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Colby

Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.

Omaha, NE, United States | Member Since 2011

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 33 reviews
  • 126 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 52 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
20

  • Six Months in 1945: FDR, Stalin, Churchill, and Truman - from World War to Cold War

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Michael Dobbs
    • Narrated By Bob Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (46)

    When Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill met in Yalta in February 1945, Hitler's armies were on the run and victory was imminent. The Big Three wanted to draft a blueprint for a lasting peace - but instead set the stage for a 44-year division of Europe into Soviet and western spheres of influence. After fighting side by side for nearly four years, their political alliance was rapidly fracturing. By the time the leaders met again in Potsdam in July 1945, Russians and Americans were squabbling over the future of Germany and Churchill was warning about an "iron curtain" being drawn down over the Continent.

    Alan says: "Totally Outstanding. Bravo !"
    "Excellent! Real-time history unfolds before us."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Those of us who experienced 9/11 may have some idea of how a world can change virtually overnight. Those involved in World War 2 may not have realized how much impact these six months would have on the world, nor may those of us living today have known how our world was shaped - or even CREATED within that same time frame.

    We learn history from books written with perspecitve. This perspective changes with every person removed from the events, every decade that passes where we see consequences of the events, and with the softening of opinions about events experienced by earlier generations.

    This type of history telling - with first person perspective written at the time of the events is so much more...EVERYTHING. I love the humourous events around Churchill (including FDR finding him naked in the tub); the details on the death of FDR, and the real fear of Truman as he stepped into the presidency; the nature of Stalin in his creation of his power-bloc behind the "iron curtain", all of it. Many of the details come from those we have never heard of - but who kept good diaries, who have insights we would never had discovered any other way.

    This type of history can give us more depth on issues that we have a surface knowledge of. We know the Cold War developed out of the WWII end, just as WWII grew out of the end of WWI, but this book delves into the details in a way that is in-depth without being dry and boring. We know the atomic bomb race was a part of this Cold War, but this dig into the WHY and HOW in ways I have never read before. I even found out that the 38th parallel was chosen as the dividing line for Korea (an important part of the second half of the 20th Century) by two guys and a National Geographic map!

    This is a credit well-used, and I share this in hopes it helps you decide if it is for you.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Miklos Nyiszli, Richard Seaver (translator), Tibere Kremer (translator)
    • Narrated By Noah Michael Levine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Simone says: "Bad Narration"
    "A War Criminal, not a Doctor! Horrible Book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This has no new information for anyone who is even slightly aware of what happened in most of the concentration camps during the second world war. What made this so awful was the arrogant, self-important voice of this "doctor". The introduction is given by someone who has no respect for the author of this story, and - in fact - insulted all Jews for going so willingly into the gas chambers. I would have stopped listening if he had been the author, because he was so insulting. However, the one point the introduction makes that I agree with is that this man was no "doctor". He had medical knowledge, but used it solely for his own good and destroyed any notion of his oath. I acknowledge he was attempting to save his own life, but even though he KNEW he would die anyway, he helped the Nazi machine at the cost of suffering and death of fellow human beings, and that is unforgivable. The fact that he made himself so valuable that Mengele refers to him as "my friend", and that he survived to write this book proved to me that he purchased his life with those of thousands of others. Worse yet, he goes back an forth between saying he is horrified by what he must do for Mengele, but then using the power of the death doctor's name within the camp to make himself more important. Guards fear him, and he likes that; he is given freedom to roam around, find and care for his wife and child, and even to have them shipped out when he finds out that their area is to be "liquidated". He uses the power of his help-mate status to help himself more than any other. At the same time, he enjoys his "real clothes", his good food, access to medicine, sanitary conditions and cigarettes; then he weeps at the lost comrades, is sickened at being forced to dissect humans for what he acknowledges is only "pseudo-science". I was less sickened by the Nazi atrocities - for those I was already quite enlightened of, and more horrified by this "survivor" who should have been on trial, not given a book deal.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Watchers

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jon Steele
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (166)

    Beneath Lausanne Cathedral, in Switzerland, there is a secret buried before time began.... Marc Rochat watches over the city at night from the belfry of the cathedral. He lives in a world of shadows and "beforetimes" and imaginary beings. Katherine Taylor, call girl and daydreamer, is about to discover that her real-life fairy tale is too good to be true. Jay Harper, private detective, wakes up in a crummy hotel room with no memory. Three lives, one purpose: save what's left of paradise before all hell breaks loose.

