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Elizabeth

ratings
734
REVIEWS
41
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
199

  • Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Vanessa Woods
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    In 2005, Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country reeling from a brutal decade-long war that had claimed the lives of millions. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo's capital, Vanessa and her fiancee entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7 percent of our DNA.

    Elizabeth says: "Interesting & Informative"
    "Interesting & Informative"
    Overall

    I loved this book, including the quirky narrator, whose Aussie accent and intimacy are a perfect match for Vanessa Wood's story of falling in love with the bonobos of central Africa's Congo. Although I knew a bit about bonobos' matriarchal social structure and "make-love-not-war" approach to communal living, "Bonobo Handshake" not only deepened my knowledge, but made me care deeply about these remarkable members of the great ape family. Equally interesting are the author's descriptions of the Congo, which is the only place in the world where the endangered Bonobos live in the wild. It's rare to find a book that's both a good yarn and educational, and this one excels at all levels.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chinese Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers, James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (506)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (356)

    When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husbands estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for Chinas Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisines artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization.

    Dr. says: "Totally Satisfying - highly recommended"
    "Taste Sensation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my favorite audiobook in a great while. What captivated me most are the author's sumptuous and learned descriptions of true Chinese cuisine, which is highly sophisticated in its cultural meanings, ingredients, and preparation. The narration is beautifuly realized, and the love story is handled with unusual sensitivity (no soft-porn passages, thankfully). I felt at the end a much greater appreciation for both Chinese culture and its wondrously complex food.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lynne Martin
    • Narrated By Lynne Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Reunited in love after 35 years and suffering from a serious case of pre-retirement wanderlust, Lynne and Tim Martin made a life-altering decision: They sold their house and possessions and hit the road to live internationally full-time. Now tethered to nothing but their suitcases, each other, and their next exotic location, they've never looked back. From sky-high pyramids in Mexico to monkeys in Marrakech, this delightful, inspiring memoir is a romantic tale of derring-do for grown-ups and a road map for anyone who dreams of turning the idea of life abroad into a reality.

    Barbara says: "Looking for Courage to Make a Change? LISTEN!!!"
    "Upscale Travel Guide"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't a book about "roughing it," by any means. It's basically a travel guide for wealthy retirees who stay in expensive hotels and apartments, eat at upscale restaurants, and attend the opera in places like Buenos Aires and consider it all a great adventure. Don't be misled by the title and subhead, which suggest something less tame than what this well-marketed but disappointing book delivers.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • One Year Lived

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Adam Shepard
    • Narrated By Adam Shepard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    During his 29th year, spending just $19,420.68, less than it would have cost him to stay at home, Adam Shepard visited seventeen countries on four continents and lived some amazing adventures. "It's interesting to me," he says, "that in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, it's normal for people to pack a bag, buy a plane ticket, and get 'Out There'."

    Elizabeth says: "Annoying & Immature"
    "Annoying & Immature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a sucker for travel memoirs but couldn't wait to get rid of this narrator, who's a decent writer but almost completely lacking in sophistication and insight. Traveling all over the globe, as this book demonstrates, doesn't necessarily mean being deepened or transformed in any substantive way by the experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas M. Sterner
    • Narrated By Thomas M. Sterner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (201)

    Present moment awareness is an essential ingredient in life if one expects to experience any degree of authentic peace and contentment. It has been acknowledged for centuries as the cornerstone of spiritual awakening in all traditions of Eastern thought. In the West, however, it is still a relatively unrecognized concept for living. The Western mind is always restless, never content with the moment.

    Antony says: "A fabulous book, narrated by a true Master"
    "Simple & Profound"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tend to be bitterly disappointed by self-help books but decided to try this one when events and challenges in my life began to get the best of me. Inspired by one of the reviews about the power of Sterner's ideas, I purchased the audiobook. Today I'm so happy I did so. The book is definitely a keeper, and I plan to listen to it over and over again until cultivation of "the practicing mind" replaces the habit of self-judgment and fear of failure. With the author's clear explaination of how ego-driven thought patterns sabotage our efforts and his message about "the simplicity of doing one thing at a time...slowly, with purpose," he shows how focusing on either "success" or "failure" causes suffering.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Almost French

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Sarah Turnbull
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (29)

    After backpacking her way around Europe journalist Sarah Turnbull is ready to embark on one last adventure before heading home to Sydney. A chance meeting with a charming Frenchman in Bucharest changes her travel plans forever. Acting on impulse, she agrees to visit Fredric in Paris for a week. Put a very French Frenchman together with a strong-willed Australian girl and the result is some spectacular - and often hilarious - cultural clashes.

