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Outstanding Books on CD for the Road


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When you listen to a book that you conclude is outstanding and well worth sharing, please list it here.

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

Author: James D. Hornfischer

If you like military books, here is one that I found absolutely gripping, which tells the true story of four US Navy destroyers and three destroyer escorts that discover four Japanese Battleships, six heavy cruisers and twelve destroyers, all of which had slipped perilously close to our carriers in a flanking move. The small group of destroyers does the only thing that makes sense - instantly engage in a suicide mission to buy time for the carriers. The battle and loss of life are gut wrenching. What the little group of ships accomplishes - unimaginable - a true David and Goliath story at sea. Enjoy! [:-thumbu]

Grant

Author: John Mosier

This is a great listen. It really emphasizes how ordinary Grant appeared and yet how extraordinarily intelligent and gifted he was. Rumors of his problems with alcohol - a kiss of death to one's reputation back then - were more a result of political smears both in and out of the military. Other than a few, brief bouts with whiskey during his early years, there is no history to substantiate the claims. In spite of his later confirmed brilliance, Grant was a very humble man, who scoffed that his horse could be a great general. Between this book and Grant's memoirs, one gets the total picture of a man who few found a good reason to dislike. General Lee, himself, came to love Grant and told a fellow professor, that if another unflattering word was ever breathed regarding Grant, either Lee or the other professor would promptly leave the university.

Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant

Author: U. S. Grant

Grant's memoir has been regarded by writers as diverse as Matthew Arnold and Gertrude Stein as one of the finest works of its kind ever written. He died one week after finishing the works, at the urging of his publisher, Mark Twain, to leave his family an income.

His efficiency in writing military orders from horseback or while sitting on a stump with bullets whizzing by and shells exploding is equally well known and considered at West Point. An order to George Meade during the Civil War is a prime example: "Lee's army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also."

Ship of Ghosts

James D Hornfischer

This book has some great Naval battles, but its real value is in learning of the truly unimaginable and horrifying treatment our POWs experienced under the Japanese. I don't think very many people know even half of the truly insane and horrifying things that were done to our soldiers as prisoners. And, it certainly can't be written here. One must simply take in the book and ponder it in utter disbelief.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

It's easy to assume that these journals simply contain a lot of travel notes, but they contain so much more. Lewis and Clark struggled with communication challenges between the different Indian tribes. They played doctor in several cases - saving the lives of chiefs, while tribesmen were poised to kill them if they failed. Throughout their entire journey, only one man was lost to illness. It's a book of firsts: prairie dogs, grizzly bears, the tall grass of the plains, etc. And a book of luck, when their guide, Sacajawea - an indian grafted into tribe other than her own, through being kidnapped as a child, by chance reunites with her own brother, the chief of the tribe the expedition approached to trade with for much needed horses. It's a good listen.

General George Washington - A Military Life

Author: Edward G. Lengel

Washington's Crossing

Author: David Hacket Fischer

His Excellency - George Washington

Author: Joseph J. Ellis

These three books are difficult to separate. Together they paint a complete picture of why George Washington was so respected and loved - so much so, that he feared that the country was destined to make him a monarch.

He was not a great general through education. In fact, he constantly fought feelings of inadequacy, due to his lack of formal college education.

He was, however, a great leader on both the battlefield and in government.

On the battlefield, he became known as "that fox" for amazing feats like secretly hauling cannons to the top of Dorchester Heights so that the British, who had laid siege on Boston, found themselves in danger of annihilation if they did not promptly abandon the city. And, of course the crossing of the Delaware, through which Washington, transfered his entire army on the enemy's side of the river to overrun Trenton in that morning.

Defeated at the Battle of Long Island and trapped against the banks of the East River, Washington commandeered boats up and down the river and made his entire army with all of it's equipment vanish without the loss of a single life or materiel. Through this move, he avoided certain destruction in the morning. Historians consider it one of Washington's greatest military feats.

He was known as a "splendid" horseman, who had several horses shot out from under him. One of the infantrymen wrote that running his hand down the rail of a bridge it met the breast of George Washington's horse, which was pressed hard against the rail, as Washington urged them to hurry on.

In government, his peers would not let him retire - calling back several times. And, no one wished to follow him as the second president, because it was seen as impossible to adequately fill his shoes.

