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Sharon

Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 84 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • The Story of Music

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Howard Goodall
    • Narrated By Howard Goodall
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Accompanies BBC2's major new TV series and The Story of Music in 50 Pieces on Radio 3. Music is an intrinsic part of everyday life, and yet the history of its development from single notes to multi-layered orchestration can seem bewilderingly specialised and complex. In his dynamic tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop, Howard Goodall does away with stuffy biographies, unhelpful labels and tired terminology.

    Sharon says: "Disappointing"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Since this was a book about music and it was an audio copy, AND a tv series exists, the book should have been illustrated with musical excerpts. How can one relate to theoretical information about the structure and development of music, without auditory examples? Very, very disappointing.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Howard Goodall again?

    No -


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tandia

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1418)
    Performance
    (846)
    Story
    (852)

    Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only sixteen when she is first brutalized by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives.

    Thomas Andrews says: "Thanks for this wonderful collaboration"
    "In the Desert a Flower Grows"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Tandia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed Tandia very much and it ranks highly among the stories I've listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Apart from getting involved in the characters of the story, I was interested in the depiction of the social context (South Africa) of the story, including the draconian laws that governed and impacted every aspect of life for all the people of the country, the White oppressors as well as the many colored communities.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey Bower read the book very well, and his characterization was excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    My only 'caveat is that the book does not tie up all the pieces and leaves one hoping for a sequel which will take up the story through the fall of apartheid and the cataclysmic changes of its aftermath. How does Tandia's story end? What happens when the Blacks realize their freedom to participate fully in the management of their country? This is an exciting story that would have been well told by author Bryce Courtney - and I wish that he'd done so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Medieval World

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dorsey Armstrong
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (180)

    Far from being a time of darkness, the Middle Ages was an essential period in the grand narrative of Western history. But what was it like to actually live in those extraordinary times? Now you can find out.These 36 lectures provide a different perspective on the society and culture of the Middle Ages: one that entrenches you in the daily human experience of living during this underappreciated era.

    Dr. Cosens-Hellstrom says: "Excellent introduction to Medieval History!"
    "A Good Overview of the Medieval World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Medieval World to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the printed version - nor would I. I imagine this could be a very dry subject unless told in an entertaining way, which Professor Dorsey does well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Medieval World?

    I enjoyed the discussion about Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and all the chapters about the daily life of people in the medieval world.


    Any additional comments?

    FiIrstly, I enjoyed and learned from the book. However, I was disappointed to find that the history and contribution of the Jews during this period was almost entirely overlooked except with reference to the frequent violent pogroms against them. While the medieval period was in some senses a dark period of history, for the Jews it was a Golden Age, particularly in Spain before the Inquisition. In the discussion of the development of medicine, no mention was even made of the contributions of Maimonides and in the discussion of the development of the silk trade, nothing was said about the Italian Jews, who certainly contributed to this advancement. Nor was there mention of the Jewish role played in trade. Finally, while the Jews were not part of the Feudal system in Europe, they most certainly lived in these countries, enjoying a unique social mobility and they provided significant services to the community, notably to the Nobility. In short, their valuable contribution to this history, is completely overlooked and I can't understand why.On a different point entirely, it would be helpful a) if the chapter headings were given in the list of chapters provided and also if important names were written because it was usually not possible to discern exactly the name of the historical figures alluded to. In itself and notwithstanding, it is a helpful and informative text, well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (491)
    Story
    (482)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
    "Excellent Lectures, Thoroughly Enjoyed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition the most enjoyable?

    Professor Greenberg's lectures cover an incredible scope and make the history of Western music comprehensible. I learned an enormous amount and understood concepts e.g. 'key' and 'circle of 5ths' that I'd never completely understood before. Prof. Greenberg brought the composers to life and introduced me to many I barely knew and I enjoyed the many anecdotes he shared about the personal lives of the great composers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Professor Greenberg - for his erudition, his passion and his playfulness. I so enjoyed his lectures that I have now purchased another series.


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

    Well, yes - it certainly kept my interest and I looked forward to my daily listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Female of the Species

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lionel Shriver
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    World-famous anthropologist Gray Kaiser has almost everything. She is brilliance, self-sufficient, and beautiful. But at 59, one thing is still missing from her life. She has never been in love. Her assistant Errol McEchern has loved her for many years, but she doesn't know.

    Ginette says: "unusual subject.. yet interesting"
    "Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Female of the Species better?

    I didn't find the story interesting.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Lionel Shriver again?

    Probably - but I will be careful what I choose.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was okay.


    Any additional comments?

    THere were times that I felt like returning the book and getting a credit. After reading So Much For That, which I found brilliant, I approached The Female of the Species, with excitement and anticipation of a good read. But I was disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ari Shavit
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (278)

    Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.

