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Jonathan Love

CLEARFIELD, UT, United States
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  • Lord of the Flies

  • By: William Golding
  • Narrated by: William Golding
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,623
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,774
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,773

Marooned on a tropical island, alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, and devoid of adult supervision or rules, a group of British boys begins to forge a society with its own unique rules and rituals.

  • out of 5 stars
  • classic

  • By Randall on 04-25-09

A Boy's Fantasy Facing Staunch Reality

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

This is another of the classics that I didn't bother to read in my adolescence and now truly sorry I hadn't done that. However, it's salient even at my current age of 40 and appropriate for me to read to my 5 year old. With this work and Jules Vern's, The Mysterious Island, I can't help but feel that the game phenomenon of Minecraft had to have been inspired by these works. Although Vern's work is far more dense in size and breadth, Golding's Island is far more audacious and intense with regard to the subject.

I appreciated the characters in Lord of the Flies far more than the ones I loved from The Mysterious Island, but I think it's because they are so much more critical and believable to contemporary boys than Vern's adults. In addition to the masterpiece by Jules Vern, I couldn't help but remember other books touching on this subject: The Beach, One Second After, On the Beach, The Stand, The Boy Crisis, The Maze Runner, Ender's Game, Animal Farm, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Fight Club, Allegory of the Cave, The Road, Heart of Darkness, and others. The all seem to touch on the natural man/boy against each other and nature as well as his self-awareness to transcend his inexorable death.

I truly appreciated the introduction by the author as well as the afterword, that proclaims proudly his motivations to write and how each reader should interpret it (however they want based on whatever they get out of it). The narration is by the author and is clearly not a recent recording (Golding died in 1993) and not as lucid as a modern digital recording would be. Still I gave it five stars for performance because it was the author and you get his emphasis rather than a falsely-interpretive pertinence by a narrator who never even talked to the author.

I've been listening lately at 3.5x speed since audible added that rate, but I had to slow this to 2.9 to account for the imperfect recording.

Truly a great book, but only four stars as the conflict between the boys - albeit believable - seemed contrived/forced at times and I thought sounder minds would have prevailed in different spots of the book even in those austere conditions. However the boyhood mannerisms and attitude prevalent throughout the book were incredible.

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  • The Republic of Pirates

  • Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down
  • By: Colin Woodard
  • Narrated by: Lewis Grenville
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,056
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,872
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,856

In the early 18th century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates - former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves - this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reads like a novel

  • By Abbie on 02-02-16

Not Bad, But I Found I Didn't Really Care

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

Reviewed: 10-08-18

I can't even remember when I purchased this book nor why I felt inclined to do so. It's been sitting in my library for awhile and I keep seeing it as "unread". Finally my OCD kicked in and I listened to this book.

It has a catchy and verbose title and that's about the extent of my praise. The book itself is great and there was obviously thorough research conducted along with a brilliant writer able to link the many loosely-tied-together strings of the history into one work, but I just found the entire thing unpalatable. It might be due to relevance and it might be due to the fictionalized Disney saturation and glorification, but really I just didn't care about any of it. There are some good anecdotes of piracy and excellent narratives regarding truth and fiction.

Unless you're specifically looking for an accurate history on the subject, I just can't make a recommendation here.

I usually listen at 3x speed and had no issues with this one. I have nothing positive nor negative to say about the narrator.

  • The Coming Storm

  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael Lewis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,978
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,504
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,465

Tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis… Weather can be deadly – especially when it strikes without warning. Millions of Americans could soon find themselves at the mercy of violent weather if the public data behind lifesaving storm alerts gets privatized for personal gain. In his first Audible Original feature, New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis delivers hard-hitting research on not-so-random weather data – and how Washington plans to release it. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why you shouldn't ignore the weather forecast

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 09-10-18

Political Propaganda Disguised as Science

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

Reviewed: 10-06-18

This is nothing more than slander. Michael Lewis is a great author and journalist, but this whole book - ostensibly about weather statistics - is slander toward Trump and encomiums toward Obama. I didn't vote for Trump, don't really like his entire demeanor, but this constant vitriol directed at him and about him has become monotonously wearisome. I'm so tired of the entire leftist diatribe of all things conservative and Trump that I can't help but dismiss all of their accusations in disbelief... much like the boy who cried wolf.

There are some interesting tidbits contained in this book, but with so short a work I'm surprised at the initial lengthy introduction to a single scientist who makes no other appearance in the book. There's really no conclusion other than Obama was great with regard to supporting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Trump is doing everything to stop their admirable work because he hates science.

Get over yourselves!

