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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.

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15
  • "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.

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    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
    (1322)
    Performance
    (1105)
    Story
    (1102)

    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 julia's Bookshelf

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3 REVIEWS / 3 ratings 2 Followers / Following 0
 
julia's greatest hits:
  • The Complete Wizard of Oz Collection: All 22 Stories

    "22 books in 10 files with NO list whatsoever!!"

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    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It's absolutely ridiculous --- they don't even tell you the names of the 22 books included anywhere! What is worse -- in order to find a book... you have to know to look for it... and then search the 10 downloads for the book you want. (Which I suppose you should psychically divine before scanning the 10 downloads to find it!! VERY UNPROFFESSIONAL, AUDIBLE!! The least you could do is list which stories are in which download!!


Isia

Isia Pretoria, South Africa 04-28-11 Member Since 2011
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26
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48
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  • "A Classic!"

    3 of 3 helpful votes

    This book is wonderful, and it was very well narrated and easy to follow, even for my 5-year old troublemaker. After seeing it on film, in various productions, hearing it again in its unabridged format brought back to me the whole story, in all the richness of detail that no movie can portray. I think this book is particularly suitable in Audible format.

    More

    The Secret Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • Narrated By Vanessa Maroney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (127)

    This is the story of Mary and her friends and a garden which had been locked away for 10 years.

    Penny says: "Magical Storytelling"

What's Trending in Kids:

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UNABRIDGED) by Gayle Forman Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    If I Stay

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
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    Performance
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    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.

    Jill says: "Loved it!"
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    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    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.

    far_to_go says: "Annoying music"
  • Percy Jackson's Greek Gods (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Jesse Bernstein

    Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    "A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, 'Can we do this anonymously?' Because I don't need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week." So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic - and sarcastic asides - to the classics.

    Gillian's Mommy says: "Interesting and funny"
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    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Katherine Borowitz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future until she is spared by the all-powerful Council of Guardians. Kira is a gifted weaver and is given a task that no other community member can do. While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world and see what places exist beyond.

    Stephanie says: "Hard to stop listening!"
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  • Pollyanna (






UNABRIDGED) by Eleanor H. Porter Narrated by Rebecca Burns

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    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Eleanor H. Porter
    • Narrated By Rebecca Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
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    Pollyanna, an expert at her favorite "Glad Game" of always looking at the bright side in her numerous trials, is one of the most popular and enduring characters in all of children's literature.

    Joseph R says: "Redefining Pollyanna"
  • Wonder (






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

    Wonder

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    • By R. J. Palacio
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    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.

    Jay says: "A Beautiful Story"
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia (






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    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
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    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!"
  • Messenger (






UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by David Morse

    Messenger

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Six years earlier, Matty had come to Village as a scrappy and devious little boy. Back then, he liked to call himself "the Fiercest of the Fierce." But since that time, Matty has grown almost into a man under the care of Seer, a blind man whose special sight had earned him the name. Now Matty hopes that he will soon be given his true name, and he hopes it will be Messenger. But strange changes are taking place in Village.

    A User says: "we'll remember this one forever!"
  •  
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 (






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

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    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"
  • A Wrinkle in Time (






UNABRIDGED) by Madeleine L'Engle Narrated by Hope Davis

    A Wrinkle in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Madeleine L'Engle
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

    Patricia says: "Thank You for a New Narrator"
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    • By Guy Incognito
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    Filled with fun characters, memorable adventures, and stories that are so much fun to hear, you won't know where your time went (and won't be able to wait before you start listening some more!).

    Tales From the Terrible Scary, Volume One comes with these three stories: "I Sold My Sister on eBay"; "10 Tunnels of Terror"; " World War OMG!".

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    Minecraft Kid's Stories: A Collection of Great Minecraft Short Stories for Children

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 17 mins)
    • By Minecraft Books
    • Narrated By Tristan Wright
    Overall
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    This collection of awesome Minecraft short stories is a must-have for early and young listeners who love Minecraft. Inside you will find many fun short stories. The Bold Thief: RolyPoly is very proud of the fortress he had built far away in a lonely spot. He's glad that there's finally a great place to keep his treasures safe from others! Alas, a bold thief has already started taking his diamonds, emeralds, and other things. How is RolyPoly going to deal with the thief?

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    • UNABRIDGED (29 mins)
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    Jesus of Nazareth is the most important person to have ever walked the Earth. Jesus is God's only son that he sent down from heaven to save the whole of the Earth from it's sins. This is a kid's Bible story that can either be listened to alone or with an adult. Jesus was an amazing man, and this audiobook will give you many of your first Bible lessons. It begins telling you all about the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem surrounded not by riches, but by animals.

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    Nathalia Buttface and the Most Embarrassing Dad in the World

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    • By Nigel Smith
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    At last something laugh-out-loud funny for girls in this hilarious new series from TV and radio comedy writing talent Nigel Smith.The Most Embarrassing Dad in the World was embarrassing Nathalia even before she was born.He went and married Mum, didn't he?Mum's last name was De Montfort.Thanks to Dad she wasn't Nathalia De Montfort.She was Nathalia Bumole."It's pronounced Bew-mow - lay," Dad would tell her patiently, time and again.

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    The Dying of the Light, Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Derek Landy
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    Overall
    (0)
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    The final shocking, heart-wrenching book in the jaw-droppingly stupendous Skulduggery Pleasant series. Valkerie. Darquesse. Stephanie. The world ain't big enough for the three of them. The end will come…The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder.

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    Villainous: Supers of Noble's Green, Book 3

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    • By Matthew Cody
    • Narrated By Matthew Cody
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    The truth about the Super children is finally exposed, and the town of Noble’s Green has created a special boarding school for its superpowered children. That’s where Daniel’s friends are headed, while he - regular kid that he is - is headed to summer school. But all is not well at the Academy for the Extraordinarily Gifted, or in Noble’s Green. A clique of popular kids has taken over the school. And at the same time, vandals have been destroying property all over town, and citizens are beginning to blame their gifted young residents

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    Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Making Money

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Tommy Greenwald
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews, Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    Loveable slacker Charlie Joe Jackson is back. This time he’s trying to devise ways to make money - and fast. Charlie Joe’s weekly allowance just isn’t cutting it and he desperately needs money to buy a Botman, the latest gadget to sweep his middle school. Only catch is, he wants to earn the money by doing the least amount of work possible. After several failed attempts, including a near disastrous day of dog-walking, Charlie Joe hatches a plan to throw his own bar mitzvah (no gifts please - checks only) even though he’s not Jewish.

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    Fancy Nancy and the Fall Foliage

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    • By Jane O'Connor
    • Narrated By Chloe Hennessee
    Overall
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    Fancy Nancy loves fall - the fashion, the weather, and especially the colors of the leaves! As Fancy Nancy helps Mom and Dad rake up, she gets a stupendous idea to do something unique with the most beautiful leaves she has found. Join Nancy as she celebrates the changing of the seasons in this storybook adventure.

  •  
  • Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One (






UNABRIDGED) by Kate DiCamillo Narrated by Arthur Morey

    Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (52 mins)
    • By Kate DiCamillo
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (0)
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    Leroy Ninker has a hat, a lasso, and boots. What he doesn't have is a horse - until he meets Maybelline, that is, and then it's love at first sight. Maybelline loves spaghetti and sweet nothings, and she loves Leroy, too. But when Leroy forgets the third and final rule of caring for Maybelline, disaster ensues. Can Leroy wrestle fate to the ground, rescue the horse of his heart, and lasso loneliness for good?