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Chicago, IL, USA

  • 6 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 76 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • House of Sand and Fog

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andre Dubus III
    • Narrated By Andre Dubus III, Fontaine Dollas Dubus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense, three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to restore his family's dignity. Kathy Nicolo is a troubled young woman whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. Sheriff Lester Burdon becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice.

    Lisa says: "Astounding characterizations, and wonderfully read"
    "Astounding characterizations, and wonderfully read"

    I found this audiobook absolutely riveting -- almost perfectly read, with the important twist of having separate male and female voices, given that the book is mostly a series of interior monologues from the various characters. Yes, you know they are all spiraling down to disaster, but the author has caught the internal voices of the characters very well, sometimes exquisitely. The Irani ex-colonel is particularly finely wrought, but I found the others well done also. The book is a meditation on the many different ways we organize our relationships with others, and how many different ways those relationships can fall apart. Father, mother, husband, wife, child, sibling, lover, immigrant, native, boss, subordinate, trainee, soldier in a strict military hierarchy -- Dubus manages to explore and say something interesting about all of these ties, with a bit of political and economic commentary that is subordinate to the more important themes. An amazing audiobook, one of the most satisfying I have listened to. My only criticism -- the brief interludes of music between sections are jarringly inappropriate. One caveat to this review: I have not seen the movie, so I came to the book without any movie-induced preconceptions.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Naked in Baghdad: The Iraq War as Seen by National Public Radio's Correspondent

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anne Garrels
    • Narrated By Anne Garrels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of only sixteen unembedded American journalists who stayed in Baghdad's now-legendary Palestine Hotel throughout the American invasion of Iraq, NPR's Anne Garrels was at the very center of the storm. She brings us the sights, sounds, and smells of our latest war with unparalleled vividness and immediacy.

    Native Texan says: "My favorite book of the year!"
    "The life of a"

    Not too heavy on the political analysis, Anne Garrels' book is simply a fascinating, sometimes gripping account of the life, the business, and the busy-ness, of being a war correspondent in the 00's. Beautifully read by Anne and her husband Vint Lawrence. While other reviewers have complained about Vint's "Brenda bulletins" their very mundaneness completes the picture: a journalist has a life beyond her/his work, and Vint's emails are a reminder of what Garrels leaves behind in her wanderings abroad. A terrific listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "Beautifully read, fascinating people"

    The reader of this book did a superb job bringing all the characters to life through Lily's 14-year-old eyes. A joy to listen to, especially for someone who was 14 in 1964, like Lily. The picture of the economic and race relations in the dirt-poor parts of the rural South at that time rang true. My only quibble is the end, when the author tied too many things up too quickly and too patly, spending too much time on the moralizing and plot fixtures, and too little time letting the characters carry the story to its end. One of the few books I would listen to again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Sylvia Nasar
    • Narrated By Anna Fields

    John Nash was a mathematician teetering on the brink of international acclaim, but he fell instead into madness. Saved by the love of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community, he went on to win a Nobel Prize and worldwide fame. This is his true story.

    Peter says: "Reality is often more interesting than fiction"
    "Great biography; terrible gaffes in pronunciation"

    Like another reviewer, I found I could not put this "book" down. No it is NOT like the movie (which was spell-binding), and those who expect the movie's intense drama will be disappointed. The book delves much more deeply into Nash's place in the math/applied math firmament, and takes a more scientific approach to his mental illness and treatment. All that was fine with me -- the detail was fascinating and rewarding.

    BUT some of the pronunciation gaffes by the reader were like chalk squeaking on a black board. Examples: John Von Neumann's name is not pronounced "Von Newman;" CarNEgie Tech is not pronounced the same as CARnegie Hall; Paul Erdos' name ends with an "sh" sound. Granted, I have a math degree from one of the Ivies, but that is not why I know these things -- a brief consultation with almost any math or science academic would have avoided these annoying errors and others. The publisher should be ashamed that no one involved in producing the recording caught these.

    Nonetheless -- it was a terrific "listen"!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • John Adams, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger

    With the sweep and vitality of a great novel, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough presents the enthralling story of John Adams. This is history on a grand scale - an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas.

    Kevin says: "John Adams"
    "Terrific non-fiction"

    This review applies to both volumes of the unabridged version. This very dense work was well-read and fascinating. The material is heavy enough that I am not sure I would have stuck with reading the book, but listening to it was easy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Professor and the Madman

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester

    Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.

    Jerry says: "Perfect example of a quality audible book."
    "Engaging and well-read by author"

    A surprisingly intriguing true-life story, for once well-read by the author. Slightly repetitive, with a bit of not-terribly-relevant filler material. But Winchester knows his subject and the era well, and anyone who dotes on the OED will find its history entertaining. A good listen for a long car trip.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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