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Catherine

TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States | Member Since 2013

ratings
109
REVIEWS
109
FOLLOWING
21
FOLLOWERS
10
HELPFUL VOTES
49

  • The Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your...

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Joyce Meyer
    • Narrated By Pat Lentz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (301)

    Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger and feelings of condemnation: all these are attacks on the mind. If readers suffer from negative thoughts, they can take heart! Joyce Meyer has helped millions win these all-important battles. In her most popular best seller ever, the beloved author and minister shows readers how to change their lives by changing their minds. She teaches how to deal with thousands of thoughts that that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks. And she shares the trials, tragedies, and ultimate victories from her own marriage....

    Wayne says: "hardcore principles for changing your life forever"
    "Christian pshycology at its best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent book about retraining your mind to work for you and not against you by centering your thoughts on God, His Word, and therefore, Truth.

    I would recommend this book to anyone battling negative emotions such as anger or depression.

    Joyce Meyer encourages actively training your mind to think positively through God-centered truths. She does this without overcomplicating the subject matter, and by recognizing that this is an ongoing battle for everyone.

    I will listen to this book again. It is a wonderful reminder of why we should concentrate on God's Word and how important it is to keep His Word on our minds.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lee Strobel
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    A corrupt judge in a mob murder case. A disillusioned pastor, hungry for power. A cynical reporter, sniffing for a scandal. A gambling addict whose secret tape threatens the lives of everyone who hears it. New York Times best-selling author, Lee Strobel, weaves these edgy characters into an intricate thriller set in a gleaming, suburban megachurch, a big-city newspaper struggling for survival, and the shadowy corridors of political intrigue.

    J. says: "Quite surprised"
    "Good drama, legal thriller, and romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really impressed with this book. Lee Strobel is best known for his works dealing with the topic of apologetics (the study of the proof of the existence of God). There is some of that in this book, of course, but I didn't find it preachy in the slightest. What I did find was action, romance, realistic discussions about church vs. state issues, and a really good legal/political thriller.

    The book centers on a pastor of an evangelical megachurch that is considering pursuing an appointment for the remainder of a senatorial term. Throw in a nonreligious reporter covering a dangerous political story, a romance that connects the reporter with the megachurch, mob connections, and legal intrigue that explores the church vs. state issue, and you have a really interesting read.

    The narrator could have been better, but Scott Brick's performance wasn't bad by any means.

    If you want a good drama, thriller, this is a good choice. At the risk of a spoiler alert, you should know that the ending is not entirely happy. I found it satisfying, but there are sad parts.

    This was Strobel's first fiction work, and I'm looking forward to more from him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Edible Garden: How to Have Your Garden and Eat It, Too

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Alys Fowler
    • Narrated By Melora Kordos
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Alys Fowler shows that there is a way to take the good life and re-fashion it to fit in with life in the city. Abandoning the limitations of traditional gardening methods, she has created a beautifully productive garden where tomatoes sit happily next to roses, carrots are woven between the lavenders and potatoes grow in pots on the patio. And all of this is produced in a way that mimics natural systems, producing delicious homegrown food for her table. She shares her favorite recipes for the hearty dishes, pickles and jams she makes to use up her bountiful harvest.

    Catherine says: "Best gardening book I've ever heard"
    "Best gardening book I've ever heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book for beginning and experienced gardeners. It is full of information that would be valuable to any gardener. The author covers companion planting, organic solutions, container and ground gardening, getting the most out of your gardening area, and how to use your crop (cooking, herbal uses, etc.).

    I will purchase this book in hardcover soon, but I will also listen to the audiobook version again. Just don't try to listen to it while you're driving. It's not the narrator, as she did a wonderful job, and she has a soothing voice that isn't too sing-songish. The boring parts are the lists of spacing requirements, types of plants and herbs that are useful for various situations, etc. Granted it isn't a book that was really intended to be an audiobook, but I will probably listen to it at least a couple of times a year to prepare myself for the planting seasons, anyway. That said, I may listen to it before going to bed or while doing housework - definitely not while operating heavy machinery.

