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ButterLegume

Books on tape -- every commuter's friend. American history is my choice but then, in books, as in music, I'm all over the place.

Middletown, MD, United States

66
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
8

  • The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Daniel Mark Epstein
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    In 1974 the historian Fawn Brodie predicted that a "sensitive study of the Lincoln marriage will not always defy biographers". Until now, it has. The only book-length treatment of the marriage was published in 1953, when scholars lacked today's resources and were still struggling with deep-seated prejudices about Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln. Now Daniel Mark Epstein has produced an incisive and balanced portrait of the Lincolns.

    Elizabeth says: "Fascinating!"
    "Enlightening and Fair"
    Overall

    What comes through most in this lengthy and well-researched book, is that the author really doesn't like Mrs. Lincoln very much. Apparently, few did. I had no idea the trials and embarrassments that this kind man endured as he led his country into war.

    Very, very interesting and compelling. Well worth your time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Abigail Adams

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Woody Holton
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (36)

    Abigail Adams offers a fresh perspective on the famous events of Adams's life, and along the way, Woody Holton, a renowned historian of the American Revolution, takes on numerous myths about the men and women of the founding era. But the book also demonstrates that domestic dramas---from unplanned pregnancies to untimely deaths---could be just as heartbreaking, significant, and inspiring as the actions of statesmen and soldiers.

    Michael says: "A Remarkable Woman"
    "Cements My Understanding of the Former First Lady"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, if anyone has read some of my reviews, I have a real "thing" about narrators. As I've said before, a great narrator can save a mediocre book, but a mediocre narrator cannot save a great book. Cassandra Campell has narrated dozens of books, (probably hundreds) and her voice is so clear and unaffected that one finds oneself completely immersed in the story, not the reader. (Scott Brick is another such narrator.) So, five stars for the narrator.

    On to the story. Abigail Adams is an oft discussed First Lady. One reason is because she left copious letters by which to remember her. The other reason is that she apparently had a little something to say. She was wise, and she was smart. She very often chafed at the role in which society placed her and other women during her time in history. "Remember the ladies," is a quote she's remembered for and the fact that her husband, John Adams, made light of the request reinforces that women had a long, long way to go.

    There is a distinct feeling that as time went on, both Adams were cognizant that others may read their correspondence on a world stage. There are some who believe that John Adams' tendency towards envy and jealousy mellowed in time. I disagree, and feel that he because more aware of the impression these traits would leave on generations to come.

    It's a good story, really. Personally, I think if one has a true interest in the Adams "machine," one ought to read and/or listen to "John Adams," "The First Family," then "Abigail Adams," and then "John Adams" again.

    Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tell Me Where It Hurts: Humor, Healing and Hope in my Life as an Animal Surgeon

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dr. Nick Trout
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (59)

    From the frontlines of modern medicine, Tell Me Where it Hurts is a fascinating insider portrait of a veterinarian, his furry patients, and the blend of old-fashioned instincts and cutting-edge technology that defines pet care in the 21st century. Dr. Trout takes the listener on a vicarious journey through 24 intimate, heartrending hours in his life.

    Tina says: "Very Good, but busy"
    "So close, yet not quite."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I happen to be a real James Herriott fan and I suppose I thought, unfairly, that I was going to hear a modern day version of his writing. But, of course, times have changed and it could not be quite the same endearing and folksy writing. That said, Dr Trout's work is fascinating and he is a very kind man. A real animal lover, he clearly favors dogs, which makes him top notch in my book!

    Narrator Simon Vance is one of my favorites -- one of his most excellent narrations is Charles Dickens' David Copperfield! And as any audiobook aficionado knows, the narrator quite literally makes or breaks the reading. A terrific narrator can save a mediocre book, but a mediocre narrator cannot save a terrific book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pilgrim's Progress

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Bunyan
    • Narrated By Max McLean
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (81)

    Few books besides the Bible have been translated, printed, and read as often as The Pilgrim's Progress. John Bunyan's classic allegory of Christian, the Pilgrim, on his perilous journey to the Celestial City has touched hearts and minds for more than 300 years, and still the demand continues.

    William says: "A well read update of the classic"
    "Shame on me for just "reading" this classic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First things first: Max McLean is the first and only person I've ever thought could hold me rapt with attention simply by reading a phone book. What a talent and what a wonderful way he shares it.

    A classic is never a class by accident. The Pilgrim's Progress is a classic, of course, and for good reason. It is difficult to explain the beauty of its context and ethereal flow. A beautiful story whose complexity seems almost impossible to have truly been written without Divine intervention. (Before anyone rolls their eyes, please, listen to it and then, if you still can, roll your eyes.)

    I am profoundly grateful to have found this book and profoundly ashamed that it took me nearly 54 years to do so.