    Jan says: "Just okay"
    "Almost Terrific"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In contrast to some reviewers of this book who compared it negatively to Mayles, etc., I found it authentic, well-written, and rich in cutural details about Parisians and life in Paris. While similar "memoirs" of Paris supplement their meager content with recipes and cooking instructions, Turnbull attempts to offer readers a dimensional portrait of the city and its people, including, for instance, details about French antipathy toward "Anglo-Saxon" feminism, the City of Light's love affair with dogs, and the extended time required to befriend Parisians. My ONLY issue with the audio version is the reader's strange combination of annoying accent and knowing attitude. With another reader this book might have earned five stars all around.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Dog Tulip

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By J. R. Ackerley
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Distinguished British man of letters J. R. Ackerley hardly thought himself a dog lover when, well into middle age, he came into possession of a German shepherd named Tulip. To his surprise, she turned out to be the love of his life, the “ideal friend” he had been seeking in vain for years. My Dog Tulip is a bittersweet retrospective account of their 16-year companionship, as well as a profound and subtle meditation on the strangeness that lies at the heart of all relationships.

    N. Rogers says: "Disappointing"
    "Why Spaying Your Dog is a Good Thing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written in the mid-1950s, this beautifully realized little book documents in strangely absorbing detail the perils of living in a small London apartment with a high-strung female German shepherd who comes into heat three times a year and, in her one experience as a mother, delivers eight rambunctious pups. The author, a distinguished British editor in his day, trains his writerly skills on his dog Tulip's posterior, charting exactly what happens there when she goes into heat and delving into the mechanics of sex with one of her many beleagured suitors. Unlike any dog memoir I've read, it's both a love story and a treatise on the sacrifices and pleasures experienced by both dog owners and their pets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dangerous Animals Club

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Stephen Tobolowsky
    • Narrated By Stephen Tobolowsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (181)

    If you ran into Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you would not be mistaken: Yes, you’ve seen him before. A childhood dentist? A former geometry teacher? Your local florist? Tobolowsky is a character actor, one of the most prolific screen and stage presences of our time, having appeared in productions that range from Deadwood to Glee, from Mississippi Burning to Groundhog Day. But Stephen Tobolowsky, it turns out, is not just an actor; he is also a dazzlingly talented storyteller and writer.

    Gina says: "Will Rogers, Spalding Gray, Alexandre Dumas HACKS!"
    "Insights and Laughter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is far more entertaining and meaningful than most books on tape. Tobolowsky is not only an intelligent and perceptive observer of the human condition, but is consistently funny as he relates stories about his childhood, romantic relationships, family, and movie and television career. As a comic, Tobolowsky reminds me of the Canadian comic, Stuart MacLean (of "Dave Cooks the Turkey" fame). Great stuff!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Water, Green Skipper: A Memoir of Sailing Alone Across the Atlantic

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Steven Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Stuart Woods had never owned more than a dinghy before setting out on one of the world's most demanding sea voyages, navigating single-handedly across the Atlantic. How, at the age of 37, did this self-proclaimed novice go from small ponds to the big sea? Now with a new afterword that looks back at how one transatlantic race changed his life, Woods takes listeners on a spectacular journey not just of traveling across the world, but of being tried in fire, learning by accepting challenges, appreciating the beauty of the open water, and living to tell about it.

    Steven says: "If you love the idea of sailing."
    "curiously lacking in excitement"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    wanted to like this "memoir," but it seemed contrived and left me bored. Too much description of boats themselves and too little actual story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3101)
    Performance
    (2764)
    Story
    (2770)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Enchanting & Meaningful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book, which offers so much more than its plot seems to suggest. Although the book's focus is on life's serial failures and one man's journey to come to terms with, repair, and transcend them, it also offers the many pleasures of a classic "road" novel, including rich descriptions of people and places along the way. Beautifully written and affecting. It's a book to look forward to and savor.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Contents May Have Shifted

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Pam Houston
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Heart-stopping prose and crackling observations on a spiritual journey toward a life rich in love and freedom.Stuck in a dead-end relationship, this fearless narrator leaves her metaphorical baggage behind and finds a comfort zone in the air, "feeling safest with one plane ticket in her hand and another in her underwear drawer."

    Elizabeth says: "severe disappointment"
    "severe disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel a bit robbed by this book by Pam Houston, whose previous work gave me considerable pleasure. "Contents May Have Shifted" forces the reader to listen to a series of unrelated, self-indulgent, plotless, writerly little scenarios that never develop movement or character. I was unbelievably bored and disappointed. Storytelling is a sacred pact between writer and author, an agreement that Houston betrayed in this book. Had I known to expect no actual story, I'd never have wasted my money on this one.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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