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An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

Milwaukie, OR, United States | Member Since 2011


  • Genghis: Birth of an Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Conn Iggulden
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    He was born Temujin, son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the steppe. Temujin's young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts: the betrayal of his father by a neighboring tribe, his family left to die on the harsh plain. But Temujin endured, and from then on, he was driven by a fury to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to conquer enemies from beyond the horizon.

    David says: "Move over Bernard Cornwell"
    "Baby Genghis!"

    I enjoyed this book about the early years of Genghis Khan but not as much as I hoped. Maybe it was because Temujin (as he is called) was so young and it was hard for me to be interested in his early life. I think I will try another of Mr. Iggulden's books before I skip the rest of these. He does write on things I am interested in.

    Stefan Rudnicki was the narrator of this book did a fine job.

    The story revolves around a young Temujin, his mother and his four brothers and baby sister surviving in the wilderness after their father was murdered by rivals.

    Temujin grows as a leader and by the end of the tale he is poised to unite all the tribes under one ruler. There are good fighting scenes and gruesome descriptions of rituals and healings that were par for the course in those days.

    If I was to compare this book with a book by Bernard Cornwell it would not even compare. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I didn't care enough for the characters in this story to give it higher than a three.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Dish: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Award-winning author Craig Johnson's critically acclaimed debut Western mystery takes listeners to the breathtaking mountains of Wyoming for a tale of cold-blooded vengeance. Four high-school boys were given suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now, two of the boys have been killed, and only Sheriff Walt Longmire can keep the other two safe.

    Dataman says: "Not Your Ordinary Western Novel (Series)"
    "A new series that I couldn't put down!"

    This is my first Walt Longmire novel but it certainly won't be my last. Longmire is a widower and sheriff in Apsaroka County in Wyoming. When one of the four men who got a light sentence for raping a mentally handicapped Cheyenne girl turns up dead, he's got a problem on his hands.

    Craig Johnson knows how to write characters, and make you love them. The bad guys are interesting and the story is gripping and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

    The best part of the book is the dry humor of the many characters. There are so many great one-liners in the book that I couldn't keep up with them. One that I remember was when Walt asks his friend Henry Standing Bear, who has been shot, "Pain?" "No, thanks I have enough." Henry answers.

    I understand A&E have a series called "Longmire" based on this series.

    George Guidall does a wonderful job voicing these marvelous characters.

    I look forward to reading more of this author and his Longmire series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 20 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Agatha Christie

    Back in print in an all-new edition is the engaging and illuminating chronicle of the life of the "Queen of Mystery". Fans of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and readers of John Curran’s fascinating biographies Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks and Murder in the Making will be spellbound by the compelling, authoritative account of one of the world’s most influential and fascinating novelists, told in her own words and inimitable style - and here in her own voice. These audio excerpts were dictated by Agatha Christie herself.

    Duane Bolton says: "Authentic recording"
    "The author explains her process!"

    This is not your typical autobiography. It's more of a history on when and why she wrote her different books and plays. The unique thing for this is she reads it herself.

    You can tell she is a very private person because there is little on her personal life in this story. It's really a textbook on how to write a book and how it worked for her.

    For anyone who is a fan of Mrs. Christie's this is a fun book. Miss Marple is NOT her grandmother although a lot of characteristics they share, including a second sense that something is going to happen.

    She also talks about her favorite books she's written: Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (her pseudonym). That particular book she wrote the first chapter, than the last chapter and continued to write it in one day with no sleep. She than slept for 24 hours straight and the next day she read and made very few changes. She said she loved that experience but didn't know she could survive another one.

    This is a good short listen and well worth your time if you are an admirer of her work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Colin Woodard
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent....

    Theo Horesh says: "One of a Kind Masterpiece"
    "American history in a new format!"

    This book has you looking at history and politics in a unique way. The author takes you through the original colonies and who the people involved with them were and how they thought, why they came to America and what their goals were.

    We can see that the people who settled in Jamestown were much different than the Pilgrims of Plymouth. One came here to escape religious persecution and build a paradise on earth while the other came to make money and nation build by conquering the indigenous tribes and further the British Empire. Very different goals and the colonies were on a collision course. It's a wonder that we survived as one nation at all.

    There are 11 different cultures in America all with differing goals and attitudes on what this country stands for. This is an interesting read and takes us from the 1500's to the present day with some future forecasts thrown in for good measure.

