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Carolyn

Oklahoma City, OK, United States | Member Since 2007

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 269 ratings
  • 732 titles in library
  • 65 purchased in 2014
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  • The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By A. J. Jacobs
    Overall
    (425)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (192)

    Our fearless author, A. J. Jacobs, tackles a new intellectual adventure, an exploration of the most influential book in the world: the Bible. He determined that the best way to explore the Bible was to live it, as literally as possible. For one year.

    Jonathan says: "Excellent... But tongue in cheek"
    "Thoughtful, humble and funny"
    Overall

    I thought this book would be different when I bought it. Turns out--it was better than I expected. Although it was written with a generous dose of humor, it was, in fact, good humor. What could have been a lampoon of religion, turned out to be a sincere effort to understand the ancient text that captivates so many. The author relates a lot of honesty, humility and even tenderness in his experience. I was impressed by these things, and even inspired, at times. Tucked into this text is a lovely reminder that tolerance and acceptance of the beliefs of others is far nobler than derision. Thanks, A.J., I needed the gentle reminder! Perhaps you do too. You'll enjoy this book.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1728)
    Performance
    (1157)
    Story
    (1167)

    Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result.

    Amazon Customer says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "Interesting, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not necessarily. Although I must say I enjoyed the book, it was more because of the compelling talent of the narrator. The story is interesting, but reads more like a documentary than a novel. The characters are all likable, but the narrative is certainly more involved with the history of which it speaks rather than the individuals and their interpersonal relationships. This book is a charming way to gain a bit of historical perspective involving the strength and innovation of the people populating the Outback, but it lacks robust character and story development.


    What could Nevil Shute have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Expand it more. The story comes off almost like an outline of what the novel could be eventually. I kept waiting for it to stop skirting over the top of these events and get down to something more engaging with these interesting characters...but no. Both the Malaya and Australia stories could be excellent novels all by themselves! This book brings one to the door, but never really invites the reader in.


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

    Robin Bailey is excellent. This narrator is probably the only reason I continued listening when I felt so disengaged from the characters and felt the story was meandering along without much point. The narration is by far the best thing about this book.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't get me wrong...I don't dislike this book. There's a lot of interesting information in it which I enjoyed, and you might too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Claire Conner
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Evans
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Wrapped in the Flag chronicles the radical right-wing world of the 1960s, when conspiracy ruled and the John Birch Society made national headlines. The daughter of a John Birch Society leader, Claire Connor introduces us to the extreme ideas of a powerful political fringe group dispensing radical solutions to America's problems. Following in the footsteps of its hero, Senator Joseph McCarthy, the John Birch Society believed that an international Communist conspiracy was on the verge of taking over the government of the United States.

    James says: "Where the Tea Party got their crazy ideas"
    "Filling in the blanks..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Wrapped in the Flag the most enjoyable?

    I can't say this book was 'enjoyable' for me so much as it was informative. The author is just a bit older than I, but we share childhoods in the same era. The events she relates are very familiar, even though I was just a kid blithely going about my kid-business while my parents dealt with the headlines and ideas. While her parents were highly politically active, mine were not. Yet within this narrative I hear shades of my own parents attitudes. Thankfully, though my folks indicated some social beliefs that I'd rather ignore, they managed to teach me many of the principles that led to my liberal world-view in spite of themselves! It's unnearving to think that if they were bent just a little more to the right; my early experiences might have been similar to hers. Enjoyable? Not so much. Enlightening? Very much.


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

    The trajectory of this ultra-right wing mindset of which the author writes makes me want to weep daily. The same talking points, the very same, are trumpeted in all national media without the slightest shame. At least, back in the years when the author and I were growing up, such ideas were considered insane even by conservatives and certainly by the media. If you think this kind of rhetoric is new and an offshoot of current events, you need to read this book. These people haven't even changed the words but only inserted new names throughout the last 50 years of American politics! The goals of the John Birch Society and the people who think like them are nothing short of dismantling democracy, installing theocracy, and a chilling new version of totalitarianism. Normally, I would refrain from using such extreme rhetoric myself, but in this case, I doubt even the opposition would disagree with me.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this book. Pass it around. It will help.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Why Evolution Is True

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jerry A. Coyne
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (351)

    Why evolution is more than just a theory: it is a fact. In all the current highly publicized debates about creationism and its descendant "intelligent design", there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned: the evidence, the empirical truth of evolution by natural selection.