Before considering these books, I had the lofty opinions of the man, that we all come away from school with. But they were, as of yet, unfounded. After listening to these three books, it becomes easy to understand why it is difficult to adequately comprehend and appreciate just how much we all owe to the character of George Washington.

Bottom line: Most of us don't know the half of George Washington's greatness. Enjoy!

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Alaska, Texas & Chesapeake

Author: James Michener

I can only imagine, judging by the size of his books, that reading one of James Michener's books is a chore, but listening to them is amazing. His ability to describe settings and events turns your vehicle into a movie theatre. Furthermore, he always writes a fictitious story wrapped around accurate painstakingly researched history to bring the past to life.

Alaska was outstanding. It tells the entire story of Alaska becoming a US Territory and finally a state. Among his amazing descriptions is one of an endless string of gold prospectors ascending one of the mountain passes in Canada – each party carrying a year's supply of goods — about a ton, more than half of it food. Along the ascent were Canada’s Northwest Mounted Police (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), who kept the peace and enforced customs and duties. When a party was fatigued or could not continue, they were obligated to step aside and permit the others to pass. But, once folks got to the gold fields, life became treacherous - lawless. Striking gold was a life threatening event.

Texas, offers the entire history of the state from being a territory of Mexico, through the Alamo and on to statehood.

Chesapeake tells the entire story of the settlement of America from the from the first explorers, through the Mayflower and on up to Early American life.

I can't say enough about James Michener's ability to bring a story to vivid life in your imagination through audio.

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Thanks Michael for sharing this great resource. And thanks to Marc for the link to Project Gutenberg. I downloaded Grant's memoirs and it is indeed all you say.

I've liked everything I've read by Joe Ellis, most of all his book "American Creation." The Washington book was an eye-opener. You might also check out his Jefferson book - American Sphinx - and the collection of tales called "Founding Brothers."

FWIW, I didn't particulary care for the John Adams book from McCullough. My favorite writers on this period are Page Smith and Gordon Wood. I've been holding off on starting Wood's latest book as a kind of reward for myself - a present to be opened after I hit a few other benchmarks in biz - and am greatly looking forward to it.

Thanks

Douglas

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Thanks Michael for sharing this great resource. And thanks to Marc for the link to Project Gutenberg. I downloaded Grant's memoirs and it is indeed all you say.

I've liked everything I've read by Joe Ellis, most of all his book "American Creation." The Washington book was an eye-opener. You might also check out his Jefferson book - American Sphinx - and the collection of tales called "Founding Brothers."

FWIW, I didn't particulary care for the John Adams book from McCullough. My favorite writers on this period are Page Smith and Gordon Wood. I've been holding off on starting Wood's latest book as a kind of reward for myself - a present to be opened after I hit a few other benchmarks in biz - and am greatly looking forward to it.

Thanks

Douglas

Founding Brothers was Great. I've listened to it a couple of times and am due to enjoy it again soon.

Regarding Grant, he's gotten such a bad rap, but ranks one of the top Generals ever and an equally great president. In reality, the more one reads about him, the easier it is to realize that he was not only very intelligent, he had a personality that just about anyone would like - humble, tollerant of his backstabers - to a fault, efficient and unafraid to be insightful and completely honest about his doings.

“I have carefully searched the military records of both ancient and modern history, and have never found Grant’s superior as a generalâ€

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Thank you for posting the information. You've got me greatly interested in figuring how to spend more useful time while on the road.

What's the best way you've found to get the audio books? Do you purchase from Amazon? Barnes and Noble? Audiobook.com?

Driving has proved, over the years, to be a GOLDEN opportunity to learn. After all, we're stuck in a seat. Why not feed the gray matter instead of vegatating? I've learned more in my vehicle, over the past twenty-five years, than I ever have anywhere else.

I've purchased most of my audio books at Barnes & Noble, but that was back when the economy afforded me more money than brains. http://www.blackstoneaudio.com and http://www.audiobooks.com/ are good sources. It's nice with audio, when you realize you've become distracted, you can simply hit the "<<" button and go back an entire segment in an instant to re-listen. Barnes and Noble has about fifteen college lecture series on such subjects as: Philosophy, American and World HIstory, Religion (I own them all and they were all good). Some of the lectures come out of the big colleges like Harvard.

