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Rena

I'm always on the search for engaging, intelligent books & authors who give me a story I can relate to. Through Audible I'm finding a lot! When I'm not reading or listening, I'm writing, cooking, traveling or working on my house or in the yard. Politics is also central in my life; I feel it's important to be aware of what's going on and give voice to protecting all that we value & hold dear.

Alberta Canada | Member Since 2012

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 171 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • Texas Cooking: Texas Hill Country Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lisa Wingate
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (91)

    According to USA Today, best-selling author Lisa Wingate “dishes up fun and charm” with her touching romance novels. In Texas Cooking, Wingate tells the story of Colleen Collins, a big city reporter who thinks she’s seen and heard it all until she visits the tiny town of San Saline. Listeners from all walks of life will relish this tale of passion, new beginnings, and the comfortsof good food and good conversation.

    Jen says: "Odd Title for Such a Wonderful Book!"
    "Enjoyable Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Texas Cooking?

    It's a refreshing departure from all the violence and tension out there. A sweet story with Christian undertone. The story is plausible enough to have actually happened.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The overview of rural life and the rewards of being part of a mostly tolerant and generous community.


    What three words best describe Johanna Parker’s performance?

    Young adequate narrator


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

    Many parts bought a smile and a laugh....nice!


    Any additional comments?

    If you,re looking for an easy, enjoyable listen with a sprinkle of old fashioned morality thrown in - this is it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Native Wisdom: Seven Keys to Health & Happiness

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By Ken Cohen
    • Narrated By Ken Cohen
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    What if you could distill the great teachings of the world's indigenous cultures into seven principles that would bring inner peace and fulfillment to your life? Traditional healer Ken Cohen spent 35 years studying, practicing, and training with elder healers from the Native American, African, Siberian, Aboriginal, and Chinese indigenous traditions. Now, he shares the common threads that tie these paths together on Native Wisdom: Seven Keys to Health & Happiness.

    Rena says: "awesome and inspiring"
    "awesome and inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    tremendous book, inspiring , rich in wisdom & council- about the best ever! thank you





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (369)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "Glorifying a Low Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listened to a few chapters and quickly realized that the book was about a low life that the author was glorifying. That turned me off. I went to the last couple of chapters and it was confirmed. I was not impressed.


    Has The Winter of Frankie Machine turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Sure has. I am searching for a book grounded in reality and not hijacked by thug guys. I'm sick of the violence and the superhero persona. It's shallow and boring. Come on authors you can do better than churning out crap.


    What about Dennis Boutsikaris’s performance did you like?

    Narrator was great!


    Could you see The Winter of Frankie Machine being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Would never bother to see it at the movies.


    Any additional comments?

    Authors - stretch yourselves and write something modern; cut waaay back on the violence; the sex and super hero la la land stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Naomi Klein
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (131)

    In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies.

    Evie S. says: "Read it, live it"
    "An Eye Opener on Climate Change"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up This Changes Everything in three words, what would they be?

    Urgent Action Needed!!!


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Naomi Klein is a brilliant investigative journalist, environmentalist, activist and a down to earth, real person. I can't say enough how much I appreciate the effort she's gone through to dig up the information she has and her ability to write so clearly and in such an engaging way.


    What does Ellen Archer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator was amazing - she brought out the best in the book. I can't say enough about how engaging she made the listen.


    If you could give This Changes Everything a new subtitle, what would it be?

    No More Trashing Our Planet - Sociopaths Begone!


    Any additional comments?

    What I know is this ...this precious planet that we call home has gone from a pristine haven to a polluted hell in less than a hundred years. This has happened because we haven't paid attention. We've elected (for the most part) uninformed people who have allowed industry (primarily fossil fuel and agriculture) to destroy our earth right before our eyes. 45% of our fresh water lakes and rivers are now too polluted for swimming, fishing and aquatic life! The pH of the oceans have swung into the acid range killing marine life on a scale as never before. Air and soil are contaminated; people are experiencing more asthma, allergies, cancer as never before. I think to myself - how dare they destroy our planet! I loved the audio version and have also purchased the book. I'm thinking of purchasing several more books which I plan to give to my local politicians. I can't imagine anyone not wanting to take action after listening to what she has to say.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Bait

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kenneth Abel
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (88)

    With some of the most spine-chilling scenes in modern suspense fiction, Bait guarantees the listener a roller coaster ride with a hero not afraid to cross the line. Life for narcotics detective Jack Walsh is one continuous drunken binge - until one blurry night when his car veers into an oncoming car, killing the son of Boston’s premier crime boss. Now Jack must decide if he wants to hide from D’Angelo’s vengeful compatriots or reclaim his life.

    Richard Delman says: "A fantastic story, told by the Master."
    "Period Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Bait? What did you like least?

    It captures style of writing/reading that is very nostalgic ... an audio version similar to watching a classic on TV (Perry Mason, Columbo...).


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The narrator captures an era and style of reading - he's really good.


    Was Bait worth the listening time?

    I didn't listen to the entire story. (see additional comments)


    Any additional comments?

    Once in a while it's nice to come across classics like this but I didn't listen to the entire story because after a while I was wanting something more up to the minute and relevant to the here and now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Mythology

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
    Overall
    (604)
    Performance
    (533)
    Story
    (526)

    These 24 lectures are a vibrant introduction to the primary characters and most important stories of classical Greek and Roman mythology. Among those you'll investigate are the accounts of the creation of the world in Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid's Metamorphoses; the gods Zeus, Apollo, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Dionysos, and Aphrodite; the Greek heroes, Theseus and Heracles (Hercules in the Roman version); and the most famous of all classical myths, the Trojan War.

