a large sum of money in exchange for her life. But when they arrive at the meeting place, Commander Monk and five of his best men are attacked from all sides, and Monk is left wondering who could have given away their plans. As Monk follows leads, it seems inevitable one of his own men has betrayed him. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting

  • By Jean on 05-08-19

Interesting

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

Reviewed: 05-08-19

This is book number twenty-four of the William Monk Series. Monk is Commander of the Thames River Police. A wife of a wealthy developer is kidnapped. Attorney Sir Oliver Rathbone suggests Cmdr. Monk accompany him to pay the ransom. Monk picks 6 key men to accompany them to pay the ransom. Then, everything goes wrong.

The book is well written and the plot twists and turns as only Perry can do. I am disappointed that my favorite character, Hester, was not in her usual spot as a key player. We saw very little of Hester except near the end of the story. I do hope Perry brings Hester back as a key protagonist. I had a feeling that in the middle of the book Perry was using repetition as a filler. Overall, it is a good Victorian Mystery story.

The book is eleven hours and fifty-five minutes. David Colacci does an excellent job narrating the book. Colacci is one of my favorite narrators. Colacci is an actor and director. He is now a full-time audiobook narrator. He has won many Audiofile Earphone Awards, earned an Audi nomination and was included on the “Best of the Year” list by Publishers Weekly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Finding My Voice

  • My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward
  • By: Valerie Jarrett
  • Narrated by: Valerie Jarrett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95

"The ultimate Obama insider" (The New York Times) and longest-serving senior advisor in the Obama White House shares her journey as a daughter, mother, lawyer, business leader, public servant, and leader in government at a historic moment in American history. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful

  • By Jean on 05-05-19

Insightful

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

Reviewed: 05-05-19

Jarrett’s parents were educated. Her father was a pathologist and geneticist. Jarret lived her first five years abroad. Her father was posted at a hospital in Shiraz, Iran. Before returning to the United States, they traveled the world. Her great grandfather, Robert Robinson Taylor, was the first black student to attend M.I.T. He graduated in 1892 and became the country’s first black architect. Jarrett tells of her early life, education and difficulties with racism. Jarrett graduated from Stanford University and Michigan Law School. She went to work for the City of Chicago. She was Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor when she hired Michelle Robinson. When Obama became president, she was a Senior Advisor during both terms. Jarrett covers her working life in depth.

The book has the feel of being written by a team. Rebecca Paly and Tanner Colby, who are listed as collaborators, are both well-known ghost writers. The story itself is so inspiring it raises above the “team writing”. I think the publisher needs to heavily edit and maybe rewrite some of the book and to re-issue it. Then it would be a great five star read.

The book is eleven hours and twenty-three minutes. Valerie Jarrett does a good job narrating the book. Her narration helps overcome some of the “team writing”.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The District Nurses of Victory Walk

  • The District Nurse, Book 1
  • By: Annie Groves
  • Narrated by: Alex Tregear
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

Alice Lake has arrived in London from Liverpool to start her training as a District Nurse, but her journey has been far from easy. Her parents think that she should settle down and get married, but she has already had her heart broken once and isn’t about to make the same mistake again. Alice and her best friend, Edith, are based in the East End, but before they’ve even got their smart new uniforms on, war breaks out, and Hitler’s bombs are raining down on London.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Look at the Role of the District Nurse

  • By Jean on 04-30-19

A Look at the Role of the District Nurse

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

Reviewed: 04-30-19

This story is set in England in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Alice and Edith are best friends and went to nursing school together. They are assigned as District Nurses to the East End of London at Victory Walk when World War II begins.

The book is well written and researched. The characters are most interesting. The story contains humor, drama and historical information including the state of nursing and medical in 1939-40. The book was easy to read. I am particularly curious about the role of the District Nurses. If you are interested in historical fiction set in London in the early 1940s, this book is for you. I understand that Anne Groves is a pseudonym for Penny Jordon Halsall (1946-2011). Halsall is a well-known British novelist.

The book is eleven hours and eighteen minutes. Alex Tregear does a good job narrating the book. Tregear is a voice actor and audiobook narrator.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Lincoln's Last Trial

  • The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency
  • By: Dan Abrams, David Fisher
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner, Dan Abrams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 420
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 416

At the end of the summer of 1859, 22-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln, who had been involved in more than 3,000 cases - including more than 25 murder trials - during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen for lawyers and those interested in history

  • By M. on 07-15-18

Great Courtroom Drama

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

Reviewed: 04-26-19

This book covers the famous 1859 murder trial in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln defended “Peachy” Quinn Harrison. Apparently, Harrison slashed Greek Crafton with a knife when Crafton and his friends attacked Harrison. Crafton dies of the wound and Harrison is accused of murder. He pleads self-defense. The trial recorder was Robert R. Hill, one of early short-hand trial stenographers. The book is taken directly from the trial transcript. Great courtroom drama. Lincoln was a well-known attorney in Springfield. The town’s people attended most of the trials as a form of entertainment.
Abrams, beside cover the trial, also provides some history of the legal system of the 1800s. I think the author’s claim that this trial propelled Lincoln into the presidency is mistaken. The only claim one could make is that it was Lincoln’s last trial before declaring his campaign for the presidency. If you are a history buff or are interested in the history of law, you will find this book interesting. Dan Abrams is the legal affairs anchor for ABC News.

