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Sara

No plot spoilers

ratings
116
REVIEWS
89
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
12
HELPFUL VOTES
473

  • Crewel World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Monica Ferris
    • Narrated By Susan Boyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (217)

    When Betsy Devonshire arrived in Excelsior, Minnesota, all she wanted was to visit her sister Margot and get her life in order. She never dreamed her sister would give her a place to stay and a job at her needlecraft shop. In fact, things had never looked so good - until Margot was murdered. In a town this friendly, it's hard to imagine who could have committed such a horrible act, but Betsy has a few ideas. There's an ex-employee who wants to start her own needlework store. And there's the landlord who wanted Margot out. Now Betsy's putting together a list of motives and suspects....

    Sara says: "British style mystery set in America"
    "British style mystery set in America"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I liked this book about a small town murder mystery with a twist of needlework shop thrown in. The depiction of knitting, counted work and embroidery are all accurate. The discussion of design drawn from objects in an art museum, color and fiber snobbery are spot on. The story kept my interest and if it is a series (which I think it is) I will probably give the next book a try. The character development was good and made it an engaging story. Be aware that having a needlework hobby probably would add to the enjoyment level for the reader-- but this isn't a must.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Olive Kitteridge

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Strout
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (893)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (386)

    At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her.

    BeckyC says: "Absorbing collection of linked stories"
    "Interweaving Short Stories Make a Good Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Insightfully written short stories weave together to make a fascinating picture of one woman and a variety of people living in a small town in costal Maine. Haunting, sad, mysterious and sometimes hopeful. This resulting novel makes you stop and think. Heart breaking one minute and funny the next. Definitely one of the best character studies I've read in years. The narrator, Sandra Burr handles the accents well and keeps the pace of the reading upbeat and engaging. Listening is like piecing together a puzzle as each story adds another angle or bit of information. Worth the effort.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Derek B. Miller
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (82)

    Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient, and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. Sheldon is an ex-Marine, and he feels responsible for his son's death in Vietnam. Recently widowed and bereft, he talks to the ghosts of his past constantly. To Norway's cops, Sheldon is just an old man who is coming undone at the end of a long and hard life. But Sheldon is clear in his own mind.

    colleen says: "Different but good."
    "Don't Miss This Amazing Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I want to be very careful with my review so that I don't say too much and ruin the story if you haven't read it yet. This book is so powerful and fascinating in its depth and complexity that it needs to be experienced with an open mind and no preconceived ideas. Just let the story sweep you up and guide you through the labyrinth the author has created. The wry humor made me laugh out loud in several parts. The beautiful writing allows the reader to experience first hand the characters' interior thoughts, perceptions, and frames of reference. It focuses on ideas of war, nationalism, double standards and hind sight. A mediation on memory, meaning and how the things we are taught in life form who we are and dictate our actions. Amazing characters are brought expertly to life.

    The narration started out sounding a bit like that announcer from the TV show The Twilight Zone long ago. As the reading progressed it smoothed out and improved. I think overall Sean Morgan did a fantastic job.

    To me this was a page turner, a thriller, and a mystery filled with edge of your seat suspense. But much more than all of those things it made me think and it was a fantastic book. Glad I didn't miss this one!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Rule against Murder: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1066)
    Performance
    (730)
    Story
    (722)

    When wealthy, cultured Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer for a memorial for her late husband, the staff springs into action. But as a heat wave gathers strength, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. And the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family now has another member to mourn.

    Sara says: "A Summer Mystery"
    "A Summer Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this installment in Louise Penny's Three Pines series. It was a complex and carefully thought out mystery with all the depth I have come to expect from this author. Each book builds on the last and deepens the listener's understanding of the characters gradually. Her writing transports the reader effortlessly and perfectly to the Canadian countryside for a summer vacation. Poetry, art and music are woven neatly into the experience. The careful explanation of delicious food prepared and eaten by all sends this reader into the kitchen to whip up something that is hopefully as good as all the food sounds. Definitely an added plus! I am looking forward to the next book--can't wait to see what will happen. A recommended series that holds the interest--not your average "mystery" fluff.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lady of Ashes: Lady of Ashes, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Christine Trent
    • Narrated By Polly Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Only a woman with an iron backbone could succeed as an undertaker in Victorian London, but Violet Morgan takes great pride in her trade. While her husband, Graham, is preoccupied with elevating their station in society, Violet is cultivating a sterling reputation for Morgan Undertaking. She is empathetic, well-versed in funeral fashions, and comfortable with death's role in life - until its chilling rattle comes knocking on her own front door.

