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Sandra

Sacramento, CA USA | Member Since 2010

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 163 ratings
  • 345 titles in library
  • 49 purchased in 2014
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  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (9152)
    Performance
    (7226)
    Story
    (7263)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Amazon Customer says: "Word Thief"
    "Exquisite!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is nothing I can add to the reviews of this book. I think this is possibly the best book I've every read. The author's use of words, phrasing and pacing is truly a work of art. I especially enjoyed listening to this book because the narrator is outstanding!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (298)

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.

    Alla says: "Horrifyingly human - mandatory reading"
    "Wonderful listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was in my middle teens when Biafra was in the headlines--I knew it was in Africa and involved starving children, but that's all. This book is wonderful on so many levels--the history, the politics, the culture and as already mentioned, the complex characterization. It's not just about the atrocities of a war that happened almost 50 years ago, it is relevant to issues we struggle with everyday. The differences of culture, religious values, things we hold as important to ourselves or within our group. The narration is superb--I really can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this book.

    What I love about Audible.com that is different than going to the library; it's unlikely I would go to the library looking for a book on the history of Nigeria or the civil war of Biafra. Audible offered this book along with several others as a free offering which made me look at it. I am so glad I chose it. It is the same with the $4.95 specials--I consider books I didn't know I wanted to read. Audible has been a true treasure for me since I retired. I wish I had learned about Audible prior to retiring for my twice daily 25 mile commute!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life on the Mississippi [Blackstone]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (107)

    The Mississippi River, known as “America’s River” and Mark Twain are practically synonymous in American culture. The popularity of Twain’s steamboat and steamboat pilot on the ever-changing Mississippi has endured for over a century. A brilliant amalgam of remembrance and reportage, by turns satiric, celebratory, nostalgic, and melancholy, Life on the Mississippi evokes the great river that Mark Twain knew as a boy and young man and the one he revisited as a mature and successful author.

    Ben says: "Whispersync deal"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall

    Fantastic read, the best narrator yet!! Rates as high as Huck Finn narrated by Elijah Wood and Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume one.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Light in August

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.

    Robert Stevens says: "Superb reading of an excellent work"
    ""I am glad I read it....""
    Overall

    Definitely a classic, characterization is very rich in detail. Narration is superb. I didn't read Faulkner in college or high school, and I'm not sure it could be appreciated by someone in High School. Midway through the book I did some research on Faulkner and on the book which helped considerably. It is amazing to me that this was written in the 1930's, which sheds light on why the author's work wasn't appreciated in his life time--it's not pulp fiction. It is not an easy book to read or listen to. I expected the racial prejudice but was surprised by the "fire and brimstone" religious overtones, and the degree that women were denigrated by many of characters in the book. I will be digesting this for quite awhile.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Light in August

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (1676)
    Performance
    (1150)
    Story
    (1149)

    An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.

    FanB14 says: "Perseverance in Face of Cruelty"
    "I am glad I read it...."
    Overall

    Definitely a classic, characterization is very rich in detail. Narration is superb. I didn't read Faulkner in college or high school, and I'm not sure it could be appreciated by someone in High School. Midway through the book I did some research on Faulkner and on the book which helped considerably. It is amazing to me that this was written in the 1930's, which sheds light on why the author's work wasn't appreciated in his life time--it's not pulp fiction. It is not an easy book to read or listen to. I expected the racial prejudice but was surprised by the "fire and brimstone" religious overtones, and the degree that women were denigrated by many of characters in the book. I will be digesting this for quite awhile.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Helmet for My Pillow: First Chapter

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Robert Leckie
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow, we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war's fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war.

    Sandra says: "Horrible narrator."
    "Horrible narrator."
    Overall

    Probably is a good book but couldn't get thru first chapter. Narrator sounds like he's in a tunnel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • First into Nagasaki

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By George Weller
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    On September 6, 1945, less than a month after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, George Weller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, became the first free Westerner to enter the devastated city. Going into the hospitals and consulting the doctors of the bomb's victims, Weller was the first to document its unprecedented long-range medical effects. He also became the first to enter the nearby Allied POW camps, which rivaled those of the Nazis for cruelty and bested them for death count.

    Harold says: "First Into Nagasaki"
    "Very Insightful"
    Overall

    I agree with previous reviewers thoughts re prisoners of war in Japan--horrendous treatment of all prisoners especially in the transport ships as well as the camps. In addition, I found Weller's commentary on military censorship very thought-provoking. When is it appropriate for the government to censor because of national security, and when is it their attempt to put the "right spin" on it. I'm inclined to think it's more the latter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Charles Pellegrino
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    Last Train from Hiroshima offers listeners a stunning "you are there" time capsule, gracefully wrapped in elegant prose. Charles Pellegrino's scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb's survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written. At the narrative's core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand---the Japanese civilians on the ground and the American fliers in the air.

    Daniel says: "Awsome"
    "Compelling read!"
    Overall

    First book I've read on Hiroshimas and Nagasaki. The author has an amazing talent with words, even in describing two of the most horrible events in history. Bringing personal details from survivors into the story makes it very human and very real. I would hope excerpts would be required reading in High schools, as well as the message from Dr. Nagai, Love thy Neighbors, Do unto others, Pay it forward.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3339)
    Performance
    (1505)
    Story
    (1507)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book; the characters as developed in their letters to Juliet, the main character, as well as learning about the history of the Channel Islands during World War II.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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