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Anne

Findlay, OH, United States | Member Since 2010

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 47 ratings
  • 255 titles in library
  • 57 purchased in 2014
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  • Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mimi Alford
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (103)

    In the summer of 1962, 19-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capital and the country - and Mimi was eager to contribute. For a young woman from a privileged but sheltered upbringing, the job was the chance of a lifetime. Mimi made an impression on Kennedy's inner circle and, after just three days at the White House, she was presented to the President himself....

    faye says: "Disturbing"
    "Mr. President: This was terribly wrong"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Once Upon a Secret the most enjoyable?

    Wow, Mimi Alford is, on many levels, one brave woman. She was basically raped by Kennedy in their first encounter. He recognized that she was inexperienced and asked if she had ever done "this" before -- AND SHE TOLD HIM NO. He didn't step back and examine the moral dilemma created by taking advantage of this confused, inexperienced, star struck girl. He proceeded to had sex with her anyway -- the thrill of having a virgin perhaps sweetening the prize. Certainly a president has stress beyond the comprehension of most of us, and he deserved relief from it in the manner he was accustomed to. But Mimi, she should have been off limits, even to him. He clearly took advantage of his awe-inspiring stature. To be wanted by him must have been intoxicating. The real shame comes in the repercussions that followed her throughout her life. The secret created collateral damage one could hardly imagine. I feel sorrow for her -- it seems nothing could eclipse this series of events. Apparently she felt it was "safe" to reveal the story now. I don't wonder that Ms. Alford should have denounced him privately and had counseling for being raped and repeatedly assaulted by her abuser before she apologetically escaped.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (4747)
    Performance
    (3967)
    Story
    (3989)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "Underwhelmed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure what impressed me less .... The adjective-laden writing that sounded like a high school level descriptive writing assignment, or the vaguely annoying narration. Together they were underwhelming. I realize that the main character was filled with ennui but this did not ring true for me (in relation to the tone of the narration).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Canada

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (567)
    Performance
    (474)
    Story
    (476)

    When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border.

    Susan C. S. says: "After the last word, went right back to beginning"
    "Settles in your bones and slowly begins to haunt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Canada rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't know why this story is so compelling! The story is simple, the narration even and steady, but the stream-of-consciousness rambling and reasoning of a 15 year old boy became addictive for me. I won't go into the story -- everyone else seems to do that in these reviews. Let me say that Holter Graham (the narrator) must be the alter ego of Richard Ford (the author) because he tells this as if it's his very own story -- honestly -- you're just listening to Dell Parsons (the person telling the story) relate the sometimes surreal events of his life in a calm and almost factual way. Holter Graham is Dell Parsons -- of this I am certain. Richard Ford must have met him and told his (Graham's) life story with the names changed.... at least, that's what it feels like to me. When it was over, I went right back to Chapter 1 and started listening again. Have no idea why. Can't stop.........


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the American People

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (104)

    Johnson's monumental history of the United States, from the first settlers to the Clinton administration, covers every aspect of American culture: politics, business, art, literature, science, society and customs, complex traditions, and religious beliefs. The story is told in terms of the men and women who shaped and led the nation and the ordinary people who collectively created its unique character.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A British conservative's view of American history."
    "Took an Englishman to tell us our story..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have to say, I was delighted to read in his preface that his (Johnson's) academic peers in England remarked "what is there to write about the history of America, there is no history whatsoever there...". Well, this Englishman, and the English Narrator Nadia May, create a story of American History that for me, was fascinating. How hard it must be to find a bearable narrator for a 47 hour book? Nadia May pulls it off with her delicious English accent (that I can understand easily) and slightly gossipy tone -- it's like hearing someone recite The National Enquirer of histories. It's that interesting. I listened to it during my 90 min commute time daily. It made the time fly by -- in fact, I often felt disappointed about turning if off when I arrived at work. There is so much information presented that breaking it up that way afforded me the chance to absorb some of the exhaustive details and circumstances. But it does not read like a text book. Some reviewers grouse about his modern history (such as Nixon) devolving into opinion rather than fact -- I have to agree, and I am humored that his accolades for Newt Gingrich will hound his academic career like a drunken night out captured in the tabloids. It's a Lindsay Lohan moment in the hallowed halls of Oxford! I am not a conservative and I didn't see that bias until the end of the book. (Isn't it a relief to realize that the meticulous, nearly inhuman effort to compile this enormous body of information into something readable confirms that even Johnson is human.) I forgive him his trespasses. About me -- I hated the subject of history and through some karma of the universe my high school history teacher taught current events instead - whew - missed the bullet with that one. No history in college so basically I was completely ignorant in this area -- and I wasn't a stellar academic student anyway. So if a person of very ordinary intelligence can enjoy this, who can't? I just want to say "thank you" to Paul Johnson for letting me find such deep enjoyment and appreciation for the story of our country.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Hologram for the King

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (190)

    In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This richly layered novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment.