The book is eight hours and fifty-eight minutes. Adam Verner does an excellent job narrating the book. Verner is a full-time audiobook narrator. He has won the Audiofile Earphones Award.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Powder Burn

  • Will Tanner Series, Book 3
  • By: William W. Johnstone, J. A. Johnstone
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

From America's greatest storytellers comes a bold new chapter in the Will Tanner saga, an epic quest for justice at the crossroads of history - in a crossfire of bullets... US Deputy Marshal Will Tanner earned his badge the old-fashioned way. He shot the bad guys, saved the good guys, and won the fear and respect of everyone in between. That's how legends are born. But when he visits a friend at his ranch and ends up confronting a trigger-happy horse thief, Will earns the wrath of the deadliest, lowlife killers west of the Mississippi. This is how legends die.... 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping

  • By Jean on 04-23-19

Gripping

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

Reviewed: 04-23-19

This is book three in the Will Tanner Series. Tanner is a U. S. Marshall working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Tanner usually ends up chasing bad men into the Oklahoma Territory. This book is a typical old-fashioned western. Everything is black and white with no shades of gray. The book is well written and researched. There is humor, action, suspense and a sense of the old west.
This book makes a good change of pace and a get-away-from- it-all book.

The book is eight hours and forty-one minutes. Eric Michael Summerer does a good job narrating the book. Summerer is a voice actor. He has won the Audiofile Earphone Award and has been nominated for an Audie Award.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Mind of Her Own

  • By: Paula McLain
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 1 hr and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16,745
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,092
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15,064

Paris, 1893. Twenty-five-year-old Marie Sklodowska is studying science at the Sorbonne - one of the only universities in the world that has begun to admit women. A thousand miles from her native Poland, with no money and the odds stacked against any woman daring to pursue a career in such a rigorous field, Marie throws herself into her studies. She's certain that to succeed in a man's world, she will have to go it alone. Her meticulous plans get thrown slightly off-course when Marie attracts the attention of an accomplished young physicist, himself on the precipice of greatness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Based on a true story

  • By Kingsley on 03-01-19

Interesting

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

Reviewed: 04-22-19

This is a very short story. The story takes place in Paris, France in 1893. Marie Sklodowska, (1867-1934) from Poland, is studying science at the Sorbonne. This book is limited to only the love story between Sklodowska and Pierre Curie (1859-1906), a young physicist. This is not a biography of Marie Currie; it only covers one aspect of her life. The Sorbonne was one of the first universities to allow women to attend and to confer a degree to them. The novella is well written. It is concise and fast moving. It is a fun informative short read.

The novella is one hour and fifteen minutes. Hillary Huber does an excellent job narrating the story. Huber is a voice-over artist and audiobook narrator. She has been a multiple Audie Award finalist. She has won multiple Earphone Awards. In 2010 she was Audiofile’ s Best Voice in Biography.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The A List

  • Ali Reynolds, Book 14
  • By: J. A. Jance
  • Narrated by: Karen Ziemba
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

Ten years ago, when Ali Reynolds’ high-profile newscaster life blew up on the West Coast, she went back home to Sedona, Arizona, to reinvent herself. Now, while she’s living her new life, someone from her past comes asking for help. But will revisiting the past jeopardize her future?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fun Read

  • By Jean on 04-21-19

A Fun Read

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

Reviewed: 04-21-19

I started reading the Ali Reynolds’ series with book one. After the first two books I was not sure I wanted to continue, but I am glad I did as this has turned out to be an interesting series. I am a big fan of J. A. Jance’s other two series.

The book is well written and the plot twists and turns. The characters are interesting. There are a lot of flashbacks in this story. It is a story that Ali covered when she was a T.V. newsperson in Los Angeles and that has put her life in danger. Jance is such a great writer. The flashbacks are almost seamless. I am enjoying the antics of Frig, the AI, that Ali and her husband saved in a prior episode and are using in their business. Jance mixes routine life, humor and suspense to keep the reader engaged.

The book is eleven hours and twenty-four minutes. Karen Ziemba does a great job narrating the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful