Member Since 2014
Why did it take me so long to discover this spine-tingler? I majored in literature and heard this book mentioned; why not simply read it then when I was young? No matter. I'm on the second listen now and catching more bits of characterization, more details that show the author's careful planning of his story. The book transports you to 1850's England country houses with servants, long walks, dressing for dinner, dependable trains and amazingly fast mail service! Of course you want to know what happens next. Sometimes the book seems slow, as country life can seem slow. Then something is overheard or a letter is intercepted or there is a conversation during which you want to tell one of the characters to listen, pay attention and make the connection! Or don't do what you're about to do! On subsequent listens you notice how the attitudes of some characters change with time. One of the villains is mulled over and considered quite a nice-looking man, and a real charmer despite kicking dogs and yelling at servants!! So while I was commenting to myself "Gimme a break!" I was also captivated by the Victorian language and concerns in the story. ... Gabriel Woolf is an excellent narrator. Except for a couple froggies in the throat, his reading is perfect. . . I enjoyed that while the book is set in England, its scope is global. The characters go abroad and return. Or they have lived abroad. Or they are from elsewhere. . . . Collins ties everything up at the end. Lovely happy ending with our favorite characters plus of course a new little person facing their fortunate future. . . . A last comment: audible's blurb about the book suggests that it is multi-layered or a demanding mental puzzle. Yes it is, but for a reasonably bright person it is an effortless listen. I received some life-changing mail yesterday and push myself now to write this review quickly and badly to tell everybody to READ THIS BOOK -- YOU WON'T BE SORRY!
I really loved Jen Sincero's Smart Ass book read by her. I was uplifted by it so that I sent off for the print copy. That book helps me! This book is not read by the author but by someone else with a harsh tough brassy sound. This unhelpful book is written by a smartass and read by one. And I'm smart enough to know when to bail.
The author is attractive and bright, but she uses her gifts to get off in a way. I did not want some kind of stand-up comedy; I wanted a modern etiquette book. Ms. Amy is simply trying to show the world what a happening chick she is! Someone past the half-century mark should aim higher. The book rambles, is inconsistent and is badly organized. I have some real questions about good manners, but I seriously doubt that I will find my answers by finishing this totally stupid book. And no, it is NOT a good listen! It's irritating! One minute she's pretending to be oh so kind and compassionate. The next, she's a total bitch and truly hateful.
Enough about bleeping FB and texting and what started to be a good chapter on dating services. I would ask what to do in senior housing when the 78-year-old upstairs drops her free weights at 3 a.m. and HER next door neighbor suffers with the headboard banging on the wall, telling me, "He must be using Viagra -- they always do it four times a night!" And the clueless management hasn't the guts to tell the woman what will happen if she doesn't shape up. I would ask what about people who want to appear to do good things but don't want to take the training and actually show up to pick up the poop -- in this case wildlife rehab. What about a neighbor who stands in the flower bed to peek in your window thereby violating California Penal Code, so Management puts out a little memo saying it's not nice to peek in windows! What about bear lovers who set up a secret room on FB to discuss their exclusive crapola and leave a person out who should be in? What about magnificently educated and accomplished senior citizens who are discredited, discounted and refused because of their low income? How to dress for success out of K-Mart and thrift shops? Well, happening chick? Will it be navy blue and fake pearls -- or what!
I'm outta here! Maybe my review will be more entertaining than this whole damned book!
First of all, the dog is not clear about why his master was such a loser. The Poles I've met are clear-headed and hard-working. While the approach of the story is "interesting," that doesn't make it a good read! Sad beginning, sad ending, and way too many authoritarian figures who don't like dogs or pets or kids. Could've thrown in a Russian, a famous painting, a lot of drugs, more words -- and gotten the Pullitzer! Bah, humbug!
I love this woman and all her good work! She reads her own material very well. Her voice sounds young and musical. I was already planning to get the print book so I can underline, bend down pages, and see references to other works. This is a book to be eaten for breakfast with soymilk and raisins! I can't say enough about using this resource and all the suggestions if you want healing or just a happier life. Louise Hay seems like the gentle older sister of Jen Sincero (of Bad Ass fame). I love them both. Over and over they both say "Yes, you can!" "You deserve!" and "Just DO it!"
My problem was with the last half hour or so when Louise reads the appendices, meditations on different themes, with the worst piano accompaniment imaginable! Oh, but wait! I play piano and have to say the music is okay. It flows. It's trying to be pretty. It's in tune. It was probably composed with great love. Just that it's excruciatingly harsh and loud and DETERMINED TO DROWN LOUISE OUT!!! Maybe the recording engineer was "on" something! I could not finish. Maddening. Torture. If I knew any secrets, I would have spilled them for sure!
