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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

  • 180 reviews
  • 197 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014

  • Jimmy Stewart - Radio Collection

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jimmy Stewart
    • Narrated By Jimmy Stewart

    This collection features 13 of the best radio performances by one of America's most beloved stars.

    Kristi says: "A few gems in here."
    "A few gems in here."

    1. Gotta get me a horse
    This first story was a war comedy about a cowboy getting in the Navy and taking his saddle with him, hoping for a horse somehow. He finally gets his wish when a sickly colt is found on a South Seas Island. He raises the colt and sends it home with a circus that was visiting them. Charming Jimmy Stewart.

    2. Destry Rides again
    The radio show of the Western movie with Jimmy playing the new Sheriff and Joan Blondell playing the Marlene Dietrich part of Frenchie, the bar maid with a heart of gold. Well done.

    3. Madame X
    The movie version I know is with Lana Turner. This one is with Jimmy as the son and Ann Rutherford his mother. This story is about a woman who abandons her husband and son. The husband refuses to give her a divorce because he wants to be a judge some day. He also refuses to let her see her son, even when he almost dies as a child. She becomes a singer and is blackmailed by a man who discovers her true identity. She kills him in order to protect her son. Jimmy is assigned her as his first case as a lawyer.

    4. Magic Town
    This was a lame Jane Wyman and Jimmy Stewart story about a town with the exact demographics for a polling service.

    5. Moon’s our home
    Carole Lombard and Jimmy Stewart make a wonderful couple who pretend to be someone else. Jimmy is an author and Carole a movie star. Once they realize who they really are will their marriage last?

    6. No Highway in the Sky
    A story of a scientist who figures out the life of an airplane which no one will accept his analysis as he tries to prevent a crash. Not much fun.

    7. The Stratton Story

    Like the movie version. June Allyson plays his wife. This is the story of a farm boy who becomes a baseball pitcher until he loses his leg in a hunting accident. His return to baseball is inspirational. Based on a true story.

    8. Single Crossing
    Myrna Loy plays Jimmy’s foil in this comedy. William Powell was supposed to do the part but was ill and Jimmy filled in. This is the story of mistaken identity on a ship to Hawaii. Very cute and clever.

    9. Calling Northside 777
    Like the movie, Jimmy plays a reporter who tries to prove an inmate’s innocence. Based on a true story.

    10. Suspense: Consequence
    Unusual story of a Doctor in a loveless marriage who when a fire gives him an opportunity to escape his life, he takes it. His wife happens upon him and refuses to let him be so he plans to kill her. What happens next is great.

    11. Suspense: Mission Completed
    This story was on the Pearl Harbor Anniversary and is about a man who survived a prisoner of war camp but can no longer move anything but his eyes. When he sees the guard who tortured him in the hospital flower shop, he begins to get his strength back in an attempt to kill his tormentor. Great twist at the end.

    12. Tailored by Toni
    Another story with Carole Lombard as the designer wife and Jimmy as a playwright. This one is cute but dated as Jimmy goes astray with an actress and Carole fixes things by staying home and keeping house.

    13. The Silver Whistle
    The story of a man who is not who he seems that helps the old folks into feeling better and younger about their lives. Not the greatest.

    This collection is worth the small cost if you enjoy radio plays. Nostalgia at it’s best.
    There were some stutters on the tape, but for the most part I had no trouble hearing it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Melinda says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Jamie, We hardly knew ya!"

    This book is amazing. The story of the James Garfield assassination involving the shooter, James Lister (the doctor who discovered antiseptics), Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor who raced to find a way to save Garfield's life) and the man who could have been our greatest President ever, had he lived.

    The villain in this story is not the man who shot the President, Guiteau an obviously crazy man, but the Doctor Bliss, the doctor in charge of saving Garfield's life. He was truly of the old school and did not follow Dr. Lister's methods. Sticking his dirty hands and/or sticks into Garfield to find the bullet and other methods that today seem like torture. Makes me wince just thinking about it.

