Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2010
This is just an eye-opening read. I knew nothing of China - and now have some insight into a closed world. One can not imagine a family traversing such change, personal challenge, physical and mental strife - and it is not a single moment in their lives but a day after day, year after year for decades. It is one of the most intense human dramas I have ever read.
The relationship between the generations of the women. Although all 3 lives were amazingly different - , there is this bond of diamond strength between them. One instinctlively knows they could not possibly have agreed or even understood, the decisions made, yet there is a deep understanding, respect and support. I came across admiring each for their personal strength and courage during the most dire of times and events. Their life's course is something that is completely foreign to me - yet I was absorbed, absorbed, absorbed. I would read and think, it can't get any worse, and then this family would take another hit. Ms. Chang writes so wonderfully, even though this is her story, she seeks not sympathy but understanding with historical perspective and personal experience.
The story of the famine period was just shocking. A continuation of man's inhumanity to man. I am saddened by my own ignorance of Mao's China.
Haven't listened to any of Joy's other performances - would like to. Liked her pace and inflection.
Simply surviving in their world takes warrior strength.
Young women should read to get an intimate understanding of what women have had to go through to survive. Especially in Western culture we take our freedoms for granted and need to be more reflective of what came before us. These women's stories take place in the not so distant past, and we need to understand their decisions, and honor their struggles.
Just learning about the political Lincoln and how he changed even adversaries opinions. This book gives one a deeper understanding of why Lincoln stands out amoung men and our presidents. In the USA, we learn about Lincoln as one of the greats, but it is always boiled down to the Lincoln legacy, rising from a log cabin, rail splitter, humorous, American's moral compass. This book brings to life the obstacles,and the brillance of Lincoln navigating the treacherous political waters. We are provided with such insight into those men and women around him, feeling the relationships - some growing with such respect, and others losing faith. Team of Rivals is a must read for any American history lover (any citizen?). There is so much here to admire. And, now I am scrounging for other books on subjects such as Grand, McClellan, Seward and Stanton.
The first was the convention and his manuevering to win the nomination. Fascinating how he out played some respectable and more experienced players. Second,McClellan role and crucial missteps early in the war. Third, the evolution of thought on emancipation - I never realized Lincoln considered colonization for African Americans.
Liked that it was a known voice, very balanced, very easy to listen too. I prefer a reader that does not try to over dramatize the voices of the characters. Truely a pleasure.
Yes - I was so happy I had a long drive and was able to get through it in one weekend!
No, very rarely read books twice. Just me, not a reflection of the subject or writer.
Surprised (and I didn't think I could be surprised anymore) and that was a good thing!
Did not like the voice he did for Patty Berglund. But other than that, good, and got me through the few (very few) dry spots.
First, so let me say I am not a fiction reader. But needed to start somewhere! I actually did not want like any of the characters, wasn't intriqued by the story - the journey - yet read this all the way to the end. It is the writing! Franzen captured me - this surly, unsophisticated, lazy (will just put it down and not pick it up again type person, won't struggle through anything! I am not proud of this fact!) reader.
My only comparison (am I completely off base here?) is Anna Karenina. Read it finally a few years ago, and was not passionate about Anna, or Karenin, or many of the characters(except maybe Levin and Kitty) ,and could not necessarily relate and Anna was so one dimensional to me, but some how loved just reading it and the comprehensiveness of the story - the intersecting lives of the many characters. It just seems that the writing moves it all along and the reader gets lost on each page in the descriptions of moods or scenery or thoughts - what ever is being conveyed at that moment.. I read too much history and biography books.
Franzen writes in such a way the reader wants to to know the journey, whether or not relating to or even liking the characters and/or their choices.
Maybe the secret is Franzen makes you think about your own life, choices, and journey even if different from the books characters.
Worth the read!
Informative, researched, fascinating
The history of the Church of LDS. There was so much to learn - it is fascinating that we know so little about a religion started in the USA and is growing at such a rapid rate nationally and internationally. The first chapter or two was a bit intense for me, and in my personal recommendation to friends my words are: "bear through that first section" and then you will be entralled by Krakauer;s research and writing skills telling of the the history of the people, the church, and the internal diffferences between LDS and FLDS. It is a necessary historical read, to understand the isolation of the members when they started their trek across the states and finally settled in SLC, Utah. The Utah War - fascinating historical stuff, and I do not remember that being covered in the history books! Now that Romney is the nominatee, people are wanted to learn more. This book does cover the fundamental side as well as mainstream, and I know that the LDS leadership has lambasted the book. One has to read more than one book to form a decision/opinion, and this book gave me the interest to find out more. This is good reading, and the history is almost touchable as it is just 150 years.