I've been trying for 50 years (as an adult) to get my life together. I've read all the books and when I could remotely afford to, I went to seminars and airy-fairy weekends. This youngster comes along and in just a couple of hours gives me back a condensed version of all this wisdom in a way that made me want to -- uh, do the rest of my life like I mean it and tell it like it is. I'm selling on eBay and after a power outtage my computer would not start. I called around and was called "Ma'am" in a way that meant disrespect and told I need a new computer. I finally found someone who said he would replace the starter button for $20, but he did not call back as promised and got upset when I called to check on his progress. Three days went by. I am churning with Jen's awesome input about quit telling your stories (my car broke down; my computer runs Windows XP; I was the family scapegoat; I'm low-income; I'm probably too old and too fat, etc.) and take charge! Decide! Get up and do it! Well, then she offers many ways to get up and do it! She offers all kinds of easy strategies to "get there" from here, break it down into doable chunks, if you're really up for the trip. I tried a little meditation, asked God what to do with my Friday, and called the computer guy to say I want it today, fixed or not. When I got there, he gave me hell and watched me carry the huge CPU out to my car. I drove to another storefront which purported to be woman-owned. This precious Minnie Driver look-alike admired my old computer, got busy and gave me a "veterans discount." The shop was busy. I was happy to wait, thinking without the inspiration of Jen's neat book, I'd have been a victim and never met this wonderful computer goddess! Turned out she's the single mom of a two-year-old. She jumped out of an airplane at Burning Man to marry her true-love in 2008. They had crossed the country to live out west. He died two years ago sky-diving, may not have met his daughter. His widow keeps going, using what she learned from him to run his computer repair shop. And completed jobs are lined up on a shelf with their cords wound neatly on top of invoices ready for pick-up by pleased owners! It feels SO MUCH better to push out love and admiration than to sit grumbling in the gutter! . . . Jen says to envision, to dream. I know I don't have the money to travel; seen a lot already; I'm probably washed up for travel. Oh, no! They were talking on NPR about travel on the Dalmatian Coast which my parents had loved. Suddenly I listen with new ears thanks to Jen; I really want to see all that, try the foods, walk on the beaches! . . . The computer lady is going to install upgrades for me. Then I can do FB. If I still want to! Meanwhile some people ganged up on me in a FB group. It really hurt. I lost friends. I had the clarity to see their silly games and bail -- take care of myself, move on!
This is a powerful book! Jen has heard all the excuses. She knows all the traps. She talks fast giving all kinds of ideas in a great tumble of words. She touches on all kinds of problems that can hang us up for months or years. I have been diagnosed depressed and have kicked my meds. I know about depression, family pressure, music performance anxiety. Jen offers help for all these things. She has had the courage in her own life to try all sorts of wild and crazy things. She uses the F-word. As do I. To hell with people who turn off their ears and brains, stopped by a couple of word choices! She's had her own rock band and been to India. She has a website. Go see, watch her spiel on the home page. I believe a listen to this book would lift someone of any age, either sex, any body type, any ethnicity -- anyone who is not having the life they had hoped for. And I'm only on the second listen. Thank you, Jen! I love you!
I got this book in hopes it would help me deal with my subsidized senior housing manager when it's time for recertification. I can't afford to live anywhere else. Most people who rent can manage to get along with their landlord. I certainly have over 50 years at 17 addresses. This is very different. This woman says "might-could" and "would've went" and thinks every car has a Cadillac converter! She knows nothing of right and wrong -- only who she likes, who she doesn't like, and what she can get away with! A sappy faith-based organization hired her and now provides no guidance at all. They have ignored my certified letters. The annual crunching of numbers to determine next year's rent will take place mid-November. And continue into the New Year! Torture by paperwork! I am educated and a military veteran. I have an ideal regarding respect and even-handed treatment of everyone. In the military we are Sergeant Jones and Major Smith. Everyone has a job adding up to defense of our country. Last year I finally got a sizable settlement from a VA case. I had to disclose it to the manager during recertification. She had no idea how to handle it. I suggested she present the question to her superiors. I insisted I did not want it treated as gambling winnings because the VA had garnished my government checks by mistake. The money had always been mine. She turned to her assistant and commented, "This one gets a little money and she gets all excited!" . . . I still have nice things, though a low income. The manager goes into people's units when they are out. She gave away the television set in our front room to a favorite. I have received three written "lease violations," the most recent for using profanity! This was on the word of one of her favorites, pure hearsay. I do get extremely frustrated at times, and I am convinced the F-word has its good uses.
As I listen to this smart-aleck, fast-talking narrator make it all sound like a piece of cake, I am getting a headache and while the listen has shown me how "un-safe" my manager feels, I don't know how to tell her I am not judging her bad English. I married a man who used sub-standard English when he was weary -- but he was honest and had a heart of gold! That is the difference! I have discovered this woman in blatant lies; she enjoys creating upset and uncertainty. She gets off on creating stress, tightening rules, fixing new requirements. She calls residents in to sign a many-paged new lease without telling us what changes have been made! I have vowed handle that differently next time.
