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Darwin8u

Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States Member Since 2011

A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

HELPFUL VOTES
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14
  • "An adventurous hagiography, you kno..."

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    Finished reading this with my kids, but I probably enjoyed it the most. It was a fun introduction to Lawrence of Arabia written by Alstair MacLean in 1962. It focuses on the role that T.E. Lawrence played in the Arab Revolt during WWI. There is just enough wind-up with his early life, character, etc., and the history/geography of Arabia to insure the thrust of MacLean's small biography doesn't lose nonserious readers in a desert of Arab ignorance. But the book's real brilliance is in MacLean's depiction of the Capture of Aqaba, Battle of Tafileh and the Fall of Damascus. At the end, MacLean also ties the book off with a summary of the post-War years and some of the political results of T.E. Lawrence's work with Winston Churchill and the Colonial Office.

    Again, as a biography this is probably not where I would start for T.E. Lawrence. This is more literary hagiography than biography. Alistar MacLean is better known for his war novels like 'The Guns of Navarone' and 'Where Eagles Dare'. MacLean's book came out the same year as Lawrence of Arabia the academy award winning movie (which suggests this was one of those books intended to surf the wave of interest generated by a popular film). But still, if you are going to read one biography to your kids designed around a legend, saint, or mythmaker ... you could certainly feed the kids worse.

    More

    Sterling Point Books: Lawrence of Arabia

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Alistair Maclean
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    Best-selling author and screenwriter Alistair MacLean follows Lawrence as he breaks with tradition to live with Arabs and, using modern-day guerrilla tactics, helps them defeat the Turks and gain an independent state. In addition to the enthralling details of the campaign, MacLean provides valuable insight into the origins of the Middle East we know today.

    Darwin8u says: "An adventurous hagiography, you know, for kids!"
  • "An Ode to Youth and the Books of Youth"

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    Just finished this with the kids. I remember reading this with my mother when I was 10. It is a nice generational conveyance. When I was young, the STORIES of Tom and Huck affected me the most. Now, however, it is Twain's language that touches me. I love how Tom's life and play is impacted by the adventure books he reads. One day Tom is animated by a bounty of pirates, the next day by a shadow of robbers, and everyday Tom's vocabulary and actions are endowed with the books of his youth. 'Tom Sawyer' is just as much an ode to his youth as it is a poesy to the adventure books of a more tender age.

    More

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    The name "Tom Sawyer" is synonymous with the adventures of boyhood. Bold and clever, Tom gets into and out of trouble with an ease many listeners will envy. A story beloved by children, it also has relevance for adults. Twain's beloved classic of growing up in Midwest America is as popular today as when it was first published in 1876.

    Tad Davis says: "Nostalgic fairy tale, but at times quite dark"
  • "One of the Greatest Fantasy Novels ..."

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    *** First a preamble:

    Just so you know, this audiobook contains Books 1 -4 of The Once and Future King AND Book #5 (The Book of Merlin). I didn't know #5 was included, but was thrilled to discover it came with the rest.

    *** OK, preambulations are done, on with the real review:

    I loved it and my two brats (11 & 13) absolutely enjoyed it, even if many of the jokes, the funky anachronistic blending of the Medieval with the Modern, might have floated a bit over their tiny wee heads.

    Anyway, I think White perfectly captured the magic, power, fears and the joy of both youth and myth with this retelling of early Arthurian legend. White's theme of power and justice ("Might Makes Right") seem to perfectly capture the political Zeitgiest of now. Perhaps, White like Merlin was just writing through time backwards and wanted to capture the queer contradictions of Imperial Democracy in the global 21st century, but wanted to write it in the 1930s so Disney would be around to animate it (ugh) in the 60s and thus make his point resonate better in the early 21st century.

    You might think a novel that basically focuses on a love-triangle (a quadrilateral if you include God), several affairs, a man's struggle between his love for a woman, love for God, love for his best friend, would not hold the interest of a 13 and an 11-year old for long, but this is T.H. White. The characters are so human, so filled with frailties, heroics, and insecurities that White could have written about cooking for 300 pages and my kids would have been rapt from page 1 to the end.