    Chaim says: "Important book; unfortunate narration"
    "A Must Read For Anyone Fascinated by the Miracle o"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up My Promised Land in three words, what would they be?

    miracle
    challenging
    dynamic


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ari Shavit, the author, who pulls together the story of modern Israel from a multidimensional perspective and leaves the reader with a sense of excitement, fascination and confidence.


    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Paul Boehmer reads the story with enthusiasm, sincerity and just the right intonations.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when author Shavit brings all the varied currents he has elucidated, together, revealing the incredible miracle of modern day Israel and Israelis, he brought tears of admiration and incredible pride, to my eyes.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish that everyone would read this wonderful book, and especially for anyone who is Jewish , Ari Shavit writes with such depth and intelligence, making sense of a highly complex and challenging situation, and he does so in an interesting and easily readable way. At times his writing is sheer poetry. If you want to gain a real insight into the Israeli psyche, you can do no better than to read Ari Shavit's book: Israel, The Promise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12296)
    Performance
    (11137)
    Story
    (11162)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "The Goldfinch - An Amazing Story, Well Told."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Great plot, characterization, pace.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What made this story most especially interesting was that its main character was a very floored and complex individual who got into some very bad things, but was poignant, human and loveable. It was a story about the the unpredictability of life and how the only choice one may have, is how to live it. It is this which gives the story such great humanity.


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

    No, it was my first listening of a David Pittu performance and I'd love to hear him read more. His management of the different characterizations was simply amazing.


    If you could take any character from The Goldfinch out to dinner, who would it be and why?


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, let me know when new books by Donna Tartt become available!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Santini

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (296)

    Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine -- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son.

    cort says: "an excellent book"
    "A Long Charcter Sketch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I did not enjoy it and didn't finish 'reading' it.It reads like a long, overly detailed character sketch about an unusual and not very likeable, character. But there's no real plot or development - quite unlike Conroy's later books which are wonderfully constructed and resonant with plots, surprises and characters who grow and develop.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Pat Conroy again?

    Yes.


    What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

    Dick Hill's performance was great - it was all that saved the book and made me read on for some while.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, I got impatient with the book and looked at the movie.I didn't enjoy it all that much but at least it told it's story in one sitting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beach Music

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (347)

    Pat Conroy is without doubt America's favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives. Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.

    Ella says: "Memorable"
    "Wonderful Story of the Music of the South"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved this book from beginning to end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Firstly, it's not just one story but a patchwork of many intersecting stories. Reading it is like peeling an onion as the author skillfully uncovers layer after layer and reveals its secrets. The dialogue is brilliant, the stories told with great passion and sincerity and I found myself laughing out loud in some of the scenes and I cried as the author personalized the impact of the holocaust on a Southern family.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the scene of the four friends on the fishing trip, when they find themselves in the grip of terrifying nature and they can do nothing to avoid or control. Pat Conroy skillfully reveals levels of character, world view and spirituality in the way the characters endure their trial by water.


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

    Yes, I couldn't put it down and it made me crazy every time my smartphone battery went flat and I had to stop reading till it re-charged.


    Any additional comments?

    In particular I would like to praise the reader of the book. I so enjoyed his beautiful Southern drawl and the way he expressed the different personalities. I would love to read more narrated by Jonathan Marosz.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edmund de Waal
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (440)
    Performance
    (360)
    Story
    (363)

    The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

    Amazon Customer says: "A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi"
    "An Incredible Story of a Jewish Community Before W"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hare with Amber Eyes to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the printed version and I prefer to listen rather than to read. The reader of this book does an excellent job and it was a pleasure to listen to him. He made the book come alive.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hare with Amber Eyes?

    For me, as a Jew, the story had special significance in highlighting the history of the wealthy Jewish community in London, Vienna and Paris before the world wars, and illustrating the dreadful antisemitism which overwhelmed them and sought - for not good reason - to exterminate them. I never knew about such an educated, cultured and wealthy Jewish class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and their incredible contribution to the societies in which they lived, and which despised them simply for their 'otherness'.


    What about Michael Maloney’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed his compassionate voice , his ability to make the different characters come alive - to act out the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was physically upset by the descriptions of the antisemitism and of vileness of the Nazis in the Time of Hitler. I was also upset by the descriptions of how ordinary Germans; so called friends, neighbors; so called decent, cultured people - could stoop to such degradations whether they purported individual acts of savagery themselves, or benefited from the murder of millions of people and their theft and destruction of the property and art treasures that the Ephrussi family amassed and which would have been a gift to mankind.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the first 50 or so pages, quite repetitive and could not understand such a prolonged peon to the arts and artifacts that are so passionately described. The story came alive to me when it moved into greater depth about the Ephrussi families and particular characters - and the circumstances that befell them. The fact that is based on fact, was very interesting to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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