    The reason I didn't give it a 5 star was because I think some of the facts were skewed or out and out wrong. The Whiskey Rebellion was one and I will do further research to see if his conclusions are right.

    The narrator does a fine job.

    I do highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of this nation and it's political future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Rufus J. Fears

    Why do "Great Books" continue to speak to us hundreds and even thousands of years after they were written? Can they deepen our self-knowledge and wisdom? Are our lives changed in any meaningful way by the experience of reading them?Tackle these questions and more in these 36 engaging lectures. Beginning with his definition of a Great Book as one that possesses a great theme of enduring importance, noble language that "elevates the soul and ennobles the mind," and a universality that enables it to "speak across the ages," Professor Fears examines a body of work that offers extraordinary wisdom to those willing to receive it.

    Kristi says: "A course that will open you to new ideas."
    "A course that will open you to new ideas."

    This course is about exploring the greatest books ever written that changed the world.
    It also explains why they are great and how they affected those around them. Professor Fears is a great lecturer and always keeps things interesting. Each lecture is around a half hour each so great to listen to on your commute or when you have a short time to devote to the lecture.

    The books per Prof. Fears are:
    1. Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    2. Homer 's Illyiad
    3. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
    4. Bhagavad Gita
    5. Exodus by Moses
    6. The book of Mark in the New Testament
    7. Koran
    8. Gilgamesh
    9. Beowolf
    10. Job
    11. Oresteia by Aeschylus
    12. The Bacchae by Euripides
    13. Phaedo by Plato
    14. The Divine Comedy by Dante
    15. Othello by W Shakespeare
    16. Prometheus Bound
    17. Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn
    18. Julius Caesar by W Shakespeare
    19. 1984 by George Orwell
    20. The Aeneid by Virgil
    21. Gettysburg Address by A Lincoln
    22. Pericles Funeral Speech
    23. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
    24. Confucius
    25. The Prince by Machiavelli
    26. Plato's Republic
    27. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
    28. Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Mallory
    29. Faust Parts One and Two by Goethe
    30. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
    31. Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbons
    32. Lord Acton's History of Liberty
    33. On Duties by Cicero
    34. Autobiography of Mohandas Gandhi
    35. My Early Life, The Second World War series and Painting as a Pastime by Winston Churchill
    The last lecture goes over the books quickly and talks about the lessons taught and that the best way to pursue knowledge is to open your minds and meditate on each book in order to let what the author is trying to tell you sink in.
    I highly recommend this class. It opened up a whole new world to explore for me.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey

    Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.

    Barbara says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "War, Romance and Strong Heroine!"

    I have read this book many times, I have seen the television mini-series several times but this is the first time I listened to it. The narration is strong and the accents are bonza!

    The story is in two separate parts. The first section revolves around women and children captured by the Japanese in Malaysia and because they have no POW camps for them the women are forced to march around the island until more than half die. Jean Paget is the heroine who keeps them all together. Along the way they meet up with Joe Harman an Aussie who is also a prisoner being used as a driver for the Japanese. He goes out of his way to help them and pays dearly for it.

    Through a series of misinformation and false conclusions the two are separated. Meanwhile Jean becomes an heiress and meets with Noel Strahan the lawyer who will be the trustee of her money until she is 35.

    She decides to pay back the village that helped her during the war and from their she goes to Australia.

    I love Nevil Shute's writing and his characters are always believable and human. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I can highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gilded Cages: The Trials of Eleanor of Aquitaine

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ellen Jones
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Jasicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tumultuous. Passionate. Timeless. The marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet was like no other, born of power, politics, and an all-consuming, fiery love. Within two years of their wedding, Henry conquered England and together they ruled a vast kingdom. At first they worked to unify and repair their war-torn lands - before being torn apart by intrigue, adultery, and deadly revenge.

    Dianne says: "Strong woman, who's story should be better known"
    "Eleanor and Henry II of England"

    This book was interesting for the most part. Parts of it dragged especially when Eleanor was imprisoned and other people's stories were at the forefront. I have read several books on Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II. The Lion at Winter is one of my favorite movies.

    The narrator for this book tries to sound like Katharine Hepburn and does a good job. I hated her characterization of Thomas Becket, he was lispy and very wimpish. Not Richard Burton at all.

    The story begins with Eleanor and Henry already a family with Fair Rosamund just around the corner. The author takes a lot of liberties with her death and sorry to say but I can't buy it. This is one reason I can't give it five stars.

