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History Buff

Grace

Maryland | Member Since 2012

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 38 reviews
  • 69 ratings
  • 153 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Caroline Kennedy (foreword), Michael Beschloss (introduction)
    • Narrated By Jacqueline Kennedy, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Caroline Kennedy, and others
    Overall
    (500)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (405)

    In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recorded seven historic interviews about her life with John F. Kennedy. Now, decades later, these conversations can be heard in this digitally remastered eight-and-a-half-hour audio program. This audiobook includes the foreword written and read by Caroline Kennedy; introduction written and read by historian Michael Beschloss and the photos from the hardcover book, as well as complete annotations from Michael Beschloss, both in downloadable PDF format.

    Tim says: "Fascinating Listen"
    "Interesting to hear Jackie's take"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I like memoirs. These particular interviews by Schlesinger were very timely, and I was happy to hear Jackie's voice express her understanding of what happened in the White House. Juxtaposed with what we now know about Jack's philandering, it was interesting to hear her criticize other roving fellas.It was a true time-capsule view of our culture and societal norms of the sixties. Obviously a "sharp" woman, Jackie never thought of stepping out of line, it seems. The problem with the book? I wanted her to answer the question of why in the world she married such a (seemingly) sleasy guy like Aristotle Onasis. Just kidding...please don't write to tell me I'm nuts...!


    What other book might you compare Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy to and why?

    I don't think there is another book to compare. Many people write memoirs long after-the-fact; I don't know of any spoken narrative with such immediacy to such a wrenching crime as the murder of one's spouse.


    What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

    It is too bad that it was recorded on equipment available, but the sound quality was necessarily below what we are today accustomed to hear.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    Overall
    (5288)
    Performance
    (4651)
    Story
    (4692)

    This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

    Sara says: "Strange & Fascinating"
    "A Winter Love Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thank you Audible for this winter gift. Andersen's sweet fables never grow old, no matter how often read (or heard).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6274)
    Performance
    (5514)
    Story
    (5533)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Heartrending. Beautifully warm."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the best contemporary fiction I have read in such a long time. The story is masterfully woven and presented. It is a timeless story of loss and resilience. I can only wish the ending could play for all orphans--metaphorical and fostered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sacred Treasure - The Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mark Glickman
    • Narrated By Mark Glickman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (88)

    Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code in an old Egyptian synagogue - the amazing story of one of the most important discoveries in modern religious scholarship. In 1897, Rabbi Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University stepped into the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, and there found the largest treasure trove of medieval and early manuscripts ever discovered.

    Lisa says: "Not what I thought it would be, but worth it"
    "Buried Treasure in the Attic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea about any of this! I am not Jewish, but then, my Reform Jewish friends had no idea about this, either!

    I highly recommend this to anyone fascinated by the finds of antiquity. In a sense it is like finding a new cave at Qumran. However, the book only hints at the totality of what was found in the "attic" in Cairo. For scholars who read Hebrew and Arabic, entering the libraries (or, since the collections are being digitized, opening their browsers) which house these finds must be like entering a candy store.

    The genizah was "discovered" by western scholars in the 1890s. The documents housed in the attic were thought to be in the thousands and turned out to be in the 100s of thousands, and dated back to the middle ages. Stop reading this quasi-review and read the book. It is well worth the time.

    As Constantijn Huygens wrote to René Descartes " it takes the same amount of time to read the work of fools and it does to read what matters" (paraphrase).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Mark Adams
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (150)

    Writer for the New York Times and GQ, Mark Adams is also the acclaimed author of Mr. America. In this fascinating travelogue, Adams follows in the controversial footsteps of Hiram Bingham III, who’s been both lionized and vilified for his discovery of the famed Lost City in 1911—but which reputation is justified?

    Thelma says: "Now I'm ready for Machu Picchu"
    "What an adventure!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the way the author wove his own expedition into the orginal one. It isn't a trek for the average office jockey, but that is just what Adams was. Another long book, but made many commutes painless, and brought me that much closer to purchasing tickets to Lima!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Andrew Solomon
    • Narrated By Andrew Solomon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (504)
    Performance
    (429)
    Story
    (426)

    A brilliant and utterly original thinker, Andrew Solomon's journey began from his experience of being the gay child of straight parents. He wondered how other families accommodate children who have a variety of differences: families of people who are deaf, who are dwarfs, who have Down syndrome, who have autism, who have schizophrenia, who have multiple severe disabilities, who are prodigies, who commit crimes, who are transgender.

