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Catherine S. Read

Fairfax, VA USA | Member Since 2010

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 53 ratings
  • 171 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Eugene Robinson
    • Narrated By Alan Bomar Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The African American population in the United States has always been seen as a single entity: a "Black America" with unified interests and needs. In his groundbreaking book Disintegration, longtime Washington Post journalist Eugene Robinson argues that, through decades of desegregation, affirmative action, and immigration, the concept of Black America has shattered.

    Catherine S. Read says: "Written for Popular Consumption"
    "Written for Popular Consumption"
    Overall

    This is not an academic treatment of race relations in America. Eugene Robinson is a highly regarded columnist for the Washington Post. He writes in a style that is meant for the vast majority of newspaper readers. His stories are memorable, his style engaging, his research convincing and his conclusions practical. I think this is a very important work on how far African-Americans have come in the last 40 years and what it will take to move forward the "Abandoned" class of individuals in this country. As a resident of the Washington, DC area, it was also a great bonus to get a history of many of the neighborhoods and areas in DC. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio production of this book and highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Marja Mills
    • Narrated By Amy Lynn Stewart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is one of the best-loved novels of the 20th century. But for the last 50 years, the novel's celebrated author, Harper Lee, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills.

    Richard says: "Story has nothing new to say about Harper Lee"
    "This Memoir Stands on its Own Merits"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Mockingbird Next Door in three words, what would they be?

    Warm affectionate storytelling.


    What other book might you compare The Mockingbird Next Door to and why?

    I think this book is unique. It's in the style of "new journalism" which means it's journalistic non-fiction reporting but the journalist is also part of the story. It really works here.


    What about Amy Lynn Stewart’s performance did you like?

    She captures the tone of the author really well and her portrayal of Nelle Harper Lee and her sister Alice is believable.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    An elusive literary legend as next door neighbor.


    Any additional comments?

    The book stands on it's own merit. This is not a straight-up biography of Harper Lee. It's the author's personal memoir of the months and years she spent getting to know Nelle Harper Lee, her sister Alice, their close friends and the community of Monroeville, AL. There is important biographical information about the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" but the book is so much more than that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (245)

    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
    "Sissy Spacek is Amazing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to To Kill a Mockingbird again? Why?

    Yes! The book is a classic and Sissy Specek captures each character so faithfully and beautifully. Her "southernness" is not overpowering but essential in re-creating this time and place.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters are beautifully developed here. She captures the tone of the children - Scout, Jem & Dill - so well.


    What about Sissy Spacek’s performance did you like?

    Sissy Specek could read anything to me and I would be happy. She's a skilled actress and that carries over to voice narration.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Gregory Peck won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in the movie version of this book. Many people are more familiar with the movie than the novel. This audiobook surpasses even the movie for bringing this story to life.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a treat. Don't miss it. Perfect for a family road trip in the car for kids 12 and over. It's a book everyone will enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lori Duron
    • Narrated By Lori Duron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Raising My Rainbow is Lori Duron’s frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of her and her family's adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son. Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy's boy, her younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi".

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Loving CJ"
    "Every Child Matters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Raising My Rainbow in three words, what would they be?

    A must read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is the reality of raising a child who has challenges you didn't expect to confront as a parent. The whole concept of "gender non-conforming children" is so new that even teachers, doctors and counselors who primarily work with children are left at a loss. As a community, people should care about how we are raising every single child. Children should be supported in who they are and professionals who work with them should recognize protecting children in their care and keeping them safe is a primary responsibility. This story also shows the limits of friendship and how crushing it can be to find out the people you believed would love you no matter what - don't.


    Which character – as performed by Lori Duron – was your favorite?

    Lori really makes her son CJ come alive. He is very real to me in her telling of how he sees and interacts with the world.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was. It's a journey of discovery and I wanted to know how it would turn out for this family. I respect that Lori wanted to read her book herself because the stories of her children, husband, brother, parents and in-laws are so deeply personal. She may not be a professional narrator, but she did a great job and the authenticity comes through.


    Any additional comments?