Also, check out http://www.Fredpryor.com for a lot of great learning courses on: Business Writing, Time and People management, Bookkeeping, Sales and Marketing, Excel, Word, etc.- a huge list. Fred Pryor does "in house" seminars for the big corporations like Phillip Morris, Dupont, Wachovia, etc., and they do them around the country on an annual basis at hotel conference rooms. The speakers are top notch and the price is usually $149.00. Many of their seminar contents are also available on CD. Their CD series on Grammar is intensive - a lot crammed into two CDs, as is their seminar on Effective Business Writing, which I've attended twice (Not that it shows... ).

BTW, many of the " *.* for Dummies" series books are also available CD. I have Green Living for Dummies, which was just OK - a bit over the top for me.

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Check at your library for books on tape, CD's, online downloads etc. All FREE with your library card.

I checkout and download books to my computer and then transfer to my MP3 player.

I didn't mind the books on tape but had to go to the library to get them.

CD's just didn't work for me. MY player wouldn't rewind just a few seconds or minutes but took me all the way back to the beginning of that track. Didn't always want that.

The current method allows me to get books on my time frame. The MP3 player lets me rewind just a few seconds or minutes or all the way to the beginning of a section, whichever I want.

Learn and Enjoy!

-

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Mistake-Free Grammar & Proofreading

CareerTrack

Yeah, I know: I may not be the one to post this one, since I can throw up some pretty horrific posts, when I dare to upload them directly from my phone. (A thousand apologies for that bit of poor judgment).

But, with that confession behind me, This six CD set from CareerTrack is intensive. While you roll down the road it "demystifies the complex world of grammar, word usage, sentence structure, punctuation, and proofreading." It even addresses arguments about such things as divided opinions regarding comma usage, etc. It's a comprehensive review of everything you ever learned and forgot about proper use of the English language. It very clearly lays out proper usage of the colon, semi-colon, comma, hyphen, dash, and literally every other form of punctuation. I can't imagine anyone here listening to the CDs and not admitting that they learned a few things. It's a bit pricey at $89.00, but I'm very glad I listened to it. In fact, it's about to get listened to again this week. [:-graduat

PS. I can't say enough good things about CareerTrack. They cater to professionals and large corporations - a virtual library of everything needed to move forward in a career. And, since Mike O is obsessed with us buying into the fact that we're professionals, CareerTrack.com is a good place to peruse, when a professional brush up is what you have a yearn for. I've attended about five of their seminars, which are outstanding and affordable, and sent my kids to a couple of them, as well.

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Einstein

Author: Walter Issacson

This is not a book for the casual reader/listener. It's 18 CDs worth of book. I had no idea that Einstein was so much more than the alleged scatter-brained genius. He was far from that. He had views about many subjects including politics and philosophy.

Hiroshima

Author: John Hersey, Sam Sloan

The descriptions of all that happened prior to, at the instant and after the detonations of "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" are chilling. Few know that before those two bombs were dropped, incendiary bombs were dropped that, due to the almost all wood construction of most cities in Japan at that time, caused massive fire storms - tornado-like in nature that behaved very much like the second phase of an atomic bomb. These fires were so hot that only those able to retreat to a river survived, and were still badly burned by the extreme heat alone. Some of the scenes are beyond belief regarding both the shock and misery of most, and the miraculous sparing of random folks who should have been wasted but just happened to be at the right place at the right time to avoid the worst.

The book is an assembly of letters from and interviews with survivors. Some of the accounts are from missionaries that were living on the island at the time.

Equally interesting are letters from Japanese readily admitting that the two bombs were indeed necessary, as the Japanese would have faithfully fought on to the last man.

It's a very good read or listen.

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  • 1 year later...

I no longer spend money on CDs, but have found it far more affordable to simply download books onto my android phone from audible.com.

Here are the latest books I've listened to and thoroughly enjoyed:

The Civil War: A Narrative, Volumes I, II & III

Author: Shelby Foote

This is the most thorough and pretty descriptive accounts of both the politics and tactics of the Civil War - all offered in chronology. Some of the information about Abraham Lincoln is interesting.