    The real hero of this story was James Garfield, a self made man. His father died when he was quite young and his mother brought him up as best she could. James worked on the Erie Canal and went to a prestigious school, first working as a janitor until the professors discovered how smart he was. The next year James taught 6 classes himself to earn his tuition. He graduated early and went on to an Ivy League school and then went back to his old high school to continue teaching. When the local senator died he was asked to replace him and as he felt it was his duty he accepted. During the Civil War he ended up being a General for the Union.

    He was barely President when Guiteau shot him in a train station on July 2nd, 1881. He died Sept. 19th, 1881 and his autopsy showed the doctor in charge was looking on the wrong side of his body for the bullet. Many say now, that if they had left him alone he would have survived, since he died of the infections raging through his body. He was only 49 years old at his death.

    The narrator was great and the story reads like a novel. I will always wonder what kind of Presidency Mr. Garfield would have had, had he lived. There is also a side story about his successor, Chester A. Arthur, a man known as a corrupt politician, who through the guidance of a woman named Julia Sand (an invalid who wrote Mr. Arthur letters about how he should handle this crisis) became a President that tried to follow what President Garfield would have done, much to the anger of his cronies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Haunting of Maddy Clare

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Simone St. James
    • Narrated By Pamela Garelick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary-work agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis - rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts - has been summoned to investigate the spirit of 19-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who haunts the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a desperate struggle, for Maddy’s ghost is real, she is angry, and she has powers that defy all reason.

    passiflora says: "Not bad, but a little disappointing"
    "A wonderful ghost story with romance."

    Sometimes you just need to read for fun! This book is a great old fashioned ghost story with some 1920's ghost hunters thrown in.
    It's the story of a girl who shows up dirty and disheveled and unable to talk at a farmer's door. They take her in and a few years later she hangs herself in the barn. Her ghost now haunts the barn and the ghost hunters are called in.

    Alistair is a shell shocked Great War Veteran who has lots of money and nothing to do but research ghosts. He hires Sarah, a recent orphan who is working for a temporary agency, to be an assistant for a week at the haunting. Matthew is his other assistant, a badly burned veteran who can't sleep without having nightmares of the war. These three pledge to document and help Maddy Clare find peace.

    This is a scary at times book with a love story thrown in for good measure. It was a quick listen and a really fun book. The characters are well drawn and the narrator does a fine job.

    I will read more of Simone St. James.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Douglas A. Blackmon
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history - an Age of Neoslavery that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.

    Roy says: "Will Take Your Breath Away"
    "Powerful book!"

    This was an eye opening experience for me. While I have always thought that the South treated blacks differently than other parts of the United States, I never dreamed it was worse than ever for them until after World War II. I am not saying it was only in the Southern United States as people are racist all over and a lot of other states made it impossible for blacks to feel safe in those areas. What this book does is document the so called convict workers and how the majority of convicts were blacks and treated much differently than whites for similar crimes. For example a white man found riding the rails was sentenced to 10 days labor while a black man would be sentenced to 2 years or more for the same offence.

    This was a money making venture for sheriffs and judges in the South. They would arrest black men for not having any money in their pockets thus being "vagrants" and fine them 20 dollars. Then they would tell these men that their only hope would be to let this white man pay their fine and then they could work it off. The white man (usually the sheriff or judge themselves) would sell their contracts for these men to a mine or farm or factory and the black men would be indentured to these men until they were no longer useful or died. In a lot of ways it was worse than slavery as the whites who worked these blacks had no care for their welfare as there were always more convicts to get.

    Corporations like US Steel and banks like Wachovia were owners of some of these endeavors. The United States Federal courts looked away for the most part as it was "out of their jurisdiction". Teddy Roosevelt tried to change things with very little luck. Woodrow Wilson made things worse by creating segregation in the Washington DC area during his term in office. J. Edgar Hoover couldn't be bothered to help the negro. FDR realized that if America didn't do something positive for the Blacks, Germany and Japan would use that as propaganda against America and finally instructed the Justice department to prosecute at the highest level of the law any person or corporation using this feudal servitude method in the United States.

