LISTENER

Jean

Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 1,509
  • reviews
  • 11,501
  • helpful votes
  • 1,541
  • ratings
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-18

Exceptional Memoir

This is a fascinating story about the three years of Moore’s captivity by Somali pirates. Moore is a journalist and a gifted storyteller. Moore used his journalist tools of observation, interviewing techniques, and his interest in people’s stories to help him survive and then write an excellent memoir. The author provided a first-hand account of the Muslim pirates, the beginning of Al-Shabaab and the rise of ISIS which revealed the various faces of Islam. I was interested in his analysis of the political and economic problems of Somali.

The book is well written; in fact, Moore’s storytelling gift made it read like a page turning novel. The story of his capture, starvation, isolation and injuries made this into a nail-biting thriller. He made this so real I almost felt the flies crawling on my face.

The book is just over twelve hours. Coray Snow does an excellent job narrating the story. Snow was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and is now a full-time audiobook narrator. Snow specializes in science fiction, fantasy, military and history audiobooks. He has a voice that is easy to listen too. He has a reading rhythm appropriate to the story.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-17-18

Engaging

I enjoy the Isabel Dalhousie series. It is one of those book readers either love or hate. I am one that loves the series. Smith has created an interesting twisting plot. Each book in this series provides a discussion of a moral problem/dilemma. The characters are all old friends now. When each new book comes out, I feel as if I’ve dropped by Isabel’s for a cup of tea and a time to catch up.

Alexander McCall Smith is a master storyteller. He is a prolific writer and all his series seem to be quite different. I cannot wait until my next visit with Isabel. The book is nine hours. Davina Porter does a superb job narrating the book. Porter is on of my favorite narrators. Porter has an elegant voice. Porter is a multi-award-winning narrator.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-16-18

Interesting

I first read this book when it was published in 1960. At that time Goldwater was considered the far-right wing of the republican party. I found it fascinating to reread this considering all the changes that have occurred since 1960. Goldwater is now considered too liberal for the conservative party. Many of the methods Goldwater sited for reducing government were found over time not to work and many of his other ideas and beliefs were proven not workable. To be fair some ideas did work successfully. I was appalled at his stand on civil rights. He refusal to accept Brown v Board of Education. He also did not think the federal government should be involved in education or welfare.

The book was well written and easy to read. The book was actually written by Goldwater’s speech writer, L. Brent Bozell. Bozell was William F. Buckley’s brother-in-law. Most of the book is dated. I found it helpful to take a step back in time and review how much the pollical parties have changed since 1960. Maybe it is time for the parties to re-evaluate themselves considering the extreme divide in the country today. Maybe it is time to return to the middle.

The book is very short at almost three hours. Johnny Heller does an excellent job narrating the book. Heller is a voice-over artist and award-winning audiobook narrator. He was Publisher Weekly’s best audiobook narrator for 2008, 2009, and 2011. Heller won the Listen-up Award in 2008 to 2013 and was an Audie Award Nominee in 2014.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-18

A Great Space Opera

This is book seven of the series. I am a big fan of both series by Ryk Brown. The characters have grown on me and feel like friends now. The action is almost continuous. I am amazed at the skill of the Gahtazak. Slowly all the key people from the first series are gathering to do battle in this one. Unfortunately, in this story, Nathan and team are taking a beating. Can not wait until the next book in the series comes out.

I am frequently disappointed by independently published books, but this is one author I have added to my follow list. I wish Brown all success in his writing. The book is almost ten hours. Jeffrey Kafer does an excellent job narrating the series. Kafer has an easy to listen to voice and an excellent narrative rhythm. Kafer is an award-winning audiobook narrator and voice-over artist.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Excellent

This book covers the time frame from 1953 to 1961 when Eisenhower was president. Hitchcock does a brief overview of DDE’s early life and military career. I found it helpful when the author provided a review of the various biographies of Eisenhower as well as the most common negative reviews of his presidency. Hitchcock presented different viewpoints of Eisenhower’s handling of the cold war including the U2 incident, when to use atomic weapons and Joseph McCarthy. Eisenhower expanded many of FDR’s social programs. He also attempted to obtain health coverage for everyone but was voted down by his own party. I was most impressed with Eisenhower’s self-discipline and organizational skills. He applied this to his presidency, it was considered one of the best organized and disciplined governments to date. When I compare this to what we have today, I wonder how anything gets done today.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. The author had access to newly released Eisenhower papers sent to the Eisenhower presidential library from the federal government. I found this book easy to read, and I think it will become an important read for those wishing to learn about Eisenhower. The book is long enough to allow in-depth analysis and discussion of the author’s key points. This book is not a traditional biography but an analysis of the keys points of DDE’s presidency. If you wish to read a traditional biography, I recommend “Eisenhower in War and Peace” by Jean Edward Smith published in 2013.

It is almost twenty-six hours long. Arthur Morey does an excellent job narrating the book. Morey is an actor, writer and award-winning audiobook narrator. He has won several EarPhone Awards and as well as receiving two Audie Award nominations.


Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-18

Interesting

This is the eighth book in the Matthew Hervey series. I have read a few of the books in the series but not in order. In this novel Hervey is home from India and the Napoleonic Wars. He is stationed in England attempting to purchase his Lt. Colonel’s rank. The British are reducing the size of the military for the first time in many years. Mallinson allows the reader to see the interaction between Matthew and his family. After a few local protection engagements, Hervey is being sent off to South Africa to the Zulu War.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. Mallinson does an excellent job keeping everything within the period, all details are correctly portrayed. I loved the details about the cavalry horses and the information about horse diseases by the regimental veterinarian. The description of the Zulu warriors is fantastic. I can remember the movie I saw years ago called Zulu and some of the tactics in the movie Mallinson describes in the book. I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series. Mallinson is a great historical storyteller.

The book is almost fourteen hours. Eric Graham does a good job narrating the book.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-18

Insightful

The memoirs of Obama staffers are starting to come out now. I enjoy reading these political insider memoirs. I am aware they are biased to their own beliefs. I attempt to stay neutral and read these memoirs from both sides of the political divide. By doing this I hope to obtain a better understanding of the events.

This one is by Ben Rhodes who was Obama’s speechwriter and national security staffer. The book provides a look inside the Obama years. He states he is telling the story “of the journey from idealism to realism”. I enjoyed that Rhodes provides lots of interesting anecdotes as well as mixing his personal story into the current events. This allowed me to view the events through his eyes and emotions. The book is extremely well written and is easy to read. The book is also well researched. Rhodes has a master’s degree in creative writing and is a gifted writer. Rhodes paints himself in a positive manner, but does point out some of his bad habits and mistakes. The book provides inside information about how race played a role during Obama’s presidency. I was somewhat surprised and ashamed at the poor manners, attitude and obstructionism of the republicans toward Obama throughout his years in office. Is it just my impression or was the republican opposition to Obama personal or racial rather than ideological? This is not the typical political memoir. For those readers interested in this area, the book will not disappoint.

The book is almost sixteen hours long. Mark Deakins does an excellent job narrating the book. Deakins is an actor and audiobook narrator. He has won multiple Earphone Awards as well as voted Best Voice by Audiofile Magazine.


Read More Hide me

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-01-18

Engaging

I made the mistake of not reading reviews carefully. If I had realized there was a serial killer in the story, I would have skipped the book. The protagonists of the story are Dana Cutler, a P. I., who had been a police officer. She lives in Washington, D. C. The other one is a young lawyer, Brad Miller, who is defending a serial killer.

The book is well written and is fast moving. I think there are too many characters in the story. I listened to this on an audiobook and found it got confusing a few times keeping all the characters straight. The plot was interesting up to a point. The story was interrupted too many times for a backstory. It isn’t a bad book, but it is not a great book either. Okay for a summer read.

The book is twelve hours long. Jonathan Davis does an excellent job narrating the book. He makes the book more enjoyable. Davis is a ten- time nominee and three- time winner of the coveted Audie Award. Davis is a voice-over artist and audiobook narrator. He is known for his voice-over work for National Geographic Television.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-30-18

Exceptional

The presidents that served after the Civil War seem to have been forgotten. Therefore, I enjoyed Greenberger’s new biography of Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886). Arthur was an attorney who was part of Roscoe Conkling’s political machine in New York. Arthur became the vice president for James A. Garfield (1831-1881) and became president on Garfield’s assassination. Arthur served as our 21st president from 1881 to 1885. He was known as a corrupt politician but managed to rise above his reputation and was a successful president. Arthur enacted the first general federal immigration law. He reformed the civil service and modernized the navy. You might say he rose to the standard of the office.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. I am impressed with Greenberger’s research as Arthur is one of the presidents that had little information stored in the archives. The author also had access to Arthur’s papers held in a safe deposit box by a relative. Greenberger paints Arthur in a favorable manner but did not down play the corruption. The author reveals Arthur as a product of his time. I not only learned about Arthur but what life and politics were like at the time. This is an easy to read biography packed with lots of information. This is a great resource to learn about the post-civil war period.

The book is eleven and a half hours. Paul Heitsch does a great job narrating the book. Heitsch is a recording engineer and sound designer as well as an audiobook narrator.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-28-18

Disappointed

This book has dual authors and both are new to me. I was looking for a new sci-fi series and new authors. But I am most disappointed in this book. This is also a combination of the first two books in the series. I like to read about strong women in leadership roles and “Kit” Carson of the Pathfinders did not disappoint. The basic plot line of the story I found boring and a re-hash of many other similar stories. I will skip this series and continue my search for a new exciting sci-fi author.

The book is fourteen and a half hours. Luke Daniels does a good job narrating the book. Daniels is a classic actor and audiobook narrator.

Read More Hide me

2 of 5 people found this review helpful