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S

Willow Beach, ON, Canada | Member Since 2004

75
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 276 ratings
  • 410 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
4

  • A Train in Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Caroline Moorehead
    • Narrated By Patience Tomlinson
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In Paris, January 1943, 230 French women resisters were rounded up and sent on a train to Auschwitz - the only train, in the four years of the German occupation, to take women of the resistance to a death camp. The youngest was a schoolgirl of 15, the eldest a farmer’s wife of 68; there were among them teachers, biochemists, sales girls, secretaries, housewives and university lecturers. The women turned to one another, finding solace and strength in friendship and shared experience.

    Patrick says: "interesting story"
    "Nothing like the blurb . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was supposed to be about a group of women who survived under the horrible French occupation in WWII - and how it impacted their lives. It would better be described as a detailed history of the gruesome lives that men and women lived during this time in French history. On top of this is the falsetto voice of the narrator. She may be good at elocution - but she is miserable to listen to! (sorry about the dangling participle!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Postmortem: A Scarpetta Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By C. J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (775)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (629)

    Four young women have been found murdered—tortured and strangled in their own beds—all victims of the same brilliant monster. Using a skilled hand and the latest technology in forensic medicine, Kay Scarpetta begins the process of gathering the microscopic clues the latest battered body has to give.

    Wayne says: "Serial killer vs Dr. Scarpetta"
    "A step back in history . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read most of Patricia Cornwell's books. I loved her gift as a wordsmith . . . not an academic, but a person who has learned her craft well. I was surprised in this book to realize that it was a step way back in time . . . the characters were young and many of the "latest" technical developments are ancient history in the technological sense of the word. Having said that . . . Patricia Cornwell is a masterful story teller and this book is no exception. It is skillfully written and reflects the technology and environment of the day. (does anyone else remember the gritty powdered hand soap in public washrooms????). The story is certain to hold your attention - and the issues addressed (police scandal) are remarkably forward thinking.

    I must however, take exception to the narrator. I gave her 2 stars only because she didn't mispronounce any words. Her accents were everywhere from the deep south to downtown Boston (and everything in between - sometimes in the same sentence). The volume of her voice ranges from very quiet to very loud - making it a difficult listen because of the variations in volume. Her narrating was a detraction from a very well written mystery!

    For those medical mystery lovers, however, this is a great "read." Just hold disbelief in suspense when the accents for the characters are "off-putting" - and keep your hand on the volume control so you neither miss important passages nor blast your ears to an unhealthy jump in volume. It's well worth the effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Driving Over Lemons

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Chris Stewart
    • Narrated By Chris Stewart
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (44)

    At age 17, Chris Stewart retired as the drummer of Genesis, his schoolboy band, and launched a new career as a sheep shearer and travel writer. This audiobook details his idyllic life on a remote mountain farm in Andalucia.

    Terry says: "Interesting, but ..."
    "Bleah!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me three tries to get going in this book. At about the half way mark, it became marginally interesting - and shortly afterwards I was wishing it would end. The book has its humourous moments . . . and its really intriguing parts are few and far between. I did enjoy the author's self-effacing humour and it got a bit tedious by the end. It wasn't an "I won't even finish this book" experience - but was a definite "whew - I'm glad it's over." The narrator/author is very articulate, and his English is easy to follow (unlike some of the other narrators). A real ho-hum experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Untold History of the Potato

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Reader
    • Narrated By Martin Hyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (41)

    The potato - humble, lumpy, bland, familiar - is a decidedly unglamorous staple of the dinner table. Or is it? John Reader's narrative on the role of the potato in world history suggests we may be underestimating this remarkable tuber. From domestication in Peru 8,000 years ago to its status today as the world's fourth largest food crop, the potato has played a starring - or at least supporting - role in many chapters of human history.

    Andy says: "better than fries"
    "Not what it says it will be"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking forward to a botanical history of the potato as well as an agricultural history. This was a political history and near the end of the book I found I was just counting dangling participles . . . there were glimmerings of interesting material . . . and it just didn't measure up to my expectations! (I had just finished the History of Salt - which I enjoyed immensely, and this was a real let-down!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alphabet Alliteration

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By Adele Marie Crouch
    • Narrated By Adele Marie Crouch
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Are you ready for a new way to learn the alphabet? This isn't your average A B C's. Those of you who remember, "She sells seashells by the seashore", will enjoy this audiobook immensely. A twist has been added to the basic "A is for apple" that will make learning the alphabet crazy fun. Alliteration has been used for each letter of the alphabet. Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words.

    S says: "Impossible to hear"
    "Impossible to hear"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The echo in this recording makes it impossible to hear and/or decipher what is being said. A real disappointment!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Daniel Kahneman
    • Narrated By Patrick Egan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2102)
    Performance
    (1637)
    Story
    (1618)

    The guru to the gurus at last shares his knowledge with the rest of us. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman's seminal studies in behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies have influenced numerous other authors, including Steven Pinker and Malcolm Gladwell. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman at last offers his own, first book for the general public. It is a lucid and enlightening summary of his life's work. It will change the way you think about thinking. Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Kahneman explains....

    Mike says: "Difficult Listen, but Probably a Great Read"
    "Short on interest - long on verbage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The actually interesting part of this book is buried in tons of statistical information - most of which has nothing to do with thought processing. In the 24 + hours of listening, I appreciated about 3 hours of content - only finishing the book because of the excellent narration! Patrick Egan is an amazing narrator!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1428)
    Performance
    (710)
    Story
    (711)

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "Really????"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What looked like an interesting book turned out to be a scare-mongering blast on "frankenfoods" and an exploration of the merits of cannabis. I was glad when the book was done!

    0 of 0 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
    (279)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (143)

    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"
    "Some books could be better if they were abridged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What I expected: a glimpse into the man we call Abraham Lincoln.

    What I got: a blow by blow descripton of the politics and battles of the day during Lincoln's political career. There were rare glimpses into the human side of Lincoln - and they were frustratingly short and far between.

    The narrator, however did a supurb job of creating changes in voices and in keeping an otherwise l-o-n-g story engaging. Overall, I'm glad I read it to the end. And it was a very l-o-n-g book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Robert D. Hare
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (348)

    Most people are both repelled and intrigued by the images of cold-blooded, conscienceless murderers that increasingly populate our movies, television programs, and newspaper headlines. With their flagrant criminal violation of society's rules, serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are among the most dramatic examples of the psychopath. Individuals with this personality disorder are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and know the difference between right and wrong....

    Douglas says: "When I gave up on books that supposedly would..."
    "Chilling . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is well researched and written. The author is a genuine authority on this phenomenon - and understands it well enough to explain it to his proverbial grandmother. On the other hand, is a very difficult read. It's simply difficult to hear about the mental machinations of people in our society who simply do not have the ability to empathize or accept responsibility for their actions.

    It is also reassuring for anyone who has ever had contact with a psychopath. As difficult as it is, it is also reassuring to know that our experience has been understood by the professionals who have chosen to expose this disorder for what it is. Unfortunately, too many professionals fall into the veneer of charm trap - and miss the underlying chaos and disorder within this dreaded disorder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3965)
    Performance
    (2825)
    Story
    (2819)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "A Nice Excursion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't usually read fiction. This book was recommended by a friend, and I'm glad I got it. The narrator does an excellent job developing the characters. The story was compelling and satisfying. I'm glad I didn't listen to some of the reviewers who did not enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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