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Carter Merkle

Norman, OK United States | Member Since 2001

  • 4 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 617 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014

  • Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez

    Award-winning author Stephen Greenblatt is one of the most influential literary thinkers in the world. An acclaimed interpreter of Shakespeare's works, his ideas have changed the way countless people approach the classics. Now Greenblatt's uniquely brilliant voice delivers a magnificent biography of the Bard himself.

    Oswald says: "Excellent"
    "Good background information"

    You have to like reading about the historical environment surrounding creative works to enjoy this book. If you've ever wondered about Wm Shakespeare as a person you will like the detailed information in this book about his family, education and personal life. I don't understand how anyone could complain that this book is warped by political correctness. It simply pursues theories and possibilities about the poet and author. Of course some judgment was applied. The author admits frequently that the record is incomplete. It is well worth the read if you enjoy history.

    28 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • The New York Times: Disunion: Modern Historians Revisit and Reconsider the Civil War from Lincoln's Election to the Emancipation Proclamation

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ted Widmer (editor)
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck, Mark Boyett, Kevin Pariseau

    A major new collection of modern commentary - from scholars, historians, and Civil War buffs - on the significant events of the Civil War, culled from The New York Times' popular Disunion online journal.

    Carter Merkle says: "The Details of History"
    "The Details of History"
    Would you listen to The New York Times: Disunion again? Why?

    To review and retain more of the details about the events leading up to the Civil War.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The book is a collection of historical essays. I don't know that I could pick a favorite character.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    As this is a collection of short stories and essays, I don't have a favorite scene.

    Any additional comments?

    The New York Times has brought dozens of the critical details about the Civil War through different authors and in so doing has brought a clearer understanding about the events, ideas and the various causes to the war. Some are better told than others, but what strikes me is that each reader will probably like different parts depending on personal preferences about what kinds of trivia interest him or her the most.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Society's Child: My Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Janis Ian
    • Narrated By Janis Ian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.

    Pamela says: "I know why this won the grammy"
    "Refreshing candor enriches this story."
    If you could sum up Society's Child in three words, what would they be?

    Honest, candid, personal

    What about Janis Ian’s performance did you like?

    Nobody else could perform this book as well as the author, with guitar in hand.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book had moments when it drew out laughter and tears.

    Any additional comments?

    Janis Ian's tale is told in a well-organized manner that grips the reader and sheds light on each of our lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

    Arnold says: "A Terrific Book"
    "Good adventure, complex characters"

    Toward the end of The Golden Compass, Lord Asriel makes comments pretty negative to "the church." The Magisterium, which seems to be an organization created by "the church" to deal with the problem of other worlds and official church doctrine, seems to be modeled after the Catholic Church.

    I guess this is why so many consider this book anti-Catholic or even anti-Christian. I don't consider it to be any more anti-Christian than any fantasy built off of familiar institutions. Some feel that Harry Potter books are anti-Christian because they present wizardry as real.

    People shouldn't be so sensitive. I understand Philip Pullman has stated outright that he isn't a believer in the Christian sense. He seems to be grounded in the natural world rather than the supernatural. Do authors have to adopt foreign world views to write novels? He's written about a world in which a church has gone wrong. Various religious institutions have gone on power trips over our real history. Why fault this author for creating one of his own?

    The story is enticing in part because its characters are complex. You'd think Lord Asriel would end up being a warm-hearted soul once Lyra finally reunites with him. He's not. He is still a cold, logical academician. I look forward to moving on to the other books in this series. I think Pullman has put enough complexity into the relationships to make these books fascinating as character studies, as well as exciting as adventure stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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