Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Malala opens her heart, family, neighborhood, religion, history and culture to our understanding in her simple, insightful voice. Nurtured as an equal by her educator father she started as a young child to advocate education for street children. As the Taliban invaded her beloved Swat Valley and closed girls schools, she became the face and voice of the girls in open defiance of their rulings. Did you know she has been nominated for the Noble Peace prize? I didn't. I couldn't put this book down and it helped me to understand the Pakistani view of recent historical events such as the war in Afghanistan and the killing of Ben Ladin. After reading I did an internet search and watched videos of her talks and "liked her" on her Facebook page which has pictures of the school, her family and valley. What a wonderful young woman - who made a difference and will continue to do so. This book is a keeper, I will read again.
Dr. Reilly has distilled a life time of his knowledge, experience and insight into this enlightening and engaging book about health care. Although full of interesting experiences from his practice, this is not similar to a James Herriot book... you have to think and process... he has many messages that need saying in todays world. I will also mention here that his account weaves like a macramé and if you don't listen closely you will miss threads that you really need to remember - I re-wound multiple times to get back into gear.
I've been a nurse about as long as "Brenden" has been a doctor and his writing is truth, not sugar coated... I have been right there facing the same challenges. He has expressed the things I would like to tell my aging parents, siblings and children (most especially the son with the MD behind his name) in a way I never could. There are no pat answers found here, rather he shares stories that raise questions and cause you to think about "your doctor," family, choices, guilt, aging, death, resources, quality of life and the bizarre practice of medicine in the United States.
So very glad to have found this book.
I remember watching national news as Elizabeth was rescued... hoping her family could help her heal, but so afraid she would be forever scarred. I couldn't put this book down, as she with dignity, grace and humor, has opened her heart and the story of her 9 months captivity and the many miracles that allowed her return home. I had read the news and magazines, but much of the information presented was brand new to me... and so many of my questions were answered.
I worried about the audio, as so many writers make awful narrators... but she did fantastic and listening to her voice made me feel as if I know her. I worried that it would be too graphic or violent, but a simple "then he raped me," is as graphic as it gets. I was worried she would be forever scarred... and instead wept with joy as she described her gratitude, healing and the service she gives helping others to heal.
Thank you Elizabeth - this book moved me deeply!
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
It is a given that if you love animals or have interest in conservationism, you will enjoy this book, but I honestly doubt there are many people that would not really be delighted with this true story of a man who makes a special connection with a herd of elephants in order to save their lives. Lawrence Anthony calls up vivid images of his preserve, Thula Thula, to the point that you feel that you have been there and the combination of his efforts to save the wild animals, the adventures and misadventures of his three canine companions, and the strange political climate he must maneuver through make this narrative as action packed and fast paced as any adventure novel. The real life characters, both animal and human, that populate this book are all unique and interesting and I ached to know the rest of their stories when the book ended. Anthony works hard to try to understand the underlying motivations of the humans and the animals he works with and has some surprising insights into elephants, dogs, rhinos, snakes, plants, and people scattered throughout the narrative. This would be a fascinating tale coming from anyone, but the book is so well written with imagery that effortlessly calls up the characters and the settings in your mind and made me want to want to listen without pause.
In addition, Simon Vance gives a truly masterful performance. His voice is quite pleasant anyway, but he really takes "ownership" of this book and I felt like I was listening to the author himself tell me of his personal adventure.
I don't give many 5 stars, but I have no reservations with this book - it's first rate all the way. I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 10. (There are some scenes in the book that would be a bit traumatic for young children, but older children will love the book as much as adults.)
One Note to Animal Lovers: As an animal lover myself, I am always attracted to books about the animal kingdom and also always hesitant to read them because I hate to read about any mistreatment of animals. This book does have its difficult moments, but the overarching feel of this story is so very positive and has so many interesting insights about the natural world that I think you will find it is worth reading and will leave you inspired and not depressed.
Discovering Lawrence Anthony within months of his death (March 2012) makes me hope that Audible will make his other books available at some point in the near future.