    The story turns, about half-way through, solidly to Lancelot. It is impossible to understand Lancelot without looking at Arthur, Guinevere, Elaine & Galahad. And White digresses throughout TO&FK to capture these stories. The middle of the book pivots as Camelot, under Arthur's leadership, undergoes a change from physical quests (Round Table v. Might makes Right) to spiritual ones (Round Table > Grail quest). This change captures/mirrors the dynamic of Lancelot's own story (the vacillation between the physical and spiritual).

    Finally, the weight of the conspiracies, the betrayals, the killings, and the expulsions are all there pushing against the King (I love when T.H. White calls Arthur - England) and his faith in man and justice. It just isn't to be. Do I need to hide the ending? Am I going to spoil the book for you? Come now, we are all mostly adults here. Camelot fails, but T.H. White explores the failure almost as beautifully as he does the magic of Camelot. He captures the magic of Camelot by focusing on the humanity of the people. He isn't satisfied with making (or keeping rather) Lancelot, King A, Guinevere, and even Mordred locked up in the stale symbols they often become. The trite shadows of type is not T.H. White's jam. He wants to humanize everybody. He wants to show the motives, the nuances of character that makes the reader LOVE these figures not because they symbolize things like bravery, chivalry, or justice ... but because they remind the reader of elements, times, moods and flaws found buried within. T.H. White started with a fantasy novel, but ended with an exploration of war, humanity, love, and hope.

    Look, I'm skeptical of fantasy novels. They aren't my thing. I want literature. I want something that pushes you against the wall of your own head and dares you to think bigger. I think T.H. White was aiming for that -- and holy anachronisms - he nailed it.

    More

    The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1258)
    Performance
    (1050)
    Story
    (1046)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
  1. Sterling Point Books: Law...
  2. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  3. The Once and Future King
  4. .

A Peek at Craig's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
90
 
Bellbrook, OH, United States 89 REVIEWS / 204 ratings Member Since 2007 75 Followers / Following 0
 
Craig's greatest hits:
  • The Throne of Fire: Kane Chronicles, Book 2

    "Rick is masterful with history and incrporation."

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    If you can get your kids to read these books then you are doing them a favor. These books are just plain fun but they also have many hidden treasures. The books have legends and history and ancient tales for them to read and maybe even remember. These are lessons that may creep up in school. These books have some fun mixed with knowledge. I cannot think of a better thing for a kid than to read for fun and accidentally learn something. The 30 Clues series is the same. Many historical and geographic facts mixed with a fun story.

  • The 39 Clues, Book 1: The Maze of Bones

    "Riordan Rulz"

    Overall

    I cannot say more about Riordan than I will read anything he writes and my kids will also. If he wrote a post-it note list, I might just read that too.

    This is a very cute story and has some great ideas and twists. I just wish he had written the next few books in the series.

  • The Son of Neptune: The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two

    "Riordan is awesome"

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    Performance
    Story

    I am an educated adult and I love Riordan's books. I have read all of his so called children's books. He is a greta writer. I read a novel a week and his books are a fantastic break from my normal readings. I very my topics weekly but I always go back to a few authors. Riordan is on my top list.

  • The Time Paradox: Artemis Fowl, Book 6

    "Colfer is great"

    Overall

    I have read every Fowl book and I am an adult. My son read them until he was TOO OLD haha, and now my daughter reads them. All of us have enjoyed the books. Colfer has a whimsical way of blending fact, fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. He has a knack.
    His stories some how always have a twist or two that keep me guessing and that is why I read his books. I am a continuous reader and can rip a story to shreds because of poor flow, grammer, or just plain poor plot. Colfer can keep me interested to the last word and I love it.
    I am an adult. I am a Cardiac Anesthesiologist. I read constantly and I read Colfer.

