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Cornish, NH, USA | Member Since 2004

  • 10 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014

  • The Sunday Philosophy Club: An Isabel Dalhousie Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York Times best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith, winner of the first-ever Saga Award for Wit, has entertained millions with his beloved No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mysteries. Now this phenomenally popular author introduces a fresh series, brimming with the charm and humor his stable of dedicated fans can't get enough of.

    connie says: "Not Number One Ladies Detective Agency!"
    "What does he do now?"

    I read The Number One Ladies Detective Agency and I was hooked. I read the next and the next and the next. When I was browsing in a bookstore and came upon the last, The Full Cupboard of Life on audio CD, I bought it immediately. It was even released before the print version, which astonished the bookseller. It was a total treat. A fine end to the series. The narrator cemented all that came before. Her voice, her pronunciation, her narration was music. When I think back through all those books it's hard to distinguish one from another. They were all pretty much the same. It wasn't the plot of each that mattered. It was Mma Ramotswe, Mr. JLB Matakoni. It was all the characters, the new and the renewed. It was Botswana. It was the feeling of it all that mattered most, and I would read the next one if it is written. I was curious then, when I read that the next one was actually going to be a whole new, totally different series. The Sunday Philosophy Club. It's not Botswana. It's not the same feeling transposed in a new place. It's. It's. It's boring. Totally. Totally, totally boring. So what's he to do? If he pays attention to the reviews, he knows of his own success with Botswana. He also knows of his readers' response to this new series. Should he go on anyway? What would you do? Maybe go back to what worked? Or plod on for whatever reason? Such a quandary he must be in.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Autism Month Special Collection

    • NONE (1 hr and 56 mins)

    Most of us think in words, but not Temple Grandin. She thinks in pictures. Grandin is autistic, and visual thinking is common among people with autism. In this episode of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Temple Grandin talks about how thinking in pictures has helped her help animals. Also, Mark Haddon talks about his novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, written in the voice of a 15-year-old autistic savant named Christopher.

    Rebecca says: "an interesting overview of autism"

    An excellent collection of interviews from NPR. Segments include interviews with experts on Autism and Asbergers, as well as people who have these disorders. Well worth the listen. Informative, insightful, and sometimes humorous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hussein: An Entertainment

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By John Lee

    The story is about a young mahout, or elephant handler, his childhood and life in India, and his relationship and adventures with elephants. As a boy, Hussein falls in love with a beautiful and elusive girl, Sashiya, and arranges for another of her suitors to be murdered with a fakir's curse. The dead man's relatives vow vengeance. Hussein escapes and his adventures begin: snake-charming, sword-fighting, spying, stealing a fortune, and returning triumphantly to claim his bride.

    Augie says: "Full of wonder!"
    "Full of wonder!"

    The story is entertaining and filled with interesting facts and anecdotes about elephants and the mahouts who handle them. It perhaps foreshadows O'Brian's later writing, but the similarity ends there. It's a long, involved, whopping good tale. The wonder is that it was one of his earliest books, the first fiction published by the centuries old Oxford Press, and the fact that he never set foot in India before he wrote the book. Read it for the story, it's worth it. Read it also for a glimpse into the early development of the craft of a writer.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Washington's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Hackett Fischer
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger

    This New York Times best seller is a thrilling account of one of the most pivotal moments in United States history. Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.

    William says: "Particularly Good Military History"

    I grew up in Trenton. Growing up there, I played at many of the battle sites. I learned the history through my school years, went on school field trips, and had a comfortable understanding of the Battle of Trenton. I've returned many times and taught the history to my children. Reading this book was like watching a small plant suddenly grow in fast motion. I knew the routes the columns took from the Crossing to the Battle, but now I know what happened along the way, what they faced and overcame, what they felt along the way. I knew there was a storm that night, but David Hackett Fischer made me feel the weather. I crossed Jacob's Creek countless times, but now I can imagine Washington's horse losing his footing in the icy ravine while Washington grabs his mane and pulls his head up by brute force, enabling the horse to catch himself and stay up. I can hear the men who watched it happen, and understand how that small story spread and instilled faith in Washington and the Cause. That was one small anecdote in a book that is filled with them from beginning to end. Don't miss the conclusion and the lesson to us all, we Americans who were shaped by all that happened back then. Thank you, Mr. Fischer.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Audiobook): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jon Stewart, The Writers of The Daily Show
    • Narrated By Jon Stewart

    Jon Stewart, host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show, and his coterie of patriots deliver a hilarious look at American government.

    Connie says: "Runs hot and cold..but when it's's hot"
    "Trust the customer reviews!"

    I did not take my own advice on this one. I have come to rely on Audible's customer reviews to make my book choices. They are, by far, the best guide to book buying. You can't trust a book jacket that is selling itself. You can't identify with most of the book critics in the Sunday Book Review (they're off doing their own thing for money and presenting a perspective that is alien to most readers, while still trying to sound profound enough to land their next job). You can trust the customer reviews. You can sift through them, find out why the reviewer liked or disliked the book, and most often find a common thread that reflects your own interests. I have bought books I wouldn't have bought, and not bought books I thought I would enjoy, all based on customer reviews. It works for me. I thought I would enjoy this book. I read the customer reviews. Based on them, I decided I would not like this book, so I didn't buy it. Then I heard this book won Publishers Weekly's Book of the Year Award. Maybe I missed something. So I bought the book anyway. Wrong decision. Trust the customer reviews. End note: Today I read that Publishers Weekly has fired its editor and is revamping the magazine. There is some justice in the book world.

    7 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By George Crile
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.

