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C. Beaton

Eureka, CA | Member Since 2008

58
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 170 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Andrew Solomon
    • Narrated By Andrew Solomon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (304)

    A brilliant and utterly original thinker, Andrew Solomon's journey began from his experience of being the gay child of straight parents. He wondered how other families accommodate children who have a variety of differences: families of people who are deaf, who are dwarfs, who have Down syndrome, who have autism, who have schizophrenia, who have multiple severe disabilities, who are prodigies, who commit crimes, who are transgender.

    C. Beaton says: "A Gripping Masterpiece"
    "A Gripping Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the most intelligent, expansive, and interesting books I have ever listened to - but it is not for everyone. It is very long and some of the topics are distressing, but gripping. I have no children special or otherwise, but I am a retired special ed teacher and have always wondered how people dealt with having a disabled child.

    Mr. Solomon does not "talk down" to the reader. He expects his reader to be well-educated and with a good vocabulary. His Ivy League education, intelligence and literacy infuse each page. I'm so glad Mr. Solomon narrated his own book. His voice is a little hard to get used to, but I grew to love the sound of it - and grew to love him as well. Only he could inflect the voices of the people he interviewed. I'm glad I took the time to listen to it instead of reading it. Hearing it made the book great to me. I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much if I had read it. Listening forces you to slow down and hear each word. I am a very fast reader and miss a lot of detail and beauty of language - listening to books has opened up a new world of literature for me, and this non-fiction book is written so beautifully that I'm glad I heard every word.

    If you are interested in this subject, have the time to sink yourself deeply into a fascinating new world, I highly recommend this beautiful book.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Michael Rosen
    • Narrated By Michael Rosen
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    From minding your Ps and Qs to wondering why X should mark the spot, Alphabetical is a book for everyone who loves words and language. Whether it's how letters are arranged on keyboards or Viking runes, textspeak or zip codes, this book will change the way you think about letters forever. How on earth did we fix upon our 26 letters? What do they really mean? And how did we come to write them down in the first place? Michael Rosen takes you on an unforgettable adventure through the history of the alphabet in 26 vivid chapters, fizzing with personal anecdotes and fascinating facts.

    Douglas McClure says: "Enjoyable - and the PDF file is indeed available"
    "Not really "Linguistics" but a lot of fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Linguistics is one of my favorite topics and I have listened to and read many on the topic. I thought this book was going to be a serious study of the history of the alphabet. I was wrong, but more than pleasantly surprised. Each letter of the alphabet is the starting off point for each chapter, but then Michael Rosen takes you on a wonderful trip of language and delight after the serious stuff is over. Michael reads the book in his delightful accent and just has a lot of fun. He is more a comedian and storyteller than an academic - more to his credit. Highly recommend for a fun trip down the alphabet.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (93)

    In his first memoir, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. This is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist and how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the 20th century.

    Eric says: "The Memoir of a Genius"
    "Only for Dawkins' Fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been a great fan a Dawkins since I read The God Delusion - then I read all his other books, which was a treat as I am a science nut. I have also watched every video he has ever made that was available in the US. I was so excited to read his autobiography that I pre-ordered the physical book, plus the audible version. He and his wife do a masterful job of reading his work.

    I hate to say, but I found this book a disappointment. It was rather boring - filled with the names of all his friends, mentors, teachers, etc. He mentions his first wife, Marion Stamp, only as a scientific collaborator, without a word about her personality or their relationship. It really was about the making of a scientist. Period.

    I certainly didn't expect a class act like Dawkins to write a tell-all autobiography, but this was way too dry. Very few tidbits about about his personal life, pets, or other interests would have been a treat.

    This book is for die hard Dawkins' fans only.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mick Jagger

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Philip Norman
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Philip Norman has long towered above other rock biographers with his definitive studies of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Buddy Holly, and John Lennon - legends whom the world thought it knew, but who came to life as never before through the meticulousness of Norman's research, the sweep of his cultural knowledge, and the brilliance of his writing. Now Norman turns to a rock icon who is the most notorious yet enigmatic of them all.

    qtvxzplr says: "Subpar bio made worse by awful narrator"
    "An Intelligent non-sensational biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I became a born-again Stones fan after listening to Keith's 'Life". I was interested in reading Mick's autobiography, but I doubt if he ever will write one, and I wouldn't believe a word of it anyway.

    I read all the reviews for the many Jagger bios, and this one got either horrible reviews or great ones.

    I think the folks who gave it a horrible review were looking for a sensational sex and drugs scandalous book. This book is serious, slow paced, very well-written and carefully researched. The author has an excellent command of language and the narrator has a droll way of delivering the text.

    It's just what i was looking for - not garbage, but a real attempt to write a quality book about this very interesting and complicated character

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gone with the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Mitchell
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2973)
    Performance
    (1945)
    Story
    (1976)

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold. Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire....

    dallas says: "not to miss audible experience"
    "I can't believe I listened to the whole thing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought GWTW on sale, and since I enjoyed it 35 years ago, I thought it might be fun to listen to at least some of it since it was on sale for $4.95. I never thought I'd listen to all 50 hours of it, but I did. The narrator is excellent. She is a fine actress and all her characters had a unique personality and a believable accent. She even got the Rhett Butler character down perfect.

