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Catherine

Bryn Mawr, PA, United States | Member Since 2005

93
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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5

  • The Bob Edwards Show, 1-Month Subscription

    • ORIGINAL (57 mins)
    • By Bob Edwards
    • Narrated By Bob Edwards
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Catherine says: "No One Does it Better"
    "No One Does it Better"
    Overall

    For those of us who loved him on NPR, Bob is back (on sattelite radio) and--hard to believe--better than ever. He's still got that wonderful, sexy voice. But maybe because he's not distracted by broadcasting the news, his superior interviewing skills become glowingly apparent. No one conducts a better interview in any medium. As a result, no matter who is the guest, the interviews are interesting and frequently fun.

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (557)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (493)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
    "cast of thousands"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book presents a compelling story that has real relevance for our time. The story is clearly and carefully told and beautifully read by Kirsten Potter. The problem for a listener is that it has a cast of thousands. All these people are really hard to keep straight, and I can only hope that the printed book has a directory for a reader. A listener will have no trouble getting the overall contours of what happened, but the details of who did what and when were hard for this listener to retain across the length of the narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John Guy
    • Narrated By John Guy
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    An intimate, myth-shattering new biography of Mary Queen of Scots by a premier historian that draws on a trove of newly discovered sources. Queen of Scots, the first full-scale biography of Mary in more than 30 years, offers a singularly novel, nuanced, and dramatic portrait of one of history's greatest women.

    Die Falknerin says: "Fascinating introduction to Mary Stuart"
    "a sublime listening experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author reads this gripping condensation of his award-winning book with the energy and diction of a trained Shakespearean actor. The story moves along as though written by a Hollywood screen writer but in fact contains details only a dedicated scholar could uncover and an expert writer know how to knit into the plot, which unfolds like a Shakespearean tragedy. The author makes it clear that although he loves his subject he is not blind to her faults and weaknesses. All the secondary characters, including Elizabeth I and Lord Cecil, emerge in high relief. The language is enhanced by his excerpts from original documents. Highly recommended for anyone who loves English and Scottish history and the English language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs)
    • By David Nasaw
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (182)

    Joseph Patrick Kennedy - whose life spanned the First World War, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the Cold War - was the patriarch of America’s greatest political dynasty. The father of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy, 'Joe' Kennedy was an indomitable and elusive figure whose dreams of advancement for his nine children were matched only by his extraordinary personal ambition and shrewd financial skills.

    Robert says: "Wonderfully entertaining and engaging"
    "brilliant biography and history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This long and detailed biography of the patriarch of one of America's most famous families takes a listener into many fascinating segments of 20th century history. Along the way, a listener becomes familiear not only with the Kennedy family and children, but with other 20th century luminaries such as Gloria Swanson and, most brilliantly, FDR and his entourage. Many myths about the patriarch are dispelled and unknown facets of his life and those with whom he interacted are elucidated. The section during which Joseph P. was Ambassador to Great Britain is brilliantly told, tremendously gripping, and always shadowed by the listener's knowledge of the fate of the patriarch's oldest son. Wonderfully narrated even if the assumed accents are occasionally annoying. HIGHLY recommended for anyone interested in 20th century history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Evan Thomas
    • Narrated By Brian Troxell
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (98)

    Upon assuming the presidency in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower came to be seen by many as a doddering lightweight. Yet behind the bland smile and apparent simplemindedness was a brilliant, intellectual tactician. As Evan Thomas reveals in his provocative examination of Ike's White House years, Eisenhower was a master of calculated duplicity. As with his bridge and poker games he was eventually forced to stop playing, Ike could be patient and ruthless in the con, and generous and expedient in his partnerships.