    If you love gardening, you will love this book. Do yourself a favor and listen to it before buying seeds or planting. Just don't listen to it while driving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pest Control for Organic Gardening: Natural Methods for Pest and Disease Control for a Healthy Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (42 mins)
    • By Amber Richards
    • Narrated By Gina E Manegio
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Pest Control for Organic Gardening is a short book dedicated to gardeners, who want to keep their gardens free from synthetic and often times harmful pesticides, and fertilizers. However, there still is the problem and pests and disease. This book gives practical and sometimes surprising ways to address these problems in a biological method. It contains an extensive list of beneficial insects that can be used to battle harmful pests.

    Catherine says: "Good primer for organic gardening"
    "Good primer for organic gardening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good book for organic gardeners who know nothing or very little about organic gardening. It's a quick read, so don't expect too much in-depth information. However, there was more detail to this short book than I had anticipated.

    I learned, for example, that I can mail order beneficial insects. Who would have thought? I'm sure there are people who do this all the time, but I had never heard of it. Some of the more detailed ideas of companion planting were also new to me.

    Beginning gardeners will benefit from listening to this gem. It was worth the credit, and I will probably listen to it again, but people who already know the topic will probably find this a little too introductory for their tastes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Reach Your Full Potential for God: Never Settle for Less Than His Best!

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Charles F. Stanley
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Things are never going to change or "This is just the way I am--I'm never going to get better" are just a few of the damaging lies Christians believe about themselves, their situations, and their walk. But Dr. Stanley shares the real truth as God sees it. In this powerful and inspiring message, readers reconnect with the grand vision God had when He uniquely created them.

    Catherine says: "One of the best books around for this topic"
    "One of the best books around for this topic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dr. Stanley gives a very broad-spectrum approach to reaching your full potential as a Christian. He addresses time, resource, and health management, he gives clear and simple advice about ways to control influences and thought patterns, and he makes the point very plainly that God is to be center of your every decision, but he doesn't leave you alone to figure out God's will by yourself. He gives concrete examples of how to pray for guidance in making decisions.

    A lot of the book is about trusting God - trusting that He will make his plans known to you if you ask Him before making your own plans, trusting that God is good and that He has your best interests in mind, trusting that God is capable of bringing about His purposes through you no matter what you think you are or are not good at, and trusting that He will always be there whether you succeed or fail. Dr. Stanley uses examples of Biblical characters and how they dealt with trust issues, decisions, and stress.

    For me, this book really brought home the importance of prayer BEFORE making decisions. It also illuminated for me just how important one decision can be and therefore, how important it is to bring ALL decisions in prayer to God.

    I would encourage anyone who is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by life to read this book. I am not suggesting that your life will be completely fixed in ten minutes after reading it, but I know that mine has already improved because I have read it. Dr. Stanley offers a great deal of encouragement and practical advice that would be of great help to any believer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Chandler Burr
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (82)

    No journalist has ever been allowed into the ultrasecretive, highly pressured process of originating a perfume. But Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic, spent a year behind the scenes observing the creation of two major fragrances.

    Roy says: "A Thoughtful Book"
    "Great information, poor language"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start by saying that I had just finished "The Secret of Chanel No. 5" by Tilar Mazzeo when I read this book, and that audiobook turned out to be a great segway for this one. The Chanel book was a lot more biographical, while this one delved into the closed-door realm of the perfume industry - its tricks, strategies, financial structure, scientific methods, and marketing. Chandler Burr follows the creation of two perfumes including Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely from start to finish.

    This was an extraordinary work in terms of the amount of research that went into it, and I thought that most of the writing was very well done. Chandler Burr did a magnificent job of presenting the facts of the industry without forgetting to present the art of it. He has a delightful off-the-cuff style that balances what could have been an overly serious take on the creation of perfume. He offers a lot of insight, but he also allows the listeners to create their own perceptions of the industry and the science and marketing behind it.

    This book did not receive a perfect Overall score from me because it included unnecessary foul language that distracted from the material. The occurence of these terms are somewhat sparse, but I would say that they appear about 15-20 times throughout the book. I find the use of these terms (the F-bomb, profanity) to be tacky, distracting, and out of place in what could have been a five-star work. There are also descriptions of some scents that, while they do exist in nature and are used in the industry, I could have lived without knowing about. I didn't subtract stars for that because those scents are part of the perfumery world, but I subtracted stars for foul language that could and should have been omitted.