    The bonus interview at the end of the book with Lori Duron was excellent. It made me glad I chose the audiobook instead of the hardcopy. I also appreciated knowing this was CJ's mother talking directly to me and this was all very very real.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jon Acuff
    • Narrated By Jon Acuff
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (359)
    Story
    (364)

    There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives listeners practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.

    Peter says: "START made me STOP listening fast"
    "Very Motivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The author is genuine. This is not hype. It's actually a reminder of things we know but forget, ignore or drown out with negative self talk. Here is someone who has walked the walk and shows the journey in an engaging way. He's a wonderful storyteller. I listened to the book realizing that the prize in life goes to those who can continue to press forward and re-imagine the possibilities when the path we're on turns out to be something we no longer want to be on. I gifted copies to all three of my 20-something children. Adopting Jon Acuff's worldview earlier rather than later will greatly improve the quality of their daily lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sheryl Sandberg
    • Narrated By Elisa Donovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2328)
    Performance
    (2051)
    Story
    (2059)

    Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO, ranked eighth on Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business - has become one of America's most galvanizing leaders, and an icon for millions of women juggling work and family. In Lean In, she urges women to take risks and seek new challenges, to find work that they love, and to remain passionately engaged with it at the highest levels throughout their lives.

    Claudia says: "Make your life count - no matter what you do"
    "A Book for Women AND Men"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Lean In rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best ones I've listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the overall tone of what Sheryl had to say. She is realistic, optimistic, empathetic and very self effacing. She is not at all what the media has portrayed her to be. She speaks not in a critical voice, but in a way that says we can make the world a better place if we look at making choices more equal for both women and men. At the close of the book she talks of hoping that both her son and her daughter will have the opportunity to pursue what they want in both a career and at home and that they will be supported in their choices. That message is for everyone - not a particular demographic.


    What about Elisa Donovan’s performance did you like?

    Elisa did a good job reading the book. After seeing Sheryl Sandberg's TED Talk, I was familiar with how she delivered her message and I thought Elisa gave an accurate portrayal of that.


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

    I listened to this with my husband Tom while we were driving around all weekend from one city to another. At various times, he stopped the book so we could talk about something she had just said. It was very productive for us to listen to this together over the course of 3 days in the confines of our car. We had an opportunity to really focus on what she was saying and to relay to each other experiences we've had that were an example of what she is talking about. My husband is a partner in a law firm and a baby boomer, and I think he got a great deal out of this book.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book to listen to with someone else because it is a wonderful catalyst for meaningful conversations on really important issues we ALL need to be concerned about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Disturber of the Peace: The Life of H. L. Mencken

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    This fine biography of H. L. Mencken tells of how he rose to his unique position as comic genius and pre-eminent critic of American culture. It is the story of a man whose massive power of invective inspired and infuriated his contemporaries and whose popularity and unpopularity mounted with the frenzied pace of the 1920s.

    Margaret Hildebrand says: "A Revelation"
    "Well Written and Well Narrated"
    Overall

    I loved this book! I'm a fan of HL Mencken but didn't know much about all the things he had done in his lifetime. William Manchester's obvious affection and his personal relationship with Mencken comes through in his prose and how he tells his story. I thought it was riveting. And the narrator did an great job with the reading. I highly recommend it - especially since the book, published in 1951, is no longer in print.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2036)
    Performance
    (1027)
    Story
    (1047)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Exquisitely Beautiful"
    Overall

    It is one of the most beautiful books I've ever heard read. I love it! I'm sure I will listen to it over and over again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Richard Florida
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    We tend to view prolonged economic downturns, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Long Depression of the late 19th century, in terms of the crisis and pain they cause. But history teaches us that these great crises also represent opportunities to remake our economy and society and to generate whole new eras of economic growth and prosperity.

    Roy says: "A General Look at the Financial Crisis"
    "Another Winner from Richard Florida"
    Overall

    I'm familiar with the writings of Richard Florida and often recommend his book "The Rise of the Creative Class." The hallmark of his work is thorough research and an interpretation of the data that makes sense to a non-academic. Statistics are interwoven with personal stories, recent examples, the writings, research and reporting of others, and chapters that move in a logical progression. I thought this recording was well done by Eric Conger and would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand more clearly where we are now and what we need to consider as we look toward a future of great change.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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