    Matt says: "Very Informative and Entertaining"
    "Gives You A Behind the Scenes Look at Mythology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Classical Mythology rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    For a course type listen this ranks way up there. It was informative - in depth and enjoyable. It was like sitting in a lecture theater listening to a professor extraordinaire - a person who is not only learned but loves the subject matter.


    What other book might you compare Classical Mythology to and why?

    I've been a great fan of (mythologist) Joesph Campbell for years and this book complemented his work and built on it.


    What about Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s performance did you like?

    Her passion and desire to share her love of the subject really came through - she's wonderful!


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks Professor Vandiver - you are awesome!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Island: Gideon Crew, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David W. Collins
    Overall
    (548)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (492)

    Gideon Crew, brilliant scientist, master thief, is living on borrowed time. When his mysterious employer, Eli Glinn, gives him an eyebrow-raising mission, he has no reason to refuse. Gideon's task: steal a page from the priceless Book of Kells, now on display in New York City and protected by unbreakable security. Accomplishing the impossible, Gideon steals the parchment - only to learn that hidden beneath the gorgeously illuminated image is a treasure map dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks.

    Mary says: "Their worst book!"
    "Action packed Indian Jones style Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Lost Island the most enjoyable?

    I love intelligent dialogue and this book had it - kept me engaged even in the realm of the absurd (I'm referring to the Cyclops part of the book) ...crazy but he pulled it off.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Are you kidding? The book was pure escapism Indiana Jones style which I enjoy once in a blue moon and apparently the there were two full moons this month and somehow the book showed up in my library.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The narrator was outstanding! As ridiculous as the plot was, he pulled it off.


    Any additional comments?

    Once in a while we all need a vicarious adventure and escape and this book was a great vehicle.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue (Plus Baconomics, Superfoods, and Other Secrets from the World of Food Trends)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By David Sax
    • Narrated By David Sax
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: Where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Traveling from the South Carolina rice plot of America’s premier grain guru to Chicago’s gluttonous Baconfest, Sax reveals a world of influence, money, and activism that helps decide what goes on your plate.

    Rena says: "Informative - Engaging - Entertaining!"
    "Informative - Engaging - Entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Tastemakers in three words, what would they be?

    Informative - Engaging - Entertaining! If you love cooking and food facts and trivia, it doesn't get much better than this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I always suspected that many of our food preferences were shaped by the movers and shakers of the food industry and David Sax verified my suspicions and really explained how it works. I love his passion for food and his ability to engage his listener (in this case - me) and in a vicarious way take me with him behind the scenes. As a food lover/cook - this book was a joY!


    Any additional comments?

    I'd love to see more books like this. It's about something real - it's interesting and exciting.
    Thanks Mr. Sax!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Booktaker: A Nameless Detective Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Bill Pronzini
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    Overall
    (516)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (445)

    The Nameless Detective is called upon to find out how rare books and maps are being stolen from an antiquarian bookshop with a faultless alarm system. He goes undercover in the store, only to be foiled when a theft occurs right under his nose. Then, as he ponders the case (while on a date with the lovely Kerry), he’s violently struck from behind by a car that seems bent on driving him off the road. Will Nameless survive this attempt on his life and solve the case?

    Doug says: "Weak writing and weaker reading"
    "Superbly Written!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Booktaker in three words, what would they be?

    Breath of Fresh Air
    I believe there was no charge for this audio book - not sure why but thanks very much; it was a great surprise for this wonderful gift.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Its refreshing to come across an author who really knows how to write- the sentences are creatively and beautifully structured - there is intelligence behind this work which I really appreciated.


    What does Nick Sullivan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    You get a glimpse into the mans thinking process as if you are right there with him.


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

    The narrator was brilliant - a joy to the ears.


    Any additional comments?

    Not sure when this book was written but if recently then I would have installed secret cameras to catch the thief.
    I want to read more by this author and hear more by this narrator ...thank you both!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Equalizer

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Michael Sloan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (212)

    Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

    shelley says: "THE EQUALIZER is truly worthy of an AWARD!!"
    "Modern day Superhero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes- its an action packed super hero fiction where the hero always comes out shining inspite of non stop obstacles and injuries that would leave most dead at the first blow.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was impressed how the book went on and on and on ... and actually that wasn't a bad thing - in fact it made the book more enjoyable ...that and the comic aspect of it. In some ways it read like a comic book with the hero and villans and cast of characters. Its not the kind of book I normally would listen to but once I got on to the comic reality of it, I sank in and kind of enjoyed it in spite of the wham bam shootem up at every turn (I fast forwarded some of the gory parts). I think its the kind of book that could even get a cult following - particularly guys.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Gurner – was your favorite?

    All of them - the narrator was incredible.


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

    The narrator was outstanding - what an amazing voice!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9824)
    Performance
    (8848)
    Story
    (8857)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Great book - great Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    i would absolutely recommend this book! One of his one of his best if not *the* best. The narrator - Michael Beck is brilliant, brings the characters to life and never misses a beat...flawless delivery; I am in awe how this is possible.
    The storyline is engaging, interesting and what a surprise for an ending; I loved it. Also reinforced for me why I disdain most lawyers so much.


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

    No but I will look for more by him; he's amazing!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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