    Oh yes and the Time Paradox is a great adition to the Fowl collection.

Deanna

Deanna Lake Dallas, TX 12-01-12 Member Since 2009

Say something about yourself!

HELPFUL VOTES
134
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25
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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4
  • "Not For Sensitive Audiences"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    May contain slight spoilers

    I probably should have researched this book a bit better before diving in. While I really enjoyed the story itself, and found it quite interesting I was not prepared for the amount of death and killing of ponies involved.

    This is a novel based on a real event, a particularly disastrous one; it is the story of an adventure to the south pole, two teams racing to have the glory of being the first man there. One man took dogs the other dogs and ponies. This was written from the point of view of a pony named James Pigg, first from his birth and all the way to his death and the many things that happened to him, primarily in the Arctic wasteland of the most southerly contenent .

    If you are sensitive about real accounts of animals and people dying or being shot to death, you may wish to consider researching the non-fiction story and then deciding whether this would be a good book for you. While I learened a lot from this book and found the story to be fun, it does not have a happy ending.

    More

    The Winter Pony

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Iain Lawrence
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble, Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In The Winter Pony, Iain Lawrence pens the mesmerizing tale of a young white Siberian pony who escapes a group of cruel masters only to enter the company of Englishman Robert Falcon Scott. Joining Scott’s men and their race to the South Pole, the pony is soon given a name, James Pigg, as he and the rest embark on a thrilling race to reach the bottom of the world - a race in which not everyone will survive.

    Deanna says: "Not For Sensitive Audiences"

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Giver (






UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by Ron Rifkin

    The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1632)
    Performance
    (974)
    Story
    (995)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Nikki says: "This guy's mouth makes some serious noises..."
  • If I Stay (






UNABRIDGED) by Gayle Forman Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    If I Stay

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (508)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (287)

    In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck.

    Heidi P :) says: "Loved the story!"
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Jesse Bernstein

    The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3579)
    Performance
    (1724)
    Story
    (1761)

    Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

    Teddy says: "Fun KIDS Book"
  • Wonder (






UNABRIDGED) by R. J. Palacio Narrated by Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd

    Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (890)
    Performance
    (805)
    Story
    (797)

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Regina-Audible says: "Everyone deserves a standing ovation at least once"
  •  
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia (






UNABRIDGED) by C.S. Lewis Narrated by Michael York

    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3515)
    Performance
    (905)
    Story
    (939)

    Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

    Caitlin says: "Great audiobook!"
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher Paolini Narrated by Gerard Doyle

    Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3728)
    Performance
    (1754)
    Story
    (1783)

    Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspiring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems.

    Teddy says: "You see growth in the Author"
  • Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8 (






UNABRIDGED) by Mary Pope Osborne Narrated by Mary Pope Osborne

    Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Mary Pope Osborne
    • Narrated By Mary Pope Osborne
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (242)

    This audio collection includes the first eight stories from The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne; Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, Pirates Past Noon, Night of the Ninjas, Afternoon on the Amazon, Sunset of the Sabertooth, and Midnight on the Moon. Join Jack and Annie in advenutres in time and space!

    Greg Treece says: "Great but has NO chapters or story breaks!"
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Frank Baum Narrated by Anne Hathaway

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1889)
    Performance
    (1750)
    Story
    (1742)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
  •  
  • The Red Pyramid: The Kane Chronicles, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Kevin R. Free, Katherine Kellgren

    The Red Pyramid: The Kane Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Kevin R. Free, Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3385)
    Performance
    (2238)
    Story
    (2242)

    Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants — school friends and a chance at a “normal” life.