    This book should be required reading for anyone who enjoys history. I mentioned just a few ways this keeping the black man back was done. There are many more documented in this book.

    The narration by Dennis Boutsikaris was wonderfully done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver

    Seymour "Swede" Levov is a prosperous, hard-working family man who comes of age in America's triumphant postwar era. But when the country begins to run amok in the 1960s, Swede's perfect world crumbles.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "American icons blown up!"

    There is a lot to like about this book. The story is absorbing and about the 60's with the Vietnam War, Watergate, Deep Throat (the movie) and the Weather Underground thrown into the mix. These are all things I grew up with and remember very clearly. It did when the Pulitzer prize.

    The story revolves around a High School hero and his Beauty Queen wife who have a daughter that becomes a terrorist. Why do good people have children that are criminals? Is anyone truly good or evil?

    The narrator is excellent and keeps the story moving. He especially does wonderful Jewish guys from New Jersey.

    What didn't I like about the book? Some times it seemed to repeat over and over the same theme. I also didn't think it was realistic on the way people think. Maybe that is just a difference in the sexes, though, I certainly could be wrong.

    Overall I enjoyed the book and will probably listen to more of Philip Roth's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.

    Ramon says: "Feels like Jules Verne"
    "Better than the movie!"

    This book is not at all like the movie made many years ago with Pat Boone and James Mason. I liked this story better. There are no widows tagging along or geese to take care of on their journey. Just 3 men, the nephew, Professor and Hans the hunter.

    Tim Curry does a great job of bringing the story to life. I have listened to his Dracula also and he is a great narrator. Yes, he is the scary clown from IT.

    One part of the book that interested me was the theory of Sir Humphrey Davy on why he thought the center of the earth was not molten at all. In his theory he stated that if the core was molten then just like gravity's effect on the tides, gravity would make a consistent unleashing of volcanic magma on the high tide marks. It is an interesting view.

    This a small book and it was fun to listen to it over a few days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Society's Child: My Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Janis Ian
    • Narrated By Janis Ian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.

    Pamela says: "I know why this won the grammy"
    "A real survivor and heroine!"

    This is one of my favorite audible books this year. I can understand why it is nominated for an audible award. I normally don't like authors reading their own books but I make an exception in this case.

    Janis Ian opens each chapter singing one of her songs so no one else could do this book justice. I was amazed at everything this talented woman went through in her life so far. She had child abuse, marital abuse, IRS problems due to a manager that stole from her, and health issues that affected her and her family.

    This is the story of a survivor and a true heroine. When everything was going against her she was able to make it through to the other side by realizing that no one could take her talent away from her.

    I always loved her songs, now I love her as a person too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
    "Churchill and World War II till his death."

    This was the last book in the series and William Manchester died before it was finished. Paul Reid took over and it shows that there was a different author. This was the book I was so looking forward to listening to and it just didn't match the quality of the first two books. There is a lot of repetition from the previous books and it really drags in a lot of spots. They also had a new narrator and he just didn't get the Churchill voice as well as the other guy.

    That being said, this book is mostly about Churchill and WWII. Since he played such a large part in the war it is very engrossing. Sad to say once he was able to get the United States in the war he lost most of his control of the Allied Forces and it began the loss of world leadership for Great Britain.

    He was one of those remarkable men that come when the world needs them and does what needs to be done. He was not a perfect person, and woe be it to anyone who worked for him, but he hardly slept and was constantly working on a book, a picture or the war strategy and his people were expected to keep the same pace with him.