    Darwin8u says: "Subtle Paean to Emptiness, Failure & Loneliness"
    "Willie Loman goes to Saudi Arabia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Narrator Dion Graham makes this an enjoyable read, combined with the all-too-human failings of the main character Alan. He has loser and winner characteristics that make him likable. Combine that with the sheer unfamiliarity of Saudi Arabia, deftly portrayed through Alan's reactions and thoughts, and I got something out of the ordinary that I hadn't expected. I tend to listen to books on dog walks, and I can tell you the dog got a lot of exercise in the two days it took me to listen to this. So perhaps it can be said that "I couldn't put it down." I plan on reading more Dave Eggers books as a result.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2446)
    Performance
    (1808)
    Story
    (1811)

    The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

    Patrick says: "compelling father-daughter story"
    "The Mean (Good Old) Boys Club"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up In the Garden of Beasts in three words, what would they be?

    While listening to this I began to marvel at the herculean effort Larson performed aligning all of the letters, diaries, journals, articles etc. from so many different people. I can't even imagine how he could have organized this enormous body of information. As a result, practically every encounter mentioned has the perspective of the major players, and the concurrent impressions of nearly everyone in the event or meeting. (I am meaning one or two additional people, not 7 or 8.) To hear Dodd's letters and dispatches to the State Department and the reactions of his superiors and peers (well, hardly) is fascinating. It's a fly on every wall approach. Don't forget the reporters involved too. That's a third story line. I think of Dodd as an unsung hero who had principles. The dilettantes, and even Roosevelt, underestimated him and mocked his sincere observations. Trying to live within one's means was admirable and he was regarded as a fool for it. I think we can admire him greatly for trying to do things in a way that he found honorable and ethically correct, without any support from his employers or co-workers. Even other ambassadors were critical of him. Talk about a nasty bad job -- we can look at what he went through and be thankful our lives are much simpler and easy. He didn't even get to write his four volume history of the Old South. More the shame. And just an aside -- the University of Chicago is considered one of the most difficult colleges in the nation. It's status is ABOVE the Ivy League.
    Martha was interesting, however she conducted herself foolishly and the extensive affairs gave me pause. Was there something mentally wrong with her? I cannot even find where she went to college on Wikipedia -- she was a spoiled brat who thought she was the center of the universe. I think that the purpose of Boris' constant harping about her having relations with other men was not his lovesick reaction but a calculated way the Soviets could temper her weakness as an agent -- possibly spilling important information to the wrong person. They saw her as lacking discipline. Her life had such pathetically sad last chapters -- whose fault was that? She made choices, and she was indiscreet. Too bad Dodd's wife Mattie didn't keep a detailed journal -- I would have rather heard her impressions than Martha's. All in all an astounding read (listen).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1792)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (848)

    Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress.

    Ethan M. says: "A mostly successful and interesting history"
    "A fascinating listen!"
    Overall

    I found this book to be extremely interesting. There is a great deal of information to digest but it is read and presented very well. The story of our banking system is fascinating. The history of money is about so much more than just banking -- and it's all here in engaging detail. I would recommend this to anyone with a scintilla of intelligence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18912)
    Performance
    (8749)
    Story
    (8781)

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.

    David says: "irritatingly engrossing"
    "Story Narration by Englishman Vance Weird!"
    Overall

    Gee - I did not get a narrated version of the first book: Dragon Tattoo -- saw the movie. Had I known that Simon Vance had an English accent I might have thought twice about buying this -- it's probably just me -- I love an English accent as much as any uncouth Yank, but this is a Swedish story! Mr. Vance has a superb repertoire of voices -- and he needs all of them for this windy tome -- however the English tone and mannerisms of the voices somehow annoy me. It's difficult to hear Lisbeth talk like a Dick Francis jockey -- she is dark, mysterious and moody, and the voice rendition -- well, for the umpteenth time, the accent doesn't work for me with any of these characters. It's a deal breaker -- won't be buying #3 for my MP3.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chronicle I: January to March

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mr Punch Audio
    • Narrated By Joss Ackland, Jenny Agutter, James Bolam, and others
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The Chronicle is an epic anthology of the most interesting and revealing diaries and journals written during the last 500 years, providing a fascinating and intriguing record of life as witnessed by some history's most colourful characters. From Samuel Pepys to Alan Bennett, Dorothy Wordsworth to Barbara Castle and Oliver Cromwell to Evelyn Waugh. The Chronicle is one of the most ambitious productions ever commissioned as an audiobook.

    Annette says: "Too short!"
    "Awesome"
    Overall

    As the description written by the publisher accurately describes this, I do not need to go into detail about this selection. It is especially appropriate for driving in my opnion. I love Tony Britton and the other narrators are also superb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2160)
    Performance
    (1130)
    Story
    (1151)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Audio Version Saves The Book"
    Overall

    Splendid complicated story -- had to listen to some passages repeatedly to get the gist, so very intellectual. I would NOT enjoy reading this book -- but the audio version is rich with 2 superb voices -- it gives the story dimension and life. Recommended without reservation for LISTENING.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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