    C. Beaton says: "A Gripping Masterpiece"
    "Explanation of so much re: non-typical conditions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A friend whom I trust recommended this tome, and tome it is! But so worth reading. I enjoyed listening to it, even though it was 40 hours plus! It is read by the author, a person who will never make a living as a voice...but it was excellent to hear him put the emphasis where, as an author, he wanted it to be.

    My biggest take-away from the book is that we each rise to the task at hand and deal with what we need to deal with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Birthright

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Bernadette Quigley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (304)

    On a hot July afternoon, a worker at an Antietam Creek construction site drives the blade of his backhoe into a layer of soil - and strikes a 5,000-year-old human skull. The discovery draws plenty of attention and a lot of controversy. It also changes the life of one woman in ways she never expected.

    Krista says: "Nora must be mad"
    "I got used to the clichés after awhile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The overall story of a dig was moderately interesting, though the dates seemed a bit preposterous. The family melodrama was interesting. Roberts did a good job of intertwining the various "good-guy" families together, but was a bit two-dimensional in describing the "bad-guy families."

    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
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (119)

    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.

    NKBH says: "Maddy Clare will haunt you"
    "Best read on a dark and stormy night"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this to be a hard book to listen to, yet not a book I could walk away from, either. Was it because I had just recently read a rather silly book on haunted Eastern Shore properties, where no attempt was made to beguile the reader into actually believing things were going "bump" in the night? Maddy was portrayed as very real, and worse yet, appearing to different people in different guises. Maybe the twisted feeling I had in my stomach was the precursor to her moving from my iPod into me! Best read on a dark and stormy night....

    The narration of Pamela Garelick was spot on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. Lincoln: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ronald C. White, Jr.
    • Narrated By Bill Weideman
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (215)

    In this important new biography, Ronald C. White, Jr. offers a fresh and fascinating definition of Lincoln as a man of integrity - what today's commentators are calling "authenticity" - whose internal moral compass is the key to understanding his life. Through meticulous research, utilizing recently discovered Lincoln letters, legal papers, and photographs, White depicts Lincoln as a person of intellectual curiosity, comfortable with ambiguity, and capable of changing his mind.

    Julieann says: "Insight into Lincoln"
    "With Malice Toward None"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How many of us can even pretend to live by this sentiment? How many politicians? In this day of virulent political bashing--even from the pulpit, how many clergy, even, can say this? So the story of this man, this ordinary, honest, rail-splitting, Father Abraham, alone rates five stars.

    I down rate the narration simply because I feel the narrator attempted, but did not carry-off, the Hoosier twang or the Illionois accent: Lincoln must have had some combination of these (even Kentucky). But other than that, I thought the narrator, Bill Weideman, did a good job. I did not hear him breathe, nor did he swallow excessively...two of my real complaints too often.

    Overall, I suppose, biographies have a need for repetition of the same or similar material in various sections due to then nature of the uses that students will put the volume through. If I could, I would deduct half a star here, but that is an Amazon feature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Raising Atlantis

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Thomas Greanias
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (756)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (200)

    A secret U.S. military dig has uncovered ancient ruins two miles beneath the ice of Antarctica and activated the ultimate weapon. Now rogue American archaeologist Conrad Yeats and beautiful Vatican linguist Serena Serghetti must team up to unlock the secret origins of human civilization before a global cataclysm ends it.

    Autumn says: "Stargate+Da Vinci Cod= Raising Atlantis"
    "What was I thinking to buy this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The audio editing is terrible. The period at the end of the last sentence of a chapter is totally ignored, not even a breath is seemingly taken, before the next chapter begins.

    I guess the book was performed in the early days of digital recording?

    Perhaps it would be a good book, but I cannot even bring myself to finish the second chapter.

    Some books just need to be read with the eyes and not with the ears?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Elie Wiesel
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2525)
    Performance
    (1250)
    Story
    (1269)

    Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel offers an unforgettable account of Hitler's horrific reign of terror in Night. This definitive edition features a new translation from the original French by Wiesel's wife and frequent translator, Marion Wiesel.

    Jacobus says: "A quality production of a gripping tradegy"
    "Powerful, powerful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tremendously moving. I think listening to the audio recording was probably more powerful than reading a printed version. I made the decision to read this book after reading a review that said Weisel's wife's translation (from the French) was superb.

    Guidall's narration was quite dramatic, but never overly so.

    Weisel had a difficult time finding a publisher originally. He was an unknown writer writing about an episode in history most wanted to forget, and some didn't believe had happened.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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