Duluth, Minnesota | Member Since 2005
I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book -- I thought it was going to be one of those "my life in the kitchen" books, but I was really wrong. It is a wonderful autobiography -- describing family events leading to life events leading to life decisions, all centering around good food. I am going to listen to this again in a few months! Wonderfully written, narrated by the author.
My prayers have been answered. One of the best legal thriller writers has found his groove! Grisham spent 10 years drifting around the writing landscape and now has a great legal GPS. The story revisits one of his stellar characters and legal teams, telling a tale of holographic wills (didn't know what the term was, but they are handwritten wills -- legal in some states), greedy relatives (we all have those), personal secrets, and bad acts of predecessors. The quirky characters are back and legal tensions are writ through the entire tale. Bravo!
Many of us are likely to have read Jane Eyre when we were too young to understand the characters in the context of their era and mores. It was wonderful to listen to Charlotte Bronte's story again, part autobiography and part invention. Having recently read other books by the Bronte sisters and knowing their personal stories, Jane Eyre was especially worthwhile. Of course, the ending is unbelievably sappy for our times, but I imagine how it impacted readers of Bronte's time (1847). Some of the messages are difficult, for instance, the treatment of mentally ill people by confinement, or the impact that strict religious beliefs had on the "humane" treatment of orphans, or the emphasis on class distinctions to the exclusion of true character.
Almost 22 hours makes this a long listen, but well worth the effort. Emma Messenger was a fine narrator.
I am a fan of Elizabeth George, but the telling of this particular mystery is convoluted and self-conscious. It makes me want to ask the author to reread some of her earlier mysteries. I suspect there will be a follow-up to this involving spiriting her Pakistani friends out of danger in some foreign land, but I hope not. That boat has sailed, and did so a few books ago. I found myself saying aloud: "How can Barbara Havers and Thomas Lynley be so stupid and still have 'jobs'?" At least Lynley is getting over the death of his wife (a few books ago), but a roller-derby veterinarian? Really?
Davina Porter is a wonderful reader. She saves this book.
Disjointed, dull, and just plain awful. Don't waste a credit or time with this dog.
This book is well read, but not well written. It was predictable from the early chapters, without subtleties in characters or plot. I was tempted not to finish this, except I had predicted who was "good" and who was ultimately "bad," and wanted to confirm my assumptions. A frustrating listen at times, focused on pubic hairs left on bedding, an incompetent jurist, and a missing baseball bat!
One sometimes wonders how a protagonist can be so dumb, when the reader is screaming:
"It's your girlfriend, idiot!"
I am a fan of Kate Morton. This book is a story of a mother, with a secret to hold, that impacts generations of her family. I would like to reveal the secret, but that wouldn't be fair, and would ruin a major twist in the plot. However, I will say there is a murder, WWII bombing, class-warfare, childhood beliefs about causing deaths, and those things that we would just as soon not know but discover inadvertently. It is also a story of letting go of a parent -- first through the loss of intellectual faculties and then through actual death.
As expected from Morton, the descriptions of characters, places, and experiences is wonderful.
I ordered this book some time ago, but wanted to wait to listen to it until I could devote more uninterrupted time to such a difficult topic. Sara Tuvel Bernstein survived the holocaust in Eastern Europe. Her autobiography is a richly detailed narrative of her experiences in villages and cities of Bulgaria, Romania, and Germany during the rise of anti-Semitism and the terror of Hitler's armies. Bernstein was able to skirt some of the worst of the era by using her skills as a seamstress to earn money for the support of family and herself. However, even those skills did not save her from the death camps. Through arrests, detention, forced labor and internment, Bernstein's strong voice and will to survive horrible circumstances can be heard.
In some holocaust memoirs, the focus is often on the brutality of the captors. The difference with Bernstein's memoir is that the brutality is certainly evident, but we experience it through a brave young woman's desire to preserve her humanity.
If I were able to "command" it, I would make this required reading for everyone. We have to remember what was done in the name of racial supremacy, which is the most cancerous idea ever promulgated by human kind.
Wanda McCaddon did a fabulous job of reading this book.
Some of the earliest books by Carl Hiassen were griping as well as hilarious. This has the same aspirations and tone, but isn't as carefully put together. If punchy one-liners are your forte, this is a great book. The plot is a bit absurd, but that is why most of us read or listen to Hiassen. If you have ever watched an advertisement for elderly "scooters" and have wondered who is making money from Medicare, here is an answer. Frankly, I rather like hearing about bad guys being eaten by sharks.
After listening to a number of killer-mysteries, I stumbled upon this book. What a wonderful relief. This is a well written, well read story of a young woman's commitment to help Belgians during WWI. The main character is nicely developed -- a woman of purpose who takes big risks to do what she thinks is morally right. The reader has the right tone and depth -- giving emphasis to truly heart-wrenching experiences.
If you have spent time with inept meeting conveners, this would be a great "secret" gift. Ariana Savalas does a great job of narrating, and I can only hope that she narrates more exciting content (although this is certainly helpful content). I am a university professor, and I think this book will have wide application to teaching/learning situations. Our students often refer to "Death by Powerpoint" and this is a great antidote to that.
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