Not, but have read Into Thin Air.
There is no fun in fundamentalism.
Not certain I would listen to again - maybe certain chapters to review, but would read another book on her. Catherine is fascinating. I don't agree with the monarchy or aristocracy at all - it is just that a person, especially a woman in that day and age, can climb to such heights.
Catherine of course! The strength of her, just surviving the court intrique and her husband's wrath was an acheivement. She came to a foreign country as a young girl, not only gains power and changes the course of Russia, and wins their hearts. She is such a unique person in the historical annals - especially as a female in a patriarchal country and time. It was not her inheritance, it was not her birth country, yet she ruled for over 30 years. She was continued the modernation of Russia and was well read and versed in enlightment - although she did not practice as democratic ideas if allowed to flourish and take hold would be a threat to monarchies. She deserves as much study as so many other historical figures.
Having been fortunate enough to have visited the Hermitage, one is dumbfounded by the magnitude of the collections. If this was all she accomplished, it would be phenomenal legacy.
It was interesting to learn she had other children beside Paul.
Was very interested in the years with her awful husband.
When Catherine gave birth to Paul, and how miserably she was treated, the shear discomfort, pain and misery she must have been in.
It was Massie's Peter the Great that gave me the desire to travel to St. Petersburg, it was one of the greatest trips in my life. Before that trip, I read a little about Catherine yet they did not complete her story. Now I want to go back!
No, very rarely a repeat listener.
Sadness, a life interupted is always a sad and tragic moment. Those close to it can never recover.
Fit the mood
Peking - the Legation Quarter and how the foreign police had to work with the Chinese police.
This was an interesting story, and the author's description of the city, the spaces, and the people gives it a richness and brings the reader to the place, time and movements.
Of all the books I have listened to and read, this is one of the few I would re-read or listen to again! This was my first Audible book (had done books on tape, CD, but not via Audible) and it got me hooked, if all books could be this good, this interesting, this captivating.
The are so many! The description of the lifestyles - the highs and lows, the life at Tudor Hall, the tour of the Western USA during the Gold Rush of Junius and Edwin, the description of them traveling tough turrain. The romance between Edwin Booth and Laura Keene (the actress staring in Our American Cousin the night Lincoln was shot, and craddled his head), the taunting of Junius Booth's abandoned wife and Mary Ann Holmes. Just the unique and non-comformist information the reader learned.
Nora Titone brings the reader along to comprehend the talent of Junius and Edwin as actors - not just saying they were talented, but providing an understanding of the theatre of the time - the the thespian standards, and expectation of that periords audience. It was eye-opening and so fascinating.
Nora Titone brings to life one of the most fascinating families. I have to say, the handling of John Wilkes Booth was just excellently balanced. You get an understanding of him, what some of his motivations could have been, his childhood, relationships with brothers, mother, father. Yet, this is not his story, his does not dominate. Here is the family's story.
It was steady and easy to identify the characters without overdramatic inflections.
This book made me think the Booth family would be a well-known American family even if John Wilkes Booth did not assissinate President Lincoln. It would have been a great American saga instead of a tragic one; a family whose name will always be associated with one of the most notorious moments in American history.
The listener will not walk away unsatisfied.
There is so much about this work I enjoyed, what an amazing story, barely touched upon in our history books. I knew nothing of President Garfield, and now I want to read so much more. What an interesting person, worth more than a footnote in the our history books. From his birth, family struggle, education, abolition beliefs, military career in the Civil War, and his political life - just the story of his unsolicited nomination for the presidency. That in and of itself is worthy of more study. Many others in the book are worth more research.
Killer of Little Shepards - because it is a study of new ideas - and trying to get people to accept and change their understanding. Reminds one not to be so arrogant on today's position - tomorrow could bring about a new and better understanding.
The Chicago convention when he was nominated as the Republican Party's nomination. I want to find more on the event. But have to say I was engrossed (gross being the operative word) the description of the awful archaic medical practices that truly caused President Garfield's death.
Absolutely - listened to in two days - any chance I could.
It was such an fascinating time in America, where all these names intersect - Bell,Edison, Grant, Sherman, Todd Lincoln. We were on the cusp - the Civil War not so distant past, and just around the corner, the explosion of a fast and vastly changing world - electricity, telephone,the industrial revolution. It seems this book reflects this moment in time when the past and future is an almost visible line.
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