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IthacaNancy

ratings
234
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Joel Salatin
    • Narrated By Joel Salatin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (391)

    From farmer Joel Salatin's point of view, life in the 21st century just ain't normal. In Folks, This Ain't Normal, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love.

    Erin says: "Sometimes preachy, but informative"
    "Interesting Viewpoint - Sadly Polarized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The last few chapters about inheritance and tax policy, anti-tax, anti-government mandates, etc. . . . it all got a bit too out there for me. I can see that the problems Mr. Salatin raised may have some validity in some cases, but the answer to people suffering from problems related to obesity is not to end health insurance (apparently so we don't have to pay for other people's weaknesses). I want the freedom to eat and drink the foods I choose - like raw milk - and I see my choices as part of my desire to return to a healthier, more localized economy. But for me that doesn't mean discarding the federal system.

    Also, he contends that allowing women apprentices on the farm jeopardizes the farm because there is nothing to stop the female apprentices from accusing someone on the farm of sexual abuse - that seems just ridiculous! Would he expect his wife (or daughters) to randomly charge someone with sexual abuse? What does his expectation say about his view of women? It was degrading to listen to this section.


    Would you recommend Folks, This Ain't Normal to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, with reservations. His experiences recovering a poor piece of land and turning it into a productive ecosystem is a great vision of how small farms can succeed without resorting to the unsustainable practices of agribusinesses. His very socially conservative, libertarian viewpoints were a struggle to listen through.


    Could you see Folks, This Ain't Normal being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I'd like to see a documentary about the practices Mr. Salatin uses on his farm. I would hope the more polarizing political opinions could be avoided. Yes, we need to change farm policy - along with many other things, but that wasn't why I listened to this book and I think it would detract from the larger message - we need to find ways to live more sustainably.


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Les Miserables

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (562)
    Story
    (572)

    Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

    Kathryn says: "one happy insomniac"
    "Painful Narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator sounds like he is bored with the story and drags it along miserably. I wanted to listen to the unabridged version, and I suffered through on the strength of the writing, occasionally searching to see if there wasn't someone else who had narrated the book. Sadly there wasn't at the time. Now there is a new translation with a new narrator and it is getting very good reviews. I will buy that one and listen again.

    On the other hand, an acquaintance heard me complain about it and she listened to him, saying he just sounded like an upper class Brit . . . so maybe my American expectations have colored my review. Sample both versions and see what you think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2931)
    Performance
    (1732)
    Story
    (1738)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Seemed Like Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just didn't enjoy this book. I did appreciate the presentation of the history of the area, but it was just not that interesting and definitely did not feel like an honest memoir of this person's early life to me. I listened to it a couple of years ago, so I'm sorry I can't say more about it, but I remember it as being pretty self absorbed, macho, and unrealistic. As a first novel, maybe it is fine, but I couldn't give it the enthusiastic reviews I've read from others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Afterlife and Other Stories

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Updike
    • Narrated By John Updike
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    A fantastic short story collection from critically acclaimed and bestselling author John Updike.

    IthacaNancy says: "Be Aware, It's An Abridged Edition"
    "Be Aware, It's An Abridged Edition"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read the unabridged book and remembered stories I wanted to hear again for next month's book group discussion. I downloaded the book from my iPhone, and didn't see that it was an abridged edition. This version is very nice, but it leaves out at least two of the stories I really liked.

    I enjoyed listening to the stories in this collection, just know that you are missing some of the best if you don't also read the unabridged version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Marcus J. Borg
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    World-renowned Jesus scholar Marcus J. Borg shows how we can live passionately as Christians in today's world by practicing the vital elements of Christian faith. For the millions of people who have turned away from many traditional beliefs about God, Jesus, and the Bible, but still long for a relevant, nourishing faith, Borg shows why the Christian life can remain a transforming relationship with God. Emphasizing the critical role of daily practice in living the Christian life, he explores how prayer, worship, Sabbath, pilgrimage, and more can be experienced as authentically life-giving practices.

    connie says: "book worth rediscovering for both head and heart"
    "An Illuminating Discussion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking forward to this book, as someone who once believed in the kind of "traditional" literalist Christianity, but who no longer finds that approach meaningful. Mr. Borg does a good job of explaining how we can understand the concepts that trip up many of us. His historical and philosophical explanations were convincing, and I could agree with things up to a point. But his personal faith and his experience of God/the Other/ the More . . . didn't compel me to want to experience this with others in a social situation.