The book gives examples of behavior and dishonesty that I think are exaggerated. If I cut someone off in traffic, it's a coordination problem -- not that I'm a jerk! And I would be sorry, not rationalizing like crazy. The people in some of the examples are really bad.
I think these ideas will help me deal with a pissy woman in the knitting group. I feel sure it would help anyone holding a job, in a marriage or close relationship, or a homeowner with problem neighbors. Then again, this manager uses the cameras she has placed everywhere to micro-manage the maintenance man. I've no idea what he would do. No, I'm glad if the book helps all those brittle yuppies having their conferences. [I did flash on a lawyer I tried to work for who mumbled and scribbled, such that nobody really knew what he wanted, and evidently nobody had the guts to tell him just that.] I'll probably listen to the rest. For now, I'm bailing and will go back to old-fashioned techniques like meditation and exercise to cope.
I am a Rumer Godden fan, and this book did not disappoint! The general plot is classic: a misfit kid that nobody really understands or wants, do-gooders, "social services," prejudice and preconceived notions of the good life and how kids should be brought up. The little girl is a gypsy in England many years ago. Gypsies continue to challenge people all over the world! In Spain they beg pitifully, whining on the subway stairs, holding a sedated half-grown "baby" in their lap. I have heard of kidnapping and medical imprisonment of an adult in Northern California where the alleged gypsy perps have obscure foreign names, light skin and impressive credentials. Pretty scarey! In this story, it would be easy to judge the "nice" people who try to take charge of the child without contaminating their own lives. I enjoyed learning some of the different attitudes of the gypsies -- cleanliness rules akin to keeping kosher! This would be great family listening, maybe on a road trip. There's a little girl whose precious grandmother has died, rough and disgusting relatives who steal the treasures and burn the grandma's caravan, a rich and handsome Englishman, a dear old horse named Joe, way too many new clothes, nice people at the school, and one brave young woman who actually has an extra bedroom and agrees to give the child a home. And a delicious slowly-emerging romance that will take care of everything for this little girl. In the listen, we learn that men can indeed cook and clean very well -- and not to pour gasoline on a fire. Also that brown people aren't dirty -- a loving God made them that way and it won't wash off! -- and differences are just that, differences, not better or worse. But Rumer Godden doesn't preach; she didn't say all that; I did. Rumer Godden wrote a very nice book. Enjoy!
This book written by a master and read by a master narrator is to be savored a bite at a time like a box of chocolates -- or gobbled whole overnight! I didn't gobble it whole; however I stayed with the last several hours and was left in a real funk! The story is about a sweet old lady who is only in her early 70's but is dying of cancer. Her care-giver in a pricey nursing home thinks the old lady is interesting. A real love and care grows between them. There are plot details that would be missed by listeners who "gobble"! The medical details are minimal. Both women have been married and had a lover on the side. Their stories are inter-twined with no confusion between the two. The listener cares about both -- with Genevieve's (the care-giver) story progressing in real time and Stella's (the old lady) told in flashbacks and on cassette after she is gone. This is a true horror story! Ruth Rendell is clever and subtle and quite delicious!
Juliet Stevenson is superb narrating Jane Austen. In this story she gets to holler and talk like some unkempt hausfrau in a dirty housecoat. She's an actress! I appreciate the silences after some shocking fact is revealed and between sections. At first Genny sounds like real disadvantaged trash. As the story progresses, we learn that she looks up words and studies classical music and art (to impress the cultured lover) and as she reaches to improve her knowledge, her voice softens. She takes on some of the fastidious "great lady" qualities of her patient, Stella, even as we learn that Stella was considered and treated as "a little nothing" in her own prime!
I feel like I know these people. Right away I sent for a reading copy of the book to go to my elderly English friend, Anne, living in Alabama. (She gobbles!) This is a book to set aside as a real treat on a long weekend or New Year's Eve when you don't have a date. Enjoy!
Some people had a hard time with this author jumping back and forth in time, linking up all the people. I did at first, thinking, Oh, gosh, now who is this? And what color are these people? And what relationship? There are long scenes in which you simply follow one character. When I found myself not paying enough attention, I just backed up or moved to a different activity for awhile. I have only listened once -- with several back-ups! I want to get the print book. I found Edward P. Jones through the recent marketing trick in which authors told about their own favorite authors. I sifted and took notes, and came out with paydirt like this! I am pursuing African-American authors for new personal reasons. I called the suicide hotline one night recently and a man answered. I told him, "I'm going through something absolutely outrageous and it reminds me of what black people have put up with for a long time and while I'm white, if you're black, I think you can really help me!" A man's soft voice answered, "I am black." I wanted to know how black people cope, how they get up in the morning and feel hopeful. How they deal in their own interior lives with hoo-rah and nonsense coming from unworthy people who nonetheless are in positions of power, people jerking us around in our immediate personal lives, little Nazis. The conversation we had was extremely helpful, freeing me to do the most healing and beneficial thing for myself because "we could come back in ten years and maybe nothing would have changed!" This seems to me at first like giving up. Then I realized I was going into tailspins trying to write letters and getting involved in situations not my own immediate business. Emotional energy is limited.So let's save it for the poetry, music, color.