    I consider him one of the greatest people to have ever lived on this earth and I am glad I read all three books of his life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • O. Henry: Complete Short Stories Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By O. Henry, William Sydney Porter
    • Narrated By Bob Thomley

    O. Henry's short stories are well known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization, and clever twist endings. This collection includes "The Last Leaf", "The Love Philter of Ikey Schoenstein", "The Caliph", "Cupid and the Clock", "The Brief Debut of Tildy", "The Higher Abdication", "The Ransom of Red Chief", "One Dollar’s Worth", "Cupid a la Carte", "Girl", "Springtime a la Carte", "The Ethics of Pig", "The Social Triangle", "Witches Loaves", "The Romace of the Buys Broker", and more.

    Loren says: "Mis-named: This is not a complete collection"
    "I love his stories! Still relevant today."

    I don't know if this truly is a "complete" collection, but the ones that are here are great.

    The stories that standout for me are some classics, "The Last Leaf", "Ransom of Red Chief" and "The Gift of the Magi".

    Others were new to me:
    "The Princess and the Puma" was a delightful western tale of cowboys and girls to be rescued or vice versa.

    "Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled" is the story of a shopgirl looking for fun and a rich guy to latch on to. She has to be able to recognize what they actually look like to succeed.

    My favorite was early on in this collection "Jimmy Hayes and Muriel" the western story of a young cowboy and his pet horned frog (toad) named Muriel. This story was such a delight I listened to it twice.

    O'Henry's stories are often humorous and always witty and very human. He was able to see how real people lived at the same time F. Scott Fitzgerald was documenting the rich of the lost generation.

    Each section starts with the title of the story and then "read by Bob Thomley". By the end of the book Bob feels like an old friend. His reading is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wives and Daughters

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centers on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new stepsister enters Molly's quiet life, the loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

    Sandra says: "It's not about the ending!"
    "Two girls on the verge of womanhood."

    This is a lovely story about Molly Gibson, daughter of the town doctor and Cynthia Kirkpatrick, her new stepsister who is much more worldly than dear Molly.

    We all have known women like Cynthia; they are so charming that men and women love to do things for them. My sister is like this. Once she had a date and hadn't done her housework so I volunteered to do it for her so she wouldn't miss out on her date. Only later, when I was doing her work, did I say to myself, " Why did I let her do this to me? She is out having fun and I am cleaning up her messes." Does that sound familiar?

    Molly does end up cleaning some of Cynthia's messes and it could be catastrophic for her, had she not made some important friends along the way who clear her name.

    Hyacinth Kirkpatrick is the one you love to hate. Although not an "evil" stepmother, she is probably the most self involved narcissist I have read about in many years.

    This was Mrs. Gaskell's last book, left unfinished at her death, but the story winds down enough that you can see where she is going and who ends up with who at the end.

    Mrs. Gaskell always writes wonderful characters and even Cynthia, who was neglected as a child is sympathetic and believable. Mrs. Kirkpatrick Gibson is harder to like but you can understand how she came to be who she came to be. Molly is the most enjoyable person in the book and there is no way you can't come away with an admiration of her character's ethics and likeability.

    The men play a good part of the story and for the most part they are original and beautifully drawn.

    This is a good story and it will capture your heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mark Lewisohn
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tune In is the first volume of All These Years - a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

    Tad Davis says: "Insanely great"
    "Everything you wanted to know but forgot to ask."

    This is book one of a trilogy about the Fab 4. It takes in the early years, including a bit of genealogy into the grandparents up to the first recording contracts.
    What I liked about the book? Lots of tidbits that I never knew and no whitewashing of their image. It was quite an eye opener to me to know how much they stole and were pretty angry young men. However despite that their talent and drive for success saved them and gave the world the Beatles.

    What I didn't like about the book? A little too much information. I really didn't need to know when George lost his virginity or every conversation they had with their fan club members. Better more than less though I suppose the author thought.

    If you are looking for a definitive biography of the Beatles than this is it. You can tell the author was a huge fan and yet he was truthful and straight forward in his story.

    The narrator was very good and look forward to hearing more from him.

    Can't wait for volume 2!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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