    Chuck says: "Best Non-Fiction Book - Extremely Compelling!!!"
    "How did they do it?"

    How did Charlie Wilson do it, and how did George Crile do it? Those are the two burning questions. Was it all true? How would we know? We don't. We know it's true because George said it was. The media was not covering it when it was happening. There is no real trail, other than the one George Crile uncovered. Or created. Or maybe a little of both? What we do know is that this is undeniably an incredible book, be it fiction or non. Charlie Wilson emerges as a larger than life anti-hero and George Crile the fortunate reporter who stumbled onto Charlie's path. Or was he enticed onto it? We are so quick to question the media's reporting of events, often rightly so, and again so quick to accept as truth something of which no one knows anything about, except for a privileged few, or perhaps a chosen few. Curious. I was struck by the comparison of Charlie Wilson and Lawrence of Arabia. While the two men are opposites, the comparison is valid. Read the book! Try to decide for yourself, but beware of blind acceptance. Keep an open but skeptical mind. That is something the author, publisher, and all others involved might find most unsettling.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alan Tennant
    • Narrated By Alan Tennant

    In this extraordinary narrative, Alan Tennant recounts his all-out effort to radio-track the transcontinental migration of the peregrine falcon, an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths.

    snowy plover says: "Thumbs up, Way up, for On The Wing"
    "What surprised me most..."

    What surprised me most was to see this book listed in the NYT top 100 books of the year. Then again, that's not always so surprising. I admit that the idea of this book, as well as the publisher's description, had me excited about reading it. I have raised and trained two falcons so there was also a personal interest. You can't fault a publisher for promoting their own book. After all, they have an interest at stake. It would have been worthwhile though, if the publisher had an editor. Who would have immediately edited out about seventy percent of the words. That would have made it much better. Perhaps I'm not being completely fair here. I will admit it. I did not finish this book. I just couldn't. It would also have been a benefit to the book if the author wrote less about himself and more about the bird. The little about the bird was far more interesting. He also should have let someone else narrate it. That would have helped too. Need I go on?

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Salty Piece of Land

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jimmy Buffett
    • Narrated By John David Souther

    If Tully Mars had known what he was getting himself into when he agreed to help find the lost lens belonging to the lighthouse on Cayo Loco, well, he might never have agreed to help in the first place. Then again, maybe he simply would have taken a slightly longer nap before setting off on his wild adventure. And it isn't just Tully, whom Buffett fans will remember well from Jimmy's best-selling Tales from Margaritaville, on the madcap quest.

    Sean says: "ParrotHead Reading"
    "If you have nothing better to do,,,"

    Years ago a read a book by Jimmy Buffett. I was intrigued that a singer was also a writer, and I wanted to find out. It was okay. A year or so later I noticed that he had written another, and so I tried it. It was okay. They were both good for beach reading. Nothing more. Funny at times. At times he delivered a taste of island life that was refreshing. His characters were outlandish at times. Most often, though, it seemed too contrived. I guess, based on past experience and the promise a new book can generate, I bit on this one as well. It was, well, okay. Or a little less so, given the drone of the narrator. It put me to sleep quite a few times. A few times I did not bother to rewind. Once, I debated on whether to finish it or not. Sleep won out, so I plodded through in those tired times when I really did not want to listen to a book in which I did not want to miss any parts. So, if you're sleepy a lot, and you just want to be entertained while you nod off, this is the book for you. And one more thing. If you like contrived coincidence, this one is masterful.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Birds Without Wings

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Louis de Bernieres
    • Narrated By John Lee

    Birds Without Wings is the story of a small town in Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire told in the richly varied voices of the men and women (Armenians, Christians, and Muslims) whose lives are intertwined and rooted there: Iskander, the potter and local fount of wisdom; Philotei, the Christian girl of legendary beauty, courted almost from infancy by Ibrahim the goatherd, a great love that culminates in tragedy and madness; and many more.

    Augie says: "Not for the faint of heart"
    "Not for the faint of heart"

    An intricate web of storytelling that brings an understanding to a part of WWI that has received such little attention. I am in awe of Louis De Bernieres' ability to impart through dialogue so much of the feeling, with such authenticity, the perspective of characters who are so foreign in every way. The one perspective that is not foreign, though, is their humanity, that which is common to us all. It is through the eyes and ears and hearts of these characters that we see the world in which they lived, the community that they shared, and the sometimes improbable lives that they led. De Bernieres weaves a complex story whcih demands much from his reader. If you can commit to that demand, he will deliver an unforgettable tale full of history, humanity, and humor. A masterpiece!

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • A Study Guide to William Shakespeare's Macbeth

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By Mark Breitenberg
    • Narrated By Roger Rees

    Follow the tragic rise and fall of Macbeth, whose boundless ambition, fueled by witches' prophesies, traps him and Lady Macbeth in a web of political intrigue, madness, and murder. This study aid offers a detailed narrative guide to "The Scottish Play," dramatic readings, critical analysis, and an introduction to Shakespeare's London.

    Augie says: "Read this first!"
    "Read this first!"

    With all the literary and cultural references to Macbeth I felt as though I had read it at some time in my life. Not so, and I decided that I probably should. I purchased Macbeth and not very far into it I realized that I had not a clue as to what was going on. Back to Audible to find a "guide". A Study Guide to Macbeth is a remarkable book. Mark Breitenberg brings to life not only the play itself but brings to the reader a unique insight into the time of Shakespeare and the time the play was first performed. Even if you are familiar with Macbeth, you will learn so much more from this book. After reading Mark Breitenbeg's book, I returned to the play and what had at first been a jumble of incomprehensible chatter turned into a literary feast. Treat yourself to this one!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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