    Sara says: "A Most Unusual Book!"
    "A Most Unusual Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I need to start out by saying that I was unsure that I would like this book. Further, based on reviews I read over at amazon I was wary about giving it a try. It sat in my wish list for quite a while before I finally took the plunge. What a jump into the deep end it was! Gruesome, fascinating, terrifying and enthralling are words that come to mind. The mystery is just a part of this amazing tale of life in Victorian England, the US during the Civil War, the relationship between the two countries, and yes the business of Undertaking. The book leans heavily on true events and in the author's notes at the end of the book she discusses liberties she took with actual events in her writing of the story.

    Be aware that every detail is drawn out and examined in great depth. There were so many facts and back stories that it was almost overwhelming at times. At hour eleven I was willing the author to get to the point and even thought of giving up. But by then I was so wrapped up in it all that I just had to finish the book. And finish it I did!

    Polly Lee did a wonderful job with the narration. Her voice was stilted and difficult to adjust to a first but she added depth to the story telling and I enjoyed her reading once I got over the initial surprise.

    As to some of the reviews that concerned me over on amazon--I'm not sure those kind folks actually read/finished the book. Their comments were puzzling in hind sight. This recording even has the first 30 minutes of book 2 in the series after the author's comments at the end of the book. So, you can jump right into the next installment--though I might need to take a breath for a bit.

    Not your ordinary mystery story. Not for the faint hearted. A bit gruesome. No plot spoilers allowed-- but if you would like to try something totally different and completely enthralling this might be for you. I loved it in the end! Wouldn't have missed a word of it!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Drop Edge of Yonder: An Alafair Tucker Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Donis Casey
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    One August evening in 1914, a bushwhacker ends a pleasant outing by blowing a hole in Bill McBride, kidnapping and ravaging Bill's fiancée and wounding Alafair Tucker's daughter, Mary. All Mary knows is that the crime had something to do with the Fourth of July.

    Sara says: "The Best in the Series So Far!"
    "The Best in the Series So Far!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this story of 1914 farm life set in the heat of August in Oklahoma. All in all it was a compelling mystery and most importantly, solid and believable. There was enough spookiness, danger, and uncertainty to keep me guessing. That said-- what I loved the best about the book was the slice of family life wrapped up in the telling of the mystery. I find the daily lives of these people fascinating. The translation of old terms used in the book and the recipes at the end of the story really added charm and texture to the listening experience. As always Pam Ward did a perfect job of narration. A recommended pleasure!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mahamudra for the Modern World: An Unprecedented Training Course in the Pinnacle Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism

    • ORIGINAL (37 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Reginald A. Ray
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (89)

    What if you could learn the ultimate teachings of Tibetan Buddhism as they were meant to be received - guided every step of the way by an experienced master? This practice, known as Mahamudra or "The Great Revelation", was once taught only to elite students in secluded monasteries and cloisters. Now Dr. Reginald Ray has created an unprecedented audio learning course to make this profoundly transformative path available to listeners everywhere, with Mahamudra for the Modern World.