    Amber says: "Interesting Plot and Great Narrator"
    "A new "Hunchback" with a twisted bit of fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was uncertain how to categorize this book, and now that I am done, I am even more uncertain. It is not classic lit like Hunchback, and it is not religious, in spite of the references to a forgotten book of the Bible and angels. It is a mystery wrapped in a supernatural snuff film. Weird enough? Wait. High priced/smart alec call girl I really liked, the slow but SOOOOO sweet bell ringer at the church I want to bake cookies for, and an "investigator" who may be a complete hot mess, all chasing angels and dead people killed in truly creative and terrifying ways, and I love them all. Their set-ups are very cliche, but very quickly after meeting them, I didn't care. Maybe I shouldn't love this, maybe this book follows no acceptable method of writing I learned in English class, but I loved it, I still think about the story and the characters, and I have no higher praise for any book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dovekeepers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Alice Hoffman, Heather Lind
    • Narrated By Aya Cash, Jessica Hecht, Tovah Feldshuh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (764)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (616)

    Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing work ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel. The author of such iconic bestsellers as Illumination Night, Practical Magic, Fortune’s Daughter, and Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman is one of the most popular and memorable writers of her generation. Now, in The Dovekeepers, Hoffman delivers her most masterful work yet - one that draws on her passion for mythology, magic, and archaeology and her inimitable understanding of women.

    FanB14 says: "Grade of B-"
    "Not my favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was not expecting a happy story within the tale of Masada, because I know how it ends. But I was not expecting to get bored waiting for that end, and sometimes I really did. I agree with another review that a single story teller might have been better, or else more interweaving of the stories instead of one at a time. Also, each character did not finish, which was frustrating. Each character told you their history and how they came to be in Masada, and each storyteller got you closer to the end, but then only one character tells you the end of the story. I would have liked each woman I invested time in to tell me how her story ended - good or bad - for herself, as they had all told me up to now.
    I did not have any great complaints about the readers, but no great reports either.
    Overall, I'm not sorry I read it, but I am also not: enlightened, educated or feeling better for having experienced it, so in the end, cannot recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Ruth Downie
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (837)
    Performance
    (422)
    Story
    (424)

    Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. After a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner. And before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

    Lehua says: "Took Me by Surprise"
    "Love, Love, LOVE this whole series..GO IN ORDER!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is really a review of all five books, since I could not wait to listen to them long enough to stop and write this. That alone should encourage you to try this. I spelled their names like I heard them, forgive me if I get them wrong - the one downside to listening vs. reading.

    This series is historical, it is a well-told mystery, but the biggest surprise is that it is FUNNY! I would be following the story, wondering "who dun it," and feeling a bit more educated on the Roman Empire and the lives of those in it, when Russo's dry sense of humor would pop up again and make me laugh out loud. Tilla and her observations of life - and her superior attitude that Romans are inherently nuts, and Valins hedonistic bent often giving way to his truly good nature are priceless. I could see the scene in my mind's eye all the way. I truly become connected to these characters - many of whom continue throughout the series - even the ones I don't like. We get hints of characters that we will actually meet in later books, like Russo's family, and believe me, they are worth the wait.
    But make sure you get them in order or you will get spoilers. I mixed up one and was confused for about 10 minutes before I figured out what I had done.
    Happy Listening!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2844)
    Performance
    (2439)
    Story
    (2451)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "This is one of my favorites...EVER!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is history, mystery, love and war. This is the most frustratingly wonderful book I have ever experienced, (so much so, I made up the word frustratingly.) I could not wait to see what revelation was next, and really was pulling for all of the main characters. I say that because there is not just one perspective. We get to see some of the events from multiple angles, and this is great, not tedious as some can make it. Because there is a mystery of sorts that is being figured out, I cannot give too many details. I can say to anyone who likes this era of history or mysteries, run, do not walk your credit to this book, but especially women whose moms are getting older or have recently left us. This will have a special pull for you, I am certain of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • From Time to Time

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jack Finney
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (73)

    The long-awaited sequel to Time and Again . Si Morley is back and the world may never be the same. When Time and Again was published in 1970, it immediately developed a loyal following that has grown with each passing year. With this book, Jack Finney returned to the same magical territory and finds Ruben Prien still at work with the Project, still dreaming of altering man's fate by going back in time to adjust events... to interfere, some might say, with destiny.