In The Hands of Providence - Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War

Author: Alice Rains Trulock

Joshua Chamberlain - A hero's Life and Legacy

John J. Pullen

This is an account of the entire life of Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain who, to my surprise, was instrumental in many more battles than Gettysburg. Joshua was living proof that quick thinking decisive leadership of troops was not limited to graduates of West Point or VMI. Many times during the Civil War, Joshua did the improbable, if not the impossible - often specifically asked to do so by his superiors, who knew that if anyone could lead troops against overwhelming odds, Joshua could.

Consequently, more than once he spent a night among the dead and dying - trapped in no man's land between the two armies after being the spear head of Union attacks.

He was wounded several times and returned to duty as soon as possible every time. After the war, he returned to his job as a college professor at Bowdin College, and finally died from complications of his wounds at a grand old age.

Memoirs of General William T. Sherman

Still listening to it...

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Thank you for posting the information. You've got me greatly interested in figuring how to spend more useful time while on the road.

What's the best way you've found to get the audio books? Do you purchase from Amazon? Barnes and Noble? Audiobook.com?

We get our books and audio books at our local library book sale which takes place a few times each year. We also look for audio books at yard sales. I love to read hard cover books but hate to pay the price and the library sales fill the bill.

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  • 4 months later...

I don't do CDs anymore, I download directly from audible.com to my phone, and play it via my bluetooth speaker on the visor.

Latest really good book: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America ~Timothy Egan

What a great book! It tells of the beginning or the US Forest Service - back when the government, contrary to Teddy's wishes, treated the Service like a step-child, since timber was big business. The fire was the largest wild fire in American history (3.2 MIL acres burned across three states, and 89 firefighters lost their lives. The smoke stretched 1000 miles at one time reaching up 3000 feet.

Congress tried to pass the buck (downplaying the fact that they never adequately funded the Service to do their job, because saw it as in the way of big business - timber.), claiming that if the forests had been privately managed (clear-cut for the timber), the fire never would have been so devastating. The surviving Rangers, never were compensated a dime for their injuries (burns, blindness, etc. and none of them received any type of award or recognition. The government really turned it's back on them. In the end, they doubled the budget for the Service. But that was it.

The accounts of heroism and death are amazing and sad. It made the movie Backdraft, seem like a little kitchen fire.

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The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted ~T. Colin Campbell

This one is a SHOCKER! It reveals that MOST chronic disease can be arrested and often reversed through drastic changes in diet (elimination of animal protein). The author is a pretty well known nutritional scientist, who was the director of the China Study, and also did countless other studies with NIH, MIT, Cornell and the National Cancer Institute: his findings - animal protein is the common denominator in most forms of cancer, heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, and more.

He was actually able to "turn on and off" cancer merely by introducing or taking away animal protein.

Bottom line: Going Vegan reduces your risk for cancer and heart disease, by probably 70%

As an example: in one of his studies he took a group of elderly patients, who had all suffered heart event (angina, heart attacks, etc.) In the past ten years, between them all they had 380 events. He put them on a strict vegan diet, and in the next ten years none of them ever had another event!

He closes by exposing how medical colleges are heavily funded by pharmaceutical and medical device companies, so no one wants diet to be the key player in health.

Bottom line: The medical industry would rather cut on you or medicate you, rather than tell you that if you change your diet, they won't have to. There is too much money involved.

Ya gotta read this one. It's a shocker. The evidence is iron clad, offered to you first had, by the scientist that conducted the studies.

PS: I am giving it a whirl for a while. I have purged my home of salt, oil, meats, dairy. Consequently, in seven days I have lost seven pounds. I went in for blood work. When the doctor learned that I am following the author's diet, she was happy - telling me that everything in the book is true, but doctors won't tell you about it, because no one really follows through on the diet, and consequently ends up worse than before, since they went off their meds. In my case, she assured me that if I followed through, I could throw away my cholesterol medicines and my blood pressure medicine. I would no longer need them.

For the record, I am less tired in the evenings, and what little joint pain I had is GONE! I'm a pretty sold camper right now...

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Largely true, but with caveats for individual's specifics. I'm aware of a few folks that have the same problems as before, but several more that don't.

One of the most startling things one notices upon returning from China is the extreme lard ass American body type. There are no fat people in China except the young children of the upwardly mobile. None.

My friends that have completely eliminated dairy from their diets are most remarkable; they literally look different. Things like sinus problems or bronchial ailments disappear. Fat disappears.