Actually, this book inspires me to do some writing, myself. Mr. Jones has a wonderful writing style, telling what a character was thinking about, who did what, who said what, but not many adjectives or even adverbs. When shocking things happen, they simply happen. This makes them more shocking. I have not read Hemingway in a while, but Mr. Jones is spare like Hemingway. And yet he pulls together a rich and colorful "known world". I see patterns of intense jealousy when some people show tremendous talent as well as good work ethic. Still happening! Strong women and weak women. Hierarchies based on energy, intelligence, inspiration -- and color. Men and women praying for all they are worth. The woman weeping as she milks the wonderful cow. The bride who is given a slave girl for a wedding gift and never actually frees her, despite saying she is against slavery! The good white man who had blackouts and might have lived longer except for a bad tooth. The ordinary house with a stairs that didn't creak and the woman living there who always had a tablecloth -- that came from intelligence, industry and refinement. I relished the way a few people got away to fresh vistas and to un-dreamed-of joy and fulfillment.
I've sent for this author's two short story collections in print because I don't do so well listening to stories and I have a huge wish list anyway. I do hope this author is percolating another good book!
I found Kevin Free a perfect narrator for this book and many others -- I have him neck and neck with Humphrey Bower, another favorite. He can do Irish and white gentlemen and low-life truly evil good ol'boys and sweet black people and uninspired black people. The reading is seamless. You forget he's reading. Great clarity, no mispronunciations. I had to google his name . . . oooh, dimples too! Thank Heaven we live in a time when talent and industry can be recognized, enjoyed and rewarded.
Yeah, I give 5 stars to fiction writers, too. I'm a doctor's daughter. In the 1940's Dad, an osteopath, survived terminal TB to begin his practice in Bakersfield, CA of dustbowl fame. He told his overweight patients to eat God's food. Our milk man brought certified raw milk to the front door. And I grew up (and later OUT) on Oroweat Honey Wheat Berry bread! Meanwhile, I was learning to follow recipes, first sifting the flour and leveling it in the measuring cup with a knife and to win blue ribbons at the county fair! Betty Crocker! And tonight I felt Dad was listening with me, telling me to pay attention because for sure the big boys have really done it now! However, Dr. Davis does point out that wheat was originally modified for greater yield, in hopes of feeding a hungry world. Greed has certainly taken over -- greed and stupidity and not really caring about people. I love this book! Thank you, Dr. Davis!
Tom Weiner reads very well. I have no scientific background. I had to just sit and listen, almost holding my breath to take it all in, almost as though it were in a foreign language. And yet, Mr. Weiner makes the following as easy as possible. The book is also well written. I loved the story about the President of the Soupbone Club. My dad would comment, "Oh, he's a walk-off!" [It seems God was making people one afternoon and left some sitting on the fence to dry and their heads off a little way. When He came back next day, they had walked off. Without their heads.] I am already following Dr. D'Adamo's Blood Type Diet plan and as I work with wildlife and love animals, I am vegan or at least vegetarian. While listening, I realized I would have to turn on my oven and look around for recipes, ask questions at my health food store and try a lot harder to cook well for myself. Dr. Davis is loving. He says more than once that people are genuinely trying to follow food guidelines, but . . . and I for one don't FEEL like exercising! My love handles ache. I live in HUD housing and the Powers that Be bring us charity junk food. Well, I just put aside a lot of it to take back to the "free" table for someone who really needs it. . . . When I think of the decades of "good" breakfasts I had, getting up so early and not wanting to go to those jobs, slightly sickened by the wheat? Maybe so. Dr. Davis mentions several specific ailments I have already suffered. . . . I don't have precious little kids to feed, but I do have long-lived parents and grandparents, baby birds to go feed, good things yet to do. Thank you, Dr. Davis, for giving me hope. And for the PDF with great recipes. As the girl said, "Because I'm worth it!"
I've had this book for awhile and have already suffered with that Angliotta person trying to read Jane Austen. She rushes and swallows the last part of every important word. The neighbor's 7-year-old would do a better job.; Anyone at all would do a better job. I'm bailing for now and look forward to hearing Davina Porter do the work justice.
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