  • Starman Jones

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael Garcia
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,794
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,803

Max Jones, a practical, hard-working young man, found his escape in his beloved astronomy books. When reality comes crashing in and his troubled home life forces him out on the road, Max finds himself adrift in a downtrodden land - until an unexpected, ultimate adventure carries him away as a stowaway aboard an intergalactic spaceship.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A typical Heinlein Juvenile

  • By Got My Book on 08-22-08

Every Boy's Fantasy of Space and Significance

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

Reviewed: 10-06-18

Just like Wil Wheaton's character in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Max Jones is a intellectual prodigy who finds himself in a position that every boy (at least all my contemporaries with adolescence prior to the 21st century), would die to find themselves. Max is unaware of how special he really is with an eidetic memory and access to books he never should have seen. But he did, and the adventure begins after he realizes that he has no future on earth.

Although the story is predictable and we all know that Max will eventually "make it" to his destiny, the real story is about Max, his character, and his growth from those he meets along the way (both positive and negative). All of this prepares him for the inevitable decision he has to and is willing to make, the decision that others are relying on from him that only he can do. It's a risky decision, but Max's audacious personality invariably saves the day.

This was my first book with Paul Michael Garcia as narrator and I enjoyed it. I'm kind of partial to Wil Wheaton as a narrator and due to the comparison of the two characters at the beginning of my review, I would have preferred the later. Again, Garcia was great. I usually listen at 3x speed and had no issues with this version.

Heinlein is my favorite author and this book is a top 10 of all of his book for me.

Start with Why audiobook cover art
  • Start with Why

  • How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • By: Simon Sinek
  • Narrated by: Simon Sinek
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,851
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,651
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,570

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Inspire to find why you do what you do

  • By A. Yoshida on 09-19-13

Superb Prose From an Inimitable Thought Leader

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

Reviewed: 10-06-18

I pretty much take anything and everything from Simon Sinek as doctrine for guiding my life, both as a organizational leader (First Sergeant in the Army) and with my own family in teaching my kids. His speeches are so ridiculously galvanizing and this book is more anecdotal evidence of the philosophy he espouses. I read a lot of philosophy, both by our ancient leaders and contemporary as well. Sinek's body of work is just as powerful as any.

Since reading - for the first time - Start With Why, more than four years ago, I have tried (successfully and unsuccessfully) to implement the precepts in all I do and remember the results of those examples shared of potential results. I love his example of Apple even though I'm an anti-apple product person myself, but you can't deny the cultural phenomenon that they started and maintain today.

Unrelated to this particular book, but still a Simon Sinek promulgation, his video regarding the difference between being nervous and excited is another epic epiphany. My son was going into surgery the other day and I used this thought game of "changing the narrative" with him. I had him convinced that he was excited for this and being nervous was useless; pretty good for a four-year old. After the surgery, the anesthesiologist, came up to me and said that my son's attitude and demeanor were so good that he's going to start using the excited vs. nervous speech with all his patients.

As a narrator, Simon is excellent. He obviously has much experience presenting these thoughts and switching to a long-format audio book was probably not an issue. I usually listen to my audio books at three-times speed and had no issues with this one.

  • The Boy Crisis

  • By: Warren Farrell PhD, John Gray PhD
  • Narrated by: Warren Farrell PhD, John Gray PhD
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

What is the boy crisis? It's a crisis of education. For the first time in American history, our sons will have less education than their dads. It's a crisis of mental health. As boys become young men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women. It's a crisis of sexuality. Sex is a minefield for our sons. They're bombarded with mixed messages, afraid of being either too sensitive or not sensitive enough.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Healed a Deep Wound with my Daughter

  • By Kirk Danilson on 04-07-18

Perceptive Past, Prognosis, and Prescription

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

Reviewed: 09-22-18

It was just the other day on social media where I was advocating on behalf of my two daughters and jokingly said, "I'm not worried about my boys... I just have to feed them, get them to practice, and keep them from knocking girls up." Then this book slapped me in my face, followed by an uppercut, and finished with a devastating squirrel tap to my manhood. I - like most everyone else for the past forty years - have so genuinely cared about the future of our girls, that we forgot about our boys. How wrong I was, and Farrell and Gray (of, Men are From Mars..., infamy) had no problem providing the evidence and the cure; but will we listen.

After the introduction and first two chapters, I was already recommending this book to my brother and his wife who just had a son, my wife, my parents who already have raised three kids, my in-laws who have already raised five (with one possible "failure to launch"), my friends, my Soldiers, my neighbors, parents on my kids' sports teams, random strangers, anyone who'll listen, etc.. Then, throughout the rest of the book, I couldn't stop talking about it and the revelations within.

This is one of my most valued books in my audible library (378 books with nearly 20% on psychology) and I'll listen to it over and over. I'm also purchasing the kindle version as well as a physical copy for referencing. I normally listen at 3x speed and had no issues with this narration; both authors narrate.

  • One Second After

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,400
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,425

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Realistic Worst Nightmare

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 03-02-17

Wishing This Book Was As Long As The Stand

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Almost immediately - knowing the book was only 13 hours - I found myself wanting it to never end. Yes, it is that good. I've read several "post-apocalyptic stories" with Stephen King's, The Stand, as my favorite. However, One Second After, hits closer to home; it's more real, more daunting, more... everything, except King's mastery of story telling and character development. That is not to say that this one lacks.

