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Sara

No plot spoiler reviews allowed!

ratings
112
REVIEWS
86
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
12
HELPFUL VOTES
459

  • What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Laura Vanderkam
    • Narrated By Laura Vanderkam
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (33)

    Laura Vanderkam has combined her three popular mini auidobooks into one comprehensive guide, with a new introduction. It will help listeners build habits that lead to happier, more productive lives, despite the pressures of their busy schedules. Through interviews and anecdotes, she reveals...What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast - to jump-start the day productively. What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend - to recharge and prepare for a great week. What the Most Successful People Do at Work - to accomplish more in less time.

    Sara says: "Listening is time well spent"
    "Listening is time well spent"
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    I read several reviews that complained that this book was irritating to listen to. I decided to try it anyway. At first the narrator/author's clipped precise reading style bothered me. However, that feeling was quickly erased and replaced by all the interesting and easily applicable material presented. The book was overwhelmingly positive and offers a no fooling around approach to time management and ways to improve what you can accomplish. The author's take on prioritizing, goal setting, choosing what is important and how to focus your energies was different than what I've read before. Finally someone not suggesting that to have more free time you need to cutback, pare down, and do less. I find that the simple suggestions and new perspective have helped me reorganize and recharge my day. Definitely time well spent.

    9 of 9 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
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    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
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    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!

    3 of 3 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
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    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
    (118)
    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"
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    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
    (160)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (141)

    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
    (79)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (67)

    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
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    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
    (93)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (67)

    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
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    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
    (86)
    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
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    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
  • Hornswoggled

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Donis Casey
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    It's the spring of 1913, and love is in bloom for Alice Tucker. Alice's new beau, Walter Kelley, is handsome and wealthy. Everyone in Boynton, Oklahoma, likes him, except Alice's mother, Alafair. She sees that Walter has a weakness for the ladies - and they for him. Moreover, Walter's late wife, Louise, was murdered. and the murderer has not been caught. Walter had an alibi, so the sheriff has cleared him of the crime, but Alafair is not so sure that he wasn't involved in some way.

    Sara says: "Alafair Does It Again--or does she?"
    "Alafair Does It Again--or does she?"
    Overall
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    Let me start out by saying that the narration for this book was terrific. Pam Ward really captured the timing and feel of the story. Up until the last hour of the recording I was wishing I had 6 stars to award for a review--I thought it was that good. Then as the story wound down I became increasingly less enchanted with the whole thing. I have read reviews from people who loved the first book but liked the second book (this book) in the series less so. I thought they were silly. To my mind book 2 was definitely better--then it all changed. I won't elaborate with plot spoilers or where I think it went wrong because that will ruin the story. It's a good book and worth a listen. 1913 rural Oklahoma farm and town life are beautifully described. It just left me wondering and feeling a bit hornswoggled myself!

    PS-- there are more recipes at the end of this book too.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Old Buzzard Had It Coming: An Alafair Tucker Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Donis Casey
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Alafair Tucker is a strong woman and the core of her family’s life on a farm in Oklahoma where backbreaking work and the daily logistics of caring for her husband and their nine children, and of being a good neighbor, requires determination and a clear head. She’s also a woman of strong opinions, and it is her opinion that her neighbor, Harley Day, is a drunkard and a reprobate. So, when Harley’s body is discovered frozen in a snowdrift one January day in 1912, she isn’t surprised that his long-suffering family isn’t particularly broken up. When Alafair helps Harley’s wife prepare the body for burial, she discovers that Harley’s demise was anything but natural.

    Sara says: "1912 Oklahoma Farm Life Plus a Mystery"
    "1912 Oklahoma Farm Life Plus a Mystery"
    Overall
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    Well if you ever sit back and think about the good old days of the past with the simpler life think again. This book depicts just how hard it was farming and keeping house in Oklahoma in 1912. Dawn to dusk chores and oh my the cooking for these very large families! Alafair is a smart hard-working good neighbor who keeps her family on track and solves crimes on the side. Fascinating look at life in rural Oklahoma-mules and wagons as transportation--and dinners that include 3-4 pies! Recipes are included at the end of the book. An interesting first book of a series which I enjoyed.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wildflower Hill

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Kimberley Freeman
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (377)

    In 1920s Glasgow, Beattie Blaxland falls pregnant to her married lover Henry just before her nineteenth birthday. Abandoned by her family, Beattie and Henry set sail for a new life in Australia. In 2009, London, prima ballerina Lydia Blaxland-Hunter is also discovering that life can also have its ups and downs. Unable to dance again after a fall, Lydia returns home to Australia to recuperate.

    David P. McGivern says: "Engaging, believable"
    "Story telling at its best!"
    Overall
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    The writing of this book was almost spare but at the same time so lushly full it boggled the mind. Words are carefully chosen to precisely get the image across so that the reader understands the places and characters deeply without being told everything in endless detail. At times I would have loved to have a picture of Wildflower Hill Farm written out in wordy excess and exactness. Then I found that I could imagine the place for myself based on the bits and pieces the author revealed. In the end that was better. The story's main focus was about people -- their interactions, flaws, treatment of others. It amazed me how Freeman, using just the right word when describing a person cut right to the heart of the matter.

    Part mystery, part love story, part historical fiction spanning four generations but focused on the choices of one woman, the book was totally engaging. The sense of place was strong. The narration was excellent. Caroline Lee's voice pulled me along through the ups and downs of the book and held me hanging on every word. By the end I was sure that there had been a mistake. It couldn't be over yet! I didn't want the story to end--a sure sign that it was an excellent listen. Definitely a book I loved and can recommend whole heartedly.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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