    The book is far more historical fiction than the movie, and far more interesting. It is so much more than a love story between Scarlett and Rhett - it a visit to a totally different time with totally different mores and standards of behavior which seem silly to us now.

    She glossed over a lot of the slave problem as all of the black characters were quite sympathetic and seemed to be loved as part of the family. Many of the black slaves were smarter than the white folks and actually had a lot of power in the families. I'm not sure how true that was in other homes, but I hope so.

    I plan to do more studying of this interesting era to see how much Margaret Mitchell got right, but right or not it was a fun read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shawshank Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (812)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (520)

    Based on a a novella from Different Seasons, this unabridged tale focuses on a man convicted of murder, who finds himself in a prison ruled by a sadistic warden and secretly operated by a clever convict.

    Eric says: "This makes the movie better"
    "Watch the movie instead!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I watched the movie "Shawshank Redemption years ago and loved it. Morgan Freeman was fantastic as the protagonist and he really made the movie great. They also changed the plot for the movie to make it more compact. I usually hate movies made from books, because the book is usually so much better. I won't usually even watch a movie based on a book I read until years later (if ever).

    If Morgan Freeman had narrated the book, it might have worked. He didn't and it doesn't.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miles: The Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Miles Davis
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles Davis was one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. Here, Miles speaks out about his extraordinary life. Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds nothing back. For the first time Miles talks about his five-year silence. He speaks frankly and openly about his drug problem and how he overcame it. He condemns the racism he encountered in the music business and in American society generally. And he discusses the women in his life.

    Diane Havens says: "Dion Graham IS Miles Davis"
    "This Book is Only for Hard Core Miles Davis Fans!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually enjoy reading books by black artists who struggled with racism and a difficult life to achieve great success. I had heard of Miles and enjoyed his music over the years, but I knew nothing about him. One of the reasons I bought this book was the fantastic narrator, Dion Graham - one of my favorites. Dion somehow manages to sound like an old black musician with a gravely voice and dirty mouth. Dion has the talent to sound like almost anybody and can make a mediocre book great.

    I listened to about two hours of this book and had to quit. Miles was a black child of well-off parents and lots of advantages. He worked hard at his music, is very gifted and he knows it. He comes off in this book as an unpleasant old man who manages to insert "mfer" into almost every paragraph. I'm not offended by bad language when it works in the book, but it gets tiresome in this one.

    I like to be enlightened and educated by books like this, but I was bored by the tone and attitude of this gifted but unpleasant man. Give it a pass.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1893)
    Performance
    (1084)
    Story
    (1087)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"
    "Dion Graham channels Neil!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite scientists and writers. He has his own style - smart, funny and educational. Neil has a very distinct personality and voice. When I listened to this audiobook, I couldn't believe that Neil himself wasn't reading it! I have listened to and watched just about everything Neil has said and know his voice very well. Listening to this book was a good as if Neil had read it.

    If you are into astronomy and physics, and love a good laugh as well, this is the book for you!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ben Carson, M.D., Cecil Murphey
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    In 1987, Dr. Benjamin Carson gained worldwide recognition for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. The extremely complex and delicate operation, five months in the planning and twenty-two hours in the execution, involved a surgical plan that Carson helped initiate. Carson pioneered again in a rare procedure known as hemispherectomy, giving children without hope a second chance at life through a daring operation in which he literally removed one half of their brain.

    Ruth says: "Absolutely inspiring!"
    "Give credit where credit is due!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dr. Carson's story is interesting and inspirational and well-read by one of my favorite narrators, Dion Graham. However, it was more about god than medicine. Dr. Carson worked very very hard to gain his skills as a neurosurgeon. He had a lot of help along the way, especially from his mother. And much of his skill and talent were gained on the backs of his predecessors. About one third of the book is about his faith - he is a Seventh Day Adventist. He gives god all the credit instead of his hard work and the help of actual human beings. He is very sincere, but it is hard for me to believe that such and intelligent and gifted man gives an imaginary friend credit for each success he has. If a patient dies, well, "It's god's will". I also read that he doesn't accept evolution. How can a brilliant scientist, who did research on rabbits not understand the essential essential concept of evolution? If you are religious, you will probably enjoy this book. As a non-believer, I got really tired of all the religious references. It would have been fine for him to mention his faith, but he beats you to death with it.

    This book should be described and listed as a inspirational and religious book, as that is what it is. I'm sure Dr. Carson is a fine man and an excellent doctor, but he should stick to doctoring - or maybe start preaching.

    9 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2689)
    Performance
    (1514)
    Story
    (1517)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Best Author and Narrator Combination Ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the "The Power of One" years ago, and thought it was one of the best novels I had ever read. I don't usually read novels unless they are set in another country or era that I can learn more about. I never forgot this book. When I listened to "Shantaram" I was so impressed with the narrator, Humphrey Bower, that I checked to see what else he had narrated. There was "The Power of One"! I instantly downloaded it and was not disappointed. Bower is the best narrator I have ever listened to. I enjoyed listening to this book even more that I did reading it. Bower gives each wonderful character in the book a distinct voice and personality. He can speak in almost any accent convincingly and with great emotion. This is a book that would probably be considered a book for men, as most of the characters are men, and boxing and considerable violence are embedded in the story. I hate boxing and violence, but as a female who loves a good listen, I would give this book/narrator combination ten stars if I could! Perfect!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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