    F. E. Sparrow says: "Perfect !! Just what I was looking for."
    "A revelation"
    Overall

    Although I enjoyed and appreciated the excellent audio update on my less-than-thorough education in evolutionary theory, this book is one which I will purchase in hardback for my permanent home library! It is well-written, concise, elegant and easy for the non-scientist to understand. A beautiful piece of work, worthy of review again and again. Highly recommended.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ape House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos know American Sign Language. Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets—especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans...until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

    glamazon says: "Interesting Premise"
    "Such high hopes"
    Overall

    I absolutely loved Water For Elephants. Sadly, Ape House can't hold a candle. I could never quite connect with any of the characters, in spite of the author's penchant for seriously tedious and minute detail all along the way. The plot is just compelling enough to keep one wondering how things will end up at last, but I found myself forwarding through the recording during the last two hours as I couldn't stand it dragging along any more. I just wanted to know what finally happened to the wretched apes! I'm afraid the narrator may also have driven me slightly mad during this book. Very precise diction (to the point of distraction) which somehow served to highlight the tedium of the descriptions, and some pronunciation which actually made me scream out loud at one point. Otherwise, he portrayed the characters nicely--it's just a timing-thing, I guess. Perhaps you will like this recording better than me, but if you're expecting something as fabulous as Water For Elephants you'll likely be dismayed. Gosh, I hate to be so negative, but this book just drove me nuts!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Anthill

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By E. O. Wilson
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (36)

    Inspirational and magical, here is the story of a boy who grows up determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: Man himself. "What the hell do you want?" snarled Frogman at Raff Cody, as the boy stepped innocently onto the reputed murderer's property. Fifteen years old, Raff, along with his older cousin, Junior, had only wanted to catch a glimpse of Frogman's 1,000-pound alligator. Thus, begins the saga of Anthill....

    Jacque says: "Fascinating"
    "tedium-o-rama"
    Overall

    Oh my gosh, this is a seriously tedious book. Narration is less-than-compelling. I love the work of E.O. Wilson as a renowned naturalist, but a writer he is not. Sorry E.O.! I really tried to engage with this book, but the tedium wiped me out. I have no idea how this "story" ends...just couldn't listen for another minute.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Rupert Isaacson
    • Narrated By Rupert Isaacson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (324)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (120)

    When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was devastated, afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child. But when Isaacson, a lifelong horseman, rode their neighbor's horse with Rowan, Rowan improved immeasurably. He was struck with a crazy idea: why not take Rowan to Mongolia the one place in the world where horses and shamanic healing intersected?

    Linda says: "Magical"
    "Marvelous and inspiring"
    Overall

    This is such a fascinating story! Well written and narrated--giving rare,deep insights into the world of the autistic and those who love them. The travel through Mongolia, so well described, adds a delicious touch of magic and wonder that reminded me there are more things in heaven and earth than we can account for. The story of this family made me feel grateful for the mystery and wonder in my own life. I was very moved, and I think you will be also.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What on Earth Have I Done?: Stories, Observations, and Affirmations

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert Fulghum
    • Narrated By Robert Fulghum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Robert Fulghum's new book begins with a question we've all asked ourselves: "What on Earth have I done?" As Fulghum finds out, the answer is never easy and, almost always, surprising. For the last couple of years, Fulghum has been traveling the world, from Seattle to the Moab Desert to Crete, looking for a few fellow travelers interested in thinking along with him as he delights in the unexpected.

    Carolyn says: "Healing words"
    "Healing words"
    Overall

    What a delight this book is, from beginning to end! All of the stories are simple and wonderful; told by the author in his soothing, smiling and knowing voice. Robert Fulghum states in one of his essays that he wishes he could have spent time with his grandfather--I wish Robert Fulghum WAS my grandfather! Instead, I am inspired to look about more closely in my world, to see if I can spot the wonder, humor and softness so often hidden behind the unescapable war, trauma and nonsense which crowd the headlines. If the author is not an official Zen master, he's certainly one in my mind--and my newest hero. I am grateful that I stumbled across this book. Should you, like me, be looking for something to soothe your ragged souls, you will find solace here. A sheer delight in every way!

    6 of 8 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
    (13684)
    Performance
    (6073)
    Story
    (6153)

    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!!"
    "A complete delight!"
    Overall

    What a spectacular entertainment treat! You'll laugh, you'll cry--pick any emotion--you'll need them all. Not only is this a remarkably well written novel, but the performances by the two outstanding narrators is just perfect. You might want to make sure you have plenty of free time for the listen, though. Just like the book you can't put down, this is a listen that's hard to drag yourself away from. Enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The World Without Us

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Alan Weisman
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (497)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (116)

    In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, and man-made molecules may be our lasting gifts to the universe.

    Chris says: "mixed feelings"
    "A fascinating premise!"
    Overall

    Looking for something to stir your imagination and haunt your thoughts? Well, this is the book for you! Well written and well-read, this book provides fertile ground for consideration, awareness and thought beyond the words. Some may find this information to be gloomy--perhaps an indictment of humanity. I found it to be a necessary wake-up call to greater conciousness--the first step to redemption. Great book!

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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