    Heather says: "Rick Riordan does it again..."
  • The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Philip Pullman Narrated by Philip Pullman, full cast

    The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4985)
    Performance
    (1505)
    Story
    (1526)

    When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

    Arnold says: "A Terrific Book"
  • El cuento de la tarta y el molde [The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan] (






UNABRIDGED) by Beatrix Potter Narrated by Marina Clyo

    El cuento de la tarta y el molde [The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan]

    • UNABRIDGED (14 mins)
    • By Beatrix Potter
    • Narrated By Marina Clyo
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Costillitas que era una gatita muy educada y había invitado a tomar el té a su amiga Duquesa una perrita muy elegante. Pero Duquesa no estaba muy segura de aceptar la invitación porque creía que su amiga le iba hacer una tarta de ratones, ¡ y no le gustaban nada !Al final Duquesa aceptó la invitación. Pero para asegurarse que podían comer algo que le gustara empezó a preparar una tarta de jamón, con la intención de cambiarla por la tarta de ratones. ¿Y qué creéis que pasó?

  • Kingdom of the Last Dragons: The Farloft Chronicles, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Theresa Snyder Narrated by Mary Sibulsky

    Kingdom of the Last Dragons: The Farloft Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 55 mins)
    • By Theresa Snyder
    • Narrated By Mary Sibulsky
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Healer, Theresa, has returned to the Kingdom after a 10-year journey to the Far East. She brings with her new knowledge of healing and spells unlike anything the Kingdom has seen in the past. James is learning how to fly, which isn't easy, even with newly sprouted dragon wings. Farloft is trying his best to teach James what he needs to know to survive in his new role as a young dragon. But everything will not be all star-fire and smooth dragon flight.

  • Flying High: Glitterwings Academy, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Titania Woods Narrated by Karen Cass

    Flying High: Glitterwings Academy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By Titania Woods
    • Narrated By Karen Cass
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Twink is so excited to be starting her first term at Glitterwings Academy. But she is also a little nervous. Will she make friends? Will she be able to find her way round the huge, dizzying oak tree that is Glitterwings Academy? And, most importantly, will she finally succeed in learning to fly?

  • Lekke the Temple Cat: Horrible Snake: Lekke the Temple Cat, Book 6 (






UNABRIDGED) by DB Stewart Narrated by Ambyr Rose

    Lekke the Temple Cat: Horrible Snake: Lekke the Temple Cat, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By DB Stewart
    • Narrated By Ambyr Rose
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Lekke is wondering why a young monk climbs to the top of the mountain every day. He asks Dumb Dog if he would like to climb with him, then he finds out that a horrible big snake lives at the top of the mountain. Will Lekke be able to face his fear of snakes?

  •  
  • The Tale of Despereaux (






UNABRIDGED) by Kate DiCamillo Narrated by Graeme Malcolm

    The Tale of Despereaux

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kate DiCamillo
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    From the award-winning author Kate DiCamillo comes the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbours a simple, impossible wish. These three characters embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon.

  • The Boy Who Gave up His Dummy: Child Milestones, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Smith Narrated by Jester Publications

    The Boy Who Gave up His Dummy: Child Milestones, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By Mark Smith
    • Narrated By Jester Publications
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This book is a story about a little boy and the path he took to give up his dummy. Giving up something that gives a child comfort can be extremely stressful for them. It's a milestone in their lives that can affect them in many ways. I wanted to produce a book that would help a child get over such a hurdle. The book is aimed at parents who are trying to persuade their young child to give up their dummy (also known as a binky, soother, pacifier or doe-dee), without putting unnecessary stress upon them.

  • Alfie the Unicorn: Escape to Princessland (






UNABRIDGED) by Carine Marius Narrated by Martin Healy

    Alfie the Unicorn: Escape to Princessland

    • UNABRIDGED (54 mins)
    • By Carine Marius
    • Narrated By Martin Healy
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Alfie, with his parents and other unicorns, find themselves and their moon threatened by Princess Gloom and her army of Mors Bulls. Alfie the unicorn, our hero, escapes to earth seeking a Princess to save his world. He arrives full of hope in the colorful and beautiful kingdom of Princessland where he meets the kind Queen of Princessland, the happy Princess Purple and a helpful man called Blinkybeard. Each of them will help Alfie in their own way to succeed in his mission.