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D

Member Since 2010

ratings
4
REVIEWS
3
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • Parable of the Sower

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Octavia E. Butler
    • Narrated By Lynne Thigpen
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (143)

    God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose unlikely prophet is 18-year-old Lauren Olamina. The young woman's diary entries tell the story of her life amid a violent 21st-century hell of walled neighborhoods and drug-crazed pyromaniacs - and reveal her evolving Earthseed philosophy. Against a backdrop of horror emerges a message of hope: if we are willing to embrace divine change, we will survive to fulfill our destiny among the stars.

    David says: "A dystopian vision of collapsed America"
    "Gorgeous, gripping, and dark but hopeful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a journey that you take along with the main character, as she grows and changes, struggles and learns, and as the people around her do the same. I love how poetic it is, how honest it is in its darkness without tending toward sensationalism. As a reader (especially with Lynne Thigpen's fantastic performance), you become as horrified and as cynical as the primary characters at times, but you (like they) can never fully let go of that hope that there must be something more to find, to build, at the end of all that hardship and suffering, a way to survive, even thrive. And even through all the challenges and the loss, there are still those moments - of laughter, of beauty, of communion ... of positive humanity, It is gorgeous, a masterfully written and authentic-to-humanity work and world.

    It reminds me why I fell in love with Octavia Butler's writing in the first place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Summer Prince

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Alaya Dawn Johnson
    • Narrated By Rebecca Mozo, Lincoln Hoppe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil. The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

    D says: "A lush, poetic, enthralling work"
    "A lush, poetic, enthralling work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Recommended to me by a friend with excellent taste in books, this book had a high bar to meet and it truly accomplished that feat. I waded into this world and within just a paragraph or two I was fully open to it, excited to see all the ways it might develop, where it might take me.

    As a queer person of color, I profoundly appreciated that not only the characters, but also the context and the culture were diverse and nuanced. It even provides a setting in which gender roles weren't taken for granted and sexuaulity was fluid and unencumbered by irrelevant moral trappings. And words didn't just sit on the page! They sang and danced, their rhythm staying with me a long time after I closed the book, whether for a moment or finally at the end.

    I would love to see this as a film or miniseries, but I would fear no one could do it justice. It is just GORGEOUS! I honestly don't understand the low star reviews!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Philip Gulley
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    While many denominations claim to be growing, the largest group in American religious life is the disillusioned - people who have been involved in the church yet see few similarities between the church's life and the person of Jesus. In the midst of elaborate programming, professional worship teams, and political crusades, they ask, "Is this really what Jesus called us to do?" While the church has dismissed these people as uncommitted and lacking in faith, perhaps the opposite is true. Their commitment to authentic spirituality over institutional idolatry might be the very corrective the church needs.

    Mona says: "Fantastic Book, must read for modern day christian"
    "For all who feel disillusioned or marginalized!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an incredibly straghtforward, but also truly thoughtful and inspirational book. The author's own beliefs are, in some ways, radical, but that's not a bad thing. He makes a multifaceted case for reevaluating the church itself and our lives as Christians so that we are not just repeating beliefs or manifesting dogma, but ACTING LIKE CHRIST. His approach is to ask us to consider how Jesus might think about behaviors that have become a part of the modern church and then he explores the issue through references to scripture and anecdotes. It's very much like having a long conversation with the most open-minded minister you could ever imagine. He says things that ... just make sense and yet, instead of saying you have to agree with him, he says you should think about these things for yourself, in light of Jesus' life itself and not just whatever rules or "truths" a church or religious community expects people to live their lives by.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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