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amckiereads

Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 81 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • Open City: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Teju Cole
    • Narrated By Kevin Mambo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Acclaimed author Teju Cole’s writing has appeared in numerous journals in Nigeria and the United States. His second novel, Open City is the story of a Nigerian-German psychiatrist making a living in New York City five years after the Twin Towers were destroyed. The tale emerges as a rich and unforgettable meditation of life and culture.

    Eric says: "A Rich Tapestry"
    "Never pulled me in..."
    Overall

    Although the writing (reading in this case) was lyrical and well done, it just never grabbed my attention. I kept waiting for something to happen and nothing did. The ramblings were occasionally moderately interesting but not much else. If you like differently told stories and literary fiction then you will likely enjoy this as it seems to be much celebrated. Although the narration was great, the book just didn't do it for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nigeria and West Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Wendy McElroy
    • Narrated By Richard C. Hottelet
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    With a culture dating back to at least 700 B.C., West Africa has a long and rich history. British influence after the 16th century, and especially in the 18th century, changed the region's course. By 1967, Nigeria was at war with itself, with the "Republic of Biafra" produced in Nigeria's eastern region. Over a million people perished. This is the story of Nigeria's struggle, which typifies the history and outlook of the West African region.

    amckiereads says: "Interesting but out of date."
    "Interesting but out of date."
    Overall

    This book starts way back in the beginning, talking about the early history of the area and the rock carvings and archeological impacts in the area. It slowly moves up through history sharing both oral and written sources and talking about the West’s interactions with the area and how they slowly increased. The book did have a heavy Western orientation as a lot of what it covered and discussed was the West’s meddling in Nigeria and the perspective of the Europeans.Overall this was an interesting book that covered a lot of history, but it was very dated. It was originally written and copyrighted in 1992, and is in desperate need of an update.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Atlanta

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tayari Jones
    • Narrated By various
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    Award-winning novelist Tayari Jones delivers a story based on the 1979-1980 Atlanta child murders. Told from the perspective of three fifth-grade classmates, Leaving Atlanta is a vividly disturbing, but hopeful novel.

    Carrie says: "Might be my new favorite author"
    "Fantastic book and audio production."
    Overall

    I loved this book, and especially loved it on audio. The book is told in three parts with each part having a different narrator. I loved the way that this was done. The first part was told by Tasha, the second by Rodney, and the third by Octavia. I loved Tasha’s section the best and Rodney’s the least, but even he grew on me until I couldn’t help but really feel for him and care about him and his story. The three lives are intertwined in more ways than they realize at first, and this becomes more clear as the story progresses.

    Through the work we learn more about the awful spate of child murders that plagued the black Atlanta community from 1979-1981. Through the murders of the black children Jones is able to explore the racism and injustice that was faced still in the southern states in the 1970′s. Very glad I listened to this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Vagina Monologues

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 45 mins)
    • By Eve Ensler
    • Narrated By Eve Ensler
    Overall
    (507)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (79)

    The Vagina Monologues is a moving, poignant and often hilarious play, which celebrates female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. Originally drawn from a collection of interviews conducted by Eve Ensler, the Obie Award-winning play gives voice to some of the most intimate, rarely shared fantasies and fears of women from all walks of life.

    Hear an exclusive interview with Ensler - FREE!

    Colleen says: "The Vagina Monologues"
    "Great collection."
    Overall

    Each monologue was interesting, many were funny, many made me stop and think. I really enjoyed the collection and how varied it was in terms of the ages, races and class backgrounds of those discussed. It also included both heterosexual and homosexual essays and never felt biased, to me, toward one or the other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stardust

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (2762)
    Performance
    (1270)
    Story
    (1277)

    Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve the star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran on the most unforgettable adventure of his life.

    R. BREEN says: "Witty and magical"
    "Great narration."
    Overall

    The story is a kind of grown-up fairy tale with all the necessary elements including the land of faerie, mythical creatures, struggles, morals, and more. Through the story Tristran slowly learns more and more about himself and comes to trust his instincts, and to trust others. I really enjoyed this tale, the world that Gaiman created was fantastic and there was always something new. I found myself rooting for Tristran and his star, even as I was frustrated by the things he was doing. I especially liked how some of the nursery rhymes came into play in the tale in faerie.

    This book was read by Neil Gaiman which only made it better. He was a fantastic author and definitely made the story more enjoyable. The edition I listened to also included an interview with the author in which he talks about how he got the idea for the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bridge to Terabithia

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Katherine Paterson
    • Narrated By Robert Sean Leonard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (100)

    Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys' side and outruns everyone.That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together, they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen.

    Karen M. Bovenmyer says: "Don't wait to discover this classic"
    "Light and easy listen."
    Overall

    I’ve seen this novel described as fantasy, and it is in a way, but to me it is simply general fiction. The fantastical elements are purely imaginary and are shown to be such. Terabithia is the kingdom they create and rule to give them some control over their lives, and to have fun. This is the imagination at it’s best and is sorely missing from kids play these days. I can remember my sisters and I going on long ‘adventures’ as we called them through the back woods – though never created any magical kingdoms that I recall…

    Either way, a great story about the importance of friendship, kindness, and seeing things through another’s eyes. A lot of great lessons in here for all of us. Leslie is often referred to in reviews as a lesbian though there was no mention of her being a lesbian and I couldn’t find anything solid that referred to it. Her love of sports, dislike of dresses, and active mind were all likely considered gender non-conforming and so she gets the lesbian title given to her. I’d like to hear more on this from those in the know…

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Chinua Achebe
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Chinua Achebe's characteristically measured and nuanced voice is everywhere present in the 17 beautifully written pieces contained in this collection. In "The Education of a British-Protected Child," Achebe gives us a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria and inhabiting its "middle ground," recalling both his happy memories of reading novels in secondary school and the harsher truths of colonial rule.

    amckiereads says: "Another gem from Achebe."
    "Another gem from Achebe."
    Overall

    Because this was a collection of short essays written over a long period of time, and written for various reasons and events, there was quite a bit of overlap. The same event or story would be mentioned in a few different essays, though each time a different part of it would be expounded upon. While the repetition could have become grating instead I found it really reinforced the messages Achebe was making and worked to draw the disparate essays together.

    As always, Achebe delivers with every well-chosen word and perfectly crafted sentence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Captivate

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Carrie Jones
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (59)

    Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

    Lisa says: "Great Sequel, and Great Narrator."
    "Alright book, but not excellent."
    Overall

    I wish there was more complexity to the characters and the story in this series. I enjoy it, but the characters tend to get on my nerves with the things that they do. While it isn’t that they go out of character, it is that they are too simple sometimes, they do the predictably stupid things that you know they will, and they don’t have a lot of depth. That being said, I do enjoy the mythological aspect. I find the series aimed more toward a younger audience than most YA books that I read – more middle grade than high school, perhaps. I am still looking forward to the next in the series though.

    It was a very light, easy book so it was easy to listen to, though the voice was a little too annoying to listen for long periods.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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