    Simone says: "The Fate of a Sequel"
    "It's ok, but not earth-moving..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked the first book, although found the premise of how they shift from one time to another to be too simplistic. This time he barely has to try, and he is all over the place. But aside from that, the first story ended so well, and they had to undo that to tell this story, and maybe that is where it fell down.
    I'm not returning it, but don't need to hear it again. Hope this helps you decide.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dog's Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By W. Bruce Cameron
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (346)

    Buddy is a good dog. After searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, Buddy is sure that he has found and fulfilled it. Yet as he watches curious baby Clarity get into dangerous mischief, he is certain that this little girl is very much in need of a dog of her own. When Buddy is reborn, he realizes that he has a new destiny. He's overjoyed when he is adopted by Clarity, now a vibrant but troubled teenager. When they are suddenly separated, Buddy despairs - who will take care of his girl?

    Robert says: "Outstanding!!!!"
    "Perfect "companion" to the first book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written, well read, and so sweet. This is a great completion to "A Dog's Purpose", and definitely recommend that you read them in order. You need go no deeper than the written story, but I have taken away so much more.
    I have found myself listening to other books where animals are mentioned in passing - historical accounts - and found myself wondering what those dogs were thinking. Mr. Cameron should write one about the dogs of Winston Churchill, Napoleon, Hitler and Obama. I don't care about the politics involved, I would love to see how one of these dogs would see the world and it's events of the time. And who but his dog could tell us the better side of Adolf Hitler?
    Any book that makes you think about the contents long after you are done reading it - is one that should be shared.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By W. Bruce Cameron
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2074)
    Performance
    (1377)
    Story
    (1379)

    After a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey is surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy. Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures, Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

    Blythe says: "Best dog book ever!"
    "I will never look at my dog the same way again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At my house, we have voices for our dogs, and include them in conversations. We guess at what they think is important - their food, belly rubs, and our loving them - and Bruce Cameron seems to agree. I love this dog in all of his (and her) forms, and also love the sequel - a worthwhile completion of this story. I don't want to say too much because the joy of following this creature through it's lives is so rewarding. This is a lighthearted story on it's surface, so you need delve no deeper than that, but I find I think about my own life so much more whenever I look into the eyes of my dog (or remember the dog I have that died this year) and wonder what they could have thought of me. I feel a deeper connection to this creature than I did before, and that is a great gift.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5501)
    Performance
    (3457)
    Story
    (3466)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
    "One of the BEST books I have ever loved."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Art of Racing in the Rain again? Why?

    I am going to listen again, because you always get more out of a book the second time you listen to it, but some are more worth the time than others. This is one of those that is more than worth it.


    What other book might you compare The Art of Racing in the Rain to and why?

    Marley and Me, in that the central character is a dog that you come to love like a member of your own family. It also has that element of how our dogs are truly bonded to we humans lucky enough to have them.


    Which character – as performed by Christopher Evan Welch – was your favorite?

    Enzo, the dog, of course. I believed I was seeing through a dog's eyes. I saw what he did, and knew when his imagination was taking over.


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

    "Race" to see this one!"


    Any additional comments?

    This would be a great movie - but Enzo MUST BE narrated by Tom Hanks. He would be the best dog ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In This Hospitable Land

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Lynmar Brock
    • Narrated By David Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    When the Germans invade Belgium in 1940, chemistry professor André Sauverin fears the worst. His colleagues believe their social and political positions will protect them during the occupation, but André knows better. He has watched Hitler’s rise to power and knows the Nazis will do anything to destroy their enemies. For the Sauverins are Jews, non-practicing, yes, but that won’t matter to the Germans - or to the Belgians desperate to protect themselves by informing on their neighbors. And so André and his brother Alex take their parents, wives, and children and flee south.

    Cookie says: "Great historical perspective"
    "LOVED IT! Not your ordinary WWII Jewish Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to In This Hospitable Land again? Why?

    Yes, and I intend to, because I usually get nuances that I missed the first time.


    What other book might you compare In This Hospitable Land to and why?

    I can't think of another book like this, because most stories of Jews during the war concern concentration camps, hiding in attics/basements or both for the duration, and this one is different. They were hardly comfortable, and they were most definitely in a form of hiding, but in a way not commonly heard about. I loved this perspective.


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

    I am not an expert on any narrator, but I consider the highest compliment I can pay any reader is that I did not notice him or her. If you read to me in a way that brings me the story, not the storyteller - you have done a good thing. This was done well. I knew when men were speaking as opposed to women, but did not notice a strangeness that some give off when they try to "act" the part instead of just giving an appropriate "impression" of a character. (For a bad example, listen to the sample of 50 Shades of Gray when she tried to do a man's voice - AWFUL) This was very Well Done.


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

    No extremes, though there were surprises and hard parts to imagine living through, but it was a story of war, and if war were not horrible, they would never end.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it, would buy it again, time well spent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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