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Harriet

Retired dentist after 37 yrs & with strong artistic interests left intensive reading until my latter years and am having a ball!

Singapore | Member Since 2012

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 86 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By H. W. Brands
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (192)

    Many consider Franklin the most fascinating American man who ever lived. A scientist, businessman, diplomat, author, inventor, philosopher and politician, he is America's original Renaissance man. His remarkable and varied accomplishments include the discovery of electricity and the modernization of the postal system. Brilliant and bawdy, a master statesman and a cultural icon, Franklin was so important and popular in his day that, according to the author, "... only Washington mattered as much."

    William says: "History tends to bore but I couldnt stop listening"
    "A clear and thoroughly entertaining experience!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a history book which everyone can enjoy and find entertaining at the same time.
    I fully expected an arduous journey,(even though I wanted to know all about the man and his life) and I can honestly say, that I was genuinely hooked by the whole experience, even though I integrated it from time to time, by listening to a thriller when my mind grew weary of unfamiliar historical events and facts.
    I am about to listen to Part 5 of this "Tome" and am looking forward to it even as I write this review. For those who wish to have a blow by blow account of Benjamin Franklin's fascinating and gifted personality, brilliant mind and varied life, this book is a "must hear !"and to be enjoyed from the beginning to the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Penelope Lively
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    This is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age. And a view of old age itself, this place at which we arrive with a certain surprise - ambushed, or so it can seem. One of the few advantages of age is that you can report on it with a certain authority; you are a native now, and know what goes on here. Taking in old age, the context of one's life and times, memory, reading and writing, and the identifying cargo of possessions - two ammonites, a cat, a pair of American ducks, and a leaping fish sherd, amongst others - this is an elegant, moving, and deeply enjoyable memoir by one of our most loved writers.

    Harriet says: "A book that inspires!"
    "A book that inspires!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This relaxed book is for those who wonder how they will manage being elderly, and is what most of us probably think about all our lives, 'though we shove it to the back of our minds and try to not go there ! I enjoyed this enormously and it left me feeling charmed by Penelope Lively's attitude to life and her past as well as helping one to accept the inevitable, with a feeling of calm and indeed exilerasion for the value of memory. It is also a great book for suggestions of reading matter, from her personal library and for the reasons and inspirations she became a novelist. A must!
    The narrator Anna Betinck is, the perfect voice for this book and easy to stay with from beginning to end and indeed complements this gifted novelist beautifully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Powell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (480)
    Performance
    (281)
    Story
    (273)

    Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

    jennifer says: "A Masterpiece on All Counts"
    "Was tough to take! but brilliantly written."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this "First Movement" at times to be so snobbish that I cringed at being British ! However the quality of writing and descriptive gift that Anthony Powell is well worth pursuing and although disappointing even slightly boring, as a story,the autobiographical quality of the book really is a fascinating "painting" of life between the First and Second World Wars, in Britain. If one wants to get lost in someone else's life and time which is not too far away from almost memorable glimpses of Old England with the emphasis on entertaining listening, then this is a book, the first of four movements which is worth the literary effort, and will certainly will not fail to be enjoyed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3314)
    Performance
    (2890)
    Story
    (2869)

    The four dead guards didn’t concern Mitch Rapp as much as the absence of the man they’d been paid to protect. Joe Rickman wasn’t just another foot soldier. For the last eight years Rickman had ran the CIA’s clandestine operations in Afghanistan. It was a murky job that involved working with virtually every disreputable figure in the Islamic Republic. More than a quarter billion dollars in cash had passed through Rickman’s hands during his tenure as the master of black ops and no one with a shred of sense wanted to know the details of how that money had been spent.

    K says: "Couldn't be better...except"
    "Not up my alley, sorry."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I were "into" modern guns, armory and their usage and were also prepared to be jolted mentally around, have new names thrown at me constantly and for several hours, with little release for really good descriptive prose, I would have enjoyed this book better than I did.
    Perhaps it was just too modern for my taste and added to the fact that I simply did not look forward to jumping back into more violence, I found myself simply not looking forward the the next chapter. I love a good "thriller" and a "who dun-it ?" but I chose badly, for my particular taste, on this one.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13051)
    Performance
    (5500)
    Story
    (5567)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Thriller par excellence !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a listen ! Sara Gruen has opened my eyes and David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones my ears to a terrific piece of pure entertainment. I will recommend this book/listen to anyone who loves good writing, theatre, and sheer compulsion for suspense and excitement as well as humor and gentle understanding of the conditions of the elderly.
    This book was a real find, great fun, beautifully written and very well worth while in every sense of the word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Notes from a Small Island

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a while but before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy....

    Harriet says: "Disappointing !"
    "Disappointing !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a fan of Bill Bryson until this book, which I was really looking forward to listening to.
    We all have bad days and he, at least, admits to having several whilst journeying through Britain. Unfortunately he comes over as being or trying to be funny and cynical at the same time and does not pull it off 99% of the time, making the listener yawn and hope that the weather and story will improve, but sadly for him at least, neither seem to and the reader/listener is left wishing the agony would stop! Its basically very boring.
    I was so glad that he decided later in his life to return to his native country because having personally lived in both countries myself, I truly believe that the "chip" he carried around on his shoulder whilst trying to write this book would have lightened as soon as he was amongst his own again in Iowa and I mean this kindly having also lived in Iowa!
    I really enjoyed other books that he has written and will try to lighten up regarding this one but to date have not changed my initial reaction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Joyce’s experimental masterpiece set a new standard for modernist fiction, pushing the English language past all previous thresholds in its quest to capture a day in the life of an Everyman in turn-of-the-century Dublin. Obliquely borrowing characters and situations from Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce takes us on an internal odyssey along the current of thoughts, impressions, and experiences that make up the adventure of living an average day.

    Tad Davis says: "Flawed"
    "Impossible to follow the Irish accent and I tried."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really wanted to get this classic under my belt, but found that it was just too complicated for my busy mind and knew that I would not get used to it even if I were to persist. Perhaps I will come back to it when I have time to concentrate really hard for 100% of the time. Others may well love it and the language was delightful in the sample but not for more than an hour of my busy day. I wish I could say more.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (74)

    A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know.

    Carolyn says: "If you only own one audio book, this is it!"
    "A clear and thoroughly wonderful experience!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Short History of Nearly Everything?

    Difficult to pick any particularly memorable moment, the entire book was enthralling and I shall listen to it several times, I am sure about that!


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

    No.


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

    I felt uplifted overall and ended with hope that mankind would take the time to understand just how precious all life as we know it is right now before it is too late.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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