    The author does great when describing the complicated relationship between Eleanor and Henry. I have no trouble believing in their love even though both have hurt each other over the years. Wonderful job here!

    The childrens' complicated relationship is handled quite well also. When you have a strong father and mother and no clear outline for your future it's difficult to act responsibly.

    My husband and childrens' bloodline can be traced back to Henry and Eleanor's son John so this is a personal story for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Marci says: "King and Patton create a winning combo"
    "Everyone likes the ice cream man."

    Stephen King gets into the detective/csi business!

    This was a quick (for a Stephen King book) listen in which a retired Detective tries to catch a mass murderer who got away from him the first time. The hero is flawed but very human and we certainly want Bill Hodges to get his man.

    The killer is so creepy that I am tempted to call this a horror story, but not in the usual definition. He loves his mother, and I mean he REALLY loves his mother, so if those kind of things make you cringe, (and who doesn't?) be prepared. We are really pulling for this guy to get his comeuppance and you will have to tell me if you think he did. I have mixed feelings about the ending.

    The various other characters are fun, freaky and real. There are the various "bad" people, but the wonderful thing about this book is the people that some might feel weird are the real heroes in this story. I give King kudos for his drawing of autistic and OCD characters.

    Will Patton is the narrator and he again shines through on his characterizations and nuances to the speech of various people. He is one of my favorite readers.

    Even if you are not a Stephen King fan, say you only like Green Mile or Shawshank Redemption, you will enjoy this book. The master shines again!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nelson Johnson
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna, Terence Winter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From its inception, Atlantic City has always been a town dedicated to the fast buck, and this wide-reachinghistory offers a riveting account of its past 100 year, from the city's heyday as a Prohibition-era mecca of lawlessness to its rebirth as a legitimate casino resort in the modern era.

    Frances says: "I love stories steeped in History"
    "More than Nucky Thompson!"

    I really enjoyed this history of Atlantic City on which parts of the HBO show is based. The early years of getting a city built were quite interesting and the fact that the city was never an uncorrupted town. It was so out of the way that the only way to get everyday people to come was to have 4 different railroads and gambling and entertainment.

    The locals determined that these hardworking people wanted to let loose and they decided to look the other way so they would come back. Prostitution was accepted and booze (when it was illegal) and gambling were tolerated. It was a wild town especially in Enoch Johnson's day. HBO calls him Nucky Thompson but they are the same.

    My favorite parts of the book were the parts about the blacks and religion. It's always a good reminder.

    The later parts of the book are not as appealing. Who cares how The Donald arrived in Atlantic City? The machinations of getting gambling legalized was enthralling.

    The narrator was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Gordon S. Wood
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Empire of Liberty, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812. As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life - in politics, society, economy, and culture.

    Joseph says: "Excellent historical writing"
    "How our country evolved and survived."

    This is a wonderful book on the early years of our country. It begins just after the Revolution and ends right after the War of 1812. The Presidents covered are Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. I am surprised how we revere these men so highly because if they were elected today there Presidency would not get as high of marks, excepting Washington. He was exactly the right leader to have as our first President.

    This book gives a lot of time to the power of the Presidency which is engagingly told as it evolved into what we have today. It also talks about the Supreme Court and it's evolution.

    I enjoyed the chapters on the "Great Enlightenment" and other religious movements that went on during this period. The separation of Church and State gets some explanations too.

    The most surprising thing I learned was what a hypocrite Thomas Jefferson was and not only with his slaves but as President. He didn't think a United States Bank was a good thing until he became President. He was so pro France that he wanted us to get involved against Great Britain. He said he wanted freedom for all men, but he really meant only the elite. He felt the lower classes were too stupid to be trusted to vote. He was a very difficult man to really understand as he did much good for our country but a lot of what he said was hard to swallow.

    I liked the way the author described our national character evolving differently from other countries. Most farmers in America were also blacksmith, weavers, tanners or some other trade to supplement their farming.

    The War of 1812 was a war of contradictions. It was badly managed by the Madison administration and it's still a surprise to me on how we won the war! I think Great Britain was just tired of fighting.
    It also brought the country together as nothing had done before and we finally became a nation of states instead states united as a nation.

    The narrator was very good and this is a long book, 30 plus hours so he was a pleasure.

    This book is Book 2 in the Oxford History of the United States. I knew very little about this time in our country's history as we mostly learn anecdotes of the various statesmen and many of them aren't true. I also have the next volume and will read that soon. I can highly recommend this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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