One hopes for miracles in tales such as these, but the cold-hard reality of survival trump all such desires. Death makes no exception for your good deeds or intentions... you're just statistically going to die. Just like, Nevil Shute's, On The Beach, it'll be an un-glamorous, inexorably slow, miserable demise - unremarkable in anyway because most of your loved ones are already dead, and those still living are just anticipating their own mediocre passing.

My only criticism of the book is that it bills itself (in the forward) as a survival tale in the event of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), but other than being the cataclysmic event and a few working older vehicles that aren't affected by an EMP, there's not much to differentiate this book from another scenario without electricity. I would've liked to hear more about how the survivors managed and found other ways to manage without this modern lifeblood.

The narration was excellent and I feel Mr. Barrett was an exceptional voice for the protagonist, but not necessarily for all the characters' voices. I usually listen at 3x speed and had no issues with this version.

  • Astoria

  • John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
  • By: Peter Stark
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,092
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 985
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 989

At a time when the edge of American settlement barely reached beyond the Appalachian Mountains, two visionaries, President Thomas Jefferson and millionaire John Jacob Astor, foresaw that one day the Pacific would dominate world trade as much as the Atlantic did in their day. Just two years after the Lewis and Clark expedition concluded in 1806, Jefferson and Astor turned their sights westward once again. Thus began one of history's dramatic but largely forgotten turning points in the conquest of the North American continent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Daring, greedy men take on nature and natives

  • By Pamela on 06-20-14

A Perilous Journey By Land and Sea

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

I've never been to Astoria, but have always wanted to go. I have friends living there now and I was in the midst of planning a trip to the Oregon Coast when I came across this book on an Audible sale; what a find. It's funny how some of my most treasured books (audible, kindle, and physical) have been discovered accidentally and in preparation for a personal experience.

One of the best parts of this book is found in the epilogue where the author relays his personal discovery of this story (this part also narrated by the author) and the adventure he took to retell it in this novel. This really completed the story for me as well as other non-fiction where the author gives a reason why.

Unaware of this history, it was fascinating to learn a bit about John Astor and his two concurrent treks he dispatched to establish this eponymic city. If this tale were to be made into a move (or television series) I'd like to see two separate, but concurrent works with tie-ins to the other. This history has all the makings of a modern blockbuster with death, murder, explosions, betrayal, starvation, salvation, etc.. I can't wait for my visit to the mouth of the Columbia.

The narration was fine and I was able to listen at my normal 3x speed. I did think his pronunciation of the word 'voyagers' was distinct and that word was used often.

  • The Things They Carried

  • By: Tim O'Brien
  • Narrated by: Bryan Cranston
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,659
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,632

Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heavy Load

  • By Mel on 10-28-13

An Intimate Look Into The Soul of A Veterean

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

Reviewed: 07-30-18

I saw a meme the other day on social media, posted by a Veteran Friend of mine. It was a diatribe of sorts, attempting to explain to civilians why combat Veterans are the way they are. Why we find dark humor so funny and why we seem detached from the regular day-to-day on-goings. The meme claimed that one cannot truly understand a Veteran unless one is a Veteran... this book helps bridge that divide.

For several years I was told to ready this, but it was always at the back of my list. Preferring Islamic and Middle East History, philosophy, psychology, I justified this avoidance with the idea that I was better preparing myself for our current conflict. Ironically, this might be one of the most important books a Soldier (of any era) should read in preparation for the trauma of war.

I usually listen at 3x speed and had no issues with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Bryan Cranston as narrator of this book and will look for other things he's voiced. I really enjoyed the epilogue written and narrated by the author regarding his thoughts during a visit to Vietnam. O'Brien could've narrated the whole book and I would've enjoyed it just as much.

  • 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 2,027
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,758
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,740

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

Fantastic and Essential Information For All...

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

Reviewed: 07-25-18

...who desire to opine about politics.

It seems that everyone is a pundit these days thanks to social media. Not only that, but everyone is an expert and anyone who disagrees with said person, has egregiously violated the sanctity of humanity. Too often we refuse to take a seat and listen, adhering to Twain's aphorism, 'It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt' which is the main cause of our deleterious civil discourse. After this book, I firmly believe if you haven't read it than you shouldn't open your mouth, and if you have, you know enough to realize you don't know anything.

This history of political order covers some unique history - that I wasn't even aware existed - and correlates the existence of social and religious institutions with the advent of government. It gives a "why" to the origins rather than just "it happened".

I will definitely be listening to this one multiple times and will probably get the kindle edition to supplement my studies. Additionally there is a Volume II so be prepared to get that as well.

I usually listen at 3x speed and had no issues with this narration.