    Beyond the language, this would be a fascinating read for anyone who is interested in perfume, how it is made, how it is marketed, and how much it really costs in terms of money, time, and resources. Just be warned that after hearing about certain scents that are used to create perfume, you may never be able to wear some of your favorites again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tilar J. Mazzeo
    • Narrated By Liz de Nesnera
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    Every minute, someone buys an Art Deco-inspired, amber-hued bottle of Chanel No. 5. Considering that nearly ninety years have passed since No. 5’s creation, this statistic alone makes a compelling case for the perfume’s stature as the world’s most famous. However, its cultural impact might be even more staggering than its business success....

    Nola says: "Fascinating behind the scenes story of an icon"
    "Fascinating story with poor presentation at times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most of the first hour of this book borders on smut. After that, it's worth listening to for the intricate history of this famous fragrance.

    The story of Chanel No. 5 involves the Romonovs, tales of industrial espionage, international incidents, political intrigues, celebrities, and marketing ploys that were, at times, pure genious and, at other times, pure folly.

    I found the story, itself, to be enchanting. The presentation of the story, however, suffered from too much emphasis on sexual themes, occassional profanity (once or twice, but too much, in my opinion), and, mostly due to the meanderings into subjective opinions about the sensuality of the fragrance, a lack of cohesion. Thus the reduction of two stars from the Overall score.

    The narrator, Liz de Nesnera, did a good job with the material. She wasn't stellar, but she wasn't bad. I listened at a speed of 3x.

    If you're interested in the life of Coco Chanel, the history of the Chanel company, Chanel No. 5, or in the perfume industry, in general, this book is worth the money or the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Simon Armitage
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (78)

    The famous Middle English poem by an anonymous Northern England poet is beautifully translated by fellow poet Simon Armitage in this edition. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" narrates in crystalline verse the strange tale of a green knight who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager.

    Mary says: "great original, translation, and reader"
    "I wish I could give this a ten star rating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I studied Old English in college and thus, was exposed to the language of Medieval English, which is an odd, but beautiful, combination of German and English. I have loved to read and to hear Old English read ever since. Don't misunderstand - the modern translation comes first in recognizable English, so if you don't have the Old English background, don't worry. The Old English version comes after the modern version, so consider the length of the actual tale to be half the length of the audiobook.

    This is a masterpiece of English literature that was made into a spectacular listen by Bill Wallis, who is now my favorite narrator. Everyone says they could listen to their favorite narrator read the phonebook, but I could listen to Bill Wallis read algebraic equations. Think of a more suave version of James Earl Jones with a gentler tone and more resonance and you have Bill Wallis.

    The tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an Arthurian legend about honor, chivalry, and loyalty. It has a wonderful message and it's a short, fun read. The only caveat is that the seduction scene, while certainly not X-rated, gets rather intense, so keep it away from little ears.

    This would be a great listen for anyone who enjoys the Arthurian tales, anyone interested in English literature, and anyone who would enjoy hearing one of the best narrators in the business read a great legend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Sarah Rose
    • Narrated By Sarah Rose
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (58)

    In 1848, the British East India Company, having lost its monopoly on the tea trade, engaged Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, botanist, and plant hunter, to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China - territory forbidden to foreigners - to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing. For All the Tea in China is the remarkable account of Fortune's journeys into China - a thrilling narrative that combines history, geography, botany, natural science, and old-fashioned adventure.

    S. Mersereau says: "Like Fingernails on a Chalkboard"
    "Interesting foray into the tale of tea espionage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a fascinating account of Robert Fortune's mission to steal tea plants from China and send them back to England for propogation. Sarah Rose presents this history as a combination of a spy novel and a historical drama. The facts are presented clearly, and at times the book moves slowly and becomes more lecture-like, but the feeling of adventure remains as the listener follows Robert Fortune's travels through China and India on his quest to make Britain the empire of tea.