The Chinese hate cheese; won't eat it.

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The author mentions cheese: He states that the consumption of cheese in America has increased a whopping 193% in ten years, which is alarming. He says cheese is a definite killer: Cows milk is designed to turn a 150 lb. calf into a 1200 beast. Multiply milk's content several times over to arrive at cheese - not good...

He has figured out that infants weened off of mother's milk and onto cow's milk too early are big time candidates for diabetes in the future. And, kids that develop early - increased breast cancer.

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Doctors in America don't recommend the vegan diet because their patients will find another doctor that will prescribe a medicine for them. Americans don't want to give up meat/dairy.

I gave it up last December except for an occasional serving of meat and usually a little cheese in my salad. I've gone from 185-190 to 175 since then despite eating as much as I can. I've always had a very stable body weight so this was a shocker for me. I'll never go back to a regular diet.

Marc

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Doctors in America don't recommend the vegan diet because their patients will find another doctor that will prescribe a medicine for them. Americans don't want to give up meat/dairy.

I gave it up last December except for an occasional serving of meat and usually a little cheese in my salad. I've gone from 185-190 to 175 since then despite eating as much as I can. I've always had a very stable body weight so this was a shocker for me. I'll never go back to a regular diet.

Marc

All this is why the medical world calls diabetes, heart disease and cancer diseases of the affluent. And, it is why us rich folk live longer today, not because our bodies are doing better but rather because of meds, pace-makers, etc.

Poor countries where folks eat a mostly plant-based diet, folks die of more normal diseases: pneumonia, AIDS, flu, etc., but not heart attacks, diabetes and cancer.

Our freedom to eat anything and everything we want comes at a high price - an earlier death than we were designed for.

I hear ya, Bill! I LOVE a nice juicy medium rare steak, but the prospect of shedding about $200.00 per month in drugs that are not good for my liver, no joint pain, and the reversal of arterial plaquesounds pretty good. I'll remember the good steaks I've had for a few extra years this way.

And, I am particularly amazed at a reduction in inflammation - that I did not even know I had, until I got on this diet. Now it is pretty obvious that I was dealing with some joint inflammation that was affecting my range of motion and and causing some minor annoying pain - all gone...

By the way, autopsies reveal that even American CHILDREN have the beginnings of hear disease (arterial plaque). Now that's sad...

READ THIS BOOK. It's a shocker, and the data is undeniable.

I literally "burned the ship" on the vegan shore: went through every cupboard and filled the trash can with everything that: had salt as an ingredient; every meat product; every oil (empty calories - no nutrients whatsoever); and every refined food. Then I filled the cabinets wish all the dash seasonings (salt-free), non-wheat grain hot cereals, fruits, veggies; etc.

I am now down from 206 to 198 in eight days and blood pressure has dropped from 130/89 to 116/69! I can already come off of my blood pressure medicine if the readings hold steady. The Dr. warned that I might NEED to get of that med quickly, if the diet works well, so I don't pass out. [:-hspin]

As a funny side note: Now, instead of butter, I give some of my cooked veggies a little saltiness with chicken stock, which works very well. But, last night I put the fork from the pasty chicken stock in my mouth, figuring "Oh, what the heck." The saltiness of it knocked me for a whollup, I literally could not swallow it and had to find the sink and spit it out. I was amazed that a week ago I would have swallowed it and said, "Mmm..." and now it was over-powering! Funny how easily we adjust...

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For anyone curious: My blood pressure has dropped from 130/89 to 111/67, which gets me off blood pressure medicine.

My cholesterol is down from168/80 to 87/87, which drops me from a Level III risk with Anthem to a Level I. That is a savings in premium of about $175/m

I have a lot more energy, and all joint pain is GONE - HISTORY! Pretty cool

$200.00 of medicine has been eliminate - all just by changing what I eat.

That's a net savings of almost $400.00 just by minding "what" I eat, and the cool thing: no calorie or carb counting needed, eat all of the plant based food (leafy greens, nuts, beans, seeds) you wish. Avoid oil (calorie dense with zero nutrition), animal products like meats and dairy (also calorie dense with very few nutrients and also a common denominator in most cancers - a catalyst), wheat based stuff (allergy prone), sugar, and salt.

Needless to say, I am thrilled.

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