    May I also suggest that anyone reading this review also acquire Max McLean's reading of the Holy Bible. It changes everything.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eben Alexander
    • Narrated By Eben Alexander
    Overall
    (1632)
    Performance
    (1418)
    Story
    (1430)

    On November 10, 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander was driven into coma by a disease so lethal that only 1 in 10,000,000 survive. Seven days later, he awakened with memories of a fantastic odyssey deep into another realm that were more real than this earthly one - memories that included meeting a deceased birth sister he had never known existed. Dr. Alexander deployed all his knowledge as a scientist to find out whether his mind could have played a trick on him. In its shutdown state, there was no way it could have.

    Kelly says: "Compelling"
    "Interesting and hopeful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the one hand, I needed no convincing as I have always believed there to be a consciousness of spirit after the death of one's body/shell. On the other hand, though, there were enough "holes" in the narrative to allow some of my conviction to leak out.

    In the end, I am convinced of Dr Alexander's Proof of Heaven and that he experienced what he says he did. The cause of that, though, is a little more murky to me than it was before.

    I envy Dr Alexander his after-death experience, as harrowing as his illness was. And coming out to the medical community about it could not have been an easy thing to do. This alone leads me to believe him all the more.

    Interesting to listen to, and hopeful too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26603)
    Performance
    (13249)
    Story
    (13291)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Did the screenwriter even read the book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm glad I heard the book before seeing the movie. Had it been the other way round, I doubt I would have bothered. I left the theatre saying," yeah, but what about..."

    The performances by several readers could be a bit confusing at first but it became easier to stay with it as the book progressed. All involved did a great job.

    Overall, I enjoyed it. The book is way better than the movie.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Sociopath Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Stout
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    Overall
    (2615)
    Performance
    (1615)
    Story
    (1614)

    We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath.

    Taryn says: "Reinforces what you have already known"
    "Not too surprising."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought I would "enjoy" this book more, thinking it was more along the lines of "Journey Into Darkness," but this one lacked the punch. The examples used were rather thinly spread. Heck, I could give more examples just from my in-laws' side of the family!

    I always enjoy the compelling reads of Shelly Frasier, who is my favorite female narrator.

    Overall, I kinda wish I'd saved my credit for something with a bit more bite. I was bored and that almost never happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • William and Harry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Katie Nicholl
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    William and Harry is a fascinating insight into the lives and loves of two extraordinary young men who have captured not only the hearts and minds of the British public but those the world over. This is the definitive book about the princes, bringing their story right up to date. It is the tale of two brothers who have carried the legacy of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, into the 21st century and on whom the future of the House of Windsor largely depends.

    Amazon Customer says: "Good!"
    "C-A-V-A-L-R-Y, it's CAVALRY!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My own personal pet peeve, I guess, is when someone says "Calvary" when speaking militarily. Calvary is where Christ died. Cavalry is the troops.

    The narrator used the word erroneously through the entire book, which about drove me nuts! Surprising, too, that this wasn't caught on edit.

    Otherwise, I liked it. It was fine -- easy to listen to and kinda fun. No real earthshaking revealations but that was fine. It was especially fun because it was written before the engagement so we knew how things would work out somewhat.

    The narrator seemed to be striving for a bit of sn "upper crust" accent which didn't particularly work, nor was it necessary. Her voice was perfectly fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • She Got Up Off the Couch

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Haven Kimmel
    • Narrated By Haven Kimmel
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    When we last saw Zippy, she was oblivious to the storm that was brewing in her home. Her mother, Delonda, had literally just gotten up off the couch and ridden her rickety bicycle down the road. Her dad was off somewhere, gambling or "working." And Zippy was lost in her own fabulous world of exploring the fringes of Moorland, Indiana.

    Kim says: "Great fun !!"
    "A weak follow up."
    Overall

    I absolutely adored A Girl Named Zippy. And the author as narrator perfectly matched the girl. Unfortunately, this book just kind of drops off the cliff. It just never quite... delivers. It was almost as if the author had something to say but either couldn't, or wouldn't. Whatever it was, it was a very unsatisfying read. The whole point of a memoir is to bare one's soul, such as it is -- anything less is just another story. A real shame, but she is such a talented author, I cannot wait until her next book -- which I will surely "read."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Henry Louis Gates
    • Narrated By Dominic Hoffman
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Finding Oprah's Roots will not only endow listeners with a new appreciation for the key contributions made by history's unsung heroes but also equip them with the tools to connect to pivotal figures in their own pasts. A roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, this audiobook also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it possible to know one's distant tribal roots in Africa.

    lre410 says: "Entertaining and informative - a rare combination"
    "We all have roots."
    Overall

    Upon reflection, it is easy to understand why this book was written about Oprah -- everyone knows her. If someone wrote a book on, say, my roots, I'm sure it wouldn't go very far. But what used to make Oprah interesting now makes her ordinary. She's just another rich person who has traded the God she so loved for the "spiritual," read: money. It's sad really, because what an opportunity she was given.

    Dr. Gates, the author, is wonderful, and I can't get enough of him. A smart, compassionate, fair man and I wish him much success with this, and other, titles.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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