    On some level I must have expected that this discussion might 'bring me back to the fold'. Instead, I felt more like I was confirmed that I could lead just as meaningful and satisfying a life outside of any organized religion or belief in a transcendent factor. I'll read more books from the Jesus Seminar, since I've listened to John Dominic Crossain and John Shelby Spong speak and enjoyed their perspectives. I might listen to this book again in the future if I want to go further with his thoughts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Patricia Highsmith
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (749)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (648)

    In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal, but he grows enraged by Dickie's ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante.

    Darwin8u says: "A high-wire, high-risk, high-reward masterpiece"
    "Understated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator does a very nice job. The story is understated, carrying the chill of Tom Ripley's lack of empathy and connection very well. I look forward to listening to other books in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4329)
    Performance
    (2790)
    Story
    (2819)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Fun Insights Into Evil/Good In Modern Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed listening to this story. It got a little crazy toward the end and I enjoyed it less, but the characters of the demon and the angel were nicely presented and humorous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4173)
    Performance
    (3642)
    Story
    (3610)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Good Narration, Just Not Enough Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed moments of this title. Some of the insights and the writing is really interesting and beautiful. But I got pretty itchy for the story to 'go somewhere' - things happened, but it was nearly impossible for me to put them into a story that made sense. Maybe in 'Literature' story is old-fashioned and has too much mass market appeal to be valued, but when I read reviews that suggested that the story never really had a very satisfactory resolution, I gave up. Maybe someday I'll return to it, but there is just too much else to enjoy for me to give that many days of my life to listening to 1Q84 for so little return.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Anthony Bourdain
    • Narrated By Anthony Bourdain
    Overall
    (3653)
    Performance
    (1562)
    Story
    (1556)

    Last summer, The New Yorker published chef Anthony Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Now, the author uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable audiobook, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike.

    Holly says: "Kitchen Confidential"
    "Way Too Macho"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Anthony Bourdain and/or Anthony Bourdain?

    No, I usually finish books, but this one was way too macho for me - too much talk of knives and macho posing. Maybe if I'd stuck with it or knew him from another setting, I would have enjoyed it. I gave it a real try though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1219)
    Performance
    (1044)
    Story
    (1055)

    Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.

    Darwin8u says: "Mantel Pulls the History out of the History"
    "Great Continuation of Wolf Hall"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bring Up the Bodies to be better than the print version?

    I haven't tried the print version but I really enjoyed listening to Simon Vance as the narrator.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character was quite interesting. He had many skills and insights and didn't allow the hostility of the rest of the court to keep him from succeeding as an advisor to Henry VIII.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've enjoyed everything I've heard Simon Vance read


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! I had to work at controlling my regret at my husband's intrusion into my listening time!


    Any additional comments?

    I want more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2039)
    Performance
    (1296)
    Story
    (1303)

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

    S. Marie says: "A unique perspective of history"
    "Engrossing Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Wolf Hall?

    I found myself quite interested in the main character and the times he lived in.


    Who was the most memorable character of Wolf Hall and why?

    The main character was a complex person with an interesting past, gradually revealed. The class differences, financial dealings, the dangers of being on the wrong side of the officially accepted belief structure - they all contributed to an story that kept my interest.


    Any additional comments?

    I was happy to be able to listen to Bring Up the Bodies right after finishing Wolf Hall. I would like to listen to more books by Hilary Mantel on this subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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