I've read a lot of history. (Fiction and "summer reading" too.) Along the way I've been exposed to the "story" of Western Civilization many times. Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Crusades, Ages (many), Wars (Too Many), kings and queens and tsars and Popes and dictators and Vikings, and voyages of discovery. Et al. Etc. Yada Yada.
What I missed out on was a basic survey of the past two thousand years from a non-western perspective. Ansary offers the basic survey course of what he calls the Middle World and the course of Islam I needed. And didn't know I needed. [Although I've read a fair number of books by non-westerners.]
Ansary reads his own work. In this case it works quite well. He adds the emotion, the emphasis, that only an author can provide. His voice is pleasant to listen to, too.
My wife, with a science backgrounds, found Destiny Disrupted as essential, as beneficial, as I did.
"What she said." I quite agree with the reviewers who love Molly Harper's books but didn't enjoy this one (as much). What can I add from my perspective as a guy?
Her books about vampires and werewolves and other creatures make me believe - well, willingly suspend disbelief - about them. She got me to enjoy a genre, paranormal, I loathed. Why? Snarky, odd-ball, topical, refreshingly original humor, characters with stories and romance without too much 'tall, dark and handsome.' And a plot. Plots.
Here is the difference with Better Hauntings: I don't want to know anything more about ghosts. I still disbelieve and did throughout. Each of Ms. Harper's other books made me ask this question of myself: If the world had ... vampires ... werebeasties ... fae ... would I want to be one? Fall in love with one? [Let my daughter marry one?] Yes to all questions. None of those questions has any meaning for me if the subject is ghosts.
Please: Don't dis my review because you think the cliché quote means I think women are some how less than men. I don't and I have many years of staying home raising kids to back it.
If you're old enough to remember MacGvyer, you've probably moved on to science fiction - better yet, fiction of all genres - with better plot ideas and better character development.
If not, and you are amazed by how 91 different objects in any room can be made into a killing weapon ... or a source of food or a telescope, this book is for you.
HUGE disclaimer: I couldn't bring myself to use up valuable reading time / listening time. I checked and I got just about half done. If it gets significantly better in the second half, good. Perhaps other reviewer will address this. For me the question is always whether to spend a scarce credit on a book. Oh hum books are not what I want.
Second Disclaimer: I tried to remove my original3 star rating for the narrator and leave in blank. I couldn't figure out how to do this, so I changed it to five and then back to three.. I'm neither impressed nor unimpressed with the narrator. Listen to the snippet and decide for yourself.
Given the zillion reviews of When Crickets cry, I doubt I'm giving anything away to say that the heart plays starring role in the novel. Literally.
One of extras in a good book for me occurs when I learn something about something. Building cathedrals in the middle ages in the Pillars of the Earth. Aboriginal life in the Inspector Bony stories or monastery life via Brother Cadfael. A favorite of mine in this regard is Prayers for Sale which illustrates much about life in the Colorado mining country (above 8,000 ft) in the late 1800's. Crickets explains much about the heart.
If you are like me and thirst for some knowledge with your sweet relationship story, this is quite an enjoyable listen. I would say the same about the rowing details except that I know enough about rowing to spot a few errors. By and large Mr. Martin gets rowing right, however, so there is much to learn there too for non-rowers.
I gave the book 5 stars overall for the reasons above. I gave the story only 4 stars because of a few too many points about which I was required to "willing suspend disbelief." The biggest one has to do with his ... oh, heck, I can't spoil it for you. Just lets say that any one who has struggled to get or renew a medical license will spot it.
If you've worn glasses for longer than you can remember, this is the book for you.
If barns and bat sh&t look the same to you without glasses, welcome.
If tortoise shell is an epithet, com'ere.
This book is a hoot. While I can't vouch for the exclusively girl-only experiences, everything else is spot on. Makes me proud to have survived. And reminds me that I've had my present pair way to long. Thanks Marissa.
S'okay. I've listened to both of the earlier volumes in this series and all of the Half Moon Hollow series. As I mentioned in a review of one of them, I'm not usually attracted to books labeled funny but ... I loved the constant stream of puns, non-sequiturs and plays on clichés and commercials in those books. The romances between the feisty woman and strong fellas was enjoyable without too much (for a guy) bodice-ripping.
Perhaps Ms. Harper's run low on her supply of quips and one-liners. Please, if this is the first Molly Harper book you've encountered, don't buy it (now). Start one of the earlier books. They are GREAAATTTT, as my friend Tony (or was it Flicka?) used to say. Do buy it when you need the ending of the Grundy story.
Yes, I will buy more books from Ms. Harper and sample anything narrated by Ms. Ronconi.
[Just, please don't tell Amazon or Kindle my buying plans. I suspect them both of raising prices based on the individual's buying history ... if I buy one, the next one seems more expensive. Perhaps I should sneak in as an avatar?]
If this book is free, or close to it (as it was when I wrote this review) do yourself a great big favor and buy it NOW. I don't much like humor books, but ... Her quips, jibes, and sarcasm are delivered deadpan, just when one expects a predictable sentence.
Just imagine what one can do with the line: "He's so vain." If your veins aren't running, that is.
I'm now paying serious $ / credits for Ms. Harper's other books. Enjoy.
The writing is tauter than the last book, which is good because the series is getting bloated.
David, it is time to bring this series to a conclusion.
What isn't good is that this book demands maps. There are constant references to various towns and terrain and the ways in which the forces are trying to out flank each other. Without access to the maps (which I assume the printed version includes) I just gave up and skipped over pieces of the plot that relied on geographical information. Buy the book. Or photocopy the maps from the book at the library. Or, better yet, take it out of the library.
I instinctively avoid books that are labeled "funny." I'm pretty sure that I downloaded my first Molly Harper book because it was free. Wow.
Her humor is drop dead funny and fully evades clichés. In fact, part of the humor is in the way she takes common phrases and alters them slightly. Without giving any impression that she changed the dialogue to incorporate the phrases. Her books are my on my "go to listen list" for days when work has been tough and I need cheering up. Which means that I can listen to them more than once without being bored, which is not common for me.
Cotton Candy? Well ... I'm closing in on my Grand Pa years and I still look forward to the cotton candy each year when the county fair rolls around.
Ms. Ronconi's narration is savory and saucy and adds to my enjoyment. To the extent that I have looked for other books she narrates.
I'm a guy who enjoys Nicholas Sparks' books. I believe in the power of love ... deal with it.
That said, I have only so much empathy for characters who turn the other cheek and take the fall for others' mistakes, as the hero does here.
What triggered my prude reaction was my realization that this is a love story between two people, one of whom is married with young children. Not many ways that can end happily unless the inconvenient spouse is killed off by the author, are there? Which may not be the way it ends - I'm not going to spoil your read / listen.
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