    Catherine says: "skip part 1"
    "skip part 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to the audio part 1, I wondered if this author had forgotten how to write history. He opens with an endless prologue, endlessly stitching together vignettes and stories about Ike, in no discernible order, many times repeating stories, all to set up his theme, which is that Ike governed much the way he played poker. FINALLY I skipped to Part 2 and was very pleasantly surprised. We get vivid depictions of Ike facing off against the demons in his cabinet, the CIA, Russia, and his own complex personality. Gripping history and excellent biography. The ending is also too long. Where was this author's editor?! Recommended for listeners who are not afraid to skip forward on their iPod.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (127)

    Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle.

    Scott says: "A No-Nonsense Look at our Current Political Crisis"
    "but better than the title makes it sound"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    two old hands at political observation and analysis present a detailed story of what those of us who follow politics with interest and increasingly with despair have noticed. their analysis is cogent and convincing. despair is mitigated by their suggestions for reform, most of which would only take a congress where the republicans agree to cooperate to implement (!!!). a very pleasing narration by William Hughes helps the medicine go down.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (17225)
    Performance
    (13114)
    Story
    (13056)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "enough, already"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not at all original or funny; I quit listening when it was clear she was going to inflict a confessional on us about The Day I Got My Period. REALLY, girls/ladies/women...we can't be more original than that??? We're past the 19th century, and we do have the vote!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James B. Stewart
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    In Tangled Webs, James B. Stewart reveals in vivid detail the consequences of the perjury epidemic that has swept our country, undermining the very foundation of our courts.With many prosecutors, investigators, and participants speaking for the first time, Tangled Webs goes behind the scene of the trials of media and homemaking entrepreneur Martha Stewart; top White House political adviser Lewis "Scooter" Libby; home-run king Barry Bonds; and Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff. Tangled Webs reaffirms the importance of truth.

    Andy says: "in great detail"
    "the audio equivalent of a page turner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author knows how to tell a non-fiction story so that it unfolds with the suspense of fiction. Characters are lucidly drawn, facts presented to support the narrative, and the moral of the story elucidated. These are all stories we followed in the press, but no newspaper account included the amazing detail (never tedious) and the day by day snippets never contributed to the spellbinding narratives one gets here. Very competently read. Easy to segment with the four self-contained stories.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Tony Goldwyn
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (93)

    Two men embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America's rush toward the 20th century: Daniel Hudson Burnham, the brilliant director of works for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; and Henry H. Holmes, who used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths.

    KMP says: "Wonderfully evocative, and well-presented"
    "glad it was abridged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am glad I bought the abridged version of this much-heralded book, because I found it tedious and eventually boring. The abridged version is a bit disjointed, but that was a small price to pay until the end, when the story became really interesting. At that point, the missing links in the text became annoying, and the story hard to follow, as the detectives who finally caught Holmes put together the clues that finally sealed his fate. You do get a sense of that astonishing era, when people could disappear without a trace with no one suspecting foul play and people naively trusted strangers. The story is competently read by Tony Goldwyn.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (11100)
    Performance
    (7108)
    Story
    (7140)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "spellbinding from page 1 to the end"
    Overall

    The only problem with this book is that it ends. If you listen to audiobooks while exercising, as I do, you will find that you exercise more so that you can listen to more of this story, which never flags, never for one sentence, from page 1 to the end. Wonderfully read by Edward Herrmann. A true classic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Devils Are Here

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Bethany McLean, Joe Nocera
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (202)

    As soon as the financial crisis erupted, the finger-pointing began. Should the blame fall on Wall Street, Main Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue? On greedy traders, misguided regulators, sleazy subprime companies, cowardly legislators, or clueless home buyers? According to Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, the real answer is all of the above-and more. Many devils helped bring hell to the economy.

    eurilynn says: "Excellent!"
    "thoroughly researched and excellently read"
    Overall

    I listened to every minute of this audio download, despite its length and my lack of training in finance and economics. The detail went over my head but the story is mesmerizing and very competently read by the narrator. The story is best when it gets into stories, as with the characters involved in AIG and Merrill Lynch. Why not 5 stars? I guess because of the overwhelming amount of detail, but that didn't stop me from listening!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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