    Some of the more interesting points include the use of monkeys to pick tea leaves, the cultural habits of the Chinese at the time, the impact of the tea trade on Britain, China, India, and the United States, the ability of hot tea to ward off various diseases (mostly by virtue of the boiling of water for the tea) that eventually protected England from a number of diseases that ravaged other countries, and the way in which the sale of tea impacted the value of related commodities like sugar.

    The narration was excellent. Sarah Rose did a masterful job with the narration. Her voice is melodic, but contains enough inflection to keep the listener engaged even through the drier areas of the work.

    Although the book is part spy novel, it is not a fast-moving thriller. I didn't give it five stars because I thought that certain parts of the tale were drawn out and overly descriptive to the point that it created several dry areas that were difficult to wade through. It was, however, worth the effort in the end.

    It would be of interest to readers who want to know the historical account and ramifications of the tea industry, to anyone interested in Chinese, British, or Indian history, or to listeners with a penchant for tales of industrial espionage. The latter, in particular, would enjoy the tale as this book recounts, quite possibly, the single greatest feat of industrial espionage the world has ever seen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Bee Wilson
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (165)

    Since prehistory, humans have braved the business ends of knives, scrapers, and mashers, all in the name of creating something delicious - or at least edible. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer and historian Bee Wilson traces the ancient lineage of our modern culinary tools, revealing the startling history of objects we often take for granted. Charting the evolution of technologies from the knife and fork to the gas range and the sous-vide cooker, Wilson offers unprecedented insights.

    Catherine says: "Intriguing history of everyday utensils"
    "Intriguing history of everyday utensils"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a well-researched and well-presented book about the history of everyday utensils like the fork as well as appliances, kitchen designs, and almost anything pertaining to the preparation of food. Bee Wilson did an excellent job of presenting the material with interesting side notes about cultural changes that were created because of a change in the use of utensils or food preparation.

    Anyone with an interest in anthropology will find this an invaluable resource. Wilson details the usage of utensils not only in terms of their actual intended use but also in terms of their symbolism to society. She explores the choice of chopsticks over the fork, various spoon designs, how an entire society developed an overbite because of their choice of eating utensil, how advertisements for kitchen design were used to encourage women in the United States during war years, why it was considered bad form or a sign of wealth and taste to use one utensil over another, how the KitchenAid stand mixer and the Cuisinart food processor forever changed the way we cook, and why the state of Georgia in the United States is a leading manufacturer of disposable chopsticks for China.

    The narrator, Alison Larken, has a beautiful reading voice and rendered an exceptional performance.

    For anyone looking for an action-packed thriller, this is not the book for you. For anyone interested in anthropology, technological advancements in kitchenware, or why you prefer to use chopsticks over a fork or a fork over chopsticks, grab this book. You will never see your fork, spoon, knife, or chopsticks the same, again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Anya Von Bremzen
    • Narrated By Kathleen Gati
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (15)

    Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, in its full flavor, both bitter and sweet, Anya and her mother, Larisa, embark on a journey unlike any other: they decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience - turning Larisa’s kitchen into a "time machine and an incubator of memories". Together, mother and daughter re-create meals both modest and sumptuous.

    Mary says: "Does Pronunciation Matter?"
    "Russian political history with great recipes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't quite what I had expected. There are descriptions of Russian food, cooking, and recipes, but that only accounts for about 25% of the book. The rest is devoted to the author's experience of Russian political history and how that influenced her view on the world around her and in particular, on food.

    The narrator, Kathleen Gati, was simply marvelous. She could not have done a better job. I really enjoyed her accent, and I felt that her soothing voice brought the material to life. This is a book I probably would not have read in print version, and if I had, I wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much.

    The author and her family are Russian Jewish immigrants to America and the story of their life and subsequent immigration is captured so beautifully that you feel yourself in the middle of Russia with them. While there are some frightening parts to the book, I don't recall anything particularly gory. The only objection that I have is that there is unnecessary foul language. It is few and far between, but it takes a lot away from the book, which is why I took away a couple of Overall stars.

    In general, if you are interested in Russian political history or Russian cooking, this is a good book for you. Don't overlook the PDF that comes with it that contains various Russian recipes that were mentioned in the book. If you're really interested in the recipes, the PDF is worth the cost of the credit to purchase the audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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