    Don says: "essence of paying attention to your own awareness"
    "A Truly Amazing Recording"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an unbelievable recording to have gotten from Audible for one credit! Hours and hours (over 36 hours) of instruction on meditation and Tibetan Buddhism. Really an enormous collection of information that needs to be taken in small doses--in my opinion. I try and listen each day and follow the instructions during quiet times. This isn't a book to be plowed through or listened to on the go. Not the thing to hear while driving or doing other things. It demands full attention. Definitely worth the time it takes to listen. Highly recommended if you are ready to take the next step in meditation instruction at home and at your own pace. I go back and listen to various parts many times. Something not possible at a retreat. An excellent way to have something close to a retreat experience while never leaving home.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wonderland Creek

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (149)

    Six-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin has won a loyal following for her inspiring historical fiction. In Wonderland Creek, young Chicago-area librarian Alice Grace Ripley is left heartbroken when her fiancé breaks up with her just as the Great Depression forces her out of a job. To escape the local gossip, Alice volunteers to deliver donated books to a library in rural Kentucky. There she discovers that God still has a plan for her after all.

    Sara says: "Depression Era Kentucky as a Librarian"
    "Depression Era Kentucky as a Librarian"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a different sort of Lynn Austin book than the others I have read. It clearly fits into the "inspirational" category with many references to prayer, God, and faith. It is a very long story (over 15 hours) that plods forward as a shallow, over protected outsider makes a new life for herself during a visit to poverty stricken rural Kentucky. The story is not a neat and tidy one. There are many loose ends and miraculous twists and turns. I enjoyed the book very much over all. I thought Kate Forbes did a great job narrating the different voices. At times I thought the book rambled on a bit too long-- but at the same time I kept on listening with great interest. It was a positive story and worth a listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Awakening Is Real: A Guide to the Deeper Dimensions of the Inner Journey

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jack Kornfield
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    It might happen suddenly, like a flash of lightning. Or gradually, like raindrops filling a jar. Our universal and awakened nature, the Buddha taught, can emerge in calm or in crisis. And then, as our path deepens, we must learn to embody our vision as we navigate the unexpected turns of the mystery.

    Kathi says: "An inspiration"
    "Another Beauty From Jack Kornfield"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jack Kornfield has the most calming, even and balanced speaking voice and manner that just listening to him is centering all on its own. But, be aware--his message trumps his fantastic presentation style--which is really saying something. Positive and uplifting. Highly recommended as a wonderful listening experience.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Abiding in Mindfulness, Vol. 3: On Dhamma

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joseph Goldstein
    • Narrated By Joseph Goldstein
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (68)

    In the words of the Buddha, the four foundations of mindfulness (the four sadhipatthanas) are " the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disapperance of dukkha (suffering) and discontent, for the acquiring of the true method, for the rea;ization of Nibbahna." Within the quinitessential discourse called the Satipatthana Sutta, we find the Buddha's seminal teachings on the practice of meditation.

    Tom says: "Simply beautiful"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This recording can easily stand alone without Vol. 1 and 2 of the three part set. I just picked up at the start of Vol. 3 and it was great. I didn't feel that I had missed anything that prohibited my understanding of the material presented. There wasn't the feeling that I'd come late to "class" and I was playing catch-up. I may go back in future and get Vol.1 and 2, but for now this is more than enough to absorb. As to the recording-- it is beautifully done and makes for a powerful listening experience. Highly recommended.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Jewel of Liberation: Essential Teachings on the End of Suffering

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Kornfield
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (68)

    It is possible to find genuine happiness and liberation in the ups and downs of your own human life. We can sense how it is possible for our own capacity for greater freedom and compassion to grow. "If this were not possible," said the Buddha "I would not ask you to do so." The Jewel of Liberation presents 10 pinnacle dharma talks (teaching selections) hand-selected by Jack from his personal collection to illuminate the pathways out of suffering.

    Sara says: "A Jewel of a book!"
    "A Jewel of a book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love listening to Jack Kornfield and this collection of dharma talks. This isn't a book that I start and power through quickly but one I think needs to be taken in small sittings over time. There is a ton of great information with thought provoking and life changing concepts presented here. However, time needs to be taken to process these ideas and ponder the deeper meaning. I recommend this recording to anyone interested in shifting their point of view and seeing things in a different light. I also find that each time I listen I hear something I had not noticed before. Definitely a book I return to frequently.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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