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Kenosha, WI, United States | Member Since 2013

  • 9 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 295 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Judith Boyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir tells the spellbinding tale of the last days of Henry VIII’s second wife. Accused of adultery, incest, and treason, Anne Boleyn is locked in the Tower of London on May 2, 1536. Despite maintaining her innocence, she’s quickly condemned to death. Soon, one sword stroke sends her into eternity. But as her remains rot in the sun—unblessed by coffin, marker, or funeral—few know the truth behind her swift demise.

    Elizabeth says: "Intriguing"

    After having read a score of books on Anna Boleyn's rise and fall, this one seems to be the most thorough and balanced.

    Going through every aspect of Anne's fall, from the very real political machinations to the spectral appearances post mortem, Weir leaves no stone unturned. Disclosing the reasoning behind Anne's vilification and later sympathetic romantic legacy, this book ambitiously weaves through the impact of her life in a balanced way.

    If you love details, historical political intrigue, the stories behind events, or just want a good idea of what really happened- this is likely the best you can do.

    However, if you are hankering after a historical romance, a novelized version that puts you into Anne's daily life, then this may be a little too dry for you. It's not The Other Boleyn Girl, it's just the facts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Keith says: "Ken Follett and John Lee / Audible's Dream Team"
    "All's Fair in Love and War"

    It took a little while to get into this one, but once the threads of the stories are established, it kicks into gear and moves with balance and swiftness.

    The good things: Great historical touches. Good pacing in the narration, and the reader shows an impressive array of accents and voices.

    The bad things: As has been pointed out by critics, some of the dialogue and more emotive descriptions veer towards being trite, cheesy or cringeworthy. The (sometimes silly) injections of erotic content are frequent, so be wary if that's not your bag.

    Overall: Once I got hooked into the story it was layered and very enjoyable, and it's an incredibly interesting period of history. From trenches to drawing rooms, it attempts to cover a huge range of political and social issues with human, relatable characters. Quite an accomplishment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The 48 Laws of Power

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Don Leslie

    Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers.

    Ricardo says: "Not a how to guide .."
    "With A Grain of Salt"

    I want world domination. Sure, don't we all?
    Filled with interesting anecdotes, and methods of machiavellian maneuvering, this book is ideal inspiriation for the brooding evil genius or dictator within us. Often contradictory, the contents are still certainly fun.

    The narrator does have a tendency towards slow, deliberate speech for unnecessary emphasis, but it's still listenable. The random musical interludes could have been done away with. Otherwise thoroughly entertaining.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Barbara Mertz
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Esteemed Egyptologist Barbara Mertz updates her widely praised social history of the people of ancient Egypt, which was originally published in 1968. Combining impeccable scholarship with a delightfully personal style, the author reconstructs the life of the Egyptians from birth to death, and beyond death, too.

    Elizabeth says: "Brilliant"

    This book was an absolute delight. The narrator understood the cheeky, frank and fun style of the writer, and made it very engaging to listen to.

    The wide variety of topics covered in Ancient Egypt gave you a great overview of life and times. The finely detailed particulars are related to us with a modern sensibility, and an scholarly intelligence that make you want to learn more.

    It's clear the writer adores her subject matter. It's like sitting down to have a feisty professor aunt tell you her favorite stories from Egypt.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Katharine, the Virgin Widow

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jean Plaidy
    • Narrated By Candida Gubbins

    The young Spanish widow, Katharine of Aragon, has become the pawn between two powerful monarchies. After less than a year as the wife of the frail Prince Arthur, the question of whether the marriage was consummated will decide both her fate and that of England. But whilst England and Spain dispute her dowry, her unexpected escape from poverty waits in the wings: Henry, Arthur's younger, more handsome brother, and the future king of England. He alone has the power to restore her position: but at what price?

    Elizabeth says: "High School Tudors"
    "High School Tudors"

    Perhaps I've been spoiled listening to the rigorous scholarship on the Tudors of Alison Weir and Antonia Fraser.

    If you've never been introduced to the story of Katharine of Aragon, then this might be a good basic introduction.
    However, the dialog is often trite and feels far too modern, especially between the children. Written with heavy foresight, each child's fate seems a forgone conclusion. The result feels whiny and a little immature.

    The side-story about Juana the Mad is engaging, but once again demeaned to soap opera levels of reality.

    If you want more convincing history: Read the Six Wives of Henry VIII.
    If you want a vivid, sexy and engaging story about Katherine and don't mind how accurate the history is: Read the Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Manchurian Candidate

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Richard Condon
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Buried deep within the consciousness of Sergeant Raymond Shaw is the mechanism of an assassin, a time bomb ticking toward explosion, controlled by the delicate skill of its Communist masters. Shaw returns from the Korean War to an idolizing and unsuspecting country. What follows is at once a spy story, a love story, and a sobering, yet outrageously funny satire on demagoguery in American politics.

    Hunter says: "What a wonderful title!"
    "A Killer Book"

    Gripping, fantastic. Great narration, great story. Had me hooked from the start, with its twisted mind games and slowly unraveling power struggles.
    If you like your books with espionage, politics, military manipulation, and mind control, this will not disappoint.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Anthony Gottlieb
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb looks afresh at the writings of the great thinkers, questions much of conventional wisdom, and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. After finishing The Dream of Reason, listeners will be graced with a fresh appreciation of the philosophical quest, its entertaining and bizarre byways, and its influence on every aspect of life.

    Amazon Customer says: "An in depth read."
    "An Excellent Cure For Insomnia"

    Between snippets of interesting facts, I find myself tuning out for long patches in this one. It's not overly dense, or even difficult to understand. It's just that it's not grabbing me.

    I've gotten through Middlemarch with this narrator. I thought we could do this. Nope, it's easy to tune out and slightly annoying.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Birds Without Wings

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Louis de Bernieres
    • Narrated By John Lee

    Birds Without Wings is the story of a small town in Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire told in the richly varied voices of the men and women (Armenians, Christians, and Muslims) whose lives are intertwined and rooted there: Iskander, the potter and local fount of wisdom; Philotei, the Christian girl of legendary beauty, courted almost from infancy by Ibrahim the goatherd, a great love that culminates in tragedy and madness; and many more.

    Augie says: "Not for the faint of heart"
    "Please Just Shoot the Birds"

    This MAY be a profoundly good book.
    Frankly, the narrator alienated me with his snarky voice and horrible female impersonations.
    Also, the book seems heavily weighted towards the Turkish side, with a rather degrading view of the Greeks.
    Had expected a little more balance in such an observant writer. War description is detailed and fascinating, but the smug, nasal narration really lets it down.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Stone's Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Iain Pears
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice, John Lee, Simon Vance

    Iain Pears tells the story of John Stone, financier and arms dealer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed entire countries and continents. A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stone's Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.

    Marilyn Scher says: "Iain Pears-Always more than you bargained for."
    "The Perfect Audiobook"

    A brilliantly intertwined plot of espionage, romance, business strategy, deception, and war on the brew. The narration is clever and self-effacing, the characters are intriguing. Please find me any other book that can blend gypsy fortune tellers and the stock market, while maintaining a dry wit throughout. Stellar!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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