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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


  • Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Susan Fraser King
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Shipwrecked, a young Saxon princess and her family - including the outlawed Edgar of England - ask sanctuary of the warrior-king Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar's sister, Margaret, in marriage. A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her.

    Katherine says: "Tested my patience."
    "Saint and Heroine?"
    What did you love best about Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland?

    I loved the fact that even though Margaret at times was a little too saintly, Ms. Fraser was able to show the humanity in her. When she starved her self, I thought her a little anorexic, but when she let the hostages go, I was laughing and saying,"You go, Girl!"

    What other book might you compare Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland to and why?

    Any good Jean Plaidy novel since the subject matter is similar. Historical royal fiction is a great genre that the best give you some insight on why the Royals acted like they did.

    What about Emily Gray’s performance did you like?

    I think she did wonderful with Princess Eva, not as great with Margaret. However she did a nice job making sure every character had a different voice.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Naughty or nice?

    Any additional comments?

    This is a good book, I didn't give it 5 stars because at times the subject matter was a little too dry for my taste. I did enjoy the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "What do you do with Jell-O?"

    This is a fun read, but there are some very serious issues discussed. Isn't that what the best Science Fiction is about?

    In the here and now, if you were an alien how would you present yourself to earth? You'd need an agent, right? That is the premise for this quirky book about Hollywood and aliens. Some things to think about: Is it okay to take over a dog's body who died of a heart attack? How about a human's?

    Wil Wheaton, (John-boy of the Stars) is the narrator to this work and he does a stand-up job. He's funny when he needs to be and serious when it counts. Well done, Mr. Crusher!

    I had never read any of John Scalzi's books and it looks like I will keep an eye out for more of his nerdy humor and timely stories.

    Worth the time to listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the King's Men

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Penn Warren
    • Narrated By Michael Emerson

    The fictionalized account of Louisiana's colorful and notorious governor, Huey Pierce Long, All the King's Men follows the startling rise and fall of Willie Stark, a country lawyer in the Deep South of the 1930s. Beset by political enemies, Stark seeks aid from his right-hand man Jack Burden, who will bear witness to the cataclysmic unfolding of this very American tragedy.

    Eric Berger says: "Marvelously written and read"
    "Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption ..."

    "Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something...”
    I loved the lyrical writing in this story of Willie Stark and Jack Burden. It was a beautiful tragedy and the only reason I give it 4 stars is the fact that it has a happy ending which does not fit the tone of the rest of the novel.

    Based loosely on Louisiana Governor Huey Long's life and death this book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947.

    It has wonderful characters and the storyline is consistent and enlightening on the South of the 30's to 40's. Instead of feeling like a dated story it feels like you have stepped back in time and been welcomed in with open arms.

    The narrator does a good job on this book.

    It's a classic that you will never forget.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815 - 1848

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Daniel Walker Howe
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this addition to the esteemed Oxford History of the United States series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the Battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era of revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated America's expansion and prompted the rise of mass political parties.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent"
    "A great overview of this time period!"

    This is a long book at about 34 hours but worth the time it took to listen. I knew little about the time period of 1815-1848 in the history of our country which is a shame because lots of things happened in this timeframe. This won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 and is one of the Oxford History of America series.

    I have seen people claim a liberal bias in this book. I can't say I saw that but it is harsh on conservative darling Andrew Jackson with good reason. He destroyed the banking system, disregarded the Supreme Court rulings, and shipped the Cherokee and other natives off to the reservations in the infamous Trail of Tears. Polk doesn't get much sympathy from him either. The Mexican War seems to have been a more unpopular war than even Viet Nam. We were the aggressor in that one.

    I think it is important to read many histories on the same topics and get a well rounded picture instead of only reading Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly's histories.

    John Quincy Adams is the hero of this book. He wasn't a very good President but he was a wonderful statesman who stood up for the underdog (Amistad) and never quit. In fact, he died giving a speech on the Mexican War in the House of Representatives.

    This book covers a lot of religious history. The Mormon's, the Great Enlightenment, the Second Great Enlightenment, the start of the Shakers, the Oneida Cult, the Transcendentalist movement, the Baptist, the Seventh Day Adventist all began in this period. It takes up many chapters in this book but is necessary to understand what was happening in the country.

    I also learned how European white male centered this country was and how this affected the way we treated Hispanics, Blacks (slave and free), Catholics, Jews and women. Thank goodness we have grown into our Constitution.

    Samuel Morse's first telegram to Congress was the quote "What hath God wrought" which the author made the title of his book. He emphasized the great transportation and communication changes that came about in these few years.

    The narrator was fine for the most part except for his few pronunciation errors in words like "Willamette" that could be jarring at times.

    